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Friday, February 24, 2012

Peer Relationships: Opposite Gender, Biblical Reflections for Today

     The Bible does not, specifically, detail how a single man should treat a single woman, though we could just lump that in the blanket category of the Family of Christ and know that God does have some expectations of how we treat our brothers and sisters. Jesus does not make a distinction between us; to Him, we are all equal.

Galatians 3:26-28: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

     How should we behave towards one another? Paul answers that question just a bit farther in the Bible.

Colossians 3:12-15: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

     These are “gender neutral” admonitions, applying to all of us. Okay, I get it that we should show compassion and freely forgive our brothers and sisters, but is there anything else the Scriptures say about that one special relationship with a potential mate?

     You mean “dating” and how does God expect you to treat the lady?

     Well, dating is a cultural thing that not every people group practices but I think it is safe to say that God’s instructions for the “husband and wife” should apply, even if the relationship does not end in a commitment of marriage. If you cannot follow those instructions when you are dating one another, how will you obey the Lord’s instructions when you are already married? It would be better to practice them from the very beginning.

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