Dating is a very controversial topic in the church at large… luckily I only pastor one church so I’ll give you my take on it. First, I would like to state that I believe in dating before marriage! I feel as though there wouldn't be as many divorces if we would get to know a person before we married them. Before we go any further I must define the difference between the phrases “We’re dating” and “went on a few dates”:
The phrase “We are dating,” in my opinion, refers to couple that has for the time being decided to become monogamously involved with one another as a means to get to know each other for the purpose of life long marriage in the future (no fornication involved).
The phrase “We went on a few dates,” in my opinion, refers to two grown individuals that decided to see if they are compatible with each other to begin dating (no fornication involved).
As a single Christian you have so much pressure to live under now-a-days: Some have parents telling them that they need to get married, then you have married people who think you want their mate, and then you have to turn down every player or harlot in town. On top of this you have those that will jump to conclusions about an individual because he/she is not in a relationship. This becomes complicated because you have to not only address those that are pressuring you then have to find a way to a. meet, b. court, and c. some how build a life with an individual while d. maintaining morals.
I was married at 22 years old and have been married for the past 8 years (Oct 23, 2005). When I was dating my wife I had to be ultra careful because I was a young very attractive pastor (I have pictures to prove it lol), and there were many young men watching my example so that they could replicate what I was doing in their own lives. My wife and I “kept it HOLY” so to speak both in public and in private… but I would be lying if I said it was easy!! At every turn someone had an opinion or a rule regarding something we were doing being that she and I went on a few dates before we were exclusively involved with one another. Even though my wife and I were young we didn't have time for the games and did want to waste each others time, so we went on a few dates to see if we even liked one anther. Church people didn't like it, but as a Christian if you are going to enjoy life you are going to have to learn to live a life that pleases God and God alone. I have put together a few guidelines that I feel will allow you to date as a Christian.
- Remember that the scripture says let not your good be evil spoken of so I would suggest all dates that end before 10:00 pm unless it’s a group setting (karaoke, group date night @ Dave & Busters etc.)
- Refuse to be kept a secret - you are an adult and don’t HAVE to hide anything from anyone
- Don’t date anyone in the “midst of a divorce" (whether it’s nasty or not) you are married until you get the final decree! From there it’s all good…
- Avoid long conversation with the person you’re dating that have a heavy sexual connotation (realistically it’s going to come up, but have STRONG boundaries)
- Be honest if it’s not working no need to prolong a bad situation "end it" in the most mature way possible
- Break-ups don’t have to be childish! However, its common that during the break up you realize you were dating a big kid (but that’s another blog)
- Be yourself, if they “fall” for you want to make sure they know who “you” actually are
- Plus fake people suck - keep it 100
- Be transparent with friends and family but they don’t need to know ALL of your business
- The less people involved in a relationship the better
- If you are “dating” someone make sure there is a spiritual element involved
- pray together
- study the Bible together
- go to church together
- Don’t be too invested!! "They" are not yours until you are married. Conduct yourself in such a manner that if they leave... you've lost nothing but time… although time is irreplaceable you don’t want to have lost your time and your dignity after dealing with someone.
- Be open (with reason) don’t try to mold anyone “into” someone they are not. Because life is a journey, you are constantly learning about yourself and you never know… you may grow to like someone or something you never thought you would… opposites attract
If there are children involved it changes the game a little whether you are a women or a man. You don’t want to bring a lot of different men and women “in-front" of your children; it just sends the wrong message, and can be a little confusing to them. I would suggest you not only wait until you have a definite handle on the relation, but also until you have a very good feel for the individuals intentions and character before they have the pleasure of meeting your children.
I would like to say however that I feel that it is healthy for a child to see a single parent date at one point or another. This will help them to develop a realistic view on healthy romantic relationships when they become an adult themselves.
In closing, Christ came so that we can have life and that we may have it more abundantly! So you better enjoy that bad boy cause you only get one... As always this is Pastor Walter B. Rogers telling you to be postured for correction, but not positioned for manipulation…
Feedback is welcomed please leave a comment below…