I believe much of the Bible’s relationship advice for singles can be summed up in two commandments. Here they are:
1. BE PURE
2. BE WISE
The Bible doesn’t really give specific instruction on dating/courtship. But it has a lot to say about purity and wisdom. These principles have everything to do with love and romance!
I’m talking about sexual purity—the Bible’s commandments to abstain from sex outside of marriage.
Consider these verses:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
-1st Corinthians 6:16
It is God’s will that you . . . should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable . . . he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
-1st Thessalonians 4:3-8
2. Be Wise
Wisdom is the ability to make good life decisions. The Bible is full of admonitions to live and choose wisely:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
-Song of Solomon 8:4
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise . . .
The Two Commandments at Work
I think 90% of students’ (and singles’) relationship problems are a matter of purity or wisdom (or a combination of the two).
Let’s say a young woman is being pressured to have sex by her boyfriend. We clearly have a purity issue. In order to stay pure, she needs to “flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22) and end this relationship immediately.
Now, suppose a young man tells me he’s madly in love. Upon further questioning, he reveals he’s never met his “girlfriend” in person—he’s “in love” with a textmate. Well, we have a wisdom issue here—it is foolish to profess love for someone you’ve never met in person.
The scenarios are often more complex than the ones I’ve just mentioned. Regardless, it usually boils down to issues of purity and/or wisdom.
I’ve been teaching these two commandments to our students. They are easy to remember, and (hopefully) it will help them to apply biblical principles to dating/courtship.
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