Scripture calls us to join ourselves with a believer because God loves us and wants the best for us. You make yourself radically vulnerable when you choose to ignore this advice. The further you walk into dating, the more intimate it becomes.
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The other person gets to know you. He or she learns new things about you—where you live, what you like to do, where you are likely to show up. Both people are buying a mortgage, but one is being wise while one is being foolish. The same thing is true in dating. However, the problems and the principles I will be talking about can obviously be applied to any Christian thinking of marrying or for that matter even dating someone who doesn't love Jesus with all of their heart.
This article is not for those of you who were first married and then became a Christian at a later date. Even though, as a result, you may now be married to someone who is not following Jesus, it was not a c hoice you made since becoming a Christian. This article is for single Christians who still have the "dating" and marriage question ahead of them. To order this article in pamphlet form Missionary Dating I'm not exactly sure who came up with the term "missionary dating," but I love it because it so appropriately paints the picture.
Imagine this - a young girl, full of zeal for God, goes to a remote tribe of natives somewhere to evangelize the lost. She ends up having a special burden for the chief's handsome young son. He seems interested in God, and so she starts spending quite a bit of time with him in hopes of winning him to the Lord. Then, before you know it, her friends at the Missionary Society receive a postcard saying that she is getting married and won't be coming back. Well, not really - but she has full confidence that he will be shortly.
Meanwhile, she's happily getting ready to set up housekeeping in his hut full of idols which, of course, she wouldn't think of worshipping , and dreaming of the wonderful future they will have together. If you heard of a situation like this, what would you think about this girl's chances for real happiness - or her professed love for the Lord?
Her actions certainly seem to contradict the very things she says she believes in. I think it's safe to say that every marriage starts out with a simple date. Many Christians are deceived when it comes to this. They feel all right about dating an unbeliever, just as long as it doesn't "get too serious. Besides, maybe I can lead him to the Lord. I just want to have some fun right now, but when it comes to settling down, I will definitely marry a Christian.
Any Christian foolish enough to date an unbeliever is foolish enough to marry one! Important Decisions Marriage is the biggest and most important decision you will make after your decision to follow Jesus. And as I said before, all marriages start out with a "first date. They have adopted the world's view on this, instead of God's. There is no such thing as "playing the field" when it comes to Christianity. Sure it gets lonesome sometimes, but remember, every date has the potential of becoming a lifelong relationship.
Spending time with the wrong person is opening yourself up to becoming emotionally involved to a point where it is not always so easy to turn and walk away. Once you have given your heart and your emotions to someone, you will be surprised at how difficult it is to have the desire to take them back - even if you know you should. Here is part of a typical letter I have recently received from a young Christian girl. She has already been counseled and encouraged to do the right thing, but I wanted to share her predicament with you: I've had a really close walk with the Lord, and He has been good to me in so many ways.
But I met a guy at school. He's not a Christian, and we've been going out for over three months. At the time, I believed it was fine, unless we married, which of course I have no intention of doing because he isn't a Christian. But lately I've spoken with someone who told me it was wrong, and that I should never have gone out with him in the beginning. Afterwards we were talking, and he laughed at all the 'weird Jesus, and dumb Christian songs' that I listen to. I let him know I was hurt by the way he laughed about the name of Jesus, and now I really feel bad inside because of it, and I feel we should end our relationship.
But it's very hard because we really like each other a lot, and I'm afraid my witness will all go down the drain if we break up. I'm really asking the Lord for wisdom now. If you have a few spare minutes you could remember me in prayer. The time to ask Jesus for wisdom is before you start a relationship - not after. It is much easier than you think for your heart to overrule your conscience. Once your own desires are demanding priority, your zeal to put God first starts to quickly fade away.
Your emotions are a powerful thing, and if you don't control them, they will control you! So what does it mean to be unequally yoked? Picture if you will, two oxen tied together at the neck by a wooden crosspiece so they can pull a plow. They are two animals of the same species who have been joined together to do a specific job.
They have been carefully trained to respond to the same commands, and once they are united, they are considered to be a team. A wise farmer picks two animals of similar size, strength, and temperament because he knows they will work the best together. If one of them needed to be whipped before he would move, and the other one was terrified at even the sight of a whip, it would seem unwise to tie them together and expect them to work as a team. One "teammate" would frantically try to run away, while the other one would stubbornly refuse to budge.
In fact, if two like this were joined together, it seems that disaster might be at hand - with possible damage to the equipment, hurt and confusion to the "teammates", and of course, the work would never get done. Our beloved Jesus is the wisest and most loving "Farmer" in all the universe.
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- "Unequally Yoked" - What it Means & Why it's So Dangerous.
- Why Being Unequally Yoked Is More Dangerous Than You Think.
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He knows that we would never be happy if we were bound to someone who was pulling us in the opposite direction from where we wanted to go. Our life would be one continual tug of war, and we would never be able to get on with the work that we were called to do. That is why He commanded us to marry "only in the Lord.
Why You Shouldn't Marry or Date an Unbeliever
It is really very simple. I guess that's why it constantly amazes me that so many choose to ignore God's wisdom, thinking in vain that "it will all work out fine in the end. This doesn't mean that you have to feel called to marriage with someone before you can spend any time together - but you must be able to see the qualities of a sincere lover of God in this person, and the fruit of their faith should be evident for all to see.
If they pass this most crucial test, you still must seek God to see if it's all right to take the time to get to know this person better. You should seek the Lord privately on this - that is, not with the person you are interested in. That way, if God says "No," no one will be hurt. I am assuming you have already spent time with this person in group situations - but a deeper relationship should only be entered into if and when the Lord gives you His express permission.
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If you are afraid to hear a possible "No" from God, then you are not seeking His will, but your own. This should be an immediate danger signal that something is wrong, and you shouldn't make a move until you get your heart right with the Lord. Does all that sound a little strict to you?
Living singly part of God's kingdom
Well, just ask someone who has chosen the wrong mate due to a lack of patience, counsel, and prayer. They will tell you that they wish someone would have told them the same things I am now telling you. You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. I assume you know right and wrong when it comes to sins such as lying, stealing, and killing.
Does It Matter If I'm Dating an Unbeliever?
Some call it premarital sex; others call it marriage out of wedlock. It feels so right, and you have every excuse in the world to continue. However, what seems right in the heat of the moment is not worth its cost in the end. When you have sex with anyone other than your spouse, things happen, bad things.
The Bible states that while sin is pleasurable for a season, the after effects are horrible. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against his own body.
God does not lead through doubt. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Ever turned on the television or radio to catch a sermon, song, or message seemingly written specifically for you? Anyone ever crossed your path leaving a comment or two that spoke directly to your heart?
What about people who know you well?