Thursday, October 19, 2017

Community News 10/19/17


Who to Date

Proverbs 31:30

One of the great dangers in dating is the tendency to adopt a consumer mentality rather than a companion mentality. When you ask people what kind of person they would like to date, they begin to list a set of characteristics. “Tall, but not too tall. Sensitive, but strong. Confident, but also caring. Handsome, but funny. And a good job with solid income.”
The problem with starting with a list of characteristics is that it creates an expectation no one can possibly meet. You are trying to customize your order to get what you think is best for you. In dating, you are looking for a person to love, not a product to consume. So your selection process can’t be rooted in transient characteristics like looks, charm, or wealth, because these characteristics fade over time (see Proverbs 31:30). If your marriage is built on surface characteristics, you have no hope together of a lasting future.
In dating, you are not constructing a robot from human parts to fit your needs. Rather, you are leveraging your life to build up the other person for the glory of God. The person you choose to marry should thus have an anchor point of love and morality outside of what you offer so your marriage can stay strong even when you are at your weakest. You want someone whose faithfulness to you is not anchored in the shifting sands of circumstance.
Now, are you going to find all this out about a person on date one? Of course not! Anybody can bluff their way through a one-hour interview. But what you want to see is someone who is striving to do beautiful things for beautiful reasons. You want someone who is actively pursuing the Lord with a level of intensity compatible to yours. You want to stand at the altar together and promise to be faithful to each other without wondering if both of you are sincere.
You want to live out your years with someone who is not only faithful to God but also a good fit for you. Your personal convictions and beliefs about God matter in your relationship. There are critical theological issues about which you cannot bend: the existence of the triune God, the reality of sin, the substitutionary death of the Christ, and salvation by grace through faith. Beyond these are other critical issues you may be able to disagree on and work through together. Yet I caution that while you do not need to be lockstep on every issue, you want to be aligned on the issues most critical to you.
Being socially compatible matters. The majority of your marriage will not be spent having sex but hanging out together. You should find your mate interesting. You should have life and career goals that point in compatible directions. Some compromise is essential. But too much, and you may both end up frustrated because you are unable to fulfill your mission in life.
The Bible recognizes value in physical attraction (just read the Song of Solomon). It is a factor in building a relationship—but it does not determine if you should be with someone. Obviously, this is because we all age and external beauty or health fades. So be smart! It is much easier to contemplate these issues before the wedding. Considering all these points will help you discern whether or not God has ordained a relationship.
When you consider who to date, what are you looking for in a person?
What are your deal-breakers in deciding who to date? Where are you willing to bend and sacrifice in a relationship?
How do you determine whether the person you want to date is striving for the same goals that you have? What is the potential pitfall in not making this a priority?

Adapted From: Dating You Version