Christian Intermingle: Can We Date Outside the Faith?
Dating is the obvious precursor for marriage, because we ultimately marry one of the people we date. Marriage ushers us in the most vulnerable state of our lives. Being married and opening ourselves up to this kind of binding love gives the person standing before us the ability to hurt you in a far deeper way than anyone in this world could, and there are times that hurt happens. Being married myself, I can attest to it. The beauty of our relationship with Jesus Christ shines through more than ever before during such times.
Within that deep vulnerability, our relationship with Jesus anchors us. He motivates us to love, to forgive, and to put aside ourselves in order to glorify God through our relationships. Our relationships aren't rooted in ourselves, but in God at work within us. He binds us together spiritually and enables us to love unconditionally- something we could never do on our own.
When it comes to dating someone outside the faith, remember, we aren't required to engage in a relationship with someone with whom we can connect with on every level. This is something we're invited to. We're encouraged to pursue the gift of a healthy marriage, and in doing so, experience the privilege of having a partner who can identify with the deepest parts of who we are. But as always, the choice is ours to make. The choices we make will determine the kind of life we will live.
No matter where you may be on your path to finding love, always remember that there is a God who knows your every need. When you're tempted to settle for less than best, be reminded of his faithfulness and his ferocious love for you. May God grant us more faith, and the courage to choose well as we seek to live out his best for our lives.
Debra K. Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more.
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