3 misconceptions about Christian Dating
It’s been said before that ‘Christian’ is a good noun but a poor adjective. What constitutes as Christian Music? Does Christian Coffee exist? What about Christian Travel?
Like it or not ‘Christian Dating’ exists and its culture is alive and well in the UK. But along with some of the above categories, I’m not sure if its existence is justified.
Today’s Christian Dating culture is made up of a mixture of ideas about relationships. Plenty are good and important such as saving sex for marriage and not entering into relationships too hastily. Other ideas are odd, some misleading and a few downright ridiculous.
Having been a Christian throughout my dating years, I’ve heard a lot of bad advice that continues to be banded around by well meaning people today. Here’s three of the least helpful slogans I’ve heard and would warn others from taking to heart:
‘Find the One’
Thankfully this idea is already on its way out, but there are some Christians who will still tell you to wait for “the One”. This immediately brings up a thousand questions, most notably “how do I know he/she is’ the One’? Will there be a flashing neon sign?” Plus, if someone has married “the One” and “the One” has died, are they unable to remarry?
There is a small nugget of truth in all this talk about “the One”. God is a matchmaker. He’s knows us better than we know ourselves and therefore knows which partner would be good for us. Clearly not everyone is a good match! But the idea that we’re all on a gigantic worldwide treasure hunt to find just one person is ludicrous, and pretty exhausting.
‘Kiss dating goodbye’
There’s a curious idea that dating is in itself fundamentally flawed. The argument is that courtship or even ‘Biblical courtship’ is the way forward. Last time I checked, the Bible didn’t talk about courtship. How could it? Courtship was invented thousands of years after Jesus walked the earth. Back in biblical times there were arranged marriages and all sorts. I’m not saying the Bible has nothing to say about relationships in the modern world, but the idea that is prescriptive in teaching courtship over dating is laughable. Neither are biblical categories, therefore both have their flaws.
‘God told me to break up with you’
This is the big one. I’m convinced these words are said much too often. I’m not suggesting God never tells anyone their relationship is wrong and they are to end it. But when our emotions are tied up in something so deep as a relationship, it’s going to be tough to discern God’s will.
When the majority of people say “God told me to” they aren’t talking about an audible voice. Sometimes all they mean is they had a deep feeling and took it as God’s guidance. And yes, God can guide us through our feelings (most notably the rule of peace). But let’s be honest with one another. It’s easier to say “God told me to break up with you” than it is “I’m just not that into you anymore”.
But in taking this easy route, we dishonor God. If God really has told you to break up with someone, ask the man upstairs for a reason. Speaking personally I’d much rather be told all the reasons I’m a bad partner than just the one line of “God told me to break up with you”. It’s one thing being told another human doesn’t like you, but quite another to suggest the being you worship thinks you’re bad news!
Have you ever been told any of the 3 statements? How have they impacted you and your relationships? Whatever your answer is, remember that while faults and failings hinder us, they have never hindered God from working in our lives.