Date Wisely, Prepare For Marriage & Save Yourself A Lot Of Pain
Dating is a confusing, challenging and lonely season for many Christians. Everyone seems to have a different take on who you should date, how you should date, and when you should move forward toward marriage. These resources will help you cut through the confusion and pursue godly dating that honors God and spares you - and the people you date - a ton of heartache.
Bryan has mentored my now-husband and I from singleness all the way through our first year of marriage. We never felt like passive students—more like active participants in building a relationship that glorified God, with an experienced and invested counselor as our guide.
Jason & Ann
Christian Dating Advice?
Dating is an incredibly confusing time. Following Jesus helps, but there are no easy answers. (Even though a lot of dating advice for Christians makes it sound like there are.)
Have you ever found yourself asking questions like these?
But - let's be honest - it's not like this is just a theoretical exercise. The deeper questions are often ones of the heart.
Bigger Questions & What Dating Is All About
These are all important questions. But they need to be set in a bigger, biblical context.
Like anything else in life, pursuing godly dating begins with pursuing God. Jesus is 'the pearl of great price' (Matthew 13:45-46), infinitely more valuable than even the best spouse. If we seek his kingdom first, God may just bless us with a godly boyfriend or girlfriend, too.
So, time sinking our roots down in Christ and obsessing about that, rather than googling 'best Christian dating apps', is our all-important starting point. 'Christian dating advice' starts here.
It's also worth asking what the purpose of dating really is. What's it actually for?
Many people say something like, 'To find out if you're compatible.' On some levels, I agree. You've got to figure out if you're aligned on big life questions, on your commitment to Christ, and if you have the kind of chemistry that will make life together fun and enjoyable.
But that doesn't go nearly far enough. At the end of the day, dating is meant to prepare us for a godly marriage, one that displays the relationship God has with us (the church) through Christ.
Listen to the Apostle Paul:
'This mystery [of marriage] is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.' (Ephesians 5:32)
So, while it's important to figure out if your personalities click, to be physically attracted to each other, and that you're both believers, God has something way more exciting in mind. To figure out, as you go through the stages of dating, whether the person you're with can help you display the gospel to the world around you.
Finally, it has to be said that so often we're selfish in our approach to dating. It's common, for example, for people to have their expectations for a relationship on a list. That's not necessarily wrong, but it can so easily become a list of demands no real person can possibly fulfill.
I have to admit that I had my own list back in the day. While nothing on the list was 'wrong', it was out of alignment with God's heart.
As we date, we want to follow Jesus' teaching that 'it is more blessed to give than to receive.' (Acts 20:35)
While we need to have expectations shaped by the bible - and yes, our preferences - we should give far more attention to pursuing Christ ourselves, and becoming the kind of person we'd like to marry.
Then, even if the person we're dating disappoints us, the hope we've placed in God never will (Romans 5:2-5).
That said, even though God doesn't promise individual Christians they will get married, so often he gifts us with a godly husband or godly wife. I look forward to sharing the journey with you!