What Does The Bible Say About Dating

The Bible is not a book that offers specific advice on what it means to date — but it does provide an overarching set of principles when it comes to relationships between people. Dating is a modern invention, and the Bible does not give clear-cut answers on how Christians are supposed to act in such circumstances.

In the Old Testament, we see courtship taking place. Couples were typically brought together by parents or guardians, and they began spending more time together as they were getting to know each other. Depending on their culture and economic conditions, couples were betrothed and married quickly after that.

Biblical courtship was part of a larger process — namely, the path towards marriage. This meant honor and respect for both sexes, and focused on a pure and holy relationship that was free from manipulation and lust. In other words, physical attraction was far less important than emotional, spiritual, and intellectual connection.

In the New Testament, there are indications that Jesus was not in favor of marriage. He said that it is better for some people to remain single (Mark 12:25) and also that there would be no marriage in the afterlife. These statements imply that Jesus did not encourage courting or dating for his followers.

That said, Jesus also presented the highest example of genuine love, respect, and humility. He washed the feet of his disciples, spoke up for women and the poor, and valued his relationships above all else. Follower of Jesus should strive to emulate his example in any relationship, romantic or otherwise.

From these biblical principles, it can be inferred that dating should be approached with respect, honesty, and intentionality. It should not be seen as a playground but rather a place to discern whether two people may be a good fit for marriage. With prayer, discernment and wisdom, a Christ-centered relationship can be built and strengthened.

Making Wise Decisions

In a healthy dating relationship, boundaries should be established and the process should be discussed openly between the two people involved. It is important to remember that the Bible encourages people to “test” or “prove” each other in a relationship (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) in order to make sure that both individuals are looking out for the other person’s best interest.

Ultimately, the Bible does not provide explicit guidelines for what it means to date. It does, however, give clear guidance for steps to build relationships with everyone in our lives – including potential romantic partners. This can include engaging in meaningful dialogue, understanding each other’s backgrounds and beliefs, and looking for ways to help each other grow.

If Christians are actively discerning a future marriage, they should look to the Bible to inform their decisions and provide guidance when it comes to developing healthy relationships.

Seeking Advice

There are many Christian books and resources available to help guide couples through the dating process. Advice from qualified individuals, including clergy, parents and mentors, can provide direction in making wise decisions at any stage of a relationship.

Moreover, prayer is an essential component of any romantic relationship. Through prayer, Christians can seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit in understanding God’s desires for their relationships. This can also provide guidance and strength during times of difficulty or confusion.

What about Self-Care?

It is also important for singles to practice self-care when it comes to dating. This includes getting to know oneself before stepping out into a relationship, as well as establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries. Self-care can take the form of making sure to have a supportive network of friends and taking the time to pause and reflect when the situation calls for it.

Learning to manage one’s own feelings and behavior can serve as a strong foundation for a future relationship. By prioritizing self-care, an individual can be better prepared to apply the Bible’s principles when it comes to dating.

Dealing With Affection

Physical affection is one of the more tricky areas that couples must manage while dating. There is nothing wrong with physical affection, but it should be seen as an expression of care rather than the ultimate goal of a relationship. Ultimately, the decision of how much physical affection to engage in is up to the couple and should be determined by mutual consent and common sense.

Kissing, for example, is not necessarily wrong, but it can lead quickly to impure thoughts and inappropriate levels of intimacy. Affection should reflect a true link between two people, and should never lead to physical, emotional, or spiritual exploitation.

Being Respectful

Finally, it is essential to remember that respect, kindness, and understanding are fundamental to Christian dating. Every person, no matter their beliefs or lifestyle, should be treated as a cherished daughter or son of God. It is important to remember that each person has different needs and expectations when it comes to relationship and intimacy. Therefore, understanding each other needs and finding the common ground before engaging in physical contact is essential.

In a time when there are countless opportunities to meet potential romantic partners, practicing these principles is vital to developing relationships that honor and respect one another. This can lead to true and lasting connections that can provide companionship and growth for both individuals.

The Power of Purity

Biblical teachings on purity can also be brought into a dating relationship. Practicing purity begins before any physical contact – holding off on physical longing until after marriage can demonstrate respect and a genuine commitment to each other. Practicing this kind of self-control can help strengthen a relationship on many levels.

At the same time, people should be careful not to be too focused on the concept of “purity”, to the exclusion of other important areas like communication and emotional connection. Purity is a great tool in growing a relationship, but it is not the only one.

Putting It All Together

In conclusion, the Bible does not explicitly provide advice on the specifics of dating. That said, it does offer general principles that can help guide these types of relationships. Respect, understanding, communication, and purity can all play a role in a successful relationship. Ultimately, it is up to individuals to navigate these waters with prayer, discernment, and wisdom.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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