Tag Archive: christian dating

…continuing on the journeying of looking at how we date and how we could do better at it…

this specific thort is very couple specific so for those who need to hear it, you REALLY need to hear it, whereas there are probably a whole bunch of people who don’t [but you know people who do!] but i do think it is a healthy thing to give a quick look to.

so the moment happens, you look across that crowded room and see that person – “the one” – and your heart does all that strange stuff and the whole world fades and there is just that person [slow motion baywatch beach running may occur as you move towards each other and interact and she/he actually speaks to you… or it may not… i dunno, it’s been a while]

and thru some miracle this person feels the same way and says yes when you ask them out on a date and again when you ask them to date [there’s a difference] and it’s a really amazing thing and time and feeling and so on.

the one problem that occurs with some couples is that they continue on in that state and forget to push the button that allows the rest of the world to come back into focus. you know the type – i call them klingons – not because they are the enemies of the Star Ship Enterprise, but because they simply just cling….on…. to each other, all the time.

we’re talking about exclusive couples who become a couple and then pretty much distance themselves from everyone else or else interact with people but only ever as a couple.

it may sound and seem pretty nice, but i don’t believe it’s healthy. what is healthy is for a couple to have friends, both as individuals and as the couple, and also to have some separate interests.

community is so vital for a healthy relationship and one of the things Christ-followers do or should have going for them is a sort of instant community when it comes to church [or cell group/youth] and so it makes a lot of sense to make the most of that. also klingon couples are generally not a lot of fun to be around. they are so self-absorbed that they alienate all those around them and so people end up wanting to spend less time with them which just reinforces the whole klingon thing.

so what i am saying is if you are in a relationship then…

[1] be around other people – don’t sit exclusively in your relationship and only spend time with that person – you will damage all the friendships both of you had before and if – heaven forbid – you were to ever break up – you would be left without a support group of friends who love you who can gather around you and help it be okay.

[2] be clinged off when around other people – i imagine you spend enough time touching each other when you are alone so when you are with friends or in other social settings you don’t have to be holding hands or onto each other all the time – it really makes it difficult or uncomfortable for other people if you are constantly physically clinging on to each other – and make space for other people in terms of not just zoning in to your person – when you’re around other people, be around other people

[3] it is healthy to spend time not with your person – hang out with your friends while he/she hangs out with theirs – be involved in some activity/activities that don’t doesn’t involve your person – time spent apart will increase the incredibleness of time spent together but it is also a healthy situation in terms of personal growth and growth with your other significant people

so eliminate the klingon from your relationship and be in relationship in community – you and your person and the people around you will all benefit from it and the relationship is likely to be a lot stronger.

and the search for revolutionary dating methodology continues…

firstly some interesting thorts i read on my friend’s blog linked to that whole ‘Guys, Step up!’ mentality of the girls. Girls, this is not an excuse, but provides some understanding of the guys place in this whole thing…

“Telling a girl I liked her was about as difficult as trying to eat a tortoise whole. In my early 20s, internet-spawned relationships allowed me to keep this effectively concealed.

“the stupid thing is that all girls at church are taught to let guys pursue them, but we guys are never taught to pursue women!

I had to learn the hard way by hearing my female friends lament the lack of masculine decisiveness and confidence.” [http://lovesubverts.com/2011/03/christian-dating]

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i think one thing which put a proverbial spanner in the works – for both guys and girls – was the rise and increase of feminism or feministic mentality and i know this plays out differently in different cultures and contexts – but suddenly there was a lot of confusion as to the guys role in the whole dating thing – what he was and wasn’t allowed to do [without causing offence]

i’m going to give my opinion here and would dig for the ladies to jump in and confirm or denounce as necessary…

but for me it’s the whole acronymic concept of Joy that i learnt as a kid – Jesus first, then Others, lastly Yourself – we’ve already looked at the Jesus first bit, so let’s move on to the Others bit which i will sum up as Serving One Another in Love

i explain it like this – if i look after my needs and the beautiful Val looks after her needs then both of our needs are met. but if i start serving her and lifting her up and she starts serving me and lifting me up then we still both end up with our needs met, BUT with the added addition of Relationship – incredibly simple concept but profound in action

Jesus demonstrates this in John 13 when He washes the disciples feet and it is described this way: “He now showed them the full extent of His love” – He was about to go to the cross for them and yet it says of His serving them by foot-washing that it was a demonstration of the full extent of His love.

i love the fact that Val lets me open car doors for her (i think she likes it) and carry her stuff and make her coffee in bed every morning, and i dig it as well when she finds creative ways to serve me in Love. It strengthens our relationship and brings us closer together. And the defining characteristic is the “i choose to” part of the serving – it is not an obligation or an expectation but a major part of the Love-ing concept.

i think guys can practice this outside of relationship – not to gain brownie points or to flirt or anything, but simply start serving the girls around you in Love. Open doors, offer to carry things, compliment them [and let’s get creative and find things to compliment on that aren’t simply outward beauty – how ’bout we turn that whole thing upside-down?]. The more you practice it outside of relationship, the better you are likely to be at it and the more naturally it will happen inside of relationship. Plus you’ll be modelling a worthwhile concept to those around you.

…and the discussion continues seeking out a Christ-following version of dating and relationships that is more effective than the model we have simply been borrowing from the world – beginning with a renewing of your mind and refusing to conform any longer to the pattern of this world.

it has been incredible seeing the dialogue happening on the “Stand Up!” notes the last day so please keep it up – i suspect this one will bring a lot of comment as well and it is most welcome.

Somebody asked the question – what if we have already crossed the line physically with someone or some ones?

There are two very important points to hear on this one:

[1] God is full of grace and love and that is freely available when we take responsibility for our past and when we confess our sins and invite Him to bring freedom, restore purity and grant forgiveness. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” [Romans 8.1] So if you are living with condemnation and guilt, then something is definitely wrong. Go to God. Deal with it with Him, and move on.

[2] Having said that, the church often gets it wrong in terms of our definition and understanding of God’s grace and Love because at no time does it cancel out His justice. Love and justice always work together along side each other. But in the name of niceness (rather than Truth) the church has created this concept of “Second Virginity” which is the idea that when you confess your sins you can become a virgin again. It is a nice concept, but it is just not true. Once you have had sex with someone, your virginity is gone and that is a consequence you need to live with. God forgives and restores and will deal with all condemnation and guilt, but you cannot be made a virgin again.

There is a big difference between sin and consequences. I am reminded of one of my friends who slept with her boyfriend and got pregnant. Does God forgive her sin if she asks Him to? Absolutely. Did God remove the consequences? Not at all. She has a son – who is an amazing kid, we’re not disputing that [Romans 8.31 reminds us that God can bring good out of all situations] – but at that moment all her dreams and ideas for her life and situation changed completely. She can be forgiven the sin, but some of the consequences stick around.

So if you have crossed the line physically and messed up there is hope for you in terms of forgiveness and grace and being able to let go of condemnation and guilt. If it is your current dating person then it is important that you speak about it directly and put things in place that will protect you from the temptation to mess up there again. Having accountability with an outside Jesus-following person who is of the same gender as you is a highly recommendable thing.

And i have to say it again but this topic of dating better requires an absolute renewing of our minds. We need to think differently. We need to enter into dating relationships with an awareness of the dangers of sexual attraction/temptation and have some principles in place to protect us from going there.

i got this email from a friend of mine and because it covers a bunch of relevant issues with regards to christians dating i asked her if she minded if i shared it and answered – or tried to – some of them publically – i will include just the email here and the reply in the following linked blog…

Hi Brett,

How are you doing?

Just warning you in advance, this is quite a long email – (sorry) just kept typing, couldn’t stop.

I’ve been reading a number of your blogs. They’re quite interesting. So I thought I might start commenting and sharing my thoughts on them. Its the best way for me to get something from them and to learn from them.

So the latest one I’ve read is on dating entitled ” I kissed dating , part one ??”

Let me first give a bit of background on where I am coming from as I read this.
I am now 23 and have been a christian for all these years. I am happy and love my God (with all my heart!)

One of my main issues that I have with dating in the church is that instead of discussing at why people shouldn’t date non-christians, maybe we should look at why they do? What is it about dating in the church that is driving people to look elsewhere for partners?

Here’s my take on it. I think that people in the church, especially boys, want to date the perfect girl. and so they are looking for this one perfect person. There is no freedom to date someone, without the intention to marry them because then why on earth are you doing it? I read the book ‘ boy meets girl ‘, which is very similar to I kissed dating goodbye. – very radical views on dating. (I won’t comment on that now)

I have never been asked out or have had any boy at church show interest, although I have been told how amazing I am and how lucky any guy would be to date me, just not them. I’m not what they are looking for. Ok fair enough, I can’t force someone to like me. But if Jesus is my number one and that is the main and most important thing, clearly there must be some other factor to me being excluded. .

Then you look at the girls who are dating. Just have a look around in churches and think about it. I’ve actually heard a sermon being preached on dating, where the pastor said that we should make ourselves attractive for the opposite sex. At one point he basically said ” so you girls who are slightly overweight, don’t be too upset if you’re not dating” . HUH?? Did I miss something? I’m a healthy size, but should I be moving towards size 0?

Maybe its because of my race. Its true. Maybe I am being excluded because I’m just the black girl, and instead of taking the time to get to know me and thinking of the fact that we actually have a lot more in common than differences, I am again sidelined.

Basically it feels like the message I am getting from my christian brothers is that I’m not good enough. I’m not perfect. Yes God is my number one, and yes I am smart and doing something with my life (not just waiting around for mr right!). But its just not enough. Please don’t think that I am seeking validation and placing my self worth in what I do or don’t receive from these boys. I’m passed that, and I know better than to do that. But in the context of dating, it sends out quite a message.

So now what happens is I meet a really nice guy, who sees me as and values and appreciates me, but sadly he’s not a christian, so I politely decline him because I’m waiting for “the one”.

But then I think of all my christian friends who are 35 and single, because they have been praying and waiting. And they love their God and they are beautiful women. But because they don’t fit the “perfect Christian girl criteria” – which whether you choose to believe it or not does exist, they have never been married, and for some of them, never dated!

So Brett, I acknowledge your sentiments when you say that God is the most important person in any relationship. But there are a growing number of people, girls especially who are growing tired of facing rejection from people who should see past all the superficial things that you would expect from secular people. But we are seeing the reverse We are finding more acceptance from society and not from christians.

And that’s the problem. And that’s why girls are dating outside the church. Because we are tired of being reminded that we aren’t worth it!

Your comments ???

P.S – I am still single. I haven’t dated anyone, although I turned down a few offers (all from non-christians). I’m praying for my husband. I want a family and children so much, and I know that those are desires that God has placed on my heart, but wow this is hard !

[to see my response click here…]

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