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Only people who love Christ more than they love you will have the courage to tell you that you’re wrong in dating — wrong about a person, wrong about timing, wrong about whatever.Only they will be willing to say something hard, even when you’re so happily infatuated.I could go on, and if you’re a part of almost any kind of Christian community, you probably can too.Even though we’re following Jesus, and reading the same Bible, and aiming for the covenant of marriage, our dating advice can be surprisingly wide and diverse.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 scary reality is that we can find an answer somewhere to justify what we want to do — right or wrong, safe or unsafe, wise or unwise.The advice we choose might be from a book by a doctor, or a random conversation with someone at church, or a blog post by a teenager, or just something we found on Pinterest.

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.

Fight the impulse to date in a corner by yourselves, and instead draw one another into those important relationships.

Double down on family and friends — with affection, intentionality, and communication — while you’re dating.

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.

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