Dating. Some hear this word and feel waves of anxiety. Some remember great hurts and fears. Some think of dating with excitement and happiness. Whatever your reaction when you think of the concept of dating, know this: the Bible it is important to know what God’s Word says wise, godly dating should look like.
What Godly Dating is Not
Today, we will examine biblically what godly dating is not.
It is not an opportunity to feel joy and satisfaction. Yes, through God’s grace, He allows relationships to be a huge blessing and encouragement to us. It feels good to know that someone cares about you and finds you to be someone worth their time and attention. These good feelings are a blessing and gift from God, and are natural. However, they should not be the reason for the relationship.
As we know, feelings come and go, ebb and flow. Our feelings and emotions are often more unstable than a ship on a stormy sea. The Bible supports this concept in Jeremiah 17:9 when it states that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Because our hearts are deceitful and desperately sick (or wicked) we cannot trust it! Surely something so unstable should not be the foundation of our relationships. We want pleasure, comfort, and to feel loved, and it may seem as though a relationship will deliver those things. But God never designed us to find our lasting satisfaction and joy in anyone or any thing other than Himself.
It is not an opportunity to focus on self. This is a well-known concept, and yet it is far too easy to fall into sinful desires that serve ourselves. Wanting a companion who serves you and pays attention to you is not a bad thing, and in fact should be something one does in a relationship, but this desire can become sinful when it becomes an idol or is only one-sided. It is easy to see another’s faults and how they are failing to fulfill you, and when we are focused on ourselves in this way we are much more likely to not serve others well either. When we are willing to sin in order to get what we want out of a relationship, or if we sin when we don’t get what we want, we know that our desires have become idols.
It is not something to be taken lightly. The Word of God paints the picture of only a few different kinds of relationships: friend, family, and spouse. Nowhere does the Bible teach that we should date for fun with no intention of marriage. When we find ourselves caught in the cycle of bouncing from one relationship to the next, we should stop and think: where is my focus? Why do I feel I need a relationship? When we stop to examine our desires, we can often see that our focus is on self, and we need to take dating more seriously and work on cultivating our relationship with the Lord and trusting in His timing for a spouse, not ours. We must seek Him as the source of our satisfaction and joy, and realize that He truly is better.
Dating is such an important topic, and we must study the Word of God for our answers! Stay tuned to upcoming blog posts as we discuss what dating is.