7 Things the Bible Teaches about Love and Romance

1. Romantic love is a gift from God and should be welcomed as such.

In the beginning—before the fall—God decided that people should not be alone and so found it suitable for a man and woman to know each other in an intimate, exclusive, and sexual way (Gen. 2:18; Matthew 19:4-6) It is something to be enjoyed, and the desire to know someone in this way should not be shunned or ignored.

2. Romantic love is not the be-all end-all, and partners don’t “complete” each other.

Indeed, Jesus teaches that at the Resurrection, (or in the afterlife) people will not be married (Matthew 22:30). In writing to the Corinthians who were severely confused regarding God’s plan for sexuality, the Apostle Paul elevates celibacy/singleness to a kind of ideal state for carrying out focused, kingdom ministry (1 Corinthians 7:29:31). Love and romance should therefore be understood as a penultimate gift that utterly pales in comparison to the gift of knowing and loving God (Psalm 73:25–26).

3. Romantic relationships should be based on love and mutual submission.

Instead of taking cues from popular culture, or even classical literature, the church ought to pursue a model of love as the Bible defines it (1 Corinthians 13). This love is marked by self-sacrifice and mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21), implying that each spouse should find their identity primarily in Christ, not in each other. Discerning vocations, where to live, etc. should all be prayerfully considered and neither spouse should ever be emotionally or spiritually manipulated into losing his or her personal identity.

4. There is a time for love, and that time is not any-time.

There are seasons when love is not appropriate or perhaps not beneficial for the calling God has for your life (Ecclesiastes 3:8; Solomon 2:7). This may indict casual dating, dating without marriage as its ultimate goal, or dating a young age. Choosing to practice this kind of pattern for dating will result in a deeply counter-cultural lifestyle but will likely open occasions for profound spiritual formation.

5. Your worth does not lie in your relationship status.

Your worth is found in Christ alone. (See Ephesians 2:4-7.) Every person is priceless in the eyes of God, and that will never change based on your relationship status. So often, we attach value to our perceived desirability, and that often changes depending on whether we are in a romantic relationship at the time. But, in the eyes of God, you are always and consistently worth more than precious jewels.

6. Those who are “seeking” should focus their highest energies on becoming the ideal spouse, not finding the ideal spouse

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The maxim that love finds you when you least expect often rings true. In describing the life of the church, the Apostle Paul says that community exists to bring us to full maturation in Christ (Ephesians 4:1-16). Of course this is true for both singles and those in relationships. However, it reminds us that even for those hoping for romantic love, their primary call is to grow in discipleship to Jesus, which is a life marked by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Notice that when you compare the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) with the way of love (1 Corinthians 13), the parallels are unmistakable, making the maturing Christian a suitable romantic partner.

7. Romantic love is a symbol and pointer to our special relationship with God.

Scripture is saturated with metaphors of the church as betrothed to God. Consider the many voices of the prophets: “Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” (Hosea 2:14) See further, Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 2:2; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-8. Furthermore, Scripture teaches that Christians should limit their romantic interests to other Christians because of the spiritual and practical complications involved in incongruous relationships (1 Corinthians 7:39).


[READ] “The Dos and Don’ts of Dating in College by Katie Heckel”; [READ] “Seven Positive Messages the Church Needs to Hear about Sex”; [READ] “Seven Quick Facts about Valentine’s Day”;

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