Where is the line between dating and marriage? Obviously there’s the physical intimacy part, the living together part, the sharing everything part. I’m talking about the … amount… of love to show your gf/bf (not sure if that’s the right word). The Bible is very clear when it talks about the marriage relationship and how husbands and wives are to love each other. Humility, patience, thoughtfulness, etc. – those things can and should be shown in regular friendship/familial/dating relationships.
But what really has me thinking is the characteristics of selflessness and self-sacrifice. These are characteristics which are very necessary in a marriage relationship because you have committed to your husband/wife for the rest of your life. In dating, there’s a way out when things go wrong, so how far do you go? How “much” love do you/should you show before you get fed up and “pull the plug”, so to speak? This, I think, makes dating complicated.
How much selfless love do you show? How much do you sacrifice for your gf/bf? Or is dating, and showing your sig. other these things, just the “practice” part of the relationship before it deepens into marriage? How do you know if it’s even worth it to show (or try anyway) selfless love? Or worth it to sacrifice everything for your gf/bf? You are not tied together in the bonds of marriage. There are definitely “out” options. There are probably better guys/girls out there for both of you. So how do you decide if it’s worth your time to work on selflessly loving and sacrificing x for the bf/gf?
I’ve been mulling over this a lot and have not been able to arrive at a conclusive answer. The only thing I’ve come up with so far is that Christ wants us to develop these characteristics because He showed them to us on the cross, as the type of love we are to emulate and develop in our own lives. Often, I’m given the advice to ask God to mold me into a godly wife for my future husband. Is dating part of the molding process? Probably. To date is to determine whether the pair of you are suitable for marriage. That is inextricably clear. The more difficult part is figuring out if you can eventually marry the person you are dating or not. The thought arises: What if you are wasting your time? What if you can’t manage to work things out? Yes, the indecisiveness that plagues my generation plays a part in this deciphering process (but that’s a whole other post right there).
I am certainly not a believer in finding “THE ONE”. I do not believe that there is only one person out there who you are meant to marry and that you have to find that one person through endless dating. I believe that once you are married, you can make the relationship work no matter how tough it may get, through self-sacrifice, selflessness and the rest of the definition of love as defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (which, incidentally, mentions nothing about the emotions and lust that many dating relationships are sadly based upon). But does this extend into dating? Does 1 Cor. 13:4-8, and even this paragraph, nullify my entire post altogether???