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I should say that I am a new Christian, or as I would be labeled within the community, I have opinions and I have not lived a ‘Christian Lifestyle’ prior to becoming a Christian. I have lived with my partner, have had sex, have done naughty things, have lied, have said the Lord’s name in vain.

However, I feel as though becoming a Christian has been one of the most FREEING and CONFINING things I have EVER committed myself to.

One of my biggest gripes and ‘soap box inducing’ is relationship ‘guidelines’ in the Church. I find things like this, very confining: (this is an e-mail I recieved that was part of a mature adult group I belong to)

Honouring Jesus, Your Date, and Yourself!

Dating Tips to Grow a Strong Relationship!

  • Pray –Spend time asking God to help you honour Him and your date.
  • Talk a lot –Get to know someone by talking to them about a wide variety of topics.
  • Let’s be friends! – The person you are dating could be someone else’s future mate.
  • Pray in groups – don’t pray together alone as a couple too early in your relationship.
  • Choose to not kiss – Avoids unnecessary stimulation,
  • Avoid physical contact or being alone

Christian dating is not a subject heavily taught on in the church so we thought we would offer some tried and tested advice courtesy of Christian life advisor for those who are in this season in their lives

My response to this was:

Apparently as a mature Christian women, if I want to date I shouldn’t kiss. I am offended not only as a woman, but as a Christian because it pre-supposes that I have no control or commitment to my faith.

It is NOT one person’s place to put blanket ‘rules’ on what should and shouldn’t happen between two consenting adults. In fact, I think that it’s incredibly dangerous and pompous. I was highly offended by the advice (and I have included the whole of what was written) because I think that it makes a sweeping generalisation that all Christians can’t control themselves. That all dating Christians will give into temptation.

Yes, some of them do/have/will do.

What annoys me the most is that NOTHING was written about the idea of discussing why we give into temptation. Ways of being intimate with someone that maintains the Biblical teachings (which are also debateable for some) and what it is like to discover and enjoy the dating/intimacy/sex/relationship experience.

Instead, just incredibly conservative, confining, stagnent guidelines.

After posting my comment I had people weigh in on their thoughts as responses. Some had abstained from kissing their partners, other atheists, others reformed from past experiences. I spoke to friends who, in my opinion are in some of the MOST healthy relationships I have EVER seen (kissing included), and their response was ‘well, I have gone against those rules already’. I mean, COME ON…to put such standards on people negates all of the fabulous relationships out there.

What I think that these type of condemnations do, is take away the beauty of the evolving relationship. The connection. The physical touch. The intensity. The passion. The boundaries. The needed communication. It puts a normal and progressive process between two people into boxes that are so tight, either people conform out of the immense guilt they would feel, rebel because they feel oppressed or walk away from their faith.

Although, perhaps there are people who need to check their physical endeavours with others (I have been there)…it wasn’t conversations with friends who told me I was doing terrible things and needed to go cold turkey. RATHER, it was friends who gave me their opinons, how they overcome temptation and found a happy ground. It was open, honest, non-judging/confining discussion.

I detest that these types of things are being sent out to hundreds or already stagnant Christians daters who are struggling to sort out how to date…as yet more guidelines to shut out the natural flirtation and progression of relationships.

I am not saying got shag or even get naked.

But a kiss…I think I can control myself.

~Farm Girl

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