This is the third installment to the Relationship Goals series that I have been tuning in to. This episode focuses on dating. The past two episodes have been about what needs to happen before you get into a relationship and now we are finally at the relationship itself. Pastor Mike Todd starts off talking about the progression of relationships that we all experienced as children on the playground: girl and boy sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. So, simply the progression is love…marriage…baby. But is that a Godly outlook on relational progression?
The answer is no. So here are seven steps to a Godly relationship:
1. Singleness– Probably the most important step in a relationship where you learn identity, purpose, and self awareness. This is also where you learn to love God, love yourself, and then love people.
2. Intentional Dating– Dating with a purpose in mind i.e. marriage.
5. Love– We confuse passion with love. We’re engaged in what we see and hear in a moment so we think it’s love but it’s actually lust. There are things you can only learn when you’re a covenant with someone.
6. Children– If you don’t have all of the above steps, having children won’t fix the marriage and fill the void that your spouse has left.
7. Repeat– The greatest thing you can do in progression.
Repeating the process is so important because we should always be working on our singleness and intentionally dating even through marriage. It’s crucial that we learn what a Godly example of a relationship is so we can teach our children. Pastor Mike uses the example of picking the right kind of fruit when going to the grocery store. There’s always the one person in the family who knows how to pick fruit that is ripe and good to take home. It’s the same way with picking people for relationships. There are good people and bad people so it’s important that we learn how to pick the “right fruit” so we can teach our children the same.
The title of this blog is The Myth of Dating. We let the world tell us what is right and wrong with dating/ courtship and so we think our idea is of a healthy Godly relationship is actually not true. So, these are some myths that we have about dating:
- Dating is biblical– Dating is NOT biblical. The bible is actually pretty silent about dating and courtship. But, the bible is clear about boundaries, the type of company you should keep, and character of people that could be life partners. Dating and courtship are actually man made to see if people were compatible for marriage. So the key to dating/ courtship is to put God in the middle.
- Dating is wrong– Dating is not wrong if God is in the middle. If He’s in the middle, then everything in the relationship will surround Him. Dating is like a second interview for a really good job. Good interviews know what they are looking for in a person to hire for the job. You start off with an interview to get to know the person a little and then you call them back again for another interview to continue to see if that person is fit for the job. It’s the same with relationships. Sometimes we get so desperate and lonely that we let unqualified people get a second interview when they didn’t deserve to get past the first.
- Dating is a destination– Dating is not the destination, it’s the transportation to a relational target. It’s supposed to be the vehicle that takes us to marriage/ covenant. This is where dating with a purpose comes in to play. After a couple “events” or dates with someone, do you see your self being led? Do you see yourself connecting with them? Do you see yourself marrying them? If not, you don’t need to be in a relationship with them to try to see if it works.
- Dating is harmless– This is not true! Dating can be devastating! This happens when God isn’t in the middle or intentions are not right. There could be death of purpose if you get with the wrong person. Who you date is important because who you align yourself with and let in your heart will start to guide you, whether that’s in a positive or negative direction. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says that “Bad company corrupts good character.” If a bad boy is dating a good girl, or vice versa, the bad is going to pull the good away and they will start to change because they are being guided. If you’re making decisions out of sin, your flesh will always lie to you.
When you invite God into the situation, He will give you the desire to do things right and He will give you the power to do it. He wants our relationships to shine. If you have the right mindset, you can set the right boundaries therefore making God the center of the relationship. Guard your heart and let Jesus show you how to love. God is working in each and every one of us right now to give us the power and the desire to please Him. We will all fall, but don’t stay down. Get back up and always go back to pleasing God. This applies to relationships but also to life in general.