Christians are called to live a higher moral standard. With the world going against Biblical teachings about dating, we wanted to know the important principles to remember when approaching this topic.
Dating is a critical subject that can potentially lead to a life-changing decision. Marriage is among the most crucial decisions that you will ever make during this life. Building a strong foundation for marriage involves knowing the right way of dating.
In this post, let me share with you eight critical Biblical principles about dating.
1. Commit to God first
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Before you look for a relationship with the opposite sex, you need to seek a relationship with God first. This may sound old-fashioned, but this is the true way toward blessed and joyful marriage. So many people end up heart-broken or divorced because they did not put God as the center of their relationship.
Therefore, you need to commit yourself to God before anything else. Commitment to God is signified through baptism. You should seek to get baptized before looking for a mate. Baptism makes the Holy Spirit available to you, and it is best to make life-changing decisions when you already have the Holy Spirit.
With this being said, you need to date someone who is also already baptized. Think about this: if the person you are going to date is someone who hasn’t committed his life to God through baptism, then how sure are you that that person will also be committed to you?
2. Date with marriage in mind
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22).
What is the primary purpose that you are dating? Are you dating just to have someone to hold, hug, kiss, or more than that? If you are dating just for fun, then you are missing the whole point of exclusive dating.
You need to understand: having the wrong intention and motivation with why you are dating are a formula for failure. You need to date with a purpose and not date aimlessly.
Of course, it goes without saying that you will not immediately marry the first one whom you date. Dating is a great opportunity to know more about a person. My point is that you need to keep in mind that you are dating because you are serious about getting into a relationship and eventually get married.
So many people don’t see the importance of marriage. So people are just satisfied with cohabitation and casual sex. All these will only lead to suffering. Real men marry their partner and are not afraid of the responsibility that comes with it.
3. Date someone of the same faith
“DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God (I Corinthians 14-16).
One of the most glaring mistakes Christians do is dating someone outside of their faith. While emotion will cloud our thinking, it is best to listen to biblical wisdom. You will save yourself a lot of pain when you follow this principle.
Dating someone outside of our faith is like picking up a rock and pounding it on your head. Imagine how your children will feel if their parents have opposing or different religious belief? This is just one of the many conflicts that marrying a non-believer will bring.
4. Don’t date to convert
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).
Some Christians rationalize dating non-believers because their effort might “lead” them to church. While this might be a good idea, the Bible reveals otherwise. It is never in our hands to call people into the church. This is God’s prerogative. It is Him who draws people to His church. We are just to serve as lights to the world and lead a godly example.
I have known Christians who have “converted” their partner only to find out that they only converted for the sake of the relationship. After marriage, the converted person will go back to their old ways and even force their unbiblical beliefs to their spouse.
5. Avoid sexual immorality
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should ABSTAIN FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God” (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).
One thing that I hate about worldly dating is that the concept of needing to have sex first to know your compatibility. This is a demonic teaching that should be vehemently opposed by every Christian.
It is understandable that dating someone you like and even love may easily lead to sexual temptations. If we are not careful, we might commit fornication and premarital sex. This is why the Bible strongly beseech everyone to watch out for this sin and do whatever it takes to avoid it.
There are limitations that you need to know about dating. As a Christian man, you need to be godly enough to control your desires. Sexual acts – and all activities leading to it – are reserved for marriage.
The Bible does not specifically outline the rules in dating. It does not say anything about hugging, holding hands, kissing, and other things. However, we can surely know Biblical principles that we can use when confronted with these issues.
The overall principle is this: flee sexual immorality and pursue purity. If you feel that something is not right, and things seem to lead to inappropriate behavior, you need to stop right there.
6. Avoid appearance of evil
“Abstain from every form of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22).
Avoiding the appearance of evil is crucial when dating. If you are going to date, you should not be dating in dark, secluded, and isolated places. That will just lead to sexual temptation. This is the reason that it is highly recommended that you date with a chaperone.
7. Be patient
“Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases” (Song of Solomon 2:7).
There are some things that only time can reveal. We need to be patient enough to know whether we are really in love or just infatuated. This is the main reason that Solomon, the wisest man on earth during his time, tells us not to awaken love until it pleases.
There are a lot of things that we need to prepare and accomplish first before getting into a serious relationship or exclusive dating. We need to be physically, emotionally, financially, and most importantly, spiritually prepared.
Dating prematurely will just make things tougher for you.
8. Treat women with purity
“Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, WITH ALL PURITY” (I Timothy 5:1-2).
For all men out there, you need to treat women with respect and purity. Remember that every woman is a child of God, and Christian men have the unnegotiable duty to protect them. When you defile a woman, you are stealing something that is not yours.
Before you do something stupid and sinful during your date, ask yourself, “Do you want your future mate to have been close to sex with lots of others before you?” If your answer to that question is no, then better respect your date.
These are just some of the Biblical principles that you need to remember about dating. Following the world’s standard toward dating is easy but its consequences are fatal and costly. Following Biblical principles about dating is tough, but its reward is sweet and happiness.
Christians are not supposed to what is easy. We are expected to do what is right.
God outlined basic principles that we should follow if we want to have a more fulfilling relationship with one another. It is up to us to follow these principles and reap its many benefits.