Next Global Online Service












Next Global Online Service

On Air

How a Godly Man Dates a Woman

We talk a lot about biblical marriage, dating, and relationships here at Mars Hill. Here’s an interview with one Ballard member about his experience living that out.

In order to avoid the nasty divorce they watched their parents go through in the ‘70s and ’80s when divorce rates peaked, many couples today are deciding to live together, have kids, and maybe at some point down the road – if they really feel the need, say, for insurance or something – they go ahead and get married … maybe. Most of us know a couple or family who fit this profile. But it’s a trend that Christian couples can’t join in on.

This leaves dating, which, to be honest, is a dying trend these days, but one Christian couples are doing their best to pursue. Today, we’ll talk with Andy, a 21-year-old college student at the Ballard campus, about what it means to date a woman within the context of a Christian relationship, i.e. one when you’re not living together or sleeping together. In Christian parlance, he is in what he refers to as a “”“>courting” relationship with his girlfriend, Naomi, also a 21-year-old student.

How is your relationship with Naomi different than your friends’ relationships?

Let me lay a foundation here—there are selfish reasons to date and God-honoring reasons to date. This [unmarried, cohabitating couple I know at work] is in a self-serving relationship: all the benefits, but none of the commitments and responsibilities of being in a marriage.

For me and Naomi, we are wanting a relationship that is honoring to Christ. What it looks like practically, for instance, is our level of expression of affection, emotionally and physically, corresponds to our level of commitment: you don’t have sex before marriage for instance. Also emotional boundaries: I can’t be the one who she attaches herself to; she has to protect her heart because [the relationship] might not end in marriage.

Read the rest of the interview – and watch a 2008 sermon on dating that includes a full-grown man inside a plastic bubble – after the jump:

So for our relationship, it means getting to know each other in groups, at her parents’ house, at my parents’ house. We get to know each other’s friends. This Thursday I’m meeting her dad in Centralia and we get to sit down and chat.

I guess it should also be said that our case is ideal in that we’re 1. we’re both Christians, and 2. we both come from Christian families. So, her dad’s input – because he loves God and he loves his daughter and wants her best – is something I value.

If you do get married, how do you think this plan might impact your kids, your family, your legacy?

The first thing that comes to mind is—right now, what we’re doing, we’re trying to be as wise and as intentional as we can, knowing that we’re laying the foundation for a potential marriage. Step by step in prayer, seeking counsel from our parents, people we look up to—trusting that that will lay a solid foundation—a good foundation…and as far as our kids go—I definitely hope to be able to say to my kids, "Here’s how I did things, you might be able to learn from this—not saying that it’s going to be perfect, but, uh, but I want to be able to point to this as an example as a godly dating—courting—relationship.

What’s the difference between dating and courting?

Dating is usually about meeting a selfish need: I feel lonely, so I’m going to date. Courting is about intentionally building a foundation for a marriage. It’s not just about not feeling lonely anymore; it’s about, “C an we work well together in a Christian marriage?”

Want more? Check out Pastor Mark’s Date Night Tips here on the blog, or under the #d8nite tag on Twitter.

Andy was interviewed by Jean, of the Shoreline campus. Volunteers Kristin and Kim, both of the Ballard campus, contributed the photo and graphics, respectively.

Manhood is one thing. Biblical manhood is another. We’ve been taking a long look at this over these last few weeks on the blog. Check out more teaching from pastors on biblical manhood and more stories of guys working to figure out what it means to be a man in Christ. Stay tuned in coming weeks as we shift to biblical womanhood.

It's All About Jesus

Jesus was a man who claimed to be God. Think on that for a minute. If that were true, how would it change the way you thought, felt, and lived this life?

At Mars Hill, we believe that Jesus is God. We take him at his word. Because of this, everything we do is all about Jesus. We invite you to learn more about this man who is God and how you can find forgiveness and new life in him.

Learn More Stories

Making Disciples

God reveals himself through us to others. Our priority is to make disciples who love God and love others well.

Learn More

Planting Churches

God works through his church to make disciples. Our commitment is to plant churches that love God and love others.

Learn More

What to Expect

Visiting a church for the first time can be nerve-racking. But having an idea of what to expect can help. There are three main parts to every Sunday service: preaching, worship, and kids. To learn more about each of these, click the links below.

The Mars Hill Guide Leadership at Mars Hill

We value community

Church is more than a service. It’s people living life together and helping one another throughout our cities to serve our cities. Each week, thousands of people at Mars Hill meet in hundreds of small communities to learn about God, pray, eat, laugh, and live. We call these Community Groups—and they’re the heart of our church.

Learn More About Community  Log In to The City

Teaching & Training

We provide a number of resources to help you grow as a disciple of Jesus. You’ll find videos on a number of topics and from various conferences. The Mars Hill Blog connects you to life around the church and personal growth. And Resurgence is a blog dedicated to helping you grow as a leader at home, work, and church.

Mars Hill Music

Mars Hill musicians write fresh music and rearrange timeless hymns for our worship services and recording. Explore Mars Hill Music.

Cheerful givers wanted

Jesus is the most generous person who ever lived. He gave his life so that we might live. As Christians, we give our time, talent, and money joyfully in response to Jesus’ generosity and to help more people meet Jesus.

Give Money Give Time

My Library beta

You can now save your favorite sermons, blog posts and Mars Hill content in one place!

To use My Library, you'll need to sign in or create an account.

Sign in / Sign up

My Notes

Did you know you can take notes while you stream our services on Sundays? You can view your notes at any time, and share them with anyone you choose.

To use My Notes, you'll need to sign in or create an account.

Sign in / Sign up