A photo capturing two teenagers holding hands, sitting under a tree, with a Bible placed open on their laps, symbolizing the importance of seeking guidance and wisdom in their dating relationships.

What Does The Bible Say About Teenage Dating?

Teenage dating is a common experience in modern culture, but what guidance does the Bible provide on this topic? In this comprehensive article, we’ll examine biblical principles related to relationships and maturity to understand what scripture teaches about teenage dating.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Bible does not directly address teenage dating, but it does emphasize sexual purity, wisdom, and parental guidance in romantic relationships for young believers.

We’ll look at bible verses about romantic love, warnings against sexual immorality, the importance of spiritual maturity and godly wisdom in relationships, and the role of parents in guiding teens. Whether you’re a teen, parent, or youth leader, read on for a detailed study of what the Bible says about teenage dating.

Biblical Verses About Romantic Love

Old Testament Examples of Romantic Relationships

The Old Testament provides some insightful examples of romantic relationships. Abraham and Sarah shared a loving marriage for many years, even through challenging circumstances like infertility (Genesis 21:1-7).

Isaac and Rebekah’s first encounter was arranged by Abraham’s servant, but the text suggests they grew to love each other (Genesis 24). Jacob worked seven years for the hand of Rachel, whom he loved so deeply that the years “seemed like only a few days” (Genesis 29:20).

These stories reveal how biblical couples cared for one another through life’s joys and trials.

New Testament Guidance on Marriage

In the New Testament, passages like Ephesians 5:25-33 provide guidance for marriage relationships. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and wives are instructed to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ.

While some find the idea of submission controversial today, in context it emphasizes mutual love, respect, and sacrifice. Passages like 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describe the kind of patient, forgiving love that should shape not only marriages but all relationships between Christians.

Warnings Against Sexual Immorality

Avoiding Temptation and Lust

The Bible clearly warns believers, especially teenagers and young adults, to flee from sexual immorality and lust (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Temptation is inevitable, but giving in leads to sin and spiritual harm.

Wise King Solomon advised to stay far from the adulterous woman and from folly (Proverbs 5-7). We must make no provision for the flesh when it comes to sexual sin (Romans 13:14) and crucify sinful passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).

Here are some practical tips to avoid sexual temptation and remain pure:

  • Guard your eyes and mind from sexually charged content (Philippians 4:8)
  • Avoid situations that could inflame lust like being alone in private with someone of the opposite sex
  • Fill your mind with Scripture and pray for God’s help (Psalm 119:11)
  • Bounce your eyes and flee if faced with temptation (2 Timothy 2:22)

Gaining victory over lust is not easy but is possible with God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit (Titus 2:11-12). We must crucify the flesh and submit to Christ daily in this area.

Remaining Celibate Until Marriage

The Bible teaches that sex is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24, Hebrews 13:4). Believers should aim to remain sexually pure and celibate outside of this holy union.

Here are reasons to save sex for marriage:

  • Obedience to God’s commands
  • No risk of sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancy
  • Building intimacy without physical entanglements
  • Honoring your future spouse

Celibacy is certainly not easy in our hypersexualized culture. However, it is important to reserve this gift to give your future spouse. Practicing self-control now prepares young believers for healthy marriages later.

For those who have already made mistakes, grace and mercy are freely offered in Christ (1 John 1:9). Purity can be restored as we daily submit every area of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Importance of Spiritual Maturity in Relationships

Seek Wisdom and Accountability

As a teenager, dating can be an exciting time as you develop new relationships. However, it’s important to seek wisdom and accountability in your dating life, rather than relying solely on your emotions.

The Bible encourages us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Having accountability partners like parents, youth leaders, or mature Christian friends can help give you godly advice and perspective in dating.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that about 9% of high school students nationwide experience physical dating violence in a year, while about 10% experience sexual dating violence.

Seeking accountability and staying connected to your parents, church, and Christian community can help protect against unhealthy relationships.

Here are some ways to pursue wisdom and accountability in dating:

  • Talk with your parents about their expectations and rules for dating
  • Connect with a youth leader or small group to discuss dating questions
  • Ask mature Christian friends to keep you accountable in your relationships
  • Don’t isolate yourself – make sure your parents or friends know who you’re with

Focus on Christ, Not Romance

It’s easy to become consumed with a dating relationship, but the Bible calls us to focus on our relationship with Christ above all else. After all, Jesus is the only faithful companion who will remain by your side through all of life’s ups and downs.

God knew teenagers would need this reminder, which is why youth and young adult seasons of life feature so prominently in Scripture.

For example, Paul told Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Similarly, David wrote, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?

By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9). Keeping Christ at the center is key to all healthy relationships.

Here are some tips to keep your focus on Christ in dating:

  • Make time for regular prayer, Bible study, and church attendance
  • Discuss spiritual topics when dating to see if you’re equally yoked
  • Set physical boundaries and save intimacy for marriage
  • Date people who share your Christian faith and values

With Jesus as your anchor, you’ll develop self-control, wisdom, and maturity in dating. Ultimately, the rewards of staying centered on Christ far outweigh any fleeting pleasures of casual dating relationships. Your future spouse will thank you!

The Role of Parents in Guiding Teen Relationships

Honoring Your Father and Mother

The Bible teaches children to “honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). This commandment comes with a promise of blessing for those who obey.

When teens honor and respect their parents’ guidance about relationships, they position themselves to experience God’s favor and direction.

As children grow into teenagers and start developing romantic interests, parents have wisdom to impart about setting appropriate boundaries, waiting for the right context before dating, and looking for positive qualities in a potential partner.

Their advice comes from life experience and caring concern for their child’s well-being. By listening to parental counsel, teens show maturity and faith.

Parental Wisdom and Discernment

While the Bible does not provide detailed instructions about modern teenage dating, it does extol parental wisdom and discernment. “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22).

Parents have insight into their child’s level of maturity and ability to handle a romantic relationship.

For example, some teenagers may not be ready to date one-on-one but can instead spend time in group settings under parental supervision. Or parents may advise waiting until college or setting standards for appropriate age differences before allowing their teen to date.

This type of careful guidance demonstrates love and protects teens from heartache.

The Bible says fathers should not “provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). So while parents should enforce wise relationship guidelines, they should also explain their reasons lovingly and make space for open conversation.


In summary, the Bible emphasizes the importance of sexual purity, godly wisdom, spiritual maturity, and parental guidance for teens navigating romantic relationships. While the scriptures do not outright prohibit teenage dating, they advise discretion, patience, and reliance on godly counsel when considering romantic love.

For Christians seeking God’s will, these biblical principles can provide helpful guidance on honoring Christ in dating relationships.

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