Courtship - A Biblical Alternative to Dating


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Dating, from a western perspective, ignores all biblical guidelines and standards. This Bible study offers an alternative to traditional dating that glorifies God and emphasizes biblical standards for finding a godly mate.

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Courtship - A Biblical Alternative to Dating

  1. 1. Biblical Courtship God’s Matchmaking Method
  2. 2. Biblical Courtship Overview Successful Singleness The Ministry of Marriage Dating and Courtship Courtship Principles Godly Marriage God’s Matchmaking Method
  3. 3. Successful Singleness
  4. 4. A Single Focus • 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (NLT) • I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. • The single should be concerned with pleasing God rather than seeking to be married, which is to be distracted from complete surrender to the Father and the work of the Kingdom
  5. 5. Marriage is NOT a Universal Ministry • Matthew 19:11-12 • But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. • 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 • For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
  6. 6. The Ministry of Marriage
  7. 7. It’s Just Not Good • Everything God created was good (Genesis 1) • Yet, before the debut of sin, God noted one thing that was NOT good • Genesis 2:18, 24 • And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. • Marriage was created for purpose • Fruitfulness, multiplication • Companionship, partnership • Dominion
  8. 8. Think it through before you say “I do” WRONG Reasons to Get Married • Biological clock ticking; getting older • Pressure from family • Friends are getting married • Financial security • Loneliness; desperation • Lust; desire for sex without guilt RIGHT Reasons to Get Married • To avoid burning with passion (2 Corinthians 7:8-9) • For a man, with purpose and vision, not to be alone (Genesis 2:18) • To labor for the Kingdom of God (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) • To multiply and subdue(Genesis 1:28) • Ministry – to mirror Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:25-27; 31-32)
  9. 9. Dating and Courtship
  10. 10. Check Your Vision • Holy Scriptures originated within an Eastern culture • The Bible is applicable to western believers, but doesn’t always “fit” into our existing way of life, from an historical perspective • An adjustment to “world view” is often necessary • True adherence requires death to self • Deny that which is not biblical, though culturally accepted • 1 Corinthians 6:12 • All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
  11. 11. Courtship • The western concept of dating is not biblical in term or principle • Like dating, the word “courtship” is not in the Scriptures • Biblical courtship is conceptual • Most marriages, in biblical times, were arranged • The roles of men and women in society are drastically different than what was accepted during biblical times • Courtship merges biblical principles with our modern world and western culture, stressing Scripture over culture wherever feasible and lawful • Biblical courtship is defined by • Application of biblical principles in preparation for marriage (principal defines practice) • Biblical examples of relationships blessed by God
  12. 12. Dating and Courtship Compared Dating • A feeling of “love” is stressed, while spiritual health is deprioritized • Physical attraction prioritized • Self-centered approach (Philippians 3:18-19; 1 John 2:15-17) • Casual (based upon circumstances and emotions) and temporary Courtship • Discipleship and godly character are first considerations (2 Corinthians 6:14-15) • Spiritual attraction prioritized (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:1-4) • God-centered approach (Romans 6:11; 2 Cor 5:15) • Purposeful and eternal (Malachi 2:16a; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:39)
  13. 13. Dating and Courtship Compared Dating • Driven by the flesh and soul - emotions (Proverbs 3:5-7) • Cultural standards – try before you buy • Lustful (Matthew 5:28) • Uses others Courtship • Spiritually driven after God’s will (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:5-7; 11:14; 20:18) • Biblical standards – obedience (commitment) through faith (Matthew 7:24) • Pure (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8) • Edifies others (Philippians 2:3-4)
  14. 14. Dating and Courtship Compared Dating • Physical emphasis – holding hands, hugging, kissing, idle conversation, etc. • Regarded as the couple’s decision • Privacy encouraged (Proverbs 6:27-28) Courtship • Spiritual emphasis – prayer, word study, fellowship with believers, ministry discussions, etc. (1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Timothy 2:9) • Regarded as a community decision (Exodus 22:16-17; 1 Corinthians 7:38; Mark 7:10-13) • Public gathering encouraged (Proverbs 14:16; Romans 13:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
  15. 15. Dating and Courtship Compared Dating • Encourages dependence, as needed • Lead by the “stronger” personality; flexible leadership or “equality” encouraged • Results in immorality, misunderstandings, broken hearts, division, confusion, etc. Courtship • Encourages godly preparation, order and independence (Mark 10:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:8) • Led by the man (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23-24) • Results in unity, purity, fellowship, solid family foundation, etc.
  16. 16. Biblical Courtship Principles
  17. 17. Let the Search Begin… • Proverbs 18:22 • Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. • Proverbs 19:14 • House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent [sensible, understanding, supportive] wife is from the LORD. • The “search” for a mate intrinsically belongs to the man • The “hope” and wait for a mate is natural for a woman • No biblical examples of women actively seeking a mate • The only legitimate object of courtship is holy matrimony (Colossians 3:5-6)
  18. 18. Friendship – Relationship Foundation Proverbs 18:24 • True friends are limited in number and must be earned John 15:13 • Friends serve one another John 15:15 • Friends are intimate confidants Proverbs 17:17 • Friends are loyal Proverbs 27:9 • Friends give good advice Proverbs 27:6 • Friends give correction and guidance Job 6:14 • Friends encourage Proverbs 27:17, 19 • Friends are honest Proverbs 17:9 • Friends are trustworthy
  19. 19. What is he looking for? • v3 – believer • v14 – kind • v16 – beauty • v16 - purity • v18 – servant’s heart • v20 – hard working • v20 - diligent • v24 – relatable, shared vision • v25 – hospitable • v28 – energetic, strong in faith • v58 – decisive • v58 - obedient • v65 – discreet, modest • v67 – gentle, compassionate The Search for Isaac’s Wife (Genesis 24)
  20. 20. Favor has Value • v11 – trustworthy • v12 – complimentary • v13 – good with hands • v14 – business savvy • v15 – home maker • v16 – resourceful • v17 – hard worker • v18 – diligent, determined • v19 – useful, busy • v20 – compassionate, outreach • v21 – prepared • v25 – dignified and strong • v26 – wise • v27 – watchful, never lazy • v28 – praised by children and husband • v30 – fears God The Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10-31)
  21. 21. The Wrong Woman = Destruction • Brawling; opinionated; argumentative (Proverbs 21:9) • Angry, attitudinal (Proverbs 21:19) • Nagging and irritating; cannot be tolerated or controlled (Proverbs 27:15- 16) • Strange, immoral (Proverbs 2:16) • Whore, adulterer (Proverbs 6:26; 23:28) • Promiscuous, flattering, sweet-talking (Proverbs 7:4-5; 25-27) • Don’t let a woman be your downfall! (Nehemiah 13:26) Solomon Knows Best
  22. 22. Don’t Try What You Can’t Buy! • 2 Corinthians 6:14 • Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? • Amos 3:3 • Can two walk together, except they be agreed? • Marriage brings two to one (Genesis 2:24) • A spiritual union cannot be complete without agreement
  23. 23. The Courting Process Prayer Acquaintance Waiting on God Godly Counsel Parental Permission (Spiritual and/or Natural) Invitation (Male to Female)
  24. 24. The Fruit of Courting Abandon Relationship (Mutual Agreement) Engagement
  25. 25. The Legal Process Prayer Work/Ministry Developing Friendship Confirmation by Witnesses EngagementMarriageConsummation
  26. 26. Godly Marriage
  27. 27. Pre Marital Counseling • Men should not touch a woman; no physical contact • One husband, one wife for life • Sexual intimacy between the husband and wife only • Intimacy is not to be denied; both bodies belong to both spouses • Singleness is better, particular for those who have the grace to remain • Marriage is better than suffering due to unfulfilled desire • Leaving a spouse is not permitted • An unbelieving spouse must be loved, kept and covered by the believing spouse • Once divorced or separated, neither spouse should marry again, but may only return to the same that was left Paul’s Apostolic Guidance (1 Corinthians 7)
  28. 28. Godly Marriage Like Christ and the Church • Ephesians 5:22-33 • Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
  29. 29. Marriage Duties • 1 Peter 3:1-7 • Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
  30. 30. Holy Sex has Purpose • Knowledge (Genesis 4:1) • yada, Hebrew • "to lay; to know" • Unity (Genesis 2:24) • Comfort (Genesis 24:67) • Procreation (Genesis 1:28) • Relaxation and play; enjoyment (Song 2:8-17; 4:1-16) • Avoiding temptation (1 Corinthians 7:2-5)
  31. 31. Intimacy in Marriage • Song of Solomon • The picture of intimacy • Passion • Purpose • Hebrews 13:4 • Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. • 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 • Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
  32. 32. Biblical Courtship God’s Matchmaking Method
  33. 33. Biblical Courtship References Calligraphy for God Bible Studies Solid Rock Church Bible Study “Character and Courtship” God’s Matchmaking Method
  34. 34. Biblical Courtship Latreia Bible Study July 2013