Thursday, May 10, 2012

You Know You Are Ready to Date When...

First off, this isn't for me.  Secondly, this isn't from me.

But a couple friends of mine put me in touch with this document last year.  It seems like a great worksheet for guys in the dating stage of life.

I didn't make it and I'm not even sure about it's exact origin, but I do plan on using it with guys in the future.

The text is below, but you can find a PDF of the document here.

You Know You Are Ready to Date When...
1. You have studied the following passages and written out clear observations about how they apply to a dating relationship (bearing in mind that dating is not specifically addressed in Scripture). Romans 12: 1- 2 Romans 14: 22-23 1 Thes. 4:1-8 1 Cor. 6: 12-20 2 Cor 6: 14-15 1 Tim 5: 1-2 2 Pet. 1: 3-4 Psa. 37: 4-5 Psa. 16: 7-11 Php 2: 2-4 Prov. 11:14 1 Cor. 13: 4-7
2. You are able to explain why dating relationship with this particular person is more beneficial than a continued, ongoing friendship with her at this time.
3. You have written out your relationship standards, bearing in mind the impact a dating relationship will have on you, the girl you’re interested in, and other people in your (pl.) sphere of influence. Five areas to cover in your written standards:
a. Physical: How and when will you touch one another? (e.g. WIll you hold hands? Kiss? Where can your hands be on her body? What about lying down with one another on a couch?)
b. Emotional: How will you guard your own heart and refrain from manipulating hers?
c. Mental: What ideas or images will you permit your mind to dwell on? What sources of input (e.g. movies) will you permit to shape your thinking about romance and sexuality?
d. Social: How will you continue to foster Christian friendships with other men? How will you continue to minister to the lost? How will you bless people through your relationship together? How much time will you spend together in a week?
e. Spiritual: Do you share a common passion for Jesus? A common vision for life and ministry to others? What spiritual qualities do you need to see in this person before entering a relationship?
4. You have determined that the timing is right, because you have both...
• sought counsel from respected Christians who listen to you and ask probing questions
• sensed an inward freedom from the Lord to move forward after much prayer
• concluded that dating will contribute to each other’s life and ministry to others
• grown in friendship with one another through extended time together with a group of Christian friends
• had sufficient time to get over any recent emotional hurdles (e.g. just ended another relationship, parents just got divorced)
5. You have established a lifestyle of accountability with someone who knows and counsels you from the Scripture. This person can attest that you are free of any sexual addiction to pornography, and he will ask regularly after the progress of your relationship and your own sexual purity.

2 comments:

  1. I would have to give a yes...but. I think this is a proper direction in which to begin this thought process, but I have three questions.

    1) Nothing in this list even mentions the word marriage, although the verses cited do mention it. On the other hand, none of the given verses mention 'dating' probably because nobody did that as we think about it as Americans today. The thought that dating can simply be pursued without first having a confident expectation of marriage is a set up for long term heartache. Wouldn't considerations for marriage be needed for a proper Biblical list here? Or do we dive in to the shallow end of dating expecting the depth towards marriage to come gradually during the relationship? One might want a neck brace.

    2) No mention is given of the family or church authority in either party's life. This smacks of American individualism to me. In such a momentous occasion, shouldn't permission be sought from the God given authorities in a person's life? For the man, he ought to be in good standing with his church elders, for the woman, her father. And I would strongly advocate the man gaining the father's approval before he takes out her daughter. Now, this is not an absolute authority, I would say. Every earthly authority must have limits whereby why can righteously disobey that authority if we act in accordance with the Word. Ideally, this measure will not be needed in a spiritually healthy authority structure though. But how does each party, the man and woman, gain protection from the church in this very far-reaching decision from the list given?

    3) Is it a deal breaker if the man yet struggles with pornographic addiction? I would suggest this should not be an absolute requirement, but a judgment call made with the help of his counselors. I think Paul suggested that men struggling with lust towards a woman get married before they fall deeper into sin (I Cor 7:9). He does not advise holding things back until the man really learns to handle the temptation. I would suggest this could apply to struggles with pornography too. He might find much grace to overcome if he were to be married to a loving and patient wife.

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    Replies
    1. Grant- Love the thought you put into this response. Much more than I put into the blog post. I just wanted to say Thanks for the feedback... I wish I could say more but we're currently in staff training! Blessings,

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