Are You Ready For A Relationship?
God has specific things He wants to make sure you have on lock before you get into a relationship. That includes but is not limited to: your identity in Christ, your current relationship with Him, your contentment in being single and not "needing" a relationship, self control, and preparedness for marriage. Bottom line, you should only be dating if you are ready to get married and are looking for a spouse. NOT to just have fun and mess around, that's a dangerous game that lead most to pain and regret. Christ wants you to also be content in your singleness and your relationship with Him first. NOT putting your identity in another person and depending on them for everything. Christ should be our everything before anything. With those thoughts in mind, are you ready for a relationship? Or do you think you should wait and work on your relationship with Christ more?
I can’t tell you how many times I would be sitting at home, watching a show, a movie, or being on social media and see a couple that I dreamed of being like one day. Lusting over the adventurous spirit they shared, the cuteness, real and authentic sharing of both parties that showed love at its rawest, or so I thought.
I think you are with me when I say that we each desire to have someone in our life. Someone to share our passions, desires, late night cuddles, road trips, dreams, pains, and hurt with. Being alone sucks sometimes. And we most often feel that if we could just find that person, then we would be whole. Then we would be happy, then the pain of singleness and being alone would be gone. But what does the Bible have to say about all this? Is dating even something biblical? Why do we even date in the first place? When should we start? Let’s dive in.
Fun fact: Dating was a concept created in the late 1800’s. It was coined by a man named George Ade in 1986 and leading into the 1900’s grew more and more popular.
So if dating hasn’t always existed, what the heck did we do before it? It’s actually quite simple, you found someone, and you committed to life with them. Crazy right? It wasn’t like you pointed at someone and then BAM, you’re married. It was more like, you found someone who already exhibited the behavior of a wife and from there you decided to marry. Proverbs 18:22 says, “
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
Notice it doesn’t say: He who finds a cute girl for a season who sometimes goes to church and eventually gets married finds a good thing (woof). It doesn’t say: He who finds someone who isn’t ready for something serious but sticks around to have fun finds a good thing. No. Notice that it says he finds a wife. Not found someone to become his wife. Meaning, the woman he has found already behaves like a wife. Someone who exhibits the behavior of one ready to be a wife. And that is where we can start to understand this whole dating thing.
The only reason to date is if you are ready for marriage. Why? Because we should know fairly quickly through dating whether we want to be with them for the rest of our lives or not. And by waiting to marry, we put ourselves at risk of pushing physical boundaries, sinning, and pushing the relationship away from God at the center leaving God with no glory. 1 Corinthians 10: 31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Dating, as we know now, was recently invented, not something that God created. That doesn’t mean we can’t practice it with the right intentions, but too often it is used the wrong way and for far too long. You wanna know why I think we are so quick to date and pursue someone? Because we aren’t content in our singleness. It’s okay. It’s a widespread insecurity that the world and media feeds us every day. It’s in the romance movies we watch, the social media posts, the late night tweets, and even the businesses and world around us. What is the most disheartening is that once we get into a relationship or we get married, we assume the problems and insecurities go away, as if somehow they disappear or are cured. But instead, they only magnify. We can’t be apart from our partner for more than a few hours or a day without getting anxious. We hate doing things by ourselves and get needy of the other partner. When we get to a point in the relationship where it’s not healthy and we need to get out, we would rather stay in it than be lonely again. It’s heartbreaking, and it happens every day. And the only way to solve it, is bringing it back to the roots: our readiness and intentions.
Here’s the big question: Are you solely satisfied in Christ?
Getting married is not about filling the hole in us, it’s finding someone who we are willing to commit a life of ministry with together. A wife or husband should be someone who has the same mission in life. In another article I will break down how to help find the right one for you in life, but for this article, I’m going to focus on the main question of: are you even ready to date?
Back in the beginning of creation, as we know, God created everything, and when he created Adam, he didn’t make Eve right away with him. There were a few things that God wanted Adam to have before he had a partner. These are things that only God can fulfill in our lives. These few things were, Purpose, Parameters, Identity, Provision, and a Place. At the root of this, God wants to make sure that our relationship with HIM, is rock solid before we try and find another relationship. No boyfriend or girlfriend, fiance, husband or wife, can give us the purpose, identity, provision, and more that only God can give. When we try to get it from others outside of God, they fail us, they are flawed, and it leaves us satisfied temporarily, but empty in the long run. Here’s a brief breakdown of those 5 categories listed:
1. Identity: We are created in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. Our identity comes solely from God alone as he is our maker. (Gen 1:27, Psalm 139:14, Jer 1:5)
2. Purpose: Our purpose comes from the one who has molded us from clay. The creator of all things who has placed us on this Earth is the only one who can fully reveal to us the purpose we serve in this world. Anything of this world as a purpose outside of serving the King renders void to our souls and the glory of God. (Jer 1:5, Rom 8:28, Matt 28: 19-20)
3. Provision: Everything we receive comes from the Father. To believe that we provide for ourselves through our own hard work sets us up for a life or being a slave to one’s own self. He is our ultimate source and trust for all of the needs we have in this world. To depend on anything else is an idol and false god that takes the place of the One True King. (2 Cor 9:8, Phil: 4:19, Matt 6:33)
4. Place: The idea of home is familiar to some, but foreign to others. A lot of us struggle with finding where home is for us. I even moved from Oregon to Arizona 7 years ago and as much as it was so good to be in a new community, it’s not my true home. We reside as members of the Kingdom of God. It doesn’t matter where you live, who your community is, our home is always found in the Father. Even beyond that, we too often are discontent with where we are placed in life. We think it’s not in God’s plan and that we have to keep chasing for a place that we believe exists but does not. Contentment with where we are in life in our walk with God is crucial to combatting the need to keep searching endlessly for something that is an illusion. (2 Cor 5: 1-10).
5. Parameters: The Lord wants to establish boundaries for yourself for where you are in life. Sometimes the ambitions and dreams we aspire for do not have God in the picture and we must realize and realign our goals with the will of God and submit to Him always before anyone else. (Romans 12:2, Matt 6:10)
With these briefly covered, let’s boil this down to the main points.
1. Dating is not wrong, but it should be done with the right intentions
2. Our goal of dating should be to find someone we are ready to marry
3. Before we can find someone to marry, we must ask ourselves, how is my relationship with Jesus? Does He fill the voids that only He can fill? Or have we searched for it elsewhere.
Singleness is a gift. This itself will be an article. If we aren’t content with where we are now, no relationship will change it, in fact it will only bring harm in the relationship. If you have broken pieces in your life, don’t risk cutting them at the expense of your selfishness. Learn to first take care of your relationship with God. Once you have found complete peace in that, then let’s open the door to finding someone to marry.