Last week, Sharon Hodde Miller posted an entry on her blog titled “Dating Advice: It is OK if I…?” Miller writes about the importance of cultivating wisdom in dating relationships rather than setting black-and-white rules. Check out this excerpt:
I find wisdom to be one of a few helpful Biblical paradigms for dating relationships. Rather than lay out a “Mosaic Law” of dating rules (as the above mentioned post warns against), wisdom is a messier yet more holistic (and arguably less Pharisaical) approach to dating. For one thing, godly wisdom can guide couples through the countless scenarios they will face in dating, many of which are never directly addressed in the Bible.
Second, wisdom guards our hearts against bitterness toward God. It exhorts us to consider the reason and goodness behind His commands, rather than forcing an unquestioning obedience detached from God’s plan or character. This latter form of obedience is likely to result in frustration and even disdain for God’s instructions.
God is not looking for empty-headed robots who perfectly conform to His commands. Yes, obedience is a good affirmed by Scripture, but it is obedience with a very particular purpose and direction, not obedience for obedience’s sake. Instead, obedience is for our protection, for the good of our relationship with God, and with others. The wise individual recognizes this truth and is guided by it.
The next time you find yourself asking, “Is it ok if my boyfriend and I [fill in the blank]?” I would caution you against finding a rule (and then a subsequent loophole), and instead seek the path of wisdom. Based on what Scripture says about things like our created design, human sexuality, and our relationship with God, what would be wise and what would be foolish? What would be life-giving, and what would be shame inducing? What would be true, and what would be false? What would it look like to walk in the light, and what would it look like to hide in the darkness?
What do you think of Miller’s advice? Do you approach dating with a specific set of personal rules? Or do you prefer to work things out as you go along?
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