Purity rules for dating

To help find the right questions, we called on three not-yet-married friends who gave some time to thinking about the challenges faced by singles: Lore Ferguson, Paul Maxwell, and the recently engaged Marshall Segal.

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The ability to text or to tweet or to just write on someone’s wall enables you to flirt and tease without there ever being a “what-exactly-is-this-relationship” moment.

And so, in that regard, when you have not established what the relationship is, I think it can be hurtful to constantly be involved in the technological realm, rather than the face-to-face realm.

If I can get that 24-year-old single guy with a 38-year-old married man, then I have high hopes for how that 24-year-old will see, understand, and desire marriage.

But then on top of that I think what you celebrate and how you celebrate is important.

So, if I think about my daughters, to have a young man constantly texting them and constantly engaging them on social media without any real clear “I’m pursuing you,” any real clear desire to want to establish a shared knowledge of this relationship, I have concerns.

I see a lot of our young women at The Village Church get teased by guys who simply “like” every Facebook post of theirs, or constantly text the young woman, without ever having defined the relationship.

I think the way that local churches can practically help godly marriages happen outside of telling single men to “man up” and telling single women to “stop waiting around to be active in your single life” — though I do think there is a space for telling single men and women this. What does it look like to serve, love, and encourage your wife? What does it look like to be a man of God in relation to your wife?

Personally, I try to do this by having single men into our home. I will help set the table, and then afterwards that young man gets to help me do the dishes.

I am going to be real cautious about saying there is such a thing as “too fast.” What I would rather ask is this: What’s driving the speed?

If mere physical attraction or some kind of emotive, frilly, this-is-the-one weirdness is driving the speed, then, yes.

And that is just my way of going: “Hey, this is a way that I serve my wife.” And then, while we do dishes, I tend to just talk about the ways that I try to make space for Lauren’s gifts.

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