Home Relationships 8 Terrible Pieces of Dating Advice Christians Give

8 Terrible Pieces of Dating Advice Christians Give

by Frank Powell

Ever been in a conversation where a statement that is made leaves you shaking your head? And you start wondering whether this individual has any idea the context of the conversation. Therefore, I recommend reading dating advice from https://www.dating9.com rather than you get to the point where the sources gets terrible. After the bad advice “pow-wow” breaks, you have to do damage control.

But most of the time the damage is done. This is the problem with advice, in general. Especially if someone comes asking for it. Whether the sage (I use the term loosely) delivers good or bad advice, the individual asking will heed it.

I wish I could tell you Christians never give bad advice. Unfortunately, I would be lying. This is just another product of our brokenness. Christians have a tendency to make statements that, if they were tangible, would be some form of smelly poo or rotten milk. And I am guilty as well.

Combine the potential to deliver bad advice with a strange topic like dating, the chance of smelly poo or spoiled milk increases exponentially. Let’s be real, church. Dating is strange to us. We know we will be inevitably confronted with it. But we are not sure what to do when the confrontation happens. Some assume dating ends in something really bad (you know what I mean). Others fully embrace it. The rest are just bamboozled by the topic altogether.

I embrace dating (not me dating, but dating in general). I believe Christians must talk about it. And we must advise people, young and old, about the positive and negatives of dating as a follower of Jesus.

With that said, if someone comes to you for advice, the individual expects you to provide them with advice. But, for the love of all things good and righteous, avoid these statements.

Here are 8 terrible pieces of dating advice Christians give.

1.) “Follow your heart.”

[pullquote cite=”Proverbs 14:12″ type=”left”]There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.[/pullquote]Now this piece of advice appears logical. Someone comes to you for advice. The individual has feelings for another person. But doubt or uncertainty is also present. So, how do you move forward? “Just follow your heart.”

Steer clear of the rotten milk. Here’s why this statement is toxic. Riding the waves of emotions and logic will eventually lead to a crash landing. Emotions and logic can be helpful. They can also be deceitful. Like a blind man relying on his cane. It can be helpful. But relying on a cane to get from the house to the store? Not a good idea.

A better option? Follow the advice of others. Pray for clarity. Seek the Lord.

2.) “You are married to Jesus. Focus on your relationship with him.”

This is another piece of advice that seems good. As long as you aren’t the one receiving it. And you aren’t a dude. Ever heard a guy receive this piece of advice? Me neither.

This is more a copout than a piece of advice. The statement is legitimate, yes. Jesus must be the center of a relationship. Your love for him must be significantly greater than your love for any other person. But what Christian doesn’t know this?

3.) “You should always date to marry.”

I need to be careful here. Don’t want to contradict myself. I believe strongly in intentional dating. I also believe strongly in Christians dating Christians (more on this later). But refusing to date unless you are sure the individual is “marriage material” is overkill.

Christian dating is a lot about figuring out yourself. Not to mention having this cloud hovering over any relationship adds unnecessary pressure to it. Dating should be fun. It should be pure. And it doesn’t have to end in marriage. These relationships can teach you something about yourself that prepares you for the one you will one day marry.

I say that is valuable. You decide for yourself.

4.) “Stop being so picky.”

[pullquote cite=”John Gottman” type=”right”]People who have higher standards and higher expectations for their marriage have the best marriages, not the worst.[/pullquote]Look, marriage is forever. God designed it this way. So you should never compromise on the values you have for a spouse. Make a list. Keep the list close. And make sure any potential spouse meets the qualities on your list.

This goes for dating as well. It is better to remain single for a lifetime than compromise values just to marry. It never ends well for people who do this.

Those who have a high standard in a spouse will have a high standard in marriage. Having a high standard for marriage is an important value for having a great marriage. And God desires couples to have great marriages. It is worth waiting months or years to find the person who meets the standards you believe are essential.

So, if you hear someone telling you to stop being so picky, be sure the advice is bad. Spoiled milk.

[tweet_box design=”default”]It is better to remain single for a lifetime than compromise your values just to marry.[/tweet_box]

5.) “It’s ok to date a non-Christian…just don’t marry one.”

There are certain non-negotiable filters in dating. This is one. Christian dating can be a field day for Satan. He uses dating like he uses everything inherently good…To spread lies and destroy your life.

For this reason, date someone who shares your values. Shares your passion for Jesus. Shares your desire for purity. It’s not that dating a non-Christian is sinful. The Bible never talks about dating. But it is critical to date people who won’t create tension between the desires of the flesh and the will of God.

[tweet_box design=”default”]Don’t date people who create tension between desires of the flesh and the will of God.[/tweet_box]

Dating Christians doesn’t ensure this won’t happen. But Christians should work with you to pursue the holiness God desires.

6.) “You will meet your spouse when you stop looking.”

You know who makes statements like this one? People who are married…or really old. No offense to my older people. Love you guys (and girls). The idea with this statement is you are trying to hard to find a spouse. But you are adding unneeded pressure and stress in the process.

This is the picture I get when I hear this statement.

Instead of trying to find a spouse at every corner, you proceed to sit at the house with a bag of Nachos or ice cream. And wait. Then, magically, a cute, Jesus-following guy or girl rings the doorbell with a box of chocolates (or, for the dudes, a jersey from your favorite sports team), asks you out on a date, and the rest is history.

Of course, we know this is garbage. And if you are the one person reading this who had this experience, don’t leave me a comment. Thanks.

The better solution: pray for a spouse (if you believe this is God’s design for your life). Live expectantly. Don’t force what God is not ordaining. But go to work, school, wherever, with eyes open to how God is moving in the world around you…Whatever you do, don’t compromise.

7.) “Singleness is a gift from God.”

Again, this is a copout answer to someone most likely struggling with singleness. Like the woman who is struggling to get pregnant. Or the person who lost a family member to cancer. Copout answers don’t work.

Yes, singleness is a gift from God. I believe God calls certain people to singleness to show himself to them in a way relationships never would. But don’t tell that to the guy or girl who sees friends progressing down life’s natural road.

The better response? Ask questions. Allow those struggling with singleness to share emotions and frustrations. Encourage them in Christ. But, as a general rule, stay away from copout statements like this one.

8.) “There are plenty of fish in the sea. It’s time to move on.”

I remember the first time a girl broke up with me. I was distraught. The break up taught me a lot of relationships and dating. But the future lessons learned didn’t remove the present pain.

We are not robots with an on-off switch. Relationships hurt. Rejection hurts. Moving on hurts. Hurting another person hurts. You see the idea? We have emotions. And dealing with emotions isn’t a mechanical process. This statement implies that emotions aren’t important.

If you are a parent with a teen hurting from a break up, don’t dismiss your teen’s emotions. Don’t minimize them either. Help them process. It could be a catalyst for growth.

If you have a friend dealing with the pain of rejection or a failed relationship, walk with them. Don’t encourage moving on when emotions are raw. Be a friend. Listen. Process. Pray.

__________________________

Granted, most of these statements are true. But a true statement is not always a good piece of advice. Discernment must be used. Always.

It’s your turn. What are some other bad pieces of dating advice you have received? Leave a comment below. Let’s continue the conversation.

I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!

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4 comments

David Mathieson November 18, 2014 - 10:09 pm

This is good stuff that lots of people need to hear, Frank. Thank you!

We Christians have done ourselves a great disservice in lots of ways over how we handle dating.

Strong disciples (this is a leadership/pastoral issue, in my view) will have secure identities in Christ that allow them to date responsibly (avoiding both #3 and #6, for which there is no excuse). Break ups will hurt, but if you’ve done all you can to conduct yourself and relate to your (boy/girl)friend in a godly fashion, that’s simply all you can do under any circumstance.

I will say that a strong identity will also help wean you off the list, with which I mildly but firmly disagree. If it helps you remember things, okay, but in the end, the love you have for your spouse will be a choice you make, starting during dating. You feel ‘in love,’ but that will grow to the point where you make a choice to enter into a covenant of marriage (see CS Lewis on this). The marriage, and the love on which it’s built, must be tended & maintained, like, say, a garden. Gardens don’t get tended automatically because you feel all woozy inside when she walks by. That feeling will do nothing to help you give up your life for her (see Ephesians 5:25-30).

I married this past August after being single for ten years. My wife was also single for ten years. We both embraced our singleness as opportunities to seek the Lord, and we were both rewarded. She dated during this time; I did, a very little. I received a word from God, and met her through a mutual friend, when she lived 350 miles from me. God guided our dating and courtship (very quick, 3-months), prompted us both when it was time during this, and to our engagement, but we both understood very well that we were CHOOSING one another (we even wrote a bit about that into our vows).

You are the work that God is doing in the earth, and as such, it’s a process; I don’t believe He normally FedEx’s a brand-new, ready-for-heaven You to your door. You’re born again, you grow until you die. You will make good choices and bad choices, but rarely are you encouraged to sit on your hands until what you’ve been praying for falls out of the sky. Relationship matters are no different. God will lead you, but you still have a choice to make.

Frank Powell December 31, 2014 - 2:26 pm

David, I really respect your words and with your life experiences, you have much to say about this topic that people need to heed. I love what you said about strong disciples being necessary for healthy dating. If we understand our relationship with someone we date flows first from our relationship with God, it changes everything about why we date (or don’t date). Thanks again! Blessings on your marriage and new year!

Sarah H. December 28, 2014 - 11:31 pm

I remember being about five years old and asking my dad how I would know the man that God wanted me to marry. (I was a precocious little thing – with ringlets, no less!) My dad gave me a piece of advice which has stuck with me throughout my life. He said “He must love God more than anything else in the world – including you. He must love you second only to God. And you must love him the same way. If you stick to these three things, everything should work out fine.” Now, even with this wisdom firmly in mind, I still made mistakes, got involved with people I shouldn’t have, and got my heart broken a time or two, but at the end of it, it gave me the strength to pick myself up and the bravery to say “God, I am tired of these games. Bring me the right man when You decide we are ready.” Three months later, I started dating the man who I would eventually marry. (Not quite the chocolates at the door scenario you outlined, but close enough for me to say that it isn’t about stopping the search and more about Who you are letting handle the details!) We have been married for over eleven years now, we continue to grow together in our understanding of God’s Will in our lives, and we have shared my story and my dad’s sound advice with many people, with the caveat that prayer should always be at the beginning of every decision and not a court of last resort when things go wrong.

Frank Powell December 31, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Sarah, thanks for adding to the conversation! I think the advice from your dad is very wise. There is nothing more important in dating and looking for a spouse than how that individual loves God. It is also important that you love God. If every person could get these two ideas, the marriage culture would be totally different today. Thanks again! Blessings!

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