What are God’s Standards for Dating?

 God has the right of first definition, because He created man, woman and marriage.  If God has spoken, then what He says has first priority.  God does define His purpose for marriage and where the boundaries are in dating.

 Seek to Do What God Calls Perfect
1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  ~Romans 12:1-2
(God’s way is different from the world’s way.  God invites us to let Him renew our mind to understand His perfect will.)

 Be Honorable & Treat Others Honorably
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.  ~2 Timothy 2:22(Flee youthful lusts that could bring dishonor and disqualification for God’s service.)

 Guard Your Heart and be Careful What You Let Your Heart Desire
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.  ~Proverbs 4:20-27
(Guard your heart.  Don’t spend a lot of time getting romantically involved with someone that has a high probability of becoming someone else’s spouse.)

 God’s Progression Chart
27 Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.  ~Proverbs 24:24
(Step One: God made girls beautiful, so that boys would be curious about pursuing them.  Step Two: Desiring to get married someday, a young man pursues a career to be a provider.
Step Three: Once the career is in place, then the man is ready to prepare his house.
Step Four: Once he can provide a home / apartment outside his parent’s house, then he is ready to engage a woman to marry him.)

Commitment Readiness
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  ~Genesis 2:24
(When a man is self-sufficient outside his parent’s home, then he has demonstrated his readiness to ask for and receive commitments for exclusiveness in dating and the potential for engagement.)

Do Not Defraud
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.  ~1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
(To defraud is to stir up passions that can not be satisfied outside of marriage.  Kissing, hugging and stirring up erotic passions before marriage is dishonorable lust.  To ask for exclusivity in dating during high school can be defrauding, because the man has great dreams but hasn’t shown success in his career, faithfulness in keeping agreements when times are tough or ability to provide for others.)

Marriage is blessed from God
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.
~Proverbs 18:22

 God honors and defends marriage
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.   ~Hebrews 13:4
(The pleasures of marriage are honorable, but God judges those who pursue the pleasures of marriage outside of marriage as dishonorable.)

 Marriage is One Flesh for Life
And He answered and said to them, ” Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” ~Matthew 19:4-6
(Be very careful about making commitments and who you choose.  Once joined, you are one flesh for life.  Those who encourage divorce are disobeying God’s command.)

 Adultery in the Heart
27 Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.     ~Matthew 5:27-30
(Guard your eyes from lusting after another man’s wife.  If you have the ability to control yourself enough not to cut off your hand or not to poke your eye out, then you have enough self-discipline to control your eyes and thoughts.  Jesus took away the excuse to lust by them saying, “This is just the way God made me.”  Jesus proved they did have self-control, if they wanted it.)

 Principles of Marriage
1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self- control. 6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. 7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; 9 but if they cannot exercise self- control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.   ~I Corinthians 7:1-10
(Make a wise choice about who is going to be your one and only mate.  Make sure you are mature enough to make the decision about who is going to be your forever lover.  Don’t touch before marriage.  Once married, don’t stop touching.  Divorce does not mean you can marry someone else.)

 Marriage Is Sacred and Binding
31  Jesus said, “Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.   ~Matthew 5:31-32
(Remarriage to someone other than your spouse is adultery. Because marriage is a sacred, one-time decision, take it very seriously.)

 God Hates Divorce and Unfaithfulness
13 And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. 14 Yet you say, “For what reason? “Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. 15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
16 “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”  ~Malachi 2:13-16
(God hates divorce.  Divorce is violence against the heart, because of the betrayal of promises.)

 Do Not be Jealous of Another Man’s Wife
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”   ~Exodus 20:17
(From the Ten Commandments, do not envy another man’s wife.  Until a man is engaged, he has a responsibility to treat each woman with honor as though she may become someone else’s wife.)

 Job Decided Not to Entertain Thoughts of Another Woman
“I have made a covenant with my eyes;  Why then should I look upon a young woman?  2 For what is the allotment of God from above,  And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?  3 Is it not destruction for the wicked,  And disaster for the workers of iniquity?  4 Does He not see my ways,  And count all my steps?  5 “If I have walked with falsehood,  Or if my foot has hastened to deceit,  6 Let me be weighed on honest scales,  That God may know my integrity.  7 If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart walked after my eyes, Or if any spot adheres to my hands, 8 Then let me sow, and another eat; Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.  9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,  10 Then let my wife grind for another,  And let others bow down over her.  11 For that would be wickedness; Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.   ~Job 31:1-11

 Laying Down Together
16 “If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride- price for her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride- price of virgins.    ~Exodus 22:16
(Don’t try to seduce a girl to make out.  This is where the concept of a “Shotgun Wedding” comes from …  A man trying to enjoy making out without taking responsibility to be protector, provider and long term faithful.)

 Hugging a Woman You are Not Married To …
15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer — may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
21 For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.  ~Proverbs 5:15-23
(Enjoy your own wife, not someone you are not married to.  Hugging a woman’s chest, that you are not married to, makes you an unfaithful man and her an unfaithful woman.  God calls the good feeling you experience a wicked, evil trap.  God uses strong words.  A friendship hug, like both chests facing a camera, can be appropriate.  Hugging / dancing while squeezing chest against chest is not appropriate.)

 Laws of Sexual Morality
13 “If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, 14 and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’ 15 then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 And the young woman’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man as wife, and he detests her. 17 Now he has charged her with shameful conduct, saying, “I found your daughter was not a virgin,” and yet these are the evidences of my daughter’s virginity. ‘ And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him; 19 and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
20 “But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, 21 then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.
22 “If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die—the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.
23 “If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
25 “But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. 27 For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.
28 “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.
30 “A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor uncover his father’s bed.
~Deuteronomy 22:13-30
(God says certain offenses are worthy of the death penalty, therefore we should listen carefully.)

 Stricter Judgement on Families who Teach God’s Word
9 The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire.  ~Leviticus 21:9

 God made sex and marriage fun
~Song of Solomon
(God created sex for enjoyment and intimacy.  I recommend waiting until married to read the Song of Solomon, because it is descriptively erotic.  But I wanted to mention the Song of Solomon, because God does want sex to be enjoyed.  Once we agree to His standards, within the context of marriage, then God provides lifetime enjoyment.  Satan tries to deceive that God’s way is not best or perfect.  Satan tries to tempt that you can have all the fun without the commitment to be provider, protector and faithful.


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Angels in the Bible

This is the start of a list of some of the roles Angels have from the Bible.

Angels can be Messengers
Genesis 16:7-13  An angel is sent to a pregnant woman named Hagar, who is mistreated by her master to tell Hagar that God sees her and her son.

Genesis 21:16-21  An angel encourages Hagar, when she is thirsty in the wilderness and shows her where to find water for her and her son.

Genesis 22:11-18 An angel tells Abraham that he passed the test and that God will bless Abraham’s son.

Genesis 31:11 An angel tells Jacob to leave his current home and go to the land of his parents.

Angels can help God’s people be successful in their tasks
Genesis 24:6-9  Abraham draws confidence from his previous interaction with angels.  Abraham encourages his servant with the insight that God will send angels to help his servant be successful.

Angels can be God’s servants to bring protection and blessing
Genesis 48:15-16 Israel was aware that angels were active around him.  Israel blesses his son and grandsons by telling them that God’s angel will bless and protect them after his death.

Angels can be sent to rescue God’s people from danger
Genesis 19:1-29  Angels are sent to rescue Lot and his family from Sodom, before God destroyed the city with fire.

Angels can travel between heaven and earth
Genesis 28:10-17 Jacob sleeps at the foot of ladder where angels go up and down between heaven and earth.

Angels can gather at specific places on earth
Genesis 32:1  Jacob is traveling and calls one of his camps, “Double Camp”, because he camps at the same place the angels camp.

Angels can serve as guards
Genesis 3:22-24 God posts a cherubim angel as a guard to keep people out of the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 25:17-22 Cherubim are guardians of God’s covenant of mercy.  God tells Moses to place two golden angels at the two ends of the Ark of the Covenant looking at the Mercy Seat.  God tells Moses that He will speak to Moses from in between the angels.

Angels enhance the worship of God
Exodus 26:1 & 31  God commanded Moses to decorate curtains with designs of cherubim angels to make the walls of the tabernacle of worship to God. (Exodus 36:8 & 35)

Angels can be Assigned to Protect Christians
Psalm 91: 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Angels can be sent to help Christians
Hebrews 1:14   Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

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When I Became A Christian

by Adrian Plass

When I became a Christian, I said, Lord, now fill me in.
Tell me what I’ll suffer in this world of shame and sin.
He said, Your body may be killed and left to rot and stink.
Do you still want to follow me? I said, Amen! – I think.
I think Amen, Amen I think, I think I say Amen,
I’m not completely sure, can you just run through that again?
You say my body may be killed and left to rot and stink,
Well, yes, that sounds terrific, Lord, I say Amen – I think.

But, Lord, there must be other ways to follow you, I said.
I really would prefer to end up dying in my bed.
Well, yes, he said, you could put up with sneers and scorn and spit,
Do you still want to follow me? I said, Amen! – a bit.
A bit Amen, Amen a bit, a bit I say Amen,
I’m not entirely sure, can we just run through that again?
You say I could put up with sneers and also scorn and spit,
Well, yes, I’ve made my mind up, and I say, Amen! – a bit.

Well I sat back and thought a while, then tried a different ploy,
Now, Lord, I said, the Good Book say that Christians live in joy.
That’s true, he said, you need the joy to bear the pain and sorrow,
So do you want to follow me? I said, Amen! – tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Lord, I’ll say it then, that’s when I’ll say Amen,
I need to get it clear, can I just run through that again?
You say that I will need the joy to bear the pain and sorrow,
Well, yes, I think I’ve got it straight, I’ll say, Amen – tomorrow.

He said, Look, I’m not asking you to spend an hour with me,
A quick salvation sandwich and a cup of sanctity,
The cost is you, not half of you, but every single bit,
Now tell me, will you follow me? I said, Amen! – I quit.
I’m very sorry, Lord, I said, I’d like to follow you,
But I don’t think religion is a manly thing to do.
He said, Forget religion then, and think about my Son,
And tell me if you’re man enough to do what he has done.

Are you man enough to see the need, and man enough to go,
Man enough to care for those whom no one wants to know,
Man enough to say the thing that people hate to hear,
To battle through Gethsemane in loneliness and fear.
And listen! Are you man enough to stand it at the end,
The moment of betrayal by the kisses of a friend,
Are you man enough to hold your tongue, and man enough to cry,
When nails break your body – are you man enough to die?
Man enough to take the pain, and wear it like a crown,
Man enough to love the world and turn it upside down,
Are you man enough to follow me, I ask you once again.
I said, Oh Lord, I’m frightened, but I also said Amen.
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen; Amen, Amen Amen,
I said, O Lord, I’m frightened, but I also said, Amen.

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Seven Ways the Pastor Tends the Flock

Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my lambs and tend my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

Government – Teach direction, boundaries, structure, and a proper relationship to those in authority. We obey and pray that God would bless our leaders, yet the prophets are responsible to remind the leaders that God will hold them accountable for unrighteous decisions. The pastor resolves disputes and shepherds with justice (1 Corinthians 6:5-6).

Family – Teach them how to honor and take care of their spouses, children and parents. Teach men how to live with their wives in and understanding way. Teach wives how to submit to their husbands the same way the Holy Spirit submits to Jesus and Jesus submitted to God the Father. Teach fathers how to provide for and protect their family (1 Timothy 5:8).

Spiritual – Teach them to hear God’s voice and how God wants to be worshiped. Teach them where we came from, where we are going and how to relate to the spiritual world of God, angels and demons. God is angry at sinners every day and stores up His wrath against them (Psalm 7 and Revelation). God’s loving kindness and mercies are new every morning. Satan prowls around seeking easy prey to devour.

Education – Teach them truth and how to discern God’s righteous ways from Satan’s deceptions and destruction. Teach them to appreciate the world God created and our role of bringing order to it.

Media – Teach them how to communicate what God is doing in their lives and community with love and grace. God is alive and active and we are to make sure His works are noticed and published. We are in an active war with evil and the sheep need to be updated.

Arts – Teach them to guard their heart from ungodly passions and pursue God’s glory and God’s heroes (Proverbs 4:23). We are to despise evil people and honor those who fear God (Psalm 15). Our passion for God is supposed to consume our heart and actions (Matthew 22:37-38).

Finances – Teach them how to make resources flow to righteousness and blessing instead of unrighteousness, bondage and destruction. Make no budget for evil desires (Romans 13:14).

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