In today’s reckless and free society where everyone does as they wish, building a healthy dating relationship as a Christian can be tricky for all sexes. Society expects chastity from a professed Christian more than it does from other members who are not.
But the Bible mirrors all aspects of relationships and has answers that act as a reference point.
Questions such as the following that would cloud your mind in the early stages of a relationship get answers:
Am I on the right track, and where do I draw the line of holiness?
Do my actions please God, and what effect do they have on my fellow believers?
Are the actions I take in line with biblical teachings?
These and more questions bother Christians as they tread the path of finding love. But it need not be so.
Here are ways to help you clear those doubts and lead you to a peaceful state of mind with both God and man.
Christian Dating Before Marriage
The starting point is to acknowledge that the Bible does not openly talk about boyfriends and girlfriends but about relationships. And for the relationship to thrive in a Christian setting, some guidelines ought to be followed.
Motive for Dating as a Christian
The driving goal for dating should be marriage, as outlined in Prov 31:10–11. Any other motive is ungodly. This distinguishes things by Christians from those done by unbelievers.
You should center the relationship on God.
A healthy dating relationship is an answer to God’s desire when He created man and said that it is not good for him to be alone (Gen. 2:18). He created Eve for him.
You should go out there and find your Eve as well. As you do so, here are some do’s and don’ts to guide you through.
- Know each other well, have constant communication, and be in love. Common interests cement a better relationship.
For example, it is good if both of you are humble and show kindness, understanding, and patience. One cannot always be perfect, but accommodating each other in their low moments is a strong pillar of a relationship.
- Engage with other friends for prayers, bible study groups, and general discussions. This will help you grow and learn from other people’s experiences.
- Have someone to guide and mentor you. This could be your pastor or a couple you admire. You will reap tons of knowledge from their wealth of experience.
- Spend time away from each other. It is not healthy to be together always. You need time to do other things separately. Time spent away from each other will also help to create longing moments for your next date.
- Don’t engage in sexual immorality. A healthy dating relationship should have purity and you should avoid temptations. The Bible in 1 Cor 6:18 advises you to resist the devil and flee from all temptations. Youth passions are high; the blood is hot at this stage of physical development and one may get carried away to perform ungodly acts only to regret them later.
- Don’t meet in enclosed, dark places. Meet in public places instead to encourage decorum. The goal is to remain pure and abstain from sex till the wedding night. You will accomplish this goal if you meet in places that can lure you to intimacy.
- Avoid holding hands and kissing on the lips. Hugging and kissing the cheek may be a better alternative. It is always good to know where boundaries lie and never to overstep them.
- Don’t overuse social media to show off your relationship with your circle of friends. You may expose yourselves to enemies who will know your every move. These might draw jealous tendencies from your friends and risk messing up the relationship. Better communication methods include audio and video calls and chat messages.
Dating After Marriage
The dating relationship has culminated in consummating the marriage. Congratulations on reaching this far.
Should the embers of the fire that were flaming in courtship die down?
No, continue pursuing it; keep the romance fiery and alive.
- Prayer should form the backbone of your relationship. Pray together as a family. Pray for each other and read God’s word together when possible.
- Compliment each other. Words like Thank you, sorry, you look great, and I love you should easily find a place in your lives. Gifts are also a great way to cement your love and to make the other person feel special.
- Set some time, preferably weekly, to venture out on a date as a way of building that healthy dating relationship. Go for coffee, dinner, or lunch. Time spent away from the house is priceless. Eat differently from what you eat in the house. A different feeling from the home ambiance to the food eaten out is a novel feeling.
- Attend church together; connect with other Christians and form strong bonds to grow your faith. Have friends with whom you can share your successes and fears for encouragement and motivation.
- Tell your spouse about your plans and dreams. You may find great help where you have a deficiency. For example, your partner can help you with finances to realize a dream in case you have a shortfall. Shared dreams become accomplished dreams.
- Apart from your honeymoon when you might have traveled, plan other getaways for the holidays. Visit new places, towns, and even countries for fun and relaxation. Experience other people’s cultures, and languages and sample their food.
Attributes for Christian Dating
For a marriage relationship to be healthy, you need the following attributes:
- Trust your partner and avoid unnecessary squabbles. Have respect for each other and give them their freedom. For example, it is not wise to keep checking your spouse’s phone messages from other people. This may end up straining the relationship if there are non-harmful messages that might send the wrong signals.
- There should be regular intimacy in the relationship. Have sex often. One should not feel neglected and unwanted. If sometimes one does not feel intimate may it be through ill health or stress, communicate with your partner.
- In any healthy relationship, faithfulness is king. Have eyes for your partner only. Don’t wander, don’t lust after another.
Christian chastity is key to building a healthy dating relationship– both before and after marriage.
Uphold morals and values. Whenever in doubt, the Bible is the mirror to look at. It may take time to cultivate the relationship, but with God at the center of your plans, you will realize the effort to build it. You will not only have spiritual growth but growth in your relationship as well.
Do you have further insights into building a healthy dating relationship for Christians? Add your voice in the comments section.