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Spiritual growth in unmarried relationships

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jeremy Seth, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Jeremy Seth

    Jeremy Seth Member

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    Some say that "dating" young couples should not engage in bible studies together. The common metaphor is similar to this triangle (substituting the terms husband and wife), saying that spiritual growth is to happen separately so an inappropriate reliance isn't formed on one another. The studying of scripture together is said to create an intimate environment.
    It seems to me that intimate passages can easily be avoided.

    I'm skeptical of the teaching if left here. The goal of relationships pre-marriage is to test candidacy for marriage, and what more central practice of the christian life is there than reading scripture?

    I suggested to my girl that we could make a practice of memorizing scripture together, and she was hesitant for this reason. Is this wise?

    Thanks
     

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  2. Don

    Don Well-Known Member
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    Just my two cents - but I'm currently looking at my church for exactly the opposite reason. Seems like all the study groups and activities primarily separate families (youth goes off for their own service on Sunday and Wednesday evenings; and are encouraged to sit together (away from their families) on Sunday mornings; men meet separately from ladies' group on Wednesday evening; seems like only the "old codgers" do bible study together).

    I've seen the triangle you included before; but most decidedly NOT as "spiritual growth is to happen separately." For example, "Weekend to Remember" seminars encourage husbands and wives to study things together, based on this same triangle.

    I personally think the triangle is upside down; and more correctly, that it shouldn't be a triangle at all. What I mean by that is, God should be the foundation upon which the relationship is built. "The house on a rock, vs. the house on sinking sand," for example. The husband and wife are the support beams throughout the structure that all other things rely on; or, to put it another way, each house has load-bearing walls and beams. The structure relies on the integration with other structural support to ensure the house remains upright; but all the structural support relies on the foundation.
     
  3. blessedwife318

    blessedwife318 Well-Known Member
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    When my husband and I were dating, we both studied scripture and memorized it together. Of course for us making sure we were on the same page before getting married was very important. We met online, and for the first half a dozen emails he sent me questions about my various doctrinal stances to make sure we would be evenly yoked. This helped lay a very solid foundation that we have since built on. I like what Don said about God needing to be the foundation, although I get that the triangle is more trying to show that the closer each couple is to God, the closer they will be with each other so I don't think those two ideas are mutually exclusive to each other.
    Now I will agree there are some practices that can be much more intimate than others, but that is where basic common sense and boundaries come in.
     
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  4. David Crosby

    David Crosby Member

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    Just 2¢ more as it's true that in Him all things consist (Col 1:17). And I think that goes for our relationships too…with the fact that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28) as one in Christ Jesus.
     
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  5. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    I'm a bit of an old coot (married almost 40 years) but think that the earlier you make a habit of studying togehter the better.
    If you haven't done it prior to marriage you probably won't do it when you're married.

    On the other hand...

    It might lead to other things not so wholsome... so watch your steps carefully.
    Set limits on the times you spend, tending away from late hours.
    Make sure you keep doors open or study in places where others can observe.

    Just be careful, don't set yourself up for a possible failure.

    Rob
     
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  6. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
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    I think this is good advice. I wish I had started this when I was dating my then-future wife. As it stands now, we don't study together. We do study separately, but we got into a poor habit this way.
     
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  7. David Crosby

    David Crosby Member

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    With old cootness must come wisdom.
     
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  8. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U Active Member
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    Very true. My first wife and I did very little Bible reading / study together before we got married and very little after we were married. Before my second marriage, my future wife and I spent a great deal of time studying the Word together. Now I'm not saying the lack of study prior to my first marriage was a major factor in its downfall in just 2 1/2 years, but I'm certain it played a part. My second marriage was much deeper spiritually and was still going strong after 10 1/2 years at the time of my second wife's passing.

    Haven't really dated since then, nor have I even remotely considered marriage yet again, but if I ever do date anyone seriously again, I definitely want Bible study / reading to be a huge part of our time together.
     
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