7 Dating Rules for Middle-Aged Christians

Philippians 1:6

When I’m using the word “rule” in this article, I’m not saying these are biblical commands. Rather, I’m taking biblical principles and putting them in a statement so that you can have clear steps or “rules” to help you get into a godly relationship.

So here are 7 rules (or steps) for middle-aged Christian singles who want to be married one day.

Rule 1: Don’t Try to Meet People Like a Younger Person

If God wanted everyone to do the exact same thing to get married, he would have told us exactly what he wanted everyone to do in the Bible. Yes, God’s given us some biblical commands we must all obey and some biblical principles we should all follow. But these truths must be wisely applied to each of our individual lives.

For example, younger people will naturally meet many other single people by just living a normal social life. But the older you get, the less singles you will naturally meet in social environments. So it’s important you stop trying to meet people like you did when you were in your 20s.

The older you get, I recommend you be much more intentional about meeting other singles your age. They are out there, but there are less of them. Thus you have a much better chance of meeting each other when you stop leaving it to chance.

Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) on how you can intentionally try to meet other singles your age.

Rule 2: Don’t Use Courting Principles

Those who practice “courting” state that you need to first be friends for a long time before courting, you need to ask spiritual authority figures for permission before courting, and you should talk about being marriage-focused right from the start of the courting relationship.

I don’t believe this method is always bad. But it’s definitely more useful for younger Christians who have less relationship experience. When you are mature and you’ve had time to develop your understanding of what you want in a relationship, these courting rules are stifling and unhelpful.

So basically I’m saying you should make it your rule not to blindly follow man-made relationship rules (Matthew 15:19). Even with these “rules” I’m giving you, don’t blindly follow them. Use biblical wisdom and apply what makes sense for you.

For more on this, you can read my article called What’s the Difference Between Courting and Dating?

Rule 3: Eliminate Conflicting Desires

Choose your most important desires and get rid of other desires that are hindering these from being accomplished. If you want to marry a Christian, that’s more important than marrying a man taller than you. If you want to meet a godly woman, that’s more important than her waist size.

I’m not saying you need to just settle and marry someone you don’t like that much. But sometimes when you want everything, you end up with nothing.

As 1 Timothy 6:6 states, “But godliness with contentment is great gain . . .”

Rule 4: Learn to Be More Accepting of Others and Emotionally Self-Sufficient

Please don’t feel like I’m saying it’s always your fault if you don’t have what you want in life. Ultimately, we have to submit to God’s plan, knowing there is always a good reason for why he is doing what he is doing (Isaiah 55:8-9).

With that said, the Bible also tells us to examine ourselves to make sure we are walking carefully through life in the wisest way possible (Ephesians 5:15-17). Thus, it’s healthy to take time to look at your own heart to see if you are doing anything that might be keeping you out of a relationship.

Perhaps the most common flaw I see in people who are single for longer than they want is that they are not accepting of others and they are not emotionally self-sufficient, thus they are always looking for the perfect person who they believe can fulfill them. Of course we need standards as Christians, but oftentimes we are looking for Jesus himself. No one is perfect accept Christ (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8-10).

By becoming more emotionally satisfied ourselves in Christ, we are then going to be better equipped to enjoy someone for who they are rather than rejecting them for who they are not. 

Rule 5: Change Something

Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

It’s fine to try to meet, date, and marry in the way that you feel is best. But if your way is not working, wisdom says you should try something different. For example, if you’ve been using online dating for years, perhaps stop and try something different. If you’ve never tried online dating, perhaps give it a try.

When in doubt, ask others for advice and don’t shoot it down right away. Even if you think your way is better, just trying something different can often lead to different results.

Rule 6: Stop Yo-Yo Dating and Be Consistent

I’ve found that many Christians jump back and forth between trying hard to meet someone and “just waiting on God.” For a few weeks or a few months, they have this conviction to create an online dating profile, get really active, or give that friend a chance who’s been asking for a date. But then they get nervous, they start feeling overwhelmed, so they delete their online dating profile and tell their pursuers they just need to focus on God right now.

Of course sometimes these little breaks are needed. But if you are the type of person who is constantly jumping back and forth between being really active and then really passive, you have to stop this yo-yo dating. Like trying to avoid yo-yo dieting where you go on these extreme weight loss binges followed by extreme weigh gain binges, you have to find a healthy balance that you can sustain over time when it comes to dating.

It takes time to online date, to get to know someone in a relationship, and to see results with any plan you decide to follow. By stopping and starting all the time, you are basically hitting the reset button way too often.

Rule 7: Don’t Get Bitter. Keep Enjoying Your Life

I don’t know why God hasn’t allowed you to get married yet. You may be doing something wrong or you may be doing everything right. Only God really knows. But here’s one thing I do know: bitterness and unhappiness are unattractive.

If you are mad about being single for longer than you want, if you are bitter towards God because you are not married, and if you have stopped enjoying life because it doesn’t look like you thought it would look, this is only increasing the odds of you not meeting someone.

By living your life, enjoying the blessings God has given you, and serving the Lord passionately, you are much more likely to meet someone else doing these same things.

So whatever does or does not happen, remember that God always has a good plan for your life. As Philippians 1:6 states, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Are you a Christian single woman who has asked, “Where are all the godly men?” Here’s an important message for you, 6 Biblical Things Christian Single Women Can Do When They Lack Relationship Options.

Published by

Mark Ballenger

ApplyGodsWord.com is the writing ministry of Mark Ballenger. To reach Mark, send him an email anytime: markballenger@applygodsword.com

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