i believe it is imperative that THE NUMBER 1 THING IN YOUR LIFE IS THE NUMBER 1 THING IN HER LIFE [i’m talking guy to girl here, but all of this flows both ways]
when it comes to passion and interests and hobbies and so on there is room to have differing, even at times opposing interests, but NOT WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR PRIMARY FOCUS and joy and directional force.
in the context of CHRIST-FOLLOWING RELATIONSHIPS this is ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT EXCEPTION THE CASE, and the beauty is that the ‘what?’ has already been decided on (or in this case the ‘Who’)
because as a Christ-follower, THE NUMBER 1 THING/PERSON IN MY LIFE HAS TO BE JESUS! That is what Christ-following means. That is the call Jesus makes on your life [See Luke 9.23]
and so you need to find someone who has Jesus as their number 1!
which, in effect, answers the question, “IS IT OKAY FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DATE A NON-CHRISTIAN?” and the answer is NO, but for BOTH OF YOUR SAKES!
let me give you an example. if i started dating the beautiful Val (tbV) and she was not a Christ-follower then i would not have been able to share with her the most important thing in my life (Jesus and my relationship with Him). So for me Jesus would be the most important thing in my life. For her IT WOULD BE SOMETHING ELSE – and it doesn’t matter what that something else is – her number 1 could be herself or it could be me or it could be money or fame or sport or whatever – the bottom line is that WE WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO SHARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN OUR LIVES with each other.
and what that does is it interrupts and IT PUTS SHACKLES ON INTIMACY – intimacy with each other will only be able to go so far because we are completely unable to share the thing that is most important to us – and that is tragic. because a huge part of relationship is identification and sharing and journeying together and so we would be able to have relationship and it might seem great and be a lot of fun, but somewhere along the line there would be a friction or a tension because our two greatest things are different.
for some reason, when this happens, the way it generally (not always but usually) plays out is that the girl is a Christ-follower and the guy is not, and generally what happens is that THE GIRL MOVES AWAY FROM HER FAITH rather than the guy moving towards it…
“but i’m going to lead him closer to Jesus by dating him” – that’s the vibe a lot of girls have put out and with completely well-meaning intentions… and we have even coined a term for it – ‘missionary dating’ (pretty horrible actually and quite deceptive if you think about it) – but in my 3O plus years of existence I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF SOMEONE BECOMING A FOLLOWER OF JESUS THROUGH SALIVA…
huh? yes, you heard me. cos what is the main difference between being someones friend and dating them? the physical aspects of a relationship. and so if your chief concern is to introduce them to Jesus and life to the full and so on, surely it can be done as a friend and there is no added need to do it from the place of relationship. in fact, THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS AND TEMPTATIONS that get added with relationship (especially relationship with someone who doesn’t follow Jesus who is likely to have a different value system to you when it comes to that stuff) ONLY BRINGS DISTRACTION to the purpose at hand so why not remove them altogether.
as i said IT’S A TWO-WAY THING. you are not just doing this for you, but for them. if they are not able to understand or ‘get’ or share the number 1 thing in your life with you, then it will be frustrating and confusing for them and a barrier will be built up between you and them.
so IF THE PERSON YOU HAVE FEELINGS FOR IS NOT A FOLLOWER OF JESUS, don’t complicate things for them, or you both. be the best friend you can be to them. love them and model Jesus-living to them and introduce them (in actions and also words) to the One who will bring life to the full. but DO IT FROM THE CONTEXT OF FRIENDSHIP! don’t waste your time, and theirs, pursuing something that cannot move to the next level.
this is a KEY ASPECT TO THE WAY WE DO DATING RELATIONSHIPS – conform no longer, transform your mind and your actions, and see better, safer, healthier outcomes.