Principles for Christian Dating

If you were to look up the word “dating” in a Bible concordance, it might be something of a shock to learn that it is a word never mentioned in the Bible – not even once. “Dating” is not a Biblical word. Neither is “courtship.” In the scheme of things, dating is a fairly recent cultural phenomena. Even today its prevalence is seen mainly in the western world.

Because of this fact, and in spite of the title above, you won’t find a Bible passage that addresses principles for Christian dating. The concept is just not there. Yet unless parents employ the arranged marriage approach still favored in many parts of the world, ‘dating’ is the default mechanism in play for any single person seeking to find a compatible partner for marriage.

With this in mind, here are two short but helpful articles from that deal with the topic of Christian dating. The first is by Brandon Andersen, entitled “5 Notes on Dating for the Guys.”

I work in church operations, which I means spend an inordinate amount of time with young, single volunteers, many of whom are recent converts. When I first started, it quickly became clear that most young Christians have no idea what Christian dating looks like practically. Here are some insights to help Christian men date in a way that honors God.

1. A Definition of Intentional
“Intentional” is one of those words that sounds right, but no one really knows what if means. So I would like to clear that up. Here is my working definition for intentional and how it relates to how a Christian man should pursue a woman.

The intentional man repeatedly and constantly goes first and takes on all of the risk of rejection. He always lets the girl know where he stands so she feels secure and isn’t left guessing. (On the other hand, don’t weird her out by talking about marriage on the first date.)

Approaching her initially:

Intentional: “I’d like to take you out on a date.”
Unintentional: “Wanna hang out sometime? My roommates are all gone this weekend.”
Paying the bill:

Intentional: “I’ve got it.”
Unintentional: “Can you cover half the bill? I’m pretty broke right now.” (My wife believes this communicates, “You are worth about $20, but not quite $40.”)
Following up after a date:

Intentional: “I had a great time tonight, and would definitely want to do this again. I will give you a call this week.”
Unintentional: “I’ll call you sometime.”
Bringing other people in:
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