Biblical Dating Tips and Truths

Dating Tip #1:
Don’t put your life on hold when you start a new relationship.

A lot of times people get a new date or start a new relationship, and they’re excited—so they put everything else to the side as the new person moves to the top of the list. Mark 12:30 is very clear that we must put God first with our whole mind, heart, and strength. And second is to love others, and others is not just the person you are dating. So don’t put your life on hold; don’t put your friends to the side, your responsibilities to the side, your other relationships to the side just to prioritize a new person. Keep a good balance, and don’t change your life too radically when you jump into dating.

A lot of times people get a new date or start a new relationship, and they’re excited—so they put everything else to the side as the new person moves to the top of the list. Mark 12:30 is very clear that we must put God first with our whole mind, heart, and strength. And second is to love others, and others is not just the person you are dating. So don’t put your life on hold; don’t put your friends to the side, your responsibilities to the side, your other relationships to the side just to prioritize a new person. Keep a good balance, and don’t change your life too radically when you jump into dating.

Dating Tip #2:
Use your brain.

Keep a good balance with your mind. Jeremiah 17:9 is very clear that our heart can be deceitful. And romantic love is often exciting and thrilling; there are so many possibilities. But it can also be deceiving; it can put on the blinders. So use your brain! It’s always a good time to look back on past relationships before you start a new one. If you’re in a new relationship, perhaps hit “pause” to look analyze and assess where you’re at so you can decide upon how to do better. So keep your brain engaged; be careful as feelings, especially in romantic love, can be deceptive along the way. So don’t put the blinders on! And be very careful with physical intimacy as that can really blind you as well.

Dating Tip #3:
Only date a Christian.

If you’re a Christian, only date other Christians. The whole purpose of dating or courtship or whatever approach you put to analyzing, evaluating, or initiating a relationship is geared toward marriage. God is very clear at the end of 1 Corinthians 7 that when you marry someone as a Christian, the big qualification is that they are a true, genuine believer. And 2 Corinthians 6 is clear that we are not to be unequally yoked or paired together—because what you have first and foremost in common is your spiritual union with Christ. So when you’re dating somebody, if you’re not seeing evidence in them of being genuinely saved or genuinely in love with Christ, you need to steer aside from that. Make sure the one you date loves Jesus.

Dating Tip #4:
Take it slow.

Too often people rush into things with dating, and it’s really good to take it easy. If the whole point of dating is intentional, purposeful, consideration of marriage—think about how long you’re hoping to be married for: 30, 40, 50, 60 years?—then taking your time from the first date to marriage is a wise thing. In the big picture, that kind of intentionality pays off. So don’t rush it! Don’t rush into things physically; don’t rush into things spiritually—don’t be praying right away with somebody. Take those first steps in a relationship slowly; be really intentional to set up boundaries so you can be accountable. All in all, just take it slow!

Dating Tip #5:
Set clear boundaries.

You are a physical creation in addition to an emotional, mental, and spiritual creation. You need to be very careful to set clear boundaries so people don’t run over you. Your emotions ultimately belong to Christ; your mind belongs to Christ; your body belongs to Christ; your spirit belongs to Christ. Guard it. Be wise, and be careful. Don’t let anyone run over you. Be very clear with specific boundaries from the get go. Perhaps look back at past relationships and lessons learned there. You can also ask friends to help keep you accountable; keep them involved them in the process. But most of all—set clear boundaries!

Dating Tip #6:
Don’t play house.

People give a lot of good reasons for living together, cohabiting. “Hey, we’re practicing.” “We love each other.” “We’re engaged.” “It’s better for finances.” But the reality is: God says don’t do it. He commands not to live in impurity. The statistics are concerning; couples who cohabitate are 80% more likely to divorce than couples that don’t. Women who cohabitate are twice as likely to suffer from domestic violence and four times as likely to experience depression. Hear the statistics and heed the warning of Scripture; God calls us to be sexually pure—to never even give an inkling of an impression of sexual immorality. So don’t cohabitate and don’t play house.

Dating Tip #7:
Save sex for later.

A lot of good reasons are out there for why people think it is good to experiment with sex prior to marriage, but the reality is life-long committed marriage is always the best experience for sexual intimacy and sexual pleasure. That’s God’s command for us, and I would encourage you to follow it. There are tons of Scriptures about sexual immorality, but 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 is a great place to look. Don’t just take my word for it—see what God says about the seriousness of it! If you’ve messed up in the past, go to God and ask for forgiveness, but moving forward into the future have a plan, have a commitment, have boundaries, and have those tough conversations. It’s worth it: save sex for later.

Dating Tip #8:
Fight fairly.

Conflict is going to happen; how you handle it is important. I love James 1:19-20—slow to speak, slow to get angry, quick to listen. If you find yourself getting defensive or avoiding or getting intense in conflict, watch out for those warning signs and practice good conflict resolution. Maybe take a pause when you sense conflict—suggest taking a 20 minute break then coming together again to resolve the conflict. Watch your tone when you talk about it. Don’t go on the offense when you talk about it. Really learn wise ways to solve conflict in a good, godly way.

Dating Tip #9:
Keep people in involved in what’s going on so they can raise a warning sign if they see it.

Don’t ignore those warning signs! Sometimes outsiders to the relationship can can see the problem—abuse, addiction, infidelity, irresponsibility, unfaithfulness—when you yourself become blind to them. Often times the warning signs we want to avoid are pointing toward a long-term problem. Sometimes it’s just the tip of the iceberg. So keep friends and family involved—share the tough stuff—and be aware of those red flags and warning signs that come up.

Dating Tip #10:
Be wise.

Be very wise in your choices. Don’t be rushed into; don’t be blinded by sex. Don’t be fooled by external things. Take notice of how someone handles crisis situations; this really points toward their character. And character is ultimately who they are in private. Look at the friends of the person you are dating or want to date; you can tell a lot about a person by their friends. Look at the person’s past relationships as well; you can tell a lot about future relationships based upon past relationships have been handled. Overall, take it slow. Time is your friend! Don’t be in a rush no matter how old you are. Don’t be desperate to rush into things. And keep godly friends and family members close; heed their advice. And just be wise.

Dating Tip #11:
Take action.

Don’t just hear what God says about relationships—especially about marriage, what dating is ultimately moving toward—do it. Take responsibility, and take action. Wherever you hear God calling you to do or not to do something, be responsible enough to obey Him. He’s a good Father! His commands are not a burden; they are His loving, fatherly guidance because He cares for you. Stay in the word, hear it, but ultimately take action with it. If God tells you not to do something, don’t do it; that’s what’s best for you. If he tells you to do something, do that; it’s best for you!

Great Dating Resources for Christians

If you have questions on dating, there are a lot of good resources out there. I’d like to point you in the direction of 4 great resources:

  1. The Ten Commandments of Dating by Ben Young and Dr. Samual Adams. This is a great book—real simple. A lot of really good godly principles are found in this book.
  2. gotquestions.org—so many great answers about what the Bible says about so many different topics with quality, short, biblical answers. Check it out!
  3. familylife.org and focusonthefamily.org—Both of those are great resources for marriage and family life about what God says.

JONATHAN CARLJULY 20, 2020

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