22 Christian Dating Tips from a Missionary

1. Arranged marriage

2. Courtship

3. Dating

4. More freedom = less security

5. Dating is a simulation of marriage

6. Stay single

7. Marry if you burn with passion

8. Be free from concern

9. Marry in the Lord

10. Love the Lord your God 100%

11. Don’t worship others

12. Remember the Sabbath

13. Honor your father and mother

14. Love your neighbor as yourself

15. One relationship, two roles

16. The man’s role: leadership

17. The woman’s role: support

18. Abuse

19. Cheating

20. Divorce

21. Abortion

22. Is there a special someone that God has chosen for you?



Dating through the ages

1. Arranged marriage
Historically speaking dating is a relatively new phenomenon. For thousands of years all across the world, people didn’t know what dating was. Instead, they had marriages they were arranged by their families. Sometimes they had a choice of who they married, other times they were not given a choice.

It was very common for people quite young to be married. It is said that during the time of Jesus, the government in Jerusalem passed a law to prevent girls under the age of 13 from getting married. Young people were not expected to be in love before they married, instead, they were expected to love each other more and more as they got to know each other in their marriage relationship.

2. Courtship
As the world became Richer, the possibility of having a courtship arose, especially in the middle and upper class during the 1800s in Europe. In courtship, men were invited to come to a young woman’s home and the woman’s mother would watch them as they politely sat around talking and getting to know each other. The woman’s family had complete control over the situation of who was invited to the young woman’s house and only very rarely did a man invite himself. From among those suitors a woman and her family would choose who they felt was the best marriage partner.

3. Dating
Actual dating as we know it today, began in the West around 1900. That is in part due to there being increasingly more public spaces to spend money and more and more people with spending money from new factory jobs. Again as people became richer, there were more opportunities to spend money and a date was considered an opportunity to go out together and spend money on something fun. This put more responsibility on the man because he would ask the woman out and then he would pay for the entertainment.

4. More freedom = less security
In the 1960s, the countercultural revolution took over where people emphasized freedom and minimal responsibility. It became a worldwide pattern of people becoming richer, and this wealth granted more freedom to do whatever people wanted. But the cost was there was less and less security and order. As the rules of society regarding dating a relationship broke down, people became more and more confused as to how they should behave in public, and also in private, leading the strong to take advantage over the weak.

5. Dating is a simulation of marriage
While dating does not have to lead to marriage, in many ways, dating is a simulation of marriage. Dating is a time of testing whether two people are a good match for a long-term relationship. You would do well to evaluate your dating partner on how good they would be as your life partner. However, while most non-Christians consider sex a very important part of dating, the Bible’s point of view is that sex must be reserved only for marriage.


If you want to be perfect

6. Stay single
1 Corinthians 7:8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

According to the Bible, the Apostle Paul was single and he was very happy about that. Paul encouraged the people in his churches to say single if they could. The reason they should stay single is so that they could focus their life around pleasing God instead of getting married and pleasing their husband or wife. So it’s perfectly fine if you want to stay single and it’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to date; you should not allow people to pressure you, as long as you devote yourself to God.


7. Marry if you burn with passion
1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

According to Paul, the practical reason for marriage is that it gives you a way to release your passions in a way that pleases God. So, basically if you want to get married, and/or if you have a strong desire for sex, then you should get married and not try to force yourself to be single. The danger of dating is that it can be difficult to restrain your passions. Ask your pastor for counseling if you feel that your dating behavior is ungodly.

8. Be free from concern
1 Corinthians 7:32 I would like you to be free from concern…35 that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

The Bible’s point of view is that in marriage, you can channel your passions with your husband or wife and then focus on serving God. But, if you want to stay single, that’s even better because now you can spend all your time pleasing God. Marriage, dating, and singleness are all fine. Live a life free of concern, so that you spend your time focusing on God. The best choice is to learn to be satisfied with being single, but if that doesn’t work, date with a view toward getting married.


9. Marry in the Lord (Dating non-Christians)
1 Corinthians 7:39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

Christians should marry other Christians. In the same way, Christians should date other Christian. Often it can be difficult to find another Christian that you can date. This is a choice you’re going to have to make: do you want to focus on God and remain single until you find a Christian or do you want to date and possibly marry somebody who’s not a Christian? Almost everyone will tell you what you should do, but really your choice is between you and God.


The Commandments and Dating

10. Love the Lord your God 100%

Matthew 22:37 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Now we come to some of the Lord’s commandments, and such as God wants you to love him 100%. If you can do that while being single, if you can do that while never dating, you are perfect. And if you’re going to date, make sure that you can still love God one hundred percent. Love is more than a feeling, it is also action, so make sure that you can obey God while you date people. The best dating relationship is one in which you have true fellowship and spur one another toward love and good deeds.

11. Don’t worship others

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

There is a great temptation when dating, especially if you fall in love, to place an extremely high value on the other person, and this can become a form of worship. In fact, a number of famous people in the media have declared that they have a sex addiction. That’s just a way of saying that they worship sex. God is jealous, he doesn’t want you to worship anyone or anything else. If you are losing your focus on God, you should take a break from dating.

12. Remember the Sabbath
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Always make time for worship, don’t let anything, including dating take that away from you. There is a strong temptation to use Sunday as your dating time, especially if you’re really busy during the week. Even if you do date on Sundays, continue to go to church; continue to have worship, biblical instruction and fellowship. Don’t isolate yourself from your Christian brothers and sisters, you need them not only as encouragement and support but as good models for how to live a Christian life while dating.

13. Honor your father and mother
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother…

This commandment is a very important one today. You want to include your parents in your dating process. This is especially true if you are still living with your parents as you need to listen very carefully and follow your parent’s wishes. Even if you are living independently, you still should respect your parents, but you don’t have to obey them. This is not only out of respect, but they not only have a great deal of life experience, they tend to know you better than anyone else.

14. Love your neighbor as yourself
Matthew 22:39 ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You know the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Well, this is obviously important when you are dating someone. You must not only love your neighbor, you love your date as you love yourself, so don’t try to take advantage of them. Sacrifice for one another and set your relationship up as an example for others to follow.

Complementarianism

15. One relationship, two roles
Ephesians 5:31“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”…33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

In the modern world, people are taught that men and women are equal. Perhaps, this is true, but men and woman are not identical and they have differing roles in a relationship. The Bible standard is that although men and women are equal in God’s grace and love, the man has a special role of leadership and the woman has a special role of support. That doesn’t mean that once size fits all. There are a myriad of ways to lead and support in a relationship. As you date, you will begin to explore how you can fit into these roles.

16. The man’s role: leadership
Ephesians 5:21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

The Bible talks about marriage, but it doesn’t talk about dating. So we must consider how to apply marriage roles to dating. A man is expected to show leadership in the relationship. Now that doesn’t mean that he has to exercise all the leadership or that he is must be obeyed.

In fact, a man should think of himself as a potential leader in the relationship. He needs to earn his dates trust before he can be a real leader. He should start small, by protecting, providing for, and suggesting direction on his dates. In this way, you will grow to become a man that pleases the Lord.

17. The woman’s role: support
Ephesians 5:22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

While a woman is not required to submit to her date, allowing your man to lead is good training for both of you. This is a very difficult challenge in today’s environment. But there’s no reason why you can’t become an excellent manager and focus on getting things done working together as a team. You have a right to say no to anything your date says or even completely walk away from the relationship.

However, if you only date men whom you respect, you will find that allowing them to lead makes for a healthy relationship. Furthermore, as you learn to trust and respect a man more, the more it makes sense to defer to him, but make him earn your trust, before submitting. It’s important that you look at dating as an opportunity to grow as a Christian woman in a way that pleases the Lord.


Unmentionables

18. Abuse
It goes without saying that when you’re dating you should not abuse each other physically, mentally sexually, or financially. Abuse is a dealbreaker in any relationship. But there’s always a possibility, since we live in a broken world, that you will date somebody who already has been abused in the past. This is going to strongly affect our relationship and it could be quite a difficult situation to overcome.

Since we are Christians, you may feel a special call to continue the relationship, offering extra grace and mercy to your date. But, if you don’t have the strength and the gifts to deal with a wounded partner or a crises relationship, then it’s okay to break off the relationship. Your goal in life is not to fix the other person but to devote yourself to the Lord.

19. Cheating
Is very common in the world to see one partner cheating on the other in marriage or before marriage. And unfortunately, Christians are very much influenced by the world. So there’s a good chance you’re going to have to deal with unfaithfulness even in a dating relationship. Along with that, there is a strong possibility of jealousy because of the hint of unfaithfulness. Well, the first thing you can do is hold yourself to a high standard where there is not even a hint of wrongdoing in the relationship.

And the second thing you can do is be full of grace and mercy if someone you suspect is cheating on you as you may be mistaken. However, if they do cheat and then repent, you should consider accepting them again. But you are under no obligation to do so if your faith in them has been broken. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to walk away from the relationship.

20. Divorce
There’s a lot of people, even Christians, who are divorced and they still want to date. It is considered very important in the Bible that people who are divorced do not marry again. However, if divorced people still burn with passion and desire to be married again, I believe that the best solution is to get married again. Thus, a divorced person dating again is not the Christian ideal, I consider it a better solution than falling into sexual sin and losing your devotion to God.

Remember, our goal is to have peace and not be controlled by our desires. Therefor, and if you intensely desire to marry again and to have sex again, the best thing to do is in marry and once you have that peace, refocus on being devoted to the Lord. And this advice is parallel for people who date a divorced person. Additionally, you need to consider that this other person is going to have to deal with a lot of difficulties from the past relationship. But, if you can accept that then I believe that the Lord will accept your relationship with his divorce person.

21. Abortion
The Bible doesn’t directly mention abortion. However, we know from ancient times that abortion was illegal and has always been highly frowned upon in the church. In fact, the early church according to an ancient Christian book called The Didache, considered abortion the same as murder.

I strongly urge you never to have an abortion, even if you’re single and pregnant and it’s going to shame you and your family. That’s the price you should pay to honor the Lord. My general philosophy is: don’t have sex before marriage; if you have sex before marriage don’t get pregnant; if you get pregnant;don’t have an abortion.

22. Is there a special someone that God has chosen for you?
This is a final topic is concerned with the myth that God has one special person chosen for you to date and marry. Thus, you need to know God’s Will and find that one and the only person who God has perfectly chosen for you. And if you marry anybody else, you have failed to find God’s perfect will and your life will never be as good as God wants it to be. This is a myth that the Bible does not teach.

The Bible only tells you to marry in the Lord. So it seems that you can marry any number of people that would be please God. And if you could marry them, you could also date them, so you can date any number of people and marry any number of people. Got will accept whomever you choose. Likewise, you can date anyone you wish as long as you give God your devotion, not your date. So, don’t put yourself under a false pressure to find the perfect partner. And don’t expect your partner to ever be perfect.

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2 Responses

  1. Bibian says:

    Hello Peter

    I am glad this article is helpful to me. I wish myself success in starting a new life in Christ and one thing I would recommend to myself is to follow the advice in your write up.
    This blog really can help a lot of people out there. 
    Well done on a well written website.

    Thanks very much.

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