Dating is Not for Weaklings

After ending an abusive relationship, we may face the issue of whether to date again.  It may be hard for us to trust again, or we may have lost confidence in our ability to stay safe.  Though we can take practical measures to protect our safety, we must also be aware of things inside of us that can undermine our safety. In 2 Timothy 3:1-9, God provides valuable advice on this matter:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-9, NIV)

The first part of this scripture tells us why caution is so important. The second part of this scripture warns women about being "weak willed."  In what ways can women exercise a godly strength in their relationships, rather than being weak-willed?  One example might be having the strength to do things Godís way, and making it a test of the other person, too (for example, not having premarital sex). 

Here are some other types of strength might be needed in relationships:

  • Having the strength to resist matrimonial pressure from relatives, society, church, or partner.
  • Not entering into relationships because of neediness.  
  • Developing the spiritual strength to hear Godís voice and leading, and to follow it.
  • Having the strength to take care of emotional "unfinished business", to get emotionally healthy, and to forgive.
  • Having the strength to seek trusted, godly counsel and to follow it. (If you donít have trustworthy friends, think twice about dating.)
  • Having the strength to cancel a wedding or relationship, if you see
    "red flags."
  • Having the strength to trust God to be in control of your relationships and your future, rather than fearing that you are going to miss out on something you should have..


One way of staying strong in dating is to set rules for your behavior ahead of time, and then to stick to them. Some examples of such rules might be:  

  • Resist "rebound" relationships
  • Donít be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14)
  • Donít loan money or give away possessions; test their ability to be provider
  • Donít be the pursuer; let them show you how committed they are.
  • Donít hurry things. If they canít wait, take it as a warning.
  • Know Godís calling for your life and stick to it.
  • Not tolerating drugs, alcohol, pornography, or disrespect of you or your boundaries.

As this list shows, dating takes a lot of fortitude!  But perhaps the most important rule of all is to put God first in your relationships -- it is the key to forming healthy connections with others.

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are there any relationship "rules" you have set for yourself?  Any there any of the ones above that you might want to adopt? Are there any you wish you would have used in the past?
  2. What does it mean to be "unequally yoked"?  Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-15,17.

Copyright 2005   Judy Kennedy