(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Jesus at the Center: Jesus and Dating
By Lexi VanDeHey
Okay, let’s get real here. Doesn’t every teenager dream about finding that special someone? I know that I do! For some of us, that dream has become reality, yet there may be some of you, I included, who are still searching for the one. Regardless of your dating status, most of us teenagers have a ton of questions about dating, like, when should I start dating? Should I date this person if he/she is a non-Christian? Or what does it look like to have God in the center of a dating relationship? Well, even though I haven’t been in a dating relationship yet, I can totally help answer these questions using the advice I have been given and key advice from the Bible. So let’s get right into it!
1. When should I start dating?
It seems as if the world is always pressuring teenagers, and with one of those pressures being that you have to have a partner! I am probably not the only teenager who has longed for a boyfriend after seeing a friend hang out with her boyfriend. But when these pressures start creeping upon us, we can ask God to help us not compromise our standards. A question that I ask myself is, “Why do I want to date?” Is it because I want to fit in and not be alone? Or is it because I really want to get to know this person and develop a relationship with him? Since God knows everything, He also knows when we are ready for a relationship and when we are not. We just have to trust His timing.
2. Why is it important to date a Christian and not a non-Christian?
Well, to answer that, let’s take a look at the definition of dating. Dating can be defined as, “two people in an intimate relationship”, and an intimate relationship can be defined as, “being in close, personal association, and belonging together.” It is beautiful when two souls come together, but I can guarantee you, when a Christian is dating a non-Christian, there will be problems. Some of you might be saying to yourself, “Well, my boyfriend doesn’t really live like a Christian, but he does go to church on Sunday.” Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about this topic. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” (NIV). You will know a Christian by their fruits, and so when looking for the right partner, you want to determine by their actions if they are a real Christian. Teaming up with an unbeliever is like teaming up with the opposing sport’s team that will lose in the end. And the worst effect of this is that one’s faith could be in danger. As Christians, we want someone who will bring us closer to Jesus, not farther away.
3. What does it look like to have God in the center of a dating relationship?
The two greatest commandments found in the Bible are to love God with our whole being and to love our others as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Because we are to love God above people, we are to devote everything to Him, including our dating relationships. When a couple puts God in the center of their relationship, beautiful things come about! They get to grow in their faith together and draw closer to Jesus, while spending time with each other. We know that Jesus cares about our relationships because He is the Creator of relationships.. When two Christians get married, God is right there in the center of them and that is what it should be like in a dating relationship too. I am praying to find a Godly man and have brainstormed some ways to include God in my dating life. Here are some of them: Praying together and for each other, reading the Bible together, talking about what God is teaching us, worshipping God together, taking a walk in God’s creation… and the list can go on! Basing a relationship on God’s standards and putting Him as the focus is the best way to go.
For everyone who is a single pringle, like me, remember- God hasn’t forgotten about you! He has someone so special reserved just for you. In this season of waiting, I strongly encourage you to really seek God and surrender every worry to Him. God knows us the best, so we don’t have to worry! .
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. – Matthew 6:33 (KJB).