Come now, let us reason together……… (Isaiah 1:18)
No area of human existence is as volatile and capable of heartaches as premarital relationships. Many have been victims of promising dating relationships that have gone sour. However, this is not the worrisome aspect of it. The real cause for concern is that, even Christian singles are not spared from being victims of this cycle of failed relationships.
Fundamentally, our thinking pattern needs to be addressed. The continuous intervention, especially from the media, with ungodly relationship patterns with the opposite sex, widely discourages discretion and value. Sadly, many youths are victims of this which prevents them from a great and meaningful dating experience.
I’ll just like to briefly enlighten you on what Christian dating entails, the process of getting to know the person you are dating, so as to establish a strong courtship that will lead to a successful marriage.
Building a Solid Courtship
Obviously, there are only two outcomes for dating: marriage or a breakup. The most important is knowing how to handle a relationship. In order to know if the partner is worth marrying or otherwise.
However, the mere feeling of attraction and attachment for members of the opposite sex is not enough to build meaningful and lasting relationships.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a date as an appointment, especially, an engagement to go out socially with a member of the opposite sex.
Another meaning suggest that dating consists of activities engaged in by two mature singles, with the aim of assessing each other’s suitability as future partners.
To the Christian, dating is more than a social activity as it is expected to actually lead to marriage. As believers, it is important to really understand what the Bible teaches about relationships between men and women, and practise the same. For any Christian single, the main aim of dating should be finding a suitable life partner. But first, you have to do away with the world’s view because it contradicts God’s view. The Bible admonishes we shouldn’t marry an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14-15) because this will affect your relationship with Christ.
Conversely, many Christians are afraid to date, due to the fear of premarital sex. Anyway, the problem is not with dating, but what you do while dating. As a result of the need to be loved and to feel loved, it is understandable and expected of singles, including Christians to desire dating.
Therefore, dating, becomes a fact finding process where two mature Christian singles of the two genders seek to know each other better, so as to be able to make a quality decision concerning marriage. The entire process must be purposeful, well-defined and understood.
It is also clear that the Bible only endorses relationships between young men and women that lead to long term commitment and eventually, marriage. Christian dating is founded on scriptural principles and commandments that uphold righteousness, purity and truthfulness.
Scriptural Principles Of Courtship
- It is advised that there be a relationship between mature men and ladies who have set boundaries in place and understand how to relate respectfully with other people, especially the opposite sex. It is widely known in our world that everyone is involved in a relationship (mature/immature). Even boyfriend and girlfriend relationships, more often than not, preoccupy young people’s minds. Sadly, many have not been schooled properly in handling this aspect of their lives in a godly way, to avoid sometimes irreparable consequences like heartaches that result from jilts or unwanted pregnancies.
NOTE that dating is not meant for young boys and girls, who are only interested in the company of the opposite sex, without full understanding of what relationship is about.
- According to the scripture, Timothy, who had a good Christian upbringing, knowing the challenges of youths, strongly admonishes:
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
It is not right to demand for exclusive attention, until you are sure that you are genuinely interested in building a lasting relationship, with proper boundaries instituted.
God’s word according to Romans 12:9-10 emphasises on loving and honouring others as you love yourself, and this is certainly true for a dating relationship. Following the biblical principle is the best way to have a secure foundation for marriage.
- Also, the Bible admonishes us not to stir up or arouse love until the right time.
I charge you… that he stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please. (Songs of Solomon 2:7)
This is because emotions and commitments, which every meaningful relationship requires, are to be reserved for your future spouse. When you do this repeatedly, your emotions become unstable; you find it difficult to genuinely appreciate and flow with your partner thereby consequently indulging in shallow relationships.
NOTE Dating is therefore, meant to be between a mature man and woman who have marriage in view in the not-too-distant future. So if you don’t have the intention of getting married yet, but all you want is a fling or “benefit” with the opposite sex, then, do not bother about dating at all.
As a Christian, our lives should be principled, guided, directed and structured by the infallible word of God. So for a successful dating relationship, who you’re to date must be properly defined. This is because not everyone qualifies as an appropriate candidate for you.
A Born-Again, Proven Believer
As a Christian, the dating relationship is meant to be futuristic. Be wise enough to look from a distance, to determine if the person is truly a Christian and truly desiring to live for God.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers……” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
A Person of Character in the Same Spiritual Kingdom
A suitable person is one in the same spiritual Kingdom as you; one who possesses an attitude of upholding purity and honour in dating. If your date is a committed Christian, it will reflect in his or her daily life. Don’t date someone with an ungodly character.
“Character failure always leads to destiny failure” – Mama Faith Oyedepo”
Don’t be in a rush! This is because anything of worth that will last is never approached hastily or hurriedly; adequate preparation precedes greatness.
“So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord, his God.” (2 Chronicles 27:6)
The success of your dating relationship will determine your success in marriage. Dating, if approached appropriately, affords you the opportunity to truly know your partner. This knowledge is indispensable to loving, accepting and adjusting to that partner. So before you say, I DO to anyone, take your time to really get to know who they are, not their public images or personalities, but who they are on the inside. Remember: Christian dating is not saying “yes” to every invitation or trying out everyone available, keeping them on hold for as long as you wish, and finally saying no when you have made up your mind.
Clearly, it requires time, counsel, making decision, prayers, discipline, and upholding your Christian testimony in every way. So, be patient; you’ll be glad you did.
Christian or Biblical dating implies that you are secure in God first, before you can handle a dating relationship. This is because dating someone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ, is playing with fire. – Mama Faith Oyedepo.
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