My Problem with Christian Dating
By: Emily Susanne. Originally published on fearfullywonderfullyme.com
Okay, normally I try not to rant on here, but I’ve recently read something that made me lose it.
It was midnight, and I was looking online for devotions for dating couples. And then somehow I stumbled upon some forum post from a Christian girl saying she refused to do devotionals with a boyfriend because she wanted to guard her heart.
Yup. She said even praying together was too intimate–more than sex!
I’m not trying to judge this person, as we all have different convictions. And she did have some good points about making sure people are solid in their faith personally before entering a relationship.
The real problem I’m having is that I see this type of thinking in a lot of Christian relationships.
Guard your heart. Protect yourself. No intimacy of any kind.
Why Are We Guarding?
Sometimes as Christians, we can take scripture and twist it in ways that seem harmless but are actually out of balance.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
When Jesus tells us to guard our hearts, it’s not so we can shut people out. We need to guard our hearts against sin so we can love others better–so love can flow from us.
I used to be afraid because when I was younger and not a serious Christian, I was in relationships that I gave my heart into–foolishly.
That’s my nature. I’m caring, and I’m not afraid to love. I did make mistakes, but I’ve also learned a lot and how to do things better.
Because of what I read online from Christian articles, I honestly feared I would never find love again. That I had given too much of my emotions or self away. That God would deny me a future with someone to love.
But as always, Jesus proved me wrong. And right now I’m in a relationship with someone amazing (although imperfect–just like me) who loves Jesus too.
The Risk of Love
Lovely one, please remember that you are the daughter of a God of redemption. A God of grace.
A God of love.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16 NIV)
Jesus didn’t die for us to shut ourselves away from love or to think we are unworthy of love. He died because He saw us–in our sin and mess–and said we were worth the cost.
Love isn’t safe. It’s risky. But love isn’t something to guard yourself from.
After all, the cross was pretty risky, right? Why on earth would we be commanded to love one another if it was easy?
Of course, we shouldn’t throw caution to the wind with dating. Love and marriage are important commitments. We should pray and read the Word while asking for wisdom.
But let’s stop dating like scared little girls who won’t let anyone in and calling it Biblical, okay?
Date with purity and reverence for God. Take things slow. Pray and read the Word together. As you grow closer, you will develop a spiritual intimacy that will show whether or not you can ever have a healthy marriage.
This advice isn’t just for dating relationships either. Learning to love with honesty and vulnerability is the key to having thriving relationships in all areas of our lives. Of course, it doesn’t always come easily, but God walks with us one step at a time.
Don’t be afraid to love. It’s the very thing that sets us free.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)
I hope you enjoyed this post by my friend, Emily Susanne!
Emily Susanne is the owner and blogger of fearfullywonderfullyme.com. She has dedicated her life to follow Jesus, encourage others, and write with passion. When she isn’t covered in pen ink or lost in a book, Emily can be found obsessing over cats and donuts.