Is Christian Dating Biblical?
This question “Is Christian Dating Biblical?” is asked by many Christians who desire to live their lives according to God’s word and guidance as found in The Bible. They’ll be people who are ‘single’ and looking to meet others with the hope of a future relationship.
Or perhaps you are asking “Is Christian Dating Biblical?” because you’re a parent or mentor to someone who is currently ‘dating’ and using a variety of methods to meet other people and you want to direct them to do this in a Godly way.
To answer this question then (whatever our standpoint) we need to firstly understand what Christian dating means and then to identify if the Bible says anything about it.
As Christians we know that the bible speaks to every area of our lives – even if our present day lives and the way we do things now has changed considerably from when the Bible was written.
Relationships are at the heart of so much of the Bible and although the word ‘dating’ is a relatively new word, relationships aren’t new and the Bible has lots to say about them.
So what does Christian Dating mean? If you’re dating as a Christian then you’ll be trying to apply your faith and the out workings of that faith to this aspect of your life. What you read in the Bible about following Christ and becoming like him will influence your behaviour with others. You will probably have read and know the some of the following passages and relate them to this area of your life.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-7:19 (command to be pure, seriousness of sexual sin and instructions regarding marriage)
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (do not wrong or defraud one another in relationships — by implying a relationship or commitment by your words or conduct that does not actually exist)
- Song of Solomon 2:7 (“do not awaken love before it pleases” — i.e. before the proper time, meaning marriage)
- Proverbs 6:20-7:27 (warning to avoid sexual sin and foolish relationships)
- James 1:13-15 (temptation is to be taken very seriously)
- Romans 13:8-14 (love others, work for their soul’s good; don’t look to please self)
- Romans 14:1-15:7 (favor others, not self … value what’s good to their souls)
- 1 Timothy 5:1-2 (treat single women as sisters in Christ, with absolute purity)
- Titus 2:1-8 (young men and women should focus on self-control/godliness)
- John 14:15 (if you love Christ, you will obey His commands — read: above your own desires — and live biblically)
Also as someone going to church or meeting with other believers you may ask your brothers and sisters in Christ to help you in this area of your life, to hold you accountable and to help you apply God’s word to this area of your life.
So now we have a basic understanding of Christian Dating – we can now ask if the Bible says anything specifically about it. It is the our understanding that Yes the Bible absolutely does have something to say about dating even if you can’t find the actual terms Christian Dating or simply ‘Dating’ in the Bible. [In the same way the Bible has lots to say about how we treat each other and communicate with each other – that is very relevant to a new phenomenon – i.e social media – even though you’ll never find that phrase in the Bible!]
From my reading of the Bible here’s what I believe it has to say on Dating.
Biblical dating has as its goal to be emotionally and physically intimate with only one member of the opposite sex … your spouse.
Biblical dating tends to be complementarian (God has created men and women differently and has ordained each of these spiritual equals to play different and valuable roles in the church and in the family).
Biblical dating tends to encourage time spent in group activities or with other people the couple knows well.
The biblical approach suggests that real commitment to the other person should precede high level of intimacy.
Biblical dating approaches relationships from a completely different perspective than the ‘world’s perspective— one of ministry and service and bringing glory to God – rather than a ‘what’s in it for me” perspective.
Biblical dating assumes no physical intimacy and more limited emotional intimacy outside of marriage.
Biblical dating assumes a context of spiritual accountability, as is true in every other area of the Christian life.
Biblical dating is more about “being” the right person to serve my future spouse’s needs and be a God-glorifying husband or wife.
In Biblical dating, commitment precedes intimacy.
In Biblical dating, Scripture guides us as to how to find a mate and marry, and the Bible teaches, among other things, that we should act in such a way so as not to imply a marriage-level commitment until that commitment exists before the Lord.
These principles can be found in many passages of the Bible about relationships and intimate relationships.
Moreover the Bible does also give us some very clear and specific stories we can learn from – like the story of Isaac and Rebekah found in Genesis and Ruth and Boaz in the book of Ruth. Our blog goes into these two stories in more detail elsewhere which you can read here.
So in summary, to the question “Is Christian Dating Biblical?” we can answer a very firm, clear and positive Yes. God wants us to be in relationships with others, and for many of us He wants us to be in a relationship with one specific person. How we go about finding that person (dating) is covered by many principles and teachings found in the Bible, and the acceptance of dating – as a way of finding a soul mate are clearly endorsed by a number of Biblical stories.
If you’d like to discuss anything in this article further, or have specific questions about an aspect of your dating journey, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0121 405 0675. As Christians helping other Christians meet Christians for friendship and relationships we love to talk about these matters.