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If you're reading this, you're interested in dating. In our society, dating has become something of an obsession. It's just something you do if you're single and of age (and that age is quickly dropping) in America. Granted, not all of these people are evangelicals, but we're not doing so well either.

You've done it, you're doing it, you'd like to do it, or you need to teach somebody else how to do it. It is considered the natural precursor to marriage, and is generally considered something to be desired, whatever form it might take. If you were to Google the word "matchmaker," you would receive something in the neighborhood of 19,500,000 responses — with a few of these outfits claiming to be Christian, but most making no such claim. As evangelical Christians, we're called to be distinct in the ways we think and act about all issues that confront us and those around us. Indeed, the central issue we need to confront — and the reason I write and speak on this topic — is that when it comes to dating and relationships, perhaps more than in any other area of the everyday Christian life, the church is largely indistinguishable from the world.

It is brand new, and yet, seemingly, it is all we know.

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Biblical dating tends to encourage time spent in group activities or with other people the couple knows well.

How can Christians think differently about this pervasive issue in media and culture? The answer to that last question is "not well." Surveys consistently indicate that professing Christians behave almost exactly like non-Christians in terms of sexual involvement outside of marriage (in both percentage of people involved and how deeply involved they are — how far they're going), living together before marriage, and infidelity and divorce after marriage.

That truth has brought immeasurable emotional pain and other consequences to many Christians.

In fact, it advocates "playing the field" to determine "what one wants" in a mate.

Biblical dating has as its goal to be emotionally and physically intimate with only one member of the opposite sex — your spouse.

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