He leads us primarily by His Word, and we are to look there first and primarily for guidance about how to live and make decisions. God does not ever "call" or "lead" His people into sin, or even into folly or biblically responsible choices. Choice one is to get married anyway and work your way through. When two people are dating — especially when it's going well and two people are really into one another — the desire to spend more and more time together, to know each other better and better, to confide in each other more and more often and exclusively, is overwhelming.

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PART 6: Growing in Intimacy » In matters of dating or courtship, I generally recommend that people either get married or break up within a year or so of beginning a dating relationship.

I also believe that this recommendation applies with equal force to single men and women in college.

Sadly, statistics and anecdotal experience both indicate that even the couples who spend time in dating relationships of any length, sin physically.

The longer the relationship, the higher the percentage.

If our goal is to move positively toward God-glorifying lives (rather than simply to "walk the line" by attempting to satisfy our fleshly desires as much as possible without sinning), wisdom and godliness would seem to counsel keeping relationships shorter.

Certainly, as God's people, we don't want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it's not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.

I've arrived at this conclusion by thinking through a number of biblical principles.

One of our bedrock governing principles in biblical dating — and in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ generally — is not to "defraud" our single brothers and sisters by implying a greater level of commitment between us and them than actually exists (see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).

Over time, maybe you take some of the same classes, live near one another, etc.

In that context, living with the desires I've just described, how likely do you think it is that over the course of two or three or four years — some couples date over most of their college years — you will be able to maintain enough emotional discipline and distance to avoid acting emotionally and relationally "married"?

In the meantime, the "we're already committed" rationalization tends to make couples feel free to act in all sorts of ways they didn't before, and every argument I've made in this series applies ), but that doesn't mean that anyone who uses that language is automatically correct.