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‘Above all else, guard your heart’: Can You Casually Date While Also Obeying Proverbs 4:23

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When people use dating apps and websites, they may be creating emotional connections with others without fully realizing it. It’s important to remember to “guard your heart” even in these small interactions.


When we enter into dating relationships, there is an emotional attachment that takes place even when we don’t realize it is happening. It can be easy to overlook this, but it should be taken into account each time we interact with someone in a romantic way.

Many young people today use different modes of technology in order to try and meet someone. Some do this as a way to casually date, while others are looking for a more serious romantic relationship that might eventually lead to marriage. Some examples of these modes are dating websites and smartphone apps, which allow people to meet over the internet first and then decide whether or not there is a connection before deciding to go on a more formal date in person.

There are many couples that have had success using these methods and find themselves in happy, fulfilling relationships and marriages. Christian couples also take advantage of dating websites so they can get to know people of the opposite sex with the same values and religious beliefs as their own. This can be a way for two people to successfully avoid spending copious amounts of time together only to find out they don’t share the same views and are ultimately headed down different paths.

While apps and websites can be an effective way to find someone to marry, many people may not be actively considering the way in which these mini interactions with others still create an emotional attachment—even though this doesn’t necessarily happen in person.

These emotional ties wear on individuals and can linger throughout life and affect future relationships. This doesn’t mean that reaching out for emotional connection through dating is wrong, but it’s easier to be cautious with our affections when we interact with people in person. It’s harder to be wary of our feelings when we talk with people through a screen, although the pain that can come from the fallout of these mini-connections can be just as detrimental.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart.” An obvious way to do this is to not have a physical relationship with someone too quickly, which is a proven psychological method as well as a value for many religious people. However, there are also more subtle tactics to protect your heart. One of these is the practice of being honest with someone about how their words and actions impact you early on in a relationship.  

Make sure you enter into every dating scenario with this in mind. Not only is your heart opening—even if only slightly—to the opportunity to be known by another person, but you are also connecting with a human being who has emotions, a past and potentially a future with someone who may not be you. Take this into account and remember to treat others—and yourself—with respect in every dating encounter.