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As a practical matter, are you responsible and holy in the way you possess your own spirit, mind and body?As you move into the stage of life in which you begin to seriously consider marriage generally or a particular relationship, your first step should be to soberly reflect, before God, on your own spiritual walk and maturity in Christ.True, these passages refer to marriage, but it is wise and right to set patterns that will serve you well in marriage, especially if one accepts the premise that the purpose of dating is to find a marriage partner.

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The idea was to protect the woman from potential hurt or awkwardness, to aid her in evaluating a man whom she might not have known well at the time of his initiation, and to help ensure that the relationship was carried out honorably.

Certainly, this norm spread beyond the believing community and became more of a cultural phenomenon, but it still gels well with attempts to carry out a godly dating relationship — especially among those believers who hold a complementarian view of biblical gender roles.

As I mentioned, he should not do this until he is "ready" to marry.

If you're not ready to marry, you're not ready to date.

Ladies, this doesn't mean that you have to cut your would-be suitor off mid-sentence, take off running and shout your father's (or whomever's) name and phone number over your shoulder as you go.

It may mean that you explain to him that before you are willing to go out with him, he needs to meet person or couple X and discuss it with them or with the two of you.In this day and age, however, the hard fact is that many single Christian women have fathers who are not involved in their lives at all, are not believers, or are indifferent to or unaware of the notion of protecting and shepherding their daughters and potential suitors in a dating context.Where that is the case, a natural alternative might be some married individual or couple within the woman's (or man's) church community.As I've written on this site before, "practice" and "recreation" are not good reasons to date.Dating is for the purpose of finding a marriage partner.Ultimately, this means learning to trust God's goodness and sovereignty.

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