Does God really care about your human relationships? Does he care about what’s going on between two friends? Does God care about who you like or don’t like romantically? Does God just shrug his shoulders when you ask him about that person you had extra-long eye contact with? Does God care what methods you are using in your dating life? Does he care about who you decide to marry?
The Eternal Truth in God’s Word Is Meant to Be Applied to Modern Life and Everyday Decisions
Some people think the above types of questions are trivial. They assume that God is so cosmic, so authoritative, and so grand that he could never be bothered with such minuscule human issues. This is not true. God cares about all things that can lead to sin or that can lead to glorifying him. Since relationships and human interactions are the playing field of human sin and glory, God cares a lot about what his people are doing in these areas.
Additionally, there is a train of thought amongst some Christians that makes it seem unbiblical for Christians to talk about anything but the Bible, theology, and direct concepts and topics mentioned in Scripture. Thus dating, social media, and other modern questions are unfit for Christian teachers to waste their time on, so the logic goes. However, God’s word is not meant to be an encyclopedia that prohibits conversations about any topic not directly mentioned in the Bible.
The Bible gives us truth that is to be applied to our modern day and age. As John Stott’s popular preaching book titled Between Two Worlds explains, the pastor’s job is to have one foot in the Bible time periods Scripture was written in with the other foot in his modern time frame. A good Bible teacher not only explains the truth of the Scripture, he or she helps people apply the word of God to their modern lives. We are to transfer biblical knowledge to a people living in a different time period than the Bible was written in. As C.S. Lewis stated, “What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects – with their Christianity latent.”
Therefore good Christian teaching helps Christians apply the word of God to the issues and questions that normal Christians have. God’s truth is not meant for philosophers sitting in their ivory towers. The truths in God’s word are rugged, foundational truths meant for everyday living. For it’s in the common lives of human beings that true greatness, glory, and sin takes place. Yes, there are certain peaks in every human life where one must stand dramatically for the faith. But the majority of our opportunities to glorify God or not glorify God happen in the very “normal” parts of our lives.
To neglect what the Bible actually says about relationships would be to miss the point of what a good Bible teacher is meant to do. If Christians are struggling with something, sinning in a certain area, or have a desire to glorify God in a certain area of their lives, a good Bible teacher will help these Christians apply God’s word so they can honor Christ in every area of their lives, including in their relationships.
God Cares About Dating and Marriage Because a Husband and Wife Union Is for His Glory
We know God cares about dating and marriage because God speaks so often about the importance of the husband and wife union. The joining of a man and woman is crucial to so much in God’s creation. God has ordained procreation to occur within the marriage bonds (Genesis 1:28). God even uses marriage as one of the preeminent symbols reflecting the union between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:22-33). And God has bestowed his image on both males and female, and only when we can interact as opposite genders in the roles that God has bestowed on us will we reflect his glory as he fully intends humans to do (Genesis 1:27).
Therefore to assume that God would be silent on issues and questions that Christians have about how marriages are formed (dating), how God will reveal who we should marry, what principles lead to a successful relationship, and the list can go on and on – to assume God has nothing to say about all this is not only unbiblical it is also dangerous.
If we try to operate in serious matters like relating to the opposite sex without knowing God’s design for relationships, we will most certainly hurt ourselves and others. Important things always have weighty consequences.
God Cares About Friendships, Dating, and Marriage Relationships Because Great Good and Harm Can Be Done in These Relationships
When you really sit down and talk with someone to hear their story, the deepest wounds in their lives always get linked back to their interactions with other humans. Perhaps they hurt someone terribly or perhaps they were hurt by someone they love. Either way, the most painful experiences in life occur in our relationships with other people.
Likewise, when you ask someone what they care most about in life, it usually gets linked back to other people. The greatest joys in life (besides our joys with God) occur when we experience love between other humans. All this is reflecting the ultimate joy our hearts need and were made for – the joy and love that comes from God. But nonetheless, besides God himself, other humans are the source of our greatest love and joy. God said that loving other people is actually the second greatest commandment:
35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40)
Since loving other people is so important, this means that learning to love and interact with other people in healthy relationships is really one of the most important things we can spend time doing. If relationships are so important, would it be logical to say that God doesn’t care about such trivial things? Of course it would not be logical, and it especially is not biblical.
So although the Bible doesn’t talk about friendships, dating, engagement, and healthy marriage principles in direct ways and on every page of Scripture, it is plane that God clearly cares about all forms of human relationships. God cares about all the phases of human relationships because how we live our lives is the way we express his gospel in our lives.
The way you interact with people, the way you date, the way you pursue marriage – all of it says something about your relationship with God. Since God wants us to glorify him in everything we do, we would be fools to not think, pray, and study about how to honor God in all of our relationships with other people.