A photo capturing a couple reading the Bible together, their heads bent close, symbolizing the importance of spiritual connection and seeking guidance in their relationship.

What Does The Bible Say About Boyfriends And Girlfriends

Dating and romantic relationships are common experiences in life, but what guidance does the Bible provide on this topic? If you’re wondering what scripture says about boyfriends, girlfriends, and premarital relationships, this comprehensive article examines key passages and principles.

In short: The Bible does not forbid premarital romantic relationships, but it promotes sexual purity, wise decision-making about relationships and marriage partners, and honoring God above all else.

Biblical Principles for Relationships

Pursue Righteousness and Holiness

The Bible encourages believers to pursue righteousness and holiness in all relationships. We are called to be set apart and reflect God’s character (1 Peter 1:16). This means fleeing from sexual immorality and impurity (1 Corinthians 6:18).

Christians should aspire to honor God in how they treat others, whether dating or married.

The apostle Paul writes that we should “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). While this specifically refers to marriage, the principle can be applied more broadly. Christians should be careful about pursuing intimate relationships with non-believers, which could lead us astray.

Guard Against Sexual Immorality

The Bible strongly warns against sexual immorality, which includes premarital sex. Passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 and 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 instruct us to honor God with our bodies and flee from impurity.

While strong physical temptation exists, Jesus taught that even lustful thoughts can be sinful (Matthew 5:28). Scripture calls us to self-control.

Dating couples should establish physical boundaries and standards that honor their faith. Actions like excessive kissing, touching, or spending the night together can quickly lead down a slippery slope. Couples can support each other in purity by avoiding tempting situations.

Seek Godly Counsel and Accountability

It’s important for dating and engaged couples to seek wisdom from Godly people within their community like pastors, mentors, counselors, or more experienced married couples. The Bible says, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).

Accountability can help couples make wise decisions and resist worldly temptations.

Couples should also build personal accountability by asking honest questions and voicing concerns. Dating provides opportunities to observe how the other person responds under pressure. Does he or she rely on God for strength in difficult situations or give in to anger?

Singles should carefully evaluate a potential partner’s spiritual maturity and compatibility.

Biblical Examples of Romantic Relationships

Isaac and Rebekah

Isaac and Rebekah’s story in Genesis 24 shows an example of God guiding the process of finding a spouse. Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac from their relatives. The servant prayed that God would reveal the right young woman through her kindness and hospitality in offering him a drink.

God answered the servant’s prayer and led him to Rebekah. She fulfilled the sign and welcomed the servant generously. After the servant confirmed her family background, she agreed to go back with him to marry Isaac. When Isaac and Rebekah later met, “he loved her” (Genesis 24:67).

This shows God’s divine guidance and blessing in their relationship.

Ruth and Boaz

Ruth and Boaz in the Book of Ruth demonstrate commitment and redemption in romantic relationships despite difficult circumstances. As a widow and foreigner in Bethlehem, Ruth showed remarkable devotion in staying with her also-widowed Israelite mother-in-law Naomi.

Ruth worked hard gleaning barley to provide for them both. She caught the eye of the honorable, well-off landowner Boaz. Seeing her character, he showed her special kindness and protection. Though there were potential complications due to their status difference, Boaz resolved matters by becoming Ruth’s “kinsman-redeemer.”

He married her, loving, cherishing, and redeeming her from widowhood. Through Boaz, Ruth became part of Christ’s lineage.

Solomon’s Many Wives

In contrast to Isaac and Rebekah or Ruth and Boaz’s examples, Solomon’s romantic relationships with his many wives led him away from wholehearted devotion to God. Though starting out as beloved by God, Solomon’s appetite for international diplomacy and luxury led him to amass 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).

His many foreign wives turned his heart to worship their gods. So in his old age, the once supremely wise Solomon drifted from the one true God. This Solomonic object lesson about romantic relationships shows the importance of guarding against idolatry or anything that could displace one’s loyalty to God.

Choosing a Godly Marriage Partner

Equally Yoked

The Bible teaches that believers should be “equally yoked” with other believers when considering marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14). This means choosing a spouse who shares the same devotion to Christ and commitment to follow God’s word.

Character Qualities to Seek

When looking for a Godly spouse, focus on cultivating qualities like:

  • Faithfulness to God (Proverbs 20:6)
  • Integrity and honesty (Psalm 15:2)
  • Kindness and compassion (Colossians 3:12)
  • Self-control (Titus 2:2)
  • Commitment to spiritual growth (Proverbs 31:30)

According to studies, the top 3 qualities Christians seek in a spouse are faithfulness, honesty, and kindness. Focusing on character over other attributes can lead to a stronger, God-centered marriage.

Pray for Discernment

Ask God to guide you and give you discernment about His choice for you. As it says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Pray also for the one God is preparing for you.

Don’t Be Unequally Yoked

As a Christian, do not be unequally yoked by marrying a non-Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14). While you may think you can change them, their souls cannot be guaranteed. Over 50% of marriages where the wife is a regular churchgoer and the husband is not ends in divorce.

God’s blueprint for marriage is for couples to spur each other’s spiritual growth.

Christian Wives 30% chance of divorce
Interfaith Couples Up to 50% chance of divorce

For more guidance, read articles on Focus on the Family or speak to your pastor before making this important choice. Choosing a spouse aligned with your faith can lead to a thriving, lifelong union.

Setting Appropriate Physical Boundaries

Avoid Sexual Immorality

The Bible strongly warns against sexual immorality, which includes sexual relations outside of marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18). As a single person, it’s important to set physical boundaries with dating partners that align with Biblical principles.

This might include avoiding situations where you are alone together in private settings, limiting physical touch and affection, and saving sexual intimacy for marriage.

Research from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in 2019 found that among unmarried young adults, 88% believe couples should avoid sexual activity if they are not fully committed to each other in a meaningful relationship like marriage.

So setting wise physical boundaries is viewed as virtuous by many.

Control Your Body in Holiness

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 tells us that God desires for us to control our own body in holiness and honor. As a single person, ask God to help you make wise decisions about physical intimacy that align with His standards.

You can also look to mentors and accountability partners to support you in honoring God with your body and relationships.

According to a 2019 Focus on the Family survey, 67% of single adults said they wish they had set better physical boundaries in past dating relationships. So this is an area many wrestle with and need encouragement in!

Flee Youthful Lusts

2 Timothy 2:22 instructs us to “flee youthful lusts”. Dating relationships can stir up strong desires and feelings. But as Christians, we are called to exhibit self-control and honor God with our bodies.

Guard your eyes and mind from temptation, and be proactive about avoiding situations where you might be vulnerable to compromise.

Research shows that about 27% of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sexual intercourse in the past year, according to the National Association of Evangelicals 2009 report. So youthful lusts are unfortunately common, which is why we must be vigilant.

When dating, communicate openly with your partner about physical boundaries based on Biblical principles. Be each other’s accountability partners. Make honoring Christ your highest aim.

Honoring God as Most Important

Love God Above All Else

The Bible teaches us that we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). He should be first in our lives before anyone or anything else. When we put our relationship with God first, it helps all our other relationships prosper.

For example, when we love God more than our romantic partner, it prevents that relationship from becoming idolatrous or codependent. We can enjoy dating relationships while still honoring God as most important.

Commit Your Plans to God

As we make plans for the future, including who we will date or marry, we should commit those plans to God (Proverbs 16:3). We can ask for His guidance and trust that He knows what is best for us. This may mean waiting patiently for His timing regarding a dating relationship instead of forcing our own agenda.

As we commit our plans to God, He can direct our paths to bring blessing and fulfillment.

Trust in God’s Guidance

Choosing a romantic partner is an important decision. We should trust in God’s guidance rather than simply following our feelings. As we pray, seek counsel, and evaluate a potential partner based on godly characteristics, God will guide us.

This protects us from unhealthy relationships and prepares us for marriage centered on faith. For example, research shows that couples who put God first in their relationship and align values before marriage report higher relationship satisfaction.


In summary, the Bible supports premarital romantic relationships within appropriate biblical boundaries. Key principles include pursuing sexual purity, seeking godly counsel about relationships, choosing a wise marriage partner, setting physical limits, and keeping one’s relationship with God the top priority.

With prayerful wisdom and accountability, singles can honor God in their dating relationships. While cultural norms may shift, God’s word remains an eternal guide for righteous living and decision-making.

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