What is Christian Dating? A Comprehensive Guide

Courtship has always had marriage as its direct objective. Dating, on the other hand, is a more modern approach that begins when a man or woman starts a relationship with someone that goes beyond friendship. This relationship is then pursued outside of any supervision or authority. Dating may or may not be aimed at marriage, but its ultimate purpose should be what God desires.

For some, it is a time when two people date with the hope of marriage, but it can also be a lesson to be learned or a friendship to be had. It is important to recognize this, as many people fall into the trap of believing that the person they are dating should and can only be their spouse. The goal and hope, of course, is marriage, but not all relationships are destined to end in marriage. Some relationships are meant to promote character growth, teach a lesson, or last for a season.

The ultimate hope and intention of a dating relationship should be marriage. Marriage is the second most important relationship one will have; the most important one being with the Lord. With this in mind, the precursor to dating must receive considerable consideration, care and respect. There are some myths that people assume are gospel about dating, especially among Christians. Christian culture is like any other in the sense that we develop truths that we accept without verifying them.

There are Christian ideas about dating that have little or nothing to do with the Bible. Dating as a socially accepted means of finding a partner has only been around for less than a century. Before that, strict courtship rituals governed the path to marriage and who you married was often not even up to you. Friendship and dating are categorically different. Of course, you should be friends with the person you're dating, but there's so much more.

The emotional warmth that occurs between people in a romantic relationship is more stimulating and more complicated than friendship. People have higher expectations for someone they're considering marrying. Friendship can't contain the emotions, intensity and intimacy that dating has. If you and someone else are in love with each other, you're not just friends. I don't care if you go out alone or with the whole church choir.

This often causes single Christians to despair and date someone because of the pressure to get married, often just to have sex within the confines of marriage. So does biblical dating exist? If so, what is it? How can Christians think differently about this pervasive topic in media and culture? How are we doing so far? Although these Christians may still date with the intention of finding someone to marry, there is still a chance that they will remain single for part or all of their lives. Certainly, the Lord is not pleased but rather deeply distressed by the casual dating scene from which professing Christians find themselves immersed and with which they are apparently quite comfortable. Pastor and counselor Josh Squires notes that overly intentional dating is actually more common among Christians than aimless romance. In the midst of this overwhelming sea of methods and rules, many Christians wonder what the Bible says about this much discussed topic and how they should approach dating. Biblical dating assumes a context of spiritual responsibility, as is true in all other areas of the Christian life. While Christians can participate in dating, there is no biblical promise or guarantee that every Christian will have a spouse. However, Christians must view dating differently than in the world which promotes sexual impurity and immorality.

There are many myths about Christian dating but let's focus on what I think are the five main ones that make it difficult for Christian singles. The concept of dating is one of the most talked about and questioned aspects of a Christian walk.

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