Singleness, Dating and Courtship -- Genesis 2:18-25
- Rev. Jim Neuheiser
For Mandarin Chinese Translation -- click here.
- I. Introduction
A. Marriage is designed by God to be a Blessing (Prov. 18:22)
B. Bad marriage is a disaster! (Prov. 21:9, 19:13, 27:15, I Pet. 3:1)
C. Many Christians Need to Completely Re-Orient Their Thinking (Rom. 12:2)
D. What is the best way to promote a joyful God Honoring Marriage?
Dating or Courtship?
1. Which will help you make a wise choice? Prov. 31:30
2. Which will promote your purity - physical and emotional
3. Which will prepare you for a godly marriage?
- II. God’s Design For Marriage Gen. 2:18-23
A. God has a gift for you v. 18
B. God Still Brings Together Adams and Eves (v. 19-23)
1. Why does God have Adam Name the Animals Before Bringing Eve?
a. Adam is made aware of his need
2. Why does God choose such an unusual method of building Eve? (v. 21-22)
b. Male headship was God's design from the beginning （I Tim. 2:11-13, I Cor. 11:8-9）
c. Male headship does not imply superiority of personhood, but involves distinction in function (roles) according to God's design (I Cor. 11:3, Gal. 3:28, I Pet. 3:7)
d. The fall makes submission difficult (Gen. 3:16b, I Pet. 3:1-2)
3. Marriage is a Gift to be rejoiced in (v. 23)
- she was made from the man that he would cherish her as precious and equal
- III. God’s Directives for Marriage Gen. 2:24, Eph. 5:31, Matt. 19:5, Mark 10:7, I Cor. 6:16
A. Leave - Marriage Creates a New Family Unit
1. Your marriage Takes Priority over any human relationship
B. Cleave - Marriage is a permanent relationship, a covenant of companionship
2. God’s design is violated when improper emotional or financial ties interfere
1. You are bound together by an oath
C. One Flesh - The physical relationship in Marriage is a Gift from God
2. God's design is violated by divorce and separation (Matt. 19:3-9, Mal. 2:14-16, I Cor. 7:5)
- in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better for worse
3. It is possible for a believer to be the Innocent Party in a divorce or separation (I Cor. 7:15, Matt. 5:32)
1. Why Did God Create Sex? Heb. 13:4, Song of Solomon
D. It is wrong to prematurely introduce the Privileges of Marriage before the Covenant Responsibilities have been undertaken. For this reason (and no other!), many dating relationships are ‘Mini-Marriages” which end with “Mini-Divorces”
a. An expression of the lifelong marriage commitment (Eph. 5:28-30)
2. God's design is violated by any sexual expression outside of marriage (Prov. 2:17)
b. God's chosen means to fill the earth (Gen. 1:28)
c. for the mutual enjoyment of husband and wife (Prov. 5:18-19)
a. homosexuality. Lev. 18:22, 20:13, Rom. 1:26-27, I Cor. 6:9, Gen. 19:5)
b. Adultery. Ex. 20:14, Matt. 19:9, I Cor. 6:16-20, Prov. 7:27, 6:27-29, 5:15-23, 2:17
c. Fornication Eph. 5:3, Prov. 7:6-27
d. lust (pronography, fantasizing, immodesty) Matt. 5:27-28, Prov. 6:25, Job. 31:1)
e. God’s design is violated by neglecting your spouse’s sexual needs (I Cor. 7:3,5)
1. Leaving - replacing the family relationship
E. What is the best way to be righteous in relations with the opposite sex?
2. cleaving - deep and damaging emotional ties
a. emotional chasity is as important as physical chastity
3. One Flesh- Most Romantic relationships have an inappropriate physical element
b. multiple relationships with minimal commitment may set the pattern for future divorces
c. God's design does not include recreational romance
a. The question should not be "how far can we go?" but what is best?
b. Physical involvement prior to marriage involves giving away something that belongs to someone else. You should reserve yourself for your future spouse. Your date may be someone else's future spouse.
1. Dating is often playing with fire
2. Courtship provides safeguards against temptation
- IV. Principles for Courtship: the mutual investigation of the possibility of marriage by people who are ready to take on its responsibilities
A. The Man initiates Courtship
1. He knows enough about the woman to think that she might make a good wife
B. The Family (Father) plays a major role as opposed to dating in which the man and woman are usually totally independent (Gen. 2:24, I Cor. 7:36-38, Ex. 22:16-17)
2. How could he have learned about her without dating?？
3. Courtship is not a game, but involves open and honorable communication
1. What kinds of issues ought the family to raise?
2. What if there is geographic distance?
3. What if the parents are unwilling to participate?
- V. Qualities to look for in a spouse...
A. in a husband
1. Is he an initiator?
B. in a wife Eph. 5:22-24, I Pet. 3:1-6, Prov. 31:10-31
2. Is he able to fulfill his responsibilities to provide for a family? (I Tim. 5:8, Eph. 5:29, Isa. 4:1, Gen. 2:15, Prov. 28:19-20, 13:11)
3. Is he a hard worker or a dreamer?
4. Is he wise with money? Is he in debt?
5. Is he a man to whom she can submit? I Pet. 3:7
6. How does he respond to authority?
7. Does he submit himself to Scripture?
8. Are you confident he won't ask you to sin?
9. Is he sensitive and patient with you? Col. 3:19, I Pet. 3:7
10. Does he admit when he is wrong and seek your forgiveness?
1. Don't focus upon outward beauty nor be deceived by charm Prov. 31;31, 11;22, judges 14;1-2, 16:11, I Pet. 3:3-4
C. WORK at BECOMING the Godly Man Or Godly Woman God wants you to be
2. Is she modest?
3. Does she reflect inward beauty? (1 Sam. 16:7)
4. Does she love and fear the Lord?
5. Is she wise and virtuous?
6. Is she prepared to fulfill her responsibilities as a wife and mother?
7. Does she long for a home centered ministry? (Titus 2: 4-5, Prov. 31)
8. Does she want to have children?
9. Is she willing to devote her life to helping you?
10. How does she get along with her parents?
11. Is she willing to submit to your leadership?
1. Marriage is more than finding the right person; it is being the right person
D. Pray, trust God, and be Content with what God Gives You (Phil. 4:19, 11-13)
2. Are you prepared to take on the responsibilities of marriage?
1. Walk by faith and don't take shortcuts. God will provide what you need when you need it. (1 Cor. 10:13)
2. It is better to remain single than to enter into a bad marriage!
- VI. Principles for Engagement
A. Obtain Parental Permission (Approval)
B. Engagement is a promise to marry
C. Goals of the engagement period
- It must not be made or broken lightly (Ps. 15:4, Deut. 22:23-24)
1. preparation for marriage
D. What about physical affection during engagement?
2. growing in love (Titus 2:4) Love is learned, not fallen into
E. How long should the engagement period be?
- VII. Conclusion
A. What if you have already failed?
1. In Christ, we are pure and righteous, a virgin bride
2. A better wedding yet to come Rev. 19:9
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last updated 4/27/2007