Have you ever heard it said that you shouldn’t go to church looking for a spouse? I have. In fact I have probably said it at some point along the way. To say the least, I know longer agree with the logic of this thinking. When someone says this they are usually doing so from a noble desire. Usually one person is discouraging another person from attending church with motives other than the worship of God. When it comes to that sentiment I wholeheartedly agree. However, there is another sentiment in play in the hearts and minds of many Christians like I would like to address in the remainder of this post!
The issue that I would like to address is the issue of discontinuity in our Christian thinking. Like I mentioned above, many times one Christian will say to another that people shouldn’t go to church to look for a spouse. The problem is that this kind of thinking is disjointed. The Bible places many assumptions around the process of marriage that we often ignore in our modern individual context. While it doesn’t teach “arranged marriages” the Bible assumes that two individuals coming together in the covenant of marriage is a process that centers around both the family and the church.
Our culture has become so individualized that there are even “Christian” 0nline dating sites; this stands against every thing the Bible teaches about familial and community involvement in the lives of those who are about to be married and those who already are. The Bible assumes that the fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, pastors, and friends will be involved in the process of bringing two individuals into holy matrimony.
The reason why so many people get frustrated when they ask their pastor or consult a book about “What the Bible Says About Dating” is because the Bible assumes a lot of things about Christians that aren’t true of many Christians today. The Biblical ideal of courtship seems so impossible in today’s society because the Biblical ideal of courtship assumes certain things are in place that are often shattered in today’s society.
In our society it is assumed (almost universally) that two individuals who want to marry will (and should) meet of their own accord. Biblically speaking, these two individuals will cross paths in the context of a community where both families are involved. This assumes that both individuals are a part of an intact nuclear family which isn’t often the case in our day and age.
What young Christians, like myself, need to be taught is that the Biblical ideal of courtship is not available to us because the Biblical ideals for society have been abandoned in our culture. This has created destruction and discontinuity everywhere and it is reeking havoc in the church and in the family. Young Christians need to be taught that if they want to get married they have a lot of hard work ahead of them because they do not have the luxury of the Biblical ideals of courtship already laid out in the society they inhabit. Instead, they are given the opportunity to start afresh and begin the process of laying the groundwork of a Christian society so that their children and their children’s children can reap the benefits of biblical courtship in a Christian society.
This is why right now young Christians definitely should go looking for their future spouses in church!
Food for thought!