7 Things You Should Look For (And Seek To Become) When Dating
Want to start dating? Here are some things you should consider about your potential interest and yourself before you start the process…
The List of Seven:
1- A Good Name
I don’t mean Liam, Benedict, or Nora, those are cool names, but they’re not necessarily good names. A good name means that when you tell your friends who you’re dating they don’t respond as though you just announced that your favorite ice cream flavor is pickle. If your friends and family get to know them and don’t respect them, this is a warning sign. I know, your family is just being so rude, and you’re human too, “you’re gonna’ marry them anyway,” but hey… “wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Prov. 27:6).In Song of Songs 1:3 the beloved says of her suitor, “Your name is oil poured out; therefore the virgins love you.” Her friends call out, “We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine.” If you respect your friends and family, but they don’t respect your date, observe the red light.IF you have a bad name (people broadly greet you like Pickle Ice Cream) take it as a signal to soul search and begin the fix. Find someone you respect and seek instruction on how you might change those bad habits or tendencies (see below). We are all in need of renewal (Rom. 12:2), this is not an excuse, it’s a command, “be transformed!”
2- A Steady Pursuer
Because a “constant pursuer” is not realistic, RomCom isn’t real life. Ladies, Scripture says that a husband is to “love his wife like Christ loved the church” (Eph 5:25), Christ pursued the church unto death. If he’s not pursuing you now, not understanding to you, or not showing you honor (1 Pet. 3:7), what makes you think he’s going to start when you say, “I do”? More than likely…he won’t.Men, listen to your girlfriends and friends who are girls. Develop a genuine interest in their concerns and their needs. Cultivate a sense of honor for them if you don’t have it, it’s scriptural, they are you sisters in Christ, daughters of the king, co-heirs with you (1 Pet 3:7 again).
3- A Deeper Love for Christ Than for You
How is their devotional life? Do they ever need to say no to your needs in order to address their own spiritual needs? Do you feel like you are the absolute center of their life? If your answers to those questions were, “I don’t know,” “no” and “yes”, your date just might be an idolater. No worries, you probably are too. There’s an easy remedy for this. Jesus. I’m not suggesting that every conversation be a spiritual one or that every time you want to hang out they’re too busy in their prayer closet (that would be a different kind of problem). But, if you are sensing that this person is more concerned with dating than their relationship with Christ, it is worth a pause to consider.IF this is you, seek a deeper relationship with Christ. Spend more time praying and reading scripture. If your first relationship (you and God) is not good, what makes you think you could take on a second one (you and them)?
4- A Healthy View of Church and Ministry
If you regularly hear them say things like, “Babe, we’re doing church right now, we don’t need to go this morning,” your date might not understand what church is. Best place to find a spouse? Church. Why? Because they understand the importance of the body of Christ in their life, they know they can’t make their way alone, and that they need to depend on others. Find a person who will push you toward a deeper love for God’s people and has a heart to be a part of God’s mission to the world.IF you’re failing here… go to church and get involved.
5- A Desire To Be Wise
There are a lot of fools with PhDs, don’t be fooled by them. Look for a spouse who is wise and desires more wisdom. “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than the gain from silver and her profit better than gold” (Prov. 3:13-14). Do they seek out wisdom? Do they respect their elders and heed their warnings? Obviously you are both going to grow in wisdom over time, which is why number 5 isn’t “they are wise.” But beware of the person who despises wisdom, they are a fool (Prov. 1:7).IF you feel like this describes you, seek out wisdom. Find the older men and women of the church and ask them to mentor you. Go to them with your life’s concerns- spiritual and relational.
6- A Respect for Those Who Serve Them
If you’re out to dinner and they speak down to the waitress, if you’re at the theatre and they despise those who have to clean up after them, this means that they don’t understand what service is and will typically have a very poor understanding of what it means to lead you or be led by you lovingly (Gen. 2:18; 1 Pet. 3:5), should you ever become husband and wife.So, respect the people who serve you. Remember that “helper” is the word used of the Holy Spirit’s relationship to you. Think about that. Meditate on it. And grow up!
7- Accountability, Accountability, Accountability
There are so many things I could have put on this list, I’m sure others could have come up with a better list of 7, but this one should be on every list. If they are not accountable to someone then they are not ready to date anyone (P.S.- you would make an awful accountability partner for them). If they’re not confessing their sins to someone (James 5:16) and getting counsel about their choices (Prov. 12:15) and being sharpened by someone (Prov. 12:17), they’re not ready to get into a relationship that is going to be tempting and need a lot of guidance.So, find an accountability partner, it’s not about sexual sin only, it’s about life sin, be accountable.
Would you add another item to this list? Use the comments box below…