Over 50% of Americans are single! Wow! Some because of a recent breakup or divorce, some because of the death of a spouse, and others because they are waiting on Mr. or Ms. Right. I’ve heard this question multiple times, “Does the Bible say anything to single people?” The short answer is every verse in it is for single people. Remember that all principles of character, morality, and holiness apply to those single, married, with children, or without – if you breathe and are of the human species all Scripture is meant for you.
Specifically, let me give you a few signs and scriptures that should direct you in your dating and pursuit of marriage. Here are ten guidelines: #1. I firmly believe Christians should only date and marry other Christians. 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells Believers not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Don’t ask them if they believe in God, make sure He is their Lord! Their greatest qualities should be the fruit of Spirit (Galatians 5:19-20) and the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). If you want to get real crazy with this one, ask them what their pastor’s name is, what was the sermon topic last week, and who they are being accountable to for spiritual growth. #2. Do they compromise Scripture? You want someone who will lead you in following Christ, not away from Him. Their lifestyle now is the one they will take into the marriage. Sure, they can grow, but are they?
#3. Do they have a goal of sexual purity in dating? Marriage comes first (Genesis 2:24), then sex (Genesis 2:25). Clearly God created sex to be a blessing in the context of Marriage and He desires us to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Real love will protect your purity for your potential spouse. If not, they just lust you. #4. Do you always find yourself defending them to the people around you? What do others see that you can’t or refuse to acknowledge? Bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). Don’t suffer harm through the companion of fools (Proverbs 13:20). #5 Are they verbally, mentally, physically, or in any way abusive to you? Everyone makes mistakes but are they correcting them? Remember, they are giving you their best now before marriage. You are too valuable to the Lord to put up with someone’s abuse.
#6. Are they “spurring you along to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24)? Do they sharpen you spiritually (Proverbs 27:17)? Do they at least try? #7. Let’s get real practical for a moment – are they lazy, can they hold down a job, how is their hygiene, and are they responsible? Do they pay for their own gas in their car? Do they live with, I mean take advantage of, their mom? There are tons of Scriptures for these when it comes to responsibility and character. #7. How do they act when they are angry? Do they forgive quickly? Do they say they are sorry? Does pride motivate them to do stupid things? Ask yourself, “Are they slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to anger” (James 1:19)? #8. How did they treat the person they were with before you? What you don’t fix in your past relationship will be carried into a future relationship.
#9. What is their reputation like in the community? Who do they hang around? Do they love what the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16-19)? Are they trustworthy? Are they trying to better themselves? Are they selfish, loving, kind, and gentle? Are they a liar? Is their “best friend” someone of the opposite sex who isn’t you? That’s a HUGE red flag! I’ve never seen that work out well. #10. How well do you really know them? Are they an open book to you? Do they hide the contents of their cell phone from you? Here’s a bonus: Has the Lord told you to end this relationship but you cannot for some reason? Your relationship with God affects every other relationship you have. Allow Him to lead you into greener pastures and peaceful waters not septic fields and contaminated sludge.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.