Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
On the Girl Talk forum, a girl asked about how to approach courtship and dating. Here are some tips and pieces of advice pertaining to the subject.
Different people have unique terms for “dating,” but the most common one in the Christian world is “courtship” or “courting.” It is an intentional way of dating in a Biblical manner. It is proper to court with purpose, not date without intention. Rather than just speed dating or dating with no accountability, courtship is in the regard of those who desire marriage or a long-term commitment. Courting is dating with boundaries and aligning with God’s Word with the vision of marriage.
Boundless.org, the singles website from Focus on the Family Radio, states that “Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman’s father, and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family or church, whichever is most appropriate. Courtship always has marriage as its direct goal.”
Evaluate Your Relationship
First things first, ladies, we need to make sure you are of age to date and/or court (Biblically date). The initial question you want to ask yourself is: “Is this person a true believer and follower of Christ? Does he represent a godly man who is pursuing the Kingdom? Does he act out what he professes to believe?” Many people “claim” Christianity as if it is a nationality or something they were born into, but it is a lifestyle, and who you worship reflects what you believe. If you are in the faith, the fruit will show. This doesn’t mean people don’t have ups and downs, but for the majority of the person’s recent time in their life, you want to evaluate and ask yourself, “Is this person a Christian, a follower of Jesus and a genuine worshipper of God?”
The Holy Spirit will guide you. If you are a believer and want to be in an intentional relationship with a man of God, then you will want to be with someone who is on the same path spiritually (not holding you back, or just simply attending church). If he attends, great, but you don’t want to have to keep pulling him up. There are different opinions on this, because some can be won over by the actions of the woman, but just keep this in mind, especially if you tend to be a strong believer in the Lord.
Honor, Respect, Purity
Next, I would ask, “Does he respect me and honor me? Does he treat me with righteous, moral boundaries physically?” Make sure you set boundaries in purity BEFORE you really commit to dating so he knows where you stand. If the guy who wants to date or court you is trying to pressure you sexually, then he is probably not the man of God for you. If you both have agreed on certain guidelines (this also can include kissing or not kissing), make sure you are both on the same page so that you don’t put yourself in a tempting or vulnerable situation. If he doesn’t respect you, then this is a clear sign that it could be a distraction, so be prayerful in how to handle the situation. The Bible is very clear about purity and not dabbling with sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Set the boundary lines before you even consider dating or courting. If he is willing to wait for you and honor you in purity, this is a huge sign that he is a quality guy and also is a man of character.
Courting: Dating with Intention
Allow him to approach your dad or father figure. If you are still living at home, having your boyfriend or the guy whom you are being courted by or dating meet your father is a good idea. You should run him by your close family and friends to see what they think of the person you are interested in. Hopefully, they will give you positive feedback. It is good for a man to be one-on-one with your father and to be able to talk to him. Keep the relationship open and healthy and be praying for your family and friends as well. Definitely heed to wise counsel (Proverbs 1:15) because your family and friends care for you, but make sure the counsel aligns itself with the Bible, and if it is about superficial reasons or something opposing a good thing God has joined, then use caution. You cannot please everyone, and you have to ultimately go with what God has for you and what makes you happy.
Equally Yoked (Spiritually Same Level)
If the relationship is moving you away from God, then you may want to consider the relationship itself. Is this relationship worth risking your future—not only here, but in eternity? What vision, mission and goals do you have for your future? Do you desire to grow in the Lord and to expand God’s Kingdom? If there is a call of God on your life, you cannot be aloof. You need to be vigilant and prudent about whom you are dating and giving your heart to. The Bible says that Satan is on the prowl like a lion, and that he is also like a sneaky slithering snake (1 Peter 5:8). Remember, when you are deceived, you do not know until the wolf has taken off the mask and the true character is revealed. Many people “claim” Jesus and God, but are not the real thing. This is a called a counterfeit. Just like there is money that looks real, that doesn’t mean it is real. Spiritually we are to be discerning as well—if you are spirit-filled, anointed and read the Holy Word of God (the truth), you will be sharpened and will be able to spot a counterfeit. Like a well-trained banker, you will be able to see a counterfeit when it is presented to you.
Beware of Counterfeits
Precious, beloved girls, I pray the Lord Jesus protects you from all wolves in sheep’s clothing and counterfeits, as you are priceless, cherished and valued Princess Daughters of God! Don’t let a man fool you, Christian or not! Amen? (Matthew 7:15) I know people who have met “Christian” men who are just the same as the worldly guys and sometimes can be worse…so beware! Ask God to show you and help you. Don’t ignore the red flags or checks in your spirit. God gives us the Holy Spirit and our conscience for a REASON. It is to warn us. Let us heed the warning in faith, knowing God has the BEST in store for us, not the worst (Jeremiah 29:11),and also not be in fear and try to hold onto something that is a fake, an imposter or not the real deal, amen?
Examine the Fruit of the Relationship: Peace or Disorder?
Ultimately, God works and operates in order. He is the author and perfector of our faith and our life (Hebrews 12:2). God is NOT the author of confusion(1 Corinthians 14:33). If you feel confused, disillusioned, off balance, unclear, uncertain, foggy in your emotions, drained or not in peace, I have news for you: He is NOT the one.
6 Tips on Courtship and Dating
1. Pray; seek God first.
2. Does he respect you and honor you physically?
3. Be wise, guard your heart, set boundaries.
4. Get Godly advice and counsel, and be inviting.
5. Be alert—spot the real from counterfeits.
6. Recognize the fruit (peace or disorder).
I definitely encourage you to pray, to seek God’s Word and His counsel, and also remember the things of God will chase YOU down. You are royalty. Goodness and mercy follow YOU. You are too special and treasured to compromise. I love you, PI Girls—hope this helped!