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This issue shapes our young people, friends, and family more than we could ever imagine. “Let’s just sit back and see what happens” might work in certain scenarios, but Christian dating isn’t one of them. The truth is you could spend your life with more than one person. Get to know yourself.” And as soon as the person you are dating smacks his or her gum the wrong way, you are out. I heard don’t have sex before marriage so much I actually believed getting to marriage a virgin was the only important thing. In the process, I filled my heart and mind with lust, and I secretly struggled with pornography. Christians, instead, need to teach the importance of a pure mind. Make sure God is the center of your life before you start dating. Don’t start dating without an assurance of God’s love for you and a solid understanding of the gospel. One of the best ways to save your marriage is through Ranch of Hope. “The one” says you need to find the perfect person. The beauty of marriage is God sustains you despite your flaws. The shells of a shotgun are stuffed with tiny round balls. You are asked to go from a mentality that says “End a relationship as soon as difficulty arises,” to one that says, “Don’t end the relationship regardless of the difficulty that arises.” That’s a tough switch to flip. It is time for Christians to start talking about dating. Establishing principles for Christian dating will set men and women on a course towards Christ-centered marriages. I hope and pray these words spark conversations in your ministries, relationships, and homes. If you need to take a minute to let that sink in, I will be here when you get back… Here’s the deal: marriage isn’t a divine lottery where every person has one winning ticket. Hopefully one will end up as my spouse.” Not a good idea. So, the default for years is to leave as soon as a flaw arises. This requires discipline, restraint, and abstinence from activities that don’t promote holiness. A pure mind might be the greatest gift you can give your future spouse. ____________________ I hope this discussion continues. I pray parents, church leaders, friends, and family begin to spark conversations about God’s design for dating. The trajectory of lives and eternities are in the balance. Laying out guidelines for dating as followers of Jesus will alter lives by keeping people out of toxic and unhealthy relationships (and ultimately marriages). Here are 10 important principles for Christian dating. That would make God a gambler, and the Bible clearly says gambling is from the devil (only joking). Marriage isn’t as much about finding someone totally compatible as it is about committing to someone despites difficulties and differences. I fear this mentality in the dating culture is actually promoting divorce. Suddenly, when marriage begins, you are asked to flip a switch. It allows you to jump into marriage with a clear conscience. You might get into a relationship with someone who loves Jesus, meets the values you have in a future spouse, and is compatible with you. Just end the relationship, and continue to seek the Lord. Again, please don’t be a freakish weirdo and give Christians a negative label. My wife loves the Lord, and I can say with all certainty I wouldn’t be following Jesus without her. It’s dangerous riding on the road to marriage without an idea of where you are going. Don’t sit someone down on the first date and interview them to make sure they meet all of the qualities.

That would be awesome, but it’s not always realistic. If you are a Christian, God isn’t a piece of your pie. Why date someone who doesn’t even have God as a piece of the pie? Pull over at the closest gas station and decide what you want in a future spouse. Your list is designed to give you a framework for dating, not be a checklist for it. Your heart and the holiness of marriage are too important to flippantly give away because you are frustrated, impatient, or settling. Jesus spoke about marriage in Mark 10:9: "Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." It shows how much God values marriage.Sadly, it also shows our brokenness, when we review the divorce rate, even among Christians.Many Christians are hesitant to write a personals ad, since they want to wait for God's guidance. After all, choosing your spouse is a choice for life. The monks used to say "ora et labora" — pray and work.We strongly believe dating sites are being used by God to bring Christian singles together.

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