The main points are biblical principles and the subpoints are personal applications based on my own experience and on counsel from others.
Maintain Sexual Purity before and during marriage. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 13:4 – A person should have sexual relations only with his or her spouse.
Do not sexually excite anyone before marriage and only your spouse after marriage.
Provocative conversations, letters, emails, texts, internet chat, etc.
Immodest or Suggestive Clothing
Do not seek sexual excitement for yourself before marriage and only from your spouse after marriage.
No pornography – neither Visual nor Aural (Romance novels, explicit music, etc.)
Do not enter circumstances that tend toward sexual temptation.
No single dating, especially for immature teens. Time in isolation is not necessary for good relationships, especially for those not ready for marriage.
No late nights or lights out, even with company
Avoid unplanned time. Don’t just “hang out”. – “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.”
Alone in a vehicle often spells trouble. Drive and stay in groups.
Get busy doing good things (religious activities, service opportunities, etc.) to avoid getting busy with bad things.
Maintain Spiritual Purity before and during marriage. 1 Kings 11:4; 21:25; Proverbs 13:20; 20:19; 22:24; 24:21; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:14 – A believer must only marry another believer.
Do not date non-Christians because dating is for the purpose of marriage.
Date only faithful followers of Jesus Christ. – You will become like the person you marry.
Avoid future conflict by dating and marrying a person of very similar doctrinal and practical convictions.
Marital Intimacy includes more than just sexual intercourse. Genesis 2:24-25; Proverbs 4:23 – Marriage is the union of two into one. That intimate union should only exist within marriage.
Avoid exclusive dating relationships until you are ready to be engaged.
Maintain your privacy. Physical intimacy must be saved for marriage, but you should protect your emotional intimacy also. Intimacy comes with commitment and trust. Be honest but guarded.
Keep a barrier of modesty and propriety. Modesty is the mystery of romance and the veil of the heart. Don’t give yourself away before marriage. Save something to give to your spouse at your wedding. Be honest! Don’t deceive someone into loving something that you are not. Display your character honestly, but save more than just your body for your spouse.
Communicate your expectations of privacy and modesty to your date. You can harm your friend greatly by your silence. Be fair to them. Don’t lead them to expect more from you than you are willing or able to give. If you have little or no long-term hope for the relationship, communicate that to your friend so he or she does not assume anything more.
Marriage is the normal adult situation for men and women. Genesis 2:18; Proverbs 18:22; 1 Corinthians 7 – As part of Creation, God established marriage and blessed it. God expects adults to be married, except in special situations, in which He gives a gift of celibate singleness for a certain time or ministry.
Seek God’s will for your life. If God wants you to serve Him in a dangerous area, perhaps you should consider postponing or abstaining from marriage. For God’s sake, you might not want to bring a wife and children into such a situation so you would choose to remain celibate and single. God gives special enablement to some of His servants to remain single for His special purposes. Marriage and children would only serve as a distraction from some special tasks that God gives (1 Corinthians 7:29-33).
Unless receiving some direction from God otherwise, one should work to make oneself “marriageable”. Work hard in your education. Establish a career direction. As you mature physically, be sure to mature spiritually and emotionally. GROW UP! Learn responsibility.
Plan and prepare for marriage. Without distracting from your service to God, look for a Godly spouse.
CULTURAL NOTE – Our modern society expects a higher living standard than is necessary. One must plan wisely, but one must also not use “career advancement” as an excuse to avoid God’s plan of marriage for his or her life.
Marriage unites a man and woman. Genesis 2:20-25; Romans 1:24-32 – Homosexual unions defy God’s institution of marriage so a person should only consider dating a person of the opposite gender.
Despite the media popularity, we must not condone homosexual unions. Homosexuality is not a joke. It is a sin that we must guard against and help others to repent of.
Sexual experimentation outside of marriage flagrantly rebels against God’s plan for our lives. Eventually, God gives people over to their own lusts so that they reap the evil that they have sown. Beware profligacy.
Marriage unites for life. Matthew 5:32; 1 Corinthians 7:39 –Divorce reflects man’s failure in marriage.
One should date carefully and deliberately so that he takes every precaution to avoid failure in marriage.
In this world, one cannot completely avoid sin. Marriage is still the union of two sinners. Because of sin, no marriage can be perfect, but God can forgive and cleanse any sin. The best strategy for a successful marriage is to unite two dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ. As each pursues God’s best for his or her life, Christ will unite them.
In the artificial relationship of dating, one person might deceive another. Be careful not to be deceived and even more careful that you do not deceive someone else as to the quality of your character.
Flee sexual sin (fornication). Genesis 39:12; Matthew 5:28-30; Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 6:18 – Do not try simply to resist sexual temptation. Avoid it if possible, and run away from it if you encounter it.
RUN AWAY FROM SEXUAL SIN! We think we are stronger than we are. Satan is waiting to devour us. Avoid sexual temptation because it will eat you up if you stay.
If your television tempts you with sexual images, get rid of your television service. If your computer tempts you with sexual images or explicit chatting, get rid of your internet service. If your music tempts you with suggestive rhythms and words, get rid of your radio. Do what it takes to avoid temptation, and you will save yourself from much sin.
Use your family and friends to help you escape from sexual temptation and sin. Parents, communicate extensively with your children so you know where they are and who they are with. Young people, stay in groups that will hold you accountable for righteous behavior.
Interior quality trumps exterior beauty. 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 11:22; 31:30; Matthew 12:33-35; 1 Timothy 2:9-10 – We can examine outward beauty easily, but we must look beyond that. Good character is the substance beneath that supports and enhances the outward trappings of true beauty.
Guard your hearts and minds from the world’s influence that tries to convince us that the exterior is most important. Don’t conform to the world. Transform your thinking to think like Christ.
Dress modestly and encourage others to do so also. Be convinced of the danger of immodest clothing and behavior.
Guard your conversation with family and friends so that you do not judge people by their exterior but rather by their character.
Focus your attention on your own character rather than just your exterior. Invest more time considering how you might improve your spiritual qualities rather than your physical qualities.