#RelationshipGoals (Part 3: The Myth of Dating)
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
This is part three of the Relationship Goals sermon series by Mike Todd of Transformation Church.
1. Dating is biblical
The Bible doesn't use the words "dating" or "courtship." So when people say that "dating" is biblical, it's not true. The Bible doesn't even speak on the concept of dating that we have now. In those times they had arranged marriages. Not dating or even courtship. These concepts weren't created until recently. Even though the Bible doesn't specifically outline the path to marriage, it shows us how to choose a godly husband and what qualities and traits to look for in a marriage partner.
2. Dating is wrong
"Dating is not wrong IF God is in the middle." This applies to a multitude of things, not just dating. Many of us ask God to bless things that have not been ordained by him. Like "God, please bless this junk food as I eat it and help it to strengthen my body." You know that junk food is not good for you, yet you're still eating you AND you're asking God to bless it. Is he supposed to change it into a salad on the way down? Before you get into a relationship you need to make sure that it is what God wants for you, not what you want for yourself. If we learn to put God first and centermost in our lives, then everything else will surround him. It shouldn't be the other way around. Your relationship with God should influence everything else going on in your life, not everything in your life influencing your relationship with God.
'Dating is like the second job interview." The higher the position, the more interviews you might have. It's a competitive world out there and CEO's have to make sure that this job position is filled by the person most qualified. In the first interview you might go over the basics like your qualifications, but by the second interview you need more specific answers, you need to prove that you are not only qualified, but you are the best person for the job. You should treat dating the same way. When you're in the "getting to know each other stage" you need to know the basics about the other person. Do you like the way they dress? Can you stand the way they smell? Are they in school? Do they have a job? What are their interests? Do they have a good relationship with God? So often we allow people to get a second interview even though they shouldn't have passed the first interview. It's a lot harder to back out after you've become "Facebook official" or you've been introduced to each other's friend or family than backing out before it gets that far. Vet your potential spouses thoroughly!
Also, don't treat dates, like a commitment. Dates are an event that help you to further assess the other person. Just because you go on a couple dates and they went well doesn't mean that you two are in a relationship, ready for a relationship, or even good for each other. You should use that first date to see if the other person checks off anything on your non-negotiable list. If they don't, you should seriously reconsider going on a second date with them. You don't need to waste your time with someone that doesn't even meet the basic qualifications that you're looking for in a lifelong partner. The thing about good employers is that they know exactly what they're looking for. In the video Mike gave a great example. He said that "if you come to an interview sagging your pants, your hair not cut, you can't talk, all this other stuff...they're not gonna call you back." First impressions are so important. They tell the other person what to expect in the future. So if you're on a date with someone who is constantly complaining or gossiping or rude and condescending, that should tell you something about the character of this person. THEY ARE NOT THE ONE SIS, MOVE ON.
Just because you are lonely doesn't mean that you should give under qualified people second interviews. When a company has a "shortage" they often give the positions to unqualified people that don't have the ability to fill it. Although the company may think they did what they had to do, it only hurts them in the long run. That unqualified person will cost the company more than it cost to pay them. In this scenario, the company represents me or you. Don't give unqualified people positions in your heart just because you're lonely. Work on your loneliness by filling it with God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." This also applies to dating. When you date you should be doing it for the glory of God. Don't date just because everyone else is doing it. Don't date out of loneliness. Don't date to fill a void. Date to bring glory to God. Do their qualities bring glory to God? Is this someone who can be a spiritual leader in your household? Do they show you the love of Christ every day? Is the way in which you are dating bringing God glory? Are you sneaking out of the house to meet this person? Are you lying to people you love about where you're going or what you are going to do? If someone on the outside of your relationship evaluated your relationship, would your Christian ministry be destroyed? Does your relationship add to your mission as a Christian or does it take away from it? What does my relationship with this person say about my relationship with Jesus Christ? These are serious questions that you need to ask yourself.
3. Dating is a destination
"Dating is transportation to a relational target" Dating is not supposed to be a destination in which you say for 10+ years. It is simply the vehicle that takes us to marriage. When you date someone for a long period of time it allows your mind to get comfortable in a place that was never designed to be the ultimate destination. If you never get off the transportation, you'll never really get anywhere. So whether you get off at the destination or jump off along the way, YOU CANNOT STAY ON THE VEHICLE. Maybe you just need to get off and walk. Maybe dating is not what you need right now. Maybe it is leading you in the wrong direction. Sometimes when you slow down and smell the roses, you begin to notice things and people that you've never noticed before. If you are dating someone and every time you ask them where the relationship is going they say something like "someday..." get off the train. You can't afford to waste your time waiting on that someday to finally arrive. You'll be waiting forever. Your relationships need to have a purpose and a goal. You need to be intentional with whom and how you date. Date with purpose. Date with the end in mind. After you go on a couple of dates with someone and you can't see yourself connecting with them, being led by them, or marrying them, then you shouldn't not get into a relationship with this person. Getting into a relationship with them will not help you "figure out if you can make it work." Relationships are meant to refine what you already have with this person, not create something that never existed before.
4. Dating is Harmless
"Dating can be devastating if it's done in the wrong timing and without God." Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death." In relation to this topic, this verse doesn't mean that dating will lead to death (although there is always a possibility), but it can definitely lead to the death of your purpose. You get into a relationship with someone and all of a sudden you stop participating in church activities, you stop reading your Bible, you stop going to church. This person has distracted you from or killed the fire that fueled your purpose. This refers to the people who put you down and devalue, but it also refers to those who distract you with other "good" prospects. Just because something is good doesn't mean that it is good FOR YOU. Choosing a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make in your life. Who you choose to marry will influence your relationship with God, your purpose, and your happiness. 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 says, "Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for 'bad company corrupts good character.' Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don't know God at all." Choosing a marriage partner is no easy or quick task and each and every one of us needs to stop and think carefully before aligning and connecting ourselves that we want to be with for the rest of our lives.
In Philippians 2:13 the Bible says, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." God hasn't left us empty-handed. He will give us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him if we just ask. Most of us are so driven by hopeless thoughts that we forget that we are friends with our Redeemer that can give us the things we lack. We don't even need to come up with the desire on our own! He will put that within us.
Proverbs 4:23 - "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." This verse, while it has many applications, definitely applies to relationships. We've seen through the sermon of Mike Todd that relationships can influence us in many ways, sometimes good and sometimes bad. It's up to us to guard our hearts until we find someone who's purpose aligns with ours and encourages us to fulfill that purpose. Our eyes should be forever focused on God, the Sustainer of life, and not distracted by anybody that might walk by.
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