Our Core Beliefs about Sex, Dating, Relationships & Marriage
But in today’s culture, spirituality has come to mean almost anything, while marriage has come to mean almost nothing. As for dating wisely, wisdom often seems incompatible with the pursuit of romance.
So on this page we want to be crystal clear about the foundation of all our teaching, which we draw from these three sources in this order:
- God’s word
- Reason & Logic
- Research & Science
With that understanding, we want to share our core beliefs on our primary topics:
But first, here are the five commitments to God’s word which guided the drafting of all our core beliefs.
Commitments to God’s Word
- We will stand on the truth of God’s word as best we understand it, even when we don’t understand it. For how else can anyone stand on any truth at all?
- We will establish our understanding of God’s word on the study of the plain written text read in context.
- We will allow 2,000 years of church teaching to inform our limited perspective on confusing texts.
- We will place our confidence not in our own understanding, but in the understanding of God’s Spirit which reveals His word to His church, both to the writers as well as the readers.
- We will look to God’s word as our trustworthy and authoritative instruction for discerning God’s will in all matters, including endeavors not specifically addressed in scripture (like dating, internet pornography, sex reassignment surgery, or gender dysphoria).
If you agree with this approach to scripture, then we think you’re going to love our core beliefs. In fact, we find them inspiring!
Here they are by category.
Our Core Beliefs about Sex
- We believe we are embodied souls, made in the image of a God who is spirit, making our identity as physical/sexual beings subordinate to our spiritual identity. (Gen 1:26-27, Psalm 100:3, John 4:23-24, 2 Cor 3:17, Zech 12:1, Is 26:9, Gal 5:16-17)
- We believe sex is a holy gift created by, blessed by, and commanded by God to embody, nurture, and celebrate the sacred oneness of the marital union, and if God allows, to create fellow image-bearers. (Gen 1:28, Gen 2:23-25, Prov 5:15-18, Mal 2:15, Matt 19:4-6, Mark 10:7-9)
- Therefore, we believe everyone – both married and unmarried – are commanded to reserve sexual expression for marriage alone, as honored in scripture as a life-long covenant between one man and one woman. (Heb 13:4, Gen 2:23-25, Matt 19:4-6, Mark 10:7-9, Lev 18:6-23 Rom 1:16-28, 1 Cor 6:9-11, 1 Tim 1:8-11)
- However, we believe, due to sin, no one’s natural sexual desires should be trusted outside of God’s will. (Jer 17:9, Romans 8:5-8)
- Further, we believe, if never confessed and repented of, sin leads to death, including sexual sin. (1 Thes 4:3-8, Col 3:1-6)
- However, we believe we should never condemn anyone for their sexual past, especially when so many have been deceived and even victimized in our hyper-sexualized culture. (John 8:3-11, Rom 5:11-21, Rom 8:1-4)
- Therefore, we believe we should promote, pursue and protect sexual purity, with fervent zeal for the wholeness of the individual, the holiness of the church, and the health of society. (1 Cor 6:18-20, 1 Pet 1:14-16, Rom 13:12-14, 1 Cor 5, 1 Cor 10:6-8, Matt 5:13-16)
- We believe this is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem every part of our lives, granting us the power and authority to overcome our sexual past and master our sexual desires. (Rom 3:31, Rom 6:1-23, 1 Cor 6:9-12, 2 Pet 1:2-9)
- Finally, we believe enjoying sex inside marriage brings as much honor and pleasure to our Creator as abstaining from sex outside of marriage. (Song of Solomon, Prov 5:18-21, Matt 1:24-25, 1 Cor 7:1-5)
Here is the post where we first introduced our core beliefs about sex. Then to discover our most popular posts and videos on the subject, check out any of these Hot Topic Resource pages:
Our Core Beliefs about Dating
- We believe God’s will in dating is discerned the same way His will is discerned in every area of life, not by following our feelings, but by searching His word, seeking Him in prayer, and submitting to the wise counsel of mature believers. (Jer 17:9, 2 Tim 3:14-17, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Prov 11:14, Luke 14:31-32)
- We believe the goal of dating should be marriage, not merely enjoying romantic attachment, because, though celebrated in God’s word, romantic love is only encouraged in the pursuit of marriage. (Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4)
- Therefore, we believe Christ-followers should only date Christ-followers, because both the Old and New Testament forbid those who follow God from marrying those who do not. (1 Kings 11:1-10, Nehemiah 13:23-27, 2 Cor 6:14-18)
- We believe the purpose of dating is simply getting to know each person you date well enough to determine whether a particular relationship should lead to marriage, a process requiring a considerable investment of time, because true love is first and foremost patient and vows should never be spoken rashly. (Proverbs 20:25, Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, 1 Cor 13:4)
- Therefore, we believe one should first grow in both the understanding of what marriage demands and the maturity necessary to meet those demands before dating, because the demands of marriage are great and the covenant of marriage for life. (Matthew 19:6-8, Mark 10:4-9, Luke 14:28-30, 1 Corinthians 7:28, 32-35)
Here is the post where we first introduced our core beliefs about dating. Then to discover our most popular posts and videos on the subject, check out our Hot Topic Resource page designed to lead you to succeed in dating.
- We believe we were made in the image of a God who has eternally delighted in a relationship between three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. (Genesis 1:1-2, John 1:1-3, 14:26, 15:26, 17:1-11)
- Therefore, we believe we were created to delight in relationships as well, first with God and then with those He sovereignly places in our lives. (Mark 12:30-31)
- We believe that to be deeply loved, we must be deeply known, which is why only God can love us perfectly, for only He knows us completely. (Psalm 139:1-6)
- Therefore, we believe the purpose of love is to call us up to the maturity necessary to grow in relational intimacy where we can know and be known by those most important to us. (John 17:3, 1 Cor 13:11-12)
- However, we believe, due to sin, we learn to fear the intimacy for which we were made, and instead establish disordered relational patterns which are difficult to change later in life. (Genesis 3:6-10, Psalm 51:3-5, 1 John 4:16-19)
- Therefore, we believe the family and the church should begin relational training early in a child’s life. (Prov 22:6)
- Finally, we believe this training should reorder our desires to seek God first, and then prioritize relationships with family, mentors, and friends before seeking romance. (Exodus 20:3, 12, Deuteronomy 5:7-16, Ephesians 6:1-3, Proverbs 24:3-6, Prov 17:17, 18:24, 27:5-6)
Here is the post where we first introduced our core beliefs about relationships. Then to discover our most popular posts and videos on the subject, check out any of these Hot Topic Resource pages:
- We believe the marital union of one man and one woman showcases the equal worth and unique nature of both male and female, made in God’s image. (Gen 2:19-24, Matt 19:4-5, Mark 10:6-8, 1 Cor 11:11-12)
- We believe marriage was designed to illustrate the supernatural relationships of both God the Father with Christ, and Christ the Son with His church, helping us grasp the eternal, sacrificial nature of God’s love. Indeed, this is the Biblical meaning of marriage. (1 Cor 11:2-3, Eph 5:22-33).
- We believe marriage has been the foundation of every stable society across time and culture, because it was designed to meet our deep need for relational intimacy, and in doing so, create the optimum environment to raise up future generations to marry and do the same. Indeed, this is the Biblical purpose of marriage. (Gen 2:18, 23-25, Gen 1:27-28, Mal 2:15, Jer 7:34, 16:9, 25:10, 33:10-11)
- Due to the significance of its meaning and purpose, we believe marriage should be prepared for, pursued, and celebrated as an awesome calling of mutual surrender to a fellow image-bearer until death. (Song of Solomon, Matt 19:5-6, Mark 10:6-9)
- However, we believe due to sin, marriage is often entered into and discarded for more self-serving and pragmatic ends, obscuring its meaning, purpose, and significance. (Mal 2:13-16, Matt 19:3, 7-8, Mark 10:2-5)
- Therefore, we believe the church should lead the way in teaching students and young adults about marriage before they begin dating. (Prov 22:6, Luke 14:27-30)
- Finally, we believe that as marriage thrives within the church, so will the health and witness of the church. (1 Cor 6:3-8, Matt 5:13-16)
Here is the post where we first introduced our core beliefs about marriage. Then if you want to get serious about preparing yourself or others for marriage, check out our Beyond Sex & Salvation discipleship curriculum.