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Dating without the intent to marry

If the goal of dating is simply to be married, then dating can be negated after marriage.However, if the goal of dating is the pursuit of intimacy, this goal is exponentially expanded inside the marriage covenant.

As I began to date in high school and college, I consciously began screening all of my dating options through the “would you marry her” filter.First, as men we must pursue our future wives through a dating relationship that is God-honoring and self-sacrificing.Our goal ought to be to appropriately pursue intimacy as we seek to move from serving God independently of one another to serving him jointly.My prayer is that she might grow in grace and truth, flourishing under my care as her lover, friend, provider, and protector.My wife will not grow, nor flourish, if I do not lovingly attend to her needs by pursuing intimacy with her.I knew after our first date that this was the woman I wanted to make my bride, so I intentionally dated her with this future goal in mind.

I tried to be very deliberate about dating my then girlfriend, in the light of one day being her husband.

I believe this question exposes a glaring flaw in the thinking that the goal of dating is marriage.

I contend that dating is not simply about finding a spouse, but about the pursuit of intimacy with someone of the opposite gender.

I pursued her passionately, trying to exemplify what a Godly man was and how I was capable of loving, providing for, and protecting her.

After about seven-months of dating, I asked Allyson to be my wife, and by the grace of God, she agreed.

Oftentimes, this filter was overridden by the “is she pretty” or “does she like you” filters; however, I always kept in the back of my mind the idea that dating ultimately was about finding a wife.