“For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?
In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:11
I am tired of dating. Actually, it has worn me out. Not because I do it very often, but because it is all I have ever done.
You see, I’m not married yet.* In order to get married I will have to continue doing what I don’t want to. So what choice do I have? A very big one. I believe that God has brought me to this place for a reason. I am at the end of myself. God’s purpose in every aspect of our life is to lead us out of ourselves and into Him (2 Cor. 1:8-10). When we lose confidence in our own ability, we are ready to trust Christ and allow Him to be our Source. In our exhaustion we turn to Him and find that He is more than able to meet our needs.
The apostle Paul wrote about his death to self-reliance and new life in Christ:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”(Gal. 2:20).
This exchanged life is God’s gift to all of His children. We were never intended to face this world alone. Only in His strength and power can we navigate through life’s challenges.
Now let’s apply these principles to the dating world. Well-meaning books, videos, and seminars instruct singles how to pick the right mate, be a fun date, handle rejection, etc. No one would argue that these are good things to know, but they also fall short of New Testament living. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the teaching available to singles strengthens the self-life rather than leading to dependence upon the indwelling Christ. Why wear out your soul (mind, emotions, and will) to do what God has intended your spirit to do? When you were born-again Christ entered into your spirit so that you could live out of your union with Him (Col. 1:27).
“Exchanged life dating” takes the pressure off of yourself and puts it where it belongs–on Christ. Christians are not called to strive; they are invited to abide (John 15: 1-8 ). As we allow Christ to live His life through us we enter into divine rest. The focus is on Him and His ability, not on ours. We surrender our dreams, our shortcomings, our past, to Him. What do we get in exchange? Everything that Christ has to offer–His will accomplished through us by His unlimited resources. As we look to Him, His goal for our date becomes more important than our own. We ask, What does God want us to do for the person we are with?
As we seek His guidance through prayer and Bible reading, we change the dynamic of our social life. We become less likely to repeat the mistakes of past relationships because we are not running the show. We are now walking in the Spirit, rather than the flesh (Gal. 5:16). This is the new life that we have been regenerated to live (Acts 17:28). For the first time we are truly guarding our hearts because we have committed the outcome to God:
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
Would you like a new perspective in your dating life? Let Christ be in charge of it. Allow Him to lead in your dates and watch what happens. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Anything less sets you up for disappointment.
* By the way, this article was written about 7 years ago. We congratulate Frank and Cindy on their 4th wedding anniversary last January. 🙂 Cindy continues to lead Oasis Singles mininstry in Brooklyn, NY. Her web site is www.completeinchrist.com.
This article is reprinted by
permission of The Christian Life-Times. (We regret that TheChristian Life-Times has gone out of business for the present due to the economy.) Copyright by Cindy Galdal-Ruperto. Permission is granted to reprint for non-commercial use.
For further reading on this theme see Rob Eagar’s material at his web site: www.datingwithpurepassion.com (graphic source)