Let’s define two things.
- Recreational Dating: an act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together as a couple.
- Dating With Purpose: an act of entering into a courtship relationship with someone who has the potential of one day being your spouse.
Do you remember the first time a guy asked you out on a date? Was it during high school, college, or sometime there after? Can you remember where you were, what you had on, who you were asked by, and the place you heard you would be taken to, if you said “yes”? If you can’t answer all of those questions, I’m sure you might be able to answer at least one! Memories have a way of setting in when things happen to us for the first time as women. These feelings are especially high when coupled with butterflies, smiles as wide as the ocean, and a bed or closet floor where the P.O.M. (Perfect Outfit Monster) has just recently attacked. We as women know that you must have that perfect outfit on no matter if you are going on something as special as a dinner date or a little more active like paintballing! You of course would dress appropriately according to where you are headed.
Often times when it’s our first date, we are very much still in the getting to know each other stage. We know that if we are seeking to date with purpose the intent of getting to know each other is a bit different than just dating recreationally. It’s no secret that this date, whether with purpose or not, will set precedence if we should ever decide to go back out with the gentleman again (and I’m 100 percent sure the feeling is mutual for him). Depending on the types of questions WE ask (because we should be engaging in conversation equally with him), choices can be made to either put what we’ve been told by him into the “can deal” or “can’t deal” box. On this date we find that we will ask some typical questions that we may not already know the answers to or want more details on such as:
- Where do you work?
- Do you have any kids if so how many?
- Do you have any siblings?
- Do you have a lot of friends?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- Are you active on social media?
Again these are some of the questions we may or may not ask. I could go on and write a ton more to put on the list, but let’s be real ladies a question like “Are you in a relationship?” should have been asked prior to the P.O.M. going crazy! Don’t you agree? I’m hoping we aren’t getting dressed to go out with someone else’s man. However if you are a woman who believes wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ and has a personal relationship that is growing each day, your list of questions may look a lot different. They too may look similar with the possible trade off of one being replaced with “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”
We could decide to operate in the safe lane and just plainly ask, “Do you go to church?” That question however does nothing for the woman who is living her life set apart (Romans 12:2). Anybody can go to church. Anyone. However deciding to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is an admittance that you tie to yourself daily and live for the one who died to save you. Asking safe lane questions regarding spirituality reveals to us women a few things. The first could be that we are getting older and need a man with some sort of act right. He may fall short on some things but other than that he can go into the “can deal” box. The second could be that all of our friends are in relationships and we want to share in that same feeling and those same conversations. He takes the lonely factor away. Occasionally we get to continue to go out on dates, have a Valentine, have someone to take to the family functions, have someone to buy Christmas gifts for and so on. No matter how much burden he brings to your life, he can still go into the “can deal” box. The third could be that we either want to be married like today or have a baby like yesterday. He can fulfill one or both of those requests, so we close our eyes to every red flag shown but other than that he can still go into the “can deal” box. Can you list any more reasons why?
Because Christ gives us free will (Proverbs 16:9), we can chose what box he, our date, will be placed in. I know very well of what I speak. Not only because I’ve seen friends and family make these choices but because I myself have made them. I knew that the gentleman I was entering into a dating relationship with at that time didn’t have the basics he should have had in regard to having a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are certain fundamental characteristics that are evident in men and women who are seeking God daily. It was easy for me to point out what was missing because I knew what was missing in me. People generally gravitate towards like qualities. Even if you dislike your qualities you will still find that they are identical with someone else that you are keeping in company. I continued to keep this young man company, as he did the same for me. God was throwing red flags all over the place. The more I ignored them the harder and more frequent the trials and tribulations came — until our relationship ended.
I am not by far saying that men cannot change. I cannot say the way in which you meet them is the way that they will always be. That’s not true at all. What I am saying is that a man who is set apart will have certain qualities that doesn’t make God reach for a red flag when he is courting you. Men are called to be leaders of their homes (1 Timothy 3:1-6), so before we join ourselves with a man to have one home, his leadership skills should be very apparent. How he treats us, responds to us, tends to us, protects us, and provides for us in a dating relationship is all a big deal. Christ calls those who are believers in him to not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). That is not saying that we as believers are better than those who are not, but what it is saying is that we as believers should not willingly enter into covenant relationship with those that are in the dark, while we operate in Gods most precious light each day. Yes men can be very attracted to the light that radiates from us, and if so that is great. We need to keep in mind that the light coming from us should direct them more to Jesus and not more of us. If we are taking top rank for a man over him having a relationship with Jesus Christ that is a red flag. For no one, male or female can ride our bus (salvation), and experience Jesus for all of who He is. Each person is required to get their own bus pass (their own personal relationship with Him). John 14:6 says that: “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me.” Ladies that means he cannot use your bus pass to get to heaven one day. Your relationship with Christ alone is your own for which you will be held accountable for.
All of this boils down to you and not him. As women we have a voice. We have power and we have control of our destiny. We make the decision as to who we put in our lives. Those carefully handpicked people should be of a greater reflection of who we are. It is my suggestion that we not date a man who is not in love with Jesus Christ and has a personal relationship with Him. While he doesn’t have that relationship with Jesus then a stop should be put on any relationship that he seeks to have with you until he seeks God alone. His relationship with Christ is what will propel any future he will have with you. It is also what will cover the future relationship ahead that he will have with you. It is where he will get his guidance from, his confirmations from, his answers from and his way of knowing how to best love you, as Christ loves the church. One thing that I know for sure is that dust settles — I however do not. Neither should you. Your future and the future of any children that you will have with this man should rest on the fact that you both will not only spend earthly days with one another only but get to see each other again in heaven when this life is over. That is a sweet deal — who wouldn’t want that with the person they are madly in love with?
If both of you are starting out new in walking with Jesus, then I would suggest spending more time in relationship with God so that you may discern if He is prompting you to enter into a courtship with this man. No matter if you are dating recreationally or with a purpose if you are woman set apart, your radiant light from Jesus Christ should be visible for the man sitting with you to see. Dating should be done with careful consideration, enjoyment, and of course with purpose.
To read more of Jeanna’s work, please visit Radiantly Purposed.