You think your relationship is incredible. The attraction is building. You want to take the relationship to the next level but you want to know if the relationship reflects your faith and God’s Will. If you are a Christian in the dating scene, it is important to know if your relationship is truly centered in Christ. Here are five ways to know for sure:
You Both Have a Personal Relationship With Christ
Following Christ is the most important decision you’ll ever make in life. The next is choosing to be with someone who is in a personal relationship with Christ who will support your spiritual grown. In a true Christian relationship Christ comes first. In fact, Christ comes before all other relationships. Too often we place our love, or desire in finding the right person before God. But Jesus tells us that the first and greatest commandment is that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:29-30). Both you and the person you are dating should desire Christ more than you desire anything else. When we love Christ first, we see love differently, and can love the person we are with, in extraordinary ways. Be wary of those who claim to be in a relationship with Christ, but don’t reflect Christ in word, deed or action. Just because a person professes to be a Christian, doesn’t necessary mean they have Biblical-beliefs or Christ-based values. Jesus warns: “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules by rote” (Isaiah 29:13). It is important that we choose to date people who truly know God, and model this in their life choices.
You Pray Together
Prayer is an extremely powerful tool, particularly in the lives of those who believe in Christ. Couples in true Christian relationships lift each other up, particularly in prayer. Prayer can be a powerful tool in your relationship life. It promotes unity. The two of you become one in God by constantly seeking His counsel and fixing your eyes on him. Prayer also promotes emotional intimacy. Just like physical intimacy reaffirms oneness, praying together does the same. You better communicate with each other when you actively community with God. You can learn so much about each other through the listening of each other’s prayers to God.
You Both Know The Boundaries
When you are in a true Christian relationship, the motivation for getting involved in the relationship can be very different than those in non-Christ based relationships. The reason you are dating that particular person is because you believe the relationship will lead to marriage. In so many modern relationships, the goal isn’t marriage. Dating can even occur without marriage in mind. Individuals will date “just for fun” and can be extremely damaging given they lack emotional grounding. In a Christ-based relationship, boundaries are set, particularly related to physical intimacy so that the relationship maintains purity and is truly centered on God. Too often boundaries are not set in modern, non-Christ centered relationships, and they breakdown. The Bible tells us “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:12) In Christ-centered relationships, obedience supersedes passion. While it may be incredibly hard to not give in to passion, the authority of Christ should take precedence over physical desires. The boundaries and commitments we make in our relationships provide for the success of the relationship.
You Are in a Relationship of Love, Not Lust
In a true Christian relationship, love is the fruit of the spirit. You operate in love, not lust. To determine if your relationship is mutually in line with Christ it’s important to recognize if your relationship is operating based on love, not lust. Signs of lust include: (1) being totally focused on a person’s looks and body, (2) being interesting in sex, but not having conversations, (3) you would rather keep the relationship at a fantasy level, not discussing real feelings. While being in love doesn’t exclude lust, real love isn’t based on sexual desire alone. Lust is one of the seven deadly sins because it is an intense desire that controls your behavior, and keeps your focus away from God.
You Openly Discuss Faith
In a true Christian relationship, the topic, communication and frequency of conversations are all based on becoming more deeply acquainted with each other. The conversations are different. You openly discuss your faith with each other. You openly discuss your faith in an effort to build each other up. While you will have arguments and breakdowns, the conversations you have with each other don’t defraud but uplift.