I've been working in youth ministry in some capacity for roughly eight years, and this is one of the most common questions I've fielded from young Christians: “How can (insert boyfriend/girlfriend) and I have a Christian dating relationship? ” As often I've heard it, I still love the the heart behind the question.
A couple of youngins' get to dating, and they want to “do it right.” They realize that God is concerned with every aspect of our lives, including our romantic involvements, so they've resolved to have a “Christian” dating relationship and sought guidance. Should we buy a devotional and go through it together? ” If the young man's of a theological bent, he shows up with a potential 10-week preaching series already outlined. As I already mentioned, couples often get this idea that to be truly “spiritual” they should start interweaving their spiritual lives into one.
Realizing that practical steps matter, most often they want tips or steps they can take to build their relationship in Christ. (Protip: this last one is definitely not a winning approach.) At that point, one of the first things I usually tell them is that there's really no “biblical theology” of dating tucked away the book of 4:5-20. This can actually become a problem, especially because you're not actually married.
Christian Partner for Life Editor Jess Maltby said there was some art and science to the selections.
Thus we seek to ensure that all of our facilities are free from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
The use of tobacco is prohibited on all IHOPKC property.
Finally, we need to hear an outside word that we can't quickly rationalize, twist, distort, or ignore. If your relationship becomes the center of their faith, the main and only encouragement they have in Christ, something has gone wrong. All four stand on their own as solid reasons to be committed to gathering (and being a member of) a local body.
Who is there to support and encourage when you're having a bad day, or when your relationship needs a check because it's gone off the rails into sin? Even the best married couples need other, godly voices speaking wisdom, conviction, comfort, and healing grace into their lives. Whether you're a Baptist, Anglican, or Presbyterian, you want to be regularly reminded that Christ alone is the source of spiritual life—he died, rose again, and our union with him is the only true food for your soul. Yet all four play an important function with respect to your relationship to each other.