Dating to find a marriage partner is not God’s way of doing things
It allows Satan to find a partner for you
It shows you do not trust God to provide a partner for you
Going out as a group is not dating but socialising
Dating cannot be an indication you are to marry if God has brought you together and you are now getting to know one another in preparation for possible formal engagement and marriage.
Dating is just another name for socialising and you must do that within the parameters God sets for you and not those of Satan. Satan has made it what it is today but it was never intended to be that way in God’s scheme of things.
You should only start dating after you both agree you are to marry (in the betrothal period)
Romancing should now occur in the dating period not to win her heart but to show you appreciate her for who she is and desire her because God has given her to you to marry.
Formal engagement cements the betrothal period and marks the time to begin setting up the marriage household (if you have not done so already). Relational problems should have been sorted out early in the betrothal period before formal engagement occurred.
Remember, the moment God informs you both that you are to marry you are betrothed in His eyes.
God provides a wife
Prov 18:12 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
How do you find your wife? God puts you together and brings you to each other.
Matt 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Before God can bless you it requires you to be in a relationship with Him that allows Him to bless you. You must be doing what He requires you to do for Him. He will not bring a godly wife to an ungodly man (and visa versa) but Satan will. This is why you need to be led by The Holy Spirit to discern who has brought this person to you to marry.
To find a godly wife focus on your relationship with Jesus and He will bring one to you without you having to search for her or worry about ever being married. It will be on the path He has for you, in His timing and not yours (Matt 6:33, Eph 2:10 apply). When you are ready and matured sufficiently to manage the responsibilities of betrothal and subsequent marriage
A Christian will find a partner using Satan’s methods but heartache will result and it usually will not be the one God wants them to find. Through this wrong marriage partner Satan minimizes any effectiveness of ministry they would do for God as a couple when compared to what would have been achieved if they had each married the right person.
So wait for God to bring you the one He wants you to marry and be led by The Spirit in the relationship showing God’s love to the other person in all the ways you relate to them and you will have a relationship that will be admired and desired by all who do not have this Godly type of marriage relationship.
Remember that Satan will try and bring his wife to you before God does so that dating may result in marrying his choice of wife and not the perfect one God has picked out for you.
Gimmicks and romance
If Jesus has betrothed you then you do not need the gimmicks that Satan promotes through the media He controls. He tries to suggest you need these gimmicks to attract a spouse (so you will not find God’s one for you). But these are not necessary to attract and keep a spouse as God knows who you are to marry and will bring you too each other.
Satan also suggests you need makeup, perfume, modern clothes etc to be beautiful in direct contrast to what God recommends in 1 Pet 3:3-4.
Expressions of love (flowers, chocolate etc.), even though not needed, should be an expression of your love and not attempt to cause another to be attracted to you.
A man needs to show love and respect and dress modestly in a way that pleases his future wife. He must also learn how to be a gentleman and show her manners and consideration appropriate to the relationship.
A woman must dress modestly as she does not need to reveal her flesh to attract her spouse. Too much exposed flesh may cause desire that will result in sin. She is to hide her body and keep it for her betrothed alone for when they are married. She needs to know how to behave as a lady in a way appropriate to his gentlemanly manners towards her.
The lives of both are examples for people to see Jesus and should show His love and desired behaviour in all the things they do. This will turn their betrothed period and marriage into an act of worship to Him and bring Him Glory.
Each must learn to anticipate the problems and needs of the other so they can serve each other as needed.
The Stages of Betrothal
The Introductory Stage
You know in your inner spirit (and heart) that you are brought together by God and commence to learn about each other. Satan will try and pollute the love you are learning for each other with sensuality. God will reveal enough of the other person’s character so you will love them for who they are. There is respect for each other and respect will grow into love if nurtured properly. The betrothal; is entered into out of obedience to God and if you respect each other and look for the best in each other love will start to blossom.
The Excitement Stage
This stage is where you delight to be with each other and do things together and their presence excites you. Satan will try and turn this to lust so you will have sex or similar. This expression of lust is designed by Satan to make you feel guilty and to drive the future spouse away as they do not feel appreciated for who they are but only for their body.
The Sober Stage
In this stage you are more sober in your desire for each other and start to look at the practicalities of marriage and the preparation for it but there is still a strong desire to be with each other.
The Final Stage
This is the stage in which you are ready for marriage. Emotion and feelings are not the reason you marriage as your love is deeper than anything these can be. In your heart is the knowledge and affirmation that it is God’s Will for you to marry and that all the promises God has made for you in marriage both as a couple and individually will occur. It is God’s Will that you marry and so you work at preparing for the marriage knowing that not too is disobedience. Besides you love the person and desire to do this.
Jesus is then Lord of the marriage as the marriage is out of obedience to Him as God. He is first in all the things they do individually and as a couple. The marriage then becomes an act of continual worship even if only by the fact that they stay married because God has bought them together
In This level love is pure and the desire for fulfilment through sex is not that important in the relationship. You are not clouded by the desires of the flesh so that you can clearly hear what God wants you to do to prepare for marriage. This is the stage you should be at when you marry.
When you reach the highest level of a betrothal relationship sensuality is not a problem as you show your love and appreciation for the other person’s body in a Godly way.
Your Love is a knowing love. It knows the depths of the other person’s love for you and because it is not clouded by emotion or feeling you can clearly hear The Holy Spirit and what He wants you to do for your betrothed. This should be the state in which you enter marriage or at least try to achieve in marriage.
The expression of this type of love is no longer sensual but purer and unpolluted by passion so that sex will become a true expression of your love for your spouse as you seek to give them pleasure before your own and do so even if you do not obtain any. This selfless expression of love will cause a response in the spouse and they will desire to love you without lust or a desire to obtain pleasure themselves. They will respond to your love for them for your desiring their pleasure above your own.
If you know God has brought you together then divorce is disobedience. Besides, your love for each other should prevent problems arising that will lead to separation or divorce. You will both listen to The Holy Spirit so that you do the Will of God so that self is not a problem because it is obedient to the Will of God.
Intimacy is not sex or heavy petting (as Satan would have you believe). It is the sharing of the deep things of the heart that you would not dare tell others.
There are no secrets between you and God so it is the deepest intimacy you can have if you so desire it.
With betrothed (and married couples), from the first meeting onwards there should be no secrets between them. The past is only needed to be looked at for the purposes of deliverance and then usually only areas or weakness and not specific events (sins and failings) and even then these should not be dwelt on (Luke 9:62).
Your sins are remitted at the Cross (not just forgiven) and so no longer are of relevance unless they need to be referred to only for the purposes of working our root causes or weaknesses so that these can be dealt with through deliverance. Any other purpose is ungodly and will not be honoured by God.
Weaknesses and problems areas should be discussed but only for the purposes of deliverance and encouragement (Luke 9:62 applies). The couple that have no secrets are an intimate one. The past is gone and only needs to be referred to for the purposes of deliverance or for the purposes of teaching others how God has dealt with a situation.
You must learn To love your spouse for who they are spiritually and not be influenced by the physical in any way, then you will have a good foundation for the marriage and if this is developed further in the marriage, you will also have a good foundation for the relationship in eternity.
Focus in Courtship
The focus in the betrothal period is the same as in the marriage period.
Family (the betrothed is now part of your family and you of hers)
The Lordship of Jesus and His Will is our primary focus
The needs of your family or betrothed are next
Then you must focus on the task you have at work/employment
Finally the needs of those outside work and the family can be met.
Remember! If you do not provide for the needs of your own family God says you are worse than an unbeliever.
In regard to ministry, if you cannot care for in a responsible way and love your wife and family (or betrothed) that God has given you how can He trust you to serve the needs of others in His Body!
Unless you have the first three categories correct in your life, (or at least trying to get them correct so He can help you with them), how can He trust you with anything else of His? Especially His People?
Remember that all you do should be motivated by love for Jesus and the people He asks you to serve and care for on His behalf. If ministry is for any other reason such as: acceptance, recognition or to obtain self-esteem, He can use it but it is mainly wasted as He cannot bless it as it is done for your pleasure and not His purposes.
However He may be able to bless the person ministered too because their attitude may be correct towards Him even though yours may not be.
Are you ready for marriage?
Do you feel adequate to fulfil the roles you will be called to carry out when married?
If God has called together to be married you will be at the stage of Christian maturity He expects you to be at and He will work through the betrothal period to prepare you both for marriage.
If God has called you together then Satan will work to break up the betrothal or stop you being prepared by God for marriage so that you and go into marriage with problems he can use to try and destroy the marriage.
Satan will try and place on you negative emotions and attitudes that will either hinder your learning what God wants you to learn or will break up the betrothal (engagement) so the marriage does not occur.
Satan will try and make you doubt you are to marry the person. This is why you must be sure God wants you to be married to that person so can fight the doubt Satan places on you with the truth that God wants you to both be married to each other
If Satan cannot blind you to the weaknesses in your character that will hinder the betrothal and subsequent marriage, so that you are able to deal with them, then he will try and use them to cause you doubt about your adequacy to marry or your being acceptable to your future spouse
This is where you will need deliverance to deal with these weaknesses so that Satan cannot use them against you.
You are adequate for marriage because:
God has called you to it so has prepared you for it
If you were not adequate why would Satan try and make believe that you are not adequate. He only attacks What you have, not what you do not have!
You are adequate in Jesus because in your relating to Him He prepares what you need to be to do what He asks you to do
You are only required to love as Jesus Loves. If you cannot then deliverance will be necessary. You will fail in obedience to Jesus but all that God asks you to do is to repent and to keep on trying to do His Will for you each day. God only asks you to do this and to leave the future to Him (Matt 6:33).
As you do this you are being matured to what He desires you to be at each stage of the betrothal period in preparation for marriage.
All you need for any aspect of your life will be on the path He has prepared for you to walk in before creation began. This is why you need to be guided by The Holy Spirit in all you do as He knows the path so can guide you to stay on it.
If you doubt your adequacy and abilities you are saying God has made a mistake with you and at that point of time you are not what you should be for what He has called you to do. If you are not trying to obey Him then you are not where you should be because of your disobedience and because you are not following the path of Mat 6:33! You are reaping what you have sown (Gal 6:7-8)
If your self worth is based on Jesus and not on your idea of a what you should be you will trust Him for how He has made you adequate for betrothal and then marriage. Self worth, self esteem and your abilities will not be a problem as they will be based on His value of you and not from your own reason which Satan will try and influence so that you will have a wrong opinion of yourself.
When ever relating to your betrothed or your spouse never assume things or react but ask The Holy Spirit if what they said is correct as well as how to respond to what they have said. This also applies to thoughts that come into your mind whose source could be The Holy Spirit, Satan or yourself.
If you take all to Jesus through the Holy spirit you will never have problems in regard to adequacy and ability as The Holy sprint will tell what you need to do in the situation you are in and will strengthen you and guide you to work through the situation you are in.
You must trust or respect a person before you can accept them or what they say or you will be too busy defending yourself or seeing how you are affected by what they say. If you cannot trust a person you want to love then you need deliverance so you will be free and know your adequacy in Jesus and what He has done for, in and through you.
Everyone requires space at times, either mental, emotional or physical, and you need to know when you are to allow them this space. The reason they need it may not be important but the fact they need it is and if you love them you will grant them this space, step back and wait until you are allowed to enter it again.