How Are Christians Supposed to Look at Dating?
There are all kinds of advice out there about dating today, but a lot of it is about dating in the world rather than Christian dating. Christians need to have a different attitude toward dating. However, even among Christians, there are differences as to whether you should or should not date. The choice is up to you and your parents, but Christian teens should still know God’s perspective on dating.
Yet God has more in store for you than just jumping from one relationship to another. He is clear on whom you should date and why you should date. When it comes to Christian dating, you live according to a different standard – God’s. Yet it’s not just about following the rules. There are some solid reasons why God asks us to live a certain way, and dating is no different.
Why Should Christian Teens Date (Or Not Date)?
While most people have differing opinions about dating, it is one area of the Bible where there is not a lot of information. However, Christian teens can get some idea of God’s expectations from certain Scripture verses:
Genesis 2:24: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (NIV)
Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV)
These three scriptures give insight into the Christian dating life. We need to realize that God means for us to meet the ONE person that we are meant to marry. According to Genesis, a man will leave home to marry one woman to become one flesh. You do not need to date a lot of people – just the right one.
Also, Christian teens need to guard their hearts. The word “love” is thrown around with little thought. Yet, we often live for love. We live for God’s love first and foremost, but we also live for the love of others. While there are many definitions of love, 1 Corinthians tells us how God defines love.
Only Date Believers
God is pretty picky on this one, and the Bible makes this issue very clear.
Deuteronomy 7:3: “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (NIV)
The Bible seriously warns us about dating non-Christians. While you may not be looking at marrying anyone at the moment, it should always be in the back of your head. Why get involved emotionally with someone that you should not marry? This does not mean you cannot be friends with that person, but you should not date them.
This also means that you should avoid “missionary dating,” which is dating a non-believer in the hopes that you can convert him or her. Your intentions may be noble, but the relationships rarely work out. Some Christians have even gotten married to non-believers, hoping that they can convert their spouse, but often the relationships end up in disaster.
On the other hand, some Christian teens believe that interracial dating is inappropriate due to the scriptures that tell Christians to avoid being yoked to non-Christians. However, there is actually nothing in the Bible that prohibits dating people of other races. The Bible places more emphasis on Christians dating other Christians. It is culture and society that place an emphasis on race.
Be careful of recreational dating, where you date for the sake of dating. God calls us to love one another, but the scripture is clear that He asks us to be careful. While love is a beautiful thing, the breaking off of relationships is hard. There is a reason they call it a “broken heart.” God understands the power of love and the damage a broken heart can do. This is why it is important for Christian teens to really pray, know their hearts, and listen to God when they decide to date.