By Nikki Dabney
As Christians, we want to have a God-centered dating relationship. Most of us take that to mean doing a lot of spiritual things together. But spiritual unity is actually for marriage. In dating, two people revolving their own lives around God leads to a godly relationship.
I was not aware that relationships were supposed to have spiritual boundaries until I came to college, and several older women spoke Truth into my life. So what should those boundaries be?
Should you pray together?
My mentor put it this way: praying with her husband was like seeing him naked before the Lord. That’s intimate, friends.
Prayer was not meant to be a shallow experience. It can cause a couple who is simply getting to know each other to form a tight bond.
Is it okay to pray over a meal together or in a group? Probably. Search your heart on that. I know that for me, hearing a man I love pray is the most attractive thing in the world to me. And that makes sense. Because we are attracted to the Jesus in the men we date.
Should you go to church together?
If you are searching for a new church home, I would highly recommend not searching with your boyfriend or going through the membership process together. If you happen to choose the same church as your boyfriend, fine! But you are not one flesh, so you do not need to be making decisions together. Grab a sister in Christ and visit churches with her!
If you already go to the same church as a guy and you start dating, you do not need to suddenly switch churches to set up a spiritual boundary haha. In fact, praise Jesus! What a cool way to meet! However, there are still some boundaries that would be wise to set.
One time a loving friend told me I shouldn’t always sit with my boyfriend at church. It can portray oneness and be a distraction. Wise advice.
Should you read the Bible together?
Your time in the Word should not be bound to his. I would advise you to study the Bible separately and then share what you have been learning. It will lead to amazing God-centered conversations!
I have definitely crossed the line in this area. And now there are parts of my Bible I read that just remind me of intimate moments with him. My mind should be on Jesus when I read His Word, not a man.
Emotional unity is a part of marriage. Physical unity is a part of marriage. But marriage is about spiritual unity that glorifies Christ. So it’s interesting that we are so quick to put up physical boundaries when dating, but we neglect the spiritual.
The deepest part of you – your soul – is meant to be shared in marriage.
In summary of this dating boundaries series:
- We should stop acting like we’re married when we’re dating
- Boundaries will only bless you
“Marriage should be honored by all.” – Hebrews 13:4a