Jehovah's Witnesses are followers of a specific denomination of Christianity. Believing that Armageddon is coming to separate believers from non-believers, Witnesses spend much of their time knocking on doors to preach their beliefs to others. When it comes to relationships within this faith, certain dating rules apply. Baptised believers are expected to follow the moral code outlined by church elders. Failure to do so may result in expulsion and shunning by the church.
Dating within the Faith
Church rules indicate that individuals should only date other witnesses of Jehovah. It is not recommended to date outside the faith; in fact, it is prohibited, although not enforced in all families. Dating someone in secret is considered a deception to the church. It is especially not recommended if it means disrespecting parents, because honouring thy mother and father is an essential commandment.
Dating vs. Courtship
Within the Jehovah's Witness faith and some other Christian faiths, courtship is preferred over dating. Courtship is dating someone with the intention to marry. Because of this, it is not recommended for people to date until they are of marrying age, and then they should only date someone who shares their faith, values and intent for the relationship. Believers say dating without the intent of marriage can often lead to temptation and deception, which can take individuals away from their faith.
As with most Christ-based religion, premarital sex is forbidden to a Jehovah's Witness. It is believed that this physical act should be shared only by two married adults who share the same religious faith. Daters are expected to remain "pure" until after marriage. Kissing, hand holding or other signs of affection should be kept to a minimum if allowed at all, especially if the couple is dating without the intention of getting married.
Jehovah's Witnesses are expected to go door-to-door spreading information about the faith, to regularly attend church group meetings and Bible study and spend time reflecting with the Bible. In a healthy dating relationship, there must be a balance of time to ensure that couples are growing closer together without losing sight of their faith. This can especially be an issue if a Jehovah's Witness is dating a non-believer.
- Watchtower: Young People Ask...What's Wrong with Dating Secretly?
- 4 Witness: I'm Engaged to Marry a Jehovah's Witness. What are the Pros and Cons of a Relationship with a Jehovah's Witness?
- 4 Jehovah: My Jehovah's Witness Girlfriend Stopped Dating Me Because I Am Not a Baptized Jehovah's Witness. What Can I Do?
- 4 Jehovah: Dating and Marrying a Jehovah's Witness