Dating Is Practice For Divorce?

Christian Tik Tok is a bit like playing Russian Roulette. I could shoot myself, or I could live but I’d still be dumb for playing in the first place.

Anyway, Pastor Mike Todd thinks dating is practice for divorce which is Christian wokeness: trying to be so not “like other girls the world”, you end up saying tomfoolery.

Right out the gate, he starts with a logical fallacy. The word “abortion” is not in the Bible. The words “gun-toting, America is the best country on Earth, conservative, KJV only Christian” are not in the Bible. The words “relationship goals” of which he has an entire sermon series about, also not in the Bible. So if we’re gonna be literal here, there are a lot of things Christians preach about that aren’t literally in the Bible.

The Bible in fact says almost nothing about dating at all. Back in Biblical times, a woman’s father would pick a good suitor for her to marry. The OT says if a man meets a virgin not betrothed and sleeps with her (in the city, so the connotation is this was consensual), he gotta do right and marry her, and can’t divorce her (Deut. 22). The New Testament basically says don’t marry but if you do be willing to literally die for your wives and submit to your husbands spiritual leadership.

Dating is only practice for divorce if being single is inherently bad but Biblically marriage is a worldly matter, and aren’t we called to not be like the world? 1 Corinthians 7: 32-34 says, “[t]he unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.

Jesus, whom we as Christians are called to imitate, never married and was perfect; no mention of marriage is made of the 12 disciples, Paul, or even women close to Jesus like Mary Magdalene and Martha. So if we are to literally take the Bible for what it says, singleness is what God prefers. Furthermore, there’s neither male nor female in Christ; we won’t be married in Heaven either, rather we’re all the bride of Christ. The church has adopted an attitude about marriage that seems to be at odds with the Bible entirely, so much so that those who aren’t married by a certain age feel left out even though these are precisely the folks God used in the early days to spread the gospel.

The church also seems to have lost the initial reason why God didn’t like divorce, which was to protect women from being ditched once they aged. Marriage is a reflection of God’s relationship with us, therefore it should actually be that and not some miserable, Transformed Wife Handmaids Tale affair because that’s literally not what our relationship with God is suppose to be like.

Malachi 2:16 extrapolates why God hates divorce by saying, “[f]or the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence.” (ESV). Jesus permitted divorce under certain circumstances. Not saying God wants us to divorce, but what He hates are men who are cruel to their wives and unfaithful, resulting in divorce. This also illuminates why Jesus warned against divorce but didn’t forbid it, because it was a sin against the wife, and why Proverbs entreats men to “rejoice” in the wives of their youth (i.e. don’t go out and cheat). That context seems to have been intentionally lost too, particularly among fundamentalists who act like being divorced is the worst of sins.

Lastly, divorce rates are not the highest they’ve ever been. A simple Google search will reveal divorce rates are declining (albeit the reasons why aren’t necessarily good…) That said, an attitude like Todd’s will no doubt cause them to increase.

Proverbs 19:2 says, “[d]esire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” Biblically if you’re desiring marriage there’s a basis to get to know someone first and not marry hastily, or to date. Dating is simply getting to know someone; if you choose to have sex and go all out prior to marriage, that doesn’t mean dating is flawed, it means you lack self-control.

I can’t speak for anything else this dude preaches as I don’t listen to him regularly and his sermons mostly seem fine, but this is assuredly Biblical wokeness. Christianese that sounds good but when you pause to think about it, is actually quite silly. The decision to date, or not, is a personal one and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get to know someone on a deeper, more intimate level before committing for life. That’s not practicing divorce, that’s being wise. Yeah, some people call it “intentional” dating or whatever but if I put cat ears on a dog, it’s still a dog.

Most Christians desire to get married, which is great. He who finds a wife, finds a good thing, amirite? But particularly as women, we ought to be careful before tying the knot with a man to ensure we know him well, he aligns with our morals, respects our boundaries, shares our hobbies, and has similar goals. Plenty of men can talk a good Christian talk, which is why it’s important to take the time to really see who they are. Same goes for my Christian bros – plenty of ladies can play the game, so make sure you’re with someone you’re compatible with and who treats you with respect before putting a ring on it.

If the goal is marriage, one shouldn’t waste time with someone they don’t plan to lock down. But if you get to know someone and all you see are dolla signs red flags, it’s not “giving up when things get hard” to cut things off but being prudent. Even scripture tells us it’s best to stay away from certain people (Proverbs 13:20, Matthew 15:14 Romans 16:17, 1 Timothy 3:1-5). And honestly, often we realize after dating for a bit we’re not as compatible as initially thought.

Let’s not be the sort of folks whom, in an attempt to not sound like the world, end up saying things that are just inane. Instead, read your Bible and stop relying on others to teach you what you can learn yourself. Date if you want to. Or not. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

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