The bible was written in black and white regardless of what we choose to believe. Gray never used to be a color.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there was no dating in the bible. You were either single, married, or going to be married. Our society has created an extra relationship status (well, if we’re completely honest here its created much more than just one, what does “its complicated” really mean anyway?). This new category has created a whole new can of worms that was never meant to be opened and it’s our own darn fault. Why are men failing to become spiritual leaders? Why is the divorce rate rising? Why is it so difficult to seek purity as a young follower of Christ?

Dating.

Women are the ones who are always pushing for commitment, but if you want to be the leader in a relationship, you need to be the one pushing for the commitment. Have you ever seen a leader who was not committed to his cause?

Imagine the respect given to the men in the bible who would simply look through a crowd of women and say, “I want to marry that one.” And they did.

It’s so important for us as men to set the tone for our relationship right from the beginning. Right from the start I knew that I wanted to marry Morgan and I had no doubt in my mind that she was the one for me, but I had no idea the importance of initiating conversations about our relationship status. I let her harmlessly lay our future out before us and drive us to the next stage not realizing how that would set the tone for the roles that we would play in our relationship. All along I shared the same views, the same plans and yet I was blindsided by how not initiating the direction of the relationship left me seemingly unable to be respected to lead.

For the first three months of our marriage I found myself clawing my way back into a leadership position which was rightfully mine all along had I just taken it. Every woman is naturally programmed by God to be led but that does not mean that they’re not capable of doing it themselves. In fact, in our society, more often than not they are leading relationships. Its so easy to assert yourself as the leader in the relationship if all you have to do is decide you’re ready to get married, go out and find a wife and go from there. You do that and the first words out of your new bride will be, “okay, now what?” Don’t make the mistake of procrastinating. Know what you want from the start and with confidence put a plan in place to get there.

God would not create anything that would rob you of the gift of intimacy meant to be shared between you and your spouse, and only your spouse.

I haven’t and will never personally experience what it is like to go into a marriage having had multiple dating relationships before my husband, though, from what I’ve heard, it can be quite difficult.

I remember when I was a kid attending camp doing devotionals on dating (because that’s all we ever wanted to talk about at that age) and having had purity in relationships explained to us as a charm bracelet. The goal was to save every charm you had to give for your future husband, everything from handholding to sex. They said it was a present you could give to your spouse that every time you gave it to a new person you would have to rewrap it and it would lose its ability to be special.

God designed that charm bracelet to be given only ever to one person. God did not design intimacy to be shared with anyone but your spouse and this is applicable to the entire charm bracelet.

When exactly did it become acceptable kiss multiple people before your spouse? Yes, my husband and I kissed before marriage, but I can only imagine how I would feel if I had not married him… and that’s just kissing! When God created such a simple system to be single then married with no get-to-know-you-how-bout-a-kiss-relationship in between he was ensuring that the gift of intimacy would stay intact and that there would be no ghosts of relationships past to sort through. I realize that in our culture today this has become incredibly difficult.

It was never meant to be.

Kissing is like a gateway drug that when used within the confines of marriage can bring a glorious high that never needs another fix. No low, no withdrawal, its perfect.

If you were to go from being single to being married all the temptations and unnecessary tortures would not exist. In our society we have created a method of temptation and guilt that was never meant to hold us captive. Why have we made for ourselves yet another hardship when this life has enough of its own?

The reason why when we push the boundaries in our dating relationships and take the devil at his word when he says, “There’s nothing in the bible that says that,” is because he is in fact correct, there isn’t. We call what we are doing “gray areas” because we don’t want to accept the fact that what we are doing is wrong. We look for any possible way to justify ourselves. The reason dating is so “complicated” is because we’ve made it complicated.

To navigate relationships in this new culture you need to decide, are you ready for marriage or not, stop using dating to make your decision.

Written by: Pierre and Morgan Groenewald

2 comments

  1. I do not think a man should completely lead a relationship. A marriage is built upon the hard work of 2 individuals, therefore those 2 individuals should have equal say I’m everything. A marriage is give and take on both sides. And yes, if I were asked to go out or do something I would say, “Let me check with my husband or wife.” It’s the right thing to do.

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