As we all know, communication is key to any healthy relationship. But rather than giving you a list of three specific conversations you must have word-for-word with someone before you date them, in this article I’m going to give you 3 types of conversations I believe God wants you to have before he will release you to date someone.
1. Before You Date Someone, God Wants You to Have Enjoyable Casual Conversations
As Christians, we have a tendency to take romantic relationships very seriously. We do this because it is clear in the Bible how important and serious marriage is to God, and thus we feel the weight of dating and romance. This is good. I think it is right for Christians to be serious about dating rather than just playing games, dating around, and exposing ourselves to unnecessary temptations.
However, in our good desire to honor the Lord in dating and hopefully marriage one day, we forget how God made relationships. God did not wire a man and woman to always be serious and to always be laser focused on having the deepest of conversations all the time. Before things get serious with someone, you should first just be able to enjoy one another in casual conversation. If you are not able to even have an enjoyable conversation with someone, you don’t need to stress yourself out about whether or not God wants you to date this person or marry them one day.
In Proverbs 31:11-12 it states, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” Notice the importance of trust deep in one’s heart for a healthy relationship to occur. But how can you get to this deep level of connection and trust if you are not even able to have enjoyable connections over simple things first?
So if your attempts to talk with someone you are interested in keep falling flat, if the idea of this person in your mind always exceeds the actual experiences you have with this person in real life, or if you two just don’t really enjoy spending time together before you are dating – these are signs you should assume this relationship is not God’s will for you.
When God wants you to take the next relationship step by dating someone, he will first make it clear that you two both really enjoy one another’s company. There’s no need to date someone if you don’t even enjoy them before dating them.
2. Before You Date Someone, God Wants You to Have Clear Testimonial Conversations
You don’t need to know everything about someone before dating them. You don’t have to know if you two are completely compatible in every way before entering into a dating relationship. You don’t need to be friends for years in order to become an official couple. But if you are a Christian, you do need to at least know if someone is genuinely following Christ before dating them.
If you’ve been a Christian for a while or if you’ve been following this channel for some time, I know you know a lot about the term “unequally yoked” found in 2 Corinthians 6:14 because that’s something we talk a lot about. But have you ever really thought about the metaphor itself? The term refers to how two oxen would be yoked together with a wooden yoke so they could combine their power to accomplish the goal of plowing the field. The farmer would try to pair oxen that were similar in strength and speed because if they were unequally yoked, they would be ineffective in accomplishing their goal. They would be stressing the yoke, one going forward while the other lagged behind, causing all kinds of issues for the farmer as he plowed.
Likewise, God has a goal for you and your future marriage. If you link up with someone who you are not equally yoked with, you will be ineffective in accomplishing what God wants you to accomplish. Your relationship is not just about you. God always has a higher purpose for you, including when it comes to your future marriage. He has important tasks and missions for you which he does not want hindered by someone pulling you in the wrong direction.
Therefore, before you even consider dating someone, you must first at least hear their testimony to assess if they are equally yoked with you. This type of conversation should not be a quiz or like a job interview. Rather, before you date someone, you should just have casual conversations about how you both came to Christ and how the Lord is still working in you.
If you’ve been getting to know someone for awhile and you are still unaware of their testimony even though you have shared yours, the most likely reason for this is that they don’t have a testimony yet. True Christians are never secret Christians. God has called us to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:14-16). And while our relationship with God must always be personal, it must never be private because God wants his truth to always go public. As 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) explains:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect . . . .”
Notice how our relationship with God must start in our heart but it then overflows out into the rest of our lives. We don’t need to be randomly sharing our life story with strangers on the street who don’t want to hear it or yelling at people with a bullhorn, but when you are getting to know a true Christian it is impossible for them to hide the reason for the hope that they have in Christ if they truly possess that hope.
3. Before You Date Someone, God Wants You to Have a Commitment Conversation
Everyone dates slightly different. What is most important is that the two people in that relationship are on the same page as far as mutual commitment.
Some dating relationships should start out with very low commitment because the couple does not know each other that well yet. That is fine as long as both are aware of this and one person is not committing more than the other person.
Likewise, some Christian dating relationships should start with much more commitment because the man and woman involved already had a long season of friendship so they can progress much faster in dating now because they already know each other well. Again, that is fine too as long as both are clear about the seriousness of the relationship.
The only way to get on the same page in a dating relationship is to talk about what should be expected before the dating relationship actually starts. Problems occur when two people are signing up for two different things under the impression that they are signing up for the same thing. If you do not clearly define the relationship, assumptions will be made which always leads to hurt feelings and unnecessary confusion.
As Ephesians 4:25 states, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Even if you don’t end up marrying the person you date, you must remember that this person is your brother or sister in Christ. Do your best to love and care for this person by getting on the same page, doing your best to guard one another’s heart as you assess whether or not God wants you two together.