He Said-She Said: Grab Bag Questions and Answers
- Thursday, October 29, 2009
SHE SAID: Ah, yes. Proverbs 4:23: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." I think in this context, Solomon is cautioning us as to what we are allowing to come into our lives. What people, experiences, information, etc. are we taking in? For whatever we take in is what will greatly affect our thoughts, our actions and how we live in the world around us (i.e. garbage in garbage out). Spiritual discernment and the careful handling of God's Word is key in the life of any believer (2 Timothy 2:15) as you assess your intake and output. In matters of dating, though, I believe that we must focus on what is coming out of our hearts and what information we are entrusting to the persons of interest. If you are newly dating, is what you're sharing helpful and good for someone else to hear? Or are you sharing highly personal information—perhaps serious baggage—that is not appropriate to share until you are further down the line (i.e. an exclusive dating relationship or engagement)? It's fine to be "real" and "transparent" to some extent, but consider the other person before you open your mouth and ask yourself why you are about to share what you are wanting to share (Romans 12:10). What is your motive? Is your realness, transparency or "over-sharing" beneficial to the listener or just to you (to make you feel better)? Consider what is going on in your heart and the possible side effects of your communication before you spill it (Proverbs 16:23-24).
QUESTION: Is it okay to meet someone over the Internet via a dating site? Is it wrong? Is it not trusting God and taking things into your own hands?
HE SAID: If you believe that trusting God means He will bring a spouse to your front door without any effort on your part (or you have parents who practice the tradition of pre-arranged marriages), then yes, maybe it is wrong to meet someone over the Internet.
However, God's desire for us is to be happy and we have to take some responsibility for it. If your lifestyle does not allow for you to interact with a potential mate (small church, limited work-related opportunities, small town, etc.), you must introduce something different into your daily activities in order to do so.
There are many ways God brings two people together, but we have to be willing to take a step, often out of our comfort zone, for Him to work. Many people have stepped out in faith and met their spouse through dating sites, but it takes time, honest communication, and discernment.
SHE SAID: I've been asked this question many times over the years, and here's my two cents: an online dating site is just another way to meet people. In fact, it's an unvarnished way to meet people. Think about it. When you go to a party—perhaps a birthday party where you know there will be eligible, single people of the opposite sex or even a Sunday School class for singles (be honest!)—you undoubtedly will think about whether or not you will meet someone who will interest you. It's a natural by-product of your primary motive for going to the party (or to the S.S. class), but it can also be the underlying real reason that you are attending. An online dating site just peels away the layers of these sorts of contexts and is what it is. That's how I view it. I fully believe that God can use the Internet to help people find each other. He uses other forms and methods of communication and connection and means to bring people together, so why not high-speed meet ‘n' greets? I know of two couples who met and married as a result of matchmaking sites. It worked for them, and both couples would tell you that they prayerfully considered this route before signing up and clicking "accept." They believe that this was God's path for them to meet one another. As long as you are trusting God and petitioning him in prayer, that is what is key. He may not lead you to become a mail-order bride or groom, but our God is creative and knows no limits or boundaries. We just can't box in his ways or his plans for each of our lives (Isaiah 55:8-9).
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