Strangers, friendship, dating, and marriage

I have some things that I need some guidance on, if anyone can help me here.

As I am 19, I’m growing up in a culture where everything goes in any relationship. You can have sex if and when you want, you can split up if and when you want. Relationships are selfish and have no true love or substance to them.

Before I came to know Jesus, I was all about this kind of “relationship.” I had no morals or boundaries and so I was up for generally anything. Since I have obeyed the Gospel, I have had more true love and respect for women and even though I struggle with pornography and masturbation, I don’t want anything to happen between myself and ANY other girl for their sake and mine. Even though before, I was insensitive and a real jerk, now, I tend to be more of a romantic type. I don’t mean the modern, sensual/sexual type romance, but the old fashioned, gentleman type romance. I really enjoy opening doors for women and pulling out chairs and basically being a gentleman.

Something I have always had, and still have is a habit of having feelings for girls even though I may not really know them. It could be because they’re pretty or because they’re personality is incredible. Now, it seems to be more because I either dated them and regret how I treated them and have a desire to treat them with respect, or because they have their own relationship with Jesus.

Okay, I hope this wasn’t too personal for anyone, but I’m hoping that it gives you some information to answer the questions I have.

Now, I know that anything sexual is for the marriage bed only. It isn’t for a mere friendship or for even dating. I know that the Bible speaks of a husband and wife being a unit and belonging to each other. Also, though marriage was created by God and is universal, believers are to marry believers.

I know that for dating, being loving and respectful is important and also exalting them above myself is very important. Pride and such has to be excluded from any relationship. It only makes sense that since dating leads to marriage that believers shouldn’t date unbelievers.

Friendships and strangers I don’t know what to say about, except for we are to spread the gospel, serve, and love others.

What differences would/should there be between a believer and an unbeliever?

At one point should we consider dating, and for what reasons? Also, what would be the differences between a friendship and a dating couple?

Also what changes should there be and shouldn’t there be when you do start dating?

I don’t want to cross any lines or ruin a relationship, because I asked her out or something and I also don’t want to be anyone other than me and the same for her if we do date. Basically, I want healthy God-glorifying relationships in all circumstances. So I just want some opinions and guidance on all of this.

Thanks guys!

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