No matter what your age, building a solid romantic relationship is challenging. When you are focused on following Christ, though, it can be even more difficult – but these ten dating tips for Christians are here to help. The temptations that come with being attracted to someone produce challenges for the godly couple, but it isn’t impossible to honor the Father all along your journey to the altar. Put in the effort to make these pointers a habit and your chances of success will increase greatly.
Put God First
One of the primary challenges in the Christian life is to maintain a focus on the Father’s plans instead of simply paying lip service to His will. When you are dating, it seems like this becomes twice as difficult, as the flesh begins to intervene where the heart should lead. The best way to help you maintain your concentration on your Creator is to schedule time in Scripture. Whether you are reading sections related to relationships or not, having your nose in the Bible will almost always draw you closer to God.
Understand What You Are Looking For
Sometimes, as dutiful followers of Jesus Christ, we become more wrapped up in getting married than we do with finding the right person. It can be very enlightening to search yourself and determine your motivations – you might not like what you see. (Don’t be ashamed, it happens to every Christian from time to time.)
Focus on the kind of person you want to be and want to be with. If you find your mind wandering more towards lust than love, you aren’t quite ready to be in a serious relationship.
Both of You Bring Plenty of Sin
Human beings have egos, there is no way around it. When you begin to work on blending your life with someone else, you will naturally begin to gaze up on their history with a judgmental eye. Regardless of how hard you try, there are going to be instances when you can’t help but thinking “I would never do that.”
Put aside your pride and set down the stones. The Christians who are most successful in dating – and, eventually, marriage – are those who are able to work together to minimize those flaws. You can’t do that if you are looking down your nose at someone.
Want to know one of the most powerful experiences a godly couple can have is? Kneeling side-by-side in supplication to the Father above. Of all the times you are most vulnerable, the moment when you open your heart to God is near the top. As you move forward in your relationship, the help you will need – with jobs, with kids, with each other – many times will only be able to come from one place. Get in the habit of doing so out loud early, even if it is only over a meal.
Just because the two of you spend some time talking to God together doesn’t mean you are off the hook for going to Him on your own. As you mature in your pursuit of living like Christ, you will find much of the strength and courage it takes to be a good husband or wife – let alone a solid parent – comes when you admit to your own limitations. Ask the Father to work in your heart to make you the kind of person He wants you to be. The rest will fall into place.
Agree On Your Boundaries
Let’s be honest: temptation can get the best of us sometimes. As your relationship becomes more committed, you will – like every other dating couple in history – begin to escalate physical touch to higher levels. Don’t feel bad, deeper love leads to more intense attraction (the way God intended it to work).
What the two of you must do is agree upon the “no-nos” and be diligent in sticking to them. Will it be a really tough sometimes? Absolutely! As long as you are using spiritual guidelines instead of physical urges to lead you, there’s a better shot you will head trouble off at the pass.
Realize You Face the Same Challenges as Non-Believers
There is a dating tip for Christians that is often overlooked: but for the grace of God, you are just like everyone else. The two of you will face the same pressures and difficulties other couples do, which means you can relate to their issues better than you think.
When you bring Jesus to the center of your relationship, however, you have a foundation that ought to make it a little bit easier – sacrificing for each other as he sacrificed himself for everyone is a powerful example to follow.
Educate Yourself About Building Godly Relationships
Depending on where you grew up, the idea of looking for external resources on how to maintain a good partnership between men and women might be frowned upon. Ignore that type of thinking! Dating and marriage are both hard work, which means you two will have to make every effort to learn what is important to the other and how to best communicate your own needs.
The best thing for you to do is consult with other couples who are a bit further down the road from you experience-wise and read books focused on building relationships God’s way together. Discuss your thoughts and share them without fear of reprisal. You’ll find you grow by leaps and bounds as a couple.
Take Your Time
Further up this list, one of the tips focused on knowing what you are really looking for when you begin dating. The temptation for many Christians, once they have been together for a set period of time – say, two years – is to immediately get engaged and be married soon after.
Be careful, especially if you are relatively young. You will do a lot of growing as an individual during your late teens and early twenties. If your sole focus is to slip on a wedding ring, you have set yourself up for a difficult life in marriage. Follow God’s lead. You might be surprised where He takes you and who with.
Respect Your Brother/Sister in Christ
Paul, in Romans 12:10, encourages us to “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” Though you might find it odd to consider the person your dating a sibling, the fact of the matter is that you are viewed that way as children of God.
From a practical standpoint, this means your attitudes toward each other must be centered on the value the Father places on you. First and foremost, you must acknowledge and appreciate them for being created in His image. In doing so, you will find yourself being more honest and caring, which will make dating that much easier for both of you.