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16 Christian Dating Principles Part 1

In  Religion Saves: And 9 Other Misconceptions Mark Driscoll gives 16 principles for Christian dating. Guys and gals, these are some great things to keep in mind as you pursue marriage:

  1. Maximize your singleness for God. Accept that you’re in a season of life that affords some freedoms and benefits you will not have if and when you marry. It is a good season to finish your education, increase your theological knowledge, travel to serve in missions, give time to your church, work long hours to establish your career, and pay off any debt you may have accrued. In short, invest your single years in a way that they later pay a great return. Do not waste them.
  2. Do not pursue a serious relationship until you are ready to marry. There are many reasons why people should, for a season, devote their energies to something other than finding a spouse. Getting biblical counseling to overcome a habitual sin such as pornography or substance abuse, maturing as a Christian if they are a new or immature convert, or simply moving out of their parents’ home and taking on adult responsibilities are all good reasons to delay a serious relationship until a better season of life. Basically, until people are mature enough to marry, they should not be in a serious romantic relationship but should use their energies to mature.
  3. Be reasonable. Do not set your expectations too high or too low. If you set your expectations too low, you may marry and be miserable, having made the biggest mistake of your life. If you set your expectations too high, you may never marry, or you may marry the person you think you want but who may not be the one God would consider best for you. I discourage Christian singles from having too long a list of what they are looking for in a spouse. The truth is that most of these lists are simply idolatrous because they are comprised of the seekers’ resume and what they like and do, as if the goal of marriage is to find someone just like them rather than someone different from them so that together they can learn to love and serve one another. Few men are looking for a widowed, broke, and homeless gal from a family noted for incest who is a recent convert with a bitter mother-in-law in tow. But her name is Ruth, and Boaz was blessed to marry her, and through her came Jesus.
  4. Do not be legalistic about dating. There is a difference between a date and dating. A date can be two people spending time together, going out for a meal or coffee after church to get to know one another in a non-sexual manner. Dating as is practiced by non-Christians is not acceptable for Christians. Still, the word dating is not worth quibbling over, as Paul tells us not to quarrel over words. Whether we call it “a date” or something else, time together does not need to be considered a dating relationship. In 1 Timothy 5:1–2, Paul tells Christian single men to treat Christian single women like sisters. Thus, since adult brothers and sisters talk to one another, enjoy one another’s company, and occasionally enjoy a meal together, it is not a sin for two single Christians to enjoy time together, getting to know one another, so that they can see if there is the possibility of a more serious relationship that leads to courtship and marriage.
  5. Do not have any romantic relationship with someone who is a non-Christian. The reasons here are almost limitless. Since you cannot marry a non-Christian, getting emotionally involved is pointless and only leads to sin and/or heartache. Since Jesus is at the center of your life, a non-Christian will not even understand who you are. Because you submit to Scripture and unbelievers do not, your relationship with one has no court of arbitration in which to resolve your differences. An unbeliever is not in covenant with Jesus, so he or she has no covenental framework for any relationship with you. If he or she is not a Christian, you have no means of dealing with sin that will come between the two of you, because you do not both believe in the gospel of Jesus’ death for sin. Indeed, you can have non-romantic evangelistic relationships with non-Christians, but if the parties involved are single, the odds of attraction are high, and it is usually best to introduce the non-Christians to your Christian friends of the opposite gender so that an evangelistic relationship can form.
  6. You should be in a romantic relationship with only one person at a time. Ultimately, the goal of a Christian not called to singleness is not to have a boyfriend or girlfriend but to have a spouse. It is cruel to date multiple people at one time, having them compete for your affections. Furthermore, it is better preparation for adultery than it is for covenant marriage.
  7. He should initiate and she should respond. Because the Bible repeatedly states that the husband is to be the loving and leading head of the family, any romantic relationship should begin with the man taking initiative to kindly and respectfully request an opportunity to get to know the woman better. Too many Christian men are too timid and need to have more courage to risk rejection in their pursuit of a wife. Any woman who is not interested in, say, a group outing or a cup of coffee need simply say no, and the man should respect that answer.
  8. You need to look at who God puts in front of you. Too many singles are looking over people in their church and life who do love God in pursuit of a mythical person, who does not exist. Yet, in God’s providence, good potential spouses are right in front of them. Furthermore, while a woman should not chase a man, she can wisely put herself in front of him. This is precisely what happened in the story of Ruth and Boaz. Although God providentially put Ruth at work gleaning for food in the field of Boaz, Boaz did not consider her a potential wife until Ruth took the counsel of the older woman Naomi and got dressed up and went to the same big party as Boaz, where she did not chase him but did get in his way. The result? One of the greatest love stories in the Bible.

Read part 2.
Similar Posts: Questions to Ponder Before Dating

Related Resources:

  1. Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach by Gerald Hiestand and Jay S. Thomas
  2. Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard
  3. What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp
  4. This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence by John Piper

 

June 15, 2011 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Dating / Singleness,Life / Doctrine,Marriage / Family,Men,The Christian Life,Women | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:48 am | (86) Comments »

86 Comments »

  1. Im in love with a girl but she has gone away, will praying bring her back? Will she change her mind? Time is running out for me, the years are passing by and still i havent found the love of my life.

    Comment by Apocalyto — June 15, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  2. The article is well written with lots of good advice, thanks and well done.

    Comment by Apocalyto — June 16, 2011 @ 7:31 am

  3. Apocalypto, the answer is: maybe she will come back, and maybe she won’t. I feel for you; that’s a hard spot to be in. However, no matter how fervent your prayers, if it’s not God’s will, it’s not. (That doesn’t mean not to pray, it just means to trust God with the answer to your prayers.)

    You wrote, “still I haven’t found the love of my life.” Something to consider: Hollywood’s romanticized notion of a soulmate, the love of your life, isn’t real. I fell in love with my wife, no question about it. I hope you have a passionate romance, too. But it’s not the be all and end all of relationships, and even when you do have a passionate romance, it’s far less romantic and far more about commitment and Christ-honoring self-sacrifice than about the rush of feelings. My wife is the love of my life because I choose to continue to love her, not because of emotions that ebb and flow with time.

    What I’m really getting at is this: make it far easier on yourself by not making an idol out of cultural pictures of “love,” and work instead to become a Godly man and, when a woman comes along that you are interested in, pursue her. Don’t make the mistake I made early on and overcomplicate it: it’s simpler than you think.

    Comment by Chris Krycho — June 16, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  4. I’ve read through this list and the other half. I like all of these principles and think that they are something everyone should take into consideration. The ones I really like are to do as much as you can when your single. Too many people get married early and then have all sorts of debt or aren’t satisfied because they didn’t get to do any mission work that they wanted. The other is not to get into a serious relationship until you’re ready to get married. This is another common error that leads to people getting hurt because they jumped in too quick.

    Comment by Erin Whitehead — June 29, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  5. Ok, we read what amans behavior should be and if rejected…oh well. How should a woman react if interested? Women dont know the difference between being pursued and playing hard to get. If the feel responding back is a sin..how should they react. An yes, my church says its a sin for a woman to “go after” a man.

    Comment by Pat — February 25, 2012 @ 2:28 am

  6. Sorry the typing errors. Distracted by a good movie.

    Comment by Pat — February 25, 2012 @ 2:30 am

  7. Wondering will of God. Whether it’s time to allow myself to get to know someone. What are emotional cues?

    Comment by Mferris — March 21, 2012 @ 3:34 am

  8. Yes, these are all great ideas. Another foundational principle is only dating other believers. Scripture is clear on the importance of being equally yoked to further God’s kingdom. Also, He knows sharing our faith and values within marriage leads to unsurpassed emotional and spiritual intimacy lifelong. In addition, it’s important for believers to use sites that are genuinely Christian owned and operated, unlike ChristianMingle.

    Comment by wyatt richards — April 28, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  9. During bible study It was said by the pastor that if you date a member of the church you are a member of, that would be an incestuous relationship because you are brothers and sisters. I was the only one in the congregation who disagreed with the comment. Upon my disagreement I was told I could be showed proof in the Holy Bible. I was never given the scripture references to confirm this doctrine. I did apologize to the pastor (in front of the congregation, as after praying about this I felt in my spirit I was out of order for voicing my disagreement in front of the congregation. But I feel that this has caused me to be somewhat demonized and ostracized. I love my church family, but because of this I have not been attending the church. I have not left and will never leave God, for He is my first love. I’m seeking God’s guidance and through this I am growing closer to Him. So I realize this is working for my good but I do miss my church family (whom I never hear from unless I initiate) and eventually I will return at the unction of the Holy Spirit.

    Comment by Ron — April 28, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  10. I am somewhat confused about the respond to Ron because he chose to ask a question,one that clearly is not based on bible principal, since the bible encourages not being unevenly yoked with un beleivers, what kind of message is being sent here, I would never encourage anyone to leave their church of choice but I would certainly suggest Ron to seek some spiritual guidance,from another source, you showed respect, and humility in your apology it is to bad you did not get the same respect and sound bible councel
    for the concern. Ron, there are Spiritual advisors that will be willing to help you with this seek one

    Comment by Barbara J. — May 11, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  11. how old can a man be to start dating a girl? And at wat age of girl can he date? I mean serious dating relationship before courtship and then marriage. And how long should or can this dating relationship?

    Comment by mimitess — August 25, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  12. Hi Angie, I love your blog, long time reader first time commenter.

    I agree with Barabara J.

    What kind of message is this sending?

    I have spent many years receiving professional education at college and post graduate school, which in turn has taught me to think critically.

    I am now married, and happy. This happened because I dated many men and could accurately discern who was right for me. One thing that has stuck with me that I learnt in college is to scan for options. Much like in business. I guess you could call this ‘maximising my singleness’ for god, but why would dating many men make me any less christian than say, dating one person for 3 years who then broke my heart by leaving me, or the church? Without sounding too crass, dating many helped me find my beau.

    Technology was an enabler for me. Mainly because my church groups have had dwindling numbers of young people. Does this make me any less christian?

    I preferred to use the internet, but found that I had to be the initiator as men these days ‘don’t know’ how to communicate. I dated one man who use this disgusting app to count his ‘conquests’, and frequented blogs like this: http://dating-asian-women.blogspot.co.nz/

    As a Malaysian, I find this insulting. Are mediums such as the internet one of the sources that are destroying gods word?

    WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!

    Comment by Holly M. — August 25, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

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    Comment by SemiToissib — September 9, 2012 @ 1:40 am

  14. hello. I really enjoy dis article buh notwitstanding, i have a question. I really like a guy who is God fearing and i know helikes me too buh he is really not doin much about it. Is it right if i go on to try engage in a conversation with him?

    Comment by elizabeth ezzy — September 14, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  15. hi!

    Comment by Gina Alferez — September 19, 2012 @ 7:05 am

  16. Hello!! I’m 20 years old from the Philippines. I have been struggling with my emotions lately. Just last Sunday, I told God I want to love Him with all my heart and was really decided to put Him first above everything else through His strength, however, a test came. When I opened my Facebook account, I saw my ex bf and we had video chat. This guy was my longest relationship which was only 3 months. We met almost 2 years ago. we’ve been together for only 3 weeks and continued long distance relationship that lasted 3 months.
    When I met him,way back 2010, my relationship with God was not right. I turned against God. Anyway, that guy was the only guy I’ve loved so much. We cried together, and stuffs. I’m friend with his sister,and his parents who live in Korea knew about our relationship. I could say we were really emotionally high during those times.
    After breaking up with him, I never had any serious relationship anymore. We still connect with each other through FB. He told me He never had any official Gf in Canada since He’s there to study.
    going back to what happened last Sunday, after we talked, our feelings came back. I mean both of us admitted that there was something special again.
    However, it’s so impossible for us to be together ‘coz he knew that he can’t come to my country since it will take a long time for him to do so ‘coz he still needs to graduate in Canada.
    It broke my heart. I’ve been praying for him for years. I don’t want to disobey God since that guy is unbeliever. I tried to share the Gospel but he said he doesn’t believe in God.
    It’s really devastating.
    I know God is in control of everything, even our future! I’m just praying for a submissive heart.

    Comment by Gin — September 19, 2012 @ 7:24 am

  17. Hi there :)

    I’d just like to add something that helped me;

    *There is only one thing that settles your worth- and that’s you. Who you truly are is only found through the eyes of God and in His word.

    He says I love you with an everlasting love, I never do mistakes, you are not a mistake. You are not a failure, you are a priceless masterpiece from my thoughts and heart, molded by my hands, given skills and talents, given a place in this world only you can fill.

    I will never leave you nor forsake you, I am always waiting on you. Nothing you have done will ever make me love you less, I love you with all I am

    Don’t let your past, your wrong decisions, your shortcomings define your worth or who you are, let them be tools in the loving, caring hand of God to refine you. You can always come to God as you are, but believe me- He won’t let you stay as you are, He will love you, care for you, heal you, restore you, lead you out into freedom, He will transform you into greater likeness of Christ. Tomorrow is past, today you can bring before God, He will plant in your heart the hope of a better tomorrow.*

    Think about this for a minute; the God that said that .. Do you think THAT God would ever put the wrong guy/girl in your life? Do you think that He will ever want you to hurt because of a failed relationship .. I believe that once we trust that God will always do what’s best for us, then we’ll completely trust that He has someone out there for us, in His time and not ours :D

    @Ron, You’ve been put in a difficult situation, I hope with time and you’ll grow to understand that often time’s people are so caught-up in Religious institutions that they aren’t aware of how Jesus would treat certain situations .. I think that regardless whether you were right or wrong, the pastor should’ve dealt with it better, by manipulating your sense of shame he’s pushed you away, nevertheless, God makes use of situations just like these to show you that you don’t need to be in an institution to love God :D

    The thing that makes us acceptable in the sight of God is not anything that you did for Him but everything that he did for you 2000 years ago on the cross..

    Sorry for the long post :)

    Comment by Qyrone — September 24, 2012 @ 9:49 am

  18. I want to ask if romance and kissing is permited in a relationShip.

    Comment by damy — October 7, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  19. I’m going on a mission trip that’s across the world for a year, and I’ve met an amazing Christian girl. One who is faithfully seeking Him. What would be the Godly way to pursue her? Should I? If its not realistic, then what should I be thinking about and how should I approach this issue?

    Comment by Servantleader — October 17, 2012 @ 12:23 am

  20. I learn alot and it will be more effective to start sharing this principles during the adolescent phase. As this might reduce misconceptions about love ,dating, and romantic relationships in early adulthood

    Comment by Eveline — November 10, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  21. I am very impressed and my faith in waiting in prayer also got strengthened by this article. Thanks !! May God bless you more.

    I am a 23 years old man, final year undergraduate student. I have never been in any relationship for 5 years, and throughout this period I’ve been praying to God that he manifests to me who that girl-He chose for me-is.

    Lately, since August’12 I’ve been talking to a Christian girl via facebook. Actually, we were introduced by the other friend on fb. And in last month -October-I went back home to Thailand for a 3 week-long Bible Conference, and it was there I met her in real flesh. I thanks God we got along so well, even though we met just only 2 weeks, I felt we are connecting so much in our understanding, thoughts and the quest for Christ’s love as well; because we openly talked [all these] everyday.

    Then, it was the time I had to go back to another country where I’m studying, as the conference got over. I doubted if she is the one I’ve been praying for. So, I told her two nights before leaving Thailand, “I feel like I found the women I’ve been waiting for when I met you. If it is God’s will, let us wait in the prayer.” Then, she told me not to expect anything, nothing is certain. So, we are just normal friends now but still catching up on skype almost every day. And my side still keep praying for God to show more clue.

    I really want your suggestion, how could we know that someone is meant for us by God? How would we feel or realize God’s plan when it’s still on the move? Thanks in advance !!! GBU

    Comment by Naru — November 15, 2012 @ 4:53 am

  22. I think these rules needs to contextualized. In India doing the above things (except for dating multiple partners) would be considered unacceptable. In fact elders in most churches are against asking a girl. This is considered sacrileges.

    Indian Christians please be careful when you want to follow this.

    Comment by seekerofTruth — November 28, 2012 @ 12:04 am

  23. The man MUST be the one to take the initiative? Is that truly biblical?

    As someone who is diagnosed recently with Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder, and has actually always coped with it, I find this directive to be troubling. If it weren’t for my wife “taking the initiative”, it would have been extremely difficult we would have gotten to know one another like we did…and eventually gotten married 16 years ago.

    We’re both very strong Christians…but, with my issues, I consider that to be an acceptable exception to the so-called “rule”.

    Comment by Ron Kerns — November 29, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  24. Hi, I’m 25 and residing in manila, phils. Just kinda confused and a bit hurt. I am deeply in love with a guy I met during my stay at a company I worked with last March up until August 2012. We met there as trainees and somehow felt something magical and unexplainable. We both felt like we knew each other for so long even though we’ve never met before. Conversations became sweeter every time and we grew closer each day. We felt comfortable in revealing even our deepest secrets with each other, like soulmates would (at least, that’s what I believe it to be).
    Then, one day, after being with each other for just 3 weeks, he decided to go on his own way due to not being satisfied with our work. He wanted to pursue his career of being an IT expert. That night, we both revealed our feelings for each other and I knew that I will not be able to forget him.
    I wasn’t able to hold him back for fear of making him miserable if he wasn’t able to pursue his goalS.
    During the weeks that followed, we still exchanged text messages until it suddenly stopped. I had no way of contacting him and I found myself going back and forth from denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. Not with acceptance though.
    Then, after a couple of months, we suddenly have communication again, like the universe conspired to help us find each other again. It was in october when we started exchanging emails and catching up with each other’s lives. I was working with another company during that time and he on the other hand, was pursuing his goals. I remember how he told me before that he aims to have his own car and condo and he informed me that right now, he is close to achieving those goals.
    He asked me if we could be friends for the meantime because he wants to focus on his goals. I got hurt and I told him that I’ll walk away but then, I got confused at the same time when he told me he doesn’t want me to go. He wanted me to still keep in touch with him and he even told me not to get tired of replying to his emails. It’s not a very direct statement of “wait for me until I’ve fulfilled my singleness”, but it seems as if he wants me to wait for him. He’s not the kind of guy who’s very vocal about his feelings but I felt I need to know where I’m at in his life. I still love him so much and I felt like I could never love anyone ever again. I mean how can I love anyone else when I’ve already given my heart to him?
    Pls. help…I don’t know what to do and what to think anymore…Thanks!

    Comment by Mitchie — December 1, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  25. Hi, just a follow up. I especially liked nuumber 8 from the list. It so happens that I believe it because I know that God had put him in front of me. I’m not ‘looking’ at him when I first met him, I was ‘looking’ at some other guy. God is really great because He made me realize that the ‘other guy’ is not worth keeping as he has a rotten mind and does not show respect to women. He, my love, on the other hand, is one of the nicest guy I’ve ever met, decent and a gentleman. He also does believe in God and accepts Him as His savior like me…I have faith in God that what He wanted for us is what will happen. However, I can’t shake this feeling of confusion if he really is the one…

    Comment by Mitchie — December 1, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  26. this has realy blessed my life tonighte.had ealier believed there need be no rush into dating until one is ready to marry.

    Comment by Kanu — December 3, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  27. I like this guy and he knows i like him, but hes christian and he says he cant date me, cause of his christianitty, is this true? Im non-christian by the way, but i say grace before eating, and at the start of the day.
    Is this true he cannot date me?

    Comment by Maia Cookie — December 5, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  28. Hi Gin,
    Where do I start? Living a life that is not pleasing before God is fatal as the wages of sin is death. I was with a guy for 3.5 years and he was an unbeliever and would mock me at times. I felt so guilty but I stayed with him so long because I thought God would change him. However, it did work like that unfortunately. It took me a long time to realize that Gods plan is bigger than mine because I belong to Him. Jeremiah 29:11 talks about His plan. for so just be patient.Isaiah 40:30-31. You should pray with ceasing and ask that His strength is perfect in your weakness. I wish you all the best.
    Take care.

    Comment by Ant — December 10, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

  29. This is a testimony that i will tell to every one to hear. i have been married four 4years and on the fifth year of my marriage, another woman had a spell to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until i met a post where this man lord luma have helped someone and i decided to give him a try to help me bring my lover back home and believe me i just send my picture to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told me, i saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he have come to me and the kids and that is why i am happy to make every one of you in similar to met with this man and have your lover back to your self.
    His email: orissatemple@yahoo.com

    Comment by sarah — December 12, 2012 @ 2:31 am

  30. Dr Charles is a powerful man that bring back my husband our love is stronger than ever and my family is happy …Dr Charles don’t forget about you he always keep in touch make sure all is well after a stress full time with a woman turning my husband away from me. Dr Charles is to thanks for the smile on my face and his wonderful work . If you need his help, contact him via his email address. drcharlesspelltemple@gmail.com……………….deby

    Comment by Deby — December 12, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  31. I once confessed my affection to a Christian Sister of mine, taking the initiative to show her about my feelings , we have been enjoying each others company for a long time, when I told her what I felt she neither said yes or no but rather just asked ” What if the presence of God left me would you still view me as the same person?” I couldn’t recall what I answered her, but I do remember telling her that I could wait until she becomes ready to accept a suitor, back then she was still studying and I did not want to bother her, 2 years passed and I lost communication with her and she doesn’t even reply if I send her an e-mail the last I’ve herd was she went back home to her parents place to work and help them out. Is it about time I go to to see her and ask her again if I could pursue her? or should I still wait till the day that our paths would cross once again? or just merely give up on her and move on? Until now I still genuinely care and love her as a sister and if God would allow it be her partner for life.

    Comment by Vladimir Chen — December 30, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

  32. What does equally yoked mean? How do I know if a man is a true believer?
    As a woman is it ok for me to be the one that motivates the man to seek a relationship with God?
    How do I know if the man is really trying to gain a relationship with God?

    Comment by christina — December 31, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  33. Equally yoked is to associate in marriage, in union or alike. A man could be seen as a true believer when he seeks God more than the woman who he is pursuing I mean like if he is more interested in knowing God before he pursues you. I don’t see anything wrong for a woman to motivate a male friend from seeking the Lord as long as you don’t have any hidden motives I mean like letting the man really seek God genuinely with all His heart and the woman sharing God’s word to the man for him to know the Lord.

    Comment by Vladimir Chen — December 31, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

  34. i likes so much…………..

    Comment by jonas — January 16, 2013 @ 9:09 am

  35. I had so many questions, but your article answered all of them. God bless you.

    Comment by Samuel — January 25, 2013 @ 2:27 am

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  38. baaaaaa test

    Comment by ivan — February 6, 2013 @ 9:06 am

  39. As a Christian I found 2 of these rules majorly incorrect.
    5. Is a relationship with a non-believer more difficult than a relationship with a believer? Yes. Is it a sin? NO. God may have called you into that persons life for a reason. Refusing to date or marry a non-believer just perpetuates negative stereotypes. My mother is married to a non-believer, and after years of a successful marriage he has accepted Christ into his heart. Your “rule” would have denied one of God’s children the path to his Father.
    7. He should initiate and she should respond? Archaic at best. I for one have been in a loving relationship for more than 4 years and am engaged to be married, and I (the girl) made the first move. Does that invalidate our relationship? Are we not a “godly couple” because I was the first one to say “Hey I really like you, lets see where this goes.”? This RULE is disgusting to be honest.

    Over all, I appreciate what was trying to be done here, and I agree that Christian “dating” is very different than what “dating” is typically considered, but you went way to far with little biblical backing.

    Comment by mae — February 10, 2013 @ 1:02 am

  40. My boyfriend is really loving and truly is a good person. He is a Christian but he doesn’t have an intimate relationship with God, he is just a church goer. We had a wonderful relationship for year and a half than things started to fall apart and we broke up. After few months, he came back asking for second chance. I really did not know what to do because the crumbling of relationship was in the fault of both of us. So I prayed to God about this situation and asked him to forgive us for our sins and for not following Christ in our relationship. I asked him to give us the heart the persevere in Him and for Him to come into my boyfriend’s heart and truly make him God’s child. I asked Him to give me strength to show to my boyfriend what it is to be in love with Christ so that he will be inspired to follow God’s footsteps also.
    My mom herself was not a Christian before she married my father but now she is and she has been saved. So I feel like just not giving a man who is willing to change (my boyfriend really said he will prioritize God and pray and all that I ask of him to do in this new relationship) when our mission as Christians is to evangelize the non-believers is just plainly wrong. I love him and he loves me but I know that should not be our priority, and I pray that his priority would change to his relationship with God before ours as well. What are your thoughts about this?

    Comment by kim — February 10, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

  41. I just read your article. Very sound counsel for the single Christian. I started seeing someone in my church but I am concerned that the relationship may not be what God wants for me. For one thing I didnt get into it prayerfully. She kinda came after me and I was attracted to her so we started spending time together. The thing is after a few weeks I am realising that we don’t seem to have anything in common. We are both Christians but when we spend time together we have no stimulating conversation. We just seem to pass time together.She’ll often be on her phone and I’ll be looking for something to talk about.
    We seem to have completely different interests and I am just not feeling that this is going anywhere. I pray about this daily and more and more I get the sense that perhaps I should end this before it gets serious.

    I suppose it took the time that we have spent together to realise that she may not be what God wants for (and I may not be what the Father wants for her!)I just don’t feel that a romantic relationship is what we need. I also feel unsettled about this. We have conducted ourselves as God wants us to, but this doesnt automatically mean that God is in it.Right? I want His will for my life. All of it.

    The problem is I have an idea how she will react if I tell her that I am no longer interested in pursuing this relationship (and its the truth). She will lash out etc. But I cannot continue if I am not in it wholeheartedly. She is a lovely lady but perhaps not MY lovely lady. I feel like I’m seeing someone elses future wife.

    Comment by Lenard — February 11, 2013 @ 4:02 am

  42. Why can’t two people of different religions date one-another? That’s ridiculous. Sorry, but I would never listen to anything that tells me what I can and cannot do, tells me who I can and cannot date, and then tells me that it’s sinful to feel or think that way. I can’t believe I even have to say this(Well, I don’t have to, but I feel that I must). Anyway, how can it be, that in 2013, we still have barbaric points of views, where it is wrong to date others of different religions? Or, that the man “must take the initiative”. Since when have women always been so unassertive? Sure, you could say that I don’t understand your point of view, but this is just entirely wacky, isn’t it? And why is it that no one really questions these kinds of things? Don’t people have minds of their own? I thought that that was how God created us, as individuals who think differently from each other. If that’s the case, then why is it that non-Christians and non-believers still receive such bad reputations? Is it because we are misunderstood? Or is it that we are perceived as lesser than good or sinful? I, for one, am sick of being pointed out, and singled out as being an “idiot” for dating a girl that I love and respect; one who is Christian and believes in God. I believe in God as well, but I do not subscribe to your barbaric, thoughtless, inconsiderate and one-dimensional “Rules” or “Principals”. Notice how I used quotations on the words, “Rules” and “Principals”, while you’re at it.

    Comment by ... — February 19, 2013 @ 2:48 am

  43. I really need advice here I’m so confused and I’ve been praying for an answer. I’m a christian and been dating a guy on and off for 2yrs years. I was never really honest with him about what I was going through and bc I was embarrassed of losing everything I owned when my life took a sudden turn and hit bottom I told in the beginning I just need space and time to deal with things. The thing was it was until the entire summer we spent apart that I told him the truth as to why I needed space bc it had nothing to do with him. To make a long story short we started back seeing each other but things just were not ever the same. I am in love with this man and he is everything I ever wanted and I know now truly want love and happiness is. However, bc of the time apart really hurt us and all I ever tried was getting back good with him and bc of that I became everything I’m not and I went about it all wrong and I never let him truly know me when he allowed me. Now that I got things right for myself and back on track I wanted to start over fresh with him and try again. He now wants to be just friends and strengthen our friendship so we can have a healthy relationship and be better christians in the process and refrain from sex because its a. Sin as we all know being we are not married. I know that’s a big sin and have asked God to forgive me for doing so and we are both so physically attracted to each other its our weakness and we are refraining from doing so we have before and then it just happened. My question is do I stay friends with him even though there are feelings there? Or should I move on? The thing is he is seeing someone else and its not fair to me I feel so rejected and hurt he went to someone else when I was always there for him and now I feel so unwanted and I don’t understand why he wants me to be friends and strenghten our friendship so it can be better so we can have a healthy relationship if he is seeing someone else? Does this mean he sees a possible relationship with me in the future? I was always his friend and he still has that with me I just don’t know if I’m hurting myself in hopes of having something one day with him if he doesn’t want to be with me and just wants me as a friend only. I would really like to know if someone can give me some real honest advice should I stay and work at this bc all relationships start with friendship and I do want to have a healthy relationship with this man that I simply love and adore but I won’t be a doormat or the girl sitting on the side waiting in hopes that one day we will have that and get married one day. Help!

    Comment by cheri — February 21, 2013 @ 12:43 am

  44. Am a christian lady and i want to ask if is it a sin for a christian to look for a dating on christian dating?

    Comment by Esther N — February 25, 2013 @ 8:11 am

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    Comment by Mariam — March 2, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

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    If he is seeing someone else, it would do you tons of good NOT to be in contact with him. With all good intents and purposes, being in touch with this guy will just complicate matters for you and make it near impossible to move on in life. You will constantly be finding yourself on tenterhooks, and experiencing mood swings. Perhaps he is not the one whom God wants you to be with. Please do yourself a favour. Don’t contact him. Both of you are not ready for a friendship. I wish you all the best.

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    Comment by halen sergey — April 3, 2013 @ 1:59 am

  53. I’ve been battling with this question for a while. I want my Boaz and to meet the right one that God has for me but I’m still young. I know about taking the time to mature and everything but is it bad to Date someone? And or kiss someone? (Of course no more than that) Is that a sin upon to God. I dont want to ruin anything. I just dont really know. I talked to one of my brothers and he said that I shouldnt date anyone because that isnt fair to my Boaz that I’m waiting for

    Comment by Daniela — April 3, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

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    Comment by nino — April 17, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

  56. These advises are great! thanks for sharing! And I have a qestion, is it sinful to date a boy who is spiritual lower than you?

    Comment by Mira — April 19, 2013 @ 3:09 am

  57. Nice post.Thank you for sharing some good things!!

    Comment by Ricky martin — April 19, 2013 @ 6:10 am

  58. If its in Gods will It will be back. If its not, it wont. But dont pray too hard for the girl which is not in Gods mind and will. Better way that we can say move forward to see whats Gods will and …see the perfect partner for your life with God…
    In a right time, in a right place, God will lift you up.. Remember that, If it is in Gods will God will bring right person to you…

    Comment by Febin — April 24, 2013 @ 5:52 am

  59. Hi!

    Have a question?
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    The issue is her parents[ Indian Christians] are very unhappy/upset about this as she is more educated than him and that the man’s family are non christians but he is a believer and therefore they will have problems in the future?
    Can you give your advise with some bibical support if possible. please send me an email , dont know if i will come back here to check. My email is deepmits@yahoo.co.in

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    Comment by Godchaser — May 27, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

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    Comment by Mary — June 20, 2013 @ 9:05 am

  77. This article is not biblical. It is traditional, but not biblical, nor precise and not the hope that single people need today. Women need to initiate relationships today as much as men do. The term “Dating” does not automatically equal sin, or “fornicating”. When you put stuff like this out on the Internet and beyond, you give other people the mindset that continues to alienate single people in churches.

    Other parts of this article are good, such as maximize your singleness, and look at what’s in front of you. However, many people use these as a)excuses to stay single for 55 years, and b)excuses to marry the wrong person.

    On the story of Ruth and Boaz… that is in the Bible because they are the great great grandparents of King David, not for it’s actual marital – or dating/courtship advice.

    Remember, Boaz tried to pawn her off to his brother at first, and then he married her because he would not. Also know that Boaz was about 80 years old when he did this, and Ruth 40 – according to Jewish tradition. Boaz calls Ruth his daughter(Ruth 2:8) and according to the same Jewish tradition, Boaz died the day after their wedding. Not so beautiful…

    Also, be reminded that Ruth was married prior, and there is nothing to indicate that Boaz was actually single at the time either, since that culture was polygamous.

    I have to advise you to be careful about reading meaning into the scripture as is commonly done. The Bible must be read as one work.

    Also, the commenter before me #77 dated June 23, and also #74, 68, & 54, & 48 are all spam.

    Comment by Jack — June 29, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  78. That’s witchcraft honey. And its not good.

    Comment by Alexandrea — July 14, 2013 @ 2:23 am

  79. Jack (#78) is right. The bible is not a dating guide or a relationship manual. It’s a scripture for a way of life. That said, dating according to the bible lies within the article.

    My objection is that Boaz and Ruth are not a good example of a great love story, it’s a story of a chaste woman who honored her religion and was rewarded with being the great grandmother of David and Jesus.

    Comment by John — July 25, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

  80. The number 1 complaint I hear from single guys in church(including myself): “Every time I try to have a conversation with a single woman, she makes wild assumptions and throws up a wall. Married women will talk my ear off, but there’s no possible way to talk to single women!”

    Number 1 complaint I hear single women in church give: “Guys don’t ask me out! Is there something wrong with me???”

    It’s a circle that needs to be broken if there is any hope of getting past this. Guys in church don’t ask women in church out for one of two reasons: One: When you try to start a conversation, she makes assumptions, closes you off and starts giving one word answers so there’s no way to get to know her, or two: When you ask her out and she says no, then she spends the next year treating you like you’ve done something wrong.

    That first one is really rampant. It’s there in every church I’ve ever been in. I even had a woman run out of class once and tell the teacher I was a sexual predator after her body because I sat next to her in the only open seat. It’s a little ridiculous to jump to the conclusion that if a man talks to a woman, then he must want a date. Why not assume that he’s thinking biblically, that she is a sister in Christ? I talk to women the same way that I talk to guys(like family), so it’s frustrating to no end that assumptions of bad intentions are just automatically made without a second thought. I think it’s also very frustrating that I can be myself and have fun talking to women at work, but in the church I have to walk on eggshells like she’s gonna break.

    And to ask a woman on a date is not that big of a deal. It certainly should not be the end of a friendship. If she doesn’t think she’s interested in a date, it should not be that big of a deal. That just means that the relationship stays on this level, and it doesn’t go to another one. Yet, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a woman tell me that we can never be friends again because I asked her out. I don’t know how that would even work, biblicaly.

    So, my dating principal for the list: Everyone loosen up! Nobody’s out to get you.

    Comment by Nate — August 13, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  81. This is very true. It’s a very good reminder to every Christian man or woman out there. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Chris — October 7, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

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  83. I have a question: can a Christian Gal date a Christian guy, even if their veiws don’t line up on certain aspects of the bible?

    Comment by Cate — October 10, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

  84. the Bible DOESN’T say that christians have to marry christians only. This has been a very damaging lie perpetuated by extremists.

    Here is the detailed explanation by John Gill, famous 18th Century theologian:

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,…. This seems to be an allusion to the law in Deuteronomy 22:10 and to be a mystical explanation of it; and is to be understood not as forbidding civil society and converse with unbelievers; for this is impracticable, then must believers needs go out of the world; this the many natural and civil relations subsisting among men make absolutely necessary; and in many cases is both lawful and laudable, especially when there is any opportunity or likelihood of doing them any service in a spiritual way: not is it to be understood as dehorting from entering into marriage contracts with such persons; for such marriages the apostle, in his former epistle, had allowed to be lawful, and what ought to be abode by; though believers would do well carefully to avoid such an unequal yoke, since oftentimes they are hereby exposed to many snares, temptations, distresses, and sorrows, which generally more or less follow hereon: but there is nothing in the text or context that lead to such an interpretation; rather, if any particular thing is referred to, it is to joining with unbelievers in acts of idolatry; since one of the apostle’s arguments to dissuade from being unequally yoked with unbelievers is, “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” and from the foregoing epistle it looks as if some in this church had joined with them in such practices; see 1 Corinthians 10:14. But I rather think that these words are a dissuasive in general, from having any fellowship with unbelievers in anything sinful and criminal, whether in worship or in conversation:

    for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? This, with what is said in the following verse, and in the beginning of the next to that, contain reasons or arguments engaging believers to attend to the exhortation given not to keep company with unbelievers. By “righteousness” is meant righteous persons, who are made the righteousness of God in Christ, to whom Christ is made righteousness, or to whom the righteousness of Christ is imputed for justification; and who also have principles of grace and holiness in their hearts, or have the kingdom of God in them, which consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and who being made free from the dominion of sin, are become servants of righteousness: and by unrighteousness is designed unrighteous persons, who are destitute of a justifying righteousness, are filled with all unrighteousness, and are, as it were, a mass and lump of iniquity; now, what fellowship can there be between persons of such distant characters?

    And what communion hath light with darkness? regenerate men are made light in the Lord; they are enlightened into their state and condition by nature, to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, to behold the glory, beauty, fulness, and suitableness of Christ, so as to be sensible of their need of him, and to be able to look unto him for life and salvation; they are enlightened more or less into the doctrines of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; and their path is a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day. Unregenerate persons are “darkness” itself; they are dark and ignorant of God in Christ, of the way of salvation by Christ, of the work of the Spirit of God upon the heart, and of the mysteries of grace; they know not themselves, nor the sad estate they are in; they are born, and brought up in darkness worse than Egyptian darkness; they go on in it, and if grace prevent not, will be cast into utter and eternal darkness. Now, what “communion” can there be between persons so different one from another? for what is more so than light and darkness? these the God of nature has divided from each other; and they are in nature irreconcilable to one another, and so they are in grace.

    Comment by flo — December 18, 2013 @ 4:06 am

  85. wow!

    Comment by megs — February 22, 2014 @ 10:38 am

  86. I feel like I am a legalist when it comes to dating. The legalism is like this: I think that I must only pursue a relationship when I am completely ready for it. I think that I am intellectually ready, but at heart, I haven’t completely fallen in love with Jesus. Although he is the center of my life, and I base everything I do around him, when it comes to obedience I fail a lot. I also avoid one on ones with guys.
    The problem related to dating is not that guys avoid me because of my legalism (I would be ok with that), but the problem is that I have a desire for guys to like me even though I don’t like them. And then I attract attention that I don’t want. And any attention that I get, even if it be from a great guy, I shoo away because I get scared of delving into a romantic relationship. I DO want to get married, and I want to find the right guy at the right time. I need Jesus to change me and to give me self control to act normally in front of guys and wisdom to say no when I get attention from guys who I know are not right for me. (This is not the central desire of my life to get married, but it is one of the God-given desires, and I feel so confused because I can’t seem to get it right).
    Finally, there was a guy who really really liked me, and long story short, I broke (more like crushed) his heart because of my legalism. Any encouragement for a sad soul? I know that God will work all things for the good of this person and the good of me because we both love Jesus, but right now, it kind of sucks because I feel SO BAD!
    Honestly, my problems are due to the fact that I don’t realize how much God loves me AND that I am so insecure!! Basically I need a bath in the love of Jesus. Thanks for listening to my ranting.

    Comment by reji — May 24, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

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