When it comes to dating and relationships, you’re sure to come across hundreds of tips and pieces of advice from so many sources. But, remember that not all of those pieces of advice are going to be good for you.
Yes, it’s fine to go out there and meet other singles, in the hopes of finding the one for you. But this should never be at the expense of moral values that everyone, across beliefs and traditions, observe.
While there’s no surefire way to make relationships last or a spot-on set of rules to observe for dating, the Christian community ventures into dating with their set of values to follow. Whether you’re Christian or not, it’s worth getting to know what some of those values are. You’ll be surprised at how realistic they are, and how it actually makes sense in preserving, and fostering a good and strong relationship, early on.
Some of these values are:
1. Date Exclusively in Groups
With Christian communities, it’s often one of the golden rules to date exclusively in groups. The reason is simple. Dating in groups reduces the likelihood of the couple going against the Christian mandate or value of avoiding intimacy before marriage. Dating in groups give the couple a sense of accountability, by having chaperones with them all the time.
While dating exclusively in groups may seem off to some, there are actually many reasons to convince you that doing so many be more fun. These include:
- You have other couple friends whom you can trust, and lean on for good advice regarding your relationship from the start even up until marriage.
- You get to enjoy that ‘safety’ aspect, especially for the women who are still unsure about the real intentions of the man, and who aren’t open to playing around and trying things out if it works.
- You get to be acquainted with the dating atmosphere with less pressure, as the couple can also automatically bond with and have a good relationship with each other’s friends and family.
2. Don’t Kiss Before You’re Married
What does the Bible say about sex before marriage? In Christian dating, clear boundaries are in place, especially as regards intimacy. Many Christian couples choose to have hugs as the maximum of the intimacy they can give during the relationship. It’s not uncommon to find many couples who also abide by the value of reserving kissing and sexual relationships after marriage.
In the Christian community, sex is seen as a gift by the Lord, to be enjoyed by married couples. So, it’s a practice to avoid any form of temptation that may lead them to enjoy this level of deep intimacy before marriage. This is the reason the first value of group or chaperoned dating also comes in.
3. Spend A Lot of Time to Get to Know Each Other
Christians dating also values spending a lot of time to get to know each other. This is, of course given the premise that the time spent together is done so, fostering healthy relationships. The dates can be anything from eating out, picnics, attending Church events together, traveling with chaperones, visiting each other’s family, or whatever it is that enables the couple to get to know more about each other.
It’s very important in Christian and Catholic dating (or even non-denominational dating) to really take the time to get to know each other. That way, early on in the relationship, you can establish whether or not this particular person can be a good spouse or partner for life. This is a great reason to start online dating before dating in person first. You can also be on the lookout for any warning signs of abusive tendencies, or even vices, which may hurt the future family life you’ll be creating together.
4. Don’t Date Until You’re Ready to Marry
Many Christians don’t date for the sake of fun. Rather, they also preserve dating as a prelude to engagement and marriage. This doesn’t mean, however, that Christians only have one girlfriend or boyfriend.
Just because a relationship is scripture-bound and guided, this doesn’t mean that it won’t fail. It still can, and the Christian couple can still break up. But, for every time a Christian dates someone, the intention of marriage is always there.
This means that the standard of looking for a spouse, whether for the male or the female, is present. When a Christian dates, this means that they see the other person as a potential spouse, in the long run. If the marriage lasts through the tests and seasons of time, then it’s one that’ll eventually make it through marriage.
5. Spend Time With Each Other’s Family
Spending time to get to know each other’s family is also evident in the Christian dating community. The reason for this goes back to the point above on not dating until they’re ready to marry.
For Christians, when you marry, you’re also marrying each other’s family. And this is also why, for many couples who practice Christian dating, you’ll find that their marriage and in-law relationships are quite good.
When Christians date and marry, the family unites and becomes one. There’s that mutual respect for each other. Spending time with each respective family during the dating phase can help set a strong foundation for the prospective in-laws to get to know each other as well and develop a good and lasting relationship.
6. Encourage Each Other Towards Christ
Another value observed in Christian dating is that the couple should also encourage each other towards Christ. This means it becomes an inherent part of the relationship to go to church, attend church activities, study the Bible together, and get to know Christ as the third-party in their relationship.
This value isn’t to force or convert anyone who isn’t of the same faith as the other. In Christian dating, respect is also valued. It’s simply to encourage each other towards Christ, to lead each other on a more grounded and godly life.
By doing so, any temptation to hurt each other is avoided, and soon enough, you may even be able to start a family where you also raise your children in the same Christian community.
This list isn’t yet exclusive. When you belong to a Christian community, perhaps you’ll find out that the list can also go on and on. The whole point of all the values in Christian dating is to observe the Bible’s mandate on what it dictates and preserves for marriage.
Despite some of the many restrictions in place that non-Christian dating couples may get to enjoy, this also doesn’t mean that Christian dating is less fun and less memorable. With the goal of making the relationship last through marriage, Christian dating can also be just as sweet and intimate, while within the realms and bounds of the values to be observed.