What's the Latitude of Your Dating Attitude?

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A relationship rooted in friendship is God’s idea of the appropriate attitude for any two people to have. And, that includes two people who are dating.

Bible Reading: Philippians 2: 1-4

Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Philippians 2:4

Did young Noah ever take his future bride on a romantic boat ride?

Did Moses ever take his girlfriend to the Saturday night chariot races?

Did Jacob and Rachel go out for pizza and Cokes before they were married?

Did Solomon ever take any of his 700 wives and 300 concubines on a date?

You might never know the answers to those deep dating questions, because you can’t find dating in the Bible --for the same reason you can’t find Sunday school. Sunday school and dating weren’t part of Bible-times society. Back then, most mar­riages were prearranged by parents (see Genesis 24 for an example).

Just think about how great ready-made marriages would be. No worries about finding a partner. No problem about locating a date for the prom. No more demands from your friends to go out with some loser. No more dateless weekends. Your big­gest worry would be figuring out who to double with.

The arranged-marriage plan has drawbacks, however. Your parents might do a deal for you to marry the cutest baby on the block-but in high school he might still be sucking his thumb. Then there’s that little thing called love-which most of us want to find before we marry. And your parents can’t even pick out clothes you like, so how could they pick out a husband or wife you would like? Given those alterna­tives, you’re probably glad for today’s system of dating.

Although you can’t find dating in the Bible, you can find plenty of Scripture verses that apply to your dating relationships. Most of them have to do with atti­tudes. Some people enter dating with an attitude of ownership. They think you be­long to them and refuse to allow you to live your own life. They act as if you are their private property and want you to fulfill their every whim.

Then there are those who approach dating with an attitude of relationship. They put all the emphasis on being “in love.” They major on the romantic and go ugly with insecurity and jealousy when you go out with another person.

Philippians 2:3-4 expresses the right attitude to have about dating: friendship. The purpose of dating isn’t to meet your needs but the other person’s needs. It isn’t to “fall in love” but to grow in friendship. A relationship rooted in friendship is God’s idea of the appropriate attitude for any two people to have. And that includes two people who are dating.

REFLECT: Are you aiming your affections at someone God would be pleased by? How are you approaching your relationship with an attitude of friendship?

PRAY: Spend some time praying for your attitude toward any future dates with him or her.

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