If you’re a part of almost any type of Christian community, you’ve already heard a lot of advice from other Christians. Well, even though we’re all loving Jesus, and read the same Bible, and want to get married someday, the dating advice we want to follow might differ.
Even if it’s One Lord, one faith, one baptism, and a billion different dating opinions. Let’s enlist just a few of them:
- Date for at least one year
- Don’t date for more than a year
- Date exclusively in groups
- Make sure you get plenty of time just the two of you
- Don’t kiss before you’re engaged
- How to find out if you have chemistry without kissing
- Set some boundaries into place
- Don’t follow everyone else’s rules
- Spend a lot of time together
- Be careful how much time you end up spending together
- Date a bunch of people before getting too serious
- Don’t date anyone until you’ve decided to marry them
1. The first rule in dating
The first and most important rule in dating is the first rule in all of life:
” You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ” (Mark 12:30)
You won’t be able to love anyone else if you do not love God most and first. And no one can truly love if they don’t love God more than they love you.
The first step in dating (like anything else in life) should be the step of faith we take towards our Lord, Savior, and greatest Treasure, King Jesus.
He captured our hearts first, so we find the deepest love and joy in Him. We hide our soul in Him. We give our souls to Him and stop trying to save or prove ourselves.
We dedicate our minds to knowing Him more and more. We plead with Him to uphold our mind and will to His own. We put all of our strength into his goal and plan for our life: to become disciples who love with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.
If your heart is not pure, if our soul is not already safe through our faith, if our mind gets distracted and focused on other, less important things, if our best strength is focusing on the things of this world, such as jobs, sports, shopping, entertainment, relationships, and not on GOD, we simply won’t have success in any other aspect of our lives.
Do you want to marry and date well? Do you want to be happy? Listen to our king Jesus, and “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Seek Him first (Matthew 6:33), and dating will just be added to His perfect plan and timing.
2. The Golden Rule in Dating
After understanding, embracing, and applying the first and greatest commandment, we have found that the GOLDEN rule in dating is this one:
Lean the most on the people who know you best, love you most, and will tell you when you’re wrong.
Remember, this is not the FIRST rule because, in absolutely every area of our lives, every decision, every call, every relationship, every dream, only God is the most important.
We should always ask ourselves: Do we love Him more than anything? Will we obey Him, even if it’s at the cost of our own lives? Will we set anything aside for His sake? Will we trust Him, even when it’s something else we want for ourselves?
It’s not the first rule, but we discovered that this “golden rule” usually differentiates between healthy and unhealthy Christian dating relationships.
If you’re not a Christian and haven’t built your relationship with God before trying to date, you have no chance of having a proper and healthy Christian relationship with someone else.
Even though you are a Christian, there are still many other ways to subtly or blatantly reject God’s wisdom and fall into sin.
The key is to lean on other Christians who already know very well the word of God and love you deeply. If they have a proven record of telling you when you’re making a mistake or wandering away from God’s will for you.
3. The Third Wheel We Need
Today more than ever, we have a never-ending buffet of opinions and advice that has something to say about anyone and everything. Yet, we must always choose the answer we want.
- How far should we go physically before getting married?
- How soon should I start dating after I broke up with someone?
- What are the things I should be looking for in someone else?
- What do girls usually look for in a guy? What are guys looking for in a girl?
- Should couples try to live together before getting married?
We won’t have any difficulties finding the proper answer(or many other answers) to any of our questions when it comes to relationships.
The frightening reality is that we can find an answer to justify what we want to do, whether it’s right or wrong, safe or unsafe, wise or unwise.
The advice we choose to listen to might be from a book by a doctor, or a random conversation with someone in a church, a blog post, or just something we found on Pinterest.
It will work for all of us, as long as we’re honest and justify what we thought or wanted to begin with.
Real friendship, with real-life-on-life accountability, may sometimes seem like the wrong place to confess your feelings or questions.
Even if you might not always like what it has to say, the advice of our friends can bring a new critical dimension to your dating relationships: it knows YOU, with all your weaknesses and strengths, your successes and failures, your unique needs.
These people know you are a sinner, and sinners who are never being confronted or frustrated by inconvenient truths are the worst sinners. They are drifting further from God, not towards him.
The truth is we all need a third wheel, both in life and in dating, because those people who genuinely know us and love us and who want what’s best for us can help us see the light when we can’t.
4. The Voices We Need
Sometimes, dating can isolate us from other Christians in our lives. The closer we become to a boyfriend or girlfriend, the less we spend time and energy on other essential relationships.
Satan loves and encourages this at every turn. One way to date wisely is to oppose absolutely everything Satan might desire for you. Fight the impulse to meet in a corner all by yourselves and instead draw one another into those meaningful relationships.
Be even more affectionate towards your family and friends now that you’re dating.
The only people that were willing to hold me accountable in dating have been my best friends. I’ve had a lot of friends over the years, but the ones who were ready to press in, ask more challenging questions, sometimes even offer unwanted but wise advice were the ones that I sincerely appreciate and respect the most.
To be accountable is to be authentically, deeply, and consistently known by someone who cares enough to keep us from indulging in sin or making mistakes.
Only those people who love Christ more than they love you will have the courage to come to you and tell you that you’re wrong in dating. They’re the ones willing to say something difficult to hear, even when you’re happily infatuated.