What is the purpose of dating? Well, in the Bible, the only scriptural reason for being in a relationship with someone was to pursue a godly marriage with that person. People did not just date around for the fun of it. There is absolutely no Bible basis for being romantically involved with someone you can not see yourself marrying. That doesn’t mean break ups don’t happen or anyone is necessarily wrong if they do, but the purpose of dating is only to find a possible mate.
“Dating with no intent to marry is like going to the grocery store with no money. You either leave unhappy or take something that isn’t yours.” -Jefferson Bethke
It is so unwise and wrong to get involved in a relationship that is going no where… just for fun. Romantic relationships were designed by God and have a special role and purpose in His plan.
Relationships are not meant to be recreational.
That being said, with a feminine culture today obsessed with romance novels and chick flicks, I want to talk about “missionary dating,” that is the coined term for dating someone who is not a Christian. Is our love life supposed to be part of our mission field?
First of all, I want to say that it is hard enough to find a “Christian” guy who actually loves God, has submitted his will to God’s, and really lives all the things that he claims to believe. [I mean we complain about it so much we should know how hard it is.] If we are so appalled at the behavior of Christian guys who lack conviction, why would we settle for a guy who doesn’t hold ANY of our values dear?
Secondly, relationships are work. Marriage is work. It takes a lot of work to get married, stay married, and raise a godly family these days. Not every day is Valentine’s, people. Now imagine doing that with someone who does not care about the things of God that you do. Sure it was fine in the beginning, but love is a choice and more so after years of knowing one another when all the newness and mystery and butterflies have lessened, you wake up to that person everyday. There has got to be something deeper to sustain a relationship. There have got to be a spiritual bond in Christ that move you both in the same direction—> Toward God. If there isn’t, you are taking the journey alone.
Girls, If a man isn’t busy pursuing God, he has no business pursuing you.
Third, what about your children? Maybe he/she “respects” your beliefs and maybe even loves it now, but what about when it comes to teaching your children about the Jesus you love and serve? Missionary dating leads to missionary marrying. What about when your core values in raising your children don’t line up with your unsaved husband’s or wife’s? What then?
“Can I say something to young ladies here? I’m trying to pick my words carefully here. Your husband, whoever he is, single ladies, will have an unbelievable amount of influence over your sons and daughters in regards to spiritual things. If you want your children to love Jesus deeply, hold out for a man that is Godly. And let me tell you this: I am well aware that Godly men are rare. Lots of neat Christian boys, not a lot of Godly men. And we’re working our tails off for you to try to develop some into that. But don’t settle, because it’s better that you be lonely now than you be married and lonely later. Are you tracking with me? It is better that you be lonely now than for you to get married to a man that will teach your kids everything but the way of Jesus.” – Matt Chandler
Who you are attracted to says a lot about what YOU value. If you place value in the things of God above all else, then you will look for and WAIT for a godly spouse. If you are more concerned with having a boyfriend or girlfriend NOW, then you will settle for anyone “nice” who looks your way.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17 it reads, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
Coming out from among them and being separate does not sound like getting involved in an emotional, romantic relationship.. am I right?
God longs to give his children his very best. He wants you to obey Him so that He can bless you with a godly spouse and a godly, happy home. He wants you and your spouse to individually move toward HIM everyday, and, in turn move toward each other! That is God’s plan for you! He wants you to find your worth in HIM alone– not in any relationship or a life you think you “deserve.” He is the only one who builds things that truly last.
Fourth, and especially to the girls: unsaved guys are looking for ONE thing from you. They have been accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Don’t expect him to treat you like Jesus would. After he takes you out to dinner or a movie, giving you gifts or taking you to social functions such as church (since you are a Christian) he will expect for you to follow through with the next step- sex. Don’t trick yourself into thinking he’s being nice to you and not expecting to have his “physical needs” be accommodated.
If you think you are stronger, don’t fool yourself. We are still in the flesh and, if left unchecked, we can fall into sexual sins. These men know they can have the girls of the world anytime they want, but to make a Christian church girl give their virtue up to them is a feather in their cap. They WILL use you and lose you. It is not worth it. It is a big deal to God.
Paul states in 1Thessalonians 4:3-4, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abtain from fornication (sexual immorality). That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.”
1 Corinthians 6:18 reads, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”
Lastly, many people use the excuse that they are the only hope their unsaved boyfriend or girlfriend will ever have of knowing Jesus. Don’t be deceived–You are not the Holy Spirit Junior. There are no guarantees in life, and this includes the salvation of your current date. God gives each person free will. If that person does not want to come to Christ apart from you, it is unlikely that they will truly come to Christ for you.
“This message is not popular… In God’s eyes, there are only two types of people. There are those who follow Jesus and those who do not. The Bible tells us, if you are not for God, you are against God. Now, if you have chosen to follow Jesus, then you are not to have fellowship with those who are against Jesus. Do not say they are not against Jesus, when the Bible has shown us that if a person is not for God (if he is not saved), then he is against God. The only way that a person can be for God is through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life. If a person rejects Jesus, they are against God.” John MacArthur
If we are saved, our lives are transformed. We are dead to sin and to the flesh and to the world, and we are alive unto Christ. Christ has made us new and transformed our hearts which leads to transforming of our entire lives. We have the Holy Spirit always with us, and a mission to the world to tell them about the gospel. Our entire lives should be wrapped up in our Jesus and his message.
We can not live the plan of God for our lives if we are in disobedience to his word, and we can not have successful relationships if we are not living in God’s plan.
He said it, not me. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Come out from among them, and be ye separate. Any emotional attachment you have toward a person who is not on the same spiritual page as you, or vice versa, is an unhealthy attachment. Read and learn from those such as Samson in the Bible, and do now what you’ll otherwise wish you would have done later. Obey God’s Word, and DON’T be a missionary in this area. Yes, that means break up and move on.
Ask yourself– Do I believe God? Do I value the things found in his word? Am I willing to undergo temporary “loneliness” or discomfort to welcome God’s BEST into my life later on? If you answered yes to these questions, then you will look for and hold out for a spouse that is godly so that you can raise a godly family to the glory of God.
And God will bless you for it. :]
Can I have permission to use this to print out for my college age daughter’s Wednesday night class tomorrow night? She is teaching middle school girls and then does an e-mail to her college BCM girls to encourage them to hold fast to God’s Word and to wait until God brings them the Man He desires to help them grow spiritually together. This is excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course you may! It’s truth and it all belongs to God. Please let them know to check out my blog as well! :] xoxo
Thank you so much! My daughter is following your blog and fb posts. She shares many of them! We want to print this out and hand out in person so she can discuss it with the girls.
That would be awesome. Thank you! I hope it helps your girls too :]
Awesome words of GOD!!!
I just would like to add that missionary dating is not just “unsaved” guys. It could also be a guy that claims to be Christian, but is so different spiritually from where the girl is that it’s practically the same thing as dating an unsaved guy. I was in a relationship such as this. I have no doubt he was a born again Christian, and we got along great in every area… except spiritual things. He went to a different church, and he held many different doctrinal beliefs than I did (ie. he believed you could loose your salvation, I don’t. He believed it was okay for women to be pastors, I don’t.) Some may view this as “minor” difference, but in a marriage relationship these things could be a huge deal. We couldn’t even agree on a church to attend when we were dating, so what would happen when we were married? Where would our children go to church? Who would be the authority in teaching them biblical truth… his beliefs, or mine? We tried for a while to come to an agreement, but I always felt like I was trying to persuade him to come over to my side. There was NO way I was going to change! He didn’t want to change either. Ultimately the relationship ended, and we both knew it was for the best, even though we were still heart broken. Thankfully, because I choose not to compromise my beliefs, the Lord has now sent me a wonderful, godly man, and we are going to be married this summer. To all those who are waiting… it’s worth it!!! Don’t ever settle!
Thank you for your blog and ministry.
Nice post. Love it. First time of seeing ur blog
Man this is good. I’m from South Africa. Here many christian girls marry out of their religion and convert from Christianity to muslim and hindu.(And think its OK) It must be so sad for God to see this,knowing he created her for a purpose which is not being fulfilled! Not everyone waits for a godly man and believe getting any man is worth it. Thank you for this post it confirms the truth that we shouldn’t settle, God does have a purpose for us even in marriage!
I love this and your entire blog! Awesome, encouraging, and informing words for young Christian women! Thank you!
Thank you for this post. I’m a 31 year old woman and learned so much from this. As a female that grew up with low self esteem, I often fell into the trap that males can set. I’m saving this article to open when I need a reminder of God’s promises. Thank you again.
I was in a relationship with a man who is not a Christian for a couple years. I knew I was disobeying God and did not have peace about it the whole time but still would not end the relationship. I loved him, but ultimately broke off all ties with him because I wanted to obey God. Something amazing happened, When I finally confessed and repented, God changed my heart and I no longer thought about my ex. I still struggle with heartache and loneliness and especially with regret. Thank you for the post and I hope it will encourage ladies to stay away from unsaved boyfriend. You will save yourself from so much heartache and headache.
Thank you so much for this post!! I really needed to read it right now. A guy from work has been wanting me to go out with him, I said no because he’s not saved. But today he asked if we could go out as “friends” and I almost said yes. Thankfully my mom and grandma talked some sense into me and I had the guts to say no again. Please pray for me if you read this. I do like this guy and I need the Lords help to let go and move on 🙂