Recreational dating is one of those things that scripture doesn”™t explicitly mention; but just because the bible does not explicitly affirm or deny it does not mean that we must ignore the issue. Recreational dating had led kids to all kinds of sinful behaviors; we cannot ignore all its demonic outcomes.
Many parents believe they are raising their children in a biblical way by exposing them to dating. Partakers of recreational dating are not only kids and youth, but even grown up people inside the church still give in; especially those who do not want to commit into marriage.
Recreational dating leads to lustful thoughts and all manner of sexual immorality; that is the whole point as to why people date, to fulfill their youthful lusts. Premarital sex and children born outside wedlock are results of recreational dating; it is very disturbing to realize that this sin is overlooked in the church today.
People nowadays want to get the benefits of marriage without the responsibility and commitment; this is typical of our generation. The whole idea that you must date someone for a while, and then decide to marry them is just a way to run away from responsibility.
Biblically we must start with committing ourselves to marriage. A way in which this is done is by involving the parents and pastors. We must be willing to be accountable and responsible before we can venture in a relationship. The point of courtship, unlike simply dating, is learning about the other person with the prospect of getting marring married.
Courtship is for two people (of the opposite sex) who are ready to be married. The duration of courtships can range between months to even two or three years. The main thing that differentiates courtship from dating is not the duration, but the amount of commitment involved.
Both parties must already be matured and able to take responsibility. Preferably, the man should be having a stable job and having his own place; since courtship usually is of a short duration, the husband must be ready (or atleast in the process) to leave his father and mother and be united with his wife.
Both parties should be old enough to be engaged in a legal marriage. But this does not mean that just because someone has reached a certain age then they are ready for marriage; as we have already stated, one must be mature and ready for responsibility and marriage. The problem with our generation is that we have a lot of kids in grown men”™s bodies; kids who don”™t want to commit themselves to anything.
Both parties should be believers in Christ as scripture forbids us to marry non believers (except if we were already married to them before we came to faith in Christ). This is because the main purpose of marriage is to bring each other closer to God, and to display the bond between Christ and His church.
There are a lot of dangers and temptations that will come even in courtship, that is why is recommended that while people are courting, they must not spend too much time in private places where they will be led into temptations. It is highly advisable for them to meet in open places and are also in the company of other people.
We do not encourage anyone to engage into recreational dating, but if you find yourself having affections for someone whom you want to commit your life with for the rest of your life, then ask the Lord to lead you and to guide you to a God glorifying relationship like courtship.
Soli Deo Gloria