We asked people who were single, dating, or engaged what questions they had about relationships, single life, and getting married. Here are the questions with some answers…
Why does the church go around the real (dirt) issues of dating?
Why is it that those in the church date just as recklessly and without regard than those outside of the church?
I feel like these two questions go hand-in-hand. Having grown up in the Christian church, it is amazing to me to look back in hindsight and realize just how little dating, relationships, and marriage were discussed in the church. It is almost as if it is assumed everyone will figure it out on their own, but I think there is also a degree of avoidance within the church to discuss dating and marital preparation in the church.
Unfortunately I believe a serious concern for the Christian churches today is getting caught up in being politically correct and not stepping on anyone’s toes. This is scary territory for Christians to enter; when we know the truth but don’t want to hear it, accept it, or share it. In 2 Timothy 4:3, the Bible says “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” The Bible is very clear on a lot of issues, but sometimes it is hard to say what needs to be said, especially when it’s not the popular thing to say. I think this is why the church avoids addressing dating as a Christian. Flat out, the church needs to address and tackle those real issues of dating though – pre-marital sex, sexuality, healthy dating, what to be looking for, the Christian model of marriage, etc.
That leads me to the question of why Christians date as recklessly as those outside of the church. One thing is the lack of education in the church for Christian singles to know what healthy dating looks like. Unfortunately too, a lot of people are growing up in broken homes and lack the parental example and advice to know how to date. The divorce rates in and out of the church are the same sadly enough, which means that Christian youth aren’t getting any more of a great example of what a healthy marriage and relationship are than those outside of the church. Additionally, the societal pressures and influences are only growing more strongly in the direction of reckless dating and relationships. Singles are now thinking it’s the cool thing to be promiscuous, careless, and exploratory during those dating years. All around there is a general lack of positive and healthy education, examples, and influences for singles.
The bottom line is that Christians need to step up in the dating and marital scene. Churches need to get beyond their concern to be politically correct and start educating and tackling the tough, very real issues of dating and marriage. Married Christians need to start applying the amazing guidelines and example of Christ to their marriages to show singles and the rest of the world what marriage can be. Christian singles need to practice self-control and restraint to set themselves and their marriages up for the ultimate success. I do believe that Christians have a secret weapon to tackle all stages of life, but so many of us turn our backs on that because it’s not always the easy or popular thing to do. That being said…we need to do it!
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