Updated: Apr 28
What does the Bible say about dating?
For starters, the Bible is not just another book of history, mysteries, and stories. It is a divinely inspired book that serves as a guide for our everyday living as Christians. In essence, the Bible is a manual for the Christian life.
Are you wondering how all of this is related to the discussion in this article? We will piece everything together in subsequent lines; please follow.
Now, if the Holy Bible is the only manual available for Christian living, what does it say about an important topic such as dating?
Silence! Loud Silence!! – this right here is your answer.
If you have any doubts, then search through Genesis down to Revelations and let us know what you find in the comments.
Don’t get this wrong. You see, it is not entirely strange that the Holy Bible, our manual for life as Christians, is silent about dating. This is so because, in biblical times, their culture didn’t recognize dating, but their culture recognized many forms of marriage which the Holy Bible addressed in many ways.
Jesus Christ recognized marriage in the Holy Bible as he performed his first miracle (where he turned water into wine) at the wedding in Cana. He also spoke about marriage and confirmed God’s instruction in Genesis. In Matthew 19:5, Jesus said:
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
So, as you can see, there were relationships between men and women and the relationships led to marriage, but the Jewish cultural practice of betrothal held sway in Biblical times. An example of such a relationship was the relationship between the earthly parents of Jesus.
Now, let us come back to the present.
Dating is not a divine instruction. It is a social construct that did not become popular until the 19th century, and many Christians expect the church to have a stand on dating. Demanding a position from the church is not with any negative import, but if the church conforms to dating, does it mean the church will have to adjust to every other social construct?
Let us look at the Coptic Church as an example. What does the Coptic Church say about dating?
Coptic views on dating
The Coptic Church is a historical Orthodox church whose roots can be traced to Saint Mark, one of those who walked with Jesus Christ. In the Coptic church’s practice today, the church recognizes the intention to get married between two adults. While we may choose to classify the church’s recognition of the plan to marry as dating, the intention for marriage is vital because without any intention to get married, then it is just in line with the current custom and practices of the world.
Once the intention to get married between two is established, the Coptic church recognizes that they must get to know themselves. So, the church ensures that this is done with a focus on the future, and not on the immediate gains of immoral sexual pleasure as commonly practiced in the world.
Before the church can even acknowledge the intention to get married between two adults, the Coptic church must be sure that the two adults have a flourishing career and income streams that can be used to support a family. These practices show that the church believes in a solid foundation before marriage and this model has created many successful marriages.
Coptic dating rules – Coptic orthodox dating rules
The Coptic church gives room for its youths to make friends of both genders, but the church mandates that every friendship should be guided to prevent young people from giving in to tempting situations.
The two young people involved must be accountable to the person supervising them. If you are too young to get married, then the church does not expect you to date. The church also encourages young people to build their relationships with God and with their friends. Friendship allows the growth of true feelings and only then can it lead to dating, and seeking their parent’s approval for marriage.
Above all, faith takes the most prominence in the Coptic Church. Unity of faith among intending couples is essential for unity in the family.