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If Christian dating — the intentional, selfless, and prayerful process of pursuing marriage — sounds like slavery, we don’t get it.If low-commitment sexual promiscuity sounds like freedom, we don’t get it.A husband ought to protect and provide for his wife (Ephesians –29).A wife ought to help and submit to her man (Genesis ; Ephesians –24).With the sex, there ought to be a deep sense of safety, a sense of being loved and accepted for who you are, a desire to please without the need to impress.When God engineered the sexual bond between a man and a woman, he made something much more satisfying than the act itself. And the more is found in a mutual faith in, and following of, Jesus.Now undeniably there will be more involved in your discernment while dating.Apart from questions of attraction and chemistry, which are not insignificant, the Bible articulates some roles for wives and husbands.

Exclusivity and intentionality are ancient rituals, things of the past, and misplaced hopes. It’s not that this new line of thinking is necessarily untrue today, or that it’s not the current and corrupt trend of our culture. One of our most precious pursuits, that of a lifelong partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and snaps, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. Therefore, only he can prescribe the purpose, parameters, and means of our marriages.

So, admittedly we are looking for more than an attractive person who “loves Jesus.” That said, many of us need to be reminded that God’s perfect person for me isn’t all that perfect.

Every person who marries is a sinner, so the search for a spouse isn’t a pursuit of perfection, but a mutually flawed pursuit of Jesus.

If fullness of life could be found in sexual stimulation, or if it was just a matter of making babies, the “forget formality and just have sex” approach might temporarily satisfy cravings and cause enough conception.

But God had much more in mind with romance than orgasms or even procreation, and so should we. When people in the world are expecting less and less of each other in dating, God isn’t.

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