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Posted by / 11-Feb-2020 18:14

If our goal is to move positively toward God-glorifying lives (rather than simply to “walk the line” by attempting to satisfy our fleshly desires as much as possible without sinning), wisdom and godliness would seem to counsel keeping relationships shorter.

Certainly, as God’s people, we don’t want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it’s not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.

He leads us primarily by His Word, and we are to look there first and primarily for guidance about how to live and make decisions.

God does not ever “call” or “lead” His people into sin, or even into folly or biblically responsible choices. Choice one is to get married anyway and work your way through.

I discuss this principle more fully in “Principles for Drawing Boundaries” and “What Does a Biblical Relationship Look Like?

” As a quick refresher, we can “defraud” our brother or sister in a dating context by showing or encouraging a level of intimacy — either emotionally or physically — that the Bible seems to reserve for marriage and marriage only.

Let me try to deal very briefly with the most popular responses I get to this argument — especially from college students.

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed this, but people involved in a dating relationship tend to get to know each other better over the course of that relationship.

Over time, maybe you take some of the same classes, live near one another, etc.

In that context, living with the desires I’ve just described, how likely do you think it is that over the course of two or three or four years — some couples date over most of their college years — you will be able to maintain enough emotional discipline and distance to avoid acting emotionally and relationally “married”?

When two people are dating — especially when it’s going well and two people are really into one another — the desire to spend more and more time together, to know each other better and better, to confide in each other more and more often and exclusively, is overwhelming.

As your general comfort level around each other rises, that momentum grows even more. We’ll assume, per another clear principle from Scripture, that both members of our college couple are Christians.

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As to emotional intimacy, we live in the age of email, free long distance and unlimited any-time minutes, and cheap flights.