I am definitely not an expert in the area of dating. Oh how I wish that I could say that I’ve always dated in a way that brought glory to God. I have failed so many ways; yet through it I have learned more about my insecurities, grown in my discernment, and seen God’s grace so immensely. I recently got married just two months shy of my thirty-third birthday. I did not always have the right view of dating or relationships. So many times, I was upset about my singleness, and when I did date which wasn’t often, I was consumed with thoughts of the guy. As you date or consider dating, I would like to encourage you to think through these questions.
Do you place your personal worth on whether you are in a relationship or not? Are you dating just so others view you as “worthy” to be in a relationship? Remember that your identity is not in your relationship status. The only relationship which gives you an identity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, you have the awesome privilege of being a child of God, daughter of the King, and fellow heir with Christ (Heb.2:11, I John 3:1, Eph.1:5, Rom.8:17, and Eph.3:6). No man on earth can give or take away from your eternal worth!
Do you have a close friend who has your back? Is there someone who is going to ask you the hard questions? We need to be encouraged and challenged by a caring sister in Christ, I Thess. 2:12, Gal. 6:1, Heb. 10:24, and James 5:16. You need someone asking you if are struggling with purity; or asking you if the direction of the relationship is still healthy. You will never regret having a pure relationship with your boyfriend; I can make no promises otherwise. What kind of relationship do you have if you are willing to compromise your standards just to keep him? I’ve heard before that you should treat your boyfriend just like you would want someone else to treat your future husband. Just how many relationships would change just at that thought alone? Is your boyfriend encouraging you to be pure before God?
What is your purpose for dating? Are you fighting loneliness? Do you want to feel better about yourself? If your relationship ends, will it have been a complete waste of time; or will you have encouraged each other in your walk with God? Are you closer to God because of your boyfriend? If not, I would ask you to seriously pray and ask God to direct you. As women, we like to believe that we can reform a guy. Yet, we have set ourselves up for a dangerous fall. If you are dating someone who you know that you could never marry, you are playing a dangerous game. Once the heart is engaged, it is not an easy thing to end a relationship. Take time away. Step back and look at the big picture. If you are dating someone of bad character, then why continue? It will not be a happy marriage. Trust God that He can take care of you and provide a godly husband. If you have failed, start today as a new day. God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us, I John 1:9. Repent, confess, RECEIVE FORGIVENESS, and live by God’s grace! Always remember, God loves you and has His best in mind for you!
Growing up with a strong Christian family, Shelly has had the privilege of having many godly, influential people in her life. Besides going to college in Indiana and teaching school for 1 year in Texas, she has lived in Minnesota her whole life. Recently, she moved to Colorado after meeting her husband on E-Harmony. She is extremely humbled by how the Almighty God works in our lives in such personal ways. Shelly is now a missionary to college students. She is thrilled with the opportunity to share the gospel with college students, to help them grow in their faith, and to encourage them to be sold out servants for God. She enjoys coffee, books, volleyball, bike rides, movies, long walks, and playing games.
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