Christian dating is misunderstood. The world looks at Christian dating as something foreign, something that should be put in a cage and observed from afar. The notion of Christian dating brings to their mind awkward side hugs, high fives, no kissing, constantly talking about Jesus, and reflecting on how we can be more like Tim Tebow.
Christian dating is misunderstood by the world, but it’s also misunderstood by Christians.
Christian dating isn’t just about praying together, having Bible study dates, sitting next to each other at church, and thinking about how the latest Hillsong album helps you in your faith.
That’s not what it’s all about. Those are just simple actions. In other words, those are the fruit of a Christian relationship, but they’re not the root.
The heart of Christian dating is having both of your desires be aligned with the desires of God.
I’ve seen people tweet about having “Relationship Goals” be studying the Bible with the person they’re dating. I really respect that and I see the good in studying the Bible together, but, to be honest, it’s not a relationship goal of mine. Not even close.
I recently read Timothy Keller’s book on marriage (The Meaning of Marriage) and that profoundly shapes my view on marriage. Keller says, eloquently than I’m about to sum up, marriage is about two people coming together to help each other get ready for heaven. In marriage, we’re able to have someone close to love, nurture, and care for, but we also have someone who can see all the junk in our lives and help us to get rid of all that junk. In marriage, we are prepping ourselves for the day we meet Jesus.
So, marriage is all about getting ready to see Jesus, and dating comes before marriage, so dating should have that as the priority, as well.
Praying together, having Bible study dates, sitting next to each other at church, and sharing your favorite song from the latest Hillsong album aren’t the heart of the matter.
You could do all those actions, and still have your heart far from Jesus.
It’s okay to keep Jesus at the center of your dating relationship without Bible study dates or other traditional Christian notions of dating, but don’t forget to keep Jesus at the center. Remember, keep Jesus in the relationship, so that the Devil is kept out of the relationship. It might look different than others, and that’s okay.
The heart of Christian dating is having your desires be God’s desires, not about having your actions look Christian.
Focus on the heart, not on the action.