The truth is you could spend your life with more than one person. Get to know yourself.” And as soon as the person you are dating smacks his or her gum the wrong way, you are out. I heard don’t have sex before marriage so much I actually believed getting to marriage a virgin was the only important thing. In the process, I filled my heart and mind with lust, and I secretly struggled with pornography. Christians, instead, need to teach the importance of a pure mind. Make sure God is the center of your life before you start dating. Don’t start dating without an assurance of God’s love for you and a solid understanding of the gospel.
Dating with a trajectory towards marriage means dating with a purpose.
It means dating someone who meets the values and goals you have for a future spouse (more on that later).
Without a Christian spouse, one of two things will happen: you will drift away from God or your spouse will become a functional god (more on this later). There is another dangerous mentality in Christian circles I want to address…”flirting to convert.” Look…Christians are called to be missionaries.
The dating world, however, is not the place to be a missionary.
Like that annoying kid at church camp who wouldn’t leave you alone. Don’t ever date someone who won’t honor purity with you. Remember…if you are dating, you haven’t entered into the sacred bond of marriage. Co-dependent dating leads to co-dependent marriages. And co-dependent marriages eventually crumble because the weight on them is too heavy. In fact, every principle discussed in this article is null and void without God at the center.
It is time for Christians to start talking about dating. Establishing principles for Christian dating will set men and women on a course towards Christ-centered marriages. Here are 10 important principles for Christian dating. That would make God a gambler, and the Bible clearly says gambling is from the devil (only joking). Marriage isn’t as much about finding someone totally compatible as it is about committing to someone despites difficulties and differences. I fear this mentality in the dating culture is actually promoting divorce. Suddenly, when marriage begins, you are asked to flip a switch. It allows you to jump into marriage with a clear conscience.
The trajectory of lives and eternities are in the balance. Laying out guidelines for dating as followers of Jesus will alter lives by keeping people out of toxic and unhealthy relationships (and ultimately marriages). “The one” says you need to find the perfect person. The beauty of marriage is God sustains you despite your flaws. The shells of a shotgun are stuffed with tiny round balls. You are asked to go from a mentality that says “End a relationship as soon as difficulty arises,” to one that says, “Don’t end the relationship regardless of the difficulty that arises.” That’s a tough switch to flip.
This issue shapes our young people, friends, and family more than we could ever imagine. “Let’s just sit back and see what happens” might work in certain scenarios, but Christian dating isn’t one of them. I hope and pray these words spark conversations in your ministries, relationships, and homes. If you need to take a minute to let that sink in, I will be here when you get back… Here’s the deal: marriage isn’t a divine lottery where every person has one winning ticket. Hopefully one will end up as my spouse.” Not a good idea. So, the default for years is to leave as soon as a flaw arises. This requires discipline, restraint, and abstinence from activities that don’t promote holiness. A pure mind might be the greatest gift you can give your future spouse. ____________________ I hope this discussion continues. I pray parents, church leaders, friends, and family begin to spark conversations about God’s design for dating. Most importantly, guidelines and principles for dating will transform lives and shape eternities. The brokenness you see in yourself and the brokenness you experience from your spouse point both of you to the only perfect one, God. When you pull the trigger, these balls spread over a large range, increasing the chance you hit the target. Dating with a trajectory towards marriage doesn’t mean you only date one person ever. So, if you choose not to get coffee or watch a movie with the opposite sex, then whatever. The ultimate purpose of marriage is sanctification (becoming like God). If you have no idea what values are important to you in a future spouse, exit the road to marriage at the next off ramp. That would be awesome, but it’s not always realistic. If you are a Christian, God isn’t a piece of your pie. Why date someone who doesn’t even have God as a piece of the pie? Pull over at the closest gas station and decide what you want in a future spouse. Your list is designed to give you a framework for dating, not be a checklist for it. Your heart and the holiness of marriage are too important to flippantly give away because you are frustrated, impatient, or settling. You might get into a relationship with someone who loves Jesus, meets the values you have in a future spouse, and is compatible with you. Just end the relationship, and continue to seek the Lord. Again, please don’t be a freakish weirdo and give Christians a negative label. My wife loves the Lord, and I can say with all certainty I wouldn’t be following Jesus without her. It’s dangerous riding on the road to marriage without an idea of where you are going. Don’t sit someone down on the first date and interview them to make sure they meet all of the qualities. But once you get into the relationship, you realize things aren’t as they seemed. Having coffee or going to eat dinner with the opposite sex is not dating. There will be days when life is crashing down, your faith is wavering, and the only thing left is your spouse. In this scenario, your spouse is there to pray for you, put his or her arm around you, and walk with you.