6 Convictions For Christian Dating
By: Patrick and La Micia Genova
Disclaimer: This is written primarily with a U.S. adult audience in mind. Different countries have different cultures surrounding dating and we want to be sensitive to that. Also this list is by no means exhaustive.
“By biblical conviction we mean convictions or beliefs derived from and based on a commitment to Scripture, the Bible. As God’s Holy Word, it is the absolute index for the whole of our lives—faith and practice.”
We know the temptations in a dating relationship. We know that there are temptations to just want to coast and have fun, temptations to lower the standard God has for us, temptations to sell ourselves short, and temptations to do things that would ultimately sabotage the relationship. That is why it is so important to have unwavering convictions based on the Bible lest we imitate the patterns of the world.
Why care about this? As Christians, we ultimately want to have a relationship that glorifies God and is a witness to His power and perfect plan.
1. Remember that you are Dating God’s Daughter/Son
God is our Father. I think we always need to ask ourselves, “Would God feel good about giving me His blessing to marry His son/daughter?”. (2 Corinthians 6:18)
2. Be Faithful with Few
There will be moments when your convictions will be tested. You will have moments where you have an opportunity to satisfy the cravings of the flesh or the Spirit. This is your opportunity to be faithful in the seemingly small things. If we are faithful with the small moments, God will entrust us with more (Luke 16:10). If at any point you fall, confess it immediately so that you “may be healed” (James 5:16) and repent (2 Corinthians 7:11).
3. Be Honest with Yourself
There are things in every relationship that will “feel good” physical touch feels good, looking deeply into each other’s eyes for 3 hours straight might feel good, talking on the phone until 3am may feel good. However, it is important to be honest with yourself when you begin to get a little “love drunk”. Love drunk is when your significant other begins to assume the throne in your heart instead of Jesus and your actions appear irrational, without sobriety, or out of character. Your relationship will challenge you to each day make sure Jesus is on the throne (trust us, we know – Especially that looking deeply into each others eyes part!)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
4. Know you are Human
One of the things about falling in love or falling in “like” is that it makes us feel like we are superhuman! This is an incredible feeling, but if we do not see ourselves as in need of a savior it can engender feelings of pride. This pride tells us “I know what I am doing”, “That will never happen to us”, “We are stronger than everyone else that’s messed up”, “Our relationship is different and unique and people can’t understand” (we were most tempted with that last one!). It is normal and okay to be human and feel a lot of awesome feelings during this time, just be careful not to let it all go to your head! (Philippians 2:3)
5. Have Boundaries
We can’t recommend boundaries strongly enough. Boundaries are not one size fits all. In my opinion, I would rather be more strict on myself than lenient. Remember that this phase is only momentary (dating) and Lord willing you will have a time where you move to being married (less boundaries!). It is better to be more tight on boundaries than loose (if you are going to err on one side or the other) especially during dating and engagement. Yes, boundaries can be changed, but it is important not to change them “in the moment” or when “it feels right.” Whatever time, prayer, reflection you put into making your boundaries should be the same time put into changing them. Lastly, boundaries help build security for when you get married. If you are able to stick to what you say, your significant other will trust you more in your marriage.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
6. Build a Team
This one is about humility. I don’t know about you all, but we were heavy in the world before becoming Christians. We needed a lot of help and we wanted all the help we could get (We did not trust ourselves at all)! I think so many people think that people want to “control” their relationship (remember, love always trusts!) and I think more often than not thats just Satan and it’s nothing a good “clear the air” talk can’t hash out.
Please strongly consider having a team of support and a culture of transparency and humility (1 Peter 5:5). Remember God has put some people in your life for a reason – to help you succeed in honoring God with your relationship. If at any point you feel like things are getting tense in your one another relationships just be open about what you are feeling! Remember that often the people you may be resisting now will be the people you run to when you are married with kids, so don’t burn any bridges! (If you have burned a bridge – Apologize and work to rebuild it so it can be stronger than ever).
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”[a] 1 Peter 5:5
When you have a foundation built on biblical convictions, it allows you to have so much fun and security in your relationship. You don’t have to deal with all the guilt and anxiety about it because you know your foundation is being laid on the rock and when the storms come you will be okay no matter what. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Questions & Practicals to go Deeper:
- Have you been faithful in the moments of testing? What are some ways you feel like you might have compromised? Be open with someone about those and make a plan to get back on track.
- Are you approachable about your dating relationship or do you tend to be defensive? Do you have a fear of God with the way you go about your dating relationship?
- Who has the throne in your heart right now? Are there any ways you have been acting out of your Christian character or acting irrationally?
- Have you spoken to your significant other about boundaries you would like to have based on your convictions and comfort level?
- Do you have trusted people in your life to help you? Do they really know about your relationship or are they getting the “Hollywood” or “Highlight Reel” version? – Invite people into your life for help specifically with dating.
- Have you burned any bridges? Do you have any strained relationships because people want to help you out? Try your best to communicate what bothered you and seek to reconcile and move forward.