There’s no doubt about it…dating as a believer can be a challenge at times. In fact, I really feel like Paul commanded us to “hold tight and fight the good fight of faith,” (1 Timothy 6:12) because he knew being single would become very real at times lol.
When I reflect on some of my dating experiences, I can recall times when I felt weird, odd and insecure. For example, I dated guys who believed in God but they didn’t believe in worshipping Him, so I felt weird and odd about talking about Jesus in front of them sometimes. At other times, I just felt ashamed and like a hypocrite because I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.
Those experiences really sucked so, when I finally got serious about my relationship with God, I promised to never date someone if I couldn’t be myself around them. Since making that decision dating has become a lot easier but it has not been without its challenges. There have been times when I’ve met some pretty awesome & handsome guys but due to differing beliefs & values, I’ve had to say good-bye.
No matter how much we try to be cool or laid back when dating, we just have to accept that there will be times when it’s going to feel weird. While those experiences can be discouraging, we must realize they’re ultimately refining & preparing us for the right person.
If you’re a single who’s dating or currently waiting to meet that special person, here are 10 things to keep in mind throughout your journey:
- If you feel uncomfortable telling him or her that you love Jesus now, you’ll never be comfortable loving Jesus with that person later. Often times, we meet people and we feel embarrassed or uncomfortable to let them know just how ride or die we are about our relationship with Christ. We’re afraid to be real because we’re afraid that we’ll be judged, or that we won’t be accepted once they get to know us. After all, we’ve still got a tendency to turn-up on Tuesdays and we’re still struggling in our relationship with Christ. Newsflash, none of us are perfect and let’s be real–Jesus is the best part of you. Nothing you do will ever be as perfect as your decision to follow Jesus.
- If you’re ashamed of him now, you’ll deny him later. This point is very similar to the one above, except it’s a bit deeper. It’s a serious problem when you feel as though you need to hide certain aspects of your relationship with Jesus, in order to be with someone. For example, perhaps you truly believe that salvation is the only way to heaven or you believe in the importance of tithing. However, you decide to just go with the flow and date someone who doesn’t believe these things because it makes you feel weird or odd to share that part of your faith. That kind of relationship is driven by fear and shame, and unfortunately no fruit can grow from it. In your mind, you may foresee yourself being real with that person one day as the relationship progresses but the truth is, if you’re ashamed of Him now, you’ll be probably be ashamed of Him later. Start the relationship off the right way…again, just be real.
- The purpose of being Equally Yoked is to help us. God doesn’t ask us to be equally yoked to prolong our years of singleness lol. He requests this in order to prolong our years of marriage. It’s so much better to have a short dating life and a longer marriage.
- No one will ever be on the exact same level as you spiritually, but they should most certainly be pursuing God with you. It’s crazy to think we’ll meet someone who’s in the exact same place as us spiritually. It’s impossible because we have each lived a different life rich with varying experiences, decisions and mistakes. That being said, relationships are a lot like running a race. If you’re running to win, you’re not going to pick the slowest person to be on your team. You’re going to pick someone who trains just as hard as you do, and someone who wants to win just as much as you. When things get rough in your relationship, you don’t want to be the only person in the relationship praying. You want a teammate who’s right there praying with you! Date men and women who put you in a position to win.
- It is best to date someone who has a relationship with God…not someone who’s religious. We’ve seen the effects of religious behavior play out in the media on issues such as homosexuality, immigration, abortion, etc…and it often looks a lot like judgment, and a lot less like love. Religion hurts, but relationship heals. A person who’s religious may struggle to understand the meaning of forgiveness and unconditional love because their worship has no depth. However, a person who has an actual relationship with God; one who prays, talks, and walks with God is a bit deeper, and a bit more kind because they have experienced true, unconditional love. They know what it is like to surrender themselves and their hearts in exchange for true love. Take time to find out if someone has a relationship with God or, if they’re just judgmental and/or religious—there’s a difference.
- You will be awesome but you still won’t be the one. Dating is a lot like a game of elementary school kickball—there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t get picked and that someone might be you. Us, Jesus-Lovers, have a tendency to believe that everyone will be head over heels for us because we are Christians but, we forget that even Jesus was looked over and passed over at times. You too, may encounter rejection but it’s okay because it’s for your protection. If your love affair with Jesus is too much for him or her…they just aren’t the one for you and you are not for them. Keep it moving.
- You will need to show your human side. Often times, in dating relationships we’re so afraid to make a mistake or sin that we end up being the most boring and uninteresting person in the world. Don’t be that guy and don’t be that girl. Take advantage of moments to share your personality. Tell a joke, watch a funny movie; let your hair down and laugh. Your date will thank you for it.
- It’s perfectly okay to say NO! We often confuse Christianity with being a people pleaser and we inevitably do things we don’t really want to do…like giving our number to someone just because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Solution: Ummm, please refer to number 6. Rejection is okay! Politely say no, and save yourself the time of being annoyed by someone you have zero interest in getting to know!
- It’s actually pretty cool not to be cool. When people peg us as “Jesus Freaks” or the “church girl/guy” it can feel pretty uncomfortable and can cause us to do things to “fit in” or “be cool.” Newsflash: one of the coolest things you can ever do is, be uncool. There’s something daringly attractive about a guy/girl who’s 100% cool with being uncool; so stand out and do not conform.
- There will come a day when you inevitably have to take a stand.
Hopefully, this post encourages you to be comfortable being uncomfortable and reminds you that you are called to be a light in the world, not like it. Be encouraged to love your freakishly, uncool, weird, odd, Jesus-loving self a bit more than before! That’s all I’ve got folks!