Since the days of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, it’s become increasingly common for articles, books and sermons to provide us with tips and instructions on “how to date well” and “what Christian dating should look like.” But rarely do we discuss the real life details of what actually goes on in these relationships.
From an outside perspective, it’s easy to assume that it’s all sunshine and rainbows when two people rooted in Jesus become one. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
After years of dating the wrong guys, I’m finally with a man who shares my morals, values and love for God. However, a few months in, the image I had in my head of what our relationship would look like has already been painted over with the some hard truths. Here are four debunked myths about dating a Christian:
We Wouldn’t Have Any Problems
“It shouldn’t be this hard. It should be easy.” Those were the words my last boyfriend uttered to me as we broke up. Maybe we are too different, I thought. If I date a Christian, maybe I won’t encounter so many troubles in my relationship. We’ll both have Jesus. What could go wrong?
Yes, dating a fellow believer does have its advantages. Being with someone who is also rooted in Christ can encourage us in our faith and will have a better understanding of our walk with God. Unfortunately, these things can’t take away our ability to sin. The truth is, we are still human and we err.
My ex-boyfriend’s words couldn’t be more wrong. Relationships are hard and they require work just like anything at which we hope to be successful. Miscommunication, arguments and hurt feelings are inevitable in any relationship, whether or not that relationship includes Jesus.
To most of our dismays, dating doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Thus, there will be times where we might unintentionally cause the other person pain. Sharing a love for God may allow you and your significant other to deal with such hurt feelings differently than if he or she were a non-believer. Still, problems will arise and to bury them in our naivety would be doing both us and our partners a disservice.
My Insecurities Would Disappear
When I lost my virginity I thought, What God-fearing man would want a dirty, tainted girl like me? I struggled with shame and guilt for many subsequent years.
Now, I’m in a relationship with an amazing man of God. While I’m fortunate enough to be with someone who doesn’t look upon my past with bitterness, resentment or anger, there are days where my previous mistakes sink back into my thoughts, haunting me and almost drowning me in regret. This is opposite of the belief I once held that if a Christian guy could accept me and my past, I would have nothing to fear.
No matter how godly your significant other is, he or she cannot free you of your sins or the emotional consequences that result from them. Only God can (Isaiah 43:25). It’s only when you accept God’s forgiveness—and learn to forgive yourself—that you can live in freedom.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He didn’t tell us to run to our boyfriends or girlfriends. He tells us to go to Him for comfort, because that’s where we will find it.
Waiting for Marriage Would Be Easy
Although my boyfriend and I made the decision to not have sex until we’re married, I’d be lying if I said the idea never crossed my mind. Attraction is a good thing, but we have to remember that temptation doesn’t magically vanish into thin air the moment two Christians enter into a relationship.
In fact, it probably becomes stronger. Satan loves to bring God’s children down by trapping them in his lies and manipulating them, like we saw in the garden.
Saving sex for the context of marriage is what God commands. But what’s right isn’t always easy.
I’d Finally Start Growing Spiritually
In my early twenties, I often said that it is only when I get to a certain place or position in my life that I will finally be able to fully live for God. “When I become a teacher, I will be in a better position to preach the Gospel.” “When I meet my husband, I will be able to better serve others.” I mistakenly believed that my life couldn’t or wouldn’t bear fruit until I met that special someone, as if everything I did prior was just practice for the real thing. But life is not a rehearsal.
We shouldn’t wait for God to introduce us to our significant other to start serving Him. Matthew 6:33 tells us to, “Seek first His kingdom and all these things will be added to you.” I clearly had it backward. Our lives can begin bearing fruit right here; right now; single or not. Likewise, dating a Christian doesn’t automatically lead to a fruitful relationship.
Dating will forever be a tricky topic, especially within the Church. When it comes to dating and more importantly, marriage, I am fully behind the idea of being “equally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14) with another Christian. But we need to remind ourselves that it’s not just two Christians coming together; it’s two sinners. While this comes with its own share of obstacles as seen above, it doesn’t negate the fact that God, the author and creator of you and your partner, is above it all and will guide the both you to build your relationship in a way that brings Him glory.
Sarah is a coffee addict and has been writing her whole life. She loves long drives, deep conversations and listening to 90s hip hop. When she isn't daydreaming about her life, she is binge watching TV shows or planning her wedding.