Christian perspectives dating marriage

Hang around Christian singles long enough and you're sure to encounter a certain emotion. Women, on the other hand, are frustrated because they want men to take initiative, to lead. Don't believe everything you hear; Christ-centered women still believe that God assigned respective roles to the sexes. Stepping Up I'll say more about this later, but for now I'll just blurt it out—it takes a man to be an initiator. Men are frustrated because they don't understand what women want from them; and if they do have a clue, men feel the expectations are too high. How should Christian men and women move toward deeper friendship, possibly even engagement and marriage?

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I believe: 1) Men should initiate the relationship.

2) Preparing yourself for a relationship is part of becoming a man.

This may sound old-fashioned, but I believe it not for the sake of tradition, which of necessity comes and goes, but because it is biblical.

Marriage is meant to be, among other things, an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5); the husband typifies Christ and the wife typifies the church.

Clearly it is Christ who initiates the relationship—“We love because he first loved us” (1 John ).

Furthermore, the Ephesians 5 passage describes the husband as “the head of the wife.” Men are called to be—created to be—leaders.

This is not an empowerment that mystically comes upon a man at his wedding, but part of his inherent nature.

If a man shirks relational leadership prior to marriage, chances are slim that he will properly assume it after.

Several months after my wife died, I was talking with a friend who is also a wise and loving pastor.

He wanted to help protect me from too quickly getting involved in another relationship—a common problem for men who are divorced or widowed.

(My advice: Lock them in a secure room for the first six months.) My friend's counsel was simple, and should be heeded by all Christian single men regardless of age: Concentrate first on being the right person, then on finding the right person.