Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Community News 10/18/17


Philippians 3:13-14

Why Date?

Dating is tough because it is risky. At times it can feel like playing hopscotch in a minefield. It can cause you to wonder why even bother risking the inevitable pain. The answer is because deep within us is a deep need and longing to connect with another person. We want to love and experience love in return. Most people on the planet want to get married. So, we are willing to risk the drama of dating for the payoff of a long-term, intimate relationship.
In this reading, I’m not going to talk about how you can get a date, because the reality is anyone can get a date. If you set your standards low enough, you can get married tonight! Finding someone to date is easy. But finding the right someone the right way is not. So, the question becomes how you can achieve this. How can you date in a way that will maximize the good aspects of meeting people while minimizing the pain? To answer that question, you need to back up and ask something even more fundamental: What is the purpose of dating?
The Bible doesn’t say a thing about dating, but it has much to say about evaluating people. I would submit that dating is our modern process of evaluation. Dating is discerning whether you want to spend your life with a particular person. The first critical question this evaluation leads to is what qualities you should look for in another person.
As a single person, you want to be charging toward the Lord. Devoted to him. Using your gifts, abilities, time, and influence to be a blessing to all people who are made in his image. As you are chasing after him, there will be all manner of people running as well, but in all manner of directions. Eventually, you will look up and see people chasing him along with you. As you are running, you’re going to start talking to a few of them. You’re going to check them out.
What you are looking for is character and chemistry. You want someone with character who passionately pursues God and the things of God. Then you want to look for someone with whom you have chemistry. You want someone you enjoy hanging out with, talking to, and with whom you click. You want solid, godly character and fun, easy chemistry.
Dating is not about chasing another person so you can find your meaning and fulfillment in him or her. That is far too much weight to put on any human being. And that is not how you were built. You are not half of a person waiting for another half of a person to “complete” you. You are whole and loved by God as a single person—not incomplete.
So, the purpose of dating is not to find completion as an individual but to find a person of great character and with whom you have great chemistry so you can run into the future God has for both you. When you date another person, the goal is to grow together so you can encourage, challenge, and shape each other. In the process, you will have to adapt, change, and sacrifice. It won’t always be easy or look like the romantic depictions you see in Hollywood films. But you can be assured the journey will be well worth it.
This is the purpose of dating. This is the vision you are aiming for in marriage. And it is a pretty amazing ride!
How have you been hurt in dating relationships? What have you learned from those experiences?
What is your motive in wanting to date? Are your motives healthy? Why or why not?
What can help you evaluate a person as a potential mate? What hopes do you have for the future as you consider dating someone?

Adapted From: Dating You Version