A lot of people have the tendency to think a Christian dating relationship is dull or lacks adventure.
And while there may be plenty of examples to feed the stereotype, this doesn’t mean that your life needs to be this way.
If you’re under the impression that Jesus wants you to conform to some ridiculous mold that sucks the fun out of your dating life, it’s time to rethink who Jesus is and start to form a renewed mindset about what His desires are for your life.
He wants you to enjoy dating to the fullest, and He wants you to begin to lay the foundational groundwork now so you can build upon it as time moves forward in your dating relationship.
Shaping that foundation is critical, here are two helpful questions we should ask ourselves before a relationship spontaneously begins to grow.
If the person you are dating seems to be going in a different direction than you in any regard, time can pass in the beginning where you are able to ignore it, but as the differences become more obvious or glaring, eventually the tension begins to dramatically increase. And the further apart you are when the breakup happens, the more painful it will be because you’ve been together longer.
“Are we going in the same direction?” is an extremely important question to ask. When you are dating someone, this is one of the first things you want to consider. You’ll avoid a lot of future pain if you’re honest enough to address the potential relationship-ending issues now rather than later.
Of course, this is especially important in the spiritual aspect of your relationship. I have known and talked with many people who have compromised and decided to settle for someone who just isn’t on the same level as they are in their walk with God, and time and time again, it has been a recipe for a relationship disaster. Sadly, Christians are consistently guilty of compromise in this area.
Regardless of the situation, when a Christian compromises, and settles for someone who doesn’t have a passion for Jesus, tough spiritual times lay ahead. If they are going in opposite spiritual directions, it can be very harmful/hurtful to both parties involved if it’s not addressed early on.
A Christian who desires a healthy, fruitful relationship with God has no business dating someone who doesn’t care about following Christ wholeheartedly.
The Christian life is always meant to be experienced in the context of community and fellowship with other believers, and a couple should never date in isolation.
When we begin to separate ourselves or break away from the pack, so to speak, a number of bad consequences start to creep into our lives. Our three enemies: the world, the sinful nature or “flesh,” and the Devil, can easily gain a foothold and influence our decision making in a negative way.
However, if we proactively involve other caring believers in our lives, they are often able to spot areas where we might be prone to compromise and succumb to temptation.
For dating couples, the urge to isolate frequently rises up and it can be tempting to cut other people out, but it’s never a good idea to pursue seclusion when you’re dating someone. Removing other important friends or family members from your romantic endeavors propagates all kinds of sinful stuff.
You need godly people in your life to give you balance and perspective. You need input from individuals who are wiser than you. If you want your relationship to experience health on every level, you cannot date in a vacuum, devoid of others.
I’m not saying that your dating relationship is, in fact, everyone else’s business to the point that too many people are giving you unsolicited advice on every tiny detail of your life. That would be extreme. I’m saying that you should involve the godly people you trust the most. The kind of folks who will ask you the tough questions about maintaining the spiritual health of your relationship.
Men should be asked if they are leading their girlfriend toward Jesus, and serving her sacrificially. Women should be asked if they are pointing their boyfriend toward Christ, and encouraging him to be in love with his Savior.
Without these kinds of questions, motivations start to slip, guards come down, and the hypnotizing lure of sin can quickly creep in and poison a godly dating relationship.
A couple in isolation is a couple in danger, so surround yourselves with godly men and women who care about you and care about Jesus.
If you do, you’ll be laying the right kind of building blocks that shape a foundation, bringing honor to the Lord.
Adapted from Shelby’s book, I am a Tool to Help with your Dating Life.
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After 20 years in the profession of helping people, I have come to understand something: we cause much of our pain by the people we choose. In every kind of clinical issue that psychologists deal with, relationships are a big part of the picture in some way.
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