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Many want to know how they can go about getting to know someone and eventually getting married without getting hurt or compromising their faith.
At Focus on the Family, we've offered a range of resources and expert advice bringing biblical principles to bear in this area.
Some of the messages we've presented have taken the position that Christians can apply their faith in such a way that they can still work within the system they've inherited.
Other messages have stressed that Christians need to be much more counter-cultural.
If you're a Christian, that's the biblical life you're called to. Just this once, I'm going to set out a basic framework for biblical dating so we all know what we're talking about — or at least so you know where I'm coming from.
That's what I hope this column will be about — applying God's Word to the topic of dating, finding a spouse, and getting married. After this column, you have my word that I'll spend the next several months answering your questions (that is, when I have answers). I have to start by explaining the theological doctrine that drives the approach I want to outline (and advocate).
That doctrine is called the sufficiency of Scripture.
That truth has brought immeasurable emotional pain and other consequences to many Christians.
Worse, it has brought great dishonor to the name of Christ and to the witness of individuals and the church. For Christians, the Lord has given us his Word, and the Holy Spirit helps us to understand it. How can Christians think differently about this pervasive issue in media and culture? The answer to that last question is "not well." Surveys consistently indicate that professing Christians behave almost exactly like non-Christians in terms of sexual involvement outside of marriage (in both percentage of people involved and how deeply involved they are — how far they're going), living together before marriage, and infidelity and divorce after marriage.