Building godly dating relationships

They see each other every day, are with each other’s families every holiday (and often know their partner’s family as well as any son or daughter-in-law does), they travel together, spend most of their non-working (or studying) time together, they daily confide in one another (and maybe one another), and are without doubt, closer emotionally with one another than with anyone else on the planet.

This is exactly the level of intimacy that is reserved for marriage only and that dating couples should make every effort to restrain until the appropriate time.

As your general comfort level around each other rises, that momentum grows even more. We’ll assume, per another clear principle from Scripture, that both members of our college couple are Christians.

On most college campuses, that likely puts the two of you in the same relatively small social circle.

One of our bedrock governing principles in biblical dating — and in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ generally — is not to “defraud” our single brothers and sisters by implying a greater level of commitment between us and them than actually exists (see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).

I discuss this principle more fully in “Principles for Drawing Boundaries” and “What Does a Biblical Relationship Look Like?

Can this level of emotional intimacy happen between people who have been dating for a shorter amount of time? But the longer a couple dates, the harder it becomes to avoid it.

I’ve spoken to numerous “long-dating” couples, in college and beyond, who other than living together, could do little to intertwine their lives any more than they already are.Perhaps both of you are active in the same campus ministry, you go to the same church.Over time, maybe you take some of the same classes, live near one another, etc.’ (Amos 3:3) If you’re in a relationship that you’re hoping will lead to a happy marriage, it is worth asking yourself, ‘does this relationship glorify God?’ There are a few ways to tell if your relationship glorifies God or not.

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In simple terms, a godly relationship is one that glorifies God and one where God is at the centre.

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