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If our heart is not there — if our soul is not already safe through faith, if our mind is distracted and focused on other, lesser things, if our best strength is being spent on the things of this world — jobs, sports, shopping, entertainment, relationships, and on God — we simply will not date well. Listen to Jesus, and “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Seek him first (Matthew ), and dating will be added according to his perfect plan and timing. It’s not the first rule, but I have found that it is a “golden rule” that most often makes the difference between healthy and unhealthy Christian dating relationships.But after embracing and applying the first and greatest commandment, I have found that the . If you’re not a Christian — if you haven’t dealt with God before trying to date — you don’t have a chance of having a truly healthy Christian relationship with someone else.But even if you are a Christian, there are still a thousand more ways to subtly or blatantly reject God’s wisdom and fall into sin.The key will be to lean on other Christians who know you best, love you most, and have a proven record of telling you when you are making a mistake or wandering away from God’s will for you.The people willing to actually hold me accountable in dating have been my best friends.I’ve had lots of friends over the years, but the ones who have been willing to press in, ask harder questions, and offer unwanted (but wise) counsel are the friends I respect and prize the most.

Only they will be willing to say something hard, even when you’re so happily infatuated.My golden rule in dating is a warm, but unpopular invitation to — has dried out and gone stale in your life.But to be accountable is to be authentically, deeply, consistently known by someone who cares enough to keep us from making mistakes or indulging in sin.Dating often isolates us from other Christians in our lives.The closer we become with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the more removed we are from other important relationships. One way to walk wisely in dating is to oppose absolutely everything Satan might want for you.One Lord, one faith, one baptism — and a billion different dating tips.

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