One thing within ministry that I’m really passionate about is making sure that I do everything I can to help people have Christ-centered relationships with their friends and significant others that foster growth, trust, and safety. That’s one reason why I talk about relationships and give (sometimes unsolicited) advice often. It’s very important to have good relationships with other people.
Sometimes we forget that though. I can’t tell you how many students I’ve had who really truly don’t care that much about having Jesus at the center of their relationships. They’ve let attraction and skin-deep beauty override and overshadow their need for the spiritual of dating. I had one student who, when asked why he wasn’t dating a Christian, said, “I mean, she’s really cute and funny, and we have a lot in common. So maybe I could win her over to Jesus by dating her.”
Nope. Wrong. Stop. Don’t. This is not smart.
Missionary dating isn’t something I would ever recommend. She might be cute, he might be fun to hang out with, but ultimately if they don’t love Jesus like you do, then they aren’t worth considering for a significant other.
There was a point in my life where I failed miserably at pursuing someone who wasn’t a Christian. Most of my bad stories happen to be from my high school days, and this is no exception. To keep it short, I got involved with a girl my freshman year who didn’t love Jesus and it ended up pulling me down spiritually, morally, and emotionally. I was a jerk who, for a period of time, didn’t follow after Jesus. It was not fun.
This isn’t just for middle and high school students. Adults, this is for you too. Please hear me out. If you’re a single adult, don’t settle for a non-Christian because he or she is “the only one left out there.” Don’t use the bar scene as your pool of potentials. Keep your standards high and be willing to follow God’s leading, because His timing for you to meet your future significant other is impeccable and perfect.
My prayer and yearning is to see students, young adults, and all followers of Jesus keep the main thing the main thing: carrying on God-honoring, Christ-centered dating relationships and friendships focused on showing Jesus to others. By no means have I done this right. By no means have I perfected the art of dating. There’s a reason why the Next Level Students sermon series from May through early June will be about relationships as the summer starts. It’ll be filled with my failures, what God’s Word says about each instance (not specifically, but in general), and how we can learn from it.
Where did you meet your husband/wife/significant other? What were the circumstances surrounding you meeting them?