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What should a healthy Christian dating relationship be?

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The whole purpose of dating is to find out if a person is suitable for marriage. Genesis 2:24. (This post isn't to deal with if a person is ready to date or not. It's once you get past that. Focusing on the next part, which is starting a relationship.)
While marriage is often mentioned about in the Bible and how it should be pure and for the glory of God, the process leading up to it, I find, is not mentioned (at least it hasn't shown itself to me). It should, though! Especially in this day and age when the media completely muddles and rearranges the concept of dating and marriage. I know each relationship is different and moves at different paces, but a general process should be...what?

Having recently gotten into a dating relationship myself, I've been wondering...

So what does a healthy Christian dating relationship look like? What are the stepping stones one must cross in order to build a relationship that God approves of? Which couples (Biblical or not) can we use as a model?


The few bits I can think of are that

  • the two parties in the relationship must be Christian and love God first and above all things including each other. Matthew 10:37 The point of it all is to love and glorify God.
  • love is precious and comes from God. The famous 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 talks about love and what it should be.
  • trust is essential. Without that, there is no relationship. Proverbs 3:5-6 says we must trust God, otherwise we're lost. A couple must be able to have trust in each other (and God) and remain faithful.
  • forgiveness and patience are essential. Ephesians 4:32
  • start praying together?
What else is there? How can we get started on the right track?
 
Member
I think a healthy Christian dating relationship would be one that moves towards marriage and towards oneness and unity with each other (which is what marriage is about). A dating relationship that is settling for friendship or Christian brotherhood/sisterhood is ultimately not heading in the right direction and not healthy dating. My advice would be, if they or you can't see yourself or imagine yourself marrying the person you are dating within a reasonable amount of time (give some time to get over the infatuation phase), it's not worth continuing. So some key ingredients might be,

Time,
Effort,
Money,
Physical and sexual attraction,
Commitment,
Communication,
Compromise,
Trust,
Wisdom,
Sacrifice,
Self-denial,
Laughter/Humor
Praise
Thankfulness

Christians tend to underestimate the value of or importance of physical attraction and money, but they are fairly important in the dating stage.

According to the Bible, if two people believe in Jesus, and are one woman and one man, then they are suitable for marriage (2 Cor 6:14, 1 Cor 7:28), and any such marriage between believers would be approved by God.
 
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Member
Thank you for your valuable input. :) The verses are quite helpful!

How long would you say the infatuation phase lasts?
 
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