Dating is obviously a huge topic among young Christians. If you go to your local Christian book store you’ll find plenty of books on Christian dating or courting and many people are eager to give advice on the subject, whether you want it or not. I’ll be the first to tell you that I have made plenty of mistakes when it comes to dating and I am in no way an expert. I feel like I’ve learned a lot through these mistakes though so I wanted to share with you three things I’ve learned…
1. Don’t make your girlfriend your God.
In the past I have allowed girlfriends to become idols. I thought I needed more than just God to be happy. I needed God AND a girlfriend. I believe Tim Keller says it best when he says, “If you add anything to Jesus as a requirement for being happy, that’s your real king.” Girlfriends had become my real king. I’ve learned though that relationships are a wonderful gift from God but only Jesus can bring true satisfaction. What we tend to do with relationships is search for our joy and happiness from our boyfriend or girlfriend. When we do this, we are setting the relationship up for failure. As great as the person may be, they are still sinful, so they are going to bring us hurt and pain at times. Instead of making them our source of joy and satisfaction, we need to find our joy in Christ who never changes and always loves us.
2. Keep Christ at the center of your relationship.
In his song “Wait,” Lecrae gives some great advice on Christian dating. He says, “That man don’t love you like he need to. If he ain’t following Christ, he can’t lead you.” Iʼve learned that if Iʼm not following Christ, I canʼt be the leader I need to be for the person Iʼm in a relationship with. Being in a relationship should never distract you from following God. The right relationship will instead lead each of you to follow Christ on a deeper level. In doing this, you will be able to care for the other person in a Godlier way since they aren’t your God, but Jesus is.
3. Treat them as someoneʼs future spouse.
Until we say “I do” my girlfriend is someone elseʼs wife. Itʼs that simple. This is a great reminder in dealing with sexual temptation as well as many other aspects of a relationship. The girl that I am dating is not mine, sheʼs God’s, and I need to treat her with the respect she deserves. Another thing to think about is how emotionally we get involved. In the same way that we need to wait until marriage sexually, we also need to wait emotionally. As Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” If we truly care for the person we are dating, we will always have in mind their future marriage.
Being in a relationship is great but our dating relationships must always glorify God. If your relationship doesnʼt glorify God, itʼs hindering the relationship that matters most. The one with your heavenly father. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Every aspect of our dating relationships should be done for the glory of God.