As disciples of Jesus, we want to honor Him in every part of our lives, including our dating relationships. God’s word gives us design and wisdom on how dating can be done in a God-glorifying way. Countless people have experienced the heartache and pain of dating relationships gone wrong. Typically, pain comes when we go away from God’s design for dating, ending up in a relationship with the wrong person or taking the relationship to a place God has not ordained. Let’s look at some biblical wisdom on dating.
(Adapted from Tommy Nelson Song of Solomon series)
Dating God’s way begins with being attracted to the right kind of person and looking for the qualities that God says are good in a marriage union. You should date the person you want to marry. Dating is not random; it is an opportunity to determine if you are ready to marry someone.
Read Song of Solomon 1:1-7
v. 3 “Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens love you”
You want to be attracted to someone who has a “good name,” someone who all people speak well of. A pleasing fragrance means someone who has a good reputation, they are thought well of by others. (Prov. 22:1) You should do your homework on the person you are interested in.
What is their reputation?
How do they treat others?
What’s their work ethic?
How do they respond to conflict?
v. 5-6 “do not stare at me for I am swarthy,…they made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.”
You want to be attracted to someone who serves others. This woman is a hard worker and has a sense of independence. She is not only focused on physical looks, but being a servant and life giver for others.
v.7 “For why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?”
You want to be attracted to someone who has standards. “One who veils herself” describes a prostitute. This is a woman who is not flaunting herself and who is not willing to bend her morality to get a guy. Also known as, she is not willing to sleep with you before marriage just to keep you interested in her. Ask hard questions like, “What are your thoughts on sexual purity? Let’s discuss your sexual past…”
If you start a relationship for merely physical reasons, you are in trouble. You must consider character, and most importantly, do they love Jesus. Does their love for Jesus cause them to live with morality, treat people with kindness, and serve?
Discuss: Why would beginning with spiritual beauty protect you from heartache and pain down the road?
What would a woman who is growing spiritually look like?
What is godly character in a woman?
Read Song of Solomon 1:8-14
v.9-10 “to me, my darling, you are like my mare among the chariots of Pharaoh. Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of beads.”
You should be attracted to someone who speaks to you with kind words, someone who sees you as special and treats you with tenderness. If someone tends to be unkind in a dating relationship, you can’t expect that marriage will change that. Emotional beauty also does not sin in anger. It’s one thing to get angry, it’s another to become wrathful and spiteful in anger. (Eph. 4:26)
Discuss: How would a woman show tenderness in her speech?
How do you know if a woman is emotionally healthy?
Read Song of Solomon 1:15-17
v. 15 “how beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves. How handsome you are, my beloved, and so pleasant! Indeed, our couch is luxuriant!”
Although physical beauty is not the main quality or even the first that we should desire, there is physical attraction that draws us to someone. The man first notices eyes, windows to the soul. Some physical features are more arousing than others, but don’t lose sight of things that make her elegant and delightful as well.
Discuss: What physical features are most attractive to you in a woman?
How do we appreciate physical features without allowing them to override spiritual and emotional features?
Watch Tommy Nelson’s video on the “Art of Attraction.”
Make a list of qualities that you would like in a wife from all three areas – Spiritual, Emotional, Physical. Share them with the group.