Every dating relationship experiences peaks and troughs especially after the initial freshness has worn off. As Christians, we feel under added pressure; our expectations of ourselves are higher as we seek to apply God’s Word to our lives. As always, the best Christian dating advice is found in the Bible.
The most well known Bible verses on love are found in 1 Corinthians 13. Taking five principles of this famous passage in no particular order, let’s consider how to incorporate them into practical Christian dating advice.
Love is patient
No-one is perfect. We all test each other’s patience from time to time, often unintentionally. Next time you feel yourself at the end of your tether with your boyfriend or girlfriend put yourself in their shoes. Is their irritability due to a long stressful day? What else may be affecting their mood? Count to ten and ask God to help you.
Love is kind
All relationships thrive on trivial kindnesses. A bunch of flowers (handpicked is really romantic); cooking your spouse their favorite meal as a surprise or doing some of the household chores they loathe, for example. Kindness keeps that spark aflame. A little kindness goes a long way.
Love always trusts
Trust is not always easy to achieve, especially when we have been hurt in the past, either in this relationship or another. The Apostle Paul also reminds us that love perseveres. This is an essential component of Christian dating advice. How better to gain trust than to persevere? Who better to trust than God? If your relationship is fraught with tensions right now, place it into His care and trust Him with it.
Love does not envy
Perhaps your husband or wife’s career is in the ascendant. Perhaps you sense a nudge from the green-eyed monster of jealousy as their successes surpass yours. If you love someone rejoice with them in their achievements. God will bless you too in His time. As Paul subsequently reminds us, love is not self-seeking.
Love keeps no records of wrongs.
This is possibly the most important piece of Christian dating advice. It all comes back to Jesus urging us to forgive those who have wronged us so we too can receive forgiveness. (Mark 11:24-25). The next time you fight (and we are humans, it is inevitable) don’t resurrect all of the offenses you feel your partner has committed in the last month. After all, how would you feel if a list of your ‘wrongs’ was presented to you? If you want God to forgive you, you must first forgive others. It’s a liberating experience and breathes life into the most jaded relationships.
Read through 1 Corinthians 13 regularly. Nurture your relationship by applying these teachings to it and marvel at how it begins to flourish. Come back to the same passage when you are in need of Christian dating advice again. It’s all about love. After all, love never fails.