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Should Christians Date Online?

By Jendayi Harris

Are you allowing old school thinking or stereotypes to hinder your use of online resources for dating?

I wanted to clarify some of these stereotypes with limiting God to the traditional methods of meeting someone. Clearly, most couples don't meet in the church. Even the most sanctified marriages, did not start out on Godly terrain.

The internet is not a morally good or bad place. Just like money, it can be used for good or for evil. Just like people, they may be beneficial to our walk with God or detrimental. We have the capacity to create great, Godly connections anywhere we are, internet or grocery store.

If you feel God has NOT called YOU to online date at this time, don't start. - Jendayi Harris

If you're feeling unsure because of the mental barriers listed, then read and re-consider. Be prayerful and let the Holy Spirit guide all of your decisions. It's always good to work on yourself prior to starting to date and learn about the opposite sex. If and when it’s time, you will know, don't rush it.

Let’s think through some of the mental barriers in regards to online dating together. Mental Barrier 1: Women should not look for their husbands or pursue a male.

Looking and being available are two different things.

Humans naturally value what they pursue and invest in. Men especially enjoy meeting and courting a lovely woman. In his eyes, she is worth it. However, the online dating is NOT necessarily pursuing a man.

Look at this scenario, a woman went to get her usual soy latte at Starbucks, and while she was waiting for her brewed delight was approached by a male, was she pursuing the male? Right, she was not pursing, but she was available. She was available for his pursuit. She could engage in conversation and decide at that point if this is someone she would want to give her phone number to or not. She now has a prospective choice to affirm or decline his pursuit.
 

Online dating offers women and men the opportunity to meet. It affords both men and women more prospective potential committed relationships. My thoughts are for women, who are not desperate, but wanting God to provide a husband, need to consider making themselves more available. Men who are serious about committing appreciate the availability of Godly women prospects. The key is in your presentation of your profile and being specific about the type of guy you are looking for and who you are, now you just review your candidates that are attracted to your profile and can go from there.

 

Making oneself available these days does mean getting socially connected in social media and considering online dating websites such as E Harmony or Christian Mingles. Other sites may also be appropriate; the key is how you make your profile and the values you place out there. If you are serious about God, education, family and/or fun make it known. [See Online Dating Profile Tips Blog]

Mental Barrier 2 : God will cause me to meet someone in person.

Reality: It is always unwise to limit God. There are statistics coming alive with online dating, 7 out of 10 couples meet online today. 5 out of 10 couples, who marry, met online. Online meeting can be divine for meeting anyone, not just a potential mate. It is common place to meet couples who have met each other online. In fact most people know at least one couple who has met via divine connection via internet. The stigma may exists, but it exists for people who are stuck in the early 90’s, not for those of the millennium.

 

People naturally stigmatize what they are unfamiliar with. There is no shame from meeting someone online. If God used a donkey, He can use anything! People make fun of me kindly at times because I don't limit God. Even when I go to an Asian restaurant and get a fortune cookie, I believe God uses that! I do have several examples, but let’s stick to the point. God is not limited to our paradigms and ways of thinking or the early 80’s and 90’s!

 

Facebook recently acquired over a billion users. There's a large market for internet based divine connections, and if you are really waiting on the Lord to provide a mate, and feel led to consider this means of operandi, perhaps He’s already provided place.

 

Mental Barrier 3: There are crazy people on online dating sites.

Reality: There are crazy people everywhere. We are called to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. This means that you exercise proper protocol. There are people who are lost and dealing with evil inclinations everywhere. For dating purposes, make sure you are diligent to pray for the gift of discernment, tap into the Holy Spirit and your intuition. It is strongly suggested that you have 2-3 brief phone conversations (under an hour) prior to meeting in person.

 

If you cannot figure out if you have good conversation by then, then definitely call us for counseling! It's not recommended at all to develop a relationship over the phone! Do not allow your heart to be entangled prior to having face to face meeting, and prior to communicating with God to find out if you should proceed. Dionne Edmonds wrote an excellent book on the Christian Dating process titled, Calling Up Your Boaz. It is excellent on how to honor God from a Christian dating perspective.

You ideally want the first couple of meetings to be during the day time and in a place where you can really get to know one another. Do not invite anyone over your home; meet in a public location in the daytime that does not cost much. Coffee shops are excellent for the first couple of meetings. Note* If you are a man or woman who has trouble controlling your lusts and physical desires for kissing, hugging, and the like, please call us for counseling.

Somewhere early in your life you have learned this type of behavior as a form of relating to the opposite sex. This causes many problems because lust blinds real friendship and love. If you find the date extremely attractive, this may be an alarm. Focus strongly on the person’s character, personality, and circumstances, not their looks. Proverbs 31 says beauty fades and charm is deceitful. You must value a person’s character more than you value your flesh desires.

Do not use your precious time face to face if you do not enjoy those first few conversations with on the phone. Remember to use your cell phone verses home phone. Email and web chatting do not allow for the best discernment. You must hear the person’s voice and pending that hearing, see them face to face. Again, I repeat, waste zero time entangling your heart before meeting, even if long distance. The truth is, if you cannot afford to travel, it is not your time to be long distance dating. Most “crazy” issues come from this issue of entangling over email and phone without meeting the person face to face in a timely fashion.

Dionne Edmonds writes, you do not need to have more than three

face to face meetings to know if a person is someone that meets your standards and heart’s desire for marriage. God is also very faithful to give you a Holy Spirit check in your heart to stop progressing forward or peace and joy when there is permission to move forward with the person.

Furthermore, if you have some “crazy” elements inside of you, especially unhealed violent trauma (abuse), you may have higher chances of attracting a person who also has “crazy” elements inside of them. Make sure you are continually working on yourself as a single person and please call us for counseling because healing these wounds is imperative for a healthy relationship.

Dr Myles Monroe who wrote, Single, Married, Divorced and Life After Divorce, compares marriage to an omelet. IF you have one rotten egg in an omelet, you will have a rotten omelet. Meaning if you are unhealed and operating out of unresolved hurts, pains and experiences you will attract many similar people that when joined and married will create a rough marriage if both parties are not actively working on who they are as individuals.

What other barriers to online dating do you have?

Recommended Non Fiction Books Category

Single, Married, Divorced and Life After Divorce by Dr Myles Monroe

Calling Up Your Boaz by Dionne Edmonds

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