This is the one that everyone is looking for…so if you’re late to the party and hopping on the train late you NEED to go read parts 1-5 of this devotional series. The reality is that all of the content leading up to this relates to what we are about to talk about…the dating game.
Except it’s not a game at all. First and foremost, if we think about it like a game then we are thinking about it in the wrong way. Second, it’s not just confined to dating…what we are going to be talking about relates to friendships too.
If dating is a game…(or friendship is a game…)
- We aren’t valuing the person on the other side.
- We aren’t valuing ourselves.
But maybe dating isn’t a game for you. Maybe you really want to find your person but you are running in circles of confusion and pressure.
Or maybe you really want to have meaningful friendships and good influences who you spend the majority of your time with but you feel torn.
I don’t blame you. I know, I feel it.
There’s the confusion of everyone’s opinion playing in your ear. The the confusion of all our own emotions, the husband/wife that you’ve prayed for or desire but that seems impossible to find. The the noise of everyone else asking if you’re dating anyone, or why won’t you date so-and-so, and then when you end up dating someone it feels like you’re settling.
Maybe it doesn’t feel like it in the moment, but then a few steps in you realize that you are…
only hanging out with someone for excitement
or to not feel lonely anymore
or to be relieved of the pressure of finding your future or having friends.
You may realize this isn’t going to give you what you want or what God wants for you.
Who you date is way more powerful than you think.
You could even say it this way if you aren’t dating right now, but maybe you are feeling similar pressures related to who you hang out with. The reality is that those we spend time with influence our lives.
Who you hang around is way more powerful than you think.
King Soloman was the wisest of the wise. He was gifted from God and also had a thing or two to say about love. In the book of Proverbs he writes this…
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20
Dating is powerful because walking with someone and doing life with them influences you, whether it’s for better or for worse, it influences you.
Even when you aren’t dating someone, but just hanging out with a friend.
Who you hang out with influences who you will become.
Ultimately, our filter for dating (and friendships) needs to be about what’s best. If we know God always has our best interest in mind then this principle will still apply.
If they do not bring out the best in you, they are not the best for you.
The best of you comes in two parts. It comes in how you view yourself, and how you view others. Even if you aren’t dating right now, or don’t feel the pressure to date right now, how you view yourself, how you view others, and how you view dating and friendships is going to impact your life.
When we think about OTHERS…
Are we seeing them for WHO they are and who God created them to be?
Or do we see them for what they are or what they can offer us?
If something is more appealing to you than that person’s love for God, their love for people, or how they make you a better version of yourself then you should probably think twice about why you are with them in the first place.
Reverse this for yourself too! They should be seeing YOU the exact same way.
Are we intentionally guarding THEIR heart as well as our own?
Dating someone doesn’t mean we are marrying someone. Yet we want to date with him or her in mind. Date with the mind and the heart that someone is going to be your future someone. It may or may not be the person you are dating now, or that you will date next. Until there’s a ring on it and wedding bells chime HONOR THEM like they are someone’s future someone.
Whether they are yours or not.
When we think about OURSELVES…
Am I being wise about who I date or hang out with?
Be wise, be strategic, be intentional and be considerate of who takes up the space in your heart while you’re dating them because they will impact you. You will rub off on each other. Is the person you’re dating, or considering dating, someone who is going to be able to run with you? Can they run WITH you after God’s heart and after what you want out of life?
Are you asking others that know you?
ASK YOURSELF, and ASK OTHERS…do they bring out the best in me?
–do they encourage me? Do they breathe life into me, make me go further faster?
–do they challenge me? If I am about to go off the path do they bring me back on?
–do I get closer or further to Jesus the more time I spend with this person?
Am I thinking about him or her?
Are you guarding it? Are you protecting yourself and guarding yourself for that person that God has designed and crafted for you? Are you thinking about them when you are thinking about dating? Even if you can’t identify them yet, keep them in find. Protect them and your future relationship because it is sacred and special. Date with THEM in mind.
Dating can be confusing…it can be hard to navigate, but having a filter can help.
Why would you take this lightly? Why wouldn’t you want someone who brings out the absolute best in you?
If you have the filter that if they don’t bring out the best in you, then they aren’t the best for you…it will be easier to see God’s best for your life. He has a specific story for you…and a special person that will get to watch God do His best work in the depths of your human heart.
Be wise about who you date, about who you let have an influence on you.
Also- be encouraged. If you’re lonely right now or feel like you keep striking out, remember that God has your best interest in mind.
He is fighting for you, and He will give you your best life.
In His perfect timing…
The “Date” Filter Application
Prayer: Pray for your future spouse, pray that God with give you eyes for them. Also pray that God would give you the filter that if someone doesn’t bring out the best in you then they aren’t the best for you.
Scripture: Proverbs 13:20
Say It To Yourself: If they don’t bring out the best in me, they are not the best for me.
Journal: Journal about what you believe God’s best is for you. This doesn’t have to be a long list. What do qualities do you think are the most important to bring out the best in you and bring the most glory to God?