Relationships - Dating - How and When to Date


03/05/2006
I have a question about Christian dating from a woman’s perspective. As a woman, we’re not supposed to be chasing after guys. So how do you go about dating?

I think that the best way to go about dating as a Christian woman is to carry yourself with godliness; carry yourself with dignity and carry yourself in the best possible way that you can. If you’re truly looking to establish relationships with people and eventually with a person of the opposite sex, then one of the ways to do that is through singles groups. Meet people that way and group-date until somebody shows interest in you.

If you feel that you have some interest in somebody in particular, then go to a friend maybe. Suggest to them, “Hey, could you just go and ask that guy if he has any interest?” Maybe that’s a way that you could do it. There really are no exact, absolute rules. I think there are a lot of different ways to do it. I think that if you carry yourself with holiness and dignity, then it’s okay to ask a friend to go on your behalf to see if that person has any interest in getting to know you, maybe in a group setting or even over some coffee or something like that.

I think there are a lot of healthy ways, depending on how old somebody is. For my kids, when they’re ready to date and I feel they’re ready to date, then we’re going to have them bring their date home to our house. That’s where they can have their date. We’ll have a family date with that person and we’ll find out what that person’s like. It won’t take long to figure it out.

In your case, as a single woman, who is mature enough to make decisions for yourself, go to group events and develop relationships that way. If you feel that there’s somebody that you are interested in, then ask a friend to inquire politely, in a non-threatening way and not in a way that you have to be vulnerable. Have them ask that person if they have any interest. Remember, carry yourself with honor and dignity and know that men are looking for godly women who love God and are submissive to God and carry themselves in the best way that they possibly can. So, take care of yourself.

Trust God. Make God your date until the time that the right guy truly shows up. If He never does, then enjoy your relationship with God because it’s the best relationship that you’ll ever have.


Relationships - Dating - How and When to Date


03/05/2006
What do you think about Christian on-line dating services? How is it so different from meeting people at singles events at church? Or is it indeed taking things into our own hands and out of God’s hands?

I don’t believe that it’s taking things out of God’s hands and putting them into your hands. I think that you have to remember though, that people put their best foot forward on these questionnaires and you’re not always going to get an accurate answer. Nevertheless, it’s not a bad place to start. You can certainly start by looking on there.

The fact is that it’s not necessarily a bad place to start but don’t put your trust in it. Put your trust in God and examine the situation and examine the person and perhaps go out with that person on a group date. If you go out with that person by yourself, that’s okay, but just remember that they’re going to be putting their best foot forward. You’re going to have to take some time and not just trust the questionnaire on the dating service. You’re going to have to watch their life and interview some people that know them. That’s how I would handle that.


Relationships - Dating - How and When to Date


03/05/2006
What do you think about Christian kids going on Prom? Especially if you know the boy.

Christian kids going to prom? I personally don’t endorse dating so if there is a group that is going together, I think that is a healthier situation. I would advise a group of six or ten kids going together with nobody matched up but everybody is going there together as a group. That I would encourage.

The dating system of this world is broken and failing. It contributes to at least fifty percent of all marriages ending up in a divorce; not to mention all the broken hearts. So I can never endorse the dating system this world operates under. It doesn’t have any good evidence. It doesn’t have any good fruit. It doesn’t merit anybody’s endorsement. If you bought a television that only worked half the time, you would wonder about the company that makes that television and you wouldn’t buy that television anymore.

Dating fails at least half of the time, and therefore it’s a flawed system. There are better ways of developing wholesome, healthy relationships between mature men and mature women. I don’t encourage all that dating stuff and proms and dances, unless, again, it’s in a group-dating together and it’s chaperoned by mature adults who can give input and can be there the whole time in that situation.

My answer applies to whether you know the boy or not. You’d be crazy if you didn’t know the boy, first of all. But just knowing the boy doesn’t make dating any better, or make it right. I’m not trying to pass a law on people, but that’s just my personal conviction.


Relationships - Dating - How and When to Date


03/05/2006
At what age is it appropriate to date?

It’s not about age, it’s about maturity. Can you be trusted? Are you mature in how you handle yourself? Have you overcome lust? Have you dealt with lust in your life? Those are some of the things that have to be addressed before you address the “law” of “should I date or should I not” or for parents, “should I let my kids date or not?”

The practice of dating in our society is really the practice of divorce. When people date, they usually end up breaking up. So they’re learning how to start a relationship and break up a relationship when they don’t like each other anymore. That’s why dating is inappropriate at just about any level.

Now, how do you get to meet people? You meet people through groups; you meet people in church, in single’s events, in youth events. You do things with groups of people and you identify what a person is like. And then if you feel like it’s the right thing to pursue that relationship, then you should have that person over with your family members and have your parents meet him/her. Schedule events with that person with people you trust and other family members. That’s the most appropriate way to be in a “dating” relationship.

This whole idea of getting into a dating relationship and then breaking up when you feel you’re not compatible is learning a habit of breaking up and divorce. When you get married, you’ll end up doing the same thing. When you get to that same point as in all your previous relationships when you don’t like each other or you’re unhappy with something, then you’re going to go ahead and do what you’ve learned, and that is you’ve practiced breaking up.

I don’t encourage dating in general. I encourage group activities and developing relationships that way. And if you are going to go “steady” with somebody in a sense, it should be in settings where your family members and loved ones are there. Why do you want to be alone with that person anyway when you’re not married to them? It only leads to temptation.

If you’re going to go out to a movie, go with some other people. If you’re going to go out to eat, go with some other people. Bring them over to meet your grandparents, your aunts and uncles and cousins. That’s what creates a positive family environment. Sometimes we’re blind. Sometimes we only see what we want to see. Our relatives, friends and people we trust are going to point out – hey this guy is just after one thing – it’s obvious.
 


Relationships - Dating - How and When to Date


03/05/2006
I attend a church that disapproves of dating. What’s your viewpoint was on dating? Is it OK?

In the right circumstances, it is OK to date. I believe that people need to be stewards of their own life and of their own decisions. I don’t think the church should legislate whether it’s OK to date or not. People should make up their own minds.

However, if you’re going to date, you need to date with biblical parameters – meaning, you’re not alone by yourselves at all because you don’t want to put yourself in a tempting situation. The Bible says, “Flee from even the appearance of evil.” It doesn’t just say “Flee from evil.”

My first date with my wife was the day that I proposed to her. Now, I know that sounds radical, even crazy, but we knew each other. We went out together with groups. We were at events together. We were at leadership meetings together. We were at dinners together with other people. From that point on we dated for seven months before we got married, but it was more of a courtship.

I believe in courtships. Gentlemen, you shouldn’t be spending your money on somebody who is not a candidate to be your wife. And, ladies, don’t spend your time with a man who’s not a candidate to be your husband. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t date anyone who didn’t have good job. I wouldn’t date anyone who wasn’t living holy. I wouldn’t date anybody who’s not accountable in the church and growing as a believer. I would require all those things before I dated anybody. And I would recommend using chaperones. I’m going to be chaperoning my children whenever they start dating.

So, we need some really strong boundaries – and standards – that will restrain us and protect us from getting ourselves into a compromising situation. And that’s why I believe group dating is really the best scenario. Go out to singles events. Get involved in some group dating. Get a married couple and say, “Hey, can you go out with us? I want to treat this young lady to a dinner, but I really would like to have some other people with us.”


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