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Though there are many dating methods and rules suggested in Christian circles, the Bible does not explicitly discuss how a Christian should approach dating. Believers should place God first in their lives and seek to be pleasing to Him in all they do, including dating. Amid this overwhelming sea of methods and rules, many Christians wonder what the Bible says about this overly discussed topic and how they should approach dating. Specifically, there is nothing in the Bible about dating.
In fact, none of the people mentioned in the Bible ever dated but rather participated in prearranged marriages and betrothals. The modern Western idea of dating did not exist in biblical times and even many cultures today do not practice dating either. Scripture, however, does provide a few general principles that can be applied to the modern practice of dating and courtship, including maintaining a proper perspective while dating and focusing on purity in romantic relationships.
In churches and Christian culture, there are many popular rules for dating. These rules are not found in the Bible since Scripture does not discuss dating. Instead, these assumptions have developed over time due to major movements in Christian culture. Many believers followed the teachings found in the book and refused to date anyone to instead wait for the divinely chosen person whom God intended for them to marry.
Such teachings gradually declined in popularity and Joshua Harris recanted his book in and announced he was no longer a Christian in Currently, the popular trend among evangelical Christians is to prepare and pray for their future spouse. This is especially popular among Christian girls and women who are encouraged to prepare, pray, and dream about their future husbands. Dating is not discouraged but is rather pushed into strict seriousness by requiring Christians to date with the intention of marrying. While Christians can participate in dating, there is no biblical promise or guarantee that every Christian will have a spouse.
For Christians, their first priority in all situations should always be the Lord Matthew ; Luke Oftentimes in dating, people become infatuated and almost obsessed with their new boyfriend or girlfriend. Other important relationships often take a back seat to the new person they are dating.
Just as each individual Christian should be deliberate about their relationship with the Lord, seeking to glorify Him in their life, they should also ensure that the person they are dating is completely in love with the Lord. Believers should not date unbelievers because of the possibility of marriage in any dating relationship 2 Corinthians Are they actively growing in their walk with Christ? Do they desire to love Him more than anything in the world, including being in a relationship or getting married?
Believers should be aware of the spiritual state of the person they are seriously dating. Finally, in regard to keeping a proper perspective while dating, Christians should also avoid falling into the trap of desperation. The church culture in the Western world, especially America, places a large emphasis on marriage, which places pressure on single believers to get married. This often causes single Christians to become desperate and to date anyone because of the pressure to be married often just to have sex within the confines of marriage. Such a mindset goes against the Bible, which urges believers to seriously consider marriage or singleness based on legitimate reasons and not because of external pressure 1 Corinthians Although these Christians can still date with the intention of finding someone to marry, there is still the possibility that they will remain single for a part or the rest of their life.
Being single is not a lesser state but has many great benefits in serving the Lord 1 Corinthians , While Scripture does not give any rules for how a person should date, the Bible does teach about the need to maintain purity in romantic relationships 1 Corinthians Purity is a foreign idea to the worldly system, which promotes sexual immorality. Many unbelievers and even some believers will commonly date someone, live with them for a while, and then find another boyfriend or girlfriend. However, Christians who want to live glorifying lives for Christ according to the Bible should avoid the temptation of living with their girlfriend or boyfriend and instead maintain celibacy until marriage.
Teenagers and young adults are especially susceptible to the temptation of sexual relations outside of marriage because of the inundation of lust-inducing messages from movies, TV shows, music, and celebrities. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Sexual relations should only occur within the bonds of marriage, between a husband and his wife Matthew ; Hebrews Thus, Christians who are dating should avoid any situations for the temptation to sin 1 Corinthians Having ability to godly family members and friends can help protect against sinning against the Lord and the person one is dating.
Also, asking for friends to double date could also be helpful in some situations. Believers should be aware of their hearts and know what will cause temptation, which can help prevent compromising situations of impurity. If a Christian is tempted during a date, they should pray and seek to leave the situation 1 Corinthians Both men and women followers of Christ should pursue purity in their dating relationships to glorify the Lord and follow His Word 1 Corinthians However, Christians need to view dating differently than those in the world, which promotes impurity and sexual immorality.
Instead of merely thinking about their own preferences in finding a boyfriend or girlfriend with the intention of marrying, believers should place God first in their lives and seek to be pleasing to Him in all they do, including dating. Why Do We Pray for Love? Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional.
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How to Approach Dating as a Christian