Guided by God’s love and wisdom, as Christian parents, we sow the seeds of faith, purity, and discernment in our adult children’s hearts, preparing them to embrace the beauty of dating life as a sacred journey where Christ remains at the center of every step, every decision, and every destined union.
As our children grow older, they begin to step into the exciting world of relationships, and as faithful parents, we want to equip them with the best guidance possible. In this crazy modern dating scene, it’s easy for our kids to get lost amidst the distractions of the world. That’s where we come in—as their anchors, pointing them toward Christ-centered dating.
Dating as a Christian isn’t just about finding a cute partner or having a good time (though those things can be part of it!). It’s about aligning our children’s hearts with God’s will and teaching them to seek relationships that reflect His love and grace.
One verse that really captures this idea is 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness?” This verse urges us to encourage our kids to seek partners who share their faith for a solid foundation rooted in Christ.
Dealing with the Challenges of Modern Dating Culture
It’s no secret that the world has taken dating and relationships to a whole new level. With the rise of technology and social media, our kids are exposed to a myriad of influences and expectations that can be overwhelming.
One of the biggest hurdles we face as Christian parents is the pressure to conform to societal norms. The world promotes a “hookup culture” that encourages casual and often meaningless relationships. But as believers, we know that God’s plan for relationships is so much more profound and purposeful.
In 1 John 2:15-16, we’re reminded, “Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world.” As we guide our children through the maze of modern dating, we must teach them to guard their hearts against worldly desires and stay rooted in Christ’s love.
The prevalence of online dating and dating apps adds another layer of complexity. While technology can be a tool for connection, it can also lead to superficial and sometimes unsafe encounters. As parents, we should encourage our children to be cautious and discerning when using these platforms, always remembering to seek God’s guidance.
Also, there’s the challenge of premarital intimacy. The world often views physical relationships as casual and unattached, but God’s design is for intimacy to be reserved for marriage. 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body, but he that commits fornication sinneth against his own body.” We must have open conversations with our children about the importance of purity and the long-term consequences of disregarding God’s plan.
Laying the Foundation: Instilling Christian Values
Laying the foundation for our children’s dating journey starts with instilling godly values that will guide them throughout life. As parents, we play a vital role in shaping their understanding of relationships and dating, and one of the key aspects is establishing open communication.
We must create an environment where our children feel comfortable discussing their thoughts, questions, and concerns about relationships. By keeping the lines of communication open, we can listen to their perspectives, address their doubts, and offer guidance without judgment. So, let’s be patient listeners and approachable confidants, ensuring that they know they can rely on us for honest and understanding conversations.
We should regularly share with our children the biblical principles of love, purity, and respect found in passages like Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it,” which exemplifies the selfless and sacrificial love that should characterize relationships. Additionally, passages like 1 Timothy 4:12 teach them to “be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity,” emphasizing the importance of purity and godly conduct in relationships. By grounding our teachings in God’s Word, we provide them with a solid framework for building healthy and God-honoring relationships.
As our children embark on their dating journey, we want them to understand that their relationship with God is the ultimate foundation. Encouraging them to cultivate a personal walk with God through prayer, reading the Bible, and participating in fellowship helps them develop a deeper understanding of God’s will for their lives. Psalm 37:4 reminds us, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When they prioritize their relationship with God, their desires align with His, leading to more purposeful and fulfilling dating experiences.
Setting Standards and Boundaries
As parents guiding our children through the intricacies of dating life, setting clear boundaries based on biblical principles is paramount. We must not shy away from discussing the importance of upholding God’s standards in their relationships. Proverbs 22:28 states, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set,” reminding us to uphold the timeless values found in God’s Word as our foundation.
Defining dating boundaries begins with discussing the purpose of dating itself. It’s not merely a casual pastime but a journey with the potential for marriage in mind. By encouraging our children to approach dating with a purposeful mindset, they can navigate relationships more responsibly and intentionally.
We must teach our children to honor God by reserving physical intimacy for marriage and guarding their hearts and bodies against impurity.
As parents, we play a pivotal role in modeling healthy relationships for our children. Our own marriage serves as a powerful example of love, respect, and commitment.
Our actions and words should align with the biblical principles we teach. By demonstrating humility, forgiveness, and grace in our interactions with each other, we show our children the true essence of a Christ-centered relationship. They learn how to handle conflicts, extend forgiveness, and prioritize the well-being of their partners.
Discernment in Dating: Encouraging Wise Choices
When it comes to dating, one of the most critical aspects we can teach our children is discernment—the ability to see beyond the surface and evaluate the true character of a potential partner. Proverbs 31:30 reminds us, “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Our children need to recognize that appearances can be deceiving and that true beauty lies in a heart that fears the Lord and embodies godly virtues.
By emphasizing the importance of character over appearance, we equip our children to look for qualities such as kindness, humility, honesty, and integrity in a partner. Proverbs 11:22 advises, “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” We want them to see the value of inner beauty and the importance of a partner who exemplifies godly wisdom and discretion.
Encouraging our children to seek partners with strong character can protect them from falling into superficial and potentially harmful relationships. Proverbs 22:24-25 cautions, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy soul.” By teaching discernment, we empower our children to make wise choices in their dating lives, leading to more fulfilling and meaningful connections.
Also, as Christian parents, we know the significance of shared faith and spiritual compatibility in a relationship. 2 Corinthians 6:14 reminds us, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Encouraging our children to seek partners who share their faith ensures a strong foundation for a Christ-centered relationship.
We must explain that shared faith goes beyond attending the same church or having similar religious backgrounds. It involves having a deep and genuine relationship with God with shared values and a common commitment to following His Word. Amos 3:3 asks, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed upon?” By prioritizing shared faith, our children can avoid the potential conflicts and struggles that arise when values and beliefs don’t align.
In a world where secular influences may challenge their convictions, our children need to understand the importance of spiritual compatibility. Proverbs 27:17 encourages, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” When two individuals grow together in their faith, they can strengthen and support each other in their spiritual journey, deepening their bond with God and each other.
Encouraging Patience and Trust in God’s Timing
It is essential to encourage our children to exercise patience and trust in God’s perfect timing for their love lives. As Christian parents, we understand the significance of their surrendering their desires to God and embracing His plan for their romantic relationships.
Proverbs 3:5-6 implores us, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” As parents, we must consistently remind our children to place their trust in God’s unfailing wisdom and sovereign plan for their love lives. Encouraging them to surrender their desires and fears to God allows them to release the burden of finding a partner on their own and instead rely on His guidance.
By trusting in God’s plan, our children can find comfort in knowing that He has a beautiful story unfolding for them, one that surpasses anything they could have planned for themselves. Reminding them of God’s faithfulness in the past and how He has guided their journey so far can strengthen their faith and resolve to patiently wait on His perfect timing.
Our children’s dating lives, when guided by God’s Word and empowered by prayer, become a beautiful dance orchestrated by the Creator Himself. Let’s equip them with the tools they need, offering support, wisdom, and love as they prepare for a Christ-centered marriage that glorifies God and blesses their lives.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Motortion
Emmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.