Welcome to the world of Christian dating. I’m hoping your flowering relationship is a perfect fit for your future. That’s why I’ve taken some time to develop a few dating rules for Christian adults that are searching for Biblical advice to guide them.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably somewhere between the ages of 18-65 but possibly older. Nevertheless, whether you’re young and have just moved out of your parent’s house or you’ve matured and are taking care of your elderly parents in your own house, the following dating rules are built upon Christian principles for adults of every age.
Value the Time and Use It Wisely
Time is the most valuable commodity any human being has to trade. Most often we trade it to earn money from our job or by spending money on our pleasures. However, when someone is willing to trade their time for yours, it should be considered an honor and something worth cherishing.
Since you can’t stockpile time and aren’t promised tomorrow, use the time you have wisely on your date. Your relationship isn’t going to flourish through osmosis. You’re not going to grow the relationship by simply being around the person that you’re dating.
Psalm 90:12 teaches that we may gain a heart of wisdom by learning to number our days. That heart of wisdom starts developing when we carefully consider the finitude of our lifespans. Knowing that time will run out is useful for living a life full of purpose, and the dating process should be no less purposeful.
With this mindset, dating becomes an intentional endeavor and not a casual pleasure on which to spend your money. You’re searching for a helpmate and life partner. Their suitability [and your own] will only be discovered by talking through the subjects that matter.
Spend your time together seeing if they “walk the walk” instead of just talking the talk. Make sure they’re the person God has for you. Value the time and use it wisely.
Listen, Don’t Just Hear Them
What’s the difference between listening and hearing? That background song you heard playing in the elevator. Sure, you can recall that there was music playing, but you have no idea what any of the lyrics were. You heard the song, but you didn’t listen to it.
Hearing someone is a self-centered activity disguised as kindness. What you’re really doing is waiting to hear something that perks your interest. Then you might start listening.
Some people go their entire lives thinking they listen to people but have only ever heard them.
Listening is others-focused and a form of agape love. You’re regarding someone else as more significant than yourself and their desires as more important than your own (Philippians 2:3-4). Christians are called to practice this with everyone, not just their dates.
However, choosing to also be mindful of this rule during your dates will pay dividends in the long run of the relationship. You’re investing into their future, and should the relationship go the distance, you’re also investing into your own as an added perk.
Furthermore, you’re demonstrating to God that you are ready and willing to be “on mission” for them in their life. That willingness might prove to be a key moment in their spiritual awakening. Listen, don’t just hear them.
Conclude the Date Before Midnight
This one is geared towards the younger crowd but applicable to everyone. As we get older and older, midnight becomes harder and harder to stay awake for. You might be able to stay up for that long, but you shouldn’t let your date go past midnight.
The old adage “nothing good happens after midnight” was coined for a reason. The productive society of the city is normally in bed or at home preparing for tomorrow at this point. The potential for danger and harm also increases as the night continues. The later that date night keeps going, the more probable it becomes that evil will find an opportunity.
This rule takes into account your own ability to commit evil too. “It’s too dangerous for you to go home this late at night” and “It’s okay, I’ll take the couch” are the types of phrases we’re trying to avoid here. Good luck getting your fleshly desires and imagination to subside long enough for either of you to get a good night’s sleep. By ending the date before midnight, you are avoiding the heightened temptation towards sexual sin.
The enemy will still attack you through the circumstances surrounding the one you love; just ask any parent. Keep letting the Holy Spirit grow the fruit of self-control in your life and don’t allow yourself to become a defenseless city against the invasion of temptation (Proverbs 25:28). Conclude the date before midnight.
Keep the Relationship Focused on God
Ultimately, the reason for developing Christian dating rules is because God exists. He has constantly and consistently revealed Himself to mankind throughout the ages. We Christians are those who recognize the truth of His lordship and have submitted our lives to his reign in our hearts. Now, as a Christian, you are called to image Him appropriately and thereby be an example to the world (Matthew 5:14).
That’s likely why you’re here right now and have continued reading this far. You want guidance in your dating relationship for the purpose of honoring God with your actions. That’s admirable and potential evidence of your new birth by the Holy Spirit!
Nevertheless, we are still at war with sin in our body, and this war is unwinnable without God and the finished work of the cross through Jesus (Romans 7:21-25). These rules benefit you in two ways. They keep you away from the temptation of sinful desires, and they lead you into the type of relationship that will be blessed by God.
However, even obeying these rules is impossible to do without the help of God. He is your hope for success and confidence for deliverance from the enemy (Psalm 71:5). Keep Him enthroned as such throughout the dating process. In this final rule is found all the blessing and protection required to survive and thrive in romance. Keep the relationship focused on God.
May God bless you and give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
Written By: Nicholas Lakin
Nick is an academic scholar, budding theologian, and thoughtful teacher of the Bible. He has a passion to see others grow in their knowledge of God for the purpose of glorifying Christ. He’s also a graduate of Liberty University and a former United States Army soldier.
His academic works range from commentaries and exegetical analyses to nuanced details regarding the Hebrew and Greek languages of the Bible. His future endeavors include Chaplaincy and founding a nonprofit organization that’s conducive to ecumenical orthodoxy across Protestantism.