Are you looking for Christian dating advice?
I don’t have a degree in family therapy and relationships. And neither am I an expert on dating or marriage. But I’m just a man concerned about the questionable advice you’re getting from some professionals and Christian counselors.
Marriage is a sacred institute. And you know that. That’s the reason you’re worried about who you date, why you date and when you’ll date. I commend you for that.
You have seen how marriages are breaking everyday like a half-baked piece of chinaware. And you are worried. You don’t want your marriage to end in divorce. Therefore, every morning you read every Christian dating advice you can find on blog posts, magazines or Christian books.
Again. That’s wonderful.
But you need to be careful of some common yet dangerous Christian dating advice people give. These misconceptions may ruin your life as a Christian single or put unnecessary pressure on your date.
4 Misconceptions About Dating Every Single Christian Should Know
1. There’s only one person right for you
Mr. Right is a male siren, he will lure you to your destruction. You need to stop searching for this white rabbit. If there’s only one person right for you, then is God not violating that person’s free will?
God through his abundant mercies will present to you someone good for you. But if you miss out on the presentation, do not despair. Someone else will come or God will present that person again. You just need to trust God and see.
2. Mr. Right should match your list of qualities
You probably have a paper tagged in your diary that lists the qualities you want in a man. Go and tear that apart. Yes, it’s good to know what you want in a husband. But it’s selfish to demand what you’re not.
How about a little grace? I wanted to be a blessing to my wife. I never listed down the qualities I want in a woman. But I made a small prayer: God make me a good husband so that when my wife comes she won’t have trouble identifying me.
3. Date a guy who is within your class or better
You have heard this advice from prominent church leaders. This is plain wrong in every sense because are poor guys not supposed to marry girls from rich families? That’s pathetic.
I know you need security. You want a guy who will be able to take care of you. But our God is able to lift up the poor from the dust and grant them a sit with the princes. This discrimination will make you miss out on experiencing this grace firsthand.
4. You need a sign from God before you date
It’s wise being discretionary when it comes to dating. You don’t have to date every Christian guy who asks you out. But you’re not going to marry the guy who will come to church on Sunday wearing red shirt. Girlfriend, they’re many boys who support Manchester United and Arsenal. Most guys will be wearing red on Sunday.
You might have low self-esteem, struggle with your self-identity and clueless about tomorrow. But God trusts you. He trusts the Christ in you. For that reason he delegated to you the responsibility of finding your husband. You don’t need a sign, you need to trust God and listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
5 Amazing Christian Dating Advice The Church Taught Me
[bctt tweet=”Best #ChristianDatingAdvice you date for marriage out of love for God and because you love the guy.” via=”no”]
The church is not perfect because you and I are far from perfect. Yes, those four bad Christian dating advice are peddled frequently in Christian communities. But I am glad that the church taught me some glorious truths. These truths helped me to dispel the lies.
I want to a couple of Christian dating advice Suzanne Munganga published yesterday in Relevant Magazine.
Suzanne Munganga identified three things she believed were lies the church taught her about dating. But when I read the article, I was convinced that the three things she identified were the core truths every Christian should know about dating. In all sincerity those three are the best advice on Christian dating I ever received.
1. Don’t date someone you don’t see yourself marrying.
I dated someone I saw myself marrying because I didn’t want to prostitute my heart for temporary amusement. Suzanne Munganga argued, “While it is true that dating with purpose is important, what we fail to remember is that there can be more than one purpose.” Yes, there could be many reasons for dating but the primary purpose is marriage.
You’re not being oppressed when you’re advised to reserve dating for a time when you’re ready for marriage. It’s a wise advice. If you can’t see a future with the guy, don’t date him. You’re too precious to unreasonably scar your heart with unnecessary social experiments.
2. Guard your heart
Guard your heart is not bad advice, it’s godly and gracious advice. It’s understanding that we’re living in a fallen world. They’re vultures out there ready to pounce on your fragile heart. And you need to jealously guard it.
Guarding your heart is not locking it away out of reach. It’s merely being attentive to God’s words and allowing it to guide you in your relationship. You are good steward of your heart when you’re watchful of your emotional engagements.
3. He/she should love God more than he/she loves you.
Loving God doesn’t mean that the guy is perfect. It only means he’s being perfected and that’s a good thing. If a guy loves you more than God, then you should know that there’s a temporary thing about you that he loves – not you. He only loves something about you; your boobs, your butt, your body or your bucks but not you.
Here’s the truth. If your boyfriend loves you more than he loves God, then you’re his idol. And the problem with idols is they are meant to be eternal but they aren’t. Such a relationship is not born out of love but infatuation. And soon it will crumble like an igloo in a tropical summer.
4. Love is the goal, not vulnerability.
Reading Suzanne Munganga’s article, I realized her central theme was to promote vulnerability. She cites C.S. Lewis who once said in The Four Loves (get free PDF copy):
vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell.
The best Christian dating advice Suzanne Munganga gave was that you shouldn’t lock away your heart in a casket and through away the keys. But inasmuch as you can’t love without being vulnerable, vulnerability isn’t the goal. Love is.
The goal of a marathon is to complete the course, not becoming tired. But when you run you get tired. You don’t practice getting tired, you practice for a marathon. For that reason, I disagree with Suzanne Munganga that “there is also wisdom in allowing dating to be a platform by which you practice being vulnerable.”
5. Jesus Christ heals the brokenhearted.
When you open your heart to a vulture you get hurt. Sometimes you can get hurt by a good guy; a guy who loves God, a boyfriend you were proud of, a man of well-repute. But the good news is that God is close to the brokenhearted and he even heals them.
You can learn to be vulnerable and gracious by loving your neighbor. You can grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ by loving God. Therefore, the primary purpose of dating is not vulnerability, grace, growth and knowledge while marriage is tucked away out of sight.
The goal of dating is marriage, therefore practicing vulnerability, grace, growth and knowledge is secondary.