Is Dating Messing You Up?
This article is taken from notes made at our Dating Academy when we were extremely fortunate to have Anthony Delaney speak to the group. He spoke from his experience of dating prior to becoming a Christian, and then his experience of Christian courting . He is now married with children, works in Christian ministry and is an author. His books are well worth reading.
We live in and are influenced by a society that has long lost its focus on God. This affects every part of our life – and this includes Christian courting.
The way that most people seem to date these days is to see if there is a physical connection. Do I find you attractive? Do I fancy you? Are we compatible in bed? If we are we might move in together. We’ll then get to know each other – finding out if we connect intellectually, and share interests and like each others character. Finally we discover if we connect at some deeper level (what, as Christians, we would call spiritually). The worlds view is often “I’m in this for as long as I can get something out of it”.
The evidence of the success of this way of doing dating is trashed relationships and a high divorce rate. An over focus on sex in the early stages of relationship seems to lead to messed up and broken people, and society racked with hurts and disappointment.
In God’s world Christian courting is done in what might be seen as upside down way. It’s the complete reverse. In this world we find out if we connect spiritually first. If you relate that way with someone you have an incredibly close and strong bond. Next you find out if you share intellect, interests and character. And the final way of relating (after the covenant of your relationship is sealed) is physically.
Ultimately of course it’s your choice. The world’s way or God’s way.
Many Christians try the world’s way hoping they will get the spirit connection in time. Generally this does not work. Dating is seen as the cause of the problem – whereas the truth is the way we have been doing it. The reality is that God’s best only comes if you put him first.
Putting him first means delighting yourself in Him. Being so secure in God and in His love for you that you become the whole person that God intended you to be. This co-incidentally is incredibly attractive to others. (We all know that ‘desperate’ is not an attractive characteristic). Know and believe you are the apple of God’s eye. He can’t take his eyes off you. He loves you. He likes you! Speak truth over yourself every day. Say out loud “I am valuable, acceptable and loveable.” Remember constantly that you are a child of God. His beloved.
Be full of God’s love for you and it will overflow. (What you are full of overflows to others.) Learn to love yourself first and then you will be able to love others without worrying about their opinions of you.
Seek first the Kingdom of God – and all these things shall be added to you. (Matt 6)
Don’t worry about your future. Pray and lift it all to God instead. Worrying is praying to someone who can’t do anything about it – i.e. yourself. Praying is giving cares to God and trusting Him to sort them.
Here are some things to consider if you are Christian courting and aren’t in a relationship but are looking for one:
- Think about your vision. Before you start with who, start with why. What is worth trading your single status for? What do you really want? What would inspire you to stay in a relationship and work at it in the hard times. Pray about this and let God answer you specifically. You may be very surprised at what God reveals to you – and it may very well completely change the way you search and the type of people you search for.
- Consider the things you don’t want. What you never would want? The things you would rather be alone because of rather than having.
- Think who you have to be? What sort of friend do you have to be? What sort of friend do you want to be?
- Discover if you are able to choose the right people and deselect the wrong types.
- Aim to build a connection with people. Don’t focus on trying to get people to love you. You can’t make that happen. Love God first and then love others.
The key to creating and having an extraordinary relationship is a full on commitment to the ‘all about them’. And know that great relationships are the flip side of hard work!