Introduction to Dating
There are some group of radical people teach that God doesn’t want you to date (what lonely person there are). Here I want to tell you or in other words, I want to encourage – dating. In fact, I think that dating is great and life giving experience. It’s one of the important times of growth, to have fun, to learn about the significant of human interaction and relationship. It’s natural to want a romantic dating relationship. After all, God created us to need other people. He had planted in every human heart the desire to have a healthy wonderful relationship with the other person, and because of that: God made romance. It’s not a bad thing, dating is a good thing unless it is misused.
The Problem of Human in Dating
Here are the problem that you and I both should take note of: “because dating is a human exercise, it can be a tightrope fraught with danger. You will be dating imperfect people, and some of them are more imperfect than others. In addition, you are not perfect either, so that complicates the picture. That is why you need to approach dating, with all of its strong passions and promises, with a great deal of thought, prayer, and wisdom. If you do, God can make a way for you to grow in your dating life.”* We are imperfect being, but behold, God is. In our pursuit of dating, it is important for both of us to surrender to God our whole life and pray Psalms 31:15: “My future is in your (God’s) hands.” Guide us, Lord.
Most Significant period: Dating
12 Rules to Dating and New Romance
In their book God will Make a Way, Dr. Hendry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have come out with 12 Rules for how you should approach dating. Below are the 12 Rules with my summary:
1. Begin with pursuing God and become the healthiest person you can become.
By paraphrase Matthew 6:25-34, they write, “Don’t worry about who you will date, where you will find that person, and so on. Don’t the birds figure it out? God leads them to other birds, doesn’t he? He puts the flowers in nice gardens, doesn’t he? He knows you need a social life and a satisfying dating experience. The real thing to worry about is this: Seek him and his righteousness, and good dating will follow as a fruit. Don’t worry about your future dating life, for it will take care of itself. Instead, worry about where you are with your spiritual growth today, and who you are becoming today, and what your dating looks like today. Seek him and become who he wants you to be, and your dating life will take care of itself.”
Before dating or anything else: “Seek first (God’s) his kingdom and his righteousness”. Dating begin, my friends, with you being in a process of becoming the most complete, honest, loving, responsible, satisfied person you can be. God first, dating later – it’s the most loving formula don’t you think?
2. Get your relationship needs met outside the dating context.
Allow yourself to get close enough to how you feel ‘without a man/woman’ to know who you are when you are on your own. Could it be the feeling of loneliness etc.? The writers suggest what we should get a place where our life can be full without a man/woman in our life. How? Perhaps by let other supportive people (family and friends) get close to us, to know our heart. Find someone to share your life, as opposed to a desire to get a life from someone. Place yourself out of the need zone. “If you are already loved, you will not be clingy and needy. You will make better choices when it comes to dating.”
3. Learn your patterns and work on them so you do not repeat them.
Take responsibility for your actions. See yourself as an actor instead of victim who is acted upon. We must understand that we have patterns in our dating life that need to be take note of. For example, “I have a tendency to get involved in relationships that are ……………. or ……………..”, these are your patterns. Begin to see your patterns. Do something about them before they cause serious problems in due time. “Unfortunately, a lot of people go through sad things over and over again because they don’t recognize the unhealthy patterns in which they are engaged, and thus they are destined to repeat them. Yet, as James says, when you go through trials, seek wisdom from God and persevere in the process, and then you will become complete (James 1:2-12). The though dating scenario will be in your past, never to be repeated.”
4. Date according to a few nonnegotiable values.
Many people end up in bad relationships because they lack of purpose and don’t have a clear idea of what values they want to guide their life. The writers suggest that we should know what kind of people and situations you want to avoid, as well as those you want to cultivate.
“As you think through your list of what to avoid, remember what David said in Psalms 101. He said that he would have nothing to do with people who exhibited the following:
· Vileness – someone who is worthless or destructive
· Faithlessness – a derelict, or one who turns away from faith
· Perversity – someone whose views are distorted and false
· Slander – someone who speaks evil of others
· Evil – someone who causes calamity and distress, someone who is wretched
· Pride – someone who is arrogant and holds him- or herself above others
· Deceit – someone full of betrayal and treachery
· Lying – one who is untrue and a sham
You get to choose who you date. “You can’t pick your family or determine many of the other things that happen in life, but you can choose the person you date… be in charge of the things that are important to you.”
Go out and date! Anyone who was not dangerous (be precautious, but not too picky). “Be open to going out with people whom you would normally not have on your list [positives side of the above (no.4) lists]. Date to learn. Date to have fun. Date to have meaningful interactions with human beings. Look at each situation as a chance to get to know a person and find out something about yourself.”
6. Be yourself, from the beginning
“In the begging, dating is a lot about looking good, trying to impress someone, and putting forth your best foot. There is nothing wrong with that, as after you know someone better, you are more comfortable allowing yourself to be seen for who you are… so when you date, be yourself. Be who you are and give the other person the freedom to do the same.”
7. Don’t put up with bad behavior, and set good boundaries.
“Many people put up with a lot of disrespect in dating and then wonder why they are in a problem relationship. Remember, you will get what you tolerate. You are always training someone how to treat you…” Of course be able to overlook an offense for example, or don’t get so bend out of shape over little things etc. “However, if someone has a pattern of not being respectful, then don’t put up with it.”
8. Take your time.
I have seen and heard, very often that those who move into a serious relationship too quickly, they crumbled very quickly too. Slow down will ya? “What’s the rush? Why can’t he or she enjoy just getting to know you as a friend first? ...Get to know his or her friends, values, family, faith – everything you can know about someone. You have to make sure that you are not indulging your hormones or fantasies when you open the door of your heart and get serious with someone.”
Take your time, and keep your life in the process.
9. Stay connected
Don’t neglect your friends after dating! Stay connected with your family and friends. Allow your friends to be your spiritual family and depend on them for input. “Your friends can see things that you can’t, because they are not emotionally involved.” Stay connected before, during and after dating. They are your strong base in your process of making better decisions.
10. Get active
Don’t just wait on God to bring the person to you. It’s true that God will guide you to someone, God provides, yes, but he also wants us to be doing our part of getting out into life and being in the real world. We have to be ‘out there’ in all areas of life if we want to date. Take some action. For example, network with friends and family. You may find someone special out there.
11. Look in the Mirror
“If you are taking steps to meet new people and no one is showing interest in you, ask yourself why. Maybe there is something about your personality, or behavior, or the way you come across to others that you are not aware of that is getting in the way.” Ask feedback from your friends. Be patient and work on it… you may find some good things happening in the process.
12. Keep yourself pure
“God has told us to honor sex as something holy and keep it confined to the marriage relationship.” Sex outside of marriage can set you up for a lot of misery and can cause you to lose out lot of good things. Believe me, I tell you.
A Kind of Dating you can’t Miss!
Again, your relationship with God must come first. When it is right, the Lord can lead you into wonderful, exciting, fulfilling friendships and dating. Start dating with God, with faith in passionate love and wholeheartedly. Spiritually fulfilled is more important than life partner – but isn’t it great if you can balance both? Ha2 (laugh). You’re ready to date… go and have fun!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
1. God will Make a Way: What to do when you don't know what to do by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Published by Thomas Nelson (c) 2002. Page 101-119.