Here are three characteristics that are present in healthy Christian dating relationships that often result in marriage.
And as a quick point of emphasis, obviously many people get married who are not walking with the Lord and are living in sin. So the point of this article is not just about getting married, but getting married and having a healthy relationship that is pleasing to the Lord.
Healthy Independence and a Lack of Imbalanced Obsession Are Characteristics of Christian Couples Who Get Married
Infatuation and true love can often get confused with one another, especially early on in a dating relationship. While it might seem like the more obsessed two people are with each other the more likely they will get married one day, in reality this is not the case.
Infatuation and obsession are like having a sprinter’s mentality in a marathon race. If a relationship is built upon excitement, emotional highs, and intense romantic experiences, often times this relationship crumbles when the struggles of real-life creep in.
I’m not saying mountain top experiences in dating are bad, but true love is not built to live on the top of the mountain. True love is like a mountain itself. It goes deep into the ground and is immoveable when the storms of life come.
Therefore if a relationship’s foundation is in romantic experiences, when those emotions are not present the relationship crumbles because its foundation is fractured. However, when a couple has a great emotional connection and they also have a healthy sense of their own individuality and identity in Christ, that couple is far more likely to get married one day.
When Jonah was in the belly of the fish and he finally began to regain his understanding of how life really works, he said in Jonah 2:8 (NIV), “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” When you turn towards an idol you are turning away from the true love of God.
Deliverance and perseverance do not come through the worship of idols. Only the love of God can sustain us fully. And the dating couple who understands this individually will end up succeeding together.
When a Couple Has the Mindset of Overcoming Problems Together Rather Than Looking for Perfection in the Other Person, This Relationship Often Results in Marriage
I’ve been married to Bethany for over 10 years at this point, and if there is one thing I’ve learned in this last decade of marriage it’s that healthy relationships are not free from big problems and real struggles. Rather, healthy relationships are comprised of a husband and wife who are so committed to God and each other that they are willing to work through whatever issues come up.
Perfection is not the ingredient needed for a glorifying and enjoyable marriage. Perseverance is. Faithfulness and devotion are what fuel the love everyone wants in marriage, not emotions and experiential excitement.
And so when it comes to dating, the seedlings of this “covenant-marriage-mindset” must be present. If a boyfriend and girlfriend are just hoping that the other person will be perfect so they can one day have a great marriage together, this couple will usually break up when problems start arising because they will fear that if they stayed together this pattern of having problems would consume their marriage in the future too.
Now don’t get me wrong, the commitment a boyfriend and girlfriend have should not be anything like a husband and wife. They should breakup if they are unhappy with each other and it is not getting better. They should pay attention to how many disagreements they are having and truly assess whether or not they want to be together. It’s okay to break up in dating if that’s what you sense the Lord is leading you to do.
But nonetheless, Christian dating couples that grow into a healthy married couple have the mindset that no matter what issues come up, we will work it out together. Marriage vows are not a promise of, “I will always be your perfect one.” Rather, biblical marriage vows say, “No matter what problems we face together, I will always love you.” When this mindset is present in dating, marriage is often the result.
When a Man and Woman Both Are Truly Putting God First Individually and Want to Do This Together, That Relationship Often Results in a Healthy Christian Marriage
People believe a myth when they think that if they could only get married, then they would be able to serve and love God with all their heart. Healthy marriages are not comprised of two people who need each other in order to love and serve God. Rather, a healthy marriage is when a husband and wife both love and serve God individually and then they also do this together as a committed couple.
It’s a fairytale mindset to think that you will put God first in a relationship if you are not putting God first when you are not in a relationship. For in Luke 16:10 (NIV) Jesus states, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
So when a Christian dating couple is made up of a man and woman who were both loving and serving God before they met, and then they keep loving and serving God while they are dating – these are the types of people who will then be serving God in marriage together one day.