For example, far better than experimenting with romance and intimacy for ourselves would be to spend lots of time with marriages we respect and admire.
Instead of “studying” for marriage by only giving ourselves away to other lovesick single people, we give ourselves to observing real-life, faithful, and happy husbands and wives.
Unfortunately, many of us are being told we must date early and often if we ever want to be ready for marriage.
For instance, one popular Christian dating book reads, “Dating is an incubator time of discovering the opposite sex, one’s own sexual feelings, moral limits, one’s need for relationship skills, and one’s tastes for people.” Sounds practical and reasonable on the surface.
Exclusively dating boy after boy, or girl after girl, looks less and less exclusive over time, and robs us of at least some of the exclusivity we might give a spouse one day.
Instead of treating each new relationship like a mini-marriage, cultivate a ferocious and truly exclusive love for your future husband or wife — even though you do not yet know who he or she is.
The common trends in dating today are more likely to prepare you to get divorced than to enjoy and persevere in marriage.
Dating is an intentional pursuit of marriage, not casual preparation for it.
We prepared ourselves to marry our ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, and then we never got married.
Instead of making out in the basement or watching more chick flicks, we could find creative ways to help families we want to learn from.
I am to date in order to get married, at least in the West. I’m just not convinced dating is necessarily preparing us — heart, habits, character — for marriage.
Again, dating is primarily pursuit, not preparation. Like other experiences in life, dating will prepare and mature us in one way or another, but we don’t date in order to prepare ourselves for someone else.
God prepares us for marriage in a thousand other ways that are not spring-loaded with the risks, obstacles, and difficulties of dating.