As a Christian what is truly important when pursuing a dating relationship? And how do our assumptions of what dating looks like and how dating should be practiced influence us? Are these assumptions a detriment or an aide in guiding us?
From my own observations within Christianity, I see great divides when it comes to expectations in dating. Some think courtship is the only right way and others don’t even know what courtship is. Some put a lot of stock in having common interests or having compatible personalities. Still others are searching for a special feeling they might get when around someone. Others have a long checklist of exactly what they are looking for and what they are expecting the person to be and do.
The most important thing in a Christian dating relationship is the obvious, they need to actually be a Christian. This is truly the only absolute essential criteria. Do they know what the gospel is? Do they know what they believe and why? How does God’s Word affect them? How do they treat people?
I don’t care how compatible you think you are with someone, there are going to be differences. Loving someone is a choice of the will, practiced every day. Love is not a feeling we get, it’s a decision we make. God chose to love us, not because we deserve it, or because we are easy to love, or because we make God feel good. Rather, He willed to love us in spite of our sin, disobedience, and lack of anything to offer.
If you want a relationship that works you need to find someone who loves God, loves the gospel of Jesus Christ, and loves the Word of God. And as a result of their love for God and His Word, they will endeavor to love others as Christ first loved us. That’s the best foundation. Our relationships should be intentional and should not be built around selfish desires, but rather built on a unifying faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us.