8 Dating Mistakes Young Christians Mustn’t Make
The main aim of biblical-based dating or courting is to find a life partner, particularly one who has a personal relationship with God, and reflects Christ in word, deed and action. Unfortunately, there are so many forces in the world that contradict the principles of godly dating.
While the world may tell us to date around as much as we want, it’s important that we know the character of the person we are pursuing before we commit to them. Here are five mistakes you may be making on the road to finding God’s match.
You won’t hear much teaching about dating in most churches. It’s like we’re afraid to touch the subject—so people just feel their way in the dark and figure out romance on their own.
Our awkwardness about this topic is one reason single Christians make so many relationship blunders—and why many marriages start out on the wrong foot. Here are the Top 8 mistakes young Christians make in when dating or courting:
1. Being desperate for a relationship/love.
Some singles freak out when they hit age 25. They stop trusting God and begin a nail-biting search for a mate. Nicole Doyley, author of The Wait, says she knows women who are so frantic about finding Prince Charming that they immediately fall for any guy who asks them out. “They should see the warning signs, but don’t,” Nicole says. “They start praying immediately if this is ‘the one’ and they quickly become blind to his faults.”
2. Being too picky and having overly high standards.
Many singles are looking for partners with certain characteristics or attributes that may not even be humanly possible. Some singles, especially ladies are waiting for the perfect man or as they will say, their “knight in shining armor” to sweep them off their feet. Picky guys want a girl who could appear in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. Or, some Christian women expect to marry a spiritual giant who prays four hours a day. Be realistic. Whoever you date will have feet of clay and plenty of flaws to match your own.
3. Viewing every opposite sex friend as a marriage partner.
Oftentimes too much pressure is placed on Christian singles to pair up, especially if they are attending a Bible college with a reputation for being a wedding factory. And in that pressure cooker it’s difficult for guys and girls to enjoy non romantic friendships. Relax and make friends, and don’t view every opposite-sex friend as a potential marriage partner.
4. Letting other people control your relationship.
Church friends usually mean well, but some people don’t know how to stay out of other people’s business. They will engage in what I call “prophetic meddling” by dropping hints, manipulating you to go out with someone or pushing you to marry someone you don’t even want to be with. And while the gift of prophecy is valuable, you should never let personal prophecies steer your decisions about marriage. Let God personally guide you in this very personal area of life.
5. Missionary/Evangelical dating.
Don’t ever start a romantic relationship with a guy or girl who is not a believer. Christians who do this usually justify it with the old “I know I can change him/her” line. But the opposite happens: The unbeliever changes you—after he or she has broken your heart, compromised your morals or damaged your faith.
6. Lack of confidence.
Some guys I know are stuck in a state of spiritual limbo when it comes to their dating life. They may admire a girl from afar, but they just can’t muster up the nerve to break the ice and start a conversation. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” If you are going to find a wife, you don’t just sit there until you are 40. Develop some healthy aggression. And while it is true that some women prefer to be pursued, remember that Ruth proposed to Boaz in the Old Testament story. Don’t be so demure that your future husband can’t even notice you.
I’ve met guys in church who drive by girls’ houses regularly, monitor their moves and troll their Facebook pages. That’s creepy. If you have to sneak around like a private detective to get a date, you need a new strategy. If a woman tells you she is not interested in going out with you, honor her request and move on. Don’t develop an unhealthy obsession. And never, never, never tell a girl: “God told me you will be my wife.” That’s manipulative and could fall under the category of sexual harassment.
8. Not discerning a spiritual predator.
One single female friend of mine said she went out with a man who did a financial seminar at her church. Because the guy was invited to speak from a pulpit she assumed he was a man of character, but he tried to get her into bed with him on the first date. It became quickly obvious he was an impostor. Beware of wolves. You must walk in the Spirit if you want to protect your purity and save yourself for the right person.