Determining Mr. or Ms. Right/Christian Dating...Taking Christianity Into the World
Often we make many issues in life out to be much harder than they need to be. Many of life's answers are available if we will just be still, be aware and be open. When we clutter our lives with dizzying schedules, dates, socials and deadlines of all types, we will not be prone to hear the truth. We have all fallen for what we initially thought was that special someone, who turned everything different that we had originally thought. These tangibles will help you ensure that you are able to develop for yourself ways to discover, if your "romantic interest" is really right for you, or not. Dating and courtship are an integral part of our becoming an mature adult. These dating guidelines will help you avoid unnecessary heartaches, missteps and Mr. or Ms. Wrong.
To God's Glory. Someone who truly loves you; should love God more. If you are dating someone that you feel puts you above God, it may be a "rush" and an emotional high, but it is sure to bring disaster as the highs level out and life's normal ups and downs occur resulting in their "undying commitment" to you failing. Any good and God centered relationship has to put God first. This is equally important in dating as it is in marriage. Absent a tried and true understanding of the Bible, you will build any romance on sand, rather than the rock and certainty of our Lord Jesus Christ. Someone who loves and respects you will encourage you in your walk with God, rather than seeking to pull you away from it. They will look to see what they can do to help encourage you to be all that God made you to be, rather than what they want you to be. They will seek after Godly things and not the wiles and the ways of the world. For anyone seeking a Christian based relationship, this one issue has to be a "deal breaker" as first and foremost you should seek to date only other Believers. Though many will aspire to "mission" dating (i.e., dating a non-Believer with the hope of bringing Salvation into their life), this is a recipe for disaster. In these circumstances you are most apt to become more like the world, rather than the way you intended. If you see yourself changing or "stretching" your beliefs and value system to accommodate a new love interests, vote in the only way that truly matters with your feet. Flee!
What Are You Hearing. If you have just met someone new and are in the fog like happiness of "new love," you are often busy romancing, while not thinking clearly, about your new significant other. If you are busy sending texts, e-mails or one of the many social networking pages, it is easy to get caught up in activity, leaving you unable to hear what others are saying. Often God uses friends and family to speak truth into our lives and all we have to do is listen. I have found that my teenage children do not want to hear what I have to say, so I have look to teach them, in advance. That way will be able themselves to learn what they need to listen to and to be aware of, if someone they are dating are a good fit, or not. It is often uncomfortable for all of us, both for parent and friends alike, and the child, to hear that the parent/friends do not approve of or even like the person you are dating. Thus, I have taught our children how to know if I or their friends do not approve of who they are dating by being aware of what other people are not saying. If friends and family members are not asking about their latest romantic interest and when they are going to be able to see them next, the silence speaks volumes. Though many of us will be nice when unwelcome or undesired guests arrive, we will not go out of our way to invite people into our home we do not believe to be in our children, friends or others best interests. This is true, as well, when your friends appear to be "lukewarm" to your new boy/girl friend. They are anything but lukewarm, their silence is speaking to you loudly, all you have to do is listen. Their silence is telling you loudly and in volumes they do not approve, do not agree and do not think that your new romantic interests is a fit. If you are still confused, ask them. They may hesitate, but if they are a true friend and really care about you, they will share their reservations and hesitancy.
Family Dynamics. If you have grown up in a Christian home, you have watched love be modeled before your very eyes. Though you parents/step-parents may have many faults their desire for consistency, moral turpitude and truth are essential components of a good Christian home. So whether your biological parents are together or apart, if you have been brought up to believe in and rely upon God, you know what God's truth is and what it looks like. The Bible tells us all we are a part of the Body of Christ; as such we are all interconnected and have a common belief system. We know what God tells us, and though all of us are flawed and do fail, we all strive to live our lives in accordance with God and his precepts. I have often witnessed as family members or children have "brought someone new" into the family dynamics who just does not fit in. Frequently, we feel that perhaps we have evaluated too quickly or not given someone a chance. However most often, I have learned that someone who does not initially fit in, will over time, become even worse of a fit. Unfortunately, Believers and non-believers alike are the last ones to know how others feel or what they think, so watching how, if any, impact on family dynamics is an independent way to evaluate if someone is a fit for you and your family. If your family/friends styles and dynamics change when your new romantic interests is around, it is a true and tried indicator that your new "love interest" is not a good fit and never will be.