Pray, swipe, repeat (the painful cycle)
Ah, the 21st-century Christian dating scene. The battleground where we brave the elements of church socials, Christian dating apps, and prayer meetings just to meet our God-ordained soulmate.
And let’s not forget the never-ending saga of praying for a sign, swiping right, and then back to the prayer closet we go.
But don’t worry, for this guide is here to help you navigate the rocky waters of dating as a Christian, and teach you when to walk away from a Christian relationship that just isn’t the right fit.
Defining a healthy Christian relationship
Before jumping into the rollercoaster of Christian dating, let’s pause for a second and define a healthy Christian relationship. It’s one where both partners are committed to growing in faith, love, and respect.
In a nutshell, it’s where you and your significant other are cruising together toward the Heavenly Kingdom with the occasional pit stop for ice cream and Bible study.
Are you really ready? It’s not you, it’s me
Before diving headfirst into the Christian dating pool, ask yourself: Am I ready for a relationship? Do I have a strong relationship with God? Have I dealt with my past baggage?
If not, you may want to consider taking some “me and Jesus” time before swiping right.
Remember, the strongest relationships are built on a solid foundation, and that foundation starts with you and God (Matthew 7:24-25).
Identifying your values and boundaries
Now, let’s get real. It’s crucial to identify your values and boundaries before you start dating. What are your non-negotiables? What are you willing to compromise on?
Knowing what’s essential to you makes it easier to recognize when a relationship isn’t the right fit.
Red Flags (the not-so-small stuff)
Lopsided spirituality: Who’s carrying the gospel load?
If you’re always the one leading Bible study or initiating prayer time, it might be a sign that your partner’s spiritual walk is more of a leisurely stroll.
And you don’t want to be dragging them up the mountain of faith, do you? So, be cautious of lopsided spirituality, and look for a partner who can walk side by side with you (Amos 3:3).
The respect-Patrol: are you cherished, or trampled?
If your partner treats you like the precious creation you are, awesome! But if they’re stomping all over your feelings and boundaries like a bull in a china shop, it’s time to step back and reevaluate.
A healthy Christian relationship is built on respect, love, and kindness (Ephesians 4:2-3).
Trust issues: God’s got your back, but do they?
A relationship without trust is like a car without wheels – it’s just not going anywhere.
If your partner’s trustworthiness is shakier than a Jenga tower, it’s time to have a serious conversation or consider walking away (Proverbs 3:5-6).
If priorities aren’t aligned: Who’s busy at the prayer meeting tonight?
When your partner’s schedule seems more devoted to Netflix binges than church commitments, it might be time to reevaluate.
Priorities matter, and it’s important to have a partner who shares your values and puts God first (Matthew 6:33).
Gaslighting: The good ol’ manipulation game
There’s no room for manipulation in a healthy Christian relationship.
If your partner is constantly trying to control, deceive, or twist the truth, it’s time to grab your Bible and make a beeline for the nearest exit (Ephesians 4:25).
Faith compatibility: The dating atheists debacle
When it comes to dating non-believers, tread carefully. While it’s true that God can work miracles, you don’t want to rely on divine intervention to change your partner’s heart.
So, before you get serious with someone who doesn’t share your faith, consider the potential challenges and heartache you might face (2 Corinthians 6:14).
How deep is your love? (Jesus approves the Bee Gees)
Love is more than just butterflies and candlelit dinners; it’s a selfless, sacrificial commitment to another person.
A Christ-centered relationship should be built on love that reflects God’s love for us (1 John 4:7-8). It might be time to reevaluate if your partner’s love is as shallow as a kiddie pool.
What do you mean I’m wrong about the End Times? (the must-agree theological pile)
While it’s unlikely you’ll find a partner who agrees with you on every theological point, it’s essential to be on the same page about core beliefs.
If your partner’s theology is as shaky as a house of cards, you might want to rethink the relationship (1 Corinthians 1:10).
When Values Clash (ah, romance)
Singles ministry vs. couple’s retreat – to merge or not to merge?
When you’re dating someone with different ministry goals, it’s essential to have open communication and find ways to support each other’s passions.
But if your partner is unwilling to compromise or expects you to abandon your calling, it might be time to walk away (Philippians 2:3-4).
Abstinence and commitment – living with temptation
In today’s world, the pressure to compromise on physical boundaries can be intense. But God calls us to honor our bodies and remain pure until marriage (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).
If your partner is pushing you to cross your boundaries, it’s a red flag that needs addressing.
When Things Get Complicated
Long-distance relationships: when one of you ends up in a monastery
Whether it’s a mission trip or a job relocation, long-distance relationships can be challenging. If you’re committed to making it work, communication and trust are vital.
However, it might be time to reevaluate if the distance becomes too much to handle or you feel like you’re growing apart (Proverbs 16:9).
Unequally yoked? – What if they’re dragging you down?
If your partner’s spiritual journey is more like a slow crawl, you might struggle to maintain your walk with God.
In this case, it’s crucial to have an honest conversation and seek guidance from trusted friends or spiritual leaders (1 Corinthians 15:33).
The Breaking Point
Identifying irreconcilable differences: The turning point of no return
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find that your differences are simply too great to overcome.
When you’ve reached this point, it’s essential to be honest with yourself and your partner, and recognize that it’s time to walk away (Proverbs 4:23).
Taking a step back: Self-reflection, prayer, and decision-making
Before making any drastic decisions, take time for self-reflection, prayer, and seeking guidance from trusted friends or spiritual leaders.
It’s crucial to discern God’s will for your relationship and ensure that your decision is rooted in love and wisdom (James 1:5).
The breakup talk: Love, compassion, and a heavy dose of Christianity
Breaking up is never easy, but it’s crucial to approach the conversation with love, compassion, and honesty.
Be gentle but firm in expressing your reasons for ending the relationship, and remind your partner of your love and respect for them (Ephesians 4:15).
The bright side: Growth, lessons learned, and sweet, sweet self-care
Breakups can be challenging but offer valuable opportunities for growth, learning, and self-care.
Embrace the healing process, lean into your relationship with God, and remember that He has a perfect plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it ever okay for a Christian to initiate a breakup?
Absolutely! If you’ve carefully considered your reasons for ending the relationship, prayed about it, and sought guidance from trusted friends or spiritual leaders, then initiating a breakup is okay.
Just remember to approach the conversation with love and compassion.
How can I turn to God during the tumultuous breakup process?
Lean into your relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and surrounding yourself with a supportive Christian community.
Seek comfort in God’s promises and remember that He is with you during this challenging time (Psalm 34:18).
Is there a Biblical basis for ending a relationship?
While the Bible doesn’t explicitly address breaking up, it does provide guidance on relationships, love, and wisdom.
It’s essential to apply these principles when discerning whether it’s time to end a relationship (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Proverbs 4:23).
Can two Christians who break up still be friends?
It’s possible, but it depends on the individuals and the circumstances surrounding the breakup.
It’s essential to give each other space to heal and grow, and then reassess whether a friendship is feasible and healthy for both parties (Proverbs 17:17).