You ready to date? Or nahhhh…
I apologize. Once Nash Grier started saying it, I couldn’t drop it. In my heart of hearts, I’m a Magcon Viner. And, for those of you who are lost already….let’s just move on.
Every year it seems the “dating age” gets younger and younger. I used to laugh as middle schoolers talked about “going out.” But in a couple weeks I’ll listen to junior campers tell their dating stories. Hollywood has given us a wonderful picture of a fictional, impossible dating world. We have the Disney channel to thank for adolescent expectations…and don’t even get me started on the Hallmark Chanel. (Insert Eye Roll Here)
For the sake of the series, lets agree that the purpose of dating is to discover and cultivate skills and eventually relationship that will lead to a life of marriage.
So guys, how do you know if you’re ready to date? At what point should the search begin?
God shows us THREE important preliminary qualifications to relationships. To see those, go to the first relationship in Genesis chapter 2.
THE PRESENCE OF GOD
God made the man and put him in the garden of Eden. The word Eden is a complicated word in its original form, because it carries the connotation of multiple meanings. While Eden was a literal garden, this word also implies “delightful place” or “open door.” Eden is a place where, for a moment, there is an open door on earth to God’s presence. Eden was more than a place. Eden was also an environment, an atmosphere, and in the very presence of God.
The first thing God gifts the man with is his presence. Guys, if you’re looking for a woman, the best place to meet her is in the presence of God. If she isn’t in the presence, let me promise you, she is NOT God’s present for you. Don’t try to find her elsewhere and drag her into the presence. Meet her there.
Genesis 2:15 “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” God made man, and then put him to WORK! #Priorities You don’t need a woman before you have a job. And notice his job description: dress it and keep it. Notice God didn’t give man a finished product, he commissioned him to cultivate it.
First of all, women are expensive. Just take my word for it. Not only that: the woman you are picturing in your mind. She doesn’t exist. There’s no such thing. (Unless your qualification list is limited to “breathing.) Your job is , as one pastor put it, is to “take the raw material and cultivate her into the person you desire.” If you’re married and reading this, and you don’t like the person you’re married to, cultivate her! Don’t like the way she dresses? Take her to the mall (not Goodwill). Don’t like how she looks? Buy a gym membership and take her with you!
Jesus has a bride. Her name is Ecclesia. And if you don’t think these ideas on marriage are accurate, see the New Testament for a detailed list of how Jesus presents his bride to himself. (Ephesians 5) People LOVE to quote Eph. 5:25 “husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” That is….until they see HOW he loves his bride: Sanctifies her, Washes her with the word, presents her unto HIMSELF without spot or wrinkle.
All that to say: if you can’t hold down a full-time PAYING job, there’s no way on earth you’ll be able to maintain your full-time leadership position in a relationship.
Genesis 2:16-17 God gives ADAM some very specific instruction, don’t eat of the fruit of one particular tree. God doesn’t give instruction to Eve (she hasn’t been created yet). It is Adam’s job to communicate God’s word to his wife. The problem with so many relationships today is that the woman knows more Word than the man, and the man isn’t qualified or able to lead.
Read your Bible! As you’ve probably discovered, relationships are not successful unless both parties are communicating. I promise if you aren’t in God’s Word allowing Him to speak to you, there’s no way you’re faithfully talking to him. If you’ll develop fluid lines of communication with Jesus, you’ll find that your earthly relationships will thrive from the overflow.
THEN, God says “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him.”
It is not good for the man who is in the presence of God, working (able to cultivate), and able to teach the word of God to be alone.
Until you have those three, NO, you’re not ready to date.