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How to Date to Get Married

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Chad, Apr 19, 2016.

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    Four lessons that transformed my understanding of dating, marriage and love

    There's no denying what you already know: Dating is hard. It can be awkward and uncomfortable, exhausting and discouraging. From the heights of anticipation, it can send you to the depths of despair. At times, dating can make you feel like a different person. Unstable, needy and obsessive.

    Dating can be especially trying if you're not simply doing it to have fun, but to get married. Every suitor is a potential husband, and every woman is a possible wife — not to mention father or mother of your future children.

    The High Stakes of Dating
    Dating to get married isn't trivial. It's no exaggeration to say that outside of following Christ, who you choose to marry is the most important decision of your life. More than anything else, it will dictate your future happiness and success. In large part, it will determine who you become and the life you lead.

    With this perspective, it's easy to consider anything less than a ring on the finger a failure. But this zero-sum mentality leaves us in a precarious position, since, according to this definition, dating is always unsuccessful — until the one time it's not.

    That's not to say dating anyone other than your future spouse isn't worthwhile.

    For most of us, though, all we see while dating is one failure after another. He breaks up with you, or you end things with him; she crushes your heart, or you devastate her dreams.

    What's a person to do? Perhaps more relevant, how are you as a Christian to act if you believe God has called you to marriage? Should you give up the dating game entirely and accept perpetual singleness until God brings that special person into your life? Or double-down and immerse yourself even deeper into every relationship in hopes of chancing upon your future spouse?

    Perhaps there's another route, a pathway between hopelessness and franticness. A mindset that recognizes the benefits of dating, while also acknowledging the drawbacks.

    A String of Broken Relationships
    I found myself asking these questions not too long ago. After a string of unsuccessful relationships, I realized I couldn't continue dating in the same way.

    It was too hard, too painful, too exhausting.

    For years I had been obsessed with finding my wife. Every girl I dated I subjected to a rigorous evaluation in an effort to determine whether she was my soulmate — the woman God wanted me to marry — and could fulfill my deepest needs.

    Was she pretty enough? Funny enough? Spiritual enough? Smart enough? Engaging enough? Healthy enough? Fit enough? Romantic enough? Emotional enough? Stable enough?

    Even after answering these questions satisfactorily, I never really stopped asking them. They continued circling my mind, driven by an unrelenting fear that I hadn't covered every contingency; I hadn't considered this quality or that characteristic, this angle or that lighting.

    As you might imagine, no girl measured up — the truth is, no one ever could. Even if someone cleared the bar one day, I found myself consumed with doubt the next day. And there was always the possibility I might not meet her standards.

    Then the unthinkable happened: A woman I truly cared for broke my heart. Devastated, I told God I never again wanted to date, even if it meant a lifetime of singleness.Devastated, I told God I never again wanted to date, even if it meant a lifetime of singleness.

    Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you too have dated for years without success. Maybe you've obsessed about finding a spouse. Maybe you've lost someone you cared for. Maybe you've ended a relationship because the other person didn't measure up. Maybe you've even given up dating.

    If so, I get it. I've been there. Dating is hard. Fortunately, God had other plans for me — and I believe He has other plans for you, too. Instead of holding me to my promise to never date again, God taught me four important lessons that transformed my understanding of dating, marriage and love.

    Lesson One: Abandon the search for your soulmate.
    Perhaps like me, you too grew up believing God preordained one person for you to marry. And while I still hold to this belief, some of us take it a step further. We figure our future spouse is our soulmate — a perfect match who will satisfy our every desire, the one person who will finally make us whole.

    Not only is this idea unbiblical, it ends up placing too much pressure on us to find a spouse. If there's one perfect person we're destined to marry, we'd better get it right. We'd better make extra sure they measure up.

    The problem is, there's no such thing as perfection, nor is there one person who can entirely satisfy us. Although God created us with needs only a spouse can meet (Genesis 2:18), He did not intend for us to find completion in another person. That's God's role — and our deepest needs won't be met until we finally see Him face to face (1 John 3:2).

    We're mistaken, then, to expect a soulmate. We place too much pressure on ourselves to find someone who doesn't exist, and we ignore God's plan for marriage. Coming to these realizations required evaluating where I found my ultimate fulfillment and, eventually, discarding the idea that another person could make me whole. In short, I had to abandon my search for a soulmate.

    After reaching this point, I decided to ask someone else out. This time would be different, though. This time I wanted to date the right way.

    Lesson Two: Pursue a person instead of a concept.
    Here's what I mean by dating the right way. Rather than focus on the end-goal of marriage, I set my sights on getting to know the other person. I learned about her story and priorities, quirks and sense of humor, passions and interests, faith and family. The result, as you might expect, was incredible.

    No longer consumed with figuring out whether I would one day marry this woman, I finally had space to enjoy dating her and discovering what made her tick. I could allow the relationship to develop naturally, free from internal pressures and anxieties. In that context, I began learning whether we were compatible and could ultimately go the distance.

    In other words, I began pursuing a person instead of a concept.

    And you know what happened? That relationship quickly ended. Not because either of us failed to clear the bar, but because we weren't right for each other. Our personalities didn't gel, and we wanted different things from life.

    Lesson Three: Evaluate the relationship, not a list of qualities.
    I'll be honest, though. I still wanted to get married. That desire didn't disappear. And I still struggled to keep myself from sizing up dating prospects.

    The difference is, I no longer gave those judgments much weight, whereas before they were everything. If a girl didn't seem to measure up in one area or another, I noted it — but unlike before, I didn't freak out.

    To be clear, I didn't discard every standard for who I'd date. The other person had to love God and be beautiful in my eyes, both inside and out. In exchange for the seemingly endless list of qualities, though, I evaluated the relationship itself as we got to know one another.

    Did we feel comfortable together? Were we honest with each other? Could we open our hearts, exposing our hurts and wounds? Could we have fun together? Did we know how to disagree in a healthy way? Did we want similar things out of life? Were we committed to pursuing wholeness together?

    Instead of the "perfect" spouse, now I wanted to find a person with whom I enjoyed sharing life.

    I couldn't have guessed what would happen next.

    Lesson Four: Focus on the journey without losing sight of the destination.
    At the time, I had a coworker who although beautiful, didn't seem like a perfect match for me. Yet I found her both attractive and interesting, so I decided to dismiss my concerns and ask her out.

    Much to my surprise, our first date was not only enjoyable, but comfortable — something I rarely experienced while dating. So we went on a second date, and a third date, and a fourth date ... until after a month of dating, we decided to date exclusively.

    Faster than anticipated, our relationship developed into the most serious I had ever been in. We hung out with friends and had fun together. We shared our deepest hurts and fears. We opened up about our hopes and dreams. We argued and resolved conflict. We exchanged ideas and stories from our past. We went to church together and discussed faith. We met each other's family and talked about our future.

    Over time, we reached a point where we couldn't imagine life apart. Not because we satisfied the other's every dream. The truth is, we didn't. But because we loved each other in our brokenness.

    That didn't mean I was quite ready to buy a ring, though. We still had a journey to travel before getting married. There were issues we had to work through and lessons we both needed to learn. But we knew where we were heading — toward marriage. And that seemed reason enough to continue dating.

    I'm glad we kept at it, as is my wife. Because when we finally decided to get married, it wasn't to fulfill some ambition (although it's something we both wanted). Marriage was the natural progression of our relationship. We loved each other, sensed God drawing us together, and wanted to live life with one another. That's why we got married.

    Really, that's the only reason anyone should get married. Not because marriage is the fulfillment of some personal goal or life plan, but because God is calling you to love another person as Christ loves us — sacrificially and unconditionally.

    article source: How to Date to Get Married | Boundless
     
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    pookiejr and jays92 like this.
  2. Wow cHad I didnt know you found a whole article on this.

    Interesting.

    I think if you going to date just date (go out) for fun and friendship dont expect everyone you meet is going to be the next husband or wife.

    I mean really its ridiculous, I've had crazy men saying they want to marry me and they only seen me for a couple of minutes, I didnt even know their name lol.
     
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  3. I appreciate this. But how does one got about this from a female perspective? Its not my job to persue:laughing:
     
  4. Lol how?
     
  5. No idea sorry Pookie.

    Im not asking anybody out.

    I just go out with my sisters in Christ and have fellowship and fun its easier that way.

    I find that everytime a man wants to go out with me they expect some groping rights. Im like, Im over this.
     
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  6. Lol @ underlined portion. I don't blame you though.
     
  7. I tried to find out by reading some christian dating books by they are only written for a certain type of christian, rich, american, usually college or uni educated at a bible college and then meets someone there to get married and subsequently drops out of college.

    Well Im not going to school to meet a husband, I go there to actually learn stuff.

    My parents dont particularly care if I dont marry...theyve never arranged anyone for me like some parents do. I think its because daughters are not seen as important...everything goes to the sons. Its a hard lesson to learn that in the world, daughters are less valued than sons.

    But I think Im ok with it now. So what? There is neither male nor female, bond nor free all are one in christ Jesus.
    My identity isnt whether I am single or married..that matters nothing to God. My identity is in Christ. He loves my soul And thats all that counts.
     
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  8. This workmate was real nosy and kept asking me personal questions like 'why am I single'
    So I just answered no idea, why are you? Nobody is born married. My brothers are twins, so they arent single. Lol

    Such a silly question, imagine if i went round asking everyone that or married people, why are you married?!

    I should have just said 'whats it to you' cos that what Jesus said when Peter was trying to be nosy about John.

    Apparently if you go overseas everyone will want to marry you so they can go live in your country. You up your appeal ten times if you do that. Which has happened with lots of people I know including my parents.

    But what price? I think I like my country toomuch to up sticks and go live in...Australia.
     
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  9. I didn't know that about those books. that kinda suck because (according them) I missed out on my opportunity for "love" twice over:laughing:It is not that Daughters are less valued, so much as sons are supposed to garner the responsibility. Men are supposed to be the protector of women. Once again, this is one of the things that I believe that satan has corrupted in the mind of humans, which then leads to a discussion of biblical masculinity and femininity, but then I digress.

    I think its cool that your parents don't care if you marry, There are some women who would love for that to happen.

    Amen, when your identity is hidden in Christ, it doesn't matter what your status is because you belong to God. :)

    An old classmate asked me why I didn't have any kids yet, I told her "no one has loved me that much yet."

    I am not sure if I would be petitioned for marriage if I went to another country, other than maybe africa, because I am not one of the favored races (European, Asian, Latin, or Any combination of races that would make me look like the before mentioned three) So I guess I am safe!

    Idk. If the person would actually help you on your walk with Christ, it may be worth leaving everything; but at the current moment, I believe that I am much too busy to be married.
     
  10. Well, if people think you have to 'fall in love' i think its a mistaken cos love isnt an opportunity.

    Love is something you do that grows, not something you fall into.

    Im much to busy to be married, too. I think married women stress more about life, Ive just met so many that stress over minor things. Raising children is important but many women try to do it all themselves. I dont think you can.

    That is why as soon as children turn 5, (or now even 2) they send them off to school..where mostly unmarried women teach them and spend half the day with them lol.

    But at that age, they are still very much children and need their parents to instruct them.
     
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  11. The problem with being a wife (helper) is that you are bound to help just one man for the rest of his life. You cant help anyone else or they will get jealous.

    He cant help you as hes not wife. Hes meant to be a husband!

    I agree that many men dont make good husbands. Like adam they disobey God and just take the path of least resistance, instead of protecting a woman. You end up babying them.

    Thats why women these days grow up tougher than women in the past. I mean in the past women couldnt even wear pants and had to wear these ankle length dresses with frills or totally impractical clothes and werent allowed to do anything but look pretty.

    You look at fashion shoots these days in magazines and half those clothes you couldnt even walk outside in.

    Anyway. Its kind if cool that my parents dont expect me to marry, but it also kind of sad. Its catch 22. Im not the eldest though. You get these days when you feel like you either too pretty or too ugly, cos many men just judge you on what you look like.
     
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  12. Yes and no, I am one of those people who are holding out the hope that there are still righteous men somewhere in the earth :laughing:. It depends on how much they respect the ministry that God has put in their wife.

    If a man loves his wife like Christ loves the church, then the means that He would give his life for you, meaning that he (according to this definition), should give you the tools you need to make your like as his assistant easier, not use you as a beast of burden, because Jesus does not use you as a beast of burden.
    Agreed, many don't, which gets into another conversation...
    Yes, which is both good and bad. Women from families who didn't have money usually wore more practical clothing. A person was seen as rich if their women didn't work because it was like saying "I make so much money that I can afford for all or my women to sit and do nothing"
    You shouldn't but 'til God hits the reset button its what we deal with.
    Argeed. I am eldest, and sadly, men are visual creatures. Praise God for the ones wh can over ride it.

    Agreed. this is why many successful relationships are born from friendships. The issue is all of the hurdles (lust, pressures to marry from other people) that you have to go through just being friends, to even have a decent relationship with the opposite sex in most cases.
    Agreed, In the Bible it implies that women are to tend to the house, But fathers are to discipline. If I was allowed to reproduce, I would want to home school them for a while. when you send your children to school (where they spend most of their waking hours) they are being raised by their teachers. In america, they are most likely teachers who don't care anything about teaching righteous conduct to children, let alone reminding the children of the risen Savior...
     
  13. I was thinking on this topic about how in the OT from Genesis eves curse was to desire her husband, be bossed around by him and have pain in childbirth wheras adams curse was just to work the land with hard labour. They then leave the garden of eden and are bound together till they die.

    But in the NT we are free from the curse. Women dont have to reproduce or even marry and men no longer need to work hard (machines can do the hard work!)

    Personally I think if God can create women out of adams rib and Jesus can be born of a virgin, then Hes got other methods of reproduction or multiplying up His sleeve. In heaven we arent going to be marrying and having children. I was pondering what would happen if everyone in the world just stopped reproducing. Maybe we wont have the battle of the sexes and it would be a kinder, cleaner place. When cats are neutered or spayed, they become much nicer pets. We would be as children, but thats not a bad thing perhaps.

    In the bible, we are all God's children..we come to him as children.

    I mean babies..wonderful, but..from what ive seen is this parenting thing is hard work. Men just seem to leave it all to the women...or if they can afford it, a nanny. I have had mums say to me they wish they never had children. They bring so much joy but also so much despair when the dad just disappears. I supppose thats why we need our Father in heaven..because lots of men these days just dont know how to be dads.

    Ive known men who go have children then just ignore them totally, go to work, dont teach them anything and just go do their hobbies or play around or go off to war and risk being killed. Um hello you have children at home?! What about them??? Up to even last century, most men didnt know how to change a nappy.
     
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  14. Another weird thing ive noticed is...some parents are both christians but their children are hellraisers.
    They ask others to pray for their childrens salvation, one mum said to me she didnt even know if they are saved.

    One mum says her daughter is in a lesbian relationships and just has to keep praying while her sons are battling depressions.

    Another's son is on drugs, and several I know have autisitic children who need to be put in other homes because they are a danger to other siblings. I dont really know of any 'perfect' christian family. Theres even divorced or separated christians who go to different churches but they just cant stand being in the same room together at the same time.

    When I was teaching bible the children would just say all sorts of things about their parents to me...you soon pick up that they arent that safe at home either. Sometimes school is actually safer for them.

    In the bible its not actually specified that christians HAVE to marry and reproduce. It actually says its better to serve the Lord without distraction. If having a fleshly family was that important, Jesus would have married and had children on earth. He might have said to Mary, doesnt matter about the Kingdom, healing the sick or casting out demons lets just get married and have a family and not worry about anyone else apart from us.
    Lol.
     
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  15. Yes we are free from the curse of the law of sin and death, but that doesn't mean when God said that the husband will rule over the wife that he meant

    "Adam, boss her around, do whatever you want, it's cool, she's your slave, "eff" her, "Eff" her well being, she is your baby making dinner cooking wench" - implied nowhere in the Bible as being pleasing to God

    Just like a king will get poor results for not ruling over his kingdom well, a man who doesn't rule over his house well gets bad results too...

    I don't believe so, Jesus being born of a virgin was a sign to the world that Jesus was His son.

    Humanity would die.

    The only thing that will make the world a better place is when God takes the sin out of it. you can stop people from having sex, wanting to have sex, take away the desire for marriage, dating "shacking" (chambering in the KJV), and anything that deals with sex, and, because there is still sin in the world, there will still be horrendous things going on, just not in those categories.

    That is one of the many reasons we need God, but I wouldn't put it high on the list.
    Many men are actually in a "straight between the two" many of them would like to spend time with their kids, but they know that their children cant just "eat love." others don't realize that they have more of a role in their children's lives than "guy who pays for stuff." sometimes its because that is all they know to do (for one reason or another). Men struggle in ways that women cant understand. I would say that they suffer more, because they are told that they have it easy, when they don't.

     
  16. This is the better version!
    Yes we are free from the curse of the law of sin and death, but that doesn't mean when God said that the husband will rule over the wife that he meant

    "Adam, boss her around, do whatever you want, it's cool, she's your slave, "eff" her, "Eff" her well being, she is your baby making dinner cooking wench" - implied nowhere in the Bible as being pleasing to God

    Just like a king will get poor results for not ruling over his kingdom well, a man who doesn't rule over his house well gets bad results too...

    I don't believe so, Jesus being born of a virgin was a sign to the world that Jesus was His son.

    Humanity would die.

    The only thing that will make the world a better place is when God takes the sin out of it. you can stop people from having sex, wanting to have sex, take away the desire for marriage, dating "shacking" (chambering in the KJV), and anything that deals with sex, and, because there is still sin in the world, there will still be horrendous things going on, just not in those categories.

    That is one of the many reasons we need God, but I wouldn't put it high on the list.
    Many men are actually in a "straight between the two" many of them would like to spend time with their kids, but they know that their children cant just "eat love." others don't realize that they have more of a role in their children's lives than "guy who pays for stuff." sometimes its because that is all they know to do (for one reason or another). Men struggle in ways that women cant understand. I would say that they suffer more, because they are told that they have it easy, when they don't.

    I heard somewhere that a Christian parent's job is not to raise Godly children, but to make sure that the children have Godly parents.Granted Jesus did live a perfect life, unmarried and childless. In revelation is even implies that sex is defiling even in a spiritual since. But you seem to have a beak outlook on marriage in general. Like God didn't want us to have a Christian example when Paul spoke that marriage was supposed to be an example of Christ and the church,
    Ephesians 5:30-33
    30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
    32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

    With that, the relationship between husband and wife should be (and is) reminiscent to the relationship between Christ and the church. Just because people don live in the fullness of it, doesn't mean that God didn't make it so.

    I know that we don have to get married as believers, but the way you speak, it seems like you are saying that God doesn't want us to get married and would prefer that we all stay single on this earth. God knows that not everyone can contain (the drive to be fruitful and multiply) so marriage is an outlet.

    Also,

    1 Timothy 3:2-12
    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
    4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
    6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
    7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
    8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
    9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
    10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
    11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
    12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

    Basically, God allowed for how well a man cares for his family to be a point of Judgment for those what wanted to be a deacon or bishop.

    Either way, it seems like there is a great chance that we agree on a lot of points, but just not understanding each other... Idk
     
  17. We all come from a family, a flesh one, but Jesus invites us into his family...where we are united together in spirit and adopted by Father God.

    Humanity wont die if we dont reproduce. If you truly believe that Jesus gives us eternal life...then no we not going to have a second death!!!

    I mean ...the christian life is not about fleshly reproduction. Jesus says we are to be as angels neither marrying or given to marriage. If your mind is on heaven and above, well you not going to be focused on earthly things.

    If you want to be a bishop, sure it helps if you want to look after hundreds of sheep and lambs you ought to know how to look after your own family first. But not everyone has to be a bishop! And actually funny thing is to be a husband of ONE wife..its not actually saying if you single go out and find one. In those days some men had more than one wife.... well these days they do as well, the ex and the ex and the other ex on the side!
     
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  18. Interesting thing is...when Mary was told she was going to have Jesus, she was already espoused or engaged to Joseph. She was not told she would have Jesus when she was single and then go look for a husband.
     
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  19. Amen!

    Lol. Amen and Seems legit. But I was talking about the human population on earth, before God makes the new one.


    Agreed, not everyone wants to be a bishop. But bishops and deacons are necessary members of the body of Christ. Why are you so bitter towards the idea of marriage that you mention everything wrong with what people have done with it (and not so much what the word of God says about it.)? Did someone hurt you? Did someone tell you that marriage was bitter business and useless in the sight of God? By your replies, this seems to be the case, or something must have happened for you respond as you do.
    Yes, God produced Jesus in order, but I am not sure what you are implying (or what you mean) when you say this. God chose one who was about to be married rather than a single person. Actually, If I understand correctly, if one was espoused to someone one in that day, they were already considered married; they just hadn't consummated/had the ceremony yet (this is why the term "put away," which is used for divorce, was used when Joseph considered cancelling the engagement).
    The fact that called her when she was not to far from being married seems like a persons status can make them more available (or less available) to do different things.
     
  20. Am not bitter...why would you say Im bitter?!

    Funny. Theres nothing wrong with being single or being married, but there is everything wrong with being unequally yoked.

    I just know too many divorced people and children of divorce and unhappy, dysfunctional marriages and relationships with crazy vindictive, unloving exes etc. it makes life not easy, dealing with other peoples hard hearts and broken hearts.


    They come to me in tears cos so and so cheated on them and Im like. Not another one. This has been happening to practically every single girl I know since puberty..and Im then its the same with boys as well..so and so broke my heart.

    Thats why children are great they usually dont get so attached and weird with each other until they get to be teenagers and the hormones kick in lol.
     
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