Dating: Go Big or STAY Home!
I’m going to guess something about you.
You think you might want to get married sometime before you die.
Actually, 92% of 13-24 year-olds admit they either probably or definitely want to be married, so if you’re reading a post on dating, the odds were forever in my favor for guessing right, even more so if you’re 25 or older.
But if I was right about my first guess, allow me to hazard another conjecture.
You don’t just simply want to be married. You want to wind up in a happy marriage; a successful marriage; one where both you and your spouse are empowered to become more together than you ever could have been separately.
And while I’m on a roll, allow me to go out on a limb. (Is that a mixed metaphor?)
You want a marriage which is high on contentment and low on conflict, one defined by resolute trust, deep connection and amazing sex; a relationship that becomes the source of great times, warm memories, and rich meaning!
Am I right?
Then let me ask you this: How are you going to get there? By accident? (In other words: falling in love?)
What’s your plan? True love’s kiss?
What makes you think it’s going to just “happen when you’re not expecting it”? Because you wish for it hard enough?
Would any of that work for your career? More pointedly, does our culture suggest you will one day fall in employment, after experiencing true livelihood’s interview, all because you hoped and dreamed for the day?
Of course not. You go to school, you read books, you talk to experts and get hands on experience. And then the real work begins.
Is it any wonder, that without any of that same intentionality, training or tools our relationships wind up in such a deplorable mess?
So if you want to date, begin with the end in mind.
Don’t date, simply hoping for another date.
Don’t date, simply hoping your next relationship will last longer than your previous one.
Don’t date, hoping to get a kiss.
Date with the goal of a life-giving, life-long marriage.
Not because you want to be married someday, but because you are called to marriage.
Because, unless you’re called to celibacy, you are called to a life-giving, life-long marriage.
Did you ever think of marriage as a calling?
Unlike how our culture may perceive it, marriage is not a status, or a prize, or a burden, or a life-stage, or a lifestyle preference, or an expectation your Aunt Gertrude has for you. Marriage is an awesome calling, requiring sober preparation and divine inspiration.
Does that excite you? Wonderful! Because, unless you’re one of the chosen few called to forego the pursuit of one earthly love until death do you part, then…
And dating or courting or whatever you want to call it is the process by which you pursue that.
Are you ready?
However, if you are ready then LET THE DATING COMMENCE!
With the end goal of a life-giving, life-long marriage in mind, limit your dating candidates down to those who are sufficiently mature and sold out to Jesus! And don’t just go down a checklist. Bring every potential soul before your God in prayer and your friends who know and love you well. And if you get the green light, take the risk!
If you embark on this journey with God’s word as your guide, His people as your support and His presence in every moment you will be amazed where He takes you and how He shapes you into the man or woman you need to be for your future spouse.
And then the real work will begin!
[This post is the final one in a series on Purpose-Driven Dating which we define as follows: Intentional time invested in one other person for the purpose of growing in intimacy that might lead to a life-giving, life-long marriage. Our current focus: …life-giving, life-long marriage. The series begins with this post.]
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!