Thursday, April 21

David's Dating Directive

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. --Psalm 119:9

David, the author and young man in question in this particular verse, is petitioning the Lord for some good "life advice". He knows that the answer is to be found by living according to what God wants. This concept of purity can be applied to nearly every aspect of the Christian life since it has its main roots in the idea of integrity. As I recall from my college days, the subject of purity was most often brought up in the context of dating relationships.

Although this verse isn't exactly about dating, it can certainly be applied to dating. The subject of purity raises many questions in regard to how Christians are to conduct themselves. There are different ways to be pure. The topic of most discussion among Christian young people is sexual purity. A book that has garnered a great deal of attention in the last several years is "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris.

Although there have been dozens of books on the subject of sexual purity in dating relationships, this book sparked many discussions among my friends at Campus Crusade for Christ. Those discussions produced a variety of opinions about abstinence-- Everything from the belief that the only way to be pure is to not date at all (a la Joshua Harris' book) to the idea that dating is okay and so long as the relationship has clear boundaries.

Whether or not you have read Harris' book, and whether you agree with its contents, keep a few things very clear in your mind. 1) The Bible is the best authority on the subject of purity, 2) God's requirement for abstinence before marriage is NOT optional.

The Bible is God's word and is therefore infinitely valuable to all Christians in all circumstances, including those playing the dating game. On a lighter note, however, I recommend you don't attempt to carry over Biblical spouse-hunting tactics to our culture. For example, ladies, the likelihood that your future husband is a man who asks you for a drink of water is slim to none. Offering to give his camels some water as well (Genesis 24:13-15) might not produce the desired results! Guys, if you attempt to use the phrase "your hair is like a flock of goats" (Song of Solomon 4:1) you probably won't make a young lady swoon.

As you can see, dating advice for our culture simply isn't readily available in the Bible. Even outside of the context of dating, Christians are called to be pure. Commandments for maintaining purity are easily found in God's word. Check out 1st Corinthians or 2nd Timothy 2 if you need any ideas. Whether you are seeking to maintain a standard of purity in a dating relationship, or trying to be a person of integrity in a broader sense, the Bible offers plenty of direction. Live according to God's word, and never settle for less than God's best. Keep your way pure by asking God to give you the strength and commitment to do so.

And please, when it comes to purity in a dating relationship...at all costs, save sex for marriage. You'll be glad you did.

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