The internet is awesome, except when it’s not. While Christian dating advice can now be found in the palm of your hands, the tricky part is deciphering which pieces of advice are good and bad. There are lots of bad Christian dating tips out there that contradict the Bible.
Dating advice is often misleading because part of it is true but we use it incorrectly. Some of the “bad dating advice” I’m about to mention is not all bad, but these tips can be bad when used wrongly. So you will want to read my descriptions to fully understand the dangers with some of these tips.
In this article I will share with you the top 10 bad pieces of Christian dating advice I’ve heard over the years.
- Never Settle
At face value the advice to “never settle” is not bad. Christian singles should not settle in dating. No one should marry someone they don’t love and truly enjoy.
However, this advice is dangerous when it turns into, “If a guy doesn’t meet all your requirements don’t even give him a chance.” Or “If you are not totally attracted to her, don’t even talk to her.” Or “If you really like him but wish he made more money, this is not the one God has for you.”
Never settle is bad advice when it causes Christian singles to look for a perfect person who meets all their expectations and hopes. Sometimes your spouse will be just like you imagined, but for some people this is not the case.
Don’t settle, but don’t idolize an idea in your head and miss out on a great relationship God may have for you.
- Just Wait on the Lord
Waiting on the Lord is biblical. Patience is really important if you want God’s best. If you hear God saying to slow down but you speed up, you really will hurt yourself.
But “just waiting on the Lord to find a spouse” is a recipe for disaster and is bad dating advice. There’s a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). There’s a time to wait and a time to act. Waiting is good when it’s time to wait. But sometimes people wait when it’s time to act.
When you think God will reveal the one to you by this person pursuing you and you doing nothing, what happens when the other person is thinking the same thing? You will need to wait, but eventually you will need to act and get involved in the dating process if you hope to be in a real relationship one day.
- God Will Make It Clear When It’s Time to Date
Yes, God speaks. Yes, there are ways to know when God is revealing the one to you. Yes, God will tell you who he wants you to marry. But God will not reveal all this to you all at once. Confusion and doubt is not an automatic sign that God is not in this relationship.
Love is always a risk. Therefore God will not reveal your entire future with someone and remove your opportunity to love by removing your opportunity to risk. This dating relationship might result in marriage or it might not. It’s bad advice to assume confusion is God saying “No.”
God will clear that confusion up before he wants you to marry that person. But dating is confusing. That’s the point of dating – to figure out what you don’t know about a relationship. Through dating and through getting to know someone God will clear up the confusion and lead you the way he wants you to go.
- It Will Be Easy If It’s Meant to Be
Sometimes we assume that if it is God’s will the road will be easy. That’s not always the case. For as Jesus said:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
In some ways, as the above Bible verses explain, the Christian way is often more challenging. Satan’s goal is not to bring you pain. His main goal is to lead you away from God. Oftentimes Satan finds more success in leading you away by cursing you with pleasure rather than pain.
Sometimes a relationship will be easy and sometimes it will be hard. Don’t think that problems between two people means God does not want these two people together. He might or he might not. It’s more complicated than that. Seek Christ and walk with him through the pain.
It’s bad advice to tell you to just avoid pain and problems at all times in Christian dating.
- Change Churches If You Are Not Meeting Anyone
When people ask me what they can do to find a Christian spouse when it seems they are having no luck, I often tell them to change their environments to try and meet new people. Sometimes I say, “Visit a new church.” I think this is good advice. But I think it would be bad advice to say, “Change churches to find a spouse.”
You can be involved at more than one church. I think each Christian is called to have one local church that they consider their home church. All Christians are commanded to be accountable to a specific church and to keep our church accountable. But this does not mean you have to pretend other Christians outside of your congregation do not exist. It gets cultish when churches act possessive and like it’s wrong for Christians to visit and participate in events with Christians from other churches.
However, I don’t believe you should leave a church just because there is no one there to date. Church is more than a place to find a spouse. It’s not wrong to leave your church and join a different church. I just think it’s wrong if the only reason you are changing churches is to meet people with whom you can be romantic.
It’s bad advice to tell someone to abandon one church just so they might be able to date someone at another church. You can remain a member at your church while also meeting new people at other churches.
- You Didn’t Do Anything Wrong. Everything Happens for a Reason
When we see someone in pain, most of us want to help ease that pain. One way we do this when people are suffering relationally is to say overly positive things that are not true.
One bad piece of dating advice is “Everything happens for a reason.” This is true, but the implication is that everything happens for a good reason. That’s not true. God can bring about glory through evil. God’s sovereign plan certainly uses pain for a greater purpose in our lives. But to always say that everything happens for a reason and to never examine what faults we have committed is to set ourselves up to repeat our sins over and over again.
Not every failed relationship is because of personal failures. Sometimes it really just doesn’t work out and God just has something better for you. But sometimes a relationship explodes in your face because you brought the dynamite and lit the fuse. It’s bad advice to sweep away sin in the name of positivity.
If you didn’t do anything wrong, then don’t heap shame on yourself. But don’t assume you are faultless if you have not examined yourself first. We can always get better and grow.
- If You Are Still Single, You Must Be Doing Something Wrong
Just as you don’t want to assume your singleness is totally outside of your control and you are doing nothing wrong, you also don’t want to assume your singleness is definitely a sign you are doing something wrong.
It’s bad dating advice to assume that prolonged singleness is because you are doing something wrong. Sometimes it’s just really not your time yet. Singleness is not a punishment. The Bible says singleness is a gift. Marriage is good and should be pursued if you want to be married, but never assume your singleness is a curse.
- If It’s God’s Will, It Will Happen
Another piece of bad dating advice is “If it’s meant to be it will happen.” This is true in one sense. God really is sovereign and does have a plan for each of our lives, including about our marriages. But God’s sovereign will never violates God’s will of command.
God has given us his word to teach us to live a certain way. When we sin we are not following God’s prescribed will for our lives. So it is a bad idea to just assume there are no consequences to your actions and you cannot miss out on good things even though you are disobeying God.
So does God’s will always happen in relationships? It depends on what you mean. God’s sovereign will always happens, but his will of command does not always happen. In other words, God will always accomplish his plan regardless of sin, but we do miss God’s best when we sin.
- True Christians Only Court, They Never Date
Christian dating and courting are two different approaches commonly used to find a spouse. Neither one is directly outlined in the Bible.
So to say you must look for a spouse in one certain way is bad advice for Christians. God is a creative God and none of our stories will be exactly the same. God commands us to live a certain way. No matter what we do, we must live holy and pure for his glory. But there is no dating formula you must follow as a Christian. You must follow Christ and obey his word.
- Just Follow Your Heart
Before you put your faith in Jesus you have a wicked and deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9). When you become a Christian, God gives you a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). So it’s not a bad idea to listen to the desire and hopes God has placed on your new heart. Sometimes God really is saying, “Just do what you want.”
Marriage is always an option in the Bible, not a command. So God will not call you to marry someone you don’t want to marry. So yes, you should “follow your heart” in Christian dating. But never “just follow your heart.” God has given us his written word and other Christians in our lives to balance out our personal feelings and senses.
If you feel led to do something against God’s will, you should not “follow your heart.” It’s bad advice to tell people their feelings and emotions are the best guide for relationships. Our thoughts and feelings are important, but we are ultimately called to follow Christ, not our own hearts. We must follow Christ with our hearts, but we must not just follow our hearts.
If you want to avoid bad Christian dating advice, follow Christ, study his word, and seek to glorify God in everything you do.
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