“There is no such thing as biblical dating. If you’re dating, I don’t care who you’re dating, you’re out of God’s will. If you’re a young man and you’re dating, you’re out of God’s will. Period. You can come talk to me about it later, you can be mad if you want. But that’s just the truth. There’s no such thing as recreational dating. There is biblical courtship, there is no recreational dating.”
— Paul Washer
“Modern American dating is no more than glorified divorce practice. Young people are learning how to give themselves away in exclusive, romantic, highly committed (at times sexual) relationships, only to break up and do it all over again.”
— Dr. Voddie Baucham
I believe the only biblical way to have a relationship is through biblical courtship, with the intention of marriage. Recreational dating is extremely destructive to the soul; it can leave scars upon that you that will be felt for the rest of your life. People who are in a relationship that don’t care about God, His word and His glory are completely wasting their time. Relationships that are skin deep will not leave you satisfied, but they will only leave you broken and empty.
I plead with you, don’t waste your time. Trust in His timing, and wait on the person God has saved for you; biblically court that person, and then marry that person. You will be so much happier, and more satisfied in Christ. He receives all the glory from this kind of relationship.
What is biblical courtship? Biblical courtship is being in a relationship with a person, both acknowledging that the end of courtship is marriage. Courting someone also means that you will be pure, including the abstinence from kissing until the day of your wedding. If you are willing to kiss someone, then it will inevitably lead to more, and that is toxic to your soul. This might sound weird, I understand, but it is something that must wait.
When we start to pursue a spouse, we should look for a few things in them.
They must have a strong relationship with the Lord. Don’t even consider someone for courtship if they do not take their faith in Christ seriously.
They must live a style of life that seeks to glorify God, and expand His kingdom. You want to know if you should be in a relationship with a certain person? Look at their prayer life, look at how often they go to church, look at who they hang out with and look at how much they study God’s word and how often they read good theological books.
Look into their life and see if they live a life that is transformed by Christ.
If you’re a woman looking for a husband, the person you are courting will most likely be leading your family one day; make sure you are making a wise decision.
The last thing you’d ever want is to marry someone and find out he’s not a dedicated Christian like you thought he was. That would be devastating for you, and for your family.
You want to marry someone who can lead your future children to follow the path of righteousness, Christ. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Marry the guy who will read good books to your future children, who will pray with them, who will love them, who will teach them good theology and who will lead them in the ways of Christ.
As for me, I will only court and marry someone who is Reformed. This is something I believe in with all of my being. Reformed theology is the most biblical, consistent theology out there. Being married to someone who doesn’t believe in the same theology as you can only lead to conflict. There will be conflicting opinions on how to raise kids, what church to attend, worship, etc.
What does biblical courtship look like? Praying together is crucial, and it is neglected so much today. Charles Spurgeon said, “Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ.” The foundation of your relationship must be in Christ. If your relationship is rooted in anything else, then it is doomed to fail, and it won’t glorify God. The purpose of your relationship should be to glorify Christ, and Christ alone.
Biblical courtship seeks and listens to the advice of godly Christians. These people will hold you accountable, give you counsel, and tell you the truth no matter what. Marshall Segal said, “Only people who love Christ more than they love you will have the courage to tell you that you’re wrong in dating — wrong about a person, wrong about timing, wrong about whatever.”
Also, a courting couple must be rooted in a local church together. Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
As a couple, you both should dive deep into studying your Bibles. Group Bibles studies would be the best, that way you’re not alone; you both should be grounded and knowledgeable in God’s word.
Lastly, biblical courtship should be filled with an authentic love for Christ and for one another.
Matt Chandler said, “God’s plan is for a man and a woman in the bond of the marriage covenant to have their souls – not just their bodies – become one.” This is a beautiful, deep relationship you and your spouse will have for the rest of your lives.
I plead with you, please take this as seriously as possible. To all of those who are single or are in a relationship, this is the rest of your life that is at stake.
I am so excited to have a family of my own one day, but I am trusting in God’s timing. I’m waiting for the one He has saved for me. The relationship with my future wife will be well worth the wait. I genuinely look forward to have tiny Calvinists running around my house, and leading my wife and children in Bible studies.
Nevertheless, I am completely satisfied in Christ; He is where I find my rest.
My deepest prayer is that He is where you find your rest as well. Stay in constant prayer. Trust in His timing. Fight the good fight of faith.
May you all seek to glorify God above everything else in life.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Your brother in Christ, Tyler Darnell.