In a previous blog, we studied what godly dating is not. Now, let’s consider what godly dating is.
What Godly Dating Is
It is an opportunity to glorify and please God. 2 Corinthians 5:9 tells us, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” That means that the goal for our entire lives – including our dating relationships – is to please the Lord. It is important that we have this concept ingrained deeply into our brains: God made us specifically to glorify Him in everything. For dating relationships, this means that the man and woman should be working together for the purpose of bringing glory to God and becoming more like Him. When that is our focus, we will be rightly oriented in wanting what God wants for the relationship – His timing, His ways, His boundaries – rather than being caught in the snare of our sinful desires.
It is an opportunity for accountability. It is very wise to get connected to an older, godly mentor when you are dating. Because emotions are so involved in a dating relationship, judgment and common sense can become buried and blurred. We can shape our companion into who we want them to be in our minds simply because we want the relationship to work out, while completely neglecting what the Bible outlines as the characteristics we should look for in a godly future spouse. Get connected with an outside person who can speak truth into the relationship and help keep you accountable to God’s goals and boundaries for you.
It is an opportunity to practice self-control. A conversation about godly dating wouldn’t be complete if the subject of sexual purity was left out. Sexual temptations can arise quickly in a relationship, especially for those who have a past with sexual activity, and can be a huge hurtle. It can be easy to justify sexual actions, speech, body language, or passionate times together with the thought, “it’s not sex.” But the Lord tells us in Ephesians 5:3, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” We hint at sexual sin when with the clothing we choose to wear and how we wear them, the topics we discuss, our physical interactions, our body language, or even our facial expressions. God calls His people to be totally pure without even a hint of sexual sin. For this reason, also, a godly mentor is very important for accountability to follow your boundaries. Take the time to write out the ways you may be hinting at sexual sin, and determine the boundaries you need set in place in relationship to prevent temptation.
There are many, many aspects of godly dating that we could discuss, and we have only skimmed the very surface here. But I would encourage anyone who is in a stage of life where they are dating to seek a wise mentor and study the Word of God for the guidelines and wisdom they should have in a dating relationship. When God brings two Christ-followers together, it is beautiful – not because of the romance or good feelings or sweet speech to each other – but because if they are both focused together on the goal of glorifying and pleasing God, His name is displayed greatly.
To dig deeper into the subject of dating, here are a few great resources:
Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild by Mary Kassian
Sex, Dating, and Relationships by Gerald Hiestand
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
And a great resource for those struggling with sexual purity in relationships, check our Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is by Joshua Harris