When Worlds Collide: Some Thoughts On Christian Dating

I’m going to be honest. I have a serious weakness for romantic comedies/dramas. 

Like a lot of people, I love movies like Sweet Home Alabama, A Walk To Remember, and Sleepless In Seattle. Not to mention pretty much every Christmas movie that they play on Hallmark in December.

I love seeing both characters grow through their relationships. I love seeing the thrill of first love. And of course, I love happy endings to a perfectly fitting soundtrack.

But, if there’s one thing that most of us know, it’s that love isn’t always as simple as it is in the movies, is it? There are bumps in the road. There are complications. There are a lot of Taylor Swift songs. And there are a a lot of really hard decisions to make, forcing us to ask, “What is God’s will in the midst of all this?

Since I’ve graduated high school and started college, I’ve seen more and more friends move into relationships and ask really good questions. Questions about knowing if they’re ‘the one’, navigating fights, dealing with emotions, and establishing boundaries. Even as a single girl, it has become pretty clear to me that relationships can be hard. And, if we don’t come at them from God’s perspective, they’re only going to be ten times harder.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t claim to know everything about this. I’m not an expert and I certainly don’t have any kind of relationship-certification. But as Christians, we do have two things that we can always turn to with our questions: God and His Word. If we continuously go to God with our questions about this, He’ll lead us in the right direction. And, as I’ve been seeking to better understand God’s will for relationships, I’ve come across some advice that I believe is a good starting place when it comes to dating.

The first thing, which many of us are familiar with, is to be equally yoked. I can’t stress enough the importance of this one. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” This is not to say that we should never interact with unbelievers, as Christians we are called to be salt and light in this world (Matthew 5:16). But, our closest interactions should be with those who share our values. And in dating, our boyfriend or girlfriend should always share our core beliefs and convictions. 

The second, is to pray about the person that you are dating (or, the person that you would like to potentially date). Ask God what His will is for your life and ask Him to reveal it to you. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Here’s the thing guys, God has a plan for your life. I don’ t know what it looks like, but He does. And if marriage is part of His will for you, than He’ll reveal the person that you’re supposed to be with when the timing is right. In the meantime, trust Him with His perfect timing.

The third thing is to look at their character. What kind of person are they? What do they care about most? Do they love God? Are they kind to those around them? What kind of father (or mother) would they be (assuming you want to have kids)? These are all vital questions to ask yourself when you like someone. A love for God, a love for people, and a desire to live life God’s way are some of the most important qualities to look for in a person. These things will all affect how they treat you and how they treat those closest to you. Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” These are all important qualities to consider when you’re looking to date (or court) someone new.

The fourth thing is to understand their personality and yours. As human beings, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image (Psalm 139:14). We were each made for a divine calling and purpose. And we are all given different strengths, gifts, and personalities. And more than likely, your boyfriend or girlfriend is not going to look exactly like you. Thus, it is so important that we take time to understand the other person. Are they introverted, or extraverted? Do they make decisions based on logic or emotion? Do they like to have a schedule, or are they more spontaneous? With personality, there is no ‘wrong’ way to be, but it is important to understand both yourself and the other person in a relationship. Romans 12:6-8 addresses how we are all created differently, with different strengths, as it says “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Fifth, listen to the input of your friends and family – Oftentimes, our first instinct is to be defensive of the person that we like, and ignore the input of others. However, as Christians, it is so important that we listen to what our friends and family have to say about the person that we’re dating, because oftentimes, they can see things that we can’t. I would even advise asking common friends about them before going out with them, asking if they see anything that could be a potential red flag in a relationship. Proverbs 16:20 says, “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.” The people closest to us will always have our best interest at heart, and if they see a lot of red flags in the relationship, than it is best to listen to them.

Sixth, work on the other important relationships in your life – There is so much more to life than romantic relationships and dating. And though there is often pressure from society (and sometimes, even other Christians) to get into a relationship, it is totally OK to be single! Singleness is not a curse or something to be ashamed of – Paul was single and so was Jesus! And whether married, dating, or single, it is important that we make our relationship with God our top priority! It is also important that we maintain strong relationships with our family and friends. Not to mention, grow in knowledge, faith, and compassion as human beings. Marriage temporary, but our relationship with Christ is eternal. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.

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How about you guys? What advice would you give about relationships and dating? And what do you believe are important qualities in a potential spouse? Let’s start a conversation about this in the comments section below!

 

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14 thoughts on “When Worlds Collide: Some Thoughts On Christian Dating

  1. Oh my Lord! PLEASE, oh PLEASE go back and review this post once a week, or at least before any singles gathering. Definitely, before any and every date you go on. You spoke words of wisdom, but they will be easy to forget – all it will take is that one look, flower, or brush of the hand. Believe me, I’ve raised three daughters – I know.

    However, my favorite movie is also my favorite movie love story: The Princess Bride. One thing you left out was rolling down a hill together. If you can do that and say “I love you” at the bottom (assuming you just tried to kill each other or risked dying to save one another), then you might have a good thing going 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, thanks Anthony! I appreciate your advice and wisdom! I actually haven’t seen the Princess Bride (though I’ve definitely heard of it), but I’ll have to check it out now! And I’ll be sure to keep the hill thing in mind! Thanks for stopping by!😃

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  2. Hello Courtney,

    I love your post 🙂

    Number 1: I thank God for failed relationships 🙂

    Because this has really prepared me to enjoy my singleness and be able to allow God to give me wisdom. I now realize that the man God has for me will put God first over anything. My relationship with God should increase even more when I am with that man. What I love about God is that He will send you signs that will be toxic and they should never be taken for granted.

    Singleness is a time to enjoy with the Lord. Seeking the Kingdom first and the rest shall follow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you BelovedNxumalo – there is so much wisdom here! What a great perspective – it reminds me of the lyrics to an old Carrie Underwood song! “I thank God I didn’t get what I thought that I deserved”. God truly does know what’s best for us, and if a relationship doesn’t work out, there’s a reason. And we should always seek the Kingdom above all else! Thank you for commenting!😊

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  3. Another awesome post Courtney! This is great advice, and you definitely have a heart of wisdom. I think it’s especially important to pray and read the Word together often–even daily. The closer you grow to the Lord with someone, the better you will be able to discern how the relationship is going. I’ve also learned that being yourself and stating your feelings about things is so important. A lot of times we are afraid of upsetting the other person or losing them. But healthy relationships are built on honesty and vulnerability.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Emily! Awesome advice – you should always have open communication with the person that you’re dating! And reading the Bible together and praying is so important! Thank you so much for your words of wisdom!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Courtney
    It is transparent the Holy Spirit led you –
    Being married almost 22 years I commend you for your heart to be the hands & feet of Jesus –
    when we seek Him (and the kingdom) above all else and follow Him He will guide our lives !
    I love being married & think marriage is amazing but no one enters Heaven married so keeping Jesus first is great advice
    God bless you – keep writing !!

    Liked by 1 person

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