Dating for some Christians is a complex thing especially if the Christian may not know how to go about it. Many may have wrestled with this concept not knowing which actions serve to glorify God. The Christian dating scene is not as vibrant and lucrative as the non-Christian scene not in terms of happiness but that of frequency. Christians should by no means seek to compete with the non-Christian dating scene because both are geared to operate on different principles. Perhaps you are one of those Christians who feels lost in how to go about pursuing a relationship because you want to avoid the emotional heartache which is so prevalent in dating. Therefore, Dating is put off and you seek to establish a more fitting, carefully constructed replacement but somewhere along the way you was lost in translation. Or perhaps Dating for the Christian is one of courtship which is where older adults normally the parents chaperone the couple as they move towards marriage. Or for the Christian from a non Christian background, who will be highly influence from his previous life may be highly perplexed and promiscuous in one’s pursuit of seeking a God honouring dating formality. With all these different avenues and complexity, one is left to wonder if there is a guide which can lead people from all different backgrounds and scenario to a pursuit of developing a God honouring relationship.
It is to be said that dating could be defined as the activity of going out regularly with somebody as a social or romantic partner. This is the view this article will hold especially to the focus of a romantic partner but one does understand that the meaning of dating varies from individual to individual. So, if dating is viewed as the activity of going out regularly with someone then how does one govern this activity which will glorify God and avoid the pitfalls of relentless heartache. Before this is tackled, it is good to note here, an article by Camerin Courtney titled ‘Why aren’t Christians dating’. In her article she points out the burdening fact that she and other Christian single sisters are simply not being approached by Christian guys. She comments, ‘If it was just one or a couple of us experiencing a dry spell, I could understand. But when so many of the vibrant, put-together, intelligent, God-fearing, reasonably attractive single women I know spend nearly all of their Friday and Saturday nights for practically years on end hanging out with each other… not always by choice….; I've got to think maybe this is a trend. In fact, a recent poll on the Singles Channel revealed that 54 percent of you (both males and females) haven't been on a date in more than two years’. Here, she makes a very good point and one should perhaps reflect on ones own surrounding and see if this is the case. If you are a girl, perhaps you may ask yourself when was the last time you have been asked out by a Christian guy and if you are a guy then you may ask yourself that when was the last time you approached a Christian girl whom you clearly fancied. From these self reflective questions, two further issues arises. 1. Who should ask who and 2. The fear of rejection. Before the continuation of these issues it is crucial to mention here that the Christian life is more than dating and for some the pursuit of dating becomes idolatry. The fullness of a Christian life is in Jesus and He is their all satisfying treasure, so if the pursuit of dating begins to dominate one’s heart and affection then one should avoid the pitfall of idolatry and fix their eyes unwavering on Christ who is their heavenly bridegroom. These two issues are left for the readers to ponder and come to their own conclusion but it is to be mentioned that Men in the bible are seen to have taken the initiative in acquiring wives for themselves but also as is the case of Ruth that she was proactive and if she had never did what she did, then perhaps Boaz would never have approached her to be his wife because he favoured her that she would have approached the younger men. But this does not give license for men to be apathetic in their pursuit because of rejection. Rejection does indeed hurt the soul and wounds the pride but revealed love is better than concealed love. Of course one ought to be wise in his approach and rejection should not cripple you but perhaps it may leave you for a while walking on a stick. So, Men should ask women and women should ask men perhaps to the lesser extreme of Ruth.
The guide in which all Christians may turn to in order to pursue a God honouring relationship is the bible. One ought to search the scriptures to see those things which delights the heart of God; and God delights in our romantic relationships for male and female He created them. There are many principles one could draw out from the treasury of scripture but to prevent the longevity of the article, a couple will be mentioned below and hopefully to your benefit. These are not to be followed legalistically so to avoid that sin, this paper only list those principles which addresses the heart of a man in relation to his God which naturally leads to how one will behave.
1. Love God- Loving God is the sum of the Christian life and a genuine love for God will naturally lead to loving other people. ‘Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love‘. 1 john 4:7-8. When you Love God, you will love the person that you are dating and you will seek their good because love is kind and patient. It is not proud, it seeks to protect and always trust.
2. Trust God- Loving God naturally means that you will trust God. You will trust God that he will guide you to your right partner and your trust of Him will be so worthy that when you feel a particular taste towards a person and God makes it clear to you that you should not pursue them, you will in that moment trust God and forget your fleshly wants. In doing this, you are avoiding the pitfall of heartache for you and for her. So before you pursue someone in dating, it is important to seek God and ask of him diligently whether this is a worthy cause or not.
3. Follow Jesus- Our Bridegroom said ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these things will be added to you’. The added things mentioned by our Lord did not include dating in the passage but the principle remains that we should seek him first. Our Shepherd did not say, seek first food or dating but seek first the kingdom of God. Some in their desire for a spouse tend to neglect this command and thus swim in the sea of idolatry. Their partner becomes their all; or their pursuit and wantonness of a relationship becomes the bread of their existence and where they could have been satisfied with abundant manna from heaven, they settle for the crumbs which is not fitting for the children of the house to eat. So, follow Jesus and seek him first then the pursuit of dating will not become idolatry but it will serve to glorify God.
Dating was defined as the activity of regularly going out with somebody as a romantic partner and that men and woman should pursue a relationship that aims to glorify God and three non legalistic principles were suggested. If dating still remains an issue for you for this article only briefly touched on some of the issues, then please feel free to comment and if you do want to know more of my personal views then ask and it shall be given to you.
Quote from: Why aren't Cristians dating? by Camerin Courtney. http://www.crosswalk.com/singles/11621064/