Developing friendship dating

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that your intimate friendship is one of those rare jewels that is devoid of the potential for hurt or confusion. In the past, when both sexual immorality and intimate male-female friendships were much less accepted and less common in society, men and women moved more deliberately toward marriage earlier in life.

By offering a taste of the companionship and interactions that make marriage so satisfying, with none of the accompanying commitments or responsibilities entailed in marriage, intimate friendships discourage the pursuit of the grown-up, God-intended outlet for marital desires — marriage.

Would want to date someone knowing that he or she had a significant, pre-existing and ongoing emotional bond with another single member of the opposite sex?

If I were a single person desiring marriage, the answers to these questions would matter to me.

Close friendships by their very nature tend to involve extensive time talking and hanging out one-on-one.

In this series of articles, I’ve raised several biblical principles regarding the way we should treat our brothers and sisters in Christ.

PART 2: Men Initiate, Women Respond » One of the big questions hovering around the topic of courtship and dating is the role of friendship.

How intimate of a friendship with someone of the opposite sex is OK? Won’t the friendship be ruined if one of us expresses romantic interest and the other doesn’t respond favorably?

First Thessalonians 4:1-8 admonishes us not to wrong or “defraud” our brother or sister by implying a marital level of commitment (through sexual involvement) when it does not exist.

As I’ve discussed before, a broad (but sound) implication of this passage is that “defrauding” could include inappropriate emotional — as well as physical — intimacy.

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Unlike most other people of our age and experience, we are (insert favorite answer here) a) really astute students of our own and each other’s hearts, b) -clear and talented communicators, c) always honest with each other, even when such honesty entails huge vulnerability for whoever is speaking, d) all of the above.” Maybe.

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