– by Jackie Georgiou
The Bible doesn’t tell us how to ‘date’ or ‘court,’ (words used for the process we use to get to know a potential mate). During Biblical times, neither of these existed in the same form that we see them today. Back then, families helped young women and men meet and become engaged and often chose their children’s mates for them. Today, singles independently find a spouse.
Leave it in God’s hands
We need to remember that God is perfectly loving (Eph 3:19; 1 John 3:16-18) and perfectly sovereign over every situation, desire and need (Ps 109:21; Rom 8:38-39). Unless we are rebelling against God, we can be sure that He is not punishing us through our singleness and that He is bringing the right man or woman our way…eventually! God uses our choices, people, and sometimes even technology, to bring our spouse.
Consider your expectations
Before a Christian single considers any of the “newer” methods of finding a spouse, it’s helpful to consider whether we may be engaging in any self-defeating behaviour. Is it possible we are being too picky, looking for the fairy-tale prince or princess, and by doing so, limiting the possibilities of what God may know is best for us and which we have not yet considered? Are we not being picky enough, forgetting that God calls all Christians to marry only other Christians (2 Cor 6:14), or are we considering someone who is stuck in a serious, life-altering sin that could endanger the marriage?
Focus on Christ
A Christian man should take the lead in relationships, asking the woman out, calling her, and making sure their relationship glorifies Christ in all things. A Christian woman should let the man take the initiative as the leader God made him to be and resist the temptation to initiate the relationship. And, finally, as believers, we should be able to stand on our own two feet, relying on the Lord to fulfill us rather than feeling a need to be married in order to be whole. Once we have these common struggles sorted out, we can begin to pursue a woman, or be pursued by a man, even in an online setting. Should you choose online dating, and even meet a potential love interest, remember that you can’t stay online forever. So how does one make the jump from the virtual world to the “real world”?
1, Meet in-person as soon as you can
Meet sooner rather than later; it gives you a chance to get to know the person in the real world. It’s important to see for yourself how this person treats others, deals with everyday frustrations, etc.
2. Use common sense
Be safe. Meeting on a Christian dating site doesn’t automatically mean the person you’re communicating with is who they say they are. When you schedule that first in-person meeting, do it in a public area. Let your friends and/or family know what you’re doing.
3. Quickly bring this person into your community
Meet his friends, have him meet yours…don’t date in secret.
4. Trust God and follow His lead
Whether you meet someone online, or in a more conventional setting, remember to pray, and obey God’s leadership throughout every step of the dating and engagement journey. Stay accountable!