I feel like there is a never-ending need for dating advice, even among Christians. And you know what- this is probably because there isn’t a thing in the Bible I can find that refers to dating, so don’t expect to see any here. There’s nothing on courtship either. There are two or three dozen Scriptures and then some that can apply to dating, but why doesn’t God address the topic directly?
Interesting question, isn’t it?
Here’s why I think He doesn’t: we’re not supposed to date.
I understand there’s a need for a “boyfriend/girlfriend” period before we jump into the covenant of marriage with one another; that’s a nice period to take and pray about your future with your partner and ask God for confirmations that this is your life partner, and work together to prepare yourselves to live out a Godly marriage with one another.
But I don’t mean that. I mean DATING. I mean that period where you are seeing a guy or gal and you’re not committed enough to take any ownership over each other by using “titles.”
Ladies- why is it okay for you to go out with a guy on a number of dates, let him spend his money on you, but you not give him the satisfaction of calling you his own?
Guys- why is it okay to take a girl out and show her to a nice time, be there for her and available to her, but not satisfying her need of commitment to only her?
(And don’t even get me started on having sex in these kinds of relationships… let’s just go ahead and say that’s a no. You’re not married; please keep your hands to yourselves).
I have a theory: we’re afraid of something.
Some of us are afraid of being with one person. Some of us are afraid of settling for the person in front of us. Some of us are just that self-seeking that we want the attention of multiple people. Some of us have trust issues and we’re afraid of being betrayed. Some of us are afraid of accountability, and we don’t want to answer to someone other than ourselves.
And this might sound bad or rude or judgmental or whatever, if it hurts to hear it, I’m sorry in advance:
If you are any of those things I just listed, you don’t deserve a relationship with a member of the opposite sex, “just dating” or otherwise.
People, I HAVE DONE THIS. I speak from EXPERIENCE.
If you can’t give your all to someone, it’s just not fair to them, and I mean this ESPECIALLY at professing Christians. I’m not saying you can’t have friends of the opposite sex, but let’s be honest, when things move into this “dating” category, how often does it end well?
As Christians, close to all of us expect the husband or wife God has created for us, and by “dating” we really throw a wrench in there because we’re with someone -but we’re not- and they may be that special someone -or they might not be. What happens if you bring the girl you’re “dating” to the event you were supposed to meet your wife at? Granted, God knows when and how we’re going to screw stuff up, and He’s capable of making all things work out for the good of those who love Him (okay, so THAT is scripture, Romans 8) but that grace is no excuse to go mess it up anyway! (Okay, also scripture, Romans 6).
As someone who came out of that pit and into a relationship with Christ, and as someone who has had most of the damage retained in that area, I despise “dating.” The phrase, “I don’t want commitment, I just want to have fun,” and “Who needs titles, why can’t we just have some fun” are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I just cringe.
Afraid of being with one person? Nobody deserves half of you.
Afraid of settling? If you can’t deem them worthy of a relationship, then stop giving them false hope.
Coming out of a major relationship? A significant other is the last thing you need. Press into Jesus.
Need more attention than one person can give? God has more thoughts about you than there are grains of sand on this planet. You need him, not 3 different people to date.
Problems trusting people? Allow God to love you lavishly. Learn to trust Him first.
Don’t want to report to someone? Christians call that conviction. If you’re doing the right things, there’s nothing to be afraid of reporting.
And that list could go on and on. Believe me, I’ve heard more excuses than that, but they’re just that: EXCUSES.
Dating is a waste of time. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: if we believe God has created the perfect partner for us, and we’re determined to follow His will, He’ll bring people into our lives as He sees fit (and sometimes take them out-I’ve lived and seen that).
Courting with the intention of marriage is totally different than dating. If you think maybe God has brought that person finally, yes, by all means, court. If it starts out as a first, second, and third date to see if it’s a good idea to commit, cool. But don’t just “date to have fun” – please.
Be “boyfriend and girlfriend,” seek those confirmations, and listen to what He says. But this dating thing, please- believe me when I say – it’s not really as fun as it seems. These relationships were not built for that purpose. They were built for marriage which was built to reflect our relationship with Jesus.
In my honest-to-God opinion; you shouldn’t want to be with someone who just wants to date; and you if you only want to date, please reevaluate your heart, because you hold a lot of potential to hurt somebody.