Strangers, friendship, dating, and marriage

I have some things that I need some guidance on, if anyone can help me here.

As I am 19, I’m growing up in a culture where everything goes in any relationship. You can have sex if and when you want, you can split up if and when you want. Relationships are selfish and have no true love or substance to them.

Before I came to know Jesus, I was all about this kind of “relationship.” I had no morals or boundaries and so I was up for generally anything. Since I have obeyed the Gospel, I have had more true love and respect for women and even though I struggle with pornography and masturbation, I don’t want anything to happen between myself and ANY other girl for their sake and mine. Even though before, I was insensitive and a real jerk, now, I tend to be more of a romantic type. I don’t mean the modern, sensual/sexual type romance, but the old fashioned, gentleman type romance. I really enjoy opening doors for women and pulling out chairs and basically being a gentleman.

Something I have always had, and still have is a habit of having feelings for girls even though I may not really know them. It could be because they’re pretty or because they’re personality is incredible. Now, it seems to be more because I either dated them and regret how I treated them and have a desire to treat them with respect, or because they have their own relationship with Jesus.

Okay, I hope this wasn’t too personal for anyone, but I’m hoping that it gives you some information to answer the questions I have.

Now, I know that anything sexual is for the marriage bed only. It isn’t for a mere friendship or for even dating. I know that the Bible speaks of a husband and wife being a unit and belonging to each other. Also, though marriage was created by God and is universal, believers are to marry believers.

I know that for dating, being loving and respectful is important and also exalting them above myself is very important. Pride and such has to be excluded from any relationship. It only makes sense that since dating leads to marriage that believers shouldn’t date unbelievers.

Friendships and strangers I don’t know what to say about, except for we are to spread the gospel, serve, and love others.

What differences would/should there be between a believer and an unbeliever?

At one point should we consider dating, and for what reasons? Also, what would be the differences between a friendship and a dating couple?

Also what changes should there be and shouldn’t there be when you do start dating?

I don’t want to cross any lines or ruin a relationship, because I asked her out or something and I also don’t want to be anyone other than me and the same for her if we do date. Basically, I want healthy God-glorifying relationships in all circumstances. So I just want some opinions and guidance on all of this.

Thanks guys!

What do YOU think?

comments

Comments

  1. Jesse I really appreciated your candid post.

    I’m not thinking I will be of much help, though, but I related to something you said and would like to offer my thoughts, although, admittedly, they may not be worth a whole lot. But Here goes:

    What you said about being a gentleman really strikes a chord! Because it describes me to a “t”

    And I DO mean to a T”

    Being a gentleman is perfectly in tune with my nature. It comes so natural for me. I am a gentle guy with a soft heart and a loving, giving sensitive nature. Just like Jesus. And that is what spelled my doom. please read on.

    You seem, with the last girl I dated I was the quintessential gentleman. I truly was.

    This is the way we traditionally are supposed to be, right? I never failed to open a car door for Leann, or to pull out her chair at a restaurant, or to bring her flowers and cards and gifts..or plush animals…

    I even serenaded her with my guitar and wrote her poetry and tons more. I expressed myself to her openly in love letters and made myself VULNERABLE by showing my emotions. I POURED my heart and love into her in creative, expressive ways that would astound you! When it comes to gentlemanly behavior, I should have won the Pulitzer prize or something.

    I mean I was “Leave it to Beaver” and “Father knows Best” and the “Donna Reed Show” and “Ozzie and Harriet” all rolled into one. brother.

    I was literally the king of gentlemen.

    I never pressed my advantage with her on a date…

    I was sweet and kind and gentle and understanding…heck, I even waited 50 days for her to say yes for even the first date, (Going out for a pizza) (I was showing the love and patience of Jesus.)

    But I loved her with a love that was not my own,. it came from the heart of God. Believe me, what I showed for her was not possible with a mere, human, selfish love. It could ONLY have been God. Consider that most guys when they ask a girl out for the first time, if she turns them down or says “I don’t know, We’ll see” They will reply with something nasty that I cant repeat on this forum, but is pretty much telling the girl to take a flying leap while they move on to the next girl in line. Admit it. Most men do NOT display the virtue of Christ’s patience. But I displayed it in abundance. To see where it got me, read on.

    I was everything any woman dreams of. I followed the Golden rule of Jesus and treated her like I would want to be treated. I asked my self WWJD? And I made sure I did it. I followed the Lords commandment that if someone asks you to go a mile, instead go two. Only I went twenty with her. I exercised superhuman patience. I exercised ultra human self control on our dates as a man in the presence of a beautiful woman. Even when we were alone in my car in a park as night fell, I NEVER took advantage of her in any way. I never pressed her.

    I was the PERFECT Christian man to date. Oh yes, I was Jesus in the flesh. Don’t misunderstand that, I mean I was Jesus living through me, being truly holy and righteous. I followed the traditional church rules of Christian dating, in other words, I acted as if the Lord Jesus Christ himself was our personal chaperon.

    Then she dropped me like a hot potato. (*Groan*)

    I was stunned, of course.

    After weeks of me being a perfect gentleman, I didn’t even merit a simple kiss. Not so much as a peck. I was denied even that. (Hugs yes, but no kiss.)

    But my broken heart drove me to do some research on the net. And I found out that the current view is that a man who does these things is considered a “wussie” or a wimp in today’s society. “Nice guys” don’t cut it. They don’t make the grade. “Mr nice guy” = Mr doormat.

    You read it right. This is the current consensus.

    A man who does the “old fashioned” things for a woman is now a BORE.

    It’s not what women want, they say.

    So we men are driven to ask what DO they want??? (million dollar question!)

    Well, the current tide of opinion is that they want to date a “bad boy” They are irresistibly ATRRACTED to a bad boy like moths to a light bulb.

    In other words a jerk.

    That’s right. Nice guys finish last, they say, and that is what I experienced. Experience proved current opinion right. Flowers, candy, sweet talk and ice cream dates leave a woman cold so she can turn you into a doormat when the first convenient opportunity arises.

    So I looked around me, at work, for instance, and I noticed that girls would view me as invisible, wouldn’t give me the time of day, but the one guy at work who is in the bad boy mold, well, every time I turned around all the girls were hanging on his arm and gushing over him like some kind of Greek god.

    This guy is a bonified jerk. He is the authentic example of the “bad boy” and there is no doubt that every time a new girl came around, a couple days later she was dating him. it blew my mind. What on EARTH did they see in this jerk? He’s rude, inconsiderate, he never buys flowers and all that, he has a HORRIBLE attitude towards life and women…What gives here?

    *sigh*

    Seems like the current consensus is correct after all.

    My sad and inevitable conclusion? Being a Christian man isn’t too conducive to getting dates or keeping them once you do.

    As I said this is probably not much help to you.

    But I had to get it out of my system. I had to “vent”

    And I wanted to help you see the reality of what you are facing and what may be your future. I wish with all my heart I had better news for you. But I would be lying if I said anything to the contrary.

    Hey, I’m a lonely guy. And I am a Christian..and I’m a Christian with principals, so that makes me a “wussie” or a “wimp” to woman, because I won’t compromise my Godly standards.

    And that leaves me “dateless” while the jerks and the bad boys get all the girls.

    Sucks, doesn’t it?

    • It sounds to me as if the women you are trying to date are worldly and not women of faith.
      That was the whole point of his question wasn’t it? How to go about finding and dating the right woman?
      Right now you are hurt and angry, simply because you chose wrong. You only prove the point that the rest of us are trying to make. Let go and let God.
      Make your focus Jesus Christ and allow Him to make your dating choices for you, since He knows better. He will find a girl who will appreciate you for who you are and not dump you because you are a nice guy.
      Another problem I see that you seem to have is your pride. Your letter in order to “vent” made you sound very “puffed up” in the Lord. Perhaps you should apply more humility towards the Lord as well.

      • “Perhaps you should apply more humility towards the Lord as well”

        And perhaps YOU should PRAY and seek the Lord’s before you judge me?

        And have you ever heard this well known saying “When you point a finger at someone, you have three pointing at yourself?”

        And have you not heard this one: “Why do you say to your brother “Here, let me remove the speck from your eye, when behold there is a log in your own eye? Thou hypocrite, first remove the speck from your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”(Jesus Christ)

        I could say a lot of things here, but this I know. I gave my anger to God over this many, many months ago. He removed it and your judgment of me is totally without foundation and horribly inaccurate, but the truth has ALWAYS been,: “It takes one to know one.”

        What that means is in order for you to “see” certain faults in me such as so called pride and anger, you must first have them in YOURSELF in order to be able to recognize them in ME.” if those faults were not in you, then they would not be apparent to you when you view me through critical eyes. So you have just PROVED that you possess the very faults you project onto me.

        So you need to first go take care of your OWN pride and anger before God before you spout off judging ME as having those things in my heart.

        As far as pride goes, man I took care of my deathly sick wife for twenty plus years before she died and I ever even met Leann.. I cared for her every bodily and spiritual need for TWO DECADES.
        I’d say that takes a bit of humility, wouldn’t you??? And yet you have the gall to stand there and call me proud? get a life, man.

        All I can say is try it buddy. Take care of a sick loved one for twenty years. SEE what it’s like and what it feels like. If you have any pride, that has a way of destroying it, I can guarantee that. Of course, you would have known that had you bothered to get all the facts before rushing me to your personal judgment hall.

        And for your information, I dated this girl because I TOTALLY and unselfishly CARED ABOUT HER and LOVED her with a love that was poured into my heart from above. I cared about her more than I cared for my own flesh. I LOVED her and wanted to bless her and see her increase in her well being. It was NOT selfish, it was AGAPE love, and that can ONLY come down from the Father of lights. God placed that supernatural love in my heart for her, and I am going to tell you straight right now and you best heed my warning, don’t you ever, and I mean EVER dare to judge my Holy God and what he does in the hearts of the sons of men. Do you understand? You’re walking on very thin ice. You do not, i repeat DO NOT KNOW MY HEART NOR WHAT ABIDES IN THERE. You are NOT God, so be advised to stop acting like Him and cease playing “little holy spirit” I’ve seen that game before, and I’m not falling for it.

        I agonized..and i mean I literally AGONIZED in painful travailing prayer about this girl before I took her out. Do you understand? I had just been traumatized over my wife’s death for months when she came into my life, and I had been through literal hell on earth, and I agonized in prayer almost to the point where it almost literally took my life before this was birthed in the Spirit. If God had not intervened, indeed I would have physically died for it literally poured all the life out of my vessel as I prayed intensely as I never prayed before in my life.

        Have you ever even HEARD of travailing prayer? Are you aware that such a thing even exists in the spiritual realm? And above that, have you ever experienced it? If not, you have not even the slightest INKLING what this entails and the agony a human being in a flesh body can endure.

        Have you ever experienced the agape love of God for another person so strong and powerful that you love another person more than you love your own flesh? (Read the book of Ephesians) Have you ever loved someone to the point where you would die or give your very life for that person? Have you ever loved DEEPLY, and I mean EXTREMELY deeply where your entire soul and being is possessed by the love of God? Well, have you, or have you only experienced shallow, human love?

        Don’t you DARE stand there and judge me and the love I have in my heart or the works God has done through me. It’s simply NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, and it’s not your calling or place to do so.

        It’s God’s business, and the last I knew He does as He pleases in whomever He pleases whenever and however He pleases. In other words, if the Lord wills and desires to birth a special love in my heart for someone, for whatever reason or purpose He chooses, then that’s HIS BUSINESS. No I DON’T have anger in my heart over this, and I am one of the most humble person’s I ever met, but I also take no pleasure in being judged by you or anyone else. Judging me will be God’s business, and He is well capable of making a right judgment when the time comes to do so.

        In the meantime, you need to go and work on yourself.

        • faithishearing says:

          It’s been over a year, but your comment struck me:

          “Hey, I’m a lonely guy. And I am a Christian..and I’m a Christian with
          principals, so that makes me a “wussie” or a “wimp” to woman, because I
          won’t compromise my Godly standards.

          And that leaves me “dateless” while the jerks and the bad boys get
          all the girls.

          Sucks, doesn’t it?”

          Isn’t this making an unfair judgement on women? Don’t you think that your judgement is also ‘totally without foundation and horribly inaccurate’? You are judging an entire group of people based on your own experience and things you read on the internet.

          It is great that you treated your last girlfriend well and that you had godly standards. If she couldn’t appreciate that, then you will find someone who will. I understand your need to vent, but remember that anything that you do in Christ is never done in vain. Maybe looking back, she will remember your actions and it will lead her closer to God. Maybe you will never have a relationship with her, but if by your life she has become edified than you know your work has not been in vain.

          You situation brings to mind these verses:

          Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave
          himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25

          Love is patient, love is
          kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not
          self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil
          but rejoices with the truth. It
          always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

          To answer the original poster jesseedavis: I would say take your time entering a relationship, especially if you are just coming out of an addictive behavior. Strengthen your relationship with God and learn to serve people, even (especially!) those of the opposite sex, without expecting anything in return. Sin has a way of distorting how one views relationships. God has delivered you and that is great, but you may have to (re)learn some things. You can try praying a simple prayer every day that God will help you develop approriate relationships with those of the opposite sex, and that He’d remove whether unhealthy ideas or expectations you still have and give you a servant’s heart.

          Yeah, I know this post is late, I don’t know if this issue has been resolved, but this is an interesting topic, and hopefully it will edify and help someone.

           

      • JustAGuy says:

        You are right that the right woman will be there when the time is right. I know some spiritually beautiful young ladies in our church who are waiting for just the right guy… And, no, I am not going to hook anyone up, lol!

        Blessings and Peace,
        Timothy

  2. jesseedavis says:

    This is great advice, thanks!

  3. ahinckson says:

    Hi, Jessie! Thanks for sharing. You know, as a 30-year old single woman, I understand exactly where you’re coming from. I absolutely want to find the right one (or rather, that he would find me!) and get married, but I know that God will work that out in His timing.

    My theme verse has been 1 Corinthians 7:34, and I would recommend 1 Corinthians 7:32 for you. The benefit of singlehood is that this is time we have to serve the Lord with wholehearted devotion, without divided interests. We definitely should take hold of that and not let anyone, especially a girlfriend/boyfriend, serve as an “interest divider.” And believe me, they will if you let them!

    More specifically to your questions, I absolutely would counsel against courting unbelievers. Even if she has a great personality or whatever, don’t go near her until she fully and completely surrenders her life to Christ because she can lead you into sin. I know this.

    I also don’t think it’s wise to date until you know you are ready to be married. Being with someone you love or have strong feelings for over a long period of time can also lead you into sin.

    Finally, I say PRAY before you ask anyone out. Wouldn’t it be great if the next girl you dated was your wife? Sadly, many Christians have fallen into the worldly pattern of “serial dating” with devastating consequences. If you ask God to show you the person who is to be your wife, I believe He will. It may not be next year or even in the next 10 years (this coming from a 30-year old!), but be patient because whatever He has in store for you is far better than what you can attain yourself!

    Meditate often on 1 Corinthians 7:32, and I also would recommend reading books by Joshua Harris and Elizabeth Elliot on this topic.

    Peace and blessings!

  4. Stop worrying about forming a relationship with someone. Slow down, take your time and become friends first. If you rush into a relationship because you are trying to get back to the sex thing then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons.
    You have an opportunity to do things right this time. Don’t blow that.
    Yes, most definitely, you should be around other believers. Now is the time that Satan is going to be fighting the hardest to get you back into his fold and the time that you will be the least well protected from what he can throw at you. Follow the scripture in Ephesians that says to “put on the full armor of God”. If you are not very familiar with that yet, then you are NOT ready to get into any but the most platonic of relationships with the opposite sex.
    As a new believer, you need to be working on your relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Once you have that going for you, then I am sure that you will turn around one day and find the girl of your dreams staring right back at you.
    God does not wish for you to be alone. He wants for you to be happy, but you MUST let Him decide when you are ready and who it will be. He may decide to send you off to a foreign country somewhere to do His work first. He may need for you to go to college and become a doctor or a pastor or and engineer first. He may just need for you to be a manager at a McDonalds for a while. 😉 The point is to be constantly seeking His will through prayer and study of the Word and trusting in Him to look out for you. He will. Believe me. God has a TON of experience in taking care of His creation. He will find the right girl for you and you will be ready for her when the time comes. For now, relax. Don’t sweat it.
    I say all of this, because I have been where you are and I can see the consequences of trying to take things out of His hands. It’s not a pretty sight believe me.
    God bless you. Your faith in Jesus Christ will save you much heart ache.

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