Staying pure for marriage is particularly challenging in a culture that can treat switching dating partners as casually as getting a new pair of shoes. It’s always wise to look to the Bible for guidance, although dating is a bit tricky because it’s not directly addressed. Courtship and marriage were handled quite differently in biblical days. There’s no direct equivalent to dating in a relationship that may not lead to marriage, even if that’s our intent.
The Bible still gives us words of wisdom to follow, like this good advice from Paul:
Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupt good manners. —1 Corinthians 15:33, KJV
When we make a wise choice and date a person with the same purity commitment, we don’t face a constant struggle with someone who continually tries to tempt us onto the wrong path.
That Bible verse also gives a great hint on another strategy for maintaining purity: surround yourself with others who share the same commitment. Bad company ruins good morals, but good company supports and reinforces good behavior. Why not double date with other committed Christian couples? This helps you in two important ways:
It Removes Temptation
Being alone with someone of the opposite sex can lead to temptation. God created our bodies to feel pleasure from intimate contact. Solomon reminds us of this many times in verses like this one:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. —Song of Solomon 1:2, KJV
In the heat of rising passion, it’s easy to forget that such pleasures are meant for the sanctity of marriage. When you’re alone with your partner, your body’s desires can override your mind’s commitment.
If you spent most of your dating time in the company of another couple who shares the same convictions, you won’t find yourself in situations where you have an opportunity to let temptation get the best of you.
It Reminds You That You’re Not Alone
If you watch even a smattering of television, it’s easy to feel like an oddity as shows from sitcoms to reality TV make light of casual sex and celebrities flaunt their latest conquests. You may have friends, co-workers and even family members around you with differing values. That goes right back to 1 Corinthians 15:33.
When you make a conscious choice to surround yourself with other couples who have the same values and commitment as you and your partner, your convictions are strengthened. It’s a powerful reminder that you’re not alone in a world where pop culture often feels diametrically opposed to strong biblical values.
Double dating can mean traditional activities, like enjoying a meal together and going to the movies, a concert or some other type of entertainment. You can get together for dinner at someone’s home and spend a pleasant evening watching TV, playing board games or just socializing. Double dating can also mean attending church together and going out to lunch afterward or participating in group activities sponsored by the church. While that’s not a “traditional” date, such faith-based activities are good reinforcement for everyone’s beliefs.
Where can you meet other couples who share your faith in God and your desire to follow His tenets? You probably have some good prospects among your current social group, and your partner may know some likely candidates, too. Get to know other couples at church, and if your church has a social group dedicated to couples, join it. Enjoy some larger group activities and see which couples you both “click” with as prospects for double dates.
Having friends with whom you double date can also help you maintain purity by providing a same-sex friend with whom to discuss difficult issues. When you feel tempted or conflicted, you’ve got someone to talk to who knows both you and your partner and who has more than just a fleeting familiarity with your relationship. If you’ve chosen your friends wisely, you’ll find someone who will listen, then gently but firmly nudge you back onto the right path.
Remaining pure until marriage isn’t always easy, but you have good tools at your disposal to help you keep your commitment. Double dating is one of them, so embrace it as a way to have fun with your partner while maintaining the type of relationship that God wants you to have.