How To Date a Christian
Figuring out how to be a Christian dater isn’t much different than learning how to be any other kind of dating single. There are some tips to keep in mind when dating a follower of Christ or trying to be more Christlike in your dating life. With that in mind, here are tips to dating a Christian and suggestions for your own religious dating makeover.
Don’t try to fake it. Falsehood and insincerity are the antithesis of Christianity. While not all self-professed Christians seem to understand this, the Christian viewpoint is that all people are inherently imperfect and all people (including Christians) have their own faults. So be yourself and don’t try to cover up your faults when dating a Christian.
Be honest about your views on Christianity, too. If you are a non-Christian, let your friend or date know that, if asked. If you are agnostic, but you would like to learn more about Christian doctrine and have an eye toward becoming a Christian, then voice your inner thoughts. If you are Christian, but not from the same denomination as your Christian date, don’t cover up this fact.
They say it’s best not to discuss religion or politics on a date, especially a first date, but if you are asked about your faith, that is no reason to deny your faith (or lack of faith). I would remind you of St. Peter, who three times before the dawn denied his relationship to Christ, only to be shamed and devastated by his lack of courage. Sure, Peter went on to become the first Pope (if you believe the Catholics), but that should tell you everything about the imperfection of man and Christian man alike.
When dating a Christian, listen to their beliefs and try to keep an open mind. Discuss with this person their belief system, their thoughts on life and the afterlife, as well as their hopes for the future in this life. Stay open-minded and don’t judge.
Also, don’t interject your own beliefs. If you are simply trying to push your own beliefs, however valid you view those beliefs, you aren’t listening; you are trying to be heard. So listen and think about what your date is saying to you.
In the end, if you reject their beliefs or you can’t reconcile your beliefs with theirs, a relationship between the two of you might not be a good idea, but that decision can come later. For now, simply listen.
Learn About Your Date’s Faith
When you start a serious dating relationship with a Christian, try to learn about their personal faith. Christians are going to fall into two groups: the lifelong Christian who was born into the Church and the born-again Christian who found or rekindled their belief later in life.
In the latter case, learn what led this person to Christianity, because this might apply to your life. The born-again Christian is typically going to be more worldly, and may have lived the wild life of a sinner prior to finding God. The two of you might find common ground in a common past.
In the former case, learn what it’s like to be raised in Christ. Since your dating partner might not have been exposed to life outside the Christian church or a non-Christian family life, you might have to expose them to a perspective outside the world of their devout circle of friends and family. Hopefully, they will be open-minded and tolerant of your life choices and learn something from your experiences.
In either case, discussing your different pasts should bring you closer together. If the discussion separates the two of you or causes tension, this might be a sign you aren’t made for one another.
Be Willing to Grow
Your Christian dating partner is likely to hope for a Christian spouse, eventually. If that’s the case, then you have to decide whether you are seriously interested in a life relationship with this person and whether you will become a Christian yourself.
If that is something you want, be ready to grow into your Christian belief. Start from the beginning and try to grasp the good word and the philosophy. The best your partner can hope is you give an honest effort to become a Christian. Christians believe that God will help those who help themselves and accept those who truly want to worship Christ. That means you can become a Christian.
Don’t Pressure the Christian into Un-Christian Acts
If you’re serious about being a Christian dater and respecting the faith of the Christians, you have to practice the tolerance that people expect from practicing Christians. This means respecting their beliefs, opinions, decisions and actions even when you don’t agree with them.
This means avoiding the temptation to lead a Christian down an impious path. Understand the Christian belief system and try to avoid corrupting those beliefs. This stands whether you are a Christian dating another Christian or a non-Christian dating a person of faith.
Being a good dating partner is about enriching the other person’s life, showing respect and sharing love (whether it’s Christian love or romantic love or both). If this person has beliefs about sex before marriage, drinking or drug use, don’t try to pressure this person down that path. Christians can go down that path like anyone else, so you’re being intolerant by trying to force someone into betraying their beliefs.
If you can’t live without sexual intimacy or you simply have no interest in that lifestyle, the relationship isn’t going to work and you’re better off just being friends. If this person is devout and they get involved in things they don’t feel comfortable doing, it’s going to cause them pain and heartache and will likely create tensions in the relationship. And if they give up their beliefs to live your lifestyle, in effect giving up God to follow you, they weren’t a devout Christian anyway, so you shouldn’t get any thrill in corrupting them.
Don’t Accept Intolerance
When you want to learn how to be a Christian dater, you shouldn’t be intolerant or accept intolerance of your faults. Many Christians tend to highlight the harsh Old Testament view as a code of conduct for own their lives. If that’s the case, you might remind them that all those figures in the Old Testament came before Jesus Christ, and therefore were pre-Christians.
One major subtext of the Old Testament (in the Christian faith) is that the humans before Christ all fell short of God’s grace without a personal savior. The harshness and intolerance shown in the pre-Christian tales are therefore the doings of non-Christians and not Christians; therefore, following these Biblical figures as a guideline for a Christian life isn’t a particularly logical idea. In fact, these people followed Judaic customs, and therefore using Old Testament conduct is akin to following a kind of Judaism instead of Christianity. (That should get their goat, but you’ll be right.)
Of course, Jesus was about more than tolerance. Jesus said “Do not think I came to put peace upon the earth. I came to put, not peace, but a sword.” That doesn’t mean that Jesus came to start a war. He was talking about whether one should love his message or their family more. Jesus replied that his message would bring strife, even among families, so that a person must follow his word before even the word of treasured parents. Nothing should stand in the way of the Christian following their faith.
But Isn’t That Saying to Be Intolerant and Pushy?
Well, in a way. Jesus also said to hate the sin, not the sinner. Love your family; love your neighbors; but don’t let them convince you to live without Christ. That is the meaning of the sword. Christ’s message will bring strife, even in families.
So a Christian has should be tolerant, but should proclaim their faith. That means a good Christian isn’t always going to be popular. A good Christian is going to have certain values they follow, no matter what the crowd says. A good Christian will follow certain codes, whether their boyfriend or girlfriend or fiance or spouse agrees with it or not.
If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, you probably should think twice before deciding how to be a Christian dater.