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).Here are (some) principles for your not-yet marriages.It’s not nearly a comprehensive or exhaustive list.Friends who enjoy sex with “no strings attached” will find pleasure, but not the peaks waiting on the other side of mutual promises.The happiness of marriage is not only or even mainly physical.Those who recklessly give themselves to a love life of dating without really dating, of romantic rendezvouses without Christ and commitment, are settling. With this “more,” we can say to the watching world, Don’t settle for artificial and thin loyalty, affection, security, and sexual experimentation when God intends and promises so much more through a Christian union.They’re settling for less than God intended and less than he made possible by sending his Son to rescue and repurpose our lives, including our love lives, for something more. And a Christian union can only be found through Christian dating.
Nothing in my life and faith has been more confusing and spiritually hazardous than my pursuit of marriage. Maybe you’ve wanted the relationship or liked the guy or girl, and you’ve never had the chance.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.” The vision of marriage we see in God’s word — the beautiful, radical display of God’s infinite, persevering love for sinners — makes it worth it to date, and date well.The world’s approach can provide fun and sex and children and eventually even some level of commitment, but it cannot lead to the life-giving Jesus after whom our marriages are to take their cues.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.It was not an oversight on the part of the God of all history, as if he couldn’t see into the twenty-first century.The qualifications are wonderfully clear and simple: (1) they must believe your God (2 Corinthians ) and (2) they must be of the opposite sex (Genesis –24; Matthew 19:4–6; Ephesians –32).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.