The trajectory in young Christian lives and eternities are in danger. It's about time we had a dating conversation.
Dating is a huge determiner in life's direction that young people, our friends, and family take. Yet, we are mainly silent about it.
The first thing we need to do is set up some principles on Christian dating that will lead to Christ-centered marriages. What are some of these principles?
For starters, we should do away with the notion of 'the one.' This notion states that you ought to find the perfect person before dating. The belief in being with an ideal person is wrong because marriage involves committing to a person despite their flaws and differences.
Two, we should discourage dating for leisure. Purposeless dating does not build us as Christians. Dating should lead to marriage. While on this topic, you should not date non-Christians. A spouse who is an unbeliever will cause you to drift away from the Lord. Worse yet, you might make them your idol.
Finally, have a list of values that you would want in your future spouse, and don't compromise them. If you don't have such a plan, then you shouldn't get into the dating. The list will form a framework for dating.
With that said, the Bible is a valuable source of wisdom on relating with the opposite sex. It gives insights on how to conduct yourself when in a relationship. For this reason, we have compiled for you a list of 54 Bible verses on dating and relationships.
1. Genesis 2:24
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
'and they become one flesh' forms the Biblical understanding of marriage and family; oneness.
2. Ephesians 5:24
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
The Biblical view of the relationship between a husband and a wife is as sacred as the union of Jesus and the church.
3. Ephesians 5:33
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
By insisting on 'each one of you,' Paul commands each person to forget their natural disposition and aim to achieve what the Bible instructs.
4. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
The idea of yoking together things that shouldn't be brought together is in Deuteronomy 22:9, where God prohibits yoking different animals together. Paul was speaking to the Corinthian Christians who were becoming one with unbelievers.
5. 1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with Anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
Paul was pointing out to the Corinthian Christians that they should expect godly people to exhibit godly behavior. Yet, they were not keen to see this. In those times, eating with someone was deemed as a sign of friendship and partnership. Paul was warning the Corinthian Christians that they shouldn't fellowship with notorious sinners that identified themselves as Christians.
6. 1 John 2:16
For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
It is not God's intention to influence us using the lust of the flesh, of the eyes, or the pride of life.
7. Galatians 5:16
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
By walking by the Spirit, Paul means having the Holy Spirit dwell in you. You should be open and conscious of the influence of the Holy Spirit. Structure your life according to the power of the Holy Spirit.
8. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Note that Paul does not show how love should feel but is writing on how it can be identified in action.
9. 1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Our purpose in life as Christians is to glorify God, including our relationships.
10. Romans 8:28-29
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Whichever situation we may be going through, God's sovereign power is working together for our good and His will.
11. Revelation 21:9
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
The holy Jerusalem is a literal heavenly city, called the Lamb's wife because all God's people reside.
12. Matthew 19:5
and said, 'For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?
These were Jesus' words to the Pharisees that go back to Genesis 2:23. The Pharisees wished to test Him by asking him if it was lawful for a husband to divorce his wife for any reason.
13. 1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
By saying 'live with your wives, ' Peter wasn't speaking to share a house, but truly living with her. These words are a recognition of the oneness that God establishes between husband and wife.
14. Genesis 31:50
If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me."
These were the words of Laban as he made a covenant with Jacob at Mizpah. Laban had pursued Jacob when he was going back to his homeland.
15. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;
The first-century Roman culture was characterized by sexual immorality. Virtues such as innocence and sexual purity were non-existent. Paul urged the Christians to base their sexual morality standards on the teachings of God.
16. Matthew 5:27-28
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The teachers of the time taught that adultery was unlawful. However, they only applied the law to the actions and not to the heart.
17. 2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
The evil desires of youth describe the temptations that are prominent among young adults.
18. 1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body.
Paul is not implying that sexual immorality is worse compared to other sins. He teaches that it not only has a physical impact but moral and spiritual too.
19. Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
By taking delight in the Lord, God roots our desires in His will and is therefore willing to grant them to us.
20. Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
King Lemuel's mother realized that charm and beauty were often a cover to a deformed soul that housed evil and despicable qualities. In contrast, the beauty in a woman that fears the Lord does not go away, and the charm is not deceiving.
21. Proverbs 11:22
Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
Solomon urges the youth not to focus on outward beauty alone but also prioritize inner grace.
22. Titus 1: 6-9
An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God's household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
These were the words of Paul to Titus on the qualities of an elder in the church.
23. Psalm 119:9-11
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:9 is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible.
24. Titus 2:3-5
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
The older women mentored the younger women on homemaking for the sake of the Gospel.
25. Proverbs 31:11-27
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand, she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; She is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
These were the words of Lemuel's mother to Lemuel on how to identify a virtuous wife. This section is an acrostic in that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
26. Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
These were the words of Solomon to his son on trusting the covenant God fully,
27. Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
It is in man's nature to make plans. However, every plan should revolve around God's will, wisdom, and work.
28. Isaiah 43:18 -19
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
These were God's comforting words to Israel through Isaiah. The children of Israel were under captivity and exile. God wanted them to focus on the new things He would do and not on their desperate circumstances.
29. Genesis 2:18
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
In Genesis 2:18, this was the first time God saw that something was not good- man being alone. God had not planned for man to be alone, both in the social and marital sense.
30. Proverbs 19:14
Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
This verse points out that a good wife is from the Lord. A good wife was one of the initial gifts given to Adam.
31. Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Solomon advises that the heart should be left exclusive for wisdom and should be guarded against wickedness.
32. Genesis 24:67
Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her, and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
The picture of Isaac loving Rebekah is that of Jesus loving the church.
33. Song of Songs 2:7
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
The maiden instructed the daughters of Jerusalem not to start something that they could not bring to completion.
34. Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
In Genesis 2:18, God said that it was not good for man to be alone and therefore gave Eve to Adam as a gift, demonstrating His favor.
35. Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus was urging His disciples not to place their physical well-being as objects to live for but promised them a heavenly treasure.
36. Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God may have made these words to the ancient Jews during the Babylonian exile, but they also represent God's unchanging heart towards His people.
37. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
God reminds us that no temptation comes the way that we cannot overcome. On the other hand, He keeps us from temptations we can't handle.
38. 1 Peter 1:14-16
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
The principle of holiness is not of moral purity. Instead, it is the concept of 'apartness.' We should also break off from the world's lifestyle.
39. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Paul urges the Corinthian Christians to have sympathy and a heart towards fellow members regardless of their differences.
40. Romans 12:9- 10
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Paul urges Christians to shun hypocrisy as this is not true love and should be driven out of the Christian community.
41. Romans 13:8-10
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other commands there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Paul reiterates Jesus' words in Matthew 22:36-40 of loving one's neighbor as these two commands are what all the Laws hung on.
42. Amos 3:3
Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
This statement is among six ideas that Amos connected and that were true. Each statement reinforces the final point.
43. 1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Where love prevails, we can overlook small offenses; thus, love covers a multitude of sins.
44. 1 Timothy 5:1-2
Do not rebuke an older man harshly but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
Timothy was instructed to treat the younger women as sisters; that is, his conduct towards them was pure and beyond reproach; as should every man to the ladies in their Christian fellowship.
45. 1 Corinthians 6:13
You say, "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both." The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
Our bodies were not made for sexual immorality. Using the body for this translates to unplanned pregnancies and STIs.
46. Proverbs 31:10
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
This passage describes the kind of woman a Christian man should pray for while at the same time is a guide for the Christian woman on the type of character that she will develop when she fears and follows God.
47. Proverbs 19:2
Desire without knowledge is not good— how much more will hasty feet miss the way!
It is always good to inform ourselves or gather knowledge before starting a project, such as a relationship.
48. James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Times of trials require wisdom to know whether to eliminate the problem by faith or endure it by faith. We should also seek wisdom before starting a relationship.
49. Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
This passage brings to light the importance of human relationships.
50. Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
This verse speaks on the qualities of a true friend; qualities that are evident in the Lord Jesus.
51. Matthew 10:37
"Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Our devotion to Jesus should come first to even our kin.
52. Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
We should refer all our plans or actions to the Lord for His glory.
53. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Paul paints the picture of a church that is full of active members and not passive spectators.
54. Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
If we want to experience love and have people reach out to us, we must also love and reach out to others.
There's nothing sweeter than living your life for God, as is expected of us. We should glorify God in everything we do- relationships too. The Word of God should be the lamp to our feet, showing us the way to go. We should also strive to commit all our plans to the Lord.
I pray that the Lord will be the Alpha and Omega of your dating life, that He will guide you in accordance to His will, and that you will be conscious of His counsel. I pray this in faith. Amen.