Best Dating Advice

There is not a month that goes by where a young person in our church doesn't ask for guidance on relationships. Relationships can be a messy endeavor and it becomes increasingly difficult when a couple does not use their time wisely. In fact, if you are not careful you can find yourselves spending your time foolishly and ceasing to do the things that make you more like Christ. 

Some of the questions that are most asked by the couple who loves Jesus are: How do we spend our time? Should we be praying together? Should we be sharing in our bible reading together? How far is too far when it comes to sharing our spiritual lives and how we are pursuing holiness? Should we spend time alone?

One of the most helpful articles I have read on dating was written this week on the Gospel Coalition by Derek Rishmawy. The article focuses on one of the greatest gifts for a young couple: the local body of Christ. I often tell people that one of the first questions I would ask before marrying someone is "Do they love the church?" (The first being "Do they love Jesus?") Too often we miss the importance of the local church in our future because we miss how essential it is to our own lives today. Young couples would do well to heed Rishmawy's cousel. Here is how he begins: 

"I've been working in youth ministry in some capacity for roughly eight years, and this is one of the most common questions I've fielded from young Christians: "How can (insert boyfriend/girlfriend) and I have a Christian dating relationship? How do we keep it centered on Christ?" As often I've heard it, I still love the the heart behind the question. A couple of youngins' get to dating, and they want to "do it right." They realize that God is concerned with every aspect of our lives, including our romantic involvements, so they've resolved to have a "Christian" dating relationship and sought guidance.

"Realizing that practical steps matter, most often they want tips or steps they can take to build their relationship in Christ. "Should we call each other and pray daily? What about a devotional? Should we buy a devotional and go through it together? Maybe have a weekly Bible study?" If the young man's of a theological bent, he shows up with a potential 10-week preaching series already outlined. (Protip: this last one is definitely not a winning approach.)

"At that point, one of the first things I usually tell them is that there's really no "biblical theology" of dating tucked away the book of Relationships 4:5-20. There are some rather obvious tips like praying for each other in your daily devotions, encouraging each other to read the Scriptures, setting appropriate boundaries (emotional, spiritual, and so on), and pursuing sexual holiness. But aside from that, there's no real, hard-and-fast rules about this sort of thing.

"Still, over the years I've come to see that there is one key mark of a maturing relationship centered and continually centering itself on Christ: both of you are absolutely committed to each other's involvement in the local church."

Click here to read the rest of his godly counsel.