In discussing Christian dating, it is necessary to note from the onset that everyone feels the irresistible urge to be with someone special and to be with someone who thinks you are special. This is the basis for Christian dating.
This feeling is heightened by the fact that you notice that everywhere you look you seem to find a man and woman paired off. You can't just resist the urge to have a close friend of the opposite sex and become a part of that amazing relationship a couple has.
If you are a Christian and you have such feelings, there’s no need to worry because they are legitimate. Christians have emotions too.
But the fact is that the moment two Christians start dating, various issues come to the surface.
Some issues that come up in Christian dating are...
• Issues about intimacy: Is there room for intimacy in Christian dating? How far is too far as regards intimacy between two Christians who are dating?
• Issues dealing with how to maintain a sound relationship with a christian woman while in a relationship.
Here are some things you should know about Christian dating...
The Difference between Regular Dating and Dating between Christians
Originally, there were people who brought two people of the opposite sex together in order to help them form a relationship that would eventually lead to marriage. These people were a sort of “match-makers.” Times have changed. People tend to meet themselves during social gatherings.
What about Christians?
God’s plan for us is to marry and have children. This involves being physically intimate. However, the aim of such intimacy should be move God’s Kingdom forward. Given the above, does God want us to date? If He does, what is the appropriate age to start dating (searching for a life partner)?
From the Bible, we discover that arranged marriages were the norm in the Old Testament times. The death of Christ ushered in the New Covenant so it’s not surprising that we don’t find the idea and practice of arranged marriages in the New Testament. What does this tell us? Click here to learn more about the Christian view on dating.
As children of God, we have to understand that it is only God that gives us the right mate. So we ought to see the issue of dating as a very serious issue which demands serious prayers. Before a Christian chooses when to start dating or whom he/she dates, he/she should prayerfully seek God’s face.
Obviously, God will not use the burning bush experience to show you instantly who you should marry. However, He wants to guide us through the process of knowing when to date, who to date and who we are to eventually marry.
Though this process must be prayerfully followed, there are some thorny matters that prayers may not provide the immediate solution. For example…
Are Christians Allowed to be Intimate in their Relationships?
This question poses a problem whenever it is raised. The answers Christians give depend on their denominational background.
Conservative Christians give a negative answer. They point out the difference between dating and courting.
For these Christians, “courting” is the proper Christian process which leads to marriage and this process does not give room for intimacy of any kind. They also advocate a “no-touching, no-kissing, no-showing of intimate feelings” approach to relationships between christens who want to marry.
One of the reasons conservative Christians present for holding such view is that the Bible warns us not to give in to “sins of the flesh” especially in relationships outside marriage.
On the other hand, liberal Christians advocate a more intimate approach to Christian relationships outside marriage. They believe that the world we live in is more open and expressive when it comes to sexual matters.
For this group of believers, there must be intimacy in relationships outside marriage. Their reason: life and human experiences are practical issues which demand practical responses.
They also argue that if you remove intimacy from relationships outside marriage, it will be hard to convert non-believers.
Let’s use this example: If a religion does not allow me to express acts of intimacy towards the man/woman whom I love, then I will not have anything to do with such a religion. This is the case, especially considering the hard-line approach of the fundamentalist Christians presented above.
Click here to learn more how to handle intimacy in relationships outside marriage.
Should I Attend the Same Church with my Christian Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
This question pops up in many discussions on Christian dating. But there are no clear-cut answers to it. Some Christian denominations, for example evangelicals, will advise you shouldn’t date someone who doesn’t have the same beliefs you have about Christ.
Others think it is O.K to date unbelievers if the aim is to bring them into the Christian fold. This is what is called missionary dating.
What should be the appropriate step to take if you’ve prayed and you still believe that God is leading you to date someone who is not a member of your sect?
Take time to study what God’s Word says about this and remember He is the One who has the final say; after all, He created the institution called marriage.
However, you are also encouraged to seek the advice of your pastor, parents and Christian elders so that they can clarify you on any questions that may come up. You could start by reading this article.
Online Opportunities for Christian Dating
Christians right from time have been encouraged to find their life partners within the body of Christ. As such, Christians looked up to the church to provide the setting where boys and girls, young men and women could get acquainted to each other.
But this form of Christian singles dating had limitations. Thus, in modern times, the idea people have about dating, especially that involving Christians, has changed remarkably. Click here to learn more about the Christian view on dating.
Nowadays, young Christian men and women have unique means of meeting and knowing each other. Offline, there are numerous organizations established for the purpose of facilitating the meeting of Christian men and women who are in search of a life partner.
The internet has opened up new opportunities too. Today, Christians date online through Christian dating services provided by numerous Christian dating sites.
At these sites, young believers have the opportunity to form lasting relationships with each other. They could freely choose potential life partners of various age groups, professional status and social standings.
There are two broad types of dating sites for Christians. The first gives you the chance to do a search on people, their interests and hobbies. The contact information of each person you find is made available so you can contact them.
The second type is more like a matchmaking site you are encouraged to fill a detailed form which is matched with the profile of another person. This is done based on the information you submitted.
Once a match is found, the site gives you the person’s contact information. Now that’s what I call Christian dating made easy!