By Michelle Lazurek, Crosswalk.com
God loves godly relationships! As excited as we get when we find that special guy/gal who makes us laugh, helps us to see God deeper, and who we want to be a part of our everyday life—God, as the author of romance, gets ecstatic!
With such a blessing, it’s absolutely essential that before you date someone, you understand how to keep a godly relationship. Here’s 5 things to keep in mind:Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Burst
1. Examine Your Motives
First, it is of utmost priority that you really think about the "why" behind pursuing this relationship. Is your purpose more to find companionship, physical and emotional fulfillment and social acceptance, or is it to serve the Lord? Christians pursuing dating should consider both reasons for whom they choose to spend their time.
While having someone to spend time with fills the need for emotional fulfillment and socialization, in everything a Christian should consider how to best honor God with everything, including their relationships.
Christians need to do a heart analysis and examine why they want to date in the first place. If they are looking for someone to meet their emotional needs, they are entering into it with the wrong motives.
No person will ever fulfill you the way God can. God wants to be the first—and most important—priority in your life. Christians must do the soul work necessary to be as healthy as possible, so they can not only find someone for the right reasons, but also be the healthiest person for your mate as well.
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2. Make Sure Your Faith Is on the Same Page
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14). Although this verse is talking about an unbeliever being matched with a believer, two Christians attending different churches of different denominations and consequently different schools of thought may be a bad match from the start.
Both parties need to be firm on their beliefs and interpretations of Scripture from the beginning to avoid any big issues after they get married. If both parties ignore these issues because they feel they can work them out during their engagement, it might become a costly decision in the long run.
Christians couples need to be in a church they can agree on that teaches the Word and theologically aligns with their beliefs.
Christians who choose to date someone should be thinking about what the long-term relationship look like. This may require each person to talk out what they believe. This may get interesting, as both people may be surprised as to what they discover about the other person’s beliefs. Additionally, both people may have doubts or questions about the bible, their faith or how the two intersect in real life.
Talking it through will help both parties practice talking through tough topics and discover—and accept—each person right where they are.
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3. Only Pursue Relationships that Lead You Closer to God
Genesis 2:18 says, “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
God never wants us to walk our spiritual journeys alone. Even God Himself exists in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All are equal but have different roles. The most important role is to be in community together. Just as marriage was good because man shouldn’t be alone, it is also good because Adam and Eve needed each other.
In the same way, men and women need each other. Each person plays a different role in the relationship, utilizing their strengths and compensating for each other’s weaknesses to complement each other in the best way possible.
Even if the person you date turns out not to be the one for them, the benefit of community to sharpen each other and spur one another on in the faith outweighs the drawbacks of trying to navigate the Christian life alone.
But, we must remember that this is the purpose of dating. Dating isn't just for fun or to pass the time. Dating is to spur one another on and lead eachother to God.
Ephesians 6:13 says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
The days are evil. Satan is prowling around, waiting to destroy any Christians who are on fire for God. When a Christian is isolated, it is easier for the devil to trick him/her into worshipping him rather than God. But when there is more than one Christian together? This makes the couple stronger and allows them to multiply the amount of impact they make for the Kingdom.
When Christians date with the intention of finding a partner rather than just someone to hang out with, their partnership honors God and serves the Kingdom in mighty ways.
If Christians think about this before they begin the dating process, the better off they will be and less likely to experience heartbreak if/when a relationship ends, and the less likely the couple is to fall into a selfish relationship that isn't focused on God.
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4. Be Prepared for an Ending
If you are going to date casually, you have to think about how you will end the relationship if it comes to that. Whether the person you date winds up being your future mate, you still must honor them, even during the breakup. No breakups should occur by any other method than face-to-face. To honor a person’s worth and value, you must tell them you are ending it directly, rather than via text, phone or other method.
In relationships, as with anything, the golden rule applies, “do unto others as you would have done unto you.” If you would want someone to break-up directly than you must do the same. It may feel awkward or scary, but you are honoring the person when you state your feelings as well as a reason behind why. It helps give the other person closure and allows you to refrain from feeling any awkwardness.
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5. Don’t Get Discouraged
It may seem like it takes a long time to find your forever mate, but don’t worry. Its’ rare you find that right person as the first person you date. As long as you solidify the qualities you are looking for the perfect mate, you’ll know what to look for in each person—and you’ll also know when you find it.
While you may know people who dated and got married right after high school, and those couples are blessed to have found someone at such a young age. But that is not for everyone and is a bit rare. Don't feel bad if the person you date on high school doesn’t turn out to be the one.
It’s better to figure out before you get married you are not a good match, before worse consequences must be faced.
Some Christians may not adopt your dating model of dating many people but stand firm to your values. As long as you honor the people you date and don’t treat them as second rate simply because they don’t coincide with the way you think, act or believe, you can date freely, knowing you are honoring yourself and God in the process.
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Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children's Book of the Year and the Enduring Light Silver Medal, she is a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Her first book with Leafwood Publishers, An Invitation to the Table, came out September 2016. She also teaches at various writers' workshops, such as the Montrose Christian Writers conference. She and her husband live in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, with their two children, Caleb and Leah. For more information, please visit her website at http://www.michellelazurek.com/.
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