My Problem with Christian Dating

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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.
No vulnerability.

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?

Finding Freedom

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!
emilys_origEmily 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.
 

0 thoughts on “My Problem with Christian Dating

  1. Pastor Lily Reply

    I hear what you’re saying but I wish there was a link to the original post from the girl who was guarding her heart.
    I suspect that she has a very strong case for wanting to hold back on sharing devotional time with God. He is after all kind of jealousy, and it is easy to see how one could quickly go from focusing on God to becoming too distracted by the person you’re falling in love with.
    Quiet time with God is deeply personal and I respect that.

    • beckielindsey
      beckielindsey Post authorReply

      The link to her blog is in her bio below. I hope you were able to read the entire article. I think she makes the point you are referring to. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Blessings!

    • Emily Susanne Reply

      Hi Pastor Lily! The reason I did not share the link is because it was a private forum, not a web article. Of course we should have healthy boundaries and follow convictions, but it’s also important to develop a relationship that is rooted in devotion with God. Over time as a couple sees potential for marriage, I believe that sharing prayer and the Word will be a guiding and protecting light for them 🙂 thank you!

  2. Lauren Crews Reply

    Good perspective Beckie. Something my son dealt with from his now current wife- At one point she broke up with him because she was looking for a spiritual leader. Our son was heartbroken and said to us he never thought he’d get dumped because he wasn’t “Christian enough.” We told him she was obviously looking for him to step it up but felt he was being unfairly judged (of course, I’m his Momma!) The role of “spiritual leader” is for marriage – and they weren’t married yet. The “role” also takes many forms depending on the leader’s personality, experience and position in the home. She was basing her expectations on what she was taught in Church. It makes me sad to think how many couples break up because of bad teaching and taking scripture out of context.

    • beckielindsey
      beckielindsey Post authorReply

      Lauren, oh my goodness. This is why it is so important to have a “personal” relationship with Jesus. We must be in His Word and guided by His Spirit of wisdom. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t seek and consider other godly counselors, but we must check what they say against Scripture. God never goes against His word.
      Thanks for sharing and for reading.
      Blessings on you and yours (son and family too)!

  3. karentfriday Reply

    Great and new and fresh insight. My favorite idea is this, “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.” Thanks, Beckie and Emily.

  4. Bryan Stoudt Reply

    Found this post through the Christian Writers & Poets FB page. My favorite part:
    ‘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.’
    As someone who also writes on dating (and marriage), I thought this was a great post. Vulnerability is risky, but so much easier when we see what Jesus did to save us. Thanks again!

    • beckielindsey
      beckielindsey Post authorReply

      Bryan, I’m so glad you stopped by to read Emily’s post. I agree with you—this advise isn’t just for dating relationships.
      I hope you’ll stop by again. I’ll check out your website.
      Blessings to you as you shine the light of God’s love!

  5. Emily Susanne Reply

    Thank you Bryan! I will have to check out that page. To love is to be vulnerable. It’s risky, but it’s the only way to truly live.

  6. Tina Reply

    Odd…. never heard that one before. Not doing devotions together? Yikes… The best way to be on the same page, is to literally be on the same page.

  7. Brandi Reply

    Great post! In response to the cultures views on dating and sex we often swing to the extreme in the opposite direction. It’s about the motives of your heart, not rules.

    • beckielindsey
      beckielindsey Post authorReply

      Brandi, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m glad that Emily’s article was helpful to you. Blessings, Beckie

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