Dating Intentionally for Marriage
A woman asked me recently about writing a book for singles. “What about a book how to date for singles? The dos and don’ts in terms of dating for marriage for women, for what to look for in a man, topics to talk about to determine if we have compatible values, prayer examples for discernment, guidance, heartbreak, etc. There’s a lot on how to be a good Christian wife, but not a lot of information for single Christian women wanting to date intentionally for marriage.”
I told her I would write a post about it since I wouldn’t have nearly enough things to write to fill a book! God’s will for unmarried women is that they remain pure in body and in spirit (1 Corinthians 7:34), so no matter what you do, you must remember this.
We didn’t allow our children to date until they were marriageable age around 18 years old. We knew the dating scene wasn’t profitable for maintaining sexual purity. Dating is used more for fornication and heartbreak which sets young people up for divorce rather than for strong marriage commitments.
Our children as teenagers did things in groups. They could get to know members of the opposite sex without being alone with them. Nothing good comes from young teenage girls and boys spending time alone. It’s putting far too much temptation in their path.
When you meet a man you may be interested in and he wants to go out with you, go out for a few coffee dates to see if he may be marriage material. Find out if he is even interested in marriage and having children. If not, he’s not for you! Find out his beliefs and if they’re compatible with God’s Word. Keep it on this level for the first date.
If he wants to keep dating you and you feel the same way, let him know soon that you want to be sexually pure. If he does too, then this is a good sign. If not, you probably want to stop dating him.
You both need to be honest about your pasts. This should all be out in the open but details do not need to be provided IF either of you have a promiscuous past. But each of you have a right to know of any addictions, porn usage, fornication, etc. A solid marriage must be built upon trust.
If a man is still struggling with an addiction, I would encourage you to stop dating him. If he hasn’t struggled with an addiction for several years and still is being held accountable, then this is a good sign.
Does he attend a solid, Bible believing church? Does he want children? Is he a hard-worker and willing to provide for you to be home with the children? Discuss vaccinations, family bed, circumcision, education for children, and all of the other topics that can cause division. Once married, you are going to need to submit to his decisions, so it’s good to know what he believes about everything.
Meet his family and have him meet yours. Ask for your father’s blessing if you continue to move forward. Men are usually better judges of the character of another man than women are. Trust your father’s judgements. Get to know his family. How does he treat his mother? Does he have a good relationship with his father? Know that those who come from divorced families often have deep-seated problems with anger. Watch for signs of this. You don’t want to marry an angry man.
The most important things to know about a man you are considering marrying is that he is a strong believer in Jesus and is willing to work hard. Everything else will fall in place if he has these two important qualities.
If you finally think you found a man you want to marry and he ends up breaking your heart by breaking it off with you, know that this is God’s plan for you. Yes, you can weep and mourn but then remind yourself that God is good and His plan for you is good. Trust Him. Cast all of your cares upon him.
Yes, singleness can be an affliction for those who want to be married. Yes, it’s a struggle and hard but keep trusting the Lord and stay busy loving and serving others until the right man comes along. You only want to marry a man who wants to marry you!
As you wait, continue to develop the qualities that will make you a good wife such as having a meek and quiet spirit, learning to be a good cook and homemaker, working with children and learning to love babies (helping young mothers in the church), and being in the Word daily, renewing your mind with God’s Truth. In this way, once married, you will be fully prepared to be a godly, submissive wife; your price will be far above rubies!
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.