Essential Christian Dating Rules
Christian dating is not like the world’s dating, so Christian dating rules are definitely different from what the world considers to be normal behavior between two people in love. The purpose and success of your relationship depend on the activities you indulge or don’t indulge, which also depend on the rules you keep or don’t keep.
If you are serious about glorifying God in your relationship, which should be the standard for every Christian dating relationship, it is very crucial that you lay down dating rules that reflect Christian values. Some rules are negotiable and others are absolutely non-negotiable. In all, pray your way through every step and let the Lord guide you in this very delicate stage of dating and courtship.
8 Christian Dating Rules to Keep
1. Establish the purpose of your relationship
A Christian dating relationship should have marriage as its goal. You may not end up as husband and wife, but that should be your dream until circumstances or God tell you to go your separate ways.
2. Date someone with similar or complementary vision
This is not a must but will greatly enhance your relationship and intimacy. For example, if you are passionate about ministry to young people, you shouldn’t date and marry someone who thinks your efforts are a waste of time or resources. You shouldn’t be with someone whose words and actions discourage you.
If you feel called to missions, date someone with same inclinations or who will not refuse to accompany you to the mission field.
However, this point does not say a pastor must marry a worship leader, or a teacher another teacher. Date and marry someone who is excited about your vision, someone who can pray and give you all the support you need from a mate.
3. Set and respect godly boundaries on sexual purity
Sex before marriage is called fornication, a sin against God and your body. God wants you to honor Him with your body by preserving it for sex within a marriage union between a man and a woman.
Right from the early stages of your relationship, establish your boundaries and rules. To be safer, aim for very conservative rules. They cost nothing. No kissing, no late nights, no sleepovers alone, etc.
Rather find activities that enforce sexual purity such as discussing scriptures and praying for each other to say pure. An accountability partner will also help.
4. Don’t expect perfection from your partner
Some Christian singles believe God has someone specially created for them. I believe that, but with an altered interpretation which is this: God can lead me to the right person.
I do not believe that when God created me, He also created a man I must marry, and if I miss that man I can never find a suitable mate.
That’s not true. I believe there are several factors God uses to pair two people in marriage. Predestined mates are not one of those factors.
The error singles make in looking for their “created” mate is that they may unconsciously expect perfection from everyone they date. And if there’s no perfection, if the person has issues, they take that as a sign that the person is not their “God-ordained” mate and they walk away.
5. Discuss your spiritual beliefs and find a compromise if necessary
Spiritual incompatibility can breed serious problems in marriage. Can you imagine a husband who believes only in prayer for health issues and a wife who believes in medical science, and vice versa? Or a man who believes makeup is sinful while the woman cannot do without makeup?
Those are tiny examples of the religious incompatibility Christians can face. Discuss your doctrinal stances on major beliefs. Then, find a compromise.
If you can’t find a compromise, walk away and trust the Lord to bring a more compatible partner your way.
6. Inform your parents and seek counseling
A good man or a good woman can’t wait to meet your family.
Early counseling can detect issues that your emotions may ignore. Informing your pastor can also be good for accountability.
Good counseling will also take care of things like medical checkup, your self-development and financial plans, and other points that are necessary for a successful Christian marriage.
7. Avoid long-term relationships
Aimless dating relationships are grounds for immoral behavior. Time here is subjective. If you’re not ready for marriage soon (~1-2 years), it is better to focus on what is important now.
However, if you’re ready but the other person is not, walk away.
8. Agree to break up amicably if necessary.
Heartbreaks are common among Christian singles and usually result from the unfriendly way singles handle the separation. Even if it is a character flaw in your date’s life that you can’t tolerate, let them know why you are backing out. That should help them work on themselves and give their next lover a better experience.
To wrap up, Christian dating rules are not just a formality. They are important in ensuring a successful God-glorifying relationship.