I read a really interesting article today from Thought Catalog that voiced the pangs of casual dating. A part that struck me was “Don’t let anyone call you “crazy” for developing a real human connection and then caring about that connection. That doesn’t make you “crazy,” it makes you healthy and strong and open-hearted and ultimately someone who will absolutely receive real love one day.”
Let’s face it: the way we date today looks vastly different than years prior. When was the last time a friend told you that they had their date show up at their front door, drive them to the date and drive them home safely, say goodnight to their parents? When was the last time you saw or heard of a date where it started with a warm hug or a first kiss, and not sex or a one-night stand?
Reality is that dating is different today. We have so many different dating applications where we can choose people based on our interests and we can showcase ourselves to the world a projection of who we are and what we want to show. Casual dating has made that 100x more confusing – where dates and hookups intermix, commitments hang dry, and feelings are out of place.
So here are some reminders I want to give to Christians, whether in the LGBTQ+ or heterosexual space.
Our ultimate aim must be to know, love, and abide in Christ. If we forget what the Love of the Father is, we will traverse aimlessly through the dating world.
Breathe Deep and Know the Goodness of God.
Reflect on these questions:
- Who is the Father TO YOU?
- Have you engaged in thoughtful reflection and prayer with Him lately?
- Have you asked Him about these desires you have to date?
- Have you asked Him to speak to you about these desires to have a partner, to share and do life with someone?
I invite you to take a moment after reading this article to meditate on His word and ask yourselves these questions, to journal out your response to the Lord. Do you believe in His goodness? So if you believe in His goodness, do you believe He has hand-picked your partner for you? Do you believe then, that instead of searching for the one, you should search for the One who made your heart in service and compassion? (For some, you may find that in searching for His heart, you do not need a life companion and are supremely satisfied in His love – that’s the gift of celibacy.)
Lean Back and Rest in the Arms of the Father.
Dating is not easy. Say, you do end up finding someone that you start to like. You start to learn each other’s likes and dislikes, you start to spend time together, it seems like it’s all going really well. Often, whether as Christians or not, we lean into this love with all we’ve got – we become as the songs would say it – hopelessly, madly, irrevocably in love. We want to be with this person 24/7, if not text and call them 24/7. We think they’re amazing and they’re the one. And maybe they are. Maybe this ends up being the person you spend your life with. But as Christians, we have to take precautions – we have to lean back and rest in the arms of the Father before we lean into the arms of this loved one. Our treasure should be in His divine presence, not in the worldly treasure of this man-led pursuit. Do you get what I’m saying? Here’s the breakdown of reminders:
- Lean into His Love, and Learn to Rest in His Presence
- Spend time with your loved one, but don’t overdo it (heed curfews/time)
- Enjoy your time with your loved one, but guard your heart above all else
Here is my last point. The Bible says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” The Message version (Proverbs 4:23-27) says
Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.
We must be vigiliant to guard our hearts against impurity, and against jumping ahead to dreaming up dreams about our romance. We have to guard our hearts against making this new love our highest priority. We have to be vigiliant in balancing out our time and company with this new love. Above all else, we must guard our hearts with the Love of Christ and allow all our decisions to flow from the mind of Christ.
My last bit of advice would be that regardless of who you are with, or how many dates you decide to go on, if you pray to look at this person with the eyes of Christ, you cannot fail. You will love with the mind and heart and Spirit of Christ – and that is a constant protection for you and for them.
In the light of eternity friends,