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Let's start with the second of those commandments, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Already we have entered into distinctly Christian territory.

A principal motive when you are on a date, whether you are a man or a woman, is to be concerned for the other person's well-being.

Generally speaking, we would expect a man to provide spiritual leadership in dating, that is of the self-sacrificing kind modeled by our Lord.

Therefore, a man who just wants to have a good time and never wants to talk about the relationship is not likely to make a godly husband, and should be shunned.

I often tell men anticipating a first date to assume that either this is the beginning of their marriage relationship or else they are out with a woman who will be someone else's wife.

If the latter is true, they should remember that someone else is out with the woman who will be their wife, so we all benefit from godly dating. The point is that men and women should be thoughtful when dating, realizing that, as my wife puts it, "You're not just holding hands, you're holding hearts." If all this talk of responsibility and ministry is taking the fun and romance out of dating for you, let me suggest that you may not be ready to date according to this second commandment Jesus taught.

Honoring God means we will want to pray before and after a date, for our own conduct and for the other person.

It means we will trust God and therefore will not play emotional games.

Since we know that God's regular pattern for our blessing is marriage, although there are exceptions, we normally will date with an eye towards marriage, seeking in dating to establish a relationship that will produce a godly home.When you are on a date it is with a person, indeed as a Christian it must be with a child of God, and not with a toy.There are some differences between the genders in dating, analogous to the Bible's teaching on relationships in marriage." Remember, too, that there are other people involved than just the two of you on a date.There are parents, friends, and among others, pastors at the dinner table with you, as it were.

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