Define “Christian?”

Cross

One of the biggest complaints we hear from daters using Online Dating Services is how the category of “Christian” can mean so many different things to different people.

Jenna found this to be true. “My spiritual beliefs and values often make dating a very risky pursuit. I’ve been set up with guys—even ones who know I’m a Christian—who expect me to go along with their lifestyle choices: sex, drugs, excessive drinking, and the rest. Other times, guys find out I’m a Christian and automatically assume I’m uptight and judgmental. The stereotypes get old.” 

Brad chimed in…“I’ve heard Christian dating advice that assumes all Christians are exactly the same. But it’s not as if every believer fits a certain profile. There’s a broad spectrum of what it means for people to call themselves a Christian—from very liberal to very conservative and everything in between. Just because a woman calls herself a Christian doesn’t mean her beliefs or lifestyle choices are the same as mine.”

Truth?  Dating is a DAUNTING adventure.  And it’s confusing and awkward and complex…AND even more so with those who have spiritual beliefs they are not only trying to safeguard but to UNIFY with another.

In a culture of Post-Christian anything goes relativity…Christians need to be pro-active!

5 Tips to Help Christian Singles Navigate Online Dating:

  • Guard Your Heart

A key biblical principle says that what is in a person’s heart determines how that person acts—all the decisions he or she makes, for better or worse. We often focus on behavior—how far is too far physically, what a person of faith should or shouldn’t do in a dating relationship, and so on. But even more important is the recognition that conduct follows convictions and actions follow attitudes.

Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” Proverbs 4:23.

  • Define your standards BEFORE you date

The time to think through any potentially perilous situation is before it happens. Play the movie out in your mind of possible scenarios.  Think through what hazards lay in your path.  Purity is important, and if it is important to you, take the time to identify potential pitfalls before you start dating (alcohol, late nights, sleeping over).  Fortify your convictions in advance with firm intentions, accountability and a solid plan.

  • Stand Firm

Many Christian singles are hesitant to voice their convictions for fear of being labeled “old-fashioned” or “narrow-minded.” But it’s far better to be up-front about what is and is not acceptable to you in the beginning before you head down a path of compromise.  People respect people who know who they are and who have standards.  If your date disregards your efforts to hold firm to your beliefs, then they aren’t a good match to begin with.

  • Find a Team to Root for You

When facing any obstacle, it helps to know you have support. Invite others who share your commitment to moral integrity to encourage you and check in with you. Find advocates and ask them to watch your back and encourage you to hold firm to your convictions.  They can help you to keep you moving the direction you want to go.

  • Find a Dating Mentor

Search out someone—a pastor, mentor, teacher—whose perspectives and opinions you hold in high regard. Spend time with this person and glean all the wisdom you can. Again, it was Solomon who said, “He who walks with the wise grows wise” (Proverbs 13:20). Good counsel is available to you if you’ll ask for it.

Your Christian faith defines who you are and will play a vital role in any lasting relationship. Protect what matters most to you and date with intentionality.

 (some tips adapted from Neil Clark Warren’s Christian Dating Advice)

 

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