Hear Ye, Hear Ye! This is a proclamation from The King Of Kings!
1.) “Stop looking for “the one”
“How will I know when I find ‘the one’?”
You won’t. Mostly because “the one” doesn’t exist. The truth is you could spend your life with more than one person.
Here’s the deal: God doesn’t set up marriage as a divine lottery where every person has one winning ticket.
Marriage isn’t as much about finding someone totally compatible as it is about committing to someone despite difficulties and differences.
“The one” says you need to find the perfect person. And discovering one flaw means it’s time to move on.
But the beauty of marriage is God sustains you despite your flaws. The brokenness you see in yourself and the brokenness you experience from your spouse point both of you to the only perfect one, God.
The brokenness in a marriage should point you to the only perfect one, God.
2.) Date with a trajectory towards marriage.
This quote sums it up:
Dating without the intent of getting married is like going to the grocery store with no money. You either leave unsatisfied or you take something that isn’t yours. Jefferson Bethke
That’ll preach right there. If you are a Christian, there is no reason to date without a trajectory towards marriage. Now, I want to clarify what I mean.
If you are a Christian, there is no reason to date without a trajectory towards marriage.
Dating with a trajectory towards marriage means dating with a purpose. It means dating with an understanding of the gospel. It means dating someone who meets the values and goals you have for a future spouse.
Casual or purposeless dating has no benefit for Christians. We are intentional beings. We are designed to know why we do stuff and where we are going. Dating is no different.
You might get into a relationship with someone who loves Jesus, meets the values you have in a future spouse, and is compatible with you. But once you get into the relationship, you realize things aren’t as they seemed. Maybe they like to cuddle with cats or something. That’s always a deal breaker.
Just end the relationship, and continue to seek the Lord.
Disclaimer: Dating is intimate. It involves sharing personal struggles and vulnerability.
3.) The ultimate purpose of marriage is sanctified. Treat it that way.
There is another dangerous mentality in Christian circles I want to address…”flirting to convert.”
Christians are called to be missionaries. The dating world, however, is not the place to be a missionary. Don’t allow pride to deceive you. You can’t change someone. That’s God job.
4.) Have a list of values and don’t compromise them.
If you have no idea what values are important to you in a future spouse, exit the road to marriage at the next off ramp. Pull over at the closest gas station and decide what you want in a future spouse. It’s dangerous riding on the road to marriage without an idea of where you are going.
Now, when you form this list, don’t be legalistic. Don’t sit someone down on the first date and interview them to make sure they meet all of the qualities. Your list is designed to give you a framework for dating, not be a checklist for it.
On the other hand, don’t compromise. Your heart and the holiness of marriage are too important to flippantly give away because you are frustrated, impatient, or settling.
One more thing: have primary and secondary values. And filter appropriately.
Let’s practice. If you believe God is preparing you for foreign missions, is it important the person you marry shares this passion? Yes…this is a primary value. If you love the Cowboys and your future spouse loves the Packers, is it important to work through this before marriage? No…this is a secondary value.
Primary values are probably deal breakers. Secondary values are probably not.
5.) Don’t “shotgun” date.
Ever handled a shotgun? If not, let me fill you in. The shells of a shotgun are stuffed with tiny round balls. When you pull the trigger, these balls spread over a large range, increasing the chance you hit the target. It’s great for hunting…it’s terrible for dating.
“Let’s see. I am going to ask 20 people on a date. Five of those should be keepers. Hopefully one will end up as my spouse.”
Not a good idea. I fear this mentality in the dating culture is actually promoting divorce.
The culture says, “Date around. It’s okay. Get to know yourself.” And as soon as the person you are dating smacks his or her gum the wrong way, you are out. So, the default for years is to leave as soon as a flaw arises. Suddenly, when marriage begins, you are asked to flip a switch.
You are asked to go from a mentality that says “End a relationship as soon as difficulty arises,” to one that says, “Don’t end the relationship regardless of the difficulty that arises.”
That’s a tough switch to flip. Date with a trajectory towards marriage. Date intentionally.
6.) It’s okay to WANT to get married.
You desire marriage. Praise God. He gives you the desire. Let me prove it.
The first instance in the Bible where God is not pleased comes when God sees Adam living in the Garden of Eden alone (Gen. 2:18). God knows it is not good for man to be by himself. Enter Eve.
People are created to be in community. And the most intimate community on earth is the relationship you will have with your spouse. So, pray for God to send you a spouse. But don’t allow the desire to consume your life.
Be patient. Wait on the Lord. If you are confident God called you to marry, he will deliver.
7.) It’s okay NOT to get married.
While marriage is a huge sanctifier, it is not something God says is mandatory. If you aren’t ready for marriage, or if you do not want to get married, you are not sinning.
If you aren’t ready to date, don’t allow the cultural pressure to override God’s plan.
Disclaimer: If you are single, understand it is your responsibility to steward your time well. Singleness is a gift from God, but singleness is not an excuse to be lazy. It is an opportunity to serve the Lord.
8.) Have a community of Christians around you…and LISTEN to them.
Don’t date alone. This sounds lame. But so is marrying a sleezeball.
When you date, allow the community of people around to speak into your relationship. Your feelings can deceive you. Your friends are able to see inconsistencies and problems you can’t because they are outside the storm.
I know too many men and women who refused to listen to people around them, and their prideful arrogance resulted in a failed marriage. Don’t fall into this category. Find men and women you trust, and allow them to speak into your relationship.
9.) Pursue a pure mind.
“Sex before marriage is bad.” This was the extent of my understanding of Christian dating as a teenager and young adult.
What we need to teach is the importance of a pure mind. This requires discipline, restraint, and abstinence from activities that don’t promote holiness. But the sacrifice is worth the prize.
A pure mind might be the greatest gift you can give your future spouse. It allows you to jump into marriage with a clear conscience. No baggage. No comparisons. No regret. Just you, your spouse, and God.
A pure mind might be the greatest gift you can give your future spouse.
Don’t ever date someone that won’t honor purity with you. Ever.
Remember…If you are dating, you have not entered into the sacred bond of marriage. You have not made covenant vows to one another. So, the person you are dating is not yours.
Practice purity. But understand purity begins with the mind and heart.
10.) Don’t date if you are dependent on someone for things only God can provide.
If I could get on my knees and beg you to follow one of these principles, it would be this one. Dating and marriage are not for those who rely on another person for joy, peace, and purpose.
Co-dependent dating leads to co-dependent marriages. And co-dependent marriages will eventually crumble because the weight placed on them is too heavy.
God must be at the center of your life before you consider dating. If not, purity will take a back seat. Dating towards marriage will take a back seat. In fact, every principle discussed in this article is null and void without God at the center.
Don’t start dating without an assurance of God’s love for you and a solid understanding of the gospel.
YOU MUST FIRST ASK PERMISSION FROM THE KING HIMSELF BEFORE YOU CAN HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH ONE OF HIS.
Written and Proclaimed by: The King
Above all, we MUST USE THE JUDGEMENT OF CHRIST in all of our relationships. When we do, our Father will be pleased. Show this to any gentleman/lady who wants to have a relationship with you so he/she will know that there are requirements of dating.