As women dedicated to the Christian faith – and with a devout focus on God’s place in our daily lives – navigating the waters of modern dating can be very tricky.
The place of faith and God within the context of a new relationship can often bring to mind questions that are not so easily answered or put away.
The fact is that Christian singles who are marriage-minded and commitment-focused need more than Christian dating advice when it comes to the season of their lives where a potential mate comes along.
They would flourish, instead, with guidelines and Christian dating rules that they can recognize within Scripture and bring along into the rest of their lives.
You are dating an incredibly good-looking guy. You both feel the attraction building up. What do you do? Now is not the time to decide! It’s too difficult to think when passion overtakes you. You must decide before you go on the date what your limits will be.
Here are 7 dating principles for Christian Singles…
1) Put on the armor of God daily.
You need all the help you can get in today’s world.
Are you spending time with God? Do you depend on Him to meet your needs of love and security?
You must stay in prayer and apply God’s word even in your dating life.
You can resist temptation if you put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20).
You may feel like you’re strong enough to do this on your own, But believe me when I tell you, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
In fact the Bible warns us to… “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.“
The devil is always looking for ways to get us to sin and to get us to take our focus off God. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re being used by the enemy because our focus has shifted from God to ourselves.
But, no matter how many tricks he tries to throw our way, we can escape them if we put on the whole armor of God.
2) Allow the Holy Spirit to direct and lead you.
Pray , Pray, and Pray some more. Ask God to guide your every step and include Him in all decisions .
If you feel in your heart that something is off, maybe now is a good time to cut it off.
If you feel like you are ready to take the relationship to the next level, ask yourself…
Is it just a kind of lust? Is there truly a connection or is the relationship outpacing what you know about them or they know about you?
Moving “quickly” or not often comes with a sense of knowingness and security when one has made the right choice.
And by “moving quickly”, I don’t mean sex. It could be introducing each other to your families/friends, talking about marriage, or making long term plans for the future.
So if you feel you “should” slow it down, do a double take and ask yourself if you’ve been able to see your potential partner’s “godliness”.
If there is an intuitive sense you get but that you just can’t quite put your finger on, that there is not enough here yet for either of you to justify such a rapid spark, then it may very well be “too fast”.
3) Put obedience over passion.
Not everything we do that’s right, feels good. In fact, usually the opposite is true. It feels incredibly good to give in to passion. But, the authority of Christ needs to take precedence over your physical drives. Society tells you to give in to the moment. Christ tells you to be obedient to His word.
In the Song of Solomon, the desire to be physically close and intimate is inevitable and even beautiful.
Here, Christian singles can turn to Scripture, once again, for an idea of how to navigate through modern dating. Staying sexually pure during dating is common sense for those who hold a high regard of godliness.
In the Song of Solomon 1:16-17, the couple removes themselves from all temptation by keeping themselves out of the situation to begin with.
“Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful, our couch is green; the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine.”
Instead of remaining indoors or in seclusion, the couple is outside, and visible to the public.
For Christian singles, dating in groups or in public and not at hours where any potentially bad situations could arise is the right, smart and practical thing to do.
4) Examine your personal motives.
What is your motivation — keeping up with the world, gratifying your own ego, meeting a selfish need, feeling pressured by friends and family, or a fear of loneliness?
Remember that the basis for any truly whole-hearted relationship is often friendship.
This is friendship that starts off between a man and a woman as a shared collection of interests, invitations to community and fellowship events or through discipleships. It is during these moments that you can observe one’s godliness and involvement of faith.
The fact is the quality of “godliness” is going to be attractive to one who is truly God-loving because that value matters over all others — and thus beautifies your potential partner.
Even if you don’t feel a physical spark, at first, keep your potential mate close because that friendship may begin to blossom in your eyes.
5) Be guided by love versus lust.
Love is the fruit of the Spirit. From love comes self-control. Operate in love, not lust.
The Creator has woven such a desire into our hearts so that we may act upon it. In today’s modern world of dating, many people are not only trying to find someone who is equal to them in education, family background, personality and income but also someone whose faith complements their own.
Unfortunately, many singles will eschew their beliefs in desperation to escape loneliness.
But dating without the intention to be married or conscious choice to pursue a partner who truly lives between the bounds of a godly covenant is giving over to the cultivation of the wrong desires — these are the desires to escape boredom or the fear of being alone.
So take it lightly and easily. Do not compromise your own beliefs simply to find someone that might “match” you but does not hold your values to the same standard you do. Take the time to cultivate the right desires and pay due diligence .
Either way, it continues to be admirable, worthy and godly to go about your single life with just as much devotion and involvement in discipleship as if you were with a potential partner.
6) Define your values.
Define your standards in advance. The time to think through any potentially perilous situation is before it happens.
If you traveled to a large city, you would get clear directions to your exact destination so you don’t end up in an unsafe area. You would plan ahead to avoid danger. The same goes for dating.
If holding to your values is important to you, take time to identify them before you start dating. Fortify them in advance with your firm intentions.
Don’t hesitate to state where you stand. Some Christian singles are reluctant to voice their convictions for fear of being labeled “old-fashioned” or “narrow-minded.”
But it’s best to be up-front about what is and is not acceptable to you.
Many awkward and compromising situations can be avoided by simply being honest with your date about your standards.
If your dating partner resists your efforts to be true to your beliefs, then do yourself a favor—gracefully bow out.
7) Do not be unequally yoked.
Take 2 Corinthians 6:14 seriously.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
If you are dating someone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ, you are playing with fire.
If you fall in love, what will you do? Don’t let the relationship progress to a physical point and then hope you can cut it off later.
Over time you also want to observe an expressed seriousness in their hearts to grow and deepen their understanding of and relationship with God. It is this willingness to grow in one’s faith, either through discipleship or community involvement, that you can truly get a sense of their belief.
Dating can be complex and confusing for most people—often even more so for those who want to safeguard their spiritual beliefs and moral values in an anything-goes culture.
That’s why it’s important to keep your inner world clean and uncluttered.
A key Christian principle says that what is in a person’s heart determines how that person acts—all the decisions he or she makes, for better or worse.
Lots of Christian dating advice focuses on behavior—how far is too far physically, what people of faith should or shouldn’t do in a dating relationship, and so on.
Some of that advice might be helpful, but most helpful is the recognition that conduct follows convictions and actions follow attitudes.
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).
Sound judgment in matters of love and romance springs from a heart rooted in and nurtured by your most deeply held spiritual beliefs. Simply put, make sure your relationship with Christ is your number one focus.