From courting to dating
On most college campuses, that likely puts the two of you in the same relatively small social circle.
Perhaps both of you are active in the same campus ministry, you go to the same church.
This is exactly the level of intimacy that is reserved for marriage only and that dating couples should make every effort to restrain until the appropriate time.
Can this level of emotional intimacy happen between people who have been dating for a shorter amount of time? But the longer a couple dates, the harder it becomes to avoid it.
I’ve arrived at this conclusion by thinking through a number of biblical principles.
One of our bedrock governing principles in biblical dating — and in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ generally — is not to “defraud” our single brothers and sisters by implying a greater level of commitment between us and them than actually exists (see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).
In that context, living with the desires I’ve just described, how likely do you think it is that over the course of two or three or four years — some couples date over most of their college years — you will be able to maintain enough emotional discipline and distance to avoid acting emotionally and relationally “married”?
PART 6: Growing in Intimacy » In matters of dating or courtship, I generally recommend that people either get married or break up within a year or so of beginning a dating relationship.
I also believe that this recommendation applies with equal force to single men and women in college.
If our goal is to move positively toward God-glorifying lives (rather than simply to “walk the line” by attempting to satisfy our fleshly desires as much as possible without sinning), wisdom and godliness would seem to counsel keeping relationships shorter.
Certainly, as God’s people, we don’t want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it’s not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.