Christian Dating Tips and Early Childhood

Christian Dating Tips and Early Childhood

by Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D.

Among all types of Christian dating tips, one of the most important is being cognizant of the monumental role of one's childhood. The type of relationships we had with our parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, pastors and important others all played a role in our upbringing. In addition, the type of neighborhood we grew up in, how conflicts were handled, ethnic experiences we had, the values/morals we were raised with, the rules/customs our families followed, etc. all played a part in our personality development. Many people underestimate how much their upbringing impacts their current functioning in life. However, rarely are current behaviors not rooted in one's upbringing to some degree. We tend to replicate as adults what we were raised with as children.


For example, someone raised in a wholesome environment where healthy relationships were modeled and experienced will most likely replicate those types of relationships in adulthood. In addition, someone raised in a close, supportive family who regularly spent time together will most likely replicate those behaviors with their own family as an adult. On the other hand, someone raised in an unhealthy home where relationships were hostile or rude will typically treat others similarly in adulthood. In addition, someone raised in a fractured and isolated family will most likely replicate those negative patterns in their adult relationships. Behavioral psychologists are famous for saying, "the best predictor of future behavior is previous behavior." However, many people are unaware of this tendency when entering the Christian dating scene and fail to assess their partner's upbringing.


It is important to note that healing and change are possible, especially with Christ in one's life. If someone has experienced an unhealthy upbringing, it is critical to discover if they have received help to process their "baggage," how it has impacted them, and how they can heal from it. If they have not confronted these issues, there is a high chance they will replicate their childhood dysfunction in their relationship with you. Therefore, when dating, be sure to find out important information about their upbringing, the quality of their parental relationships, their experiences in their community, school, etc. This information will give you helpful insight when determining if they are a safe and healthy person to develop a deeper relationship with.


Please share this post with others and comment below! 


 Dr. Wyatt Fisher is a licensed psychologist in Denver, CO and founder of a Couples Retreat, a Christian Dating Site for Christian Singles, a Couples Bible Study, and a Porn Addiction Seminar.




What red flags do you think are important to watch for and why?

Comments (8)

GoodMedicineSo, if I am the person with the dysfunctional upbringing, what suggestions can you give as I seek to become a good partner sometime in the future? My scars are a part of who I am now and how God is using me to minister to others. Is it better for people with too much "baggage" not to seek out relationships?
By GoodMedicine on May 18, 2016 @ 7:40pm MT 14

Dr. WyattOne of the most important things is receiving help/healing from any pain/trauma from your history if you haven't already. In particular, it's important to discern what ways your upbringing may be influencing your current relationships negatively today. We all have dysfunctional backgrounds in one way or another so we're all on the same journey towards wholeness this side of heaven.
By Dr. Wyatt on May 20, 2016 @ 9:53pm MT

kataleissI was told to watch how a man treats his mother and sister. He will eventually treat his wife that way.
By kataleiss on May 15, 2016 @ 5:01pm MT 14

Dr. WyattThanks....yes, there's certainly a lot of truth in that
By Dr. Wyatt on May 15, 2016 @ 5:07pm MT

Controlling is the number one red flag. Temper can come on easily. What to know your every move, don't like it when you have too many friends. Try to keep you away from your family.
By on May 15, 2016 @ 3:39pm MT 14

Dr. WyattYes, you certainly want to watch out for controlling types of behaviors....great point!
By Dr. Wyatt on May 15, 2016 @ 5:08pm MT

Indeed, we always hope people can overcome the dysfunction of their past, but if they have never seen the model of a healthy relationship they many times do not know how to treat their partner in a healthy way much less understand how to communicate or work through problems. There is grace and change is possible, but definitely something to look at to have a healthy start. Thank you, A good article!
By on May 15, 2016 @ 3:31pm MT 14
Dr. WyattThanks for the great response. Yes, healing and hope is always possible but the more dysfunction in one's upbringing the more likely they may bring problems into their relationship with you.
By Dr. Wyatt on May 15, 2016 @ 5:10pm MT

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