This is the one that everyone is looking for…so if youíre late to the party and hopping on the train late you NEED to go read parts 1-5 of this devotional series. The reality is that all of the content leading up to this relates to what we are about to talk about…the dating game.
Except itís not a game at all. First and foremost, if we think about it like a game then we are thinking about it in the wrong way. Second, itís not just confined to dating…what we are going to be talking about relates to friendships too.
If dating is a gameÖ(or friendship is a gameÖ)
- We arenít valuing the person on the other side.
- We arenít valuing ourselves.
But maybe dating isnít a game for you. Maybe you really want to find your person but you are running in circles of confusion and pressure.
Or maybe you really want to have meaningful friendships and good influences who you spend the majority of your time with but you feel torn.
I donít blame you. I know, I feel it.
Thereís the confusion of everyoneís opinion playing in your ear. The the confusion of all our own emotions, the husband/wife that youíve prayed for or desire but that seems impossible to find. The the noise of everyone else asking if youíre dating anyone, or why wonít you date so-and-so, and then when you end up dating someone it feels like youíre settling.
Maybe it doesnít feel like it in the moment, but then a few steps in you realize that you are…
only hanging out with someone for excitement
or to not feel lonely anymore
or to be relieved of the pressure of finding your future or having friends.
You may realize this isnít going to give you what you want or what God wants for you.
Who you date is way more powerful than you think.
You could even say it this way if you arenít dating right now, but maybe you are feeling similar pressures related to who you hang out with. The reality is that those we spend time with influence our lives.
Who you hang around is way more powerful than you think.
King Soloman was the wisest of the wise. He was gifted from God and also had a thing or two to say about love. In the book of Proverbs he writes thisÖ
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.†Proverbs 13:20
Dating is powerful because walking with someone and doing life with them influences you, whether itís for better or for worse, it influences you.
Even when you arenít dating someone, but just hanging out with a friend.
Who you hang out with influences who you will become.
Ultimately, our filter for dating (and friendships) needs to be about whatís best. If we know God always has our best interest in mind then this principle will still apply.
If they do not bring out the best in you, they are not the best for you.
The best of you comes in two parts. It comes in how you view yourself, and how you view others. Even if you arenít dating right now, or donít feel the pressure to date right now, how you view yourself, how you view others, and how you view dating and friendships is going to impact your life.
When we think about OTHERSÖ
Are we seeing them for WHO they are and who God created them to be?
Or do we see them for what they are or what they can offer us?
If something is more appealing to you than that personís love for God, their love for people, or how they make you a better version of yourself then you should probably think twice about why you are with them in the first place.
Reverse this for yourself too! They should be seeing YOU the exact same way.
Are we intentionally guarding THEIR heart as well as our own?
Dating someone doesnít mean we are marrying someone. Yet we want to date with him or her in mind. Date with the mind and the heart that someone is going to be your future someone. It may or may not be the person you are dating now, or that you will date next. Until thereís a ring on it and wedding bells chime HONOR THEM like they are someoneís future someone.
Whether they are yours or not.
When we think about OURSELVESÖ
Am I being wise about who I date or hang out with?
Be wise, be strategic, be intentional and be considerate of who takes up the space in your heart while youíre dating them because they will impact you. You will rub off on each other. Is the person youíre dating, or considering dating, someone who is going to be able to run with you? Can they run WITH you after Godís heart and after what you want out of life?
Are you asking others that know you?
ASK YOURSELF, and ASK OTHERS…do they bring out the best in me?
–do they encourage me? Do they breathe life into me, make me go further faster?
–do they challenge me? If I am about to go off the path do they bring me back on?
–do I get closer or further to Jesus the more time I spend with this person?
Am I thinking about him or her?
Are you guarding it? Are you protecting yourself and guarding yourself for that person that God has designed and crafted for you? Are you thinking about them when you are thinking about dating? Even if you canít identify them yet, keep them in find. Protect them and your future relationship because it is sacred and special. Date with THEM in mind.
Dating can be confusing…it can be hard to navigate, but having a filter can help.
Why would you take this lightly? Why wouldnít you want someone who brings out the absolute best in you?
If you have the filter that if they donít bring out the best in you, then they arenít the best for you…it will be easier to see Godís best for your life. He has a specific story for you…and a special person that will get to watch God do His best work in the depths of your human heart.
Be wise about who you date, about who you let have an influence on you.
Also- be encouraged. If youíre lonely right now or feel like you keep striking out, remember that God has your best interest in mind.
He is fighting for you, and He will give you your best life.
In His perfect timing…
The ďDateĒ Filter Application
Prayer: Pray for your future spouse, pray that God with give you eyes for them. Also pray that God would give you the filter that if someone doesnít bring out the best in you then they arenít the best for you.
Scripture: Proverbs 13:20
Say It To Yourself: If they donít bring out the best in me, they are not the best for me.
Journal: Journal about what you believe Godís best is for you. This doesnít have to be a long list. What do qualities do you think are the most important to bring out the best in you and bring the most glory to God?