Changing the Way We Date
Scripture: Ephesians 5:29–33; Revelation 19:6–9
Finding love is a top priority in life for most of us. Although we might have family members who love us, somehow that isn’t enough. We want someone to choose to love us, not love us because they are related to us.
If you’re like most singles today, reality rarely matches up with your expectations for finding that kind of love. It’s hard not to wonder what God’s up to sometimes. But everlasting love was God’s idea in the first place. That’s why turning to him for wisdom is so important in our dating life. He’s the One who invented marriage, who created us to crave relationships, and who is the very embodiment of true love.
Now, I want to clarify something before we go any further: If you feel like you’ve already made mistakes in dating, know that I made those mistakes too. I hurt myself and others. I loved dating as a sport. In some sick kind of way, I loved wondering if anyone would ever love me enough to marry me.
What I didn’t realize was that I was already loved. I was already accepted by One who was perfect. I sought affirmation and adventure in the dating game, and all the while, that was just a secondary narrative to a bigger story of which I was called to be part.
As we see in Ephesians 5, our earthly romantic relationships are supposed to be a reflection of, or a peek into, our eternal relationship with our Savior. But I treated dating as something else entirely, selfishly loving myself rather than selflessly loving the person I was with. The fact that it eventually worked out for me is fully due to God being massively merciful and gracious in my life.
When I look at singles in the church today, I can’t help but think that if we just got this right—if people put their selfish desires aside and began to pursue each other the way God desires—that change would be amazing. There would be a revival. There would be a great awakening. Single people would live on a mission; godly marriages would be formed, and disciples would be made in the home. Christianity would spread like wildfire in a culture that has grown cold to it. We could change a generation—and change the world—just by changing the way we date.
What does Ephesians 5:29–33 suggest about God’s intention for earthly relationships?