This year, as Hindsight is our theme, in some of our posts this year, we will be revisiting, updating, and republishing posts which have received a higher than average amount of shares and/or interactions. We previously published a post called How Much Bible Reading Should We Do Together? (Spiritual Intimacy and Dating, Part 2) (you are here ~smile~) and it became one of our most viewed and shared posts to date. Once again, we bring you another hindsight update! Please enjoy and share!
In attending a Christian university, it was not uncommon to see couples praying or reading their Bibles together. It was just par for the course. One evening, in front of the prayer chapel, I remember one couple praying together. Their hands were intertwined, their bodies were raised, and they looked as if they were either going to storm Hell’s gates for Christ… or completely lose control and fall into bed together. Their body language spelled P-A-S-S-I-O-N.
Seventeen years later, I will not even pretend to know the content of their hearts. If I had to guess, I would say they were two young people who wanted to make a mark on the world for Christ. I admire that, and I think they were probably somewhat naïve about how easy it is to connect emotionally when having intimate, sunset prayer meetings. Sex is emotional, but so is prayer.
Knowing how much Bible and prayer time is appropriate can be tricky at different stages of your relationship. We hope the updated post below is helpful to you now as it has been to others in years past! If you find it helpful, please like and share!
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (II Peter 1:3-4, ESV)
There is power in God’s Word – power to transform lives! It is good for dating couples to spend time reading the Bible together, but just as there are physical boundaries in dating, it is wise to have spiritual boundaries too.
Think about it: You get married and you settle in at night for a couple’s devotional time with your spouse. You snuggle, exchange prayer needs, read the Bible together, and then pray together (and for each other). At that moment, will you want to visualize him or her having done the same intimate spiritual bonding with a previous boyfriend or girlfriend?
Here’s a rule of thumb: if its spiritual bonding you wouldn’t do with a friend, don’t do it with a boyfriend or girlfriend. I love my friends, but I’m sure I won’t find myself cuddling with them at night and reading a couple’s devotional on the Song of Solomon (whoa… awkward).
On the flip side, I doubt you would be upset visualizing your sweetheart having read the book of James with a classmate (guy or girl) in a public library or café for the purpose of studying God’s Word and not emotionally connecting.
So, under which circumstances is it appropriate to read the Bible with a boyfriend or girlfriend?
First, let’s tackle the where and when. Reading the Bible together sounds like it would be the safest activity in the world, but don’t be fooled. Doing anything alone in an empty house or secluded room of a building while dating can invite unnecessary temptation into your relationship. Remember, no matter how much you fill your mind with God’s Word, you are still a young person with hormones, and he or she is also a young person with hormones. Your fleshly nature will be tempted to become physically intimate if you make the conditions right and lock yourselves away from others. In fact, if you aren’t attracted to each other, it may be a sign that you should not pursue marriage. Marrying someone you are attracted to is not superficial – it is good and necessary to be attracted!
With that being said, I would recommend reading together during the day. Nighttime, even if you are not physically together, has a different feel to it. I can still remember talking on the phone late into the night and those dark bedroom conversations were more open and intimate. Inhibitions fall away in the darkness. I probably told a lot of secrets about myself during those hours which would have been better left unsaid. The darkness seems to loosen our tongues and resolve. Reading the Bible together over the phone in the dim light of your rooms changes the dynamic. It’s going to be a more intimate experience than reading together at the park in the afternoon to the sound of children playing in the background.
Now, let’s tackle the what. Certain parts of the Bible are steamy. Don’t believe me? Take a few minutes and read through Song of Solomon. That is one erotic book! In fact, Jewish boys were not allowed to read it until they came of age. I read somewhere that they had to be thirty before they could read it! Until you are engaged and very close to your wedding day (or maybe even until after you’re married!), I would recommend not studying the Song of Solomon together – especially in detail.
Couples devotionals should also be saved until engagement. Such devotionals are meant to bring a couple close together spiritually. Bible studies for dating couples – those which concentrate on getting to know each other, preparing for marriage, and topics which are important to couples in the dating stage – are okay. Just be wise.
If one (or both) of you begin to feel like the topics covered are too intimate for your relationship at its current point, hold off on that area of study and bring it back out if and when you get engaged (or married, depending on the topic).
If your boyfriend or girlfriend has a desire to read and study God’s Word, that is a great sign! You certainly do not want to pursue a relationship with someone who has no interest in growing spiritually. After all, if you marry this person you will be either following (ladies) or leading (gentlemen) this person spiritually (cf. Ephesians 5:22-32). Do you want to go where he is leading? Do you believe she will follow you based on what you have witnessed thus far? Studying the Bible together is wonderful, just be sure to keep the study in public, preferably during the day, and study with him or her just the way you would with any other friend. ~smile~
How much spiritual intimacy do you find is created by reading the Bible together?