To Date or Not To Date

This is a guest post by Mac

Okay, so it’s time for the next article on the series about dating.  Here’s the corresponding Boundless link.

So this week’s topic is on being ready to date and the various roles in the initiation of a dating relationship.  The first question that Croft asserts that we need to ask is if we are “spiritually mature.”  I do think that is a fair question, and I think it’s one that every Christian needs to ask in their lives.

The second is more controversial.  “Second, are you at a place in your life at which you are ready and able to marry?”  Okay, so full disclosure here.  I like to think of myself as spiritually and emotionally mature.  Not fully, as I don’t think anyone apart from Christ is fully spiritually and emotionally mature, but reasonably.  However, financially I am nowhere near ready to be married.  I am out of work (although I do have a job interview tomorrow), I am dependent on my parents for food, housing, internet, etc. and I simply would be unable to support myself and a wife financially.  However—and this might sound emotionally immature—but I do not want to give up my relationship with my girlfriend just because this guy says I should.  She is the most amazing person ever and I am so glad that we are together.  Moreover, he says that I should be able to be married within a year (that would require a marriage date of around June 27 2012 for those keeping track).  Now, in my opinion there’s a huge problem with that philosophy.  It is very difficult for people to determine whether or not they should commit to a lifetime together after a year of dating.  Now, I would think that there would be some serious consideration, but serious consideration is not the same as actually having made that commitment. Too many evangelicals get married too young and that is why the statistics for evangelical divorce is often higher than it is in the world.

Thirdly, Croft believes that we need to be looking for marriage partners with an “eye toward godly manhood and womanhood.”  We’ll see how he defines these in the initiation process.  Scott Croft is a practitioner of the school of thought known as Complimentarianism which states that men and women are equal but have different (complimentary) roles, and that the man’s role is to lead and to initiate.  This is against the school of thought known as Egalitarianism which states that men and women are equal and that the “different roles” rhetoric is BS.

So in his opinion, it is the man who must initiate at all points.  Initiation in this case means seeking no social cues from the girl whatsoever and the girl is to give none.  She is to be absolutely passive and just wait along for the right guy.  So the man is to search out and be active and the woman is to lie around and be passive.  And he claims that this is not an indication of male superiority.  BS.

My biggest problem is his misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 7.  In his opinion, the only reason for selecting singleness is being specifically called to some special ministry.  That is not what Paul is saying.  In several places the message is “stay where you are unless you can’t control your biological urges in which case you should get married.”  Some think that Paul thought the end was coming so marriage and singleness were considered meaningless.  Some think that there was a famine in Corinth and that Paul was encouraging people not to take on extra responsibilities in such a harsh economic climate (remind you of anything).  Whatever the case, you can serve God whether you are married or single.  You can even serve God as someone who is dating and plans to be dating for more than a year.  The Gospel is a message of Grace.  It is not a new Torah.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.