weekly devotional


God Honoring Dating

Dating relationships are exciting! There is no question that it is the most talked about, thought about, and desired status for young people. Have you ever considered why every show/movie that has successfully reached young people is focused around a developing relationship? I have been married for almost 10 years and I still love pillow talk. I still enjoy watching relationships form and develop. The reality is, we are hooked on romantic relationships. People who are considered unromantic still seek it. People who don’t know the first thing about romance, still desire it for themselves. We love the idea of having a close, trustworthy companion who understands and values us. But have we ever considered the value of honoring God through our dating relationships? Have we ever considered how important it is to have standards around dating? Many of us leap at every attraction to every person when we are single. We are okay with jumping in to a relationship before ever knowing someone. We also struggle to set boundaries and maintain healthy habits that will build and strengthen the relationship. All in the name of engaging in an emotional/physical attraction to another person, we throw standards, healthy practice, and intentional effort out the window. Often leaving us in a place where we go through hard experiences, give in to negative influence, and find ourselves heartbroken. Dating can be a ton of fun and help you mature; it can also be painful and set you up for failure. 

It comes back to a familiar teaching from the Bible that we have heard before:

Matthew 22:37-39 - And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

It is so important to have your relationship with Jesus in the right place before you begin dating. If your motives are off, so will your dating experience. If your heart is hard, it will affect your dating. When we are not walking in step with God, it affects all of our relationships. So, if we really like someone, why would we invite them into a relationship where we are going to hold back? Cross boundaries? Put them down because we don’t know how to build them up? If you care about someone, shouldn’t you want to know that you can have a positive influence on them? That you are rooted and have a firm foundation that gives you stability? In Jesus’ teaching, He clearly is pointing to the fact that we learn how to love by loving God. It is from our relationship with God that we see, experience, and know what real love looks like. Then we are able to offer that same type of love to others. So, if you really want to impress them, care for them, and learn to love them, you have to learn what love is all about. That can only be learned by spending quality time with God and worshiping Him with your life. If God is not at the center, you are building on a faulty foundation and in time, your bridge may collapse. 

Action Steps: 

1. Take some time to reflect on your relationships.

      a. What was good? Bad? Hard? What would you want to change about yourself for the next/current relationship?  

2. Then, consider writing down some standards. What are some things that God teaches us about how to love each other? How to serve each other? What does the bible teach us to avoid in our relationships?