Christian friendships and dating

Christian Dating Advice: Should You Date Your Friend? |

christian friendships and dating

Neil Clark Warren - Read about Christian dating and get advice, help What is your belief about opposite sex friendships when a person is. But on the other hand it can be frightening because you might ruin the friendship. What if the desire for a Christian dating relationship might not. Hang around Christian singles long enough and you're sure to encounter a certain emotion. If you're guessing loneliness, guess again. The prevailing emotion.

We spent several hours together over the course of the date, talking about everything from what we studied, to what we hoped for the future, to current events, to favorite movies.

To this day we remain good friends, and I fully believe that date had a lot to do with it. Dating provides opportunity for building friendship because it provides two people an opportunity to spend time together and get to know each other.

Dating is supposed to allow two people to intentionally spend time together so they can discover if the preliminary interest they have in each other has the potential to go deeper.

Sadly, modern dating in America has drifted from this good purpose and become corrupted with people using dating for self-service and emotional and sexual gratification. If your focus when you go on dates is to get to know the other person, you can build healthy friendship. So we know that dating can allow space for two people to become friends. But what about the reality that people who are dating typically have feelings beyond friendship for each other?

We may know that we need to build a friendship with a romantic partner, but what do we do with all the powerful feelings of attraction and romance that can cloud a relationship?

christian friendships and dating

We definitely want to feel passion for someone who might become our spouse. The key is that all the components of a healthy romantic relationship including, friendship and romantic attraction, should grow together at a healthy pace. A romance with no friendship becomes a hollow fling.


Furthermore, a dating culture, which is becoming increasingly sexualized, does not first focus on establishing friendship and the exploration and discovery of solid character, habits of faithfulness, the ability to resolve conflict, and other factors that contribute to stable marriages. Yet there are disadvantages too. There is the tendency to become attached prematurely without wider exposure to the opposite sex just think of a guy and a girl pairing up during university freshman orientation.

Also, if steady dating is begun too early and continued too rigidly, the development of friendship and true partnership—which is so important to a healthy marriage—may be eclipsed by increased attention to physical expression and emotional intimacy, which can blind a person to the shortcomings and character flaws in the other. As I note below, friendship should be the building block for potential growth in romance later on, since dating relationships face the ongoing temptation of physical and emotional intimacy.

Furthermore, if entering and breaking exclusive relationships becomes a pattern during adolescence, it can be emotionally poor preparation for marriage—in addition to increasing sexual temptation. Furthermore, the dating system usually leaves all the decision making to the young person who is emotionally involved, often immature, and beset by peer pressure with little significant input from parents or church.

Finally, the dating system tends to neglect the practical realities of life: A successful marriage takes work and dedication, and romance itself cannot sustain marriage over the long term. But there is a sound, more biblically faithful way of approaching the matter. A romance develops quickly, which includes some physical involvement. The focus is on friendship, which provides a much better context for self-discovery and other-discovery and the opportunity to explore commonalities.

This encourages objectivity and allows for the natural development of a more exclusive relationship.

BFFs (Best Friends First): Honoring God in Dating and Romance

The first scenario above inverts the proper order—the pursuit of romance and possibly sex first, followed by the pursuit of friendship. Indeed, physical beauty fades over time Prov. This is why character and compatibility are so important. Beginning with friendship and partnership offers a more secure path.

Will the other person still be interested in you when he or she sees you at your least glamorous? The Puritans have much to teach us here.

The Bible is clear on this Prov.

BFFs (Best Friends First): Honoring God in Dating and Romance - Christian Research Institute

Indeed, when a person marries, he is committing himself to someone who will inevitably let him down. Paul reminds us that he had learned to be Christ- sufficient even when he was away from friends and in less-than-ideal circumstances Phil. I have been expecting to be promoted from friend to girlfriend. Restraint and care are called for in the absence of full marital commitment. This principle virtually eliminates high school and most early college dating, which tends toward sexual exploitation and experimentation.

christian friendships and dating

Following this advice alone will help spare one from significant emotional harm and prevent faulty patterns of relating to the opposite sex. Marriage—and thus dating—are for the serious and the mature; this is not a game. In general, when you show physical restraint, this will help you develop, maintain, and preserve your significant friendship while keeping your head clear about whether a person of interest is actually a mutually good fit.

As friendship progresses, unclouded by expressions of physical desire, you will see the person for who he or she is. And how can you go about initiating this new Christian dating relationship with your good friend? You should try to date your Christian friend when you truly like this person as more than a friend and your feelings are not going away. As long as you are in a season where you are prepared to marry if God brought the right person into your life, I believe dating can he a healthy activity if you hope to have a Christian marriage one day.

So the first sign that you should perhaps start pursuing a Christian dating relationship with a good friend is if you have strong feelings for this person and they are not going away. But you should be even extra cautious if you already have a good friendship with someone because dating will change the friendship forever.

You should try to date your good Christian friend when you are ready to accept that it will change your friendship in an irreversible way. When it comes to relationships, I believe it is much more natural to progress in a relationship rather than go back to the way things once were.

christian friendships and dating

Once you enter into a romantic relationship or even express romantic interest in a friend, the friendship will not be the same. My point is that once you cross that friendship-line and then try to go back to the way things were before you crossed that line, it really is never the same. This reality of relationships between males and females, however, is just something you have to accept. If you are prepared to risk the friendship, which many times you should be, then it might be time to try dating this person.

You should try to date your good Christian friend when you know you have taken your friendship as far as it can go and there is now an imbalance between your intimacy and commitment towards one another. One sign that helped me know it was time for Bethany and I to start dating rather than just remain close friends was when I knew we had taken our friendship to the maximum level of healthy boundaries for a guy and girl. We were talking on the phone a lot and emailing each other a lot we lived in different states and it was obvious our connection was no longer matching our commitment level.

One huge relationship principle I believe is biblical is that your commitment and intimacy level should always correlate. You are not dating each other but you are so close to one another you are probably scaring off any other potential suitors.

christian friendships and dating

But eventually remaining friends will have diminishing returns and it would be better to move on together or take a step back from one another.

You should try to date your friend if you believe he or she will be a godly spouse and not just an enjoyable companion. If this person does not possess the qualities of godly spouseno matter how great of friends you are with him or her, you should not enter into a Christian dating relationship with this person.

Friendship and enjoying someone socially is really important if you want a healthy Christian marriage one day. A personal connection is not enough to sustain two people for the ups and downs of real life that will occur over the decades of a Christian marriage.

christian friendships and dating

Entering into a Christian dating relationship with a friend is a good idea because friendship is a great foundation for a Christian marriage. Sometimes the best options for dating and marriage are right under your nose. Sometimes people complain about there not being many good options for Christian dating.