1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Dating can be something that carries a various range of emotions. It can be exciting, scary, and can even bring anxiety. However, it is something that is a wonderful time in a person’s life if done in a way that is pleasing to God.

If you are going to be successful at dating God’s way, like anything you do in life, it requires a plan. Here are a few things that will help you prepare to date in a God-pleasing way.

1. Make sure God has your heart.

You cannot give your heart to another and do it correctly if God does not have first place in your heart. Your relationship and walk with God must be strong before you attempt to grow a godly relationship. Examine yourself, check your priorities, and intentions; because if we are to be successful at dating the right way God must be the center of everything we do. I recommend enquiring about the person you are interested in and their walk with God to their leaders (i.e. pastor, youth pastor, parents) because you also want to date someone who is as committed to God as you are.

2. Have a clear commitment to moral standards.

Search the Scriptures and make a list of rules by which you are going to date. Proverbs 18:1 “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.” If you are going to date in a way that is pleasing to God, it will not happen by accident, but rather by you being determined to do it that way. Make your commitment known to God, your parents, pastor, and youth pastor. Ask them to help keep you accountable to your commitment. You should make your standards for dating clear early on in any dating relationship. The person
you date should be striving to please God just as much as you if not more. If they will not commit to your standards, then I would not date them.

3. Choose a dating counselor to help guide you.

Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Have a counselor you can trust and that is a good example to you in dating and marriage. They should be someone who has the testimony that you desire to have. It is unwise to have your peers as your dating counselors. Once you have a godly counselor, listen to the advice they give you. They have been where you are at. They know where certain roads lead in life. You should go to your counselor before you begin dating someone to see what they say. They may know something about the person you do not. It is extremely important not to shut your parents out of this part of your life as well. Keep them up to date (even if they do not care who or how you date).

4. Have a plan for your relationship.

It is extremely dangerous just to have the “go with the flow” type mentality when it comes to dating. This is how you end up going too fast in a relationship and it ends badly. Guys, as the leader you, should have an idea of where you want the relationship to be in a certain time frame. Seek the advice from your counselor about your plan. Allow your counselor to make changes if needed. They may see a potential issue later in the relationship that they want you to avoid. Stick to your plan. You can always speed the relationship up, with your counselor’s advice, if needed. The plan-making process in godly dating is so important. It sets the pace for the relationship. Ultimately, it is up to you to make sure you stick to your plan, listen to your counselors, and stay close to God. Regardless of whether you marry the person or not, your goal should be that any relationship you have is one that brings glory to God!!

Josh Clapp
Assistant Pastor / Youth Pastor
Victory Baptist Church Winthrop, Maine