Dating is the Breeding Ground For Fornication

Dating is the Breeding Ground For Fornication

Modern dating is simply another name for sexual immorality and has damaged the institution of marriage which requires faithfulness and commitment. It leads to divorce and devastation instead. In an article I read recently, a man who is not a believer says that dating is a failure and doesn’t work to find a life partner. (I will not link to it because of the bad language in it and I do not agree with what he believes.) He says the only good part about dating is that it is great for finding short-term sexual partners. The women give him sex by the first to third date. Yes, he enjoys it for the short term but thinks about how many other guys she has had sex with then realizes that she isn’t marriage material. He would rather remain single than marry a woman who has been sexually promiscuous with many men.

A curious thought seeing that he, too, has slept with so many women outside of marriage. Dating for sex cheapens the marriage bed for both parties and defrauds their future spouses. Unfortunately, the Church isn’t doing much better than the culture in the dating and marriage arena. Many young Christian couples are living together before marriage and the divorce rate is still way too high among Christians.

Dating isn’t a great invention. Allowing two members of the opposite sex to go out and spend hours alone together without any accountability is a recipe for disaster. When kissing begins, the motors start to rev up. Kobe Bryant was asked when his daughter could start dating and he replied, “She can date when she’s married.” Dating has led to many harmful things like STDs which can cause sterility, alcoholism, selfishness, broken hearts, and on and on the list goes. None of these things prepare the young people for marriage, faithfulness, or commitment.

One woman in the chat room had this to say about dating: “Modern dating is not only a breeding ground for sexual immorality, but also heartbreak. I am beyond thankful that when I reached the age where I was ready to ‘date’ I knew that it was important to do so intentionally and with marriage in mind. My first boyfriend ended up being my husband!

“My philosophy for dating was first to guard my heart (Proverbs 4:23). My husband and I set boundaries (physical and emotional) from the very beginning. We also wanted to be poured into by older, wise believers who had walked the road we were walking. We surrounded ourselves with wise counsel. I’m blessed to have parents who walk with the Lord and were very involved in this process as well. We were (and still are) friends with couples that were older and wiser than us. In hindsight, there are boundaries that I think I would change if I could do it over again (I don’t think I would have even kissed him before marriage), but overall I think our intentions were in the right place.

“I think it is unwise to spend lots of time alone with one another in private. That just breeds temptation. It would be wiser to get to know one another in groups or with family/friends nearby. Of course, there are private conversations that may need to be had before marriage, but that could easily be done over the phone or in a public place like a restaurant or coffee shop.

“One thing I tell Christian girls who are dating and ask me about boundaries is that I would rather be overly caution with boundaries than under cautious and end up in sin. Sexual sin is a sin that the Bible tells us to FLEE from. We shouldn’t be asking, ‘How far can I go?’ or ‘How close can I get to the line without going over it.’ We should be asking, ‘How can I best glorify God in this?’ and ‘How can I strive towards holiness in this?’ There is plenty of time in marriage to explore sexual intimacy and get to know one another’s bodies, so save this for where God intended it to be.”

In regards to this man’s article that I referred to at the beginning, I have no answers for him. When there’s no moral foundation like Jesus Christ and godly principles to live one’s life by, everyone sets up their own moral standards which change over time. I feel badly for culture at large and what has happened to the marriage institution when in times past, most couples, even unbelievers, married out of high school and would remain married until death do they part. No, they might not have been “happily married” but they knew about faithfulness and commitment which marriage is truly about.

It’s a huge blessing to be married for many years (almost 39 years now). It’s a blessing to raise children together and enjoy the tremendous blessing that grandchildren bring. No, I don’t think that modern dating is healthy nor good. It provides way too much sexual temptation so while raising your children, you are going to need to talk to them a lot, teach them the truth of God’s Word and what He expects of them since His ways are perfect, and set boundaries with their protection in mind. If you have trained and disciplined them well, and they respect and love you, they will appreciate the boundaries and be protected from the modern day dating scene.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1 Corinthians 6:18

40 thoughts on “Dating is the Breeding Ground For Fornication

  1. Another issue with dating is the fact is encourages that hook up, “my partner is disposable when I get tired of them” attitude in marriage too! Marriage now is merely dating 2.0 for many, not a life long commitment of fidelity and love through thick and thin. Now it’s I can just get a divorce and date whoever I feel like if I get tired of him, my kids are the 3rd wheel in our marriage and I don’t care how much it hurts them to have their family torn out from under them, as long as I feel happy! The marriages of our grandparents are no more, and I’m so grateful I come from both sides of my family in life long marriages, including my parents and both sets of grandparents! So sad it’s the rarity and not the norm! Even kids in my class back in HS DEFENDED their broken families in a brainwashed Stockholm Syndrome like manner! Sad the generation we’re raising on broken homes, failed marriages and a culture where the breakup from dating, is now used in marriage, dating 2.0!!! Thanks, dating culture!!!

    1. None of my mom’s friends, even from grade school, got divorced. I believe that all of my high school friends have been divorced. Most of their parents were divorced when I attended high school with them. It’s a sad state of affairs and the children are suffering the most.

        1. Wise words, Lady of Reason. Your ideas, while Godly, make up less than 2% of the attitudes of American women.

          Courage is the first virtue, without it, the others are all impossible.

          The righteous are as bold as a lion, the wicked flee when no man pursues.

  2. Agreed completely, Lori. Thank you for another excellent and wise blog post.

    I actually once heard a pastor say that marriage was the place for dating, similar to the statement above. It certainly gives you something to look forward to in marriage; I think the real getting to know the other person begins with marriage, up close and personal, faults and all. Sometimes you discover things that you don’t like about your husband–and even yourself, which marriage can show you–and you recognize godly attributes in which you need to grow and sins that you need to overcome and forsake. With the Lord’s help and strength, it is possible and so worth it! Marriage is definitely a school of sanctification, that’s for sure! But praise God for it; I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

    1. You’re so right, Lady Virtue, because with dating, we’re on our best behavior and keep up this pretense for a long time. Our “true colors” come out in marriage. The important thing is to marry a godly person who loves the Lord and His ways deeply. This is the greatest foundation for a good, strong, life long marriage.

      1. Of course we are always learning about our spouses in marriage, but I do still think it is important to experience a partner’s “true colors” if possible before marriage as well. There are always surprises when you finally are married and move in together, but it is best to avoid un-Godly character flaws or “red flags” that could tear down a family before committing to forever! Team building group activities, competitive sports games, (Even board games!), can reveal how the person you are dating acts under pressure or when feeling upset. I know you disagree on this one Lori, but even stopping by to bring around some baked goods or dinner can reveal how your possible future spouse really cares about cleanliness/ personal hygiene. My parents sent me a list of questions to work into conversations with my now husband when we were dating. Asking them occasionally in a casual setting helped me to know I was getting a true answer from the heart, not a “scripted” answer. Hanging out with your boyfriend/girlfriend’s siblings and friends is also a good way to get a feel for their “true colors.”

        One of my dear friends always claimed the man she was seeing was so great, but that his friends were crass and enjoyed watching worldly, crude TV comedies, which they sometimes brought up in conversation when she was present, making her feel uncomfortable. Turns out that he also engaged in these activities! Godly men surround themselves with Godly friends, so don’t be deceived ladies!

        I still think dating is okay as long as you have clear boundaries and your family is involved in the process. I enjoyed going ice skating, rock climbing, walks in the park, trying new diners, cooking meals, test track racing, visiting a puppy shelter, and a lot of other activities with my husband before we were married. We still have many “date nights” in our marriage too!

        A good tip I would give young women is a) be up front with your boundaries and goals (marriage!) and b) always set a time for the date to end and arrange for someone to pick you up/call at that time.

        1. Of course, they need to spend time before marriage and get to know each other. Meet the families and get to know them. See how the one you’re interested in treats other people including his family members. Ask your family and friends their thoughts on a future spouse. Make sure he is a hard worker and willing to support the family while the you will be a keeper at home. There needs to be a LOT of communication with each other before marriage but even then, there will be surprises after marriage since we all change and living together with someone day by day, our character flaws come out a lot stronger and more clearly since no one is perfect.

          1. Lori, I’m sorry that I laughed when you said to “meet their families.” I was fine with meeting his, but I had to very slowly ease him into meeting mine. The dysfunction is extensive and any smart man would’ve run like a cheetah if they met my lunacy early on. I told him about them, gave him details, & waited a good 8 mos. before he met most of them. (I also had mono a good deal of this time and they lived a few hours away so travel wasn’t really an option. They had no cars.)

            After he met them, his first comment was, “How come you turned out so normal?” Hardly normal, but living with my g’parents a good portion of my life was the reason for that. They were depression era and very traditional HIspanic Catholics. And great teachers for me.

            I always hid the guys I dated from my family. Or, more accurately, I hid my family.

  3. Certainly a combination of lack of parental authority over young adult women, inappropriately lifestyles (for example going away to college), the feminist denial that women have any responsibilities in terms of modesty and chastity and the active promotion of contraception all massively contribute to promiscuity.

    Unsupervised dating was never a good idea but when young women were taught to dress modestly, value themselves, to fear pregnancy outside marriage and to ‘say no’ and young men taught to respect those women and to aspire to marriage to a Godly wife who had not fallen into sin, fornication was far far less prevalent.

    1. You’re right, Susanne. The breakdown of the family, birth control, and feminism have all made worse for most people. A strong nation is built upon strong families. Our nation is crumbling down around us as a result of families crumbling.

      1. I believe that a Godly marriage must be founded on a relationship which honours God from the start and not one based on sin.

        Whether feminists like it of not we should teach our daughters to respect themselves, their future family and above all God by going to the Alter as virgins and our sons to explect that of their future wife.

  4. Lori,
    Could you do a post for young women whose families might be hesitant/clueless on how to support them in dating? From the young woman’s point of view, for example, how to approach the topic with her parents and how to get them to understand how she would like them to be involved in the process? Or, for women whose parents aren’t involved, ways to stay accountable via friends or technology?

    1. I believe the greatest guarantee of raising godly offspring who don’t become involved in the hook-up dating culture is to have mothers home full time with their children raising the children in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord, having a mother and father who are married to each other for life, discipline and train them in the way they should go (continually be teaching them about the Lord and His ways), and love them deeply.

      “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

    2. Hi Katie,

      I would suggest a couple of tangible things. One of the things that helped us help our children out in choosing godly spouses is that they each put together a thoughtful list of what they wanted to she in a spouse; godly, joyful, hard workers, smart… make up your list and pray about it as if you are giving to God the desires of your heart.

      Some of our kids ended up with 9’s and 10 out of 10’s for who they married, But most importantly, there were times they thought they wanted to marry another person and we had them go back to their list reminding them of what they had prayed for and asking the question, “should you patiently wait upon the Lord?”

      Perhaps just as important, or more important was that at least three of our children, I can’t remember if one did or not, told us in early high school that the wanted whoever they marry to be approved by Mom and Dad. That they trusted our judgment and God enough to hand us a big responsibility to tell them if we thought they were making a mistake and they would hope to listen.

      Well… with two we had to tell them they were making a mistake. They were not engaged yet, but talking about it, and their wish list was just half full. Give us any guy or girl who is godly and we probably would be approving, but to have been given the honor and responsibility by your son or daughter to actually speak truth to them in the midst of the huge emotions is a tremendous gift that can pay big benefits in the future.

      Now we can laugh about it, but going through it with them would not have been possible if good commitments and decisions on the selection process are not decided in advance. Imagine walking up to the altar with a a man you know is the right one because you poured your heart out to the Lord and wrote it down, and he gave you a match for your desires. It doesn’t have to be a 10 for 10 match especially in the smaller areas of life, but godliness and a hunger and knowledge for God’s Word have to be matched with a reasonable expectation based on the age of your future spouse. If they can’t find the book of John in the Bible… run away fast 🙂 and tell your parents who can remind you of your wish list.

  5. A thought-provoking post, as always! You say you have no answers for the man who wrote the article. I do. Stop having sex with these women. If you did not put a ring on her finger, you do not have sex with her. I doubt these women are bigger than him or are physically overpowering him. Stay in public places and end the date by putting her in a taxi cab. She isn’t going to throw herself at you on the street corner. You have to be alone to have the inappropriate behavior. Take control of your own behavior, sir. You just might save a life.

    1. He needs Jesus Christ and His righteousness, Emily. He is going with the flow of culture because this is all he knows. He needs Jesus Christ to change him into a new creature so he can “sin no more.” Telling him what he needs to do right won’t save him from his sin. He needs Jesus who will then work in him mightily to do His will.

      1. I laughed at what Emily said because it is spot on! he does as Lori says need Christ. But the same should apply to Pastors/leaders who fornicate with their members. They need to be doing what Mike Pence does and only be alone with their wife or female relative.

  6. What if someone marries someone they are not compatible with, because they got married too fast? People who are in favor of dating–which is most people these days–will say that dating is good because it provides important life experiences and helps prepare a person for a close relationship, and ideally for their future spouse.

    But if all a person does is get to know them in public settings and then get married, is it possible for that to lead to perhaps a lack of connection in the marriage?

    1. There are many ways to meet and get to know people, KR, without spending a lot of time alone with that person. They can spend time in family and church gatherings. They can spend time talking on the phone or FaceTiming. All of these are ways to get to know each other without the temptation to sexual immorality.

      1. I completely agree you it is important to get to know each other and especially make sure that you understand your (potential) future spouses views on marriage, family, children and religion.

        But you can do this by spending a lot of time together with family and friends, you can also spend time alone, but only in a public space, and within clear boundaries.

        A Godly potential spouse should be as keen as you are to avoid circumstances where there is the opportunity fall into the temptation to sin.

  7. This is a super interesting take on dating. But I have to ask, If God tells us to resist temptation and to trust in Him, then why should we not also trust in ourselves to do so? To be safe, smart, and respectful WHILE dating?

    1. We must set up boundaries for our lives if we want to be obedient to the Lord, Sarah. In order to resist temptation, it’s wise to not be alone with a member of the opposite sex for long periods of time no matter how “good” you are. We are to have no appearance of evil and to flee fornication.

      1. The Bible warns us to take heed lest you fall. We may think we are strong but we never know and as women, we need to protect ourselves as well – if you know what I mean. You cannot know what someone else is thinking.

  8. I’m glad I dated. My church was composed of married couples; my work was full of women and old men (and secular); my volunteering opportunities weren’t among eligible singles. I am the only Christian in my family, and I lived on the opposite coast from my mom with my very liberal, secular brother.

    So eventually, I put up a profile on Match.com and said I was looking for a Christian husband. My (now) husband was looking, too. We met, we dated, we discussed Big Important Things, and we married. He’s the only man I’ve slept with, and I’m the only woman he’s slept with. We just celebrated 7 years of marriage.

    I hope my children will conduct themselves discreetly and chastely, and I hope they will find their spouses in the context of church among believers. I will expect them to avoid occasions of sin and introduce any “special friends” to us. But no one was going to help me conduct a courtship, and so I dated to find a man. God smiled upon me.

  9. I agree with this.

    As a young Christian woman, I dated. I dated with the intention of finding a husband; I was only interested in pursuing a long-term relationship that would lead to marriage. I did not sleep with any of my boyfriends; only the man who became my husband. I was always upfront about that right from the start – if a man was only after sex, he wasn’t the right man for me.

    Modern dating, with the idea of just having fun, is very un-scriptural.

    I know the article in reference is written by a non-believer but the hypocrisy in the little that was shared is unbelievable!!! He says that a woman who has slept with a lot of men isn’t marriage material, but he thinks he is?????

    Why is it okay for a man to sleep around but not a woman?

    Why does this man think any woman is going to want to marry him, anyway, if he’s been so well used already? Men can’t have it both ways, any more than women can.

    1. He isn’t a believer, KAK, and is simply bemoaning the fact that most women are so “loose” these days. Women are the gatekeepers of sexuality. Have you ever read the chapters at the beginning of Proverbs warning men about whores? There’s a reason for this. Women have a much easier time of saying “no” than men do since men’s sex drive is much higher than women’s. Of course, he shouldn’t expect what he can’t keep but it still clearly shows that even unbelieving men know that there is virtue in being a virgin. Even they are made in the image of God and can see that there is great value to this.

          1. Even stranger they (feminists) seem to hate women, or at least anything which is virtuous in women, modesty, chastity, femininity, fertility – you name it !

      1. I agree with you Lori. There is absolutely virtue in being a virgin. I’m so glad I waited until I found my husband.

        I have read the chapters of Proverbs you mentioned.

        The thing that saddens me the most about modern attitudes to dating and sex (especially casual sex) is that in general, women want to please men. In general, men want sex. If they can’t get it with one woman, they will move on to another one. So to get any attention at all from men, most women are promiscuous. Men have made women this way! Then they dare to complain because the women they meet aren’t marriage material because they have had a number of sexual partners.

        It takes a very strong woman to resist the pressure. And it takes a very strong/special man to not pressure a woman for sex, but to wait instead for the “right” woman (wife).

        I don’t actually think it is anything to do with dating, but rather it’s just human nature. Whoring is one of the oldest occupations known to mankind – men wanted it, women provided it. I can’t see that changing any time soon.

        It’s made worse by sexual education in schools – abstinence is not promoted; safe-sex is. There is tremendous pressure for teens to lose their virginity at a young age. It’s like a rite of passage. It’s so sad. Christ is the only answer.

        1. I believe there’s many men who respect women who won’t give them sex. In high school, I dated a few guys who had had sex in previous relationships and they “loved” me and even wanted to marry me because I didn’t give them sex. We actually talked and had fun together so no, not all men want sex on their dates. I think most respect those women who are chaste, feminine, and aren’t willing to give their virginity away before marriage.

  10. This is truly an amazing article. I am now learning that my body was attended for my husband and my husband alone. Due to life experiences I’ve had to go back to the drawing board. I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me and the world.

  11. This is insightful. Churches need to create a model of Christian dating and encourage it among church goers and preach on it from the pulpit so whole families are on board. This model has to be realistic given. I attended a church that put 56 months on ‘courtship’ and requiring a male and female ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ be present on dates. It was absurd. Sure on paper it looked great but no adult man or woman can lay the foundations for a marriage with such stringent and cultish rules. The young adults dating today are the married couples, parents and home owners of tomorrow; an element of trust in them is imperative from families and churches. Such a model would be an investment in the Christian family. Given the number of Christian singles and the difficulty in finding Christian partners, its a necessary investment that doesn’t get the importance it deserves. It would be that much easier to teach about headship and submission if the Christian family was receptive as a whole, budding relationships would be a good place to start.

  12. Dating in my view is only acceptable when the following happens…

    1: Very strong boundaries regarding sex are put into place (no sex until marriage)

    2: The relationship leads to marriage.

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