• Nick Henderson

How to lead a Christ - centered dating relationship

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” - 1 Corinthians 10:31

Through many mistakes, I have somehow stumbled into a fair amount of knowledge in this area.

For the vast majority of my life I have not led Christ - honoring dating relationships. God has always been apart, but rarely at the center of them.

In fact, my current fiance and I broke up for close to nine months because of how poorly we operated in this realm. Thankfully, we got it sorted out and are in a healthy, God - honoring spot now. But through the process, I learned some valuable lessons about how to keep Christ number one in a dating relationship.

The lessons are as follows:

1. Date with the intent of marrying someone. Don't hear me wrong. I am not saying to rush into marriage, but you certainly should be dating with the goal of marrying one day.

Dating in light of marriage helps put things into perspective and allows us to ask the tough questions necessary to keep Christ at the center of the relationship.

If you are dating or thinking of dating someone you couldn't see yourself marrying then it's best to respectfully end that relationship asap.

Why prolong the inevitable? You can mess around with a lot of things in life, other people's feelings are not one of them.

2. Don't treat the other person like your spouse, yet. This happens when the first one is taken to far. The best way to have a healthy dating relationship is to remind yourself it is exactly that - a dating relationship, not a marriage.

Keep lofty expectations, dependency and overthinking to a minimum. Just enjoy the simplicity of your current season. Do your own things, have your hobbies, but simultaneously appreciate the time you both do get with one another.

3. Do something spiritual together every day. Doing this will keep both your eyes on the prize of honoring Christ. It will serve as a daily reminder for what the relationship is all about.

You can read the bible together or even pray with one another. It doesn't have to be a grandiose thing - just something to keep your Heavenly Father at the forefront.

4. Pray for one another every day. Prayer is powerful. It has immense spiritual implications, as well as practical ones.

As you pray for people you develop a soft heart towards them. (Which is why Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies). You having a soft heart comes in handy when, inevitably, someone messes up or frustrates the other person. You'll be able forgive and move past it quickly.

5. Make sure you are honoring Christ in your own life. As they tell you on a flight, before putting the oxygen mask on your loved ones, make sure you have one on first. Why? Because you can't help anyone else if you haven't helped yourself first.

The same is true in relationships. If you think you can lead someone else to honor God without honoring Him in your own life you are misled.

So, before you read the bible together with your boyfriend make sure you yourself have a quiet time.

Prior to you praying every day with your girlfriend, be certain that you consistently go to God in prayer privately first.

This list is clearly not exhaustive, but have been valuable lessons for me as I have navigated my own relationship. Put these into practice and I know they will keep you and your partner clinging to Christ as well.

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