Berean cogitations

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Missionary dating

Today I'd like to quote from the classic article, "Why You Shouldn't Marry or Date an Unbeliever" by Melody Green of (the now defunct) Last Days Ministries.

Sometimes in order to marry a Christian girl, a fellow will "make a commitment" to Jesus because he knows he has to. He'll start going to church just to make her happy. In fact, he may even be sincerely trying to "get into it." But if it is not a decision arising from seeing his own need for God, then it is meaningless and will be short-lived. His "commitment" usually starts to fade some time after they get married - when it's no longer necessary for him to put his best foot forward.

I never trust a "conversion" of this type, and I consistently tell all those I counsel to let this fellow prove his commitment on his own. That is, to follow Jesus not by his girlfriend's side, but to get to church or Bible Study on his own steam, not on a date. If he proves to be sincere, growing, and firmly planted in Jesus, then after several months, she can start to pray and seek the Lord about the possibility of entering into a deeper relationship. The problem is, most girls don't have the patience to test the fruit. As soon as "Mr. Right" even looks like he's about to utter a sinner's prayer, she's off picking out towels, dishes, and bridesmaid dresses.

I wholeheartedly agree. We need to remember that guys will often say all the right things, just to keep a woman's heart. Heck, they can even be completely sincere! They can tell themselves that they've made a commitment to Christ, when in reality, they're just not at that stage yet. Ladies, please avoid this trap!

Mind you, I know of what I speak. As my friends know, I've never had much success in dating. Opportunities have been few and far between for me. As a result, when an attractive non-believer expresses interest, it has been very tempting to return that affection. I don't give in, though. I refuse to compromise, even when the temptation is great.

One more thing... Let's suppose that the fella you're dating genuinely does convert. Does this mean that you're free to date or marry? I don't think so. A newborn believer -- even a genuine one -- lack stability. You just never know if he's going to walk with the Lord, or if he will be led down a dangerous path. One should give it time before deciding if this fella will be a strong man of God and a good spiritual leader... and you can't do that objectively if you're already in a dating relationship.