Adventist dating advice

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This article, while biblically-based, contains material best appreciated by mature readers. Fire is a two-faced element. It can support life or destroy it. Without fire in the form of the sun, the planet would descend into a terminal ice age, with every form of life freezing instantly and irrevocably.

But while we need the sun, we need it in tolerable doses. The globe that bathes us in warm light, growing our crops and blushing our cheeks, has been greatly subdued in the process of reaching us from million kilometers away. In other words, the sun brings life instead of death to our planet simply because its raging heat Every erotic urge that pulses through us, body and soul—whether it be the delicate flower of puppy love or the florid blossom of sexual desire—brings life or death, depending on how successfully it is managed.

Our world is reeling from the effects of uncontrolled passion, with AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in its train. And perhaps the most tragic fallout of this state of affairs is the bum rap sex has gotten. That which was created by God as a metaphor of the love of Christ for His church 1 has come to be thought of as the seductive foe of virtue and bringer of tragedy. Nothing could be more unreasonable. So do scientists. Moderate sexual expression, particularly in a stable relationship, has been correlated with health benefits, including better sleep and less depression, better cardio health, and even pain relief!

This is a Christian magazine, read mostly by Christians who mostly agree that sex outside of marriage is a really bad idea. But this article is about sex because sex begins many miles before the bed room. When we refer to the physical act of sex, the standards generally understood by Christians are fairly straightforward, black and white, right and wrong.

But when we muse on the mystical, marvelous dance that begins with locked eyes across a room and ends up with the physical act, things get a whole lot more complicated. Romance The mess of romance has been handled through two main institutions: dating and courtship.

Before either, marriages were arranged by parents on the basis of practical considerations. Courtship was born; and a formal affair it was. Generally taking place in the home of the woman, where she was safe and carefully watched over by her family, the suitor pursued feminine affections through conversation, wit, and written messages. In the late-nineteenth century courtship morphed into dating as poorer women who had no parlor in which to chat with a beau began to meet with men in public places. Gradually, public dating became the norm, desi red by rich and poor alike.

With this change, the balance of power shifted away from the female—who was now out of the protection of her home—to the male—who was usually paying for the socialization. The in volvement of parents was minimized. Over time, temporary romantic thrill rather than level-headed planning for marriage became central to the experience. A sensible yet spiritual approach calls for the cultivation of a carefully reigned-in form of affection that neither ignores nor prematurely expends the romantic urges. But can someone please come up with a new name for it?

I keep seeing men in tights and ladies in pointed hats! Seriously, courtship has gained popularity of late among Christian young people. Sweeping through churches, high schools, and college campuses, the c ourtship revolution has begun to put the brakes on romantic attachment outside of marriage. I found Jesus at 19, after a high school career of looking for love in all the wrong places. Determined never to stray again, I embraced the idea of courtship with gusto, and shortly after began my own courtship with Michael.

Dating as it is practiced today releases that fire of passion prematurely. They have it hard! For one thing, delaying marria ge into the late 20s and 30s has put young adults in the position of needing to restrain their urges for longer and longer periods of time. This is no small task.

One step toward compromise can create an almost irresistible momentum. One study showed a correlation between a high school crush and a lifelong tendency toward depression. When the fire of passion burns outside of the boundaries of marriage, it leaves its troublesome legacy behind.

The very fire that God intended to bring life brings destruction when not managed properly. Principles Fortunately, the Bible is a life manual that expounds principles for conducting romantic relationships. Especially useful for identifying these principles is the story of Isaac and Rebekah. ificantly, it is the one recorded Old Testament marriage in which there was no polygamy. The partners and their families traced the unmistakable hand of God and were united in marriage.

It was a simple, elegant story of divine principles operating upon two people within the framework of custom and culture. The same is possible today. The Bible provides no legitimate examples of romantic intimacy outside of marriage. Contrast that with the fact that most movies and television feature romantic and sexual drama.

The world is obsessed with attraction and lust, but the Word says much more about how to cultivate love within the confines of a marriage commitment. The takeaway lesson for us is that we should screen and manage our attractions by the criterion of who we could be happy with on a long-term basis.

Remember Boundaries. As counterintuitive as it seems, love has boundaries. All life has structure and form. Without law, without boundaries, there is only anarchy and ultimate death. His boundaries for human sexual passion limit its expression to heterosexual marriage. Rarely is an unbelieving spouse converted. Typically, the believer compromises his or her faith or lives in constant conflict. God in His mercy would spare us this dilemma. Consider the Big Picture. Marriage is not just a union between two individuals; two families unite at the altar.

The Isaac-Rebekah love story reveals a constant conferring between God, fathers, mothers, uncles, bride, and groom. Everyone was involved with the decision, because everyone would be affected by it. But in most cases, parents can be safely and beneficially consulted. Age makes a person a better judge of character. Mind the Character. A trait of character was chosen as the mark of Mrs. Probably one of the most primal fears of the young heart is being mated with someone we find physically unattractive. I once shared the story of Isaac and Rebekah with my then year-old. Through the years, physical beauty fades and character becomes the glue that holds affections in place.

Anticipate the Main Attraction. Isaac was 40 years old before he found the companion of his dreams. This meant that he experienced his sexual prime as a celibate. Not only did he live through this experience, but he learned self-restraint that made his marriage the only one among the patriarchs not to descend into polygamy. How comforting to those of us sickened by the current trend of shallow, sensualized relationships! Like luxuriant roses growing out of rich soil, the most gorgeous love affairs have their roots in a deeply committed relationship.

Used by permission. Retrieved May 3, , from www. Retrieved May 13, , from www. See also www. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two college-age daughters.

Adventist dating advice

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Advice From an Adventist Single