Principles of Dating and Courtship Part 2

So, what is marriage?

Well, according to the Bible, marriage is the first institution that God created. Marriage was started in the second chapter of Genesis, and God performed the wedding ceremony between Adam and Eve. Marriage is not one of man’s bright ideas. God designed marriage to provide companionship for humans, and to later represent the love that He has for the church. The New Testament, or the New Covenant, marks the beginning of the church; it also starts the metaphor of Christlike love between God and His bride, which is the church.

From the beginning of time, starting with Adam and Eve, a man and woman in a marriage relationship have been influencing each other, for good or evil. They were responsible for each other, which means they were accountable to each other.

In true, close relationships, also known as friendships, the people involved are tightly knit. Many qualities are necessary for a good friendship, including honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, and unconditional acceptance. In order to be trustworthy, one must be honest. In her book Passion and Purity, Elisabeth Elliot defines honesty as “Fidelity to a system of fixed values and ideas.” As for loyalty, what is repeated in marriage vows? “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.” Absolute loyalty, forever, in spite of anything and everything. Why? God invented marriage, which means it was built around His view of love.

“Honesty is fidelity to a system of fixed values and ideas.”

Elisabeth Elliot

Most people seem to have forgotten what love is. 1 Corinthians 13 is considered the love chapter of the Bible, and it outlines this standard of Christlike love. “{Love} bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

What does this love look like? It looks like Jesus, the Son of God, bearing our sin and suffering and wrath on the Cross. His love never failed. If it did, then He would still be in the grave, wrapped in a linen cloth. Because He loved us, He rose from the dead, defeating death so that we might be called the children of God. What does this look like on us as wretched sinners?

“{Love} bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13

Theologians call it sanctification. When two sinners are together in a divine relationship, there will always be problems. It is how those problems are dealt with that shows the love of Christ. When one offends the other, it is in the sincere apology asked in humility. It is also in the forgiving reply.

Love is about rebuking one another in gentleness and compassion. It is believing the best about a spouse’s intentions. It is patiently enduring the quirks and conundrums of living with fallen people.

There will be problems and difficulty, but if the relationship is started where both people involved can trust each other loyally, then they can be open and honest because they are accountable to each other and are watching out for each other’s best interests. They should be growing in their relationship with Christ and each other as a couple.

This is Part 2 of our summer relationship series. Next week, we will be looking at societal norms, happiness, and fallen behaviors. See you next Tuesday!

*Note: A full bibliography from this series will be released at the end of the series. Any statistics, articles, books, or websites will be included.

*DISCLAIMER: In light of the controversy over Joshua Harris’ book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” I considered removing it from this series. However, during the time that he wrote it, he was seeking the Lord and His will for Christian romance. It is for that reason that I decided to retain his quotes. I do not agree with his recent choices and apostasy from the faith.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s