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” The vision of marriage we see in God’s word — the beautiful, radical display of God’s infinite, persevering love for sinners — makes it worth it to date, and date well.

Once there was a good Christian girl who dreamed of growing up, getting married, and having children.

She committed herself to sexual purity, to high standards, and to waiting for the good Christian man that God was going to bring her.

We count our success by the enormous number of connections, relationships, marriages, and children we’ve helped to create.

If fullness of life could be found in sexual stimulation, or if it was just a matter of making babies, the “forget formality and just have sex” approach might temporarily satisfy cravings and cause enough conception.

But God had much more in mind with romance than orgasms or even procreation, and so should we. When people in the world are expecting less and less of each other in dating, God isn’t.

Some of the popular Christian books were talking about not dating at all, and just being friends, until God had made it clear that the guy she liked was the right one for her.

Her Sunday school teachers taught from a very popular book about how dating was unbiblical, and how a truly righteous young Christian man would initiate a courtship with marriage as the goal, working in tandem with the girl's father and the pastor and others in the church body.

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