To Date Or Not To Date

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Been on a date lately? Do you groan at the thought of going on a date or does it excite you? Your cultural, familial, and faith background often strongly influence your approach to dating. Some Christians are opposed to the practice of dating. They maintain that praying and waiting in God is the way to go. While we think that seeking God on this matter is first and foremost, we also support the active pursuit of a spouse. As the scriptures say, ‘faith without works is dead.’ If you are believing for a spouse, there has to be some action on your part.

We are not necessarily saying that you should approach brothers to initiate a relationship out of thin air, but being approachable, hospitable, and friendly helps a lot in meeting someone. Joining a small fellowship group at church or your favorite ministry team can seriously increase your chances of meeting a man.

Most of us have our ‘wish list’ of attributes for a spouse. Yes, God will give you the desires of your heart. But sometime we have to be a little flexible with our selection criteria. We tend to emphasize the physical attributes, financial status or social standing, but God sees a person based on his or her heart. After all, that is where all matters of life flow – Proverbs 4:23. That’s where dating comes in.

Dating simply means getting to know another person; it allows you to learn their character. After a few dates, you are better informed on whether to pursue a relationship further.

And remember, you cannot always judge a book by its cover. You would be surprised of how much potential we dismiss at face value simply because a man does not look the way we expect. So go ahead, get to know people! One-on-one dates and group dates are a great way to have fun as you get to know others. You may find a friend for life, and maybe more! This open-minded approach to dating as a means of getting to know someone alleviates the stress and anxiety associated with singleness and waiting for a relationship. Who said being single should be boring?

To help you along your dating journey, we came across these useful dating tips by

1.  Don’t take it too seriously: Now that we’ve put aside the concept of “Christian dating”, we should probably also put aside the notion that dating must equal marriage.  If we only go on dates based on our perception that a person has the potential of being our life-long partner, very few people would ever actually go on a date.  There’s very little that can be learned about someone outside a significant interaction of some sort.  For some, that can be accomplished through the development of a friendship, but it eventually requires the next step in the form of an actual date.   Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to know if they’re “the one” before committing to dinner and a movie.  Let’s not take this so seriously, amen?

2.  Don’t take it too lightly:  I know it sounds like I’m about to contradict myself, but bear with me.  I hold firm to the fact that you don’t need a commitment toward marriage from date number 1, but I also believe that you should do yourself a favor by not taking dating too lightly, either.  You should always hold to a set of personal values and beliefs that you are unwilling to compromise when it comes to getting to know someone.  Instead of just treating dates with the randomness of the lottery, always know what you’re looking for, and what you want to avoid.  If you know something is a dead end from the start, don’t bother going down that path.  Your time and emotional energy is valuable, so decrease your risks by investing into relationships that will build you up and challenge you no matter what the outcome.

3.  Be Yourself:  No-brainer.  But really, it has to be said.  There are far too many people out there trying to be someone they are not- or even worse- unaware of who they actually are.  In order to be yourself, you have to know yourself.  Take the time to really get to the heart of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going- and give others the respect they deserve by displaying authenticity in your interactions.

4.  Enjoy your Time:  How easy is it to get so hung up on this dating stuff that it becomes more stressful than enjoyable?  Getting to know people should be a rewarding time of learning about others.  It’s a chance to get a glimpse of God in the people that He’s made.  There’s something really grand about that!  Look for Him at work in your interactions with others, and have a good time.

5.  Leave with No Regrets:  The easiest way to live a life of little regret is to make good choices.  When it comes to dating, it’s important to see it as an opportunity for good choices to be made- rather than just focus on all the potential risks.  Making good choices involves setting healthy boundaries and limits in your emotional and physical exchanges with others.  Don’t give too much too fast with any area of your life and learn to see trust as something that is earned, not freely given.  The best way to enjoy healthy dating is to do it in a way that leaves you with no regrets.

6.  Take the Next Step:  No matter what comes of your dating experience, it’s always important to do what’s next.  That may mean planning another date, or making the deliberate decision not to.  Either way, be clear with your intentions and the direction that you’re heading with your dating relationship.  Don’t let guilt or fear hold you back either way.  You owe commitment to no-one, but you owe proper communication to all. 

Make a deliberate choice to reflect the character of God in all your actions and interactions with the opposite sex.  And remember to have a good time!  Happy Dating

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To Date Or Not To Date

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