Christian dating tips are often found in a different chapter or even a different book from the rest of the relationship advice given out online or found in various best sellers. The reason is quite simple: Christians are to conduct themselves in a manner that is markedly contrasted with the rest of the world. From taking tests to doing business to how one conducts himself or herself on a date is interwoven into the fabric of a Christian's life. Doing life's business in a manner differently than the neighbor next door is supposed to be the trademark of the person following Jesus Christ as a disciple. And there is probably no more relevant or tested field for this different lifestyle than in the arena of dating. Without a doubt, the world has blurred all boundaries and all standards are now fodder for ridicule, so when it comes to Christian dating tips, the first piece of advice is to make sure the spiritual glasses are in place.
Wearing spiritual glasses helps the Christian to see things differently than others, and when it comes to the area of Christian dating tips, that means having the right perspective on relationships. The conventional wisdom says that a person is not a whole person unless he or she has "hooked up" with someone. That term, used by culture quite freely, may have a sexual connotation or simply a relational one, but societal pressure has always said and continues to say that without the ongoing presence of a significant other, a person is less than whole. That lie is pervasive and continually runs in the back of many men's and women's minds, causing an undue pressure to find someone in order to quiet the mind's recorder. The Christian message has always been that a person who is in Christ is whole and complete, lacking in nothing. Wearing spiritual glasses means that a person has accepted that truth not only mentally, but has assimilated it into everyday life and that truth is making a difference in how that person is living.
So the supreme numero Uno of all Christian dating tips is know and believe and live out the concept of wholeness in Christ. No matter what pressure comes from your church at home where some sap comes up and asks every week when you are going to find someone and settle down, the belief that you don't need someone else to make you happy or complete is enough. And if you have to tell that person to kindly buzz off, then do it. But this Christian dating tips truth that must be accepted and lived out will take much of the pressure off to spend time with just any one in order to fill up some need or relieve some societal pressure. Each day, thank God that in Him you are made complete and tell Him that while you long to find companionship and a lifelong partner, His grace is enough for the day. By all means, be honest with God and tell Him exactly how you feel!
With the concept of wholeness firmly entrenched, Christian dating tips for the 21st century will include the suggestion of using Christian dating sites to locate those who have the same values. Unfortunately, so much of the discussion regarding Christian social interaction is about sexual behavior. Now this is a hugely important part of the difference in how Christians do approach relationships from the rest of the world. Regular sexual encounters are an assumed part of most dating relationships, but biblical mandates command a pure stance on this issue. So if there is an underlying difference in how Christians are to conduct themselves in the dating ritual, it would be in the sexual realm. But finding other single Christians who have had a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ may be the bigger issue.
Christian values come as the result of someone having the following experience: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." (II Corinthians 5:17) Don't you love the word "behold" here? It denotes some incredible metamorphosis that has occurred in the life of someone, like tadpole into frog. When a person has a change like this and all things are new, then the acceptance and the desire for a different dating experience than the rest of society expects and demands is present and more able to be lived out. So the second incredibly easy-to-understand-but-hard-to-live-out of the Christian dating tips is make sure that a person has had a "Behold" encounter with Jesus Christ, and that your dating partner has also had one. On that first date, sit and talk about the behold moments in both of your lives. Look for the hints that changes that have occurred and ask questions about the difference Christ has made in the other's life.
When a person talks about Christian dating tips, the one issue that plagues all Christians from the beginning is whether or not to date a non-Christian. Strict interpreters of scripture would cite Paul's demand for Christians not to be unequally joined together (II Cor. 6: 14) with unbelievers as reason for not dating non Christians. But dating isn't being joined together. So there might be some leeway there, but the question is, what if one falls for a non-believer on one of those occasions and cannot extricate him or herself emotionally from the relationship? One will have to be very careful. Only the mature believer need apply for any freedom in this area.
Christian Dating AdviceFor many single people, Christian dating advice can provide helpful guidelines for meeting others with similar beliefs and values. Relevant information can be found through several different venues. Of course, the internet is a great place to begin. Multiple sites have informative articles on this topic. But a few that present themselves as a legitimate source of advice are in reality making mockery of Christians' high standards for purity in relationships. Some online dating/matchmaking services truly are dedicated to matching up Christians with similar personality traits, interests, and hobbies. Individuals will need to use good judgment in deciding which ones are legitimate and which ones are scams in disguise. Additional resources can be found in Christian bookstores which often have a section devoted to singles. Some of these books will promote the gift of singleness. The authors of these books may share their own experiences as a single person and encourage others to embrace the single status as an opportunity for ministry. Other authors share expertise by providing Christian dating advice to both men and women. Some of the tips are general and apply to both genders, but some resources are gender-specific.
God created men and women with obvious physical differences, but there are also emotional and mental differences. Women feel differently and think differently than men do; these differences are part of God's plan and should be respected as such. The opposite is also true. Women need to respect how men feel and think differently than they do. God established the family as the first institution so it's no surprise that people long to find that special someone to marry. Finding that individual is often easier said than done, however. The search for a lifetime partner needs to begin with prayer for God's blessing and discernment in following His will for one's life. The Bible provides a foundation for gaining needed wisdom in this area. For example, Christians strive to honor God in all aspects of their lives and this is especially important in personal relationships. The best Christian dating advice begins with understanding God's principles for living. Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Because we are God's temple, we have a responsibility to honor God. The most important way to demonstrate godly honor is to abstain from physical intimacy outside of a marriage relationship.
The desire to honor God can be hindered when a couple isn't careful about setting specific boundaries within the relationship. Specific Christian dating advice addresses this issue and provides ideas for staying out of situations that could lead to temptation. For example, couples may limit their physical interactions with one another. Some individuals make a personal commitment not to kiss anyone of the opposite gender until their wedding. Others find this type of restriction to be unnecessary. Though people's views on the specifics may vary, the principle is important boundaries need to be set before a dating relationship begins. Individuals should be certain in their own minds what they will and will not do. Because the decision has already been made, it will be easier for a person to stick to that decision should she find herself with someone with lower standards. Double dates and group outings can be fun ways to spend time with other people instead of spending too much time with just one other person. The couple can still be together, but the temptation for intimacy is lessened when other people are around. Couple can look for Christian dating advice to find other activities they can do together that will help them get to know each other while honoring God.
Experts usually caution Christians against recreational and missionary dates. Let's take a brief look at each of these topics. Recreational dates are casual get-togethers with a member of the opposite gender just to spend time together. These two people have no interest in each other as future spouses, but just want to have a good time. Missionary dates occur when a believer goes out with an unbeliever in hopes of converting that person. However, Scripture warns: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14). Experts on Christian dating advice urge believers to only date other believers whom they want to know better with the eventual goal of marriage. Anything less than that may end up in disaster for both the individuals involved and not be in keeping with God's plan for one's life.
Perhaps one of the best ideas when it comes to Christian dating advice is for Christians to use 1 Corinthians 13, commonly known as the "love" or "charity" chapter, as a pattern when seeking people to date. True love is much deeper than physical attraction and should be the cornerstone of a serious relationship that honors God. This type of love respects the other person's individuality and talent while seeking God's will for the future. Single Christians are encouraged to uphold one another in prayer, to respect physical boundaries, and to avoid recreational and missionary dates. Sites offering Christian dating advice or matchmaking services can be excellent resources, but discretion is needed to sift the wheat from the chaff. Singleness shouldn't be seen as a thorn, but as an opportunity for wholeheartedly serving God.