Recent months and years have also seen a more robust discussion about whether the Bible really has anything practical or specific to teach us about dating.So I thought it might be helpful to mark the (nearly) 10-year anniversary of the Biblical Dating series by asking again, The answer in a literal sense, of course, is "nothing." Not only do the words "dating" and "courtship" fail to appear in Scripture, but the Bible never depicts the sociological phenomenon of an unmarried man and woman meeting, deciding on their own to become romantically involved, and pursuing a relationship from the stages of acquaintance through marriage.The orthodox, uncontroversial interpretation of this language is that it instructs men and women not to relate in ways that arouse or encourage sexual desire or a high, unique level of intimacy until it is appropriate (i.e., within the context of marriage illustrated in the book).Similarly, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 warns us that we are to abstain from sexual immorality and to use our bodies in holiness and honor rather than lust, and that we should not "transgress or wrong" one another in these matters.
This includes relationships with boyfriends or girlfriends.
To borrow a favorite phrase of the apostle Paul, by no means!
The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture holds that the Bible guides and instructs us authoritatively in all areas of our faith and life, and that there is no area of life about which the Bible has no guidance for us.
Second Timothy -17 teaches us that "[a]ll Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." That teaching, reproof and correction may be only at the level of broad principles in some areas of life (like dating), but it will be there nonetheless.
How can we search Scripture on a topic that may be only indirectly addressed in the Bible (or evaluate what someone else has written on such a topic) without either being overly dismissive on the one hand or inappropriately "proof-texting" on the other?