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But for most, the issue of dating involves "romantic attraction and desire." Therefore "dating" must be approached by what the Scripture says regarding romantic desire and marriage, the only relationship in which romantic desire is to be fully expressed. If "dating" is defined as two single friends of the opposite sex doing things together for fun without any attraction or romantic desire or intimacy involved at all, there is no issue to discuss regarding dating. The Bible describes and gives directions concerning friendship.Basically, the question seems to be how exactly single Christians should relate to members of the opposite sex in that large and awkward zone between "we've never met" and a deliberate dating or courting relationship. I won't repeat the full history lesson here, as several Boundless authors have already discussed it (Joshua Rogers most recently, in his excellent piece "Your Friendgirl Deserves Better").Essentially, the historical reality is that until 30 or 40 years ago, long, intimate friendships between men and women in which each served as the other's emotional confidante, relationship adviser and "best buddy" were far less common than they are today.Most often, love is confused with infatuation - that elated, "high" feeling we get when we "fall in love." This kind of "love" is something that lasts typically a short time and, unless replaced by true love, results in broken relationships.The Bible covers two types of love: agape and phileo. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love best demonstrated by the gift in John .
More specifically, verse 10 reminds us that "[l]ove does no harm to its neighbor." Romans 14:1-15:7 offers a discourse on favoring weaker brothers and sisters above ourselves, valuing and encouraging that which is good in the souls of others.However, the Bible does describe three kinds of relationships with the opposite sex and gives certain characteristics of each relationship (there are others such as parent/child and sibling, but they don't clarify the issues of dating).One kind of relationship the Bible describes is friendship.Before continuing with this article, please review the preamble included at the beginning of part 1 of this series, "Biblical Dating: How It's Different From Modern Dating." * * * PART 2: Men Initiate, Women Respond » One of the big questions hovering around the topic of courtship and dating is the role of friendship.How intimate of a friendship with someone of the opposite sex is OK? Won't the friendship be ruined if one of us expresses romantic interest and the other doesn't respond favorably?