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03-Aug-2019 12:50

The people willing to actually hold me accountable in dating have been my best friends.

I’ve had lots of friends over the years, but the ones who have been willing to press in, ask harder questions, and offer unwanted (but wise) counsel are the friends I respect and prize the most.

These people know you as a sinner, and sinners who are never being confronted or frustrated by inconvenient truths are sinners drifting further from God, not towards him.

The truth is that we all need a third wheel — in life and in dating — people who truly know us and love us, and who want what’s best for us, even when it’s not what we want in the moment.

You will not truly love anyone else if you do not love God first and most.

And no one will truly love you if they do not love God more than they love you.

One Lord, one faith, one baptism — and a billion different dating tips.

The first rule in dating is the first rule in all of life: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark ).

The key will be to lean on other Christians who know you best, love you most, and have a proven record of telling you when you are making a mistake or wandering away from God’s will for you.

If our heart is not there — if our soul is not already safe through faith, if our mind is distracted and focused on other, lesser things, if our best strength is being spent on the things of this world — jobs, sports, shopping, entertainment, relationships, and on God — we simply will not date well. Listen to Jesus, and “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Seek him first (Matthew ), and dating will be added according to his perfect plan and timing. It’s not the first rule, but I have found that it is a “golden rule” that most often makes the difference between healthy and unhealthy Christian dating relationships.

But after embracing and applying the first and greatest commandment, I have found that the . If you’re not a Christian — if you haven’t dealt with God before trying to date — you don’t have a chance of having a truly healthy Christian relationship with someone else.

We leave the safety of the doctor’s office and choose the freedom and ease of the gas station convenience store.

Instead of getting the qualified perspective and direction we desperately need from people around us, we walk away eating a candy bar for dinner, again, and washing it down with Dr. Real friendship, with real life-on-life accountability, may not offer the same amount of information or advice, and you will not always like what it has to say, but it will bring one new critical dimension to your dating relationships: it knows — your strengths and weaknesses, your successes and failures, your unique needs.

The key will be to lean on other Christians who know you best, love you most, and have a proven record of telling you when you are making a mistake or wandering away from God’s will for you.

If our heart is not there — if our soul is not already safe through faith, if our mind is distracted and focused on other, lesser things, if our best strength is being spent on the things of this world — jobs, sports, shopping, entertainment, relationships, and on God — we simply will not date well. Listen to Jesus, and “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Seek him first (Matthew ), and dating will be added according to his perfect plan and timing. It’s not the first rule, but I have found that it is a “golden rule” that most often makes the difference between healthy and unhealthy Christian dating relationships.

But after embracing and applying the first and greatest commandment, I have found that the . If you’re not a Christian — if you haven’t dealt with God before trying to date — you don’t have a chance of having a truly healthy Christian relationship with someone else.

We leave the safety of the doctor’s office and choose the freedom and ease of the gas station convenience store.

Instead of getting the qualified perspective and direction we desperately need from people around us, we walk away eating a candy bar for dinner, again, and washing it down with Dr. Real friendship, with real life-on-life accountability, may not offer the same amount of information or advice, and you will not always like what it has to say, but it will bring one new critical dimension to your dating relationships: it knows — your strengths and weaknesses, your successes and failures, your unique needs.

The scary reality is that we can find an answer somewhere to justify what we want to do — right or wrong, safe or unsafe, wise or unwise.