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Dating – A Biblical Perspective


Dating is the stage of a romantic relationship where two people meet socially with the goal of assessing each other’s suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship. In the BVI, if you are seen out with a specific person too often, it is said that the two of you are “going” or that the two of you are an “item”. That person can be known as your significant other, or in the old school term, boyfriend or girlfriend.

It has been forty-one years since I dated, which then developed to a courting relationship with my husband. We will be married for thirty-eight years come December and much has changed with the standards and trends regarding relationships, even amongst Christians. One truth that we cannot ignore or dismiss is that the word of God has not changed and will not change despite prevailing secular trends that have infiltrated the church. It is with this understanding that I share how a Christian couple; man and woman can experience a romantic relationship in preparation for marriage that will please God and stand out as a witness to the world.

1. Date only a Christian; and I mean a growing, fruit of the Spirit, Christian.

(Amos 3:3, 2nd Corinthians 6:14). You must both be maturing as believers with visible evidence that you are truly a Christian. It is necessary that both of you value the Scripture as the standard for righteousness and God’s plan for what is holy. Society’s standards will change and some church culture can be in conformity to the world but when both persons in the relationship are obedient to the Scriptures, you will walk in congruence to God’s standard.  As a Christian there are some subjects that can allow for compromise but this is not one. It is non- negotiable. Shortage of eligible companions in the church, your biological clock is ticking away, I’m in love with him/her, none of these reasons will justify your decision to enter a relationship or be emotionally bonded with an unbeliever. These emotional feelings will impair your judgement and blind you to obeying the will of God.

2. Set a standard

You need to decide what your moral standard will be before you are in a place of temptation. It is much easier to break no standard than it is to break some ‘standard’. Don’t just slide, decide. A standard is very much like a military line of defense. (Job 31:1)

3. God’s view of sin is unchanging despite what society’s trends have become.

Sex before marriage is the sin of fornication and scripture cautions us to flee from it (1st Corinthians 6:18, Ephesians 5:3, 1st Thessalonians 4: 3-4). It is natural that if you are attracted to your partner, you will have romantic feelings for each other. There is a flowing chemistry that you feel when in each other’s presence. You need that feeling, but expression of that passion is to be satisfied in marriage only. While you are dating, you have to establish boundaries when you are together. Don’t keep prayer meetings in the back seat of your car or in your apartment alone and claim that you are in the secret place of the Most- High. Spend time in the company of other persons. Ephesians 4:27 warns “neither give place to the devil”. Limit physical touching. A held hand is not satisfying, it wants a hug then a kiss, then fondling, then the fire brigade can’t help you, because too much heat begins to transpire between you two and you know what will be next.  Those two sexual organs below the belt, only possess the sense of passion, not reason, so do not let them rule you. Stay in control of your desires. Sexual activity in a dating relationship blinds you to the truth. It is easy to mistake the pleasure of sex with feelings of love. As a Christian, remember that your body is the temple of God and you glorify God in your body and spirit which are His. (1st. Corinthians 6: 20)

4. Guard your mind – What you think about, you become.

Do not spend your time watching love movies and listening to love songs that will evoke feelings of lust and awaken your sexual desires. Instead build up yourself on the Word of God. Spend time reading Christian books on dating and keeping yourself pure. Memorize the scriptures.

5. Do not be conformed to the world

Daniel 1:8 establishes the key to non-conformity to a secular world and a culture that treats holiness as queer and rare. Daniel lived in a Babylonian culture that was hostile to God and His standards, but Daniel decided in his heart that he would not adapt or adjust to the culture of Babylon. He maintained his allegiance to God despite the anti-God culture of the Babylonians. Christians who are dating must not be like the world who do not regard purity and chastity as valuables today. We are not to love the world neither the things that are in the world (1st John 2: 15).

6. Watch what you wear

I say this one especially for the young ladies as it seems that the young men are generally decently attired. Young ladies value your body. Do not let your attractiveness to the man that you are dating be only about the clothing, hair style, jewelry or makeup you wear. Men are stimulated by sight. Avoid the short dresses and lowcut blouses that expose your cleavage. In modern culture, the media and entertainment industry promote dressing enticingly and sexually appealing. For the Christian woman, you can be modest in your clothing and still beautiful. Let your inner person, your heart be dressed with the Fruit of the Spirit which in God’s sight is of a great price (1st Peter 3: 4).

These are simple yet profound principles that will benefit and reward you with a dating relationship that pleases God.