Is Dating a Sin in the Bible?

Is Dating a Sin in the Bible?
Written by Christopher Turk

The Bible never mentions dating. Some people think dating is a sin, but the Bible doesn’t say much about it. Dating in its present form did not exist in biblical times. People started arranged marriages, often marrying relatives. 

While the word “dating” is never mentioned in the Bible, verses and passages does say what love and a healthy relationship should look like. For these reasons, it can still be used as a model for how to date.

The foundation for marriage is dating and intimate connections. The Bible claims that although we have a right to everything, not everything suits us. Therefore, it is improper for two people to be together and assume the duties of married people until they are united as married couples.

What does the Bible Say About Dating?

Some claim that dating is not sinful as long as the individuals are old enough to understand the relationship’s goals. Although the Bible does not speak directly about dating, it does say much about human relationships, godly association, and principles that apply to dating.

Let’s take a look at these verses that talk about dating. Let these Bible verses back up our argument so you can judge for yourself.

2 Peter 2:20 says that the worldview may be arbitrarily current, but it’s important to discover a person’s character before committing to it.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-15,  as Christians, we should not marry unbelievers. It weakens our relationship with Christ and jeopardizes our morals and standards.

Matthew 10:37 says whether it’s dating or courtship, when you’re in a committed relationship, never forget to put your love for the Lord above all else.

In John 3:3-8 and Philippians 2:5, we ought to ascertain whether the person has been reborn in the spirit of Christ and whether they have the same aspiration to obey Christ.

Galatians 5:20 and Colossians 3:5  talk about idolatry, a sin to assert or believe that another person is the most important or “everything” in one’s life.

Per 1 Corinthians 6:9, 13; 2 Timothy 2:22, do not defile your body during premarital sex, and 1 Corinthians 6:18 states that sexual immorality is a transgression against our own bodies as well as God.

Romans 12:9-10 says that it is important to love and respect others as we love ourselves.

Dating Boundaries as a Christian

Christian dating boundaries are uncertain. By definition and design, dating is somewhere between friendship and marriage, so Christian men and women are constantly trying to navigate the chaos that uncommitted romance always creates.

God designed the two always to be connected, so it’s hard to know how much romance you’ll indulge in when your commitments are limited.

You should make the most of your dating experience to find out if marriage is in the cards.You should be vulnerable enough for the other person to get to know you well.

However, while dating is not a lifetime commitment like marriage, you still want to avoid becoming overly emotionally involved with someone you might not marry. As a result, you still need to be very careful.

So let us list the boundary categories to consider in Christian dating relationships.

Boundaries around your emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy is essential in Christian dating. As a Christian, you are called to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23, NIV). While this is a clear biblical command, it is less clear to keep your heart in check while dating.

The degree of emotional connection should increase as the level of commitment tightens. Broken hearts result from emotional ties without commitment.

Spouses have committed to one of the most significant relationships possible in the world. They should be able to share everything with each other. On the other hand, it would be best if you didn’t divulge everything to your boyfriend or girlfriend because you’re not yet at the highest level of commitment. 

Having Boundaries Around Talking About Your Futures Together

Much like your emotions, planning for the future together in a Christian dating experience requires more commitment. Make sure you have healthy boundaries when discussing your future if you want to maintain your emotions and heart in a healthy place when dating.

Boundaries Around Your Expectations 

Dating should be fun. And one of the fun parts of dating is the hope it often brings. Hope is the joyful expectation that something good will happen. Our ultimate hope should be in Jesus Christ, but there should be a healthy amount of hope that a dating relationship will lead to marriage.

We need to set limits on our expectations and hopes in Christian relationships. Do not rush in with astronomically high hopes. Ask God to give you healthy, realistic values. List your goals for each Christian dating season and try to balance your emotions and logic.

Dating should be vulnerable. Being closed off and hopeless will ruin the whole experience from the start. You have to be smart too. Postponed hope makes the heart sick. So, to protect your heart, you need to make sure your desired level is appropriate for when your Christian dating relationship actually is.

Boundaries Around Your Sexuality 

Sexual boundaries are probably the most common temptation to fall into, so they’re the first thing most people think about. The more difficult element will be defining what constitutes a sexual act and what constitutes a simple display of affection.

Boundaries for Your Words and Promises

Your level of connection and your commitment level must match. If you want to protect your heart, be careful what you say. Don’t tell anyone you love them. Of course, there are different levels of love. But saying “I love you” to someone you’re in a relationship with awakens many things that only people contemplating marriage should wake up to.

Bottom Line

Dating may be gratifying as you get to know others if you, as a Christian, can handle yourself properly and refrain from engaging in sinful activity. However, you will regret dating for the rest of your life if you partake in activities that create sexual desire.

Although the Bible does not specifically mention dating, it does give us many stories of courtship, marriage, and love. All Scripture shows the love Christ has for his people. That’s the kind of love we should emulate in dating and, ultimately, in marriage.

About the author

Christopher Turk

Christopher is the lead elder/pastor of the local Christian church in Penticton, British Columbia. He has a dedication to serving his Lord's church and a pulpit competence that honors the legacy of his predecessor. Christopher is a passionate visionary for the Lord and His Kingdom! His church ministry background spans over 30 years of full-time service.