Missionary dating: when a Christian dates a non-Christian.
Is it God’s will for a Christian to do so? No. “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers…” etc.
So why would Christians even consider dating outside of God’s will?
That was a question I asked myself a few days ago. Well, to be more precise, I asked myself, “How can I still even consider starting a relationship with a man who is obviously not a Christian if I say that I love God with all of my heart?”
Another question I asked myself is, “Why do I keep falling for the same trap over and over and over and over again?”
I understand now why Israel kept on disobeying God and kept on committing the same sins against Him over and over again. Temptation does not appear as an ugly bull with long horns ready to toss you into the dark abyss. Temptation appears in the form of something beautiful and sparkly.
Temptation comes in the form of a beautiful woman who says all the right things. Temptation comes in the form of beautiful dark brown eyes who stare deep into you. Temptation comes in the form of an attractive man who remembers everything you say.
Temptation comes as something that appeals most to your heart. Temptation is temptation not because you can scoff at it and say “No, thanks, I’ll pass.” Temptation is something that is, well, tempting.
Temptation recently appeared to me again in the form of a man named Jake (not his real name). I wrote before of a guy named Matt, and I said that that was the most difficult temptation I’d faced. Well, was. This guy, Jake, was a whole new level altogether. He was, perhaps, everything a girl could ever ask for. Tall, dark, and handsome. Good physique, goes to the gym regularly. Nice smile, knows how to dress well, great hair. Stable job, good top management position. Good conversationalist. Intelligent, and he has Google to prove it, (not that he did, but I typed his name on Google). Humble, funny. Interesting interests. And he was interested in me.
He could have been mine, any moment I chose. He could have been mine for life, with one move. One word, one touch, one kiss. I know this, because I used to live that life. I know the power that a woman has. I know the power that I have. I know the power of a stare. I know the power of words spoken a certain way. I know the power of a single touch on a man’s arm. I know the power of being a woman.
Why does this keep on happening to me? I asked myself and all of nature around me as I pulled on my hair in frustration. Well, I realised, just as Satan could read into Eve’s desires, so can he read into mine. And he keeps on firing the same sort of ammunition towards me, wishing that one day, like glass, I would shatter.
I wish I could say it was easy. It isn’t. It isn’t easy to deny your flesh. It isn’t easy to not give yourself what you want when the world keeps on telling you that you should do what makes you happy. It’s not easy when all you could ever think you want is standing right in front of you. It’s not easy when all you have to do is say one word for something to be yours.
But there is a reason why this is all a struggle, when really, it should all be so easy. It’s so easy, that I could probably hold a seminar on how to “catch a man.” But I won’t, and it’s a struggle, because I am a Christian.
I am not just a Christian in name, I am a Christian in life, and being a Christian means that I follow Christ in every single aspect of my life, especially my love life. Being a Christian means that I deny myself every single moment that my desires go against God’s. Being a Christian means that I have to die to myself every single time. And as someone once wrote, “Death is always painful.”
It’s painful not because I love Jake (LOL I don’t, because it’s too early for that!). It’s painful because I die to myself, I deny myself that thing which comes naturally to me. You see, this human nature, this woman nature, is to me as oxygen is to breathing.
But why do I do this to myself? Why do I “torture” myself? Because above all, I love the One who loved me first. I love my Saviour Who gave up His life so that I could have mine. I love Jesus Christ Who left the glories of Heaven so that a sinner like me could have salvation.
I love Him more than myself that I choose to lower my eyes instead of stare into a guy’s eyes. I love Him more than I love myself that I choose my words and resist the urge to say more than I should to a guy I am interested in. I love Him more than I love myself that I control my body language. I love Him more than myself that I choose not to do any of those things that I am so good at.
Now, denying yourself is not easy. I remember one time in the last few months that my hand just automatically shot out to touch a guy’s arm while we were laughing together. My heart froze in shock the moment I did. It’s a mental battle, and it can be a conscious battle.
If you say you are a Christian, then you consciously choose to die to yourself daily.
“But you don’t understand! He’s perfect! I know that one day, he could become a Christian, too! Maybe God is using me so he can get saved.”
Sister, I won’t tell you, “Consider all the other Christian women around you who thought the same thing, look where they are now, and blah blah blah,” because I know you’ll say, “He’s different! I’m willing to take the risks, and the consequences.”
No, dear sister in Christ, I will tell you only one thing: obey. Obey your spiritual authority. If your Pastor or your Christian parents say no, even when the guy is really great, or even if he is another Christian, you do not need to ask why. You obey, and you do not need to know why. You obey them, because they have the rule over you. You obey them, because you are a Christian, and God commands you, Christian woman, to obey your parents in the Lord, because it is the right thing to do.
Besides, if he or she was to get saved, God will and can use other people, too.
“But you don’t understand! I love her! We’ve already been in a relationship for four years! You don’t know what it’s like!”
Yes, dear brother in Christ, I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone for years and choose to break up with him because you know from the start that it was not right. Oh, that man that I was with was a Christian, which is a step better than dating a non-Christian, but even then our relationship was not right. How do I know it was not right? Because my parents never approved of him and our relationship right from the beginning.
If you are dating an unsaved woman, brother, you are unequally yoked.
Don’t get me started on love. I know love. But love is a choice. And the moment I decided to break up with my boyfriend of a few years for good was the moment I decided that I love God more than I love anyone else in this world. It didn’t take one day to make that choice. It took me a year. It took me a year of praying that God would change His mind. It took me a year of wishing that God would just make our relationship His will.
But you know why it wasn’t His will? Because it wasn’t. Brother in Christ, I know that you know it’s not God’s will. I know you knew, right from the start. Brother, do you say that you are Christian? Because if you do, then it means that you should be denying your flesh. Die to yourself daily, and follow Christ. No ifs, not buts, no maybes.
Did I say it was easy? Never! But should you do it? YES!
It’s the same thing over and over and over again: obedience. Obey. Even if you don’t want to. No need to ask why. No need to know why. It will hurt like nothing you’ve ever felt before–or maybe you already have felt it. It will hurt so much that you will spend days crying, nights wishing that you had not broken up. It will hurt so much that you probably will get back together with her. It will hurt so much that every couple you see walking on the street reminds you of the two of you. But break it off and follow Christ.
If your parents say that they don’t like a girl for you, obey. If your pastor says that you shouldn’t date that guy, obey. Period.
It will be difficult, becaus it’s against what you’re used to, because it’s against your nature, because it’s against who you are as a human being. But brother, sister, I promise you it will be worth it. Just obey God. Obey the spiritual authority He has put over you.
“This is my life, my decision. I will accept all the consequences. You have no right to say what I should, or shouldn’t do.”
You’re right. I have no right. But your God has a right. Read His Word. It’s not your life to live. It’s not your life to choose. You know why? Because the day when you said that Jesus Christ is your Saviour and Lord, you had already chosen. Choosing Him meant that you were dying to yourself and accepting the new life He gives. You died to yourself that day. Or do you not remember? Do you not wish to remember?
Dying to self is always painful. But do it anyway, if you say you are a Christian.
Remember: death is always painful. Get yourself ready for the pain, but realize that although you will never be ready enough, God will get you through. Just obey. As our Pastor says, “If God says it, that settles it.”
I am not promising a happy ending of greater romance if you take this path. But God promises so much more fulness–and freedom–to life in your obedience.
(KJV: 2 Corinthians 6: 14)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?