Expert advice on dating and mating

* * * If you're reading this, you're interested in dating. In our society, dating has become something of an obsession. It's just something you do if you're single and of age (and that age is quickly dropping) in America. In fact, depending on which statistics one believes, the divorce rate for professing Christians may actually be than for Americans as a whole.

You've done it, you're doing it, you'd like to do it, or you need to teach somebody else how to do it. It is considered the natural precursor to marriage, and is generally considered something to be desired, whatever form it might take. If you were to Google the word "matchmaker," you would receive something in the neighborhood of 21,200,000 responses — with a few of these outfits claiming to be Christian, but most making no such claim. As evangelical Christians, we're called to be distinct in the ways we think and act about all issues that confront us and those around us. Granted, not all of these people are evangelicals, but we're not doing so well either.

The Bible guides us in some areas by broader, more general principles and ideas we can build on as we strive to live the Christian life in practical ways.

In either case, no area of life falls totally outside of the guidance and authority of God's Word.

Indeed, the central issue we need to confront — and the reason I write and speak on this topic — is that when it comes to dating and relationships, perhaps more than in any other area of the everyday Christian life, the church is largely indistinguishable from the world.

That truth has brought immeasurable emotional pain and other consequences to many Christians.

The answers he brings may be different from anything you've heard before.

Some things it talks about explicitly, like salvation or sanctification or marriage or elders.I have to start by explaining the theological doctrine that drives the approach I want to outline (and advocate).That doctrine is called the of Scripture (which states that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, it's true, and it contains no falsity or error).Many want to know how they can go about getting to know someone and eventually getting married without getting hurt or compromising their faith.At Focus on the Family, we've offered a range of resources and expert advice bringing biblical principles to bear in this area.

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