Thursday, October 3, 2013


1.  Maximize your singleness for God.
Accept that you’re in a season of life that affords some freedoms and
benefits you will not have if and when
you marry. It is a good season to
finish your education, increase your
theological knowledge, travel to serve
in missions, give time to your church,
work long hours to establish your
career, and pay off any debt you may
have accrued. In short, invest your
single years in a way that they later
pay a great return. Do not waste

2.  Do not pursue a serious
relationship until you are ready to marry. There are many reasons why
people should, for a season, devote
their energies to something other
than finding a spouse. Getting biblical
counseling to overcome a habitual sin
such as pornography or substance
abuse, maturing as a Christian if they
are a new or immature convert, or
simply moving out of their parents’
home and taking on adult
responsibilities are all good reasons
to delay a serious relationship until a
better season of life. Basically, until
people are mature enough to marry,
they should not be in a serious
romantic relationship but should use
their energies to mature.
3.  Be reasonable. Do not set your
expectations too high or too low. If
you set your expectations too low,
you may marry and be miserable,
having made the biggest mistake of
your life. If you set your expectations
too high, you may never marry, or
you may marry the person you think
you want but who may not be the one
God would consider best for you. I
discourage Christian singles from
having too long a list of what they are
looking for in a spouse. The truth is
that most of these lists are simply
idolatrous because they are
comprised of the seekers’ resume and
what they like and do, as if the goal of
marriage is to find someone just like
them rather than someone different
from them so that together they can
learn to love and serve one another.
Few men are looking for a widowed,
broke, and homeless gal from a
family noted for incest who is a
recent convert with a bitter mother-
in-law in tow. But her name is Ruth,
and Boaz was blessed to marry her,
and through her came Jesus.

4. Do not be legalistic about dating.
There is a difference between a date
and dating. A date can be two people
spending time together, going out for
a meal or coffee after church to get to
know one another in a non-sexual
manner. Dating as is practiced by
non-Christians is not acceptable for
Christians. Still, the word dating is not
worth quibbling over, as Paul tells us
not to quarrel over words. Whether
we call it “a date” or something else,
time together does not need to be
considered a dating relationship. In
1 Timothy 5:1–2 , Paul tells Christian
single men to treat Christian single
women like sisters. Thus, since adult
brothers and sisters talk to one
another, enjoy one another’s
company, and occasionally enjoy a
meal together, it is not a sin for two
single Christians to enjoy time
together, getting to know one
another, so that they can see if there
is the possibility of a more serious
relationship that leads to courtship
and marriage.
5.  Do not have any romantic
relationship with someone who is a
non-Christian. The reasons here are
almost limitless. Since you cannot
marry a non-Christian, getting
emotionally involved is pointless and
only leads to sin and/or heartache.
Since Jesus is at the center of your
life, a non-Christian will not even
understand who you are. Because you
submit to Scripture and unbelievers
do not, your relationship with one
has no court of arbitration in which
to resolve your differences. An
unbeliever is not in covenant with
Jesus, so he or she has no covenental
framework for any relationship with
you. If he or she is not a Christian,
you have no means of dealing with
sin that will come between the two of
you, because you do not both believe
in the gospel of Jesus’ death for sin.
Indeed, you can have non-romantic
evangelistic relationships with non-
Christians, but if the parties involved
are single, the odds of attraction are
high, and it is usually best to
introduce the non-Christians to your
Christian friends of the opposite
gender so that an evangelistic
relationship can form.
6.  You should be in a romantic
relationship with only one person
at a time. Ultimately, the goal of a
Christian not called to singleness is
not to have a boyfriend or girlfriend
but to have a spouse. It is cruel to
date multiple people at one time,
having them compete for your
affections. Furthermore, it is better
preparation for adultery than it is for covenant marriage.
7.  He should initiate and she should respond. Because the Bible
repeatedly states that the husband is to be the loving and leading head of the family, any romantic relationship should begin with the man taking initiative to kindly and respectfully request an opportunity to get to know the woman better. Too many Christian men are too timid and need to have more courage to risk rejection
in their pursuit of a wife. Any woman who is not interested in, say, a group outing or a cup of coffee need simply say no, and the man should respect that answer.
8.  You need to look at who God puts in front of you. Too many singles are
looking over people in their church
and life who do love God in pursuit of a mythical person, who does not
exist. Yet, in God’s providence, good
potential spouses are right in front of them. Furthermore, while a woman should not chase a man, she can wisely put herself in front of him. This is precisely what happened in the story of Ruth and Boaz. Although God providentially put Ruth at work gleaning for food in the field of Boaz, Boaz did not consider her a potential wife until Ruth took the counsel of the
older woman Naomi and got dressed up and went to the same big party as Boaz, where she did not chase him but did get in his way. The result? One of the greatest love stories in the Bible.
Written by Angie Cheatham
To be continued ...

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