Excerpt from this article: “The Golden Rule in Christian Dating”
“Have you ever tried to list out all the different dating advice you’ve heard….from other Christians?
- Date for at least a year.
- Don’t date for any more than a year.
- Date exclusively in groups.
- Make sure you get plenty of time one on one.
- Put clear boundaries into place.
- Don’t try to follow everyone else’s rules.
- Spend lots of time together.
- Be careful how much time you spend together.
- Date a bunch of people before getting serious.
- Don’t date anyone until you’re ready to marry them.
I could go on…
The first rule in dating is the first rule in all of life: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). You will not truly love anyone else if you do not love God first and most. And no one will truly love you if they do not love God more than they love you.
But after embracing and applying the first and greatest commandment, I have found that the golden rule in dating is this:
Lean hard on the people who know you best, love you most, and will tell you when you’re wrong.
It’s not the first rule, because in absolutely every area of life — every decision, every calling, every relationship, every dream — we must start with what we think about God. Do we love him more than anything? Will we obey him, even when it will cost us? Are we willing to set anything aside for his sake? Will we trust him, even when we want something else for ourselves?
Today more than ever before, we’re faced with a never-ending buffet of opinions and advice that has something to say about everything and yet lets us choose the answer we want… The scary reality is that we can find an answer somewhere to justify what we want to do — right or wrong, safe or unsafe, wise or unwise. The advice we choose might be from a book by a doctor, or a random conversation with someone at church, or a blog post by a teenager, or just something we found on Pinterest. For many of us, if we’re honest, it really doesn’t matter who’s offering the advice as long as it confirms what we thought or wanted in the first place.
Real friendship, with real life-on-life accountability, may not offer the same amount of information or advice, and you will not always like what it has to say…The people willing to actually hold me accountable in dating have been my best friends. I’ve had lots of friends over the years, but the ones who have been willing to press in, ask harder questions, and offer unwanted (but wise) counsel are the friends I respect and prize the most.”