So then, what is the point of “dating”, which I will redefine as pursuit? The only reason to be in a “dating relationship” is for the purpose of marriage. Any other reason is sin. Our culture is fond of throwing couples together in mock marriages (AKA dating relationships) to experience the benefits of marriage without experiencing the work of marriage; and, in the end, says the Gospel doesn’t really matter. Couples come together and guys sacrifice emotionally to gain physical oneness (PDA); whereas, girls sacrifice physically to experience emotional oneness (fulfilling romantic fantasies).[1] What is nearly always neglected is the Biblical spiritual oneness.

Douglas Wilson defines Biblical masculinity as “the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility” and Biblical femininity as “the glad acceptance of man’s responsibility”.[2] As previously established dating is irrelevant in Christianity and unbiblical and can only be motivated by sin. Therefore, Biblical “dating” is pursuit: one man pursues one woman for the purpose of marriage. This is the earthly picture of Christ pursuing the Church.

Now, this would put a lot of pressure on the man. How should he decide? Why should he decide? Before going any further into these questions, it must be established that being single is okay. A stigma has been created against Christian singles that is not Biblical (especially at the Christian college I attend). Paul establishes in 1 Corinthians 7:6, 7 that singleness is a gift. Christians have eisegetically established that Paul is only referring to permanent singleness, but that is not the case.[3] This is a gift for those who are single not just for those who will be single forever.

So, how should a man decide on pursuing a woman? Ideas previously presented to me have been to be in God’s individual will or to be in God’s moral will. To be in God’s individual will suggests “knowing the unknowable” and cannot be done. I would argue who you marry is God’s will.[4] 1 Corinthians 7:9 was opined to me to be under God’s moral will to get married. “Well, Jake, I can’t control my sexual desires, so to be Biblical I have to get married.” This usually incorrectly assumes (1) one will be able to control his sexual desires after marriage and (2) the Bible contains no other reason for marriage.

If a man thinks his addiction to pornography and other sexual sins just cease after marriage, he is a fool. If a woman thinks her addiction to romance media and idolizing fictional men will cease after marriage, she is a fool. Marriage is not some automatic blocking system to sexual sins and desires outside of marriage, but, in some cases, can fuel them further. The only thing that can stop sexual sin is the Gospel in sanctification through the power of the Holy Spirit[5].

I am not engaged to my fiancé to stop my sexual sins and desires. We are getting married to display the Gospel. We are getting married because we can glorify God better together than apart. We are getting married because we can become more holy and acceptable to God together than apart.[6] How can a man know who to pursue? This question goes to the chief end of man: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.[7] A man knows who to pursue because he can glorify God and enjoy Him forever better with her than apart from her.

[1] This is the usual case; however, this is not absolute in nature. Guys still desire some emotional oneness just girls also desire physical.

[2] Douglas Wilson, Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012),

[3] For proper hermeneutics on the topic see David Platt’s sermon, The Gospel and Singleness

[4] Whole long books have been written on this topic. For further discussion on God’s individual will I suggestJust Do Something by Kevin DeYoung

[5] Among other spiritual disciplines and accountability.

[6] This comes through a process of calling out with a mixture of truth and love. See, Timothy with Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: [facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God] (New York: Dutton Adult, 2011),

[7] Westminster Shorter Chatechism 1 Corinthians 10:31 Psalm 73:24-26 John 17:22, 24