Dating Rules for Lutheran Teenagers
Different religions will have their own distinct rules regarding dating and relationships, and they sometimes may be hard to navigate. What rules do Lutheran teenagers have to follow when dating?
The dating rules for Lutheran teens include no sex before marriage and the end goal of dating should be marriage. The Lutheran church has no rules for the age to start dating or dating someone who is not Lutheran. Different Lutheran denominations have distinct rules about same-sex relationships.
There is a lot to know about the rules of dating for Lutheran teenagers, including the specifics of each of the rules and the differences between the rules of different denominations.
Sex and Marriage
Many Christian religions have rules against sex before marriage, and the Lutheran church is no exception. Most denominations of the Lutheran church believe that premarital sex is a sin, but most believe that it can be forgiven. Interestingly, couples who have premarital sex are not required by the church to get married. They are free to separate and move on as long as they repent.
For Lutherans, the end goal of dating is to get married. They believe that is the purpose of dating, though some individuals may not necessarily believe this. The Lutheran church frowns upon living together before marriage. Members of the Lutheran church who live together before marriage are required to separate until marriage or separate permanently.
There are no specific guidelines for physical acts that are not considered sex because the Bible does not get very specific. The church doesn’t have a limit for how close to sex members can get. They suggest talking to a pastor or avoiding getting too close because they may end up going too far.
If you are not a Lutheran but want to date a Lutheran, these are good things to keep in mind. Don’t expect them to be willing to have sex with you before marriage, and realize that marriage is probably going to be the end goal of them dating you.
Dating Those of Other Religions
The Lutheran church does not have any rules against dating someone who is not Lutheran. The large denominations of the Lutheran church believe that as long as a person has high moral standards, it doesn’t matter which religion they are part of.
This is not always the case in smaller denominations. Some pastors will say that members should not date anyone who is not Lutheran. These rules tend to be indiscriminate toward those who are of different Christian faiths, other religions, or atheists.
Each Lutheran individual is going to have his or her own ideas about whether to date someone who is not Lutheran. This may be based on personal preference or the opinions of the pastor in their area.
Since there are no widely accepted rules, it’s going to come down to whether or not the person wants to date someone of a different religion. It can sometimes be difficult to date someone who doesn’t believe the same things, and some people may not want to deal with that.
You may want to ask out a Lutheran but not know if they are willing or allowed to go out with you because you are not a member of the Lutheran church. The best thing you can do is ask.
If they don’t want to go out with someone of a different religion, they will say no, and then that’s that. If they are willing to date you, they may have some standards for how they want you to act; if you don’t want to follow these, be honest with them about that. Be respectful of their beliefs and make sure that they are respectful of yours.
The rules that the Lutheran church has about same-sex relationships are much more mixed than the other dating rules. Some denominations condemn homosexual individuals, while others ask those individuals in the church to not be involved in same-sex relationships or practice those behaviors.
One of the largest denominations of the Lutheran church, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), believes that homosexual behavior and relationships are sinful and that arguing for them using civil rights laws is deceitful.
On the other hand, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which is another large denomination, believes that same-sex relationships do not violate the laws of God and accept homosexual individuals and relationships. There are members of the ELCA that are in same-sex relationships.
The acceptance of same-sex relationships in the Lutheran church varies based on denomination, leader, and individual member. Some are going to be more accepting than others. The Lutheran church follows the rules set by the Bible; the Bible has rules against same-sex relationships, so most Lutheran denominations are going to be against same-sex relationships.
If you are not sure whether or not the Lutheran denomination that you belong to accepts people that are in same-sex relationships, all you need to do is ask one of the leaders of the denomination. You can do so privately if you don’t feel comfortable talking about your sexuality in front of a lot of people.
Specific Dating Rules
There are not very many rules that are set by the Lutheran church as a whole about the process of dating. The Lutheran church has no minimum dating age like many churches do, whether required or recommended.
The Lutheran church also has no requirements about group dating, dating around, the time you should date before getting engaged, or the time you should be engaged before getting married. These details are usually set by individual members or families.
If you are not a Lutheran and you want to date a Lutheran, these rules can give you an idea of how dating works for members of the Lutheran church. It’s important that you are respectful of the other person’s beliefs and desires for how a relationship should proceed.
The other person should also be respectful of your beliefs and desires. If what you want out of the relationship is different than what the other person wants, don’t try to change their mind, but accept that your relationship is probably incompatible.