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What does God think about dating? Does it matter to Him who we date or how often we go out with someone? Is dating even in the Bible?

I believe dating was designed as the "getting to know you" period in a couple's relationship before marriage. It is the time for learning the likes and dislikes or one another, as well as a chance to witness each other's behavior in a number of social settings.

Although "dating" isn't specifically mentioned in the Bible, there are definite guidelines throughout Proverbs and the New Testament that, if followed, will lead us into a healthy relationship and enable us to choose a life partner wisely.

Unfortunately, society depicts the dating period as the time to become romantically or sexually attached. Many people believe in the idea of "love at first sight" and blind themselves to the shortcomings of the person with whom they have gotten involved.

Serious character flaws and other important issues, such as spiritual, emotional and intellectual compatibility, drug or alcohol addictions, anger management problems or a history of physical abuse are often overlooked.

Today's society doesn't make it easy to take off these "rose-colored glasses." In fact, false impressions of love are everywhere. You can hear it in the smooth ballads that speak of physical love as being the only way to express emotion or as a way to get a person through the night.

Television shows and movies often use humor to desensitize us to the overt sexuality present in the dialogue. Even a 30-second commercial can be so full of innuendoes that we often focus more on what is implied than on what is actually being sold.

When you don't understand the purpose for something, abuse is inevitable. The same principle applies where dating is concerned. When you don't realize it's purpose—getting to know another person well—more than likely you'll use dating as a means to an end, either for physical gratification or for emotional codependency.

Romans 12:1-2 says,
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well-pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to it's external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourself] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God....
There's no point in pushing the process or overlooking important red flags simply because you're lonely, under pressure from relatives or reaching a certain age. Dating is simply your opportunity to gather information on a person's character.

Source: The Successful Family by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar and Taffi L. Dollar
Excerpt permission granted by Creflo Dollar Ministries

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.

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