Many young adult in colleges are dating. They so desire to obey God in their relationships: but how can they know whether their relationships are up to His standard or not? This is what I am to cover, of course not exhaustively. By way of definition dating is whereby two heterogeneous people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospective life long partner in marriage. When it is so, it is appreciable for both dating partners to aim at godly characteristics of dating. We can draw some helpful principles from the God and from the Bible.
Let me say that godly dating starts with dating the right individual whose eternal perspective is akin to yours. Let me also mention that dating, as a word, is absent in the Bible and Jewish cultural practice. Some (African Traditional Religions (ATRs) have it in mixed form. It mostly is western. Not bad in its original sense. Dating is here with us and as we may not go back to use fully traditional ways, let us have God’s word shape how we do it.
Dating Relationship and God
A dating relationship should make you (1) insist on the godly/righteous path and (2) desist from the ungodly/unrighteous path (Matthew 7:13-14). Your dating, thus, should never put God out of the picture but rather make him the focal point.
Dating Relationships & Gifts
Dating should cultivate and expose the potential in those getting to know each other. A godly relationship rather than bury or kill one’s gifts, should expose, utilize and enhance them to God’s glory. Some stop serving God with their gifts either because their relationship no longer allows them time or they are ashamed of their partners and their comments about their devotion to Christ. It may also be that their partners are not kingdom people and so they are ridiculing them and shunning them from their areas of service. All this should not be so.
Dating Relationship & Growth
A dating relationship should provide partners growth i.e. growing intimacy with God. When your partner doesn’t encourage this think again. No relationship is safe, that outgrows the need for God. So as you grow into knowing each other grow even more in the Lord (Luke 2.52). There should also be growth socially and economically. I am not here encouraging you to aim at finding the rich but to aim at improving one another rather than destroying or delaying them. A godly relationship does not stop you living your life to live that of your partner but to seek to help each other to be the best God wants all of you to be.
Dating Relationship and Peace
There need to be peace and not war or rashness in a dating relationship. Patience with one another is important. A partner should not rush you in any way: sexual or marriage.1 Cor 13:4-5″Love is patient and kind” verse 5 “it not arrogant or rude”
Dating Relationship and Mutual Care
Healthiness and godliness of any dating relationship should be characterized by mutual rather than selfish pursuit, humility rather than pride (1 Cor 13:4-8), sincerity rather than duplicity, affection rather than hatred, and support rather than sabotage. This mean when you have a girlfriend/boyfriend whose concern is always herself/himself know that you have no godly dating relationship. “Love does not insist on it’s on way” 1 Cor 13:5. When you have a girlfriend/boyfriend who does all the “good stuff” because he wants material gain or wants to sleep with you know that you have no godly relationship. A godly one should not have physical and sexual intimacy whether by cohesion or consent in the picture unless it has matured into marriage.
Food for thought
Let your dating be guided by God through his word. God does not put out the fire, he guides and sustain you through his standard. As you date and you remember God is the third ever present one in the relationship, would you still do what you do, think what you think and have the attitude you have?