I work with young adults, many who are singles who are dating or considering dating. When they ask my advice about dating and purity, here’s what I tell them:
- Know that God won’t bless an ungodly relationship. Why should He? He blesses those who walk with Him, not those who rebel against His standards.
- Don’t date a non-believer. You should date only someone you might marry, and the Bible speaks against being yoked with those who don’t believe (2 Cor 6:14) – so don’t take a step in the wrong direction by dating someone who doesn’t follow Jesus.
- Date only another strong believer. I’ve seldom seen a strong believer positively influence a weak believer in a dating relationship without much confrontation and difficulty. I have, though, seen multiple times when the stronger believer becomes weak.
- If your parents are Christian, honor them by making right choices. Show them how much you respect their standards (and appreciate their example) by living up to what they expect.
- View your date first as a brother or sister in Christ created in God’s image. When you see the other person as a creation of God first, a fellow believer second, and a date third, you’ll treat that person in a godly way.
- Especially early in the relationship, do group dates only. I know this guideline might seem strange, but alone time can quickly become dangerous time. Guarding your purity matters if you’re a follower of Jesus.
- Pray at the beginning and end of every date. Start and end the date with God. When you do that, it’s tougher to do sinful things during the date.
- Set clear physical guidelines up front. I’ve known couples who determined not to do anything more than hold hands until they married. Whatever your commitment is, allow no room for physical touching you would not do if Jesus were in the room – because He is.
- Plan some dates wrapped around the gospel and church. You’ll learn how committed your date is to the gospel if you spend time together doing God’s work.
- Think long-term rather than short-term. If you sin physically, you’ll carry the memory of that sin the rest of your life. It will be more difficult to challenge your own kids to be pure. The consequences of your actions will be costly.
- Be accountable to someone for your godliness. That godliness includes your physical relationship, but it’s much more than that. It’s making wise choices in what you do and where you go. It’s modeling Jesus for your date.
- If you mess up physically, immediately repent, confess, and put up stronger walls. It happens, but it’s always sin. If you don’t stop after the first time, the pattern can quickly become controlling.
- Be willing to walk away from a relationship marked by impurity. Sometimes, wisdom and repentance require ending a relationship. In those cases, trust God to honor your decision when you do what is right.
What other advice would you give for dating purity?