I recently shared a link on the subject of dating called Courtship in Crisis. It mainly addressed the benefits of traditional dating vs. courting. It provided some good points and guidelines, and I thought it was great (hence why I shared it), however, after some prayer, guidance, and study, I began to wonder if the idea of dating around was really the best idea.
As a late teen (a proud 19-year-old as I write this), the idea of dating has been on my mind recently, as I’m sure it is on many around my age. I began to study up on the idea in the Bible, and through what others thought on the subject. If one were to google Christian advice on dating, waiting on God for a spouse would be the most common answer. It’s said that He will provide one’s spouse in His time if we trust in Him. This doesn’t mean we can’t desire a spouse, that desire is a treasured thing, but it simply means to be patient for that person we want in our lives. Why is patience required? Because a spouse is something we don’t just want, but need. This is a view I endorse completely. However, if you’re a teen like me, full of questions, we need an answer to why dating around isn’t such a great idea, and why waiting is the best thing.
Firstly, I want to be clear that I’m not looking down on this man’s work. I’ve read his book, and he offers some truly great ideas. However, one thing addressed in the post and book was, if one dates enough, he/she will eventually get an idea of what they want in a spouse. It sounds logical, right? How do we know what we want, until we test things out? This is flawed for a number on reasons. Firstly, we may know what we want, but we hardly know what we need. Secondly, the special person God has for you will be completely unique, a person you didn’t even know you wanted and needed. He/she will be different from anyone you’ve ever met, not simply a collective number of qualities you found you liked. When you meet this person, you’ll be completely unprepared, and no experience can ever be of benefit.
When we date around (a date, in this case, being a man and woman alone getting to know each other, not those group hangouts dressed up as a date), we carry baggage from each person, because our hearts get in the way. One can say, as I have myself, that dating isn’t a serious, romantic meeting, but a casual hangout to find what we like. But can we be truly honest with this statement? If one is dating, they must be somewhat attracted to the other person, or else one wouldn’t go on a date with them, right? I can guarantee no one truly wants dating to be the above description. We’re all hoping things will work out and get romantic. So when we date around, we leave a small piece of our heart behind with each person, and when we move to the next date, they’ll only remind us of the person before, and the person before that. And so when we do finally meet the one we’re to marry, we carry those memories, those ties to previous women or men behind us. It’s a baggage that is incredibly hard to drop.
In the end, though it may be painful, it may feel like an eternity, the best thing to do is wait. Wait for the person you’ve been dreaming about but never thought existed. She does exist, and she is waiting for you. She is waiting for God’s perfect timing when you really need her, and she needs you. You’ll dance in a marriage that mirrors God’s love for His bride, what better dream is there to hold?