Tag Archives: Rules

When can Christians start dating?

Painting:
Painting: “Courtship”, by Edmund Blair Leighton (1888)

First, read this article from a Crisis Pregnancy Center worker.

Excerpt:

I have concerns about the number one way that our culture chooses to perpetuate the cancer of broken marriages and failed relationships– underage dating.

You can follow them on Facebook – the failed attempts at love, I mean. Somebody is always changing their status from “in a relationship” to “single.” Unfortunately, a huge number of these disappointed lovers are too young to be legally married. I wonder sometimes if I am the only one who winces to hear a thirteen-year old speak with cavalier abandon of his or her “ex?”  Since when is it considered healthy and acceptable for underage people to be in “relationships?” Just what do parents and educators expect to be the result of the romantic conquests of these middle-school children and young high school students? The results I’ve witnessed personally are beyond disturbing; they are downright sinister, and have caused me to question whether or not those who claim to champion marital fidelity and family values are paying any attention at all to the standards we are passing to our children.

The trouble with underage dating is that it presents an entirely faulty view of what interaction with the opposite gender should be about. Rather than placing emphasis on building one strong relationship with one person at a stage of life when a marital commitment is feasible, dating encourages young people to pour their energies into consistently seducing other young people at a time when neither of them are capable of making any long-term commitments. Their “relationships” are destined to fail from the get-go because they are founded on unhealthy perceptions of love and not backed by any real necessity to stick it out.

The beauty of marriage, as it was intended to be, is that it teaches two people of opposite genders to learn to work through incompatibilities and give of themselves. In the same way, the great ugliness of dating as it is practiced by our culture and portrayed by our media, is that it teaches two people of opposite genders to be selfish by giving them an easy “out” when things don’t go according to their initial feelings. I believe it is fair to say that this form of dating is a training manual for divorce, because it encourages young people to grow accustomed to giving their hearts away and then taking them back.

Sadly, parents who should know better continue to display shocking naïveté regarding the absurd practices of driving their twelve year olds out on a “date,” or purchasing provocative clothing for their sixteen-year-olds, or sympathizing with their broken-hearted fourteen-year-olds by assuring them that they’ll “find someone better.” “They’re just having fun,” they’ll tell us, rolling their eyes at what they consider to be our tightly wound principles. I work a volunteer shift at Crisis Pregnancy Clinic where I witness every week the ruined lives and broken dreams that “fun” has left with our youth.

And now here’s my take.

Basically, relationships are not meant to be entertainment, but to lead to marriage. So, you can start dating whenever the woman and man are able to demonstrate to each other that they are prepared to fulfill their roles in a future marriage.

For example, the woman should be able to show that she has been able to maintain commitments to caring for others through some period of time, maybe with small children or pets. She should be voluntarily entering into relationships and responsibilities with other people where she is giving of herself – like volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center or caring for an ailing or elderly relative. That shows potential suitors that she has the right attitude to relationships – serving others self-sacrificially, and not looking for tingles and excitement. She should be able to show that she is good at making commitments and solving problems by studying hard subjects in school, i.e. – STEM subjects. And then she should be able to get a job in a difficult field and save money, instead of wasting it on frivolous fun activities. That shows a man that she can do hard things self-sacrificially – even if she doesn’t feel like it.

And for the man, he should be able to show that he is able to do his roles – protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader. He should be able to prove that he is able to mentor and guide other people to learn things and do things that will make them more effective Christians. That’s moral and spiritual leadership. Spiritual leadership is not just agreeing with people, it means leading them to serve God more effectively, perhaps by helping others to make better decisions about their education and careers. A man  should have studied a subject that is going to allow him to find work. It’s not enough to be a hard worker, he has to be able to show from his resume and bank account that he understands how to earn, save and invest money. I don’t think that an unemployed man should start a relationship with a woman, because cannot demonstrate ability in the provider role. He needs to show that he can work self-sacrificially, even if the work does not make him feel happy. He also needs to prove that he is comfortable sharing it with others – since he will have to share with his family when the time comes.

I think there are other ways for men and women to show that they are ready for marriage, but those are some ways. The key thing is that people shouldn’t be dating until they are able to show that they know the roles that they are expected to fill in marriage as men and women. They should also be looking for the right things in others. They can’t be looking for the shallow things that give them tingles, like looks, athleticism, etc. Before men and women start dating, they have to be able to show that they are working on being able to handle their responsibilities, and they have to show that their selection criteria for the opposite sex are at least partly based on the responsibilities that the opposite sex has in a marriage.

Why should a man refuse a woman’s offer of casual sex?

I’ve been having some conversations recently with a good male friend of mine who is not a Christian. I like to talk to him about women because we disagree about women, and Lord knows I love to disagree with people. Anyway, he’s read my rules for chastity, courtship, etc., and he considers them, and me, quite weird. He is coming from the position of having a great deal of sexual experience with women, whereas I strictly avoid sexual activity for a variety of reasons. And what we disagree about is this: I think it’s wrong to have casual sex with women who offer themselves to a man before marriage, and he thinks it’s permissible as long as he warns them that the relationship is going nowhere afterwards.

First, let me talk about where we agree. Both of us agree that most women today have lost the art of making a man like them without using sex appeal. We are in broad agreement that the right way for a woman to make a man like her is by being feminine. And we agree on what that means – showing the ability to be a wife and mother. If a woman talks to a man about his day at work, studies hard things to be more skilled, listens to his life plan, and tries to contribute to the causes he cares about, then he will like her (because he needs her and appreciates her).  Also, it’s important that she have a plan of her own that he can help with, and she should let him help. Men like to give gifts to women, and we like to see how our gifts help women grow.

Now where do we disagree? Well, I think it’s a bad idea for a man to submit to casual sex with a woman who is unable or unwilling to set boundaries and have a Christian goal for the relationship. I think that casual sex is an inappropriate technique that a woman uses to make a man love her without demonstrating that she really understands him or wants to help him. Sometimes this is done inadvertently because the woman has never learned how to deal with men appropriately, but sometimes it’s done deliberately in order to get attention without have to care about or help the man.

Here are three reasons why men should not accept an offer of casual sex:

Reduced courting capability

A lot of men spend a lot of time and money and the best years of their lives pursuing a lot of different women for sexual gratification. But the pursuit of casual sex takes away from the goal of having a helpful wife and effective Christian children, (e.g. – children like Stephen C. Meyer, Jay Richards or WLC). It takes up time and resources that are better spent on building up teachable responsive girl friends. Chasing non-marriageable women also detracts from learning apologetics and theology, which are needed in order to impress the tiny minority of women who want a man who can be an involved, nurturing provider and mentor. There is no way to assess a woman’s fitness for marriage and mothering through casual sex. It has no value whatsoever when it comes to courting, because it removes the self-control needed for objective evaluation. Casual sex doesn’t show women that you can lead your future children, either.

Reduced vulnerability and romantic capability

I would not be able have sex and break up with that person without suffering serious emotional damage. I subscribe to the velcro theory of sexuality – the more you attach and separate, the less well you can attach the next time. I simply do not believe that men who do intimate physical things with women can be as vulnerable and susceptible as when they remain chaste. Casual sex kills the man’s ability to love a woman as if he has never been hurt before. If you want to be a knight, you have to be capable of chivalry and romance. If a man has casual sex with enough women, he will likely develop a low opinion of of the trustworthiness, wife-capability and mother-capability of women. He becomes cynical and predatorial. The binge-drinking hook-up culture does not build up faith in the opposite sex.

Causes women to doubt God’s existence

Every woman was made for a relationship with God. When a woman uses sex to try to get a man to pay attention to her, to love her and to commit to her long-term, it usually fails, causing her pain and suffering. Sex doesn’t make a man who doesn’t want to marry suddenly want to marry. Without a Christian worldview, the woman may not realize how to tell a good man from a bad man, and how to drive a relationship through to marriage. If a woman has sex with enough men, she may develop a low opinion of the goodness and reliability of men. She may think that she is handling men correctly and that the relationship should work out. But the trauma from failed relationships with unreliable men can cause her to suffer emotionally, and even to doubt God’s existence or goodness.  Christian men should therefore avoid casual sex so that they don’t push women away from relationships with God. Don’t be part of a process that drags women away from God. We need women to serve God, and we are not so long on resources that we can just throw them away to the other side. Every single one counts.

Conclusion

Now I haven’t actually experienced this problem of women throwing themselves at me to make me “love” them, but if someone finally did offer me drunken hook-up sex, I hope that I would remember my little list.

But I might also remember something else.

Consider this passage from “A Man For All Seasons“, a play by Robert Bolt. The lead character Sir Thomas More has refused to compromise with King Henry VIII over the legality of divorce, and now the King wants to have his head chopped off. More’s daughter Meg tries to convince to take the oath supporting the divorce in order to save his own life.

Meg: Then say the words of the oath and in your heart think otherwise.

More: What is an oath then, but words we say to God? Listen, Meg.
When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands… …like water.
And if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t hope to find himself again.
Some men aren’t capable of this, but I’d be loathed to think your father one of them.

That’s how men should try to be with their chastity. I agree that it is almost impossible not to see things and to think things that are unchaste – but I am talking about doing something unchaste. Men need to avoid that, at least. The problem is that men don’t realize what they are giving up by being unchaste, because they don’t study these issues to know the costs, the lost capabilities to love unselfishly, or the virtues that give them honor with God. No one tells us. Instead of reading “A Man for All Seasons” or “The Faerie Queene”, we pick our role models off the bottom shelf of Hollywood or other crap in the culture. The schools are no help at all, most parents are busy, and the church just orders people around without any arguments or evidence. We are on our own, and by the time we realize who we want to be to a woman, we are often already in a hole.

But my main point is that even if there wasn’t a woman left in the world who believed in chastity, courting, marriage and family, that would still not be a justification for a Christian man to give up on his ideal of chastity. It’s better to be a hero and be alone than to make peace with the world as it is. Go down fighting, never give in just to fit in.

When is it appropriate for Christians to start dating?

First, read this article from a Crisis Pregnancy Center worker.

Excerpt:

I have a bone to pick with young, socially conservative Americans, and I know it’s something that will get under your skin. Just sit tight, though, and hear me out, because the elephant in our tidy little room is starting to tear things up. It’s time we acknowledge his existence, and maybe even call in some animal movers to take him back to the zoo.

I currently live in a small community in the Bible-belt of the country and I have been given some opportunities to mentor young people from my area through different venues. I can count on one hand the kids I know from the local high school whose parents have never been divorced.  I’ve witnessed reactions of genuine surprise and envy from students who hear that my parents are still together. In any given conversation with groups of youth, I can expect to hear continual references to step-parents, step-siblings, and half-siblings. Divorce is a way of life down here – albeit one that has taken its toll in the lives of the young people that will make up the next generation.

However, while I could certainly write extensively on my experience with the negative effects of divorce on children and on society at large, I actually want to address something else entirely.  I have concerns about the number one way that our culture chooses to perpetuate the cancer of broken marriages and failed relationships– underage dating.

You can follow them on Facebook – the failed attempts at love, I mean. Somebody is always changing their status from “in a relationship” to “single.” Unfortunately, a huge number of these disappointed lovers are too young to be legally married. I wonder sometimes if I am the only one who winces to hear a thirteen-year old speak with cavalier abandon of his or her “ex?”  Since when is it considered healthy and acceptable for underage people to be in “relationships?” Just what do parents and educators expect to be the result of the romantic conquests of these middle-school children and young high school students? The results I’ve witnessed personally are beyond disturbing; they are downright sinister, and have caused me to question whether or not those who claim to champion marital fidelity and family values are paying any attention at all to the standards we are passing to our children.

The trouble with underage dating is that it presents an entirely faulty view of what interaction with the opposite gender should be about. Rather than placing emphasis on building one strong relationship with one person at a stage of life when a marital commitment is feasible, dating encourages young people to pour their energies into consistently seducing other young people at a time when neither of them are capable of making any long-term commitments. Their “relationships” are destined to fail from the get-go because they are founded on unhealthy perceptions of love and not backed by any real necessity to stick it out.

The beauty of marriage, as it was intended to be, is that it teaches two people of opposite genders to learn to work through incompatibilities and give of themselves. In the same way, the great ugliness of dating as it is practiced by our culture and portrayed by our media, is that it teaches two people of opposite genders to be selfish by giving them an easy “out” when things don’t go according to their initial feelings. I believe it is fair to say that this form of dating is a training manual for divorce, because it encourages young people to grow accustomed to giving their hearts away and then taking them back.

Sadly, parents who should know better continue to display shocking naïveté regarding the absurd practices of driving their twelve year olds out on a “date,” or purchasing provocative clothing for their sixteen-year-olds, or sympathizing with their broken-hearted fourteen-year-olds by assuring them that they’ll “find someone better.” “They’re just having fun,” they’ll tell us, rolling their eyes at what they consider to be our tightly wound principles. I work a volunteer shift at Crisis Pregnancy Clinic where I witness every week the ruined lives and broken dreams that “fun” has left with our youth.

And now here’s my take.

Basically, you can start dating as a prelude to courting when the woman and man are able to demonstrate to the other person that they are ready to fulfill their roles in the marriage.

For example, the woman should be able to show that she has been able to maintain commitments to caring for others through some period of time, maybe with small children or pets. She should be voluntarily entering into relationships and responsibilities with other people where she is giving of herself – like volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center or caring for an ailing or elderly relative. That shows potential suitors that she has the right attitude to relationships – serving others self-sacrificially, and not looking for tingles and amusement. She should be able to show that she is good at making commitments and solving problems by studying hard subjects in school like nursing, economics, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering or computer science. That shows that she is able to do hard things that she doesn’t feel like doing, and apply herself over time until she has a degree. Obviously being conservative politically and being good at apologetics are also important if she intends to raise children.

And for the man, he should be able to show that he is able to do his roles – protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader. He should be able to prove that he is able to mentor and guide other people to learn things and do things that will make them more effective Christians. That’s moral and spiritual leadership. He should have studied a subject that is going to allow him to find work. If he is committed to going to graduate school, then he can study philosophy and law and other “world-changing” subjects, like a William Lane Craig or a Ryan Anderson. Otherwise, he should study things like petroleum engineering, computer science, or other fields that will allow him to be stable and secure. It’s not enough to be a hard worker, you have to be able to pull in the money and save it and still have time left over to care for your wife and lead the children. Again, conservative politics and apologetics are a must.

I think there are other ways for men and women to show that they are ready for marriage, but those are some ways. The key thing is that people shouldn’t be dating until they are able to show that they know the roles that they are expected to fill in marriage as men and women. They should also be looking for the right things in others. They can’t be looking for the shallow things that give them tingles, like looks, athleticism, etc. They can’t be looking for sexual attraction, primarily. Marriage requires specific behaviors from men and women, which are derived from what men and women do in marriage. Before men and women start dating, they have to be able to show that they are working on being able to handle their responsibilities, and they have to show that their selection criteria for the opposite sex are at least partly based on the responsibilities that the opposite sex has in a marriage. Otherwise they are just training to be governed by their tingles and to be selfish and to break up when all that falls apart.

Advice for single women struggling to get a man to commit

Here’s Cassy writing about it at PJ Media.

Excerpt:

So every single guy you start dating ends up being a jerk, huh? They cheat on you, they cut and run after just a few weeks, or after a few promising months they announce that they’re not ready for a relationship. So you sit there and bemoan your poor, pitiful dating life and wonder why – why? – you can’t meet any good guys.

Well, here’s the thing: you do meet good guys. And then you go on to ignore them in favor of the bad boy who has a reputation, because you just know that the magic of your love will change him. Or you refuse to take a look in the mirror to figure out why every guy you date runs away as fast as his feet can take him. You come on too strong, you’re too clingy, you’re too needy. Heck, maybe it’s all of the above.

If every single guy that you date ends up being someone that you label as a jerk and a heartbreaker, well, the problem isn’t everybody else. You can lie to yourself and say that you just can’t meet any good guys, but they’re out there all right. You just ignore them, put them in the “friend zone,” or scare them away with your psychotic, desperate behavior.

And more:

Guy and girl meet. They exchange numbers, go on a date or two, and really hit it off. Sparks are flying, guy says all the right things, and girl thinks he might be the one. So what does she do? She hops into bed with him, thinking that sex will seal the deal… and their budding romance will turn into a full-blown exclusive relationship. Unfortunately for girl, guy is just happy to score, and that magical night of passion will do absolutely nothing to convince guy to stick around. Now he’s even more likely to bolt, having already gotten what he wants out of her. Meanwhile, she’s telling herself that having sex with him after two dates was totally a good idea, because he liked her so much.

In reality, having sex with a guy right away is never a good idea. You don’t need to sleep with someone in order to make your bond stronger. If you do have this amazing connection, then you don’t need sex to solidify it. And if he’s any kind of decent man who is actually interested in you, then he’ll wait anyway.

Stuart Schneiderman adds this:

Fiano’s advice might seem redundant, but as long as so many women get hurt in bad relationships, it’s worth examining her observations.

Given the anguish that attends a failed relationship, it makes sense that women have devised a series of face-saving explanations.

All begin with the staple: all men are jerks.

Fiano responds that perhaps all the men you are choosing are jerks, but if that is the case, then you are choosing the wrong men.

There are good men out there. Unfortunately, women who have followed the modern dating plan are more likely to go with their hearts and guts than with their heads.

If they have involved themselves in hookups or friends with benefits relationships they have been traumatized to the point where they continue to be attracted to the same kind of man, over and over again.

Women who have suffered a series of relationship failures have learned how to deal with relationship failure. They have not, however, learned how to conduct a successful relationship.

Women rationalize their bad decision by saying, Fiano suggests, that their love can transform a man from a frog into a prince.

It cannot.

Get over yourself.

I’ve blogged before about how many single women choose men based on shallow criteria, especially appearance – and also about how many single women rely too much on their emotions instead of studying male roles and choosing the right man for the job. Single women often believe that they can change a bad, but attractive, man into a good man by giving him recreational premarital sex. They actually think that it is easier to convert a bad man with sex than to pick a good man and give him respect – but it doesn’t work, as I explained before. They are looking to control a man without having to respect him or serve him. This early sex practice does not work: early sex ruins the quality of the relationship.

Stuart ends his post with this:

Women should ask themselves how they could have believed that men would find them more attractive if they were strong, independent feminists.
Women should ask themselves who told them. 
It wasn’t men. In fact, today’s modern woman has been trained not to listen to men or to respect men.
They reaping what they and their feminist handlers sowed.

Men love to have someone intelligent and experienced as a companion, but that woman has to be willing to help them achieve their goals by following the man’s lead. Men have a need to lead. They absolutely need to be respected as leaders. What I have found is that you cannot even get most single women today to read anything harder than C.S. Lewis these days – they are not willing to follow you even when you are grooming them to be effective wives and mothers – to raise quality children and to impact the university, the church and the public square.

Most single women want happiness – they don’t want a man to lead them – not even to lead them into effective influence for the Lord Jesus’ sake. It’s amazing. 20 years of church, and few Christian women (in my experience) have the desire to let a man lead them to serve God more effectively. They just don’t care. They just read Harry Potter. They just want to travel. They just want to have a good time. The pastors never tell single women anything to counteract the feminism.

Send Cassy’s article far and wide! Maybe we’ll save the culture from the ravages of radical feminism. Maybe more children will grow up with a mother and a father.

Are radical feminists able to court and marry successfully?

Stuart Scheiderman wrote a post about something I have encountered even with complementarian Christian women.

He writes:

In England a reporter named Sarah Bridge… has just written a book about bettering her dating skills. It is unabashedly entitled: First Catch Your Husband: Adventures On The Dating Front Line.

To promote her book she has offered a synopsis in the form of a long article in the London Daily Mail.

In Bridge’s analysis, successful thirty-something women have developed habits and routines that are perfectly suited to singlehood. Independent and autonomous, they make their own decisions,conduct their lives as they see fit and do not answer to anyone.

For a single person, these are good habits. When you are unattached they will serve you well.

Unfortunately, a woman who is looking for a man will find these same habits to be an obstacle.

[…]Normally, a woman who has earned her independence will defend it fiercely. She will refuse to compromise her habits, her rituals or her routines. An alien life form, i.e., a man, will seem to be undermining her equanimity. The closer he gets, the more she connects, the more she will feel threatened.

Even if she has not undergone any dating traumas, she will, under normal circumstances have a difficult time engaging a relationship, to say nothing of a marriage.

When such a woman meets a man the impulse to defend her singlehood will overpower her wish to connect.

As Bridge sees it, independent women defend themselves by being critical, overbearing, and, to use her word, “snippy.”

Here’s one of the women interviewed by the author about her dating technique:

She was not connecting with them but was asserting her superiority at their expense. She was playing out a scenario that she could report to her girlfriends, thus providing them with endless entertainment. It’s called solidarity with the sisterhood.

Seeing that the sisterhood finds it uproarious women who share these anecdotes cannot understand why the men in question never call them again. Often they console themselves by saying that these men are easily intimidated by strong women.

Beyond showing off their ability to provide an endless stream of criticism, these women insist on being in complete control. They must be in charge.

X Factor judge Kelly Rowland explains that she chooses the restaurant, opens the door for herself and pays the bill. Of course, she is asserting her independence, but she is also acting as though he is not there and is not a man.

Evidently, the man is will be thinking to himself: why does she need me for? If he has been rendered superfluous, a piece of furniture, then he is not likely to stay around very long.

Bridge says that her generation learned these bad habits from their mothers. One must add that their mothers were simply mouthing the feminist party line.

It seems to me that the problem that modern feminists are having is that they are treating relationships as something that is all about their fulfillment and not putting a moment’s thought into marriage as an institution with certain requirements. If marriage is the goal they are trying to reach, and they want to have a husband and children, then they need to think about how to reach that goal realistically.

Here’s what they should be asking about husbands:

  • what is the goal of having a husband?
  • why should a man be interested in marriage and fatherhood at all?
  • what are the responsibilities of a husband and father?
  • what should men be able to do before they are ready for marriage?
  • what does a husband need from his wife?
  • what should a woman be able to do meet those needs?
And about children:
  • what is the goal of having children?
  • what do children need from their mother?
  • what do children need from their father?
  • what should a woman do to prepare to raise children?
  • why are marriage and biological parents important to children?

And about marriage:

  • what is the purpose of marriage?
  • how should men and women form their characters to be ready for marriage?
  • what worldview best grounds moral values like fidelity and self-sacrifice?
  • what causes a man to remain faithful and committed to a woman into her old age?

I think if I had to pick one thing for a woman to focus on, it would be the need to take seriously the leadership role of the man in the relationship. Men (if they are good men) all have the desire to achieve certain goals through some plan. They are looking for the right woman to help them. If a woman wants to get a good man to commit, then she has to show him that she is willing to learn about his plan for marriage and to do what he expects her to do to help him to achieve those goals – or better, to come up with effective ways to achieve those goals that he did not even think of. A smart man will expect a woman to demonstrate her ability to help him and her willingness to help him before he thinks about marriage. What is needed is not the ability to take orders, but the ability to innovate in order to solve problems.

Men know how to find out if a woman has prepared for marriage and parenting and we know how to find out if she wants to understand and care for a husband. What I see quite a lot these days from women is 1) a refusal to believe that men know anything of value, and 2) a refusal to be led by men in a courtship, and 3) dismissing men’s emotional needs. I think a lot of this is caused 1) their mothers did not choose a man who would be there to teach them morality and religion when they were growing up, 2) lack of trust for men caused by past promiscuity, drug abuse and partying, 3) a prior commitment to feminism and career which causes them to be dismissive and disrespectful of men’s needs, goals and plans. Many women today think that men are there primarily to serve their needs, and not to lead them.

For men, the best piece of advice I have is to remain chaste. It is a capital error to allow women like the ones described in Stuart’s post to manipulate you with sex. Feminists use sex to get attention from men without having to listen to them, care about them, learn from them, or follow their lead. The best thing to do to detect a bad woman is to explain your plan to her and then ask her to help or to study something that will help or to solve problems or to take on obligations or anything that she doesn’t want to do herself. It is amazing how easy it is to detect women who want a selfish “fairy tale wedding” marriage if you know what to ask them.