Ohhh Valentines Day.
While half of you are currently grinning at the thought, or possibly sitting wide-eyed because you forgot (you’re welcome for the reminder!), I’m sure that the other half of you want to stop reading my post right now & slap my wrist because HOW DARE I refer to it as anything other than Single’s Awareness Day?!
Let me tell you right off the bat, this isn’t going to be a blog about God’s love for us, because guess what! Priyanka wrote an awesome post about that yesterday and you can find it here: “Happily Ever After.” No, today, I feel that God wants me to talk to those of you who have considered the idea of “Biblical Dating”.
Ah yes. It’s that seminar at youth retreat nobody PLANS to attend, but that ends up bringing in the largest crowd. Hey, I was there – front row with my journal open and pen ready to jot down EVERYTHING I needed to remember so that I knew exactly what to look for in a significant other. And right there, my friends, is where I started to go wrong. You see, I was so busy making a list of my “Top 10 qualities” in a guy that I forgot to make a list entitled “Top 10 things I Need to Work on Before Dating”. The result? Relationships that were not only unnecessary, but also full of heartbreak and regrets.
Alright, so…what’s Biblical dating supposed to look like then, you ask? Well there are a few things you need to make sure you know before you even set foot in dating territory.
Firstly, the endpoint of Biblical dating is marriage. Currently, our culture is shifting towards co-habitation before marriage, recyclable marriages and casual dating. We see it ALL around us. But if you’re really wanting to date in a way that honors God, let’s get one thing straight right from the beginning: To begin dating for any other reason besides having the intention to marry that person, is wrong and does not honor God. Period.
Secondly, you have to realize that God is the architect of marriage. Isn’t that pretty neat? He was the first to bond a man & woman together until death separated them. The problem for many, is that instead of recognizing God as the original creator of this beautiful union, we take it upon ourselves to MAKE it happen.
Thirdly (and most importantly) marriage was not created for US – It’s purpose is to glorify God. There is a mistake that is way too easy to make when you’re in a relationship… You feel like this person is the best thing that ever happened to you, and that you could never possibly be happy with life if they were gone. Newsflash folks: Marriage is NOT eternal, it’s temporary. It should only be a temporary example of our eternal marriage with Jesus Christ as His church.
Check out what Paul says in Ephesians for just a second:
“Christ died so that He could give the church to Himself like a bride in all her beauty. He died so that the church could be holy and without fault, with no evil or sin or any other thing wrong in it.” – Ephesians 5:27 (Paraphrased)
When I read that I couldn’t help but think MAN, God has such a beautiful definition of marriage! The worst thing we could do is make it anything different, and unfortunately that’s what’s happening all around us.
There are going to be some of you, who read this blog and take nothing from it, and that’s fine! But there are others of you who are sincerely, truthfully looking for a relationship that God wants. And so, ladies and gents, I present to you three things to think about for those of you who feel you are ready to step into the dating arena:
1) Evaluate your own maturity. Are you already consistently walking with God? Will your relationship with God be strained by someone weaker? Consider what the Bible says about godly men and women. No, I’m not saying that you have to be a PERFECT representation of this before you get into a relationship, but are you at least trying?
2) Pray pray PRAY. I cannot tell you how important this part is. If you think you may have found the one God wants you to be with, or even if you’re wondering where the heck that person is and why they haven’t shown up in your life, pray. Likewise, if you’re wondering whether God has called you to a life of singleness and you have questions about that, PRAY. Whatever it is, take it to the Lord and I promise He will answer your questions and guide you.
3) When praying for whoever that person may be, look around and find someone who is running alongside (or ahead of you) in their walk with the Lord. Is this person someone who will encourage your relationship with God, or will they obstruct it? Is this someone who will want you to love God more than you love them, or will they want ALL of your time and attention ALL the time? Pray for a man or woman who loves the Lord. If they love the Lord, then they will love you the way that God intended for them to love you.
There is no such thing as a perfect person. There are going to be areas where both of you will need serious chiseling, and that’s okay as long as both of you are agree that God is the absolute center of your relationship and allow Him to help you. Likewise, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, and I don’t want any of you to think I’ve got it perfect. After quite a bit of learning and molding of my character, God has helped me come to understand that it’s less about the relationship you’re in, and more about how He is honored through it. I’ll leave you with this quote:
“Love is doing what will enthrall the beloved with the greatest and longest joy. What will enthrall the beloved this way is the glory of God. Love means doing all we can, at whatever cost to ourselves, to help people be enthralled with the glory of God. When they are, they are satisfied and God is glorified. Therefore loving people and glorifying God are one.” – John Piper