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If dating Dating indeed may prepare us to do each of these things incrementally better than if we had never dated. The problem is that at the end of each relationship, we have learned how to love someone, but that someone wasn’t our spouse.
We prepared ourselves to marry our ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, and then we never got married.
What does God say about what it looks like to be prepared for marriage, and how do those things map onto what we see and experience in dating today?
The clearest picture we have in the Bible comes in Ephesians –33.
Until you think about putting yourself (or your daughter) into someone else’s “incubator” for a few months, or years, while he or she tries out their “sexual feelings” and “moral limits.” We put too much of ourselves at risk in dating to donate our hearts to someone’s romantic experiment.
The truth is we have given dating far too much credit, and far too much power in our pursuit of marriage.
The relationships are real relationships, and the people are (most likely) someone else’s future husband or wife.
My advice is not necessarily to marry the first person you date, but to date in a way that serves the person you marry one day.
We cultivated love emotionally and exclusively, learned specifically how to love each other practically, and then we walked away.