March 3, 2014 - Romance

Dating can be scary.

Bad Date

That being said, it’s often how we find a soul mate. No pressure, right? So with that level of payoff, why is it stressful?

Here are some of the reasons our palms get sweaty.

  • We lack self-confidence
    • If we don’t believe in ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to? This is a larger iceberg than what appears on the surface. If self-confidence is an issue, that must be viewed in the light of scripture. A spouse can boost confidence, but they can’t give it to us, and that is extremely important.
    • God made each one of us in His image. As if that were not enough, we are bought with a price—the blood of Christ. We may wish we had the talents and abilities of someone else, but God has given each one of us a unique design and He expects us to embrace that and use it for His Glory. This has been an issue since the early church that Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31.
  • We fear rejection
    • No one likes rejection. But if you’ve never been rejected, you aren’t following God. If that sounds like heresy, keep in mind that we aren’t supposed to be living with a safety net, unlike the teachings of pastors like Joel Osteen. We learn from every painful experience, and we never get through those difficult times without growing from the process. Life without risk is not life at all. Christians are expected to take chances. Get in the game and risk something. In fact, risk it all.
  • We can’t commit
    • There are two categories. We can say “I can’t commit because:”
      • I have an obligation to missions or school or something legit
        • Often times this is in the back of our minds and keeps us from feeling we can commit to another individual. Even though this has validity, consider that it may be in God’s plan for you to commit to a person and to him at the same time. That is usually the case. God loves marriage between a man and a woman. It represents His relationship to His bride, the Church.
      • I’m a pansy
        • Get over it. If you can’t commit to a woman with your entire being, body and soul—don’t date. You really are a pansy. Just get a goldfish and try not to let it die.
  • We believe we don’t have anything to offer
    • This is a lie. If you’re alive, you are a precious child of God and you have something to offer. One of Satan’s favorite lies is that you are worthless and don’t add up to the value of another person. Don’t let him do it.
  • We are afraid of failure
    • This is different than fear of rejection. Fear of failure includes issues such as:
      • What do I say if there is an awkward lull in the conversation, or if he/she doesn’t talk enough?
        • This is actually how you find out if you’re a match. Go with it.
      • How do I ask the right questions?
        • It’s hard to go wrong if you ask real questions rather than stupid ones. Ask about real life, but it’s like the ocean; don’t go too deep too fast. On the first date, get your feet wet.
          • If you cold live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
          • Did you grow up a Christian?
          • If you could have only a cat or a dog but not both, which would it be?
            • This will tell if you should date again or not.
      • How much do I share?
        • Share what he/she asks about. Other than that, learn about them first and do not unload your baggage . . . for a long time.
      • How do I make a good impression?
        • Don’t be too planned about what you’re going to do. You may find that spontaneity is the true liberator, even if you’re a little OCD.

The most important advice in dating sounds cliché. It is of course, “Be yourself.” But that’s incredibly important. If your date doesn’t like the real you, the relationship will never work no matter how much you want it to. You may be able to put on a façade for a time, but eventually the real you must emerge or you will both be miserable.

There is someone who will appreciate who you are for who you are. That’s the one you want. Dating is not for cowards. It’s for people who are serious about finding the right one and glorifying God in the process and in the outcome.