Khutso Mokgehle
25 Jun

By Khutso Mokgehle

I am pro-dateless-single life for Christians. 

This is because that is how I led my life until I got married - my husband and I did not date, actually, the first time we went out on a "date" was about a month after he had told me he wanted to marry me over a text. When we went out, we already had set a date for the lobola (dowry). His parents, my parents and our pastors were well aware of his intention, and I had prayed and was happy to marry him. 

As unromantic as this might sound for many people, I would still do things the same way if we had to start all over. One of the most beautiful things about this was that my husband was the first man I had ever gone out on a date with, the first I kissed and the first I ... okay, never mind, you get the gist. He was the first man I introduced to my family and the first man I officially gave my heart to. 

So, when I encourage other single Christians to go this route, I am not just speculating on the beauty and benefits of this lifestyle, but I am a direct beneficiary. I shared before my convictions and scriptures that led me to this choice, you can read the article: Is dating appropriate for Christians? ( 

After the blog post, I also did a series of Facebook posts and got various reactions, but as expected, many Christians thought I was nuts. The article today is focused on the reality and the dark side of dating even if there is no sex involved, yes, it is not sin but why do I still discourage it?

1. Dating has no clear definition

This is a red flag. If you search for the term dating on Google, you will get multiple definitions, and for me that is a problem. How do we draw the line between a dating couple that is having sex vs a dating couple that chooses not to have sex due to their reverence to God? As Christians we have been instructed by Christ Himself that our light should shine before men in such a way that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). 

Salvation, even though it is very personal, Christ wants people to witness our light; that is the beauty of salvation. We should purposefully live lives that reflect purity and the righteousness of God, hence it is not just about what I know to be true for me but also about what others think of me, especially people who are not saved. So, if couple A is dating and having sex, couple B whose aim is to honour God, they need to do it differently so that there is a clear distinction between the two couples. 

In simple terms, if people of the world are dating, Christians need to do it differently.

 2. Dating makes you trust your judgement

One of the most popular reasons for dating and one that I also got from many single Christians was that dating allows you to see if you are compatible with the other person or not. For me, this is the most laughable reason Christians could ever come up with. 

Christians often recite that God knew them before they were born and often talk about God's sovereignty and that He has our lives planned out. If this is true, then why do we date?  I would like to assume that a Christian who know and believes that God knows the number of their hair (Luke 12:7) - would know that God knows exactly who their husband or wife is!

How can God know every aspect of our lives including something as insignificant as the number of our hair yet be is oblivious of who you will marry? It does not make any sense at all. So then, if God knows who you will marry, is it not better for you to spend more time talking to God than going out on dates, exchanging sweet messages and cuddling? 

The Bible tells us that God tests and knows all hearts (1 Chronicles 29:17, Psalm 139:1, 23-24) - it is so easy for someone to deceive you and even promise to be a certain type of partner, besides, love is usually blind, therefore, you will never fully know the person you are dating, but God knows the person in and out, He knows the purpose of each one of us and He is in a better position to guide our steps towards the specific person He has chosen for us. 

Your husband/wife is not any random person, they have been selected by God for you to be able to accomplish what God has instore for you. Do not trust yourself, rely on God completely, thus, dating to check compatibility is NOT necessary. 

3. Dating distracts you

In 1 Corinthians 7:33, Apostle Paul warns us that one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife/her husband. That is why he personally recommends that people who can, should rather remain single, this is because people who are single have one job - to please God (verse 32). 

It is clear that there is a difference between married people and single people. However, let's be honest, a dating Christian is also concerned about pleasing God plus, pleasing their boyfriend/girlfriend - their joy is your joy, their pain is your pain, thus, a dating Christian can never claim to be solely sold out to God's work, they are just like married people - their attention is divided.

As a married woman for a full decade, I can easily tell the difference between the single me and the married me - I was more effective in ministry when I was just concerned about the affairs of God, at the moment, even though I try my best to serve the Lord, I cannot make decisions without consulting with my husband, the same applies to him - God understand this, He has blessed our union. However, for a dating Christian, instead of enjoying your youth days and being completely sold out to God, why do you choose the complexity of an entanglement that has no blessing from God? This leads to my fourth point.

4. Dating is not a commitment

Marriage is an agreement, a covenant that gets an approval from God. The seriousness of marriage is backed by many verses, for example, God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), what He puts together, no man should separate (Matthew 19:6) and lastly, a man and woman become one flesh in marriage (Matthew 10:8). 

Marriage is not just a commitment to your partner, but it is a covenant with God. What principle governs dating? This is a simple question but it is scary, actually. The reason why God takes marriage seriously it is because of how marriage is not only physical but very spiritual and emotional. This is the reason why God had to have strict parameters for marriage and its activities. However, dating is playing marriage with all the benefits and disadvantages (even if sex is not included).

Dating gets you very close to marriage, yet still so far from it. And since there is no commitment, you have opened up your soul and spirit to someone who can hurt you and pass - he/she is not committed to you, yet you have given them your heart to break at any moment and there is no covenant that binds them to treat you in a certain way. 

For marriage, God says husbands should love their wives and wives should submit to their husbands. Which principle governs boyfriends and girlfriends? If girlfriends are not supposed to submit to their boyfriends, why should boyfriends love their girlfriends? This is a dangerous game; don't you think? 

5. Dating opens you up for temptations

Last but not least, dating opens your heart, body and soul to sexual temptations. This is one truth we often do not want to admit. The bible warns in Song of Songs 8:4 not to awaken love until the time is right, this is because once love is awakened, it can be very hard to restrain. 

I believe that people who awaken love should be people who are planning on getting married, and very soon. Therefore, once you have found that person you are willing to marry, you make your intention known to her, you keep the necessary boundaries - no need to date and text regularly, no need for physical display of affections, all these can easily set your love in flames - once the woman has accepted your proposal, you start planning your wedding - once married, you can freely express love to one another in its purest form while abiding to the covenant between the two of you and God Himself. How beautiful.  


Since dating is not a sin, you are free to decide on which way to go. But for those who share my convictions as per the previous article and who still agree with me on this article, I would like to encourage you to go for it!

I encourage you to do so prayerfully, it is not easy because it is not popular, but it is possible. 

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