Christian Singles & Dating
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10 Christian Dating Advice Tips to Pursue a Godly Relationship

couple happily talking on date at coffee shop, dating advice tips

I recently met with a young woman who was tired of being the only one without a special someone. In college she had dated one man, but after that relationship ended she was insecure and afraid to get hurt again. Now, after many years of flying solo, she decided it was time to jump back into dating. However, there was no one in her church, at work, or any of her friendship circles who sparked her interest. So, she decided to go through a Christian dating service. She was excited to read the personal profiles of a number of men who she chose to date.

Sadly, every “Christian” man pressured her for sex. When she explained that she was a virgin and committed to sexual purity, one man aggressively attempted to change her mind, while others abruptly ended the date and never called her again. Does this sound familiar? Sadly, this young woman’s experience is all-too-common in Christian dating experiences. So, this article is for you. And if you’re a man wondering where to find your better half, you might also be looking for dating advice. 

With that in mind, let’s look at 10 godly relationship and Christian advice tips to know before you start dating.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes

Tip #1: Know Yourself

Ponder what attributes of your character would bless someone else. It’s natural to focus so much on what you want from a person, you forget to evaluate what you can give. So, before you make that list of your perfect someone, evaluate yourself.

Are you ready to be someone’s someone? And if so what would that look like? Honestly consider the type of person you are. Are you selfish or generous? Are you kind or harsh? When you picture yourself married, do you imagine all the things your spouse will do for you, or do you consider how your character qualities could be a blessing to a partner?

Most of us wrestle with being self-focused. We long for a prince charming who will fill all our emotional needs to give us a happy life we think we deserve. But if this is the goal of your dating experience you’ll likely become disappointed when, at some point, you realize another person cannot be the source of your happiness.

The best relationships are enjoyed by two people who know themselves well, realize their strengths, work on their weaknesses, and determine to give rather than expecting to receive.

Tip # 2: Prepare yourself

Psalm 119:  says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.” As you journey through life, God provides you with tools to discern where He would have you go. Meeting with God regularly in the pages of scripture is an excellent way to prepare yourself to date in a manner that brings Him glory, and protects you from being deceived or making life-altering mistakes.

Reading and memorizing scripture will transform you. Ask God to implant His Truth into your heart. You’ll never see yourself more clearly than through the lens of scripture. So make time to study the Bible. As you study, ask God to search your heart and reveal to you any areas in your life that He would like to make you more like Christ––before you start dating.

Don’t wait until you meet someone who catches your eye. Prepare yourself now for a godly dating life later. This practice will make you sensitive to the Lord’s leading to one day help you discern who He might have you marry.

two women friends conversation over coffee

Tip #3: Ask for Advice

When Allison and Sean met they had both come out of difficult relationships. Allison grew up in the church, but in a season of rebellion she’d gotten pregnant and was now a single mom. Allison says, “I wasn’t looking for anyone to date. I just wanted to raise my son and serve the Lord.”

One day while listening to a preacher on Christian Radio, Sean surrendered to Christ. When a co-worker invited him to church he went reluctantly. That’s where he met Allison. Sean said, “I had been in some pretty bad relationships. I didn’t think God would ever bless me with someone like Allison.”

As time went on, the two found themselves in the same small group Bible study, and other events that brought them together. Since both were unsure of what The Lord would have them do, they sought out godly counselors. Their pastor encouraged them not to date, so they could each mature in their walk with Christ.

Sean and Allison honored their mentor’s advice and remained friends for over a year. Then one day their pastor encouraged Sean to take Allison out to coffee. The rest is history. (You can read Allison and Sean’s entire love story in my book Real Life Romance.).

Learn from Sean and Allison’s story. Your emotions and sexual attraction may cause you to jump ahead of God’s timing. If you invite godly counselors, friends, and older mentors into your life you will discover a wealth of wisdom and non-emotional insights to help you discern when––and if, a particular person is someone you should date.

Tip#4: Evaluate Your Motives

Why do you want to date? Is it Because you’re seeking a life-long relationship in marriage? Or, are you only looking for someone to have fun with? Be aware, many Christian singles date with the motive of finding a spouse. Are you the guy who thinks, “Oh man. I don’t wanna get married. I just wanna go bowling?” If so, you may be better off going out with groups of Christian friends rather than dating one person in particular and dashing their hopes.

And if you are dating to find a spouse, don’t be that woman who goes on one date and then relentlessly manipulates the guy toward marriage. Dating with the hope of finding a spouse is a genuine motivation for most Christian singles at a certain age. But remember, dating is a way to see if you’re compatible––rather than a betrothal.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

Tip #5: Commit to Purity

Purity? What’s purity? When I was young and dating, I remember thinking, “Well as long as you don’t actually do the thing that makes a baby––you’re ok.” And truth be known, many of my Christian friends were under this same delusion. Maybe you think this is a fair standard as well. The problem lies in not understanding your sexuality. Let me explain. For more than 30 years my husband and I have done biblical premarital counseling with engaged couples. One of the final sessions is on enjoying sex in the marriage bed.

Hebrews 13:4 says the marriage bed is undefiled. God actually wants married couples to have a great sex life! So, He created our bodies to enjoy the act of marriage. And He made our bodies to respond to foreplay leading up to intercourse. (You may be uncomfortable, but stay with me here.) What happens when singles enjoy “make-out sessions” is they are actually involving themselves in foreplay, that act God designed to prepare our bodies for sex.

When unmarried couples play with this kind of fire, their bodies are thinking, Ok, I am preparing for sex. So, depending on how long this type of interaction occurs in their dating relationship, eventually, the couple’s defenses let down, and they give in to what their actions have been preparing their bodies to do.

In other words, foreplay is sex. It’s all sex. And in the marriage bed, it pleases the Lord. Outside of marriage, these actions will take you down a path that is not Spirit-led, confuses your emotions, and tempts you to have sex before you wed––even though you may have committed to staying pure.

You might be thinking, How prudish to expect Christian singles to abstain from sex until marriage. But God’s Word is unchanging. As a loving Father, His commands are for your protection and good.

When a Christian couple has sex before marriage, the Holy Spirit will convict their hearts of their sin. Many miss-matched couples have married out of guilt (or unplanned pregnancy) which leads to all kinds of difficulties in marriage.

And if you’re caught in the habitual sin of immorality, your actions quench the Spirit’s leading in your life. Imagine the trouble that can come from not being Spirit-led while making the most important decision of your life––choosing with whom you’ll marry and raise a family.

young couple talking on date and smiling

Tip #6: Consider the Qualities of a Godly Spouse

Before you start dating and your emotions have the potential to make you “bootie-blind,” consider the godly qualities you’re looking for. Whoever you date is a potential spouse. So, you would be wise not to date just for the sake of dating. You’ll fall in love with someone your dating, so make a plan to only date people who appear to have godly characteristics. I say “appear” because first impressions may not be true to who they are. With God’s help, spending time dating a person can help you discover their true identity.

Remember, the person you marry will be the one with whom you will serve the Lord and raise your children––if God blesses you with kids. While that guy with the beautiful blue eyes, sarcastic banter, and love for himself might put out a fun vibe, consider whether he has the potential to guide you, and your future family, toward knowing and loving Christ.

Tip #7: Evaluate the Type of Companion You Need in Your Life 

I recall a young man that I once dated. He was super attractive, drove a nice car, and was the guy any girl would want to date. However, the more time I spent with him, the more I realized how little he enjoyed talking about anything other than superficial banter. At one point, I even asked him if we could talk about deeper things. To which he replied, “Yeah-no, I’m not that guy.”

When I considered the type of life-long companion I needed, I knew it was someone who would welcome me talking through my thoughts and feelings. And I desired a spouse who would share with me his innermost thoughts as well. Although it was difficult to break off the relationship, I knew my older self would thank my younger self for making that choice. In-kind, take time to pretend to ask your older-self what to look for before you date.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages

Tip #8: Are They Kind?

I’ve been married to my husband, Steve, for 39 years. I can honestly say he is the kindest person I’ve ever known. He is kind to me, to our kids, and to others. When I was young, I observed how honorably he treated his parents, his siblings, and pretty much anyone else he encountered. The one time I remember him losing his temper was when we were dating. I was waterskiing. He was in the boat with friends. When I went down a boat behind me nearly ran me over. (I literally pushed the boat’s bow away from me!) When I came up from underwater Steve was shouting at the boat’s driver. I completely understand the reason for his less-than-kind response, but it truly took me by surprise to see his angry response, because anger was not in his wheelhouse.

Over the years I’ve met many individuals who overlooked harshness or anger triggers in one they dated. They convinced themselves their harshness, or anger, would not be an issue once they wed. Sadly, most of these people later found themselves trapped in a marriage where they must walk on eggshells to keep their spouse from flying into an angry tirade. So, learn from their mistakes. Look ahead and choose wisely whom you date.

And you must learn to practice kindness. It’s not fair to hold someone you’re dating to the high standard of kindness if you’re an unkind person. So, if you deal with anger issues, before dating seek out godly counselors to help you learn to respond with Christlike kindness. It’s tempting to say, “That’s just how I am.” But if you are in Christ, God calls you to not sin in anger. And if God calls you to it, He is more than able to help you change–-if you’re willing to do the work. Angry people raise angry people. But by God’s grace none of us have to pass anger on to our children.

Tip #9: Know Your Worth

Whether you were raised by parents who celebrated all of your accomplishments, or you grew up in foster care with few accolades, it is tempting to think your worth lies in finding someone to love you. Every fairytale delivers this subtle message.

But if you fall into this trap, you’ll search for a dating partner who will validate your worth. Whether you expect them to celebrate you as your parents did, or offer you affirmation that you didn’t receive as a child, eventually they will let you down. Because we are all human and don’t have the capacity to carry the heavy weight of being the source of someone’s worth.

God created you to long for love and to find your worth in who cares for you. But that type of love can only be found in a relationship with your Creator. The Bible says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God…” And, He showed us that great love by sending Jesus to die for our sins and purchase us with His blood to become God’s treasures. (See: 1 John 3:1, John 3:16, Revelation 5:9.)

The more committed you are to finding your value in Christ’s love for you, the more ready you will be to date for the right reasons. And, when you are confident in your worth because of Christ, you’ll not be that needy person who sucks the life out of the one they’re dating, in an attempt to find affirmation. (For more information on knowing Christ contact Rhonda at NoRegretsWoman.com)

That doesn’t mean you don’t want to date a person who compliments and affirms you. Or that you shouldn’t lift others up with your words. But when you are wisely grounded in God’s love for you, their compliments will endear them to you and bless you for the right reasons.

bride and groom sitting by lake at sunset

Tip #10: Don’t Obsess over Finding “the One”

While speaking to the women at a Christian singles retreat I told the story of my son being in the military. There was a woman in his platoon who always lagged behind. Since it was his job to be sure the unit finished the course together, he had to figure out how to help her keep in step. So, he would fall to the back and run with his hand in the small of her back. This act helped her keep the pace. With their eyes on the finish, the entire platoon, including the woman, ended the course together.

As I shared this story I said, “As believers, we are called to run the race with our eyes fixed on Jesus. And most of you are doing just that. However, what often happens for young adults looking for a mate is they start to fall behind. They take their eyes off the finish line to look for a spouse. But God wants you to run the race He has set before you––with your eyes fixed on Jesus (see Hebrews 12:1-2). God has so much He wants to accomplish through you at this season of your life. So, join the ranks of others who are zealous to run long and hard for Christ. And if one day while you’re running you happen to notice a man’s hand in the small of your back helping you run the race, maybe that’s the guy you should marry.”

As I spoke, Rachel thought, “Kody…that’s Kody!” Rachel and Kody had been friends for many years. They both worked together in youth ministry at their church and both were at the retreat. As Rachel pondered the idea of Kody being “the one” she prayed for the Lord to put it on Kody’s heart to pursue her. It wasn’t long before Kody asked Rachel to go on a date. That was five years ago. They’re now happily married, have two children, and continue to run the race for Christ––with his hand in the small of her back.

In the Christian community, finding real romance is not easy. So, in hopes of helping young adults trust God to providentially guide them toward true love, I wrote the book Real Life Romance. You can watch fun videos here of couples from the book sharing their stories.

Dating is not for the faint of heart. And if you’ve had your heart broken in the past it’s scary to trust again. But you are not alone when your trust is in the Lord, and His Word is a light to your path. You won’t regret it if you seek out godly mentors, and prepare yourself to be a godly mate before you start dating. And as you date, ask God to grant you His discernment while you walk in the Spirit, holding fast to faith and purity.

Photo credit: Pexels.com

Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 30 years experience of helping women build no-regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist. 

She’s committed to fulfilling the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you're visiting with a friend over coffee. 

Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, & hosts The No Regrets Hour. She’s an evangelist and speaker at women’s events, College Women’s Chapel, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and Homeschool Conventions. Sharing the gospel at her NoRegretsWoman Conference is her sweet spot. Rhonda is a regular contributor for Crosswalk and many other magazines.

Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who for 20 years has pastored First Baptist Church of Patterson, California.  They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and 10 grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com

Bonus:  Watch & Share this video of Rhonda Stoppe sharing the gospel message



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