Christian Dating can be perceived as a grey area. But does it have to be? Below is a guideline we have prayerfully set up to navigate this “relationship” arena.
Though we know our readers are all different, so, of course, no one dating experience will be the same. However, the different people in KC community have tried and tested the principles described here, and it has yielded positive results!
Take a look at the KC “5 STAGE” PROCESS:
FIRST Stage – Get Acquainted
This is after you have gotten to know one another, possibly through a gathering, and one (ideally the man) wishes to take the relationship further.
This is where you can explore whether there is a divine purpose that connects you together. Remember this stage is for informational purposes ONLY, so have conversations! Be friends and enjoy platonic connection. We strongly recommend that you ask direct questions and don’t hide who you are.
There are no intimate questions at this stage, great questions to ask include:
- Are you aware of your own strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you know your unique purpose as a Kingdom Citizen?
- What is your current family dynamic?
Men, keep in mind that you are looking for a helpmeet (see Genesis 2:18) – a woman who can help build a godly home, who can help you fulfill your purpose and destiny and so on. Ladies, bear in mind that your key role is to be a helper to your husband. It’s good to reflect on whether you are prepared to willingly make the daily sacrifice to submit in this way to another person, and work on preparing yourself if not. (It is also wise to find a Christian man who is, at minimum, spiritually mature enough to marry).
NOTE: Though your body and imagination may be stimulated by the other person, do not let your emotions run away with you! It is important to begin practicing, at this stage, bringing your flesh into submission.
SECOND Stage – Friendship
Now you have identified a potential common purpose and marriage seems like a possibility, practice being friends! Companionship is an essential aspect of a successful marriage and will play an integral role in every stage of your relationship.
Further questions include:
- Do you have any medical conditions that could affect our potential union now or in the future? E.g. sickle cell anaemia, family traits, history of any other health issue.
- How do you typically deal with bad days or difficult situations?
- What is your favourite food to eat?
NOTE: Continually evaluate what you have found out about each other from the acquaintance stage.
THIRD Stage – Courtship
Key point: Testing to prove true
At this point, once you feel comfortable about the relationship, and think it has the right qualities to lead to marriage, you can inform your friends and family of the relationship!
The “we’re officially courting” stage is set to test whether your relationship functions well and remains godly under the social pressure that informing family and friends often brings. What are their perceptions of the proposed union?
Do remember, however, that the relationship is still not set in stone. You can consider yourself half committed so guard your heart. Either party can freely choose to end the relationship if red flags / concerns are identified.
NOTE: Guarding your heart is pivotal at this point. Pressure often highlights our weak areas, or areas of vulnerability. So, for instance you may desire at this stage to invested too much emotionally, to run out of the union due to fear, or run into the bed of your courter/ the courted for similar reasons. If temptations like this arise, as they may, our suggestion here is to maintain honest communication with trusted, godly accountability.
Tip for the gentlemen: this is your opportunity to impress the lady you’re courting by leading in purity. Ask questions about whether she is guarding her heart, and offer suggestions when opportunities arise!
FOURTH Stage – Engagement
The man proposes to his chosen lady and they both start to solidify plans for the wedding as well as for life afterwards.
NOTE: We would expect that the couple has financially prepared for a marital commitment by this point. If not, your relationship can still work, but it is important that you both agree on how you’d like to proceed, and that you seek wise counsel. If the couple are financially limited, perhaps less money can be put towards an engagement ring so more can be invested into the marriage, for example.
FIFTH Stage – Marriage
Freely celebrate intimacy and romance post marriage, and enjoy it! God indeed created marriage for a husband and wife’s enjoyment (Proverbs 5:15-19). Though we must remember that it was also created to fulfil certain Kingdom purposes (Read more about this in another post we wrote!). It is important that we make fulfilling the Kingdom’s purpose for marriage at the forefront of your minds so God’s name may be glorified through your union and His presence may help you through the ups and downs of married life. In fact the Bible says that “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.[Yet] a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” – Ecclesiastes 4:12
Finally, we ask courters to approach the dating stages wisely.
Approach it with the full knowledge that the end result is you committing to a lifelong agreement with eternal implications. Remember that your heart and time are valuable possessions so, ask the right questions, and prayerfully review the fine print of what a marriage would look like with your chosen partner. In particular, communicate regularly with godly accountability, and we expect that you’ll experience a long, strong and powerful union – with some joy and romance rolled in too!