You’re finally ready to make it official. Boyfriend and girlfriend it is!
But as you open the book on dating, your anxiety explodes. Christians have a lot of opinions about how to date and how not to date. The pressure is overwhelming.
Maybe you come from a more secular background—or maybe you were raised on I Kissed Dating Goodbye lectures in Sunday school. You want to find a healthy balance, but you also don’t want to experiment with someone you care about.
The good news is, dating doesn’t have to be as complicated or all-consuming as we make it. Like any other life issue, we have to rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
You will make mistakes in your dating life. It takes time, energy, and a lot of hard conversations to learn if someone is right for you.
But if you stay close to God, you’ll learn from those mistakes and your relationship will become stronger in spite of it all.
To get you started on your Christian dating journey, here are some of our favorite pieces of Christian dating advice:
1) Don’t Fall for the Extremes
Everywhere you turn, there’s a new book about Christian dating. While books, sermons, and Christian dating advice from friends and family can be helpful, they can also easily promote dating extremes.
Some Christians might preach no hand-holding or kissing before marriage. Others will throw caution to the wind and eliminate physical boundaries entirely.
We think that healthy Christian dating usually falls in a happy medium. Find physical boundaries that honor God and work for your relationship. Read scripture together, but don’t be dogmatic about it.
Remember that the purpose of dating is to get to know each other. Don’t feel guilty if you’re not immediately ready for marriage.
We are blessed to have a God of wisdom and truth. If you struggle to find your own dating boundaries, ask Him directly for guidance. Like it says in James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
2) Rely on the Holy Spirit for Guidance
The internet is full of Christian dating advice. But when we create unnecessary rules and guidelines for our dating relationships, we create stress—and cultivate an environment that doesn’t welcome the Holy Spirit.
While guidelines can be helpful, following too many of them too closely can force us to rely on the law rather than on God.
God gave us the Holy Spirit to be our guide on Earth. That means He helps us navigate situations like family, careers, callings, and (of course) dating. We can trust Him!
3) Embrace the Unknown (And Get Excited About It!)
We often put pressure on Christian couples to know the outcome of their dating life. For instance, a girl might be advised to only go out with a guy if she sees herself marrying him.
We forget that the entire purpose of dating is to discover whether or not that person is right for you. It’s totally possible to date with integrity and intention—even if you don’t know right away whether you plan to marry your significant other.
Find balance. Embrace the unknown and do it with excitement. Whether or not you end up with your current significant other, God has something in store for you through this relationship.
4) Understand Your Own Convictions and Stick to Them
Before you get too invested in your relationship, take some time to figure out your God-given convictions when it comes to dating. God gives us wisdom and a conscience for a reason. We can use these tools to ensure we’re staying within the boundaries of scripture—and being safe about our relationships.
Think about your convictions and how they impact your physical, mental, and emotional choices in Christian dating. Talk about them with your significant other and see if you land on the same page. If your convictions are vastly different from your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s, it may be a sign to take things slow.
Remember, if you accidentally step out of the boundaries you’ve made for yourself, there’s always grace. God meets us in our mistakes. Learn from them—and take necessary precautions to make sure you’re continuing to honor Christ.
5) Rely on Mentors and Build Community in Your Church
The opinions of your trusted friends and family members are your guiding light as you navigate Christian dating. They will most likely notice red and green flags before you do—and ensure that your heart stays guarded throughout your relationship.
Make sure you continue to invest in your community throughout your dating relationship. Although it can be tempting to spend every waking moment with your significant other, strong Christian friends and family will keep you grounded.
Be honest with them about your struggles and about your relationship goals. Allow them to hold you accountable.
The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Relationship Is Seek Jesus for Yourself
Before Jesus is the center of your dating relationship, He needs to be the center of your personal life. Have a genuine relationship with Christ, and talk to Him about your struggles, joys, and everyday needs. You should feel like He is an active part of your life—and you should understand how much He loves you before diving into the Christian dating scene.
At the end of the day, the joy of knowing Jesus far outweighs any experiences that come through relationships, dating, and even marriage. Wherever this particular relationship goes, you can enter it with confidence—knowing Jesus will be there with you and your significant other every step of the way.