Is There Anything Special About Marriage?
- Thursday, March 28, 2013
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: It seems men will not date a woman these days unless she sleeps with him. It’s expected that if you’re dating, then you must have a physical relationship. Many wonderful if a woman has a fear of intimacy if she doesn’t submit to a man's carnal desires from the outset. Whatever happened to dating to get to know each other? The problem only seems to get worse with age. I have just turned 30, and when I express that I believe dating should be for getting to know each other and sex should be saved for marriage, I find myself dropped right away (or called any number of unprintable names). While I would rather know sooner than later that the man I’m talking to is not actually interested in me, I am left with a burning question: how are women these days supposed to enjoy relationships without feeling like a whore? Do men really not value anything other than free sex?
I am so sorry you have had to endure that sort of treatment from those I (only) share gender with.
Maybe I am “old-fashioned,” missed the “Single Guy’s Dating Manual Code of Conduct” updates or just terribly out of touch with the dating scene, but I am one who doesn’t believe nor behave in a manner you have sadly been a part of, or at that rate know of many single guys who carry that expectation or spend time with those who seek “conquests” in their dating encounters.
I am not naïve to think it doesn’t happen (because I know it does…and often), but have to somewhat wonder where you’re finding these guys (or where they are finding you).
I understand our society has a lack of ethics and “morals” (to say the least), “sleeping with an acquaintance” is portrayed throughout the media as a common practice, and “saving yourself” for marriage is an outdated and archaic practice among non-believers, however, I know for a fact there are guys out there who don’t feel the physical aspect plays a major nor immediate role in a pre-marriage relationship.
As we get older, it does seem as if more and more people “give up” (or give in to) their moral standards or “justify” their weakness on age, society or God’s “unresponsiveness.” Whatever the pressure, urge or opportunity, we shouldn’t ever allow someone to talk us into having sex and out of our morals.
If ever presented with the line, “If you loved me, you would sleep with me,” the response should be, “If you loved me, you wouldn’t ask!”
There are men who value a woman who have abstained from pre-marital sex and have also done the same. The key is making you known in places where those kinds of men are, be it church or other activities.
Our Heavenly Father rejoices over YOU and all those who make a decision to deny a male “suitor’s” (term used very lightly) carnal desires, and stand up for your values. You are precious and priceless in His eyes, and there is nothing in this world that compares to that. Whatever worthless, negative or hurtful opinion someone has of you for not caving into his selfish desires doesn’t change how your Father feels about you.
Wow, you have really been through a tough time. My first question is, where are you spending your social time to meet these type of guys? If it's a bar or other secular environment, then yes, that is what is out there. But if it's a church, then I say no - not all men are like this. Now, I realize that the church can often attract some of the same type of guys. People often come to church while living one foot in the world and one foot in Christ. Some are there to simply find a "good" girl to date/marry without make any changes to themselves.
I know when I was younger in Christ I dated men who were at my maturity level (or lower) and well, they were still living in ways of the world (expecting physicality and sex). Because of my own immaturity, I would find myself starting to fall in this area. But as I matured over the years, I started looking and waiting on God to bring me a guy who was like Christ, not like me. I chose to stay single with Christ, waiting on the right guy - vs. married with Christ to the wrong guy. And because of this I have dated some amazing, godly men whose goal was not to get down my shirt or anywhere else. They understood the verse Romans 14:19 "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." They understood that what they do in our relationship should also be to edify the other person in Christ and this includes not pressuring them to have sex or calling them any kinds of names.
So how do you find these men? First, make sure you are going to a Bible-teaching church. Attend a healthy singles group, even if it's at another church. Take the time to build friendships with both men and women. Ask questions that reveal information about a person's heart, character, purpose and mission in life. Spend quality time with folks at dinners, retreats, or mission trips so you can truly get to know people. Also, don't be afraid to ask others about a guy who seems interested in you. The more information the better.
If you speak with your friends about your convictions (waiting to have sex, waiting to touch, to kiss, etc - until you are married) then others will know where you stand and there shouldn't be any surprises. I would also not date anyone that you have not had a chance to befriend first. Please remember: trust God for your mate, not man. Draw closer to God for He knows where youe man is.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment (co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources); From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name).
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: March 28, 2013
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