Dating can be a much loved or hated topic, and with Valentine’s Day approaching it is bound to be on our minds. Dating can be filled with many ups and downs. It’s easy to evaluate how our date treats us, but when was the last time you asked yourself, “What kind of date am I?”

If you want to become a memorable date (for the right reasons), you have to take a good look at what kind of person you are on a date. One thing that is guaranteed to leave your date with happy memories of your time together is if you treat him with genuine respect. Respect will leave your date feeling believed in, more confident, and more spiritual. Whether he is the one for you, or the one who may introduce you to the one, respect is a topic that I don’t believe is talked about enough in dating. So, what does respect look like?

Here are 7 aspects of respect from the Bible that will change your dating for the better, and make you a truly memorable date.

Regard

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3 AMP

Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 NIV

To have regard for someone means to means to think highly of them. Having regard for your date requires humility. I know for myself, I am quick to be self-righteous and proud. I think too highly of my own opinion, life, character, and spirituality. This heart, when left as is, makes it impossible to have true regard for anyone.

On your dates do you look for things to admire and learn from your date? Do they feel like they could teach you anything?

Encouragement

What I am saying is that we can encourage each other by the faith that is ours.
Romans 1:12 CEV

So encourage one another with the hope you have. Build each other up. In fact, that’s what you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIRV

Like us women, men like to be encouraged. They like to know that you believe in them, that you see good in them. I’ve learned that it is impossible to genuinely encourage someone when there is bitterness in my heart. This bitterness may stem from unresolved discouragement or hurt, or sometimes just the consequences of my own sin. But regardless of its origin, the Bible says that bitterness is poisonous (Hebrews 12:15). Bitterness is toxic and it will destroy your dating life. It will leave each of your dates with a negative feeling about you. Do you have any bitterness in your heart you need to resolve so that you can be freed up to give encouragement?

Do your dates leave more joyful? More courageous? More faithful?

Spirituality

An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
Proverbs 31:10 AMP

In order to be truly respectful, we have to have a strong relationship with God. Humans are imperfect; we make mistakes. Therefore respect for others stems not from them earning it but rather from your respect for God. Are you known for your respect for God? If you can’t respect God, how will you be able to respect someone who is human and by nature imperfect?

If you bring spirituality to your dates (in other words, if you value first of all your relationship with God), and don’t put pressure on your date to be a god, you will find things that are admirable and inspiring about your date rather than finding flaws to criticize.

Patience

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Ephesians 4:2 NLT

Patience is a quiet aspect of respect. Patience doesn’t demand immediate results, but allows for fault while still believing in the person.

How patient are you? Do you give up on people or stick in there?

Esteem

Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
Proverbs 22:1 NLT

When any of us feel esteemed, our faith, confidence, and joy increase. The Bible says it’s better than silver or gold. Do you value your dates? Do you express what you value about them?  Selfishness and arrogance will hinder our ability to see the true value of the people around us. Selfishness will prevent us from expressing praise for others and arrogance will prevent us from seeing other people’s strengths. Take a little time to express what you value on your next date and see how their confidence grows.

Compassion

Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to the man who encountered the robbers?” He answered, “The one who showed compassion and mercy to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and constantly do the same.”
Luke 10:36-37 AMP

No person is perfect. We all require compassion. Compassion allows for mistakes to be made without consequence. Respect requires compassion. Respect does not disappear at the first mistake or disappointment. How compassionate are you to people’s faults and shortcomings?

Trust

In the same way, the women must be worthy of respect. They must not say things that harm others. In anything they do, they must not go too far. They must be worthy of trust in everything.
1 Timothy 3:11 NIRV

This one goes two ways. To be a memorable date you have to be trustworthy with what your date tells you, but also in what you say to them. Are you trustworthy with your date? Do you trust them? Are you vulnerable and do you allow/trust them to know and help you?
If you are like me, you can stand to grow in all these areas, and that can be a little daunting and overwhelming. Pick one of these characteristics of respect and study it out in the Bible. Apply it to your next date, your next conversation and take it one interaction at time.

Jen Straw

Jen Straw

Jen is the Director of Instruction and Specialized Services for the Hope Technology School in Palo Alto, California. She has worked in education since 2002, and is passionate about helping students achieve their full potential both inside and out of the classroom.

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