Will you go out with me? Rules for Biblical Dating (Part Two)
Last week I gave you three rules on dating according to the Bible. And just in terms of review the three rules were: Don’t follow your heart, you can’t go halfway in dating, and always return your date “more holy” than she was when you picked her up. This week we look at three more rules for Biblical dating, but there is a twist. You could title this week’s article, “Rules for a Biblical Break Up” as we are going to look at some common pit falls if and when dating relationships do not end in marriage. Again, I give you these not as a man who has all of the answers but as a friend trying to remind you of God’s truth in order that you would glorify God in the strange world called dating.
Rule Number Four: When someone breaks up with you, don’t ask them why. I hate to break it to you but when someone breaks up with you and they are not giving you a reason… that means that they are breaking up with you because of something that you can’t change, for example your looks, your personality, your convictions, etc. When a person “just doesn’t want to give you a reason why they are breaking up the relationship” it is because they don’t like something about you that is central to who you are. So don’t press them, don’t ask why. The relationship is not going to work out, and my best advice to you is just accept that and move on. The thing that you don’t want to do is to change who you are. The Bible says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and intricately woven together by the hand of God (Psalm 139:14-15). The Bible also says that God has good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). One day some one will love you for exactly who you are, for exactly who God made you to be. So, don’t worry why someone doesn’t like the person you are, be yourself and know that putting on an act to win someone’s affection will never make you happy.
Rule Number Five: Move On. When someone breaks up with you, or more importantly when you break up with someone else make the decision and move on. Most great dating mistakes are made after the initial break up. Couples half-heartedly get back together because of loneliness or jealousy and can really hurt one another. If you have dated someone and for some reason the relationship needs to end you need to separate yourself emotionally from that person, at least for a period of time. Do not be selfish, especially by continuing to toy with the emotions of someone you are not truly committed to. The only purpose for dating is to pursue God’s design for relationships between a man and a woman, which is marriage. I am reminded of the words of Paul from Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Remember if you are going to honor God in your dating, you must guard the heart of the one you are dating and this is especially difficult and important in a break up.
Rule Number Six: Don’t be desperate. There is an old adage that says, “It is better to be single and wish you were married than married and wish you were single.” There is a lot of truth in that statement but let me give you another statement (less pithy but no less true) “if you are trying to find ultimate fulfillment in dating and marriage you never will.” God designed you to find fulfillment in Him above all else. Dating and marriage are great gifts but they are not able to give you the ultimate fulfillment that you desire, only God can do that. So get focused on Him, find a place to serve Him, be consistent in worshipping Him and when you least expect it He will bring into your life the person of your dreams.
I hope this list is helpful and that you will take these things to heart, for your own joy and the glory of Christ in all the earth.
Dr. Jason Dees is the Senior Pastor of Valleydale Church in Birmingham, Alabama and guest instructor at the Kanakuk Institute.