Many Singles wonder how far they can go before it becomes a sin. Or what compromises they can allow themselves in their dating life before displeasing God. Unfortunately, this is not the right question to ask!
We want to do God’s will, but why? Sometimes, without realizing it, we hope that by following divine rules we will obtain favors from God. A bit like it happened when we were children: if we were obedient, our parents would give us gifts; if we got good grades in school, we got a reward. Likewise, we follow religious rules believing that this will give us the right to demand our desires from God.
But when we think this way, we also try to do as little as possible to get what we want. We don’t really want to sacrifice our flesh. We want to do enough good works to get our wages. We try to do only the minimum; we only want to have a passing grade. And that’s where questions like “How far can I go with my girlfriend without it being a sin?” comes from.
When God introduced a long list of laws in the Old Testament, it was so that His people would be distinct from other nations. “Other people do this, but you’re different, you do that.” God’s goal was not to create robots, which obey without thinking, without love. He wanted these rules to remind us of our difference, to remind us of who we belong to. God has always preferred a personal relationship with His people to a religion. This is exactly what Jesus came to remind us when He came to Earth. He, for example, demonstrated to the Pharisees that following the law to the letter, but without loving our neighbor or taking care of our fellow men, is not what God desires (Matthew 12 or 15). Following the spirit of the law is more important than following the law to the letter.
We shouldn’t just follow religious rules; we should be in love with God, and only then will we do what God asks. Instead of saying: “What should a Christian refrain from doing in a romantic relationship?”, we should ask ourselves: “What type of romantic relationship does God want for me?”. Instead of saying: “Must I choose a partner of the same faith as me?”, let’s start thinking about what our marriage will look like if we are both of the same faith. We need to sit next to God, in the Spirit, and imagine our future relationship with Him. When we stick to the heart of God, our view of the world is very different.
Instead of arguing for hours about the definition of the word “fornication” in the Bible, and trying to find a gray area that allows us to follow our sexual urges. We should look into our Heavenly Father’s loving eyes, and reflect on how He imagines us on our wedding day. Do we have the right to kiss before marriage? How long should we be engaged? Should we reserve sex for marriage? Is divorce allowed? All these questions are not the right ones. Rather, we should ask ourselves: What does God want for my relationships? For my future family? For society in general?
Instead of foolishly following a law, let’s focus on knowing the spirit of the law. What did God want when He prescribed this or that? After if we fail to know the why we can let our love for God (and His love for us) show us what to do under all circumstances. God wants us to live our lives knowing that it is not our own, but that our life is in the hands of a good Father who desires the best for us.