My husband and I were discussing the release of my book. I happened to ask him what his thoughts were on dating. He said he’d have to think about it, and knowing my husband, I knew he’d come up with something deep.
Here are Marc’s 5 Thoughts on Dating:
“If you pressed me to provide thoughts on dating you might be surprised on how little I would have to say. Of course men do not think in the same ways women do about these matters.
Most of us guys have not dreamed about marriage since we were young, constantly thought about our knightness in shining armor, or kept a notebook of our wedding plans over the years.
But it isn’t to say that at times we do long for the love and companionship of marriage. It isn’t to say we don’t also experience loneliness, have desires of the flesh to deal with, our inadequacies, and societies lies to face.
The love story God wrote between Renee and I is certainly only something He could have planned, but at the same time our story is not perfect either.
The end result is an incredible marriage with my beautiful bride, but in talking about dating–I think there is more to be said on the process than the end result that we all focus on.
I’m not going to debate whether dating is even Biblical, call it courtship if that helps, but it is a question of the heart ultimately. So in dating, I wanted to talk about the five most important things I learned, which if I ever have children I would hope to pass on to them.
1) God Is Not Wanting You To Obtain A Physical Relationship From Dating
For men, in our current society, this cannot be stressed enough. We are tempted with lust all the time–even in situations we would never expect it. For women out there, before you go placing any man on a pedestal let me throw this out, if you knew just the thoughts of our mind over the course of our lifetime you would never speak to us again.
In dating, be open about your own struggles, never place temptation in the situation, and never place a boundary on how careful you need to be.
Purity is at stake and therefore if you truly care about the person you are dating you ought to be willing to forgo any and all physical touch and even talk in the pursuit of purity. I’m not saying holding hands means you going to hell, or that I have some checklist that is to be applied anybody dating, but the purity of the relationship should never be in question. Watch for this in the person you are dating to. Let the words of Jesus be a constant in your relationship, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
And remember that you are not perfect and neither is the person you are with. Pursue purity in your relationship, and if mistakes are made, find grace in the Redeemer and be graceful to one another. If they become habitual you have another problem…
2) See Beauty Of The Creator In The Creation
As men we often form pictures for ourselves of what beauty is. We focus too much on appearance and all around us society is trying to paint it’s perverted picture of beauty for us.
Beauty is proportionate to the image of the Creator as reflected in the creation.
It took me a long time in life before I finally saw the beauty of Christ, and how much more it was to be desired than the twisted idea of beauty I had formed. I needed that before I could pursue a relationship in any godly way. For any guys who have no idea about the beauty of Christ–be on your knees often in seeking to find it. Be careful before you pursue a dating relationship without knowing it.
Not just physical, but in all aspects do you love holiness? If not, you do not belong in a dating relationship.
Does the person you are with love holiness? If not, it is time to end the relationship.
If a mutual love for holiness does not exist–troubles will follow. And remember legalism is not a love for holiness. I saw this in Renee during our months of dating. This is a day to day, even moment to moment thing, but we challenge each other in this, sometimes in words and others just in actions. My advice is to make it a habit to pray for the person you are dating, and learn to pray together.
4) Speaking About The Weather Reveals Shallowness
Most people spend the majority of their time together speaking about the most useless of topics.
You will speak most about that which consumes your heart most, is it Jesus Christ?
Listen carefully to the person you are with, what comes out of their mouth most reflects their heart’s greatest passion. I would encourage you to be involved in a Bible study with the person you are dating, even better if just the two of you. Let their love or lack of love for the things of God be revealed. It also will reveal how much they cherish the words of God, and if they are concerned enough to really study each and every word.
5) Love Is Only Possible If Preceded By Death
This is something I am still learning day by day. Men need to learn this just as much as women.
Your pride, your ego, your ambitions, your “needs”, your opinions, and all that follows must be dying daily.
We see it all the time in media–once you’re married you will fight, and that is normal. A normal marriage relationship is not filled with fighting.
I hate to burst that myth for you. A normal marriage relationship is two people who are daily dying so that the other might live.
Two people who can love selflessly because they have first died. If this isn’t there in dating–then watch out!
We miss a truth in Scripture, unless Christ lives in you–you are not capable of truly loving.
This should shock society, that those who are unsaved love through a selfish love and not a self-less love. Death is first required before a real and genuine love that makes no room for self is birthed into the equation. Is the person you are dating really dying to self or capable of it? What about yourself?”