Part of the reason I wanted to start a blog while I was still young was so I could remember all of the details that some people might forget from their dating era. Once you get married, it’s very easy to have seen yourself only having that one relationship that led to marriage and forget about everything that came before. But today, I’m here to talk about the best dating advice I have received and can give to you. Plus, how to make the most out of your relationship by keeping it Christ-Centered. So let’s get started.
I’ll start off by telling you what dating was like for myself. First of all, I was boy crazy. Since I was a toddler, I had to be around boys. I would chase boys around on the playground like it was my job. Then middle school comes around and crushes become a serious topic of discussion like no other. Not to mention, I wasn’t the prettiest, most athletic, or smartest girl in school (Thank Heaven for Glow-ups), so that made it even harder. We are talking about puberty, hormones, menstrual cycles, school, church, family, sports, summer jobs, and adding to the mix, trying to get a boy to like you?! Talk about YIKES. Then, BOOM, you’re a Freshman, and all of a sudden all the guys like you, especially the Juniors and Seniors. Now, if you are in or going to be in high school this year, take this word of advice and WALK THE OTHER WAY. In my opinion, high school relationships are immature and pointless. I missed out on so much of my high school life because I thought Johnny was going to be “the one”. Trust me, girlfriend, take your time and enjoy all that high school has to offer because you might hate it currently, but you’ll miss so much more of it than you might realize.
ANYHOO, if you are in a dating relationship, you’re probably telling me to shut up about the reminiscing and to get to the point. Fine, fine, as you wish. Now, keep in mind if you go to your YouVersion Bible App and type in “dating” to the search bar, you’re going to find “0” results come up that directly link to the topic of dating. Now, why is that? Well, dating and courtship just really aren’t a thing in the Bible. In scripture, you generally see a man who liked a woman, went to her father, and then was engaged to that woman for a minimal amount of time before they became married. Pretty simple really. Society has really created this “need” in us that we need relationships to fill a void before we find one man to spend the rest of our days with. Which brings me to my first piece of advice.
The best advice I can give you for a dating relationship is KNOW YOUR END GOAL.
Before we talk about why this piece of advice is so crucial, we need to talk about the difference between “going on dates” and dating”. When you go on dates, make it casual, have fun, enjoy all the experiences of getting to know a new person before entering into a relationship. However, when you transition into a relationship with a person, this hopefully means that you see the potential of marriage with this individual. Most of the advice I will be giving from this point out is to the woman already in a dating relationship looking for ways to eventually develop what they have into a marriage.
“Abigail, I’ve been dating So-and-So for years, but I don’t consider myself ready for marriage.” Whenever a young woman says that or something like that to me, I gently ask her, “Then what are you getting out of this relationship?” They usually respond with “Well, maybe someday we will get married.” or “It’s just a casual relationship.” or my favorite “I don’t know.”
Before you enter into a dating relationship, you need to have enough self-awareness and control to know whether or not you are ready for marriage. All relationships have incredible bonds and if you tie yourself to a relationship that could potentially go nowhere in the future, you are possibly setting your self up for heartache. You and this guy you are with eventually have to make the decision that you are not dating for the fun of it all, that you both eventually want marriage when the timing is right. Along with that, talk about your hopes, goals, dreams, plans, and where God is leading you two. Sometimes talking about these things can show you that this person is not who you are meant to be with. You might have a heart for missions in Africa, but He might be called to start a church plant down south. Nonetheless, at some point you have to have these discussions.
Second, be the wife you want to be in marriage, while you’re dating.
Take it from me, marriage changes you, and there is no right or wrong answer as to how relationships are done. However, one thing I should have worked ten times harder on was showing Ethan who I was going to be as his wife while we were dating. Us young women like to make eggs and bacon in the mornings then post it to Instagram with #wifeymaterial under it. That’s all cool and stuff, but marriage is so much more than making food and doing his laundry every three days. That’s why I’m so passionate about these blogs, to bring out the reality of being a wife and fighting for your marriage every day. Are you fighting for your marriage that doesn’t even exist yet though? Are you on your knees praying every day for guidance and wisdom for your husband, even if it is not the man you are with now? There are spiritual battles happening all around us, Warrior Bride, and your husband needs you to be preparing yourself for the toughest moments ahead. Ephesians 6:10-15 NIV says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
It might be helpful that you can whip up some great meals and keep a tidy home, which is a Biblical privilege as a wife, but more importantly, your relationship with Christ shows your true strength and courage. Sure, you might just be dating now, but if you eventually want him to put a ring on it, you need to put your intimacy with Christ into action. Study what it looks like to be a biblical wife. Talk to women who are wives and dig deep into what they have done to have successful marriages. Read books by other women who have struggled and fought to create a powerful testimony through their marriage and then pray about how to make that a reality for your future marriage as well. If becoming a wife is truly what you have on your heart to become, then allow Christ to guide you and sculpt you into one.
Keep Him Pure.
I will probably talk about purity in just about every dating blog I post from here on out. Why? Because our society struggles a ton with it, am I right? I love statistics so here is one for you. According to the ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s’ recent survey in 2017 of all high school students, 40% of them claimed to have had sexual intercourse. 10% had four or more partners. This breaks my heart a ton. God created sex, He loves sex. A lot of the book of Song of Solomon is a man and wife rejoicing together over each other’s bodies that only they get to experience as husband and wife.
Now, do you love science? Here are some facts for the taking! God actually created us to have special bonding mechanisms in our bodies, such as dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin. When you have sex, you release the chemical ‘Dopamine’ which is compared to the same effects that heroin has on us. It makes you want it more because it is your personal reward and pleasure system. ‘Oxytocin’, is a hormone released mainly in women. An example of oxytocin and how it affects the brain is when a mother is breastfeeding her child, she develops an incredibly strong bond, enough that she would lay down her life for her child. The same reaction happens in a woman’s brain when she is intimate with a man. ‘Vasopressin’ is practically the same as oxytocin but for men. Over time, the more sex you have outside of marriage and the more partners you have, the less effect these hormones and chemical have in your brain until they eventually become numb.
You see? God flawlessly created us to be with one man to develop a special bond like no other. No one else should have access to the way you are intimately able to serve your future spouse. That practice begins in your dating days. I’m not going to tell you that you need to set boundaries and follow this “Seven Step Plan to Successful Purity Keeping” because that’s crazy. Not everything that worked for me will work for you. However, I can tell you, no matter how hard the temptation might be, it is so worth it. Let’s be honest, you don’t know that you will end up marrying the guy you are with right now. Do not give your boyfriend husband privileges. Plain and simple. If you want to sit down and grab some chai tea lattes over the matter, I’m more than happy to.
Ultimately, your dating relationship should be God-honoring at all times. When people are around you two, how are you influencing them to have a deeper relationship with Christ? When people aren’t around, what are you enforcing in your relationship so that you might not falter? These are the questions you should be asking yourself.
If you have questions, want deeper insight, or want to give feedback, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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