Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Relationship Advice: Christian Dating Tips

So you are dating and wanting to make sure that your dating experience is according to biblical principles. You would think that the obvious thing to do is date another Christian but you would be surprised at how many people begin a relationship with someone that has completely opposing spiritual and moral beliefs. Often times this happens because the Christian counterpart believes that they can change the other party once they begin dating them, and some believe once they are married. The truth is no matter if you are a Christian or not, getting involved with plans to change another person usually fails about 100 percent of the time.

Beginning a relationship with the misunderstanding that your partner is a project for you to develop will only set you up for failure, disappointment, and loss hopes and dreams. The way to establish a successful Christian dating relationship is to certainly reassure that you and the person you are considering dating have the same spiritual beliefs. When Christians date, our selection cannot be solely based on chemistry and great conversation. Don't get me wrong, those things are important, but dating is for the purpose of collecting information and learning that person's spirit and soul.

Learning the Spirit

The spirit consists of who the person truly is beyond the carnal frame you see before you. Learning a person's spirit is opening your eyes to see them for who God created them to be. This means looking beyond a hot body and great hair and searching for their inner being. Find out how they came to know Christ and how their relationship with Him has brought them to be something and someone new. During the dating process is when you inquire about their purpose or calling, and the things that they are most passionate about. You discuss where you feel God is guiding you and them, and if your paths seem to complement one another. Now after saying this, I want to point out that your dates should also consist of conversation about life and fun activity. Every hour spent together should not be engulfed with talking about the Bible and your purpose, but this information is essential (it's okay for Christians to have fun on dates. No really, it's okay!).

Learning the Soul

Now you also want to get to know the soul of the person. The soul is comprised of the mind, will, and emotions. It's important to find out how this person makes decisions, handles stress, and resolves conflict. A good way to decipher some of this is to discuss how they handle their finances. You would be surprised at what you can learn about a person from discussing money matters. Getting to know a person's soul is usually not accomplished in one date but doesn't take a year worth of dating either. Face it, most people are not themselves until the third or fourth date, if that soon. It is important to incorporate prayer into this process, asking the Lord to reveal to you red flags but also allowing you to forgive imperfections because we all have them.

Having discussions about real life issues such as marriage, sex within marriage, children, finances, hobbies, goals are topics that can help you get an understanding of a person's mindset. Discussing your hearts desires and where you individually see yourself in the future can help you get a better picture of the person's will. Do they desire to incorporate God into all avenues of their life and allow Him to lead and guide them as they incorporate their ability with God's power? Basically, do they yield their will to what is the will of God? You can get a feel for how well a person is in control of their emotions by monitoring how they deal with conflict resolution, and react according to emotion. A good way to access this is by how well they control their fleshly appetites. Fleshly appetites can be how they control sexual desire, eating, spending money, and their temper, to name a few. These are all important factors to seeing if a person allows their emotions to control them.

Unequally Yoked

I want to stress that just because someone attends your church every Sunday, does not mean they have or live according to the same spiritual principles as you. Many people attend church on a regular basis because they think it is the right thing to do but they are still very open to premarital sex, drinking until intoxicated, and abusive behaviors. Obviously, we are all a work in progress, but there are some things that we need to allow the Lord to improve in us before establishing an emotional connection with someone. This is why it is essential that you do not assume that you are equally yoked because you attend the same place of worship.

I want to set the record straight, a Christian can be unequally yoked with another Christian. If you have lived for the Lord for 16 years and start dating someone that gave their life to the Lord yesterday, most likely you are unequally yoked. Give this person time to focus on their walk with Christ and their spiritual development. I am not saying someone must be a Christian as long as you have. After all, maturity is not necessarily evident because of longevity. Some people really put their all into developing a personal relationship with God while others just spend a lot of time doing other things for several years. A person who has been a Christian for 5 years can actually be just as mature as a person that has been a Christian for 10. Your relationship with Christ is what you put into it.

I find that many women tend to compromise their beliefs for a relationship due to their age, or belief that a good Christian man does not exist. There are still men and women that hold to high Christian standards and are not willing to compromise Biblical principle for the sake of getting married as soon as possible. Take your time, trust God, and date wisely. Remember no one is perfect, not even you but hold to standards that are biblical. Also, remember to be patient and remain in prayer. God created marriage and He wants you to get it right. Stick close to Him and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4).

About The Author:

Tanika Forestal who is an online relationship expert has experience in coaching couples and individuals as they face life challenges either by phone or face-to-face. If you're interested in online marriage counseling, Individual counseling, or self improvement coaching visit my Online Life Coach web page for a free video course.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More