Relationship advice is everywhere–even for the Christian girl. Whether it’s a book, blog post, or podcast, we have access to loads of info on how to rock a relationship or find “the one.”
Most of the time the advice is offered in good faith. There are many helpful tips on dating and marriage–and there are some pretty terrible ones as well.
But what about the advice that seems legit, but might actually do more harm than good? What about the dating rules that sound Godly, but if taken too far can actually be harmful?
I want to tackle three common rules of Christian dating that should be challenged. None of these ideas are completely wrong, but I urge you to examine these rules in light of the Bible as well as your heart.
1. Christian Girls Should Ignore Their Heart
One of the biggest rules of modern Christian dating is to not allow our feelings dictate the relationship. This rule is partly true.
For example, when you first start dating someone, it’s good to take a step back emotionally and examine the suitor from a more objective perspective.
This helps to catch any red flags in the beginning, and should be practiced throughout the dating stage.
But we shouldn’t kick our hearts out of the picture either.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
The Proverb above is often used to defend the idea of putting up walls around our heart when it comes to relationships. But this verse means so much more than protection from a breakup.
The point of guarding our hearts isn’t to keep us in a perfect bubble where our feelings can’t get hurt. After all, to love the lost and broken means we will experience pain.
The reason we guard our heart is so our affections can be devoted to Jesus.
Our feelings should never rule over us, but they must play a role in dating and marriage. Love is a beautiful and powerful force, and when we keep Jesus at the center of our heart, He will direct the overflow.
2. Christian Girls Shouldn’t Have Expectations in a Relationship
This rule also has a degree of truth to it. There are certain expectations that should never be placed on a boyfriend, fiance, or husband. He is not meant to save you or meet all your needs. Only God can do that.
However, we shouldn’t give up all of our standards just to avoid setting the bar unrealistically high.
Some women think it’s not loving or Godly to expect their potential future husband to meet certain standards.
But if you want a partner to love you and lead you closer to Christ, there are certain values you don’t want to compromise.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”(1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV)
There are good general standards, such as patience, gentleness, leadership, a heart for prayer, etc. These are values you can ask the Lord about.
There might be other values that specifically speak to your heart as well. Remember that in marriage, the two of you will support one another in God’s calling, so a similar vision and values is crucial for success.
3. Christian Girls Should Avoid Heartbreak
Obviously no one wants to get hurt or suffer a breakup. They’re awful. I’ve been through a few failed relationships, and the pain was intense.
But without the risk of heartbreak or pain, we can never find true love. The truth is that every human love will hurt us at some point.
Even the best marriages have their issues. And inevitably, someone will likely pass away before the other. It’s sad, yet beautiful, to share all of life’s joy and pain with another person.
I truly believe that the fear of getting hurt is the main reason people avoid commitment today. We know that if we commit to love, we will experience pain at some point.
Sin has complicated the relationships around us with things like infidelity, abuse, and neglect. It’s so much easier to just hook up for a night than to risk one of these tragedies.
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But the fear of commitment is a lie from the enemy to keep us from the beautiful love story God has for us.
When we decide to nail our fears to the cross and put our trust in the Lord, we know that no matter what happens He will bring good out of the experience.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
What do you think of these common dating rules? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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