So when looking to date someone of the opposite sex, you want to know what to look for right? And how many of you know that someone just calling themselves a “Christian” doesn’t necessarily mean that they really are walking with God.
So today, we are going to go through some of the main things YOU should look for when deciding whether to date a guy or a girl. Knowing these simple pieces of Biblical advice will help you make wise decision that could drastically effect your future and keep you from unnecessary heartbreak with someone who is not right for you to begin with.
Because God’s ultimate goal for your life is that you would love Him, be conformed into His image, and then shine His light to the world, and the people you surround yourself with, including who you date or eventually marry, should push you and encourage you towards that same goal.
So lets jump in and look at dating from God’s perspective so you can choose the RIGHT one. We also made a YouTube video on this topic, so you can find it right here or watch it below.
1. Make Sure they are a Christian/Believer
This is probably the most obvious one, but make sure you are only looking for/dating someone who already is a Christian or a believer in Jesus. Because the Bible says this
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6: 14
As a ministry, we get emails ALL the time from people who fell in love with an unbeliever, ended up getting married to them, and now they are heartbroken because they are in a marriage that God never approved of. And now they either aren’t walking with Jesus anymore, or their family is torn apart because one is trying to live like a Christian while the other isn’t.
Also, we see a trend now a days called “missionary dating”, which is where one person is a Christian and the other is not, but you date them in hopes of converting them to Christianity. We think this is a terrible idea. You want someone who has already made the decision to follow Christ on their own, because most often what end us happening, is both of them ending up in sin and not pursuing Jesus. Especially if it’s the girl trying to get the guy “saved”, because the guy will always be the one leading the girl.
And all throughout the Bible, God warns of the repercussions of this decision. King Solomon who was King David’s son was granted the most wisdom God had ever given anyone and the greatest wealth and promises, yet it was this exact issue that led to ruin in his life, and eventually all the people of God. For
“King Solomon loved many foreign women… from the nations that the Lord had told the Israelites about, ‘Do not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn you away from Me to their gods.'” – 1 Kings 11:1-3
As Christians, we are to seek to follow and obey God in every area of our lives, including those we open our hearts to. Because where we allow our heart to go, our actions will follow. That’s why it is super important to have boundaries set up beforehand, to “guard your heart with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23). You can watch our video on how to do that here.
2. Make sure God is their Highest Priority
And how many of you know that calling yourself a “Christian” doesn’t always mean that you are truly and actively seeking to walk with Jesus in your everyday lives. So part of being “equally yoked” literally means having the same strength and/or stature.
Two oxen who are “yoked” together pulling a plow behind them can still be going the same direction, but if one is much smaller or weaker than the other, the stronger one will dominate and they will actually end up going in continuous circles. So not only do you need to look for a Christian, you need to look for a Christian who is on your level, going after God in the same or more intensity as you.
If you want to see more on why this is so important in a relationship, you can watch our video about God’s design for Marriage right here.
3. Make sure they have a vision for their life
Having a vision for your life, and finding someone of the opposite sex who also does is more important than you may think. The Bible tells us that “where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
It basically means if you are not running after something with goals and real steps, you are just walking around aimlessly and will never truly get anywhere. So you want to be looking for someone who has a vision for at least all these areas:
- Where they want to go in their relationship with God
- How the want to be like Jesus
- How they want to serve Jesus & do their part in the Great Commission
- And simply where they want to go in life & the goals they have to steward their life
It is actually attractive when someone has a vision for their life and they are making steps towards that. You don’t have to have the exact same goals and vision at this point, you will figure that out more in dating and before marriage about how your visions can work together, but just having these is key.
This is especially important for men to have because women, the man you end up dating, could become your husband one day, and you need to make sure he is going somewhere that you actually want to go and that he is able to lead you there. Many women deal with the pain of dating and then marrying a man that can’t lead them and doesn’t have a vision for the things that matter to her. Then if they try to lead, your relationship gets out of God’s ordained order and creates all sorts of mess. So ladies, find a man with a vision. And men likewise, so she is comfortable submitting one day because she has a vision too and therefore is already on board.
4. Make sure you see a reach towards the qualities of Jesus in their life
We all know that part of our calling as Christian is to be conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), so as we are growing in our relationship with God, we are being transformed into His likeness. So to see if someone is truly seeking God, you should be able to see a genuine transformation and reach towards being like Jesus in the areas of their life.
Do you see them forgiving others when they are wronged? Do you see them serving others for no selfish gain? Do you see them walking in humility rather than in pride? Do you see them being kind, gentle and patient with others? These are all signs that someone is allowing God to do a work in their heart and that they truly desire to be like Him.
This does not mean perfection though. Every single Christian is in a process called sanctification, which is just that, a process, where none of us will be perfect until we meet the Lord (called glorification). So if you expect to find someone who is perfect in every area, you will be massively disappointed when you realize the only person who can be is Jesus Himself. So don’t have unrealistic expectations of others, but look for the seeds of growth. Look for the reach to become like Him. Look for the genuine desire to serve, love, forgive, etc. God can do anything with a heart that is willing!
And here is a tip, if you don’t know the attributes of Jesus and what He is like, maybe you need to take some intentional time to get to know Him first. Because the more you actually know Him, the easier you will be able to recognize it in someone you are interested in. And if “husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself up for Her,” you need to know how Christ loves to be able to give it or recognize it coming from someone else.
Which brings us to our last point…
5. Make sure they fight to protect your purity & your relationship with God
You want to find someone that will look at you the way God looks at you; Who doesn’t look at you for something they can GET from you, but looks at you as a son or a daughter of God that is precious to Him. And you will be able to tell from their actions.
This is most easily seen in the area of sexual purity. Are they wanting or expecting you to “put out” something for them, or do they seek to protect you, not take from you, put boundaries up so that you don’t stumble? Do they really care about you walking in holiness before God? Do they really have a vision for purity in their relationships? If not, those are some big red flags. Whether they are a guy or girl.
Because before anything, they need to see you as a brother or a sister in Christ. At the end of the day, when we all meet Jesus, the most important thing is each persons relationship with God. Find someone who cares about you as any other brother or sister in the Body of Christ would. That fights for you walking in holiness, purity, nearness to God, walking in your purpose, etc. And maybe that means taking a season to be friends and really establish that foundation.
Find someone who wants you as close to God as possible and fights for you walking in obedience to Him & His Word, so “that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4) on the day we meet Him face to face.
Additional Resources on your Journey
So as we are sure you are aware of, this is such a huge topic, and obviously there is much more that can be said. But to help you prepare your heart in your single years for whatever is to come when God’s timing is right for you to enter into a relationship. You can simply download that here or find the form below.
And we actually made an entire video on YouTube about this topic called “What to Look for in Christian Dating” and we go into much more detail as well as share some of our personal experiences. You can watch that video here or find it below.
We also wanted to make sure you have all the resources you can to grow in this area. So if you want to dig deeper into this topic, here are a few of the best books on this topic we want to recommend to you.
For ladies in singleness preparing yourself for dating, we recommend Passion & Purity by Elizabeth Elliot. For men, we love Disciplines of A Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes.
The books we love on singleness/dating preparation are Sacred Search by Gary Thomas, Waiting with God by Kelsey Rygh, and Relationship Goals by Michael Todd.
Then if you are in a dating relationship already or considering it with someone, we recommend The Right One by Jimmy Evans and Boundaries in Dating by Cloud & Townsend.
You can click any of the links above to find a hard copy for yourself or you can always try Audible and try two Audiobooks for free here. Or if you are a fan of e-books instead, you can try out Kindle for free here!
You can always find all our favorite books and resources on our Recommended Resources page.
So as always, we hope this helps you continue to find God & walk with Jesus in your everyday life.
Love & Blessings,
Ronnie and Mel