Living a life that glorifies God is our purpose in life. So, how do we ensure that our dating relationships glorify God? How do we balance living a life where we are growing in our walks with Christ and also have a dating relationship that glorifies Him?
There isn’t anything in the Bible about dating (because it didn’t exist back then!) so it can seem impossible to know what God would desire our dating lives to look like. But we do know other things in the Bible: how to glorify Christ with your life, how to treat your brothers and sisters in Christ, and how God created marriage to glorify Him. We can look at all this and know fairly clear how to date well.
Lets start with a very important truth: the purpose of dating is for marriage. Now, I am not at all saying you need to know if you are going to marry him before your first date or that you even need to be talking about the serious details of a future marriage in the first period of dating. Only that you should be dating him because he has the qualities of a man that you could potentially, one day see yourself married to. This means that dating should lead towards how marriage is portrayed in the Bible.
One important way to start practicing a marriage that will glorify Christ is to allow room for growth. Realize that God has given us a person who will be able to help us see our sin and then we can submit it to Christ asking for growth. I so often fail at this—when my fiancé points out a place where I need to grow I immediately put up a wall, get defensive and feel hurt. In these moments we should instead realize that God is using our significant other to sanctify us and grow us. Walk humbly in your relationship and allow room for growth by listening and knowing this is a beautiful opportunity (this is if you know that he is walking in Christ, of course, and not if he is speaking to you out of his sin).
Take time in dating to also practice selflessness. In marriage this will be so vitally important for success. This can look like so many things, but one way is to not fight about the little things: if he wants to eat a burger and you would rather have sandwiches, maybe just love him by eating burgers. Or it can also look like serving him when he doesn’t even ask, like bringing him his favorite coffee to work when you know he has a long day. Begin making steps to selflessly look at your relationship rather than selfishly seeking for him to satisfy your desires.
Ultimately, just be excited! Knowing that your relationship could one day be a marriage is not a burden. Marriage is the one relationship that looks like Christ and the Church. The ultimate love Christ has for the church is how your husband will love you. You will sometimes get to see in your significant other’s selfless, unconditional love, which gives you a new and beautiful understanding of who God is and how expansively He loves you. How wonderful is that? It is such a blessing that Christ allows us to know Him more through a marriage that strives to glorify Him.