What does the Bible teach about dating? There are a few things to consider.
First, Paul makes it absolutely clear that if we’re a Christian we need to marry another Christian (1 Cor. 7). You may not end up marrying someone you date, but you should still keep this end point in mind. The most important question is, “Is this person a Christian?” I don’t just mean that they say they’re a Christian or are willing to go to church with you. I mean, do they have a relationship with the Lord? Are they committed to the Lord? That’s why finding someone to date at church is wonderful. You know that person isn’t just there because you’re dating her.
Is there a particular way to pursue someone? You want to be respectful. In everything you do, honor the Lord. In the Old Testament, when a guy wanted to get married, he’d just bring a caravan of all these gifts—rings and jewelry and all that stuff. You can go that route, but that might be coming on a bit too strong. Instead, you can invite someone to coffee or to get together with your group of friends. That can be a respectful way to get to know a person that interests you.
When I first met my wife, we spent time together in groups with others in our church. We’d also get together for coffee or food or something like that, and it was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. It was innocent. It was honoring, I think, to the Lord. So you want to be respectful.
It’s also important to be honest. So often in dating relationships people play games—play hard to get. It’s good to make your intentions known. You can say, “Hey, I’m interested in you. Would you be willing to grab coffee?” Just be honest and try to find ways to get to know each other.
As you spend time together and learn more about a person, look for those Christian characteristics that God talks about in his word—the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Do this person show the virtues that the Bible says will be growing in everyone who trusts in Christ?
So, make sure that the person you want to date is committed to the Lord. Then pray and respectfully and honestly pursue this individual. Over time, look for the fruit of the Spirit.
Then just see how it pans out. It’s in the Lord’s hands. Entrust this relationship to God’s providence.
This article is part of our Frequently Asked Questions series. Listen to Pastor Adriel answer this question on Core Radio here.
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