From courting to dating

In the meantime, the “we’re already committed” rationalization tends to make couples feel free to act in all sorts of ways they didn’t before, and every argument I’ve made in this series applies ), but that doesn’t mean that anyone who uses that language is automatically correct. Scott now lives in the Louisville, Ky., area with his wife, Rachel, and son, William, where he works as an attorney and serves as an elder of Third Avenue Baptist Church.

As a quick theological aside on guidance, God does not primarily lead His people by mystic feelings in the pits of our stomachs about what He wants us to do.

As to physical intimacy, many long-distance couples have told me that because they are not physically close to one another as often, they actually experience Um, no. Be deliberate about avoiding “marital” levels of intimacy.

If you’ve forgotten the cardinal rule of engagement, re-read “Tips for Engagement.” Engagement is a great thing, but it’s not marriage. Choice two is to stay in school and put the relationship on hold. Wait until a responsible time to start the relationship back up.

Over time, maybe you take some of the same classes, live near one another, etc.

In that context, living with the desires I’ve just described, how likely do you think it is that over the course of two or three or four years — some couples date over most of their college years — you will be able to maintain enough emotional discipline and distance to avoid acting emotionally and relationally “married”?

Certainly, as God’s people, we don’t want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it’s not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.On most college campuses, that likely puts the two of you in the same relatively small social circle.Perhaps both of you are active in the same campus ministry, you go to the same church.When two people are dating — especially when it’s going well and two people are really into one another — the desire to spend more and more time together, to know each other better and better, to confide in each other more and more often and exclusively, is overwhelming.As your general comfort level around each other rises, that momentum grows even more. We’ll assume, per another clear principle from Scripture, that both members of our college couple are Christians.

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Sadly, statistics and anecdotal experience both indicate that even the couples who spend time in dating relationships of any length, sin physically.

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