If you’re trying to live your life in a way that honors God, it’s only natural that you’d want a dating relationship that honors Him as well. To ensure God is an important part of your relationship with your partner, choose someone godly, try to embody God’s love in the way you treat each other, and make time to worship together each day. If you both put God first, you’ll strengthen your relationship with Him while building a deep connection as a couple.
Dating in a Godly Way
1. Choose a partner who values their relationship with God as much as you do. If you want God to be central in your relationship, you should choose someone who is passionate about following God. Before you start dating anyone, pray that God will help you find the right person. Don’t just get swept up in your emotions or physical attraction—look for a partner who displays godly qualities like patience, kindness, and humility.
- While it’s possible to continue to serve God if you’re dating a nonbeliever, it will be difficult to truly make God the center of your relationship.
2. Date with the intention of getting married
Casual dating might be popular in the modern world, but if you’re trying to serve God, you should be looking for the partner God has chosen as your spouse. Only date someone if you see them as a potential life-long partner. That doesn’t mean that you have to marry the first person you date, of course, but do spend your time critically evaluating whether they’d be a good fit for you.
- For instance, you might compare your values, your methods of worship, and your long-term goals to ensure you’re compatible.
- 3. Avoid becoming physically intimate before marriage.
When you’re dating someone you’re attracted to, it can be hard to resist the temptation to be close to them physically. However, God instructs His followers to wait until marriage to be physically intimate together. To help keep yourselves pure, set boundaries that you both feel are safe, honorable, and respectable.
- For instance,
you might agree that until you’re married, you’ll only kiss on the cheek.
- Try to avoid innocent-seeming activities that might tempt you to have impure thoughts, like sitting on each other’s laps or giving each other massages.
4. Embody the love described in 1 Cor 13:4-8.
One of the most well-known passages in the Bible describes pure love, and it’s an excellent description of the way you should strive to treat your partner in a relationship. It describes love as patient, hopeful, trusting, and selfless. Try to live up to this example as you build a healthy, God-centered relationship.
- The passage
says: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it
is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not
easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
always perseveres. Love never fails.”
- Even if your faith follows a different holy text, you can still use this beautiful verse as a reminder of how to treat your partner.
5. Rely on God and each other when times are difficult.
Inevitably in a relationship, you’ll have to face struggles together. These might be arguments because you don’t see eye-to-eye on things, or you might have to overcome hardships and grief together as a couple. No matter what comes your way, don’t turn against each other. Trust that God will care for you, and work together to find God’s solution to any problem.
- Remember, if you and your partner get married, you’ll have to take on difficult situations together throughout your life. If you have a hard time working together when you’re dating, you may have a hard time being on the same page later on, as well.
6. Avoid situations where you and your partner might be tempted to sin.
If you want God to be the center of your relationship, it’s a good idea for the two of you to avoid people, places, and situations where you might be tempted to do things you know displease God. You might already do this on your own, but it can be harder when you’re dating someone and the two of you are trying to plan things to do together.
- For instance, you might choose not to attend a party if you suspect there will be drinking and drugs, or you might avoid going to clubs where people tend to dance suggestively. You might suggest another fun activity instead, like going to a baseball game or having a picnic.
7. Spend time with other godly couples. Group dating can help you avoid the temptation to be physical, but it is also a way to strengthen your identity in God, since you’ll be surrounded by other people who are also seeking Him. Try to find another couple or a group of peers who are about your same age, and spend time together on a regular basis.
- You might choose to have a weekly group worship, do team-based service missions, or just hang out and do casual things like grilling, going out to eat, or playing sports.
- It can also help you strengthen your relationship if you find mentors within your church. For instance, you might sit down with a couple who’s been married for several years to ask them about some of the challenges they dealt with when they were dating.