Every time I think I went over a topic to exhaustion, something else arises to where I begin wondering whether I touched on that point enough or not and if I did, is it understood to the point of it being common sense then anything else? Well, to some of us, most of these topics are common sense but only because of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us while we are persistent in walking in love in all that we do. If you didn't know where that common sense came from, now you do.
With that, let's understand the concept of obligation. To be obligated to someone is to be indebted to that person. It is a bill whether it being an actual, tangible document, or just an understanding that when it is time to collect on the debt, the person collecting is expecting payment at the point of asking. Let us all understand right out of the gate that the Word tells us to owe no man anything but to love him. With this in mind, there should be an immediate plan to get out of debt and stay out of it, just to be pleasing to God. Now, let's put this in the perspective of dating for those interested for the purposes of marriage. Can one be obligated to the person interested in dating? Yes. At one time, that question would only apply to women, yet these days women have learned a few things. They can and have made men be in debt to them as well.
We know that when there is a date, the process is for the man to ask the woman for some of her time. She can graciously accept or deny his invitation. Upon acceptance of the invitation, the man would have planned something relaxing for the purpose of conversation and for each other to see the demeanor of each other's behavior. Usually people go to lunch or a casual dinner. For some reason people are more at ease during meal time and are less likely trying to keep appearances. Dinner and a movie being such a common date, practice has made keeping a good impression a more difficult task to break. Be as it may, it is still an invitation and him paying for the bill is not a means for him to collect on later. Her companionship for the evening in the venue of it being pleasant conversation makes whatever the cost worth while or, if he is a gentleman, he could believe that he got the best of the deal.
There is an undisclosed understanding that after so many dates, the woman must allow her interested party to have sexual favors because of payment on so many dates. If she feels that this is the direction of the date, even if he states in being a Christian (more so if he does), she should cut the evening short and never try to gain this man's interests again. This would also apply to the man. As Christians, we understand the purpose of dating. It does not involve sexual activity. If there is temptation in that direction, then the invitation should not be given nor accepted. If you are truly walking in love, why would you intentionally plan to ruin someone else's walk in love and purity?
Now about some women, gentlemen, there is a slight and quite cunning difference. The women have learned that men also come to church to find that virtuous woman. If he sees that she is volunteering in services to the point that the church officials are counting on her for multiple tasks, she knows that she might have the attention of a number of potential suitors. Here is what men don't see. They don't see that some women are tired and only take on the position for the attention of male suitors. Once the invitation is made, she works for the officials for as long as she needs to. Eventually, her male interest will ask for her to step down because it is taking too much attention away from him. When she does and concentrates her attention on him, he thinks he has a prize. She then does the care and work for him that she did for the pastor. She reminds him of the bills he needs to pay for and the other incidentals that he would normally forget about. He likes this personal attention. It is like having an assistant. Hey... that's what a wife is.... she is the helper.... she assists the man. Why not make her your wife?
And as suggested, he does. Does that mean she liked doing all of those little things for him? Did she like doing it for the pastor? Will she continue to do them after the vows are made? Is she obligated to do it or does she get pleasure in assisting her husband? What if he sees something in her that he doesn't like? He has accepted her assistance all of this time without proposing. Is he obligated to stay with her because of all the work she invested in him?
Question: When does a woman feel obligated with helping her husband? Answer: When she is not anointed to be a wife. As non-romantic as this may sound: dating is for the purpose of interviewing a wife. If you don't know how to conduct an interview, you aren't spending enough time with God and have no business dating.
Question: Should a woman ever feel guilty to pay for a date when she was the one asked? Answer: Only if she knew that the one asking had special designs other than those that are pleasing to God. In this case, go dutch treat and deny any other pursuits from him.
Jesus paid the debt for any sins committed. There should be no other obligations that anyone has on a true believer; whether it be financial, social, physical, or spiritual. Jesus said, it is finished!