I’m not a big fan of dating. I didn’t really date – so I’m probably not the best person to be giving advice about dating. But I’m not going to let that stop me! Here are my top tips for Christian dating, based on my experience, what I have learnt from my friends’ experiences and what I have read in the Bible.
Stop looking for “the one”
“The one” is a myth. It suggests to us that there is someone out there who will fulfil all of our needs; someone who will be everything we want and meet all of our needs. This is a lie. We are all human beings – flawed and full of sin. Jesus is the only “one” who can fulfil all of our needs. Love is a choice – when we choose to be with someone, we need to choose to love them each and every day, despite their flaws.
Date with purpose
What is the point of you going out on this date? What are you hoping to achieve? Are you just looking for a bit of fun, expecting to break up and move on to someone new? When you choose to date someone, you should be looking to the future – working together towards marriage. In dating, you give parts of yourself over to someone else. You share parts of who you are. Such sharing should be saved for someone you are looking to spend your life with, not someone you just want to have fun with.
Marriage should not be your end goal
Whilst I believe it is good for dating to be working towards marriage, we also need to move away from the view often expressed by churches, that getting married is the end goal. When we get married, that doesn’t mean our relationship is perfect; getting married doesn’t fix our problems. Marriage is a covenant, a promise we make to each and before God. It is not the end, but in many ways the very beginning.
Set healthy boundaries early on
When you are first dating someone, still getting to know them, it is easy to get carried away with the fun side of it all. We don’t want to think about things like boundaries and rules and what we can and can’t do. But making sure you share your expectations and boundaries early on can save both of you from embarrassment and temptation further down the line. I’ll be writing a blog post all about waiting until marriage very soon, but for now check out 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. As you’re getting to know someone new, share your boundaries with them!
Just because they’re Christian, doesn’t make them perfect
So often I’ve seen Christians, mainly new Christians, meet someone that attends church and simply assume that they must be a good person. That this must be a healthy relationship. That they won’t ever do anything to hurt you. This can be an easy trap to fall into, until you remember that not everyone that attends church actually follows Jesus, and even those people who do follow Jesus may not have the same desire to know God as you do. Rather than assume any Christian you meet would be a perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, take your time getting to know them – find out for yourself how they approach their relationship with God, what their beliefs are and how they
No matter what stage your relationship is at: dating, engagement, marriage; it is always good to have someone that you can talk to, pray with, ask to pray for you, and seek advice from about your relationship. This should be a wise, mature Christian who you are happy to take advice (and even criticism!) from. Find this person, and ask their opinion. Ask them for advice and talk through any questions or struggles you face throughout your relationship.
Focus on your relationship with God
No matter what your dating life looks like, your first priority should always be your relationship with God. If you feel that your relationship is pulling you away from God, distracting you or making you put God second to someone else, then it is not a healthy relationship. Within a relationship you should both be leading each other closer to God. So, ensure that you are spending time in the word, in prayer and in Christian community.
What are your top tips for Christian dating?