It’s hard to find advice on dating in the bible. Dating is such a new concept when talking about how things have been for thousands of years. In the Bible, we would even see people get married without even knowing each other. Though this isn’t what we see happening today, thankfully, we can still go to God’s for dating advice.
How do I have a Godly relationship? To put it simply, we must seek God in all we do, including dating. A man or woman can have all of the knowledge they need to have a healthy relationship, but if they’re not seeking the Lord, then that relationship will crash and burn. In Mathew 6:33 we are told to seek the kingdom first, so we are to do so even when dating someone.
Dating really started being a thing in the early 1900s, which makes it a tricky topic to address. Though the Bible may not have dating advice specifically we can still find examples of Godly relationships. Let’s dive into what the Bible has to say about dating, and how we can move forward in healthy, Godly dating.
What Does A Godly Relationship Look Like?
I’ve always longed for a godly relationship, but when asked to describe what that I looked like I was left without words. I knew God is supposed to be at the center, but what does that actually look like?
You must know what a Godly relationship looks like before you can have one.
I can’t stress how important this is to dating. If you have your eyes focused on yourself and your desires instead of on God things can go downhill very fast in any relationship.
A godly relationship is one that exemplifies Christ in every way. A good example of this is what love is stated as in scripture:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The love that Paul is talking about in this verse is God’s love. No matter how hard we try we cannot fully achieve this. However, we must still strive to exemplify all these characteristics.
Before entering into a relationship you need to ask yourself if you are striving to reflect on all these things. You also want to be with someone who has the same desire to show this love. Hold tight to this verse and use it as the foundation of your relationship.
If you know you struggle with any of these characteristics, aim to grow.
You can grow in these areas by:
- Memorization of the Bible
- Reading your Bible
- Celebrate Sabbath
Focusing on each of these areas will help you to grow closer to God and become a better reflection of His love. When you practice these things you are making Christ the center of your life.
You should be doing these things the same amount when your in a relationship that you did when you were single. Jesus is always first. Even when you get married, Jesus comes first.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are three questions that I believe will help you discern how to live your dating relationship out in a Godly way.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Dating:
The desire for a spouse is real friends. So much so that we jump into relationships without thinking. We see a man or woman who loves the Lord and think to ourselves ” Are they, my future spouse?”
Maybe you’ve never done that, but many of you reading this are in the same boat. I’m not shaming you because it’s okay. However, these feelings can cause us to drown out God’s voice and rush into things.
To prevent us from rushing into things and to ensure we have godly relationships I’ve come up with three questions. Before getting into a relationship ask yourself these three questions before the Lord. You may not like everything you or your answers, but I encourage you to be open.
What are your motives?
The main reason we date is to know whether we want to marry that person.
In response to that, we need to be asking ourselves this question: “Am I in a position to get married to this person?” If you’re not then you shouldn’t be dating. You need to make sure that your mind is not the only thing ready to marry this person. You also need to make sure you’re in a season of life where it would make sense.
As the man, would you be able to provide for your wife and any children you plan to have? Would you be able to lead your family in the Lord?
As the Woman, would you be able to have the time commitment to take care of your children? Are you ready to be a good wife to your husband?
Are you both content in your season of life right now? Do you know what Godly manhood and womanhood looks like? Are you both confident in your relationship with Jesus?
You need to start asking yourself these questions as you’re deciding to get into a relationship or as you’re deciding whether the relationship you are in is honoring God.
It’s unwise of us to jump into things that aren’t going to bring glory to the Lord. Knowing whether you yourself are in a good place to be a husband or wife is a telling sign in knowing whether you’re ready to honor God in a relationship.
After you know your own motives, make sure you’re aware of your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s motives. Ask them why they’re getting into a relationship and what they want out of it.
Not only that pay attention to the way they act and treat you. Are they patient or do they push you to do things you’re not comfortable with?
You need to also ensure they are a believer. If they aren’t then they don’t share your motives and that is dangerous.
To read more about dating an unbeliever click here.
Even before you date them, notice how they are as a friend. If they’re not a good friend, then they won’t be a good spouse.
Are you called towards the same mission?
Let’s say you are both seeking Christ in your relationship, and you are also honoring God through your relationship. But what if you’re called to be a missionary, and your partner is called to be a doctor.
Is it wise to continue a relationship where you’re both headed towards different lifestyles?
Your relationship with Jesus and the mission He has called you to is far more important than any relationship you could be in. We’re all called to make disciples of all nations. If we’re sacrificing that for a relationship, then we’re doing it wrong.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35 says:
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.1 Corinthians 7:32-35 says:
This passage is not trying to tell you to stay out of relationships. What it’s trying to tell us is that our devotion to the Lord is much more important than our devotion to our spouse.
Do what God has called you to do, whether that’s being a Missionary, Pastor, Elder, Missionary Supporter, etc. If your partner wants and feels led to follow you in that calling, praise God.
If not though, then be prayerful about whether this person is the person you should be in a relationship with.
If you ask for clarity, God will provide that clarity. It may not be what you want, but He will give you just enough clarity to take steps in the right direction.
Are you confident in your relationship with Jesus?
Your relationship with Jesus is the only one that will continue into eternity. You need to actively be pursuing Christ before someone else.
You will never have a perfect walk, but what matters is that you’re walking with Christ.
“The search for a spouse isn’t a pursuit of perfection, but a mutually flawed pursuit of Jesus.”
– Marshall Segal
If you aren’t confident in your relationship with Jesus, how do you expect to be confident in your relationship with your partner? When I asked myself this question it brought up a lot of areas in which I was lacking in within the relationship I was in at that time. It made me realize I was putting the pursuit of my relationship above my pursuit of the Lord.
It’s so important to find your worth, love, and joy in the Lord. Your partner will fail in providing all of these things consistently, but God never will.
It’s also unfair for you to expect your partner to provide all of your emotional needs because that is an unrealistic expectation.
This is my question to you. Have you devoted your life to glorifying Jesus? It is really that simple. As we quoted above, Jesus gives us a very clear command.
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Matthew 6:33
We must seek Him above all else. Above our relationship, above our homework, above our free time, above friendships, everything.
These are some good questions to assess your situation:
- Do I spend more time with my girlfriend/ boyfriend than I do with the Lord?
- Do I spend set apart time every day to read the Bible?
- Do I turn to prayer FIRST in times of hardship?
- Do I turn to repentance after sinning?
Spend time journaling through these questions and ask God to help you put Him first in your life.
Whether you’re single, pursuing your crush, in a relationship, or even married I hope that you seek Christ for wisdom in your situation.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Seek wisdom and He will give it to you!Proverbs 2:6–7:
I hope you found value in this post, seeking wisdom in relationships is a daily practice. Keep striving to know Jesus more, and keep praying that He may give you the wisdom to make the right decisions in your relationships.