Are we dating or loving?
Can we or should we be doing both?
Are we looking to try on a ‘nice piece’ when we date, to see if it ‘suits’’ us, or are we tentatively, carefully and cautiously searching out the hidden treasure of another’s heart and treating it with the utmost care?
We need to be careful in this current, casual culture that we live in, that we don’t treat dating like going into a clothes store, scanning the racks, picking up 3 or 4 outfits that we think might be the ‘one’ we are looking for, for that special occasion, only to discard them all and walk away from the store.
Relationships are both fragile and robust. We cannot ‘pop into’ someone else’s life, ask them to reveal their heart and then say, “Sorry, but no thanks.” It is not what Jesus meant when He said, “love your neighbor as yourself” or “do not awaken love until it so desires.”
I don’t remember where I read this, among the many sites I scanned when researching around this subject, but it was so well written I decided to put it in here, word for word:
“Back in the days when I was a teenager or a woman in her early 20’s, you ended up dating someone who was physically in ‘your world’. Someone at school, in your youth group, at your church or around your neighborhood. A friend of a friend, your friend’s brother, your mom’s best friend’s son, your dad’s work mate’s stepson… you get the picture! Basically, somewhere there was a mutual connection or person that meant you came across each other. This had advantages and disadvantages. The advantages included things like: someone you knew, knew them and could give you an opinion on what they were like. Also, you got to be around them and see how they treated others and who their friends were; did they behave like a ‘jerk’ or were they caring and considerate? The disadvantages would show themselves if you lived in a small town, went to a small school or your church youth group had two boys your age to choose from, neither of whom you were interested in!”
There are lots of things that come to mind when I think about ‘dating dilemmas’- To internet-date or not to internet-date? How do I know if he’s the ‘one’!? When do I tell him about ‘stuff’ I have done or my past relationships? Do I tell him at all and if I don’t, am I being secretive?
The prophet Bob Jones died on 14 February 2014, but actually he had technically ‘died’ once before and met God face to face. When he met God, what was God’s question to him? It was: “Bob, did you learn to love?”
When he ‘came back’ to us here on earth, the focus of his life had been altered. Everything he did from then on had the primary focus of, “Am I learning to love?”
So, whether you are just starting a new relationship or have been in a long-term one for a while, if you are facing the dating dilemmas above (and more) that come your way, do yourself an immense favor; pause at every point and ask yourself these questions:
Am I learning to love?
Am I loving this person well?
Am I treating their heart like gold?
Do I tread carefully among their dreams?
Am I treating them as I would want to be treated?
The journey of ‘learning to love’ is lifelong and as lovers of God we want to be experts at this one thing when our turn comes to stand face to face with Him: Love.
– Soo Prince (Intern)