Christian outlook on dating

According to the "2014 State of Dating in America" report published by Christian Mingle and JDate, 61 percent of Christians said they would have sex before marriage.Fifty-six percent said that it's appropriate to move in with someone after dating for a time between six months and two years.

Sussmann told CP she hasn't seen research that shows premarital sex or cohabitation lead to divorce, although she admitted that studies on cohabitation are not conclusive.

Sprigg, however, argued that many researchers have shown "that even though partners often cohabit as a trial marriage, couples who cohabit before marriage are more likely to divorce, not less likely." He noted that these couples "are not actually practicing marriage – they are practicing lack of commitment."While Sprigg and Sussmann disagreed on some points, they agreed that traditional gender roles – with the husband as the primary breadwinner – are less important in today's society.

He urged religious leaders to "not shy away from challenging the values of the culture."Rather than stressing biblical values, Sussmann focuses on communication, empathy and mutual understanding.

"If one person wants to be abstinent and one doesn't," her job is to reconcile the two, no matter how difficult that might be.

Fifty-Nine percent said it doesn't matter who the primary breadwinner of the family is.

And 34 percent responded that while it would be nice to marry someone of the same faith, it's not required.

"Even if the church frowns on this behavior, they take it upon themselves to make an educated decision between the two of them."Sussmann paraphrased a common expression she hears from religious patients: "I practice what the church teaches me, but this is something personal between me and my partner." The therapist commented that, in many ways, churches are "fighting an uphill battle because this is nature."According to Sprigg, "there may be a weakness on the part of churches" that explains the gap between sexual behavior and biblical standards.

He described "a vicious circle," where a pastor welcomes people regardless of their past sins, and then fails to preach biblical morality due to a fear of being considered too harsh."I would encourage pastors to speak bluntly and boldly about sexuality and a biblical view of sexuality and marriage," Sprigg declared.

No amount of flirting made Jesus more desirable to him.

Sure, he could have provided me with every luxury in this world — except the one thing that held the most value to me.

So when the opportunity arose, I figured I would just take things into my own hands. As a believer, especially if you grow up in the church, you can convince yourself that non-Christians aren’t nice people.