12 Ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating

What does the Bible say about dating? How can you as a young Christian man or woman date in a way that pleases God? Are their Biblical principles that can help young people find the right spouse?

Before we seek to answer these questions we need to look at how young men and women used to enter into relationships.

“Dating” as we know it today did not exist before the last century. Men did not have to romance women to get women to marry them. Men did not need pickup lines or any of the other tricks of getting women to show interest in them. Women did not need to “put out” before marriage to give the man a “taste of the goods”.

The two ways men acquired wives in pre-modern times

First let me address the word “acquired” which is a word usually associated with getting property. It is a well-known fact of history that women were considered the property of their fathers (or other male relative if the father was dead) and these property rights were transferred to husbands in marriage.

So it is historically correct to say that in the vast majority of cases men did not “win” their wives (by romancing them) but rather they acquired them by purchasing them from their male relatives.

The first way was the marriage was arranged by the parents when the man and woman were children and they were betrothed but the marriage was not consummated until the man had the ability to support the woman and had a home established for her.   Sometimes the arranged marriage was not from the time of the man and woman being children but was a quick arrangement when two sets of parents realized they had two adult children who were not yet married and they would have them to marry.

The second way was if a man found a woman attractive he would NOT approach the woman directly – instead he would approach her father, her brother or other male relative who was responsible for her. He would then demonstrate his ability to provide for the woman and then these two men would agree upon a bride price.

While a woman’s male relative might take her opinion into account of whether she wanted to marry a man often time’s women had little say in whom they married.

A third but rare way that men acquired wives

A third and very rare case would be if a woman had no male relatives in charge of her (no father, grandfather, brother or uncles). Only in this rare condition would a man have to deal directly with the woman herself to see if she would be interested in marrying him.

Even in this last rare case – the idea of dating did not typically happen because it was socially unacceptable for single women to entertain men who were not their husbands. If they did they might be seen as a prostitute or a whore.

There often was little to no romance involved even in the case of a man approaching a woman directly who had no male relatives in charge of her. He simply demonstrated his ability to provide for her and she would decide if she wanted to marry him.

My point in all this is, before the last century the vast majority of marriages were formed because of economic and political necessity – they were not formed based on men romantically pursing women as we see is the case today.

For these reasons you won’t find any reference to anything close to what we call dating in the Bible – it simply did not exist in pre-modern times.

The randomness and chaos of modern dating

As I have previously shown, in times past marriage was a very ordered ordeal. Parents or others elders that were looked up to often helped young people to find suitable spouses that would benefit one another economically or politically.

Today however, instead of marriages coming together on the grounds of spiritual, economic or political reasons – most marriages in the Western world come together because of pre-marital romantic feelings that a man and a woman share for one another.

Most young people enter what we now call “the dating world” without a clue of how to find a prospective spouse. They wonder aimlessly at school, college, work, church or other social functions hoping to bump into that right person.

Even when a person does “bump into the right person” or so they think – dating itself today is far from how God’s Word would have it to be.

Men pursue women by buying them gifts and make all kinds of romantic gestures to show their affection for the women they are with.  They continually have to come up with romantic words to flatter the women they are with.

Women often feel pressured to give sex not long after dating to “keep him hooked” on them.

In many ways modern dating and romance has become a form of idolatry. Listen to romance songs on the radio or watch romance movies. Are the things that these people say to each other often times not a form of worship and idolatry toward one another?

Even if a Christian couple has committed to not having sex before marriage often times our ideas of modern dating put Christian couples in very tempting positions with little to no safe guards against sex before marriage.

But there is a way to bring order to the chaos of modern dating and the answer is found in God’s Word.

12 ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating

Here are several ways to apply Biblical principles to the modern concept of dating to bring it into line with God’s Word and it may also help you to find the right spouse that God has for you.

Dating is for marriage – not for sex or fun

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” – Psalm 25:7 (KJV)

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” – I Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)

It is not wrong for a young person to desire to find a spouse and be married one day. In fact this is a noble and right desire and should be encouraged by all parents. When you as a young person desire to be with someone whom you know you would never marry – that is by definition a “youthful lust”. When you desire to possess something that God did not intend for you to have that is lust.

So unless you see someone as a potential spouse – you have no business seeking an intimate (emotional or physical) relationship with them.

Follow your spirit not your heart

The world will tell you the very opposite thing – “listen to your heart” is the theme of many romance songs and movies. But it has no basis in Bible.

Yes – God tell us to love him with all our heart:

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

But God also tells us that our hearts can deceive us:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

So instead of going with your heart which can lead you astray, instead you need to follow the spirit of God in your dating.

Test the Spirit by the Word

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit of God will lead us in “all the truth” and that includes who we should date.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” – John 16:13a (KJV)

But just as we can be lead astray by our hearts, we can also be lead astray by false spirits.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world…We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” – I John 4:1 & 6 (KJV)

When the Bible refers to “false spirits” it is not restricted only to evil and demonic spirits. It is also referring to false teachers and those who would give us bad advice or advice that does not line up with God’s Word.

So how do we know if it the Holy Spirit leading us or some other false spirit or bad influence? It is by listening to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit of God will never lead us in a direction that is contrary to God’s Word.

It is amazing to me how many people, whether it is in dating or even religious practices who are doing things that are completely contrary to the Word of God and then claim “but the Spirit of God lead me to do this and gave me peace about it so it must be right”.

My response to these folks is – “Yes you were led by “A spririt”, but not “THE Spirit”.”

Young people you need the follow THE Spirit of God as you seek the spouse God would have for you.

Only date Christians

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” – II Corinthians 6:14-16 (KJV)

Contrary to popular belief – the Bible does NOT teach the concept of evangelistic dating. We are not to date or marry unbelievers.

This goes back to the previous points about not following your heart and testing the spirits. You heart and other false spirits will tell you – “It’s ok if they are not a believer in Christ, you can help them to be one”. Other false feelings you may have are “but they are such a good and kind person, surely God wants me to be such a good person”.

But the truth is the Bible says “what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

Prove that they are indeed a Christian

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

I tell my children the first two things they should ask about a person before they would ever consider dating them should be – “Are you a Christian?” and “Where do you go to Church?”.

Obviously each one of those questions needs more detail.

Does the person really understand what it means to be a believer?

Do you sense the Spirit of God upon their life?

Are they a faithful member of their church or do they only attend a few times a year around the holidays?

Guard your heart

So up to this point you if you have followed the previous steps you placed boundaries on yourself and made yourself accountable to your parents or other godly Christians in this dating process. You have determined that dating is for marriage, not for fun. You have sought to be led by the Spirit and not by your sinful heart. You have a found a person who claims Christ and faithfully attends Church.

But it is not yet time to let yourself “fall” for this person, or let your guard down.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)

The phrase “keep thy heart” could also be translated as “guard your heart” as the NIV translates it. We need to be careful of whom we allow into our hearts. When we open our hearts to someone we can make rash decisions that we later come to regret.

The young woman who gives her virginity away to the man with flattering lips who promised to marry her but later leaves her after he gets what he wants will have many sorrows.

The young man who overlooked the fact that a young lady did not believe in God’s roles for Christian women but was simply captivated by her beauty will one day come to regret his decision.

Once a person passes the initial screening processes you need to truly investigate them. There is an old saying that “A man is known by the company he keeps” and the Bible has a similar statement to this:

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” – Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)

Does he or she have wise and godly friends? When you talk to their friends what do they reveal about the character of this person you are dating?

Guard your body

Ok the cat is really out of the bag now. When I say “dating”, I am referring to a relationship between a man and woman that could potentially lead to marriage and I am referring to what is known as courtship. Now this is one even my teens have a very hard time swallowing because of the culture we live in.

Those who have read any of my posts on Biblical sexuality know that I do NOT believe we must suppress our sexuality even before marriage. Our sexuality is a gift from God meant to be experienced and enjoyed before marriage and after marriage.

I just read on another Christian site that young Christian men should avoid learning too many details about sex until just a few days before they are married for fear that they might have sexual fantasies about their wives to be.

What a ludicrous statement to make!

Yet many Churches all across America and the world teach this unbiblical philosophy of about sexual fantasy and sexual imagination.

HOWEVER – while we might be able to enjoy our sexuality before marriage through sexual imagination and even masturbation (which the Bible does NOT condemn) we are forbidden from pursing any kind of sexual relationship with a person before we have entered into a covenant of marriage with them. That includes cybersex, phone sex or any other kind of sexual activity.

People such as myself and others that embrace the idea of courtship believe that young people should not be allowed by their parents or themselves to be put in a position where they might sin sexually with one another.

I can hear all the teens and young college students yelling at me at this point.

But the Bible says we should not put ourselves in a position where we know we could possibly be tempted to sin:

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” – Romans 13:14 (KJV)

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” – I Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

I think the best policy is for parents and young people to agree that they will always be in a group setting, whether it is with a church youth group or college and career group or a least around a larger group of Christian friends or relatives at all times.

Agree on Biblical marriage roles

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:22-27 (KJV)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

There are many people who truly believe in Jesus Christ and are saved and regularly attend their churches but reject all the Bible’s teachings on God design of gender roles. They believe these teachings are outdated and were not meant for all time.

Listen to me young man. Listen to me young lady.

You can find the nicest person in the world, even a Christian who regularly attends church.

But if you do not agree on the doctrines of Gender roles as taught in Scripture you will be in for a lot of heart ache!

Seek your parents blessing

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” – Proverbs 23:22 (KJV)

If your parents are believers – you should have their blessing before proceeding in marriage. Even if they are not believers – they may still have some helpful advice.

In most cases your parents are the ones who know you better than anyone else in this world. Even if everything seems to match up – your father and mother may see some incapability between the two of you that you did not notice.

In fact because Samson did not listen to his parents advice about a woman it ended up costing him his life in the end (Judges 14:3).

Now there are some cases where parents are wicked and unbelieving people. So please don’t think I am saying parents ALWAYS have to give their blessing. But I do think in most cases you should have your parents blessing before marrying someone.

Seek other Godly counsel

Before agreeing to marriage with this person seek wise and spiritual advice from those around you.

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14 (KJV)

Bring the person you are dating around your Christian friends and then ask them afterwards privately what they thought of the person.

Pray and ask God to show you the right spouse

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)

Last but certainly not least you need to pray! This should be the first thing you do before you set out to date and it should be the last thing you to do before you open your heart to a person and let them in.

Even if you apply all these other Biblical principles there are so many variables when it comes to choosing the right spouse that God has for you. There are different types of personalities and differences in preferences. Pray and ask the Lord to guide you to that right person.

Premarital counseling with a Pastor is CRITICAL!

I know this is really tough – but even up this point you must still continue to guard your heart. I know of many Christian men and women who discovered things about their soon to be spouse in pre-marital counseling but they felt they were too invested with a wedding planned and the time they had spent with this person.

Please listen to me young person. It is NEVER too late to back out of an engagement. You may find in pre-marital counseling that your spouse does not really believe in Biblical gender roles. You may find out that they do not have a Biblical philosophy of sex in marriage. These are critical things that will affect you for the rest of your life.

Conclusion

So after reading all these 12 ways to transform the chaos of modern dating into Biblical dating the question you are probably asking is “When can I stop guarding my heart?” I believe the answer to that question is after you have completed premarital counseling and have determined that this person is a spiritual match for you in all the important ways I have mentioned here then you can begin to let your guard down.

But really I think until the day you are married and have entered in the covenant of marriage with this person – you need to be careful with your heart.

Even after marriage – do you realize how many people have allowed their spouses to lead their hearts astray from God? We must never allow that.

But after we are married that is when we can fully give our hearts and bodies to our spouses while still remembering that God must always be first in our marriage.

Please don’t misunderstand me. There is no perfect person out there. There is no person with whom you will agree on all things. There is no such thing as your “soul mate” – sorry to burst your bubble. But there are good Christian people out there who love the Lord more than anything including you and that is why they will always love you because of their commitment to God.

There are no perfect people, but there are men and women who truly believe in Christ and his Word and they embrace Biblical gender roles and want to live their life by the God’s Word. If you can find a person like that – this is the person you want to marry.

In some upcoming articles I will give some more gender specific things to look for in Biblical dating. But everything I have said here I think Biblically speaking applies to both men and women.

 

 

 

25 thoughts on “12 Ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating

  1. Legal marriage is a contract between man, woman, and government, where as biblical marriage is a contract between man,woman, and God. So legal marriage is not the same as biblical marriage and means nothing in the eyes of God. Biblical marriage can just be the man (because the man has the authority in the marriage per bible verses which you have in your other articles) praying a prayer over his future wife and then they are married in the eyes of God. That’s what i’m going to do. The average Australian wedding costs 36,000$, and average American wedding is 26,000$. What a huge waste of money! And a legal contract does not guarantee the marriage will stay together forever, though it might provide some sort of false psychological feeling of such at the start.
    [Henry I edited some of your comment because I don’t allow link and book suggestions unless I am familiar with it or can quickly review it]

  2. Henry,

    I agree with you that there is a big difference between legal marriage recognized by the government and Biblical marriage recognized by God. I also agree that if a man and woman enter into the covenant of marriage even by themselves with no one else there that this marriage is recognized before God.

    However I would add one thing that perhaps you believe as well but you did not mention. If the woman is under that authority of a male relative(her father, grandfather, brother, uncle…) then you as the man must get their permission first. I think the only exemption to this might be if the male relative is not a Christian and is a wicked and evil man who does not have this woman’s best interests at heart. In most cases only if the woman has no male relatives in charge of her could she consent to marriage on her own.

    I think though that while you don’t have to get a marriage certificate, it is is wise to get a power of attorney for one another(especially medical power of attorney) so that you can make legal decisions for each other in case of medical issues. Also proper wills need to made right away – you can simulate many of the rights of marriage without being married.

    But I think for the most part we agree – marriage is under the realms of authority of either the government or the Church, it actually falls under the authority of the family.

  3. My wife and I did not have a discussion on gender roles in the marriage before we got married. I blame myself for that. I just assumed that since she had been a Christian for many years and had a position as an associate pastor in her church, that she understood these things. WRONG!

    She is now in Colombia and has a copy of “The Ten Commandments of Christian Marriage” that I translated into Spanish. But, I should have given her a copy of something like this before we got married, discussed it with her, and made sure that we both agreed with it.

  4. Let’s not forget the 4th and 5th ways of getting a wife found in Judges 21. Some things are probably best not duplicated. 🙂

    But really, I think you make good points here. I don’t think that you can’t be alone with the person that you’re dating (obviously you shouldn’t be cuddling in bed with them or anything like that). But I think that this is also something people need to consider carefully for themselves. For me and Tobias, this was not an issue that we were likely to struggle with. I know of some people who refuse to drive in a car with just the two of them and I commend their ability to recognize a weakness and guard against it. At some point I think if someone is really struggling with self-control to that extent, it might be good to take a break from pursuing someone and work on that character flaw. But that would only be in extreme situations. Not sure I’ve ever met someone who would apply for that. Notice that I’m not calling physical and sexual attraction a ‘character flaw’, but rather the extreme inability to control it.

    I appreciate the points you make about asking the father or close male relative for permission. Tobias and my relationship came out of nowhere (our attraction and compatibility took both of us by surprise), and at the time I had to choose between him or another Christian guy I had gone out with. The other guy was more physically fit (he was a marathon runner and Tobias struggles with exercise-induced asthma), he had his own house, and he had a more lucrative profession. I was still more physically attracted to Tobias, but even that aside I knew that this other guy was not someone I was excited about my parents meeting d/t some spiritual immaturity. With Tobias, I had a gut feeling that my parents would love him and he even initiated meeting with my dad which really impressed me. Two of my sisters did not ask for my dad’s guidance because they were dating non-Christians. It really can be quite the effective litmus test.

  5. “My point in all this is, before the last century the vast majority of marriages were formed because of economic and political necessity….”

    It seems that economic necessity was a force for good because it encouraged women to marry at a younger age and once married it discouraged divorce. How do you answer Christians that feel we should not use or return to economic necessity because God likes and encourages free will?

  6. Bee,

    You answer with… “That sounds stupid. Lets continue on the path we are on now since things have been better with the wife working under another man and can divorce her husband at will and collect cash and prizes. If you think its working by all means.” OR “We can go back to a woman building her home by helping her husband, and raising her children, not letting her kids be influenced by someone else and raised by others. If taking care of the household is beneath you, you suffer from pride and are not fit to glorify God with a husband and kids.”

    It’s simple.

    If its a man. “If you dont know how to love work, lead your wife and kids, cant work hard enough to support them , you are not fit to have them.”

  7. Jeff, I realize you don’t mince words and to an extent, i can really respect that. However, I think what you said above in response to Bee, especially (and perhaps only, reading back) about men was a little harsh. You said before that you and your wife met in med-school. I’m sure you realize that education in general does not pay well in America. With of course some few exceptions. Perhaps we should not say that people who train future doctors and nurses are not fit to have wives and children. It is possible that they still have sexual needs and a desire for intimacy and a family. I was raised by a father who supported his wife and 8 children (including homeschool education where they did not cut corners) on an engineer salary and I have respect for that. But i don’t consider my dad to be a better man than my husband. Nor, I should point out, does my dad.

    Even if you disagree with me here about a husband having to be the sole breadwinner, and I realize some do, you cannot in honest intelligence (but can in naivety) say that such people are just not working hard enough.

  8. @Jeff, Bee wanted to know how will our economics and how Christians or couples in general get together will work, or should it be like it was in the past. In the past, simply sure there was democracy, but also a bit of a national christian knowledge, not quite sure how people courted in say 1800 and earlier. There are plenty of loopholes and problems in our society, certain things good or bad went on for a millennium and others recent

    Is a Christian marriage/couple ideal, if almost everyone is working (unlike in the past, I wonder what caused it)? Optional, sure, but have to, isn’t that a problem

    @Anna, agreed

  9. @Jeff, dego15, AnnaMS,

    I appreciate all of your comments and thoughts on my question.

    I actually believe the pressures from economic necessity were a positive force for good. I am not trying to use abuse of the Free Will principle to defend our current, modern emphasis on women being able to live independent, separate lives without a man. Feminists push economic self sufficiency for women because they don’t want women to be a helpmeet to a man.

    I think some Christians are abusing the Free Will principle, taking it to an extreme when they advocate for our current, modern system. I am just looking for ways to counter their arguments.

    @BGR,

    I would also appreciate your thoughts on this question.

  10. Bee, I think there is a difference between marrying d/t economic necessity and one spouse being financially dependent on the other. My mom did not marry my dad out of financial necessity but she did stop working (she was a nurse) when her first child was born and has not gone back. So for most of their marriage, they have been a one paycheck family. My mom has recently started teaching piano students and she could always go back as a school nurse or as a nurse at a doctor’s office. So she neither married nor remains married to my dad out of financial necessity. I haven’t talked to him about this, but i’m guessing he appreciates knowing she stays with him because she loves him, wants to be with him, and honors him and God rather than because she’s stuck. I realize people don’t always appreciate my using the word ‘stuck’ here but if someone is dependent on another, they are. It’s not always a bad thing, for example my baby is stuck in my body right now, but let’s at least recognize what it is.

  11. Bee,

    Your Question:

    “It seems that economic necessity was a force for good because it encouraged women to marry at a younger age and once married it discouraged divorce. How do you answer Christians that feel we should not use or return to economic necessity because God likes and encourages free will?”

    I think that many modern Christian teachers and theologians abuse the free will concepts taught in Scripture. Yes God wants us to freely choose him, yet he compels us to choose and offers consequences for our choices.

    “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” – Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV)

    Yes God wants us to freely choose to serve him and follow him, but he also tells us the very real consequences for not choosing to serve him and follow him.

    Our world today rejects the idea of natural consequences. In fact the entire modern social welfare systems that have been built in the modern western world have been built to shield people from the natural consequences of their decisions.

    In times past if you did not work you starved to death as the Bible says it should be:

    “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” – II Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV).

    I believe economic necessity is a powerful natural tool that God built into creation and while he made woman for man – he made man and woman to be naturally interdependent on one another for different things:

    “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
    Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” – I Corinthians 11:9-11 (KJV)

    I respectfully disagree with those Christians who say it is good that we have moved away from economic necessity as part of the reason for bringing women to men and keeping women in marriages to men. This is something that God built into his natural order and we have thrown it away because we think we know better.

    And when Western civilization finally collapses(if the Lord waits that long to return) feminism and women’s independence will collapse right along side it because feminism and women not needing men can only be maintained by an artificial welfare state.

    Also let’s not forget the symbolism of marriage. Man and woman – in both their bodies and minds, the marriage relationship itself was meant to mirror the relationship between God and his people. A woman should be dependent on her husband for his spiritual leadership and well as physical provision in the SAME WAY all of mankind should be dependent on God for his spiritual leadership and his physical provision.

    Our social welfare state and feminism’s encouragement of women’s financial Independence from men has broken the model of marriage that God designed.

  12. AnnaMS,

    Your Statement:

    “Jeff, I realize you don’t mince words and to an extent, i can really respect that. However, I think what you said above in response to Bee, especially (and perhaps only, reading back) about men was a little harsh. You said before that you and your wife met in med-school. I’m sure you realize that education in general does not pay well in America. With of course some few exceptions. Perhaps we should not say that people who train future doctors and nurses are not fit to have wives and children. It is possible that they still have sexual needs and a desire for intimacy and a family.”

    I agree with you that the education field in most cases is not a high paying profession whether it is elementary, high school or even at a college level.

    In many cases even after years of teaching many teachers don’t make more than $50,000 a year.

    In many ways being a teacher is much like being a minister or a missionary. It is not a high paying job, but it is a calling on one’s life many times.

    Certainly teachers should be able to marry, just like ministers or missionaries who also earn lower wages. But let’s not forget that most factory workers and other types of jobs like these make $50,000 or less a year. $50,000 is median HOUSEHOLD income in the US.

    I have friends that make $50,000 a year and support a family on it. Is it tough? Yes. Can they afford nice vacations each year? Nope. Maybe a simple little weekend getaway if they are lucky. Can they afford a 2500 square foot house? Nope. They live in a 1000 square foot house. They can’t afford to buy new cars and they drive two old junkers.

    My point is a man who is a teacher can support a family but he needs to marry a woman willing to make those sacrifices. It is not a matter of him having to choose between teaching and having a family, he can still have both but he will have to live a simpler life like half of America does.

    Also just because someone teaches does not mean they cannot do part time work on the side. I happen to know some friends of mine that teach at Christian schools but also do Coaching and tutoring for extra money to support their families.

  13. BGR, I definitely think that women married to lower income men need to make sacrifices. Even women who are married to much richer men I think should still live frugally as we are responsible to God for our finances, and a women who pressures her husband to spend money unwisely will be accountable to God. However, I think that $50,000 is also a tad generous to many who work in education. Especially adjunct professors. Not only does their job not come with benefits, but many of them make between $15,000-$20,000 a year. My husband has been in that range for a few years now. That’s why being willing to make sacrifices alone doesn’t cut it, although it can be very helpful to learn frugally while in that situation.

  14. AnnaMS,

    I totally get that even when teachers are first starting out they may only make 25,000 a year even as a full time teacher. You definitely could not support a family on 15 to 20,000 a year. But if this were one of my four sons this is what I would tell him:

    “Son – I realize you feel the call to be teacher and this is a noble profession. But until you make more as a teacher or are able to work two jobs to where you make enough to support a wife and children you need to wait for dating and marriage. When you are established and read to take on a wife then go and look for one. When you marry you should be able to fulfill the model of Christ and his Church from day one. You should be able to provide for your family on day one of your marriage.”

    I realize AnnaMS that this conflicts with choices you and your husband made but this is what I am teaching my sons.

    Also we have to realize too that in Biblical times and even up until the last century if a man was too poor to provide for a family he was never able to marry. Yes there were always poor families, and some fell into poverty after marriage but to go into marriage not be able to provide was typically not allowed for a man. The ability to provide has always been a prerequisite to marriage for a man and that is why in times past it was always older men marrying younger women.

  15. BGR, to an extent I would agree. I think a man needs to have a good plan in place. Some plans take a lot longer to accomplish. I would have a very hard time marrying someone who was in the middle of his bachelor’s program and didn’t have a career set up yet. My husband however is not in that situation. He has a bachelors and 2 master’s (finished one last week). In his field of education, the only real way to advance your career in a financial sense is through a PhD program and he is applying to those now. He is a little older than me already and if we waited to marry till he was done with his PhD program, he would be in his 40s and I would be in my 30s….not an ideal time to begin a family in my opinion. And I’d rather be married to him than anyone else. We knew going in we would have to make sacrifices, but he does at least have a plan in place and is pursuing it quite well.

  16. Dego, for me BGR’s response comments are not always at the bottom chronologically like everybody else’s. I’m not sure how that works, but I’ve had to scroll through a few times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. That might help.

  17. I have to say, AMEN to this comment.

    “And when Western civilization finally collapses(if the Lord waits that long to return) feminism and women’s independence will collapse right along side it because feminism and women not needing men can only be maintained by an artificial welfare state.”

  18. Over the years I have seen many churches (local assemblies of Christians). In almost all of them (really, I think ALL but there might have been an exception or two) the number of marriageable young women considerably outnumbers the young men of marriageable age.
    Many of these women end up marrying unbelievers or men of other denominations, which can be a source of worse dissension. An irreligious person sometimes can be saved, if a Christian wife can bite her tongue and show her light by her conduct. But a member of a denomination thinks himself a Christian already (he may be), so why should he change?
    I have heard and heard of young women who (in desperation?) convince themselves that they will change their unbelieving boyfriends and fiancés. Usually it is she who does the changing.

  19. AnnaMS,

    Your Statement:

    “But really, I think you make good points here. I don’t think that you can’t be alone with the person that you’re dating (obviously you shouldn’t be cuddling in bed with them or anything like that). But I think that this is also something people need to consider carefully for themselves. For me and Tobias, this was not an issue that we were likely to struggle with. I know of some people who refuse to drive in a car with just the two of them and I commend their ability to recognize a weakness and guard against it. At some point I think if someone is really struggling with self-control to that extent, it might be good to take a break from pursuing someone and work on that character flaw. But that would only be in extreme situations. Not sure I’ve ever met someone who would apply for that. Notice that I’m not calling physical and sexual attraction a ‘character flaw’, but rather the extreme inability to control it.”

    I have really been thinking over this comment from you for several days. Especially the middle section where you said:
    “At some point I think if someone is really struggling with self-control to that extent, it might be good to take a break from pursuing someone and work on that character flaw.”

    I realize you qualified your statement by saying you were not saying a man’s sexual desire toward a woman he is dating is not a character flaw, but basically you were saying his inability to not touch her while dating or have strong thoughts of touching her while dating was a character flaw – at least that is how I interpreted you comments.

    My eldest son and I(he just turned 18) were returning from a family event last night and it was just the two of us in the car for over an hour and I shared with him your “flawed” comments. Last night I was inspired by my conversation with him as a young man and I wrote a post that was inspired by the combination of your comments here and his comments.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on it.
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/12/16/how-the-modern-practice-of-christian-dating-is-cruel-to-men/

  20. I am not sure if my question falls under this post, but this post deals with some parts of my question.

    Is it advisable for an entrepreneur to marry a woman? The entrepreneur will doubtless call in hard times. Doesn’t that mean he cannot provide for her temporarily?

  21. Shareknowledge,

    If a man does not have a consistent source of income he should wait to marry. If he knows there will be a good chance that for long periods of time he will be dependent on his wife to financially support him while he chases his business dreams he should not marry.

    I am not saying a man wanting to be an entrepreneur is wrong. But I believe it is wrong for man to marry knowing he doe not yet have the means of supporting his wife because God calls on men to provide for their wives. It is part of the symbolism of the husband/wife relationship where the man symbolizes God’s leadership, he provision and his protection to his people. If a man is incapable of leading, providing for and protecting a woman he should not marry. It is one thing if a man becomes incapacitated in these ways AFTER marriage. Then this was God’s will and he allowed it happen. But for a woman to purposefully marry a man who cannot provide these three things is not right in my understanding what marriage is supposed to be about from the scriptures.

    Also we have to realize that many men have grandiose dreams that never come to fruition. A responsible man will have a plan A and plan B. He works to support himself in the “lesser” job while working toward his dream business. But in either case – unless his plan A comes to fruition or his plan B job can support a family he should not marry until one of those two happen.

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