Monday, June 18, 2012

Biblical Dating: Christ-Centered

Let’s talk about the first of those Characteristics of a Biblical Dating Relationship I mentioned the other day.

A Biblical dating relationship must be Christ-centered above all else. As Christians, everything we do and say should be Christ-centered. We all hear that all the time. And, of course, we know that a dating relationship is no exception. But what does it mean to make Christ the center of your relationship in a practical, everyday way?
First of all, it means that a Christian should never date a non-Christian. You can’t possibly have a Christ-centered relationship unless you are both in Christ. There’s also the Biblical mandate: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14) The Bible clearly states that we should not be “yoked together” with someone who is not a believer. A yoke is a wooden device used to harness two beasts of burden (usually oxen or mules) together so that they would use their combined strength to do a task such as pulling a plow or a wagon. Usually, these two animals formed a permanent team and would always be yoked together rather than to any other animal. Any farmer worth his salt knew that the two animals that were yoked together had to be equal in strength. Otherwise, the stronger one would be hindered and exhausted by doing most of the work (and pulling the other animal around) and the weaker one would be hurt by being pulled along faster than he could keep up. Also, the two animals had to pull in the same direction or they would exhaust and possibly injure each other. Eventually, both animals would suffer if they were unequally yoked. In the same way, Paul says in II Corinthians that believers should not attempt to form permanent relationships with someone who is not a good match spiritually. Christians and non-Christians are going in opposite directions in life. They cannot make a good team, no matter how many other things they may have in common.
Just because two people are Christians, however, does not mean that their relationship is Christ-centered. A truly Christ-centered relationship will only occur when both people put Christ first in their lives and in their relationship. That means that they must love God more than they love each other. It means that they must want God’s will more than they want to be together. It means that they will do what is right, even when it is hard. It also means that they will see the other person as a priceless son or daughter of God and treat each other accordingly.
As for some practical suggestions on how to achieve a Christ-centered dating relationship, here are just a few:
·         Pray for the person you will someday marry, that God will keep them strong in Him.

·         Pray for your current relationship, that it may be pure and honoring to God and that God will give both of you wisdom as you proceed.

·         Keep your relationship sexually pure and above reproach (more on that in the next post).

·         Share your testimonies with each other and talk about your relationship with God. Share what God has been showing you recently or ways He has provided for you in the past. In other words, make your relationship with Christ an integral part of your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

·         Talk about spiritual issues and be sure that both of you agree on major doctrines.

·         Engage in Christian ministry together. Attend church together. Teach Sunday School together or help out in a bus ministry or other program.

·         Once the relationship is definitely headed toward marriage, pray together for your relationship as well as for other things in your lives. (Be careful of this early on because it can build too much intimacy too soon.)

·         Seek mentoring from a godly married couple you both know.
Are there any other things you can think of that will help in building a Christ-centered dating relationship? How have you tried to keep your focus on God during a dating relationship? Are these suggestions and explanations helpful?

Linked up with Yes They're All Ours, NOBHWLWW, To Love Honor and Vacuum, WFMW, and The Alabaster Jar.


  1. Excellent post!

    Thanks for your encouraging comment on my Marriage Monday post, and thanks for linking up! :)

  2. Thank you for linking up with us at NOBH. I think this post should be on the reading list for every youth group! Every blessing.

  3. 1) There are not enough Christian women to date so the whole unequally yoked admonition can't apply.
    2) The churches are filled with divorced "miss bossy" feminists who are not marriage material at all.
    3) Try to remember who is the helped and who is the help meet. I know this is very unpopular in Chuchianity.

    1. 1) The Bibilcal admonition most certainly does apply, regardless of whether or not you can find a Christian woman to marry. Even if you, personally, do not know even one unmarried Christian woman, that doesn't mean you are free to ignore God's commands and marry an unbeliever. If there truly are no good Christian women to marry, then you should remain single. It's that serious. Or you go could start winning some women to Jesus.

      But, of course, there are many good, single, Christian women out there. It may seem like there aren't, but your perception doesn't match reality. How do I know? Because I know some unmarried Christian women that would make wonderful wives. And most of them are lamenting the "fact" that there are no godly, unmarried men out there. Go figure.

      2 & 3) Yes, there are a lot of feminists out there, even in the church. Some churches have this problem more than others. But, again, this doesn't apply to all the women out there. There are still a number of women who adhere to God's design for marriage with a husband as head of the home and the wife as his helpmeet. It's your job to find one if you want a God-honoring marriage. (However, you might ask yourself if a good Christian woman is going marry someone who thinks the word of God doesn't apply to his situation - see your point #1).

      I can understand your frustration. The church has become feminized. And it is hard to find a godly spouse. But that is no reason to ignore the commands of God or to withdraw from Christian fellowship. Church is not just for girls. It's for all believers. So stand up and be a light. Call the church back to an understanding of Biblical marriage. Be a man for God. We need you to. If you just give up and leave, if you ignore the word of God, if you won't follow the call to be the man God wants you to be, then you're part of the problem. If you won't stand up and lead and proclaim the truth and work to call the church back to righteousness, why should any Christian woman follow you into a Biblical marriage?

  4. The problem is that almost all churches talk like Jesus Christ but live like Oprah Winfrey.
    Concerning #1 , this is an injunction to obtain from idol worship. It has nothing to do with marriage.
    My point about women is made when you say this:
    " if you won't follow the call to be the man God wants you to be,"

    Men will man up when women man down.

    1. Women will give an accounting to God for themselves, as will you. You can't blame all your troubles on women. I can understand why you don't want to marry a feminist and I agree with you on that. A lot of women out there don't make good wives. But not all women are like that. There are exceptions (fewer and fewer these days, but they are out there).

      The same goes for churches. Yes, many of them are extremely feminized, but not all. There is always a remnant. My church, for example, though not perfect, has strong families led by godly men who also take an active role in church activities. We don't have touchy feely songs or sermons, and the services and songs are always led by men.

      I guess my point is not to throw out the baby with the bathwater with regard to church and finding a spouse.

      As for marrying an unbeliever, there are many reasons not to besides the verse on not being "unequally yoked." It is stated and implied all throughout Scripture that the people of God are not to marry those outside the faith. This was the purpose, for example, of the OT commands against Jews marrying Gentiles. These rules did not apply to people of other lineages who became proselytes and worshipped the one true God such as Rahab or Ruth. They were there to prevent Jews from marrying pagans and raising children who did not serve God. God wants Christians to raise up children to know and serve Him. When a Christian marries a non-Christian, their children are far less likely to be raised to know and love God. You put your future children at greater risk of hell if you choose a non-Christian woman to be their mother. It's a very serious thing. Not only that, but even aside from having children, having an unbelieving spouse diminishes what a Christian can do for the cause of Christ. God intends for Christians to marry in order to form a team to further the gospel. If you are distracted and using resources to serve a non-Christian spouse, you most likely aren't growing spiritually in the way you should or doing what you need to be doing for the kingdom. Finally, a husband is supposed to be the spiritual leader of his household. How can he be that if his wife isn't following his lead because she isn't even a Christian?

  5. " But, of course, there are many good, single, Christian, women"

    Hardly! Churches are a disgraceful revolving door for remarriage.after divorce. It's just ridiculous and a prime reason I quit going to church. What does the text say?
    Luke 16:18
    Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her adultery.

    1. I agree that divorce is wrong and remarriage after divorce is wrong. Marriage is for life. If your former church was allowing and encouraging divorce and remarriage, you were right to leave that church. But that doesn't mean you should write off all churches.