Often times, the average Christian single struggles with dating because we do not know how to approach dating without compromising our values or our walk with Christ. At most, we focus on the ‘do not do this’ aspect more than the ‘how to’. It’s fair, given the amount of teaching we are constantly fed about what not to do instead of how to do what we ought to do right.
However, do not be misled for we cannot shift the blame because our elders and leaders are only doing things the best way they know how. Someone said, “You’re not responsible for the programming you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult you’re 100% responsible for fixing it because when you blame others you give up your power to change.”
The question at hand then becomes, “What is dating for the Christian single and how do I remain faithful to God while dating?”
Dating for Christian singles is exactly that-dating. The problem arises when we treat a dating relationship as a marriage. Don’t get me wrong; YES! Your ‘partner’ is a potential spouse but s/he they are not your spouse yet and therefore cannot be treated as such. Tony A Gaskins Jr. puts it in simple terms when he says “in a dating-relationship you do just that, date.” Meaning you get to know each other, call, text, go out for movies, lunch, breakfast, etc. But of course the modern world has altered this to include sex, sleepovers and many other marriage privileges.
However as a Christian, you absolutely cannot give marriage benefits like sex and other forms of intimacy UNTIL you have both exchanged vows. You also can’t tempt yourselves by perhaps meeting alone in private places. Let’s not be naïve, just the two of you in a private room for hours? doing what? Talking about the sun, moon and stars? Your self-control can only go so far and you were designed with those fully functional hormones by God Himself so that they can perform their task when the time is right. Do not give the devil a loophole, give him an inch and he will go a whole mile, he knows that they work too and a cozy moment for two is the perfect atmosphere for temptation to creep in.
OH WAIT! Forgive me. Here I go, also focusing the don’ts. Let me get right into it. You can remain faithful to God while dating by building friendship between you and your “partner” in the following ways:
Let friendship be the basis of the potential lifetime relationship; ask the right questions and PAY ATTENTION. Do not rush into the ‘we are dating to marry’ phase immediately when someone pops up with the intention to settle down. Evaluate everything, exercise patience with yourself, be picky(you can afford to), set standards and be selfish with those standards (drop them for no one. Absolutely no one!).
Give God His rightful first place no matter what. Seek counsel from the Holy Spirit even if it’s just to find out if this person is worth your time BEFORE getting into the relationship. We often want God to bless relationships that He’s had nothing to do with in the first place. Anyone who feels like you’re asking for too much is not worth your time whether you’re the pursuer or being pursued. However, be careful not to be “too spiritual” or “too fleshly” about things, there has to be a perfect balance between the two. You will not be speaking in tongues when you relate with each other on a personal level (LOL)! The Bible does teach us to be sober-minded, that is to live a balanced life. Do not be with someone purely because they pray so well when there is zero physical or mental attraction. At the same time do not base your decision to be with someone wholly on the fact that they have pink lips, a pointed nose etc. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you choose that one person who can encourage you, someone to partner with spiritually and most importantly serve God with.