In 1997 Joshua Harris released a book titled “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” The premise was not that dating was bad but that there were better options than the frustrations of dating.
Dating as we know it doesn’t appear in the Bible. But neither do cars, computers, or televisions. So to simply say that people didn’t date in the Bible doesn’t make the idea of dating unbiblical.
Dating is a very recent idea compared to the history of man. It wasn’t until the automobile in the early 1900’s that dating became popular or even really possible. This allowed people to get away from their parents and get to know a person on a different level than before.
So the question of whether dating was in the Bible doesn’t answer the question of whether dating is in line with biblical principles. For that we have to ask the question, “Why is a person dating?” The motives behind dating tell us whether or not dating is biblical. In the end, dating can be both biblical and unbiblical. In “What is the purpose of dating?” we will discuss the biblical reason a person should date. Here we will discuss some unbiblical reasons for dating.
For many people, dating has become equated with sex. People hang out at bars looking for one night stands and ultimately someone to hook up with for a while. There is no sense of commitment and a person won’t enter that phase until later when they are ready to “settle down.” Sex outside of marriage is outside of God’s plan and should be avoided. If this is the reason for dating, it shouldn’t be considered biblical.
Another reason people date is for a sense of conquest. For many this is a sexual thing as mentioned above. However for others it is a sense of pride. A person derives self worth by their ability to find someone to date. And the more attractive a date they can find, the better they feel about themselves. We aren’t to derive our self worth from who we date but from God. We are created in the image of God and therefore it doesn’t matter if others find us attractive or not.
These reasons aside, there is a good reason for dating that can be backed up with biblical principles. This is discussed in “What is the purpose of dating?“