Dating & Brokenness – Part 2

This post is a continuation from Dating & Brokenness – Part 1.

We are spending way more time on the battlefield of dating, and the battlefield of just life, in our current cultural context. So we enter marriage with way more relational scars than any generation before us.

There’s lots of emotional scar tissue at the wedding altar these days.

The average age of marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. So there’s much more time for relational brokenness or sexual brokenness to occur. We aren’t entering marriage in the same way that most every culture before us has—we have more broken hearts scattered about, more battle relational scars and intimate battle wounds.

 

There’s lots of emotional scar tissue at the wedding altar these days.

 

So what can we do? Let me offer five things to consider as a Christian swimming in this dating culture.

 

HOW TO SWIM

  1. Relate Biblically

“Treat younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:2). Biblically she is your sister, he is your brother—there is no biblical category for boyfriend or girlfriend.

Until you get married, there’s no special category that gives you special access or even defines the relationship in any way. So everything in the bible about how we are to treat each other in the church applies to any dating relationship.

 

  1. Date with Clarity

“Hanging out” is not clear, unless you’re actually just hanging out. Dating is a process of evaluation that’s moving somewhere; so be clear with each other where you’re at in that process.

 

  1. In all Things, Purity

Sex is uniting—this is a scientific, biblical, and experiential reality. If you’ve ever had a friend who was in a relationship with someone that nobody thought made sense—they aren’t right for each other, and the community surrounding them knows it—it’s probably because they’re sleeping together. Sex is uniting.

Loving your sister or brother in Christ means fighting for purity. It will save you from some relational battle scars yourself.

 

  1. Date Graciously

God’s perfect person for you isn’t perfect. “The one” doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as a soul mate, there is only a sinner who marries another sinner and they commit to love each other like Jesus loves us and it’s a lot of fun and really hard.

What would it look like if everyone you date, no matter what happens—if they break it off, if you break it off at some point—what would it look like where they could say, “I’m a better person, I know Jesus more, because of my time with you”?

 

God’s perfect person for you isn’t perfect.

 

  1. Date in Community

If dating is a process of gracious evaluation—“should we get married someday”—then you probably need the help of your community. You have blind spots, we all do, so let others see them for you.

This post is an excerpt from Jim’s sermon, Dating & Brokenness.

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