Posted by: JennyRain | December 3, 2009

Online Dating: Is it ok for Christians? (Part 3)

This is part 3 of the series we are in about online dating for followers of Christ. (For more of the story, read Part 1 and Part 2)

The near-miss relationship that I was in prior to meeting John had an effect on my life that was not healthy – it pulled me out of community. I did not realize how isolated I had become until I saw my good friend David Ridenhour out one night.

“Gosh, I haven’t seen you or Jen in – what is it – about a year? Has it really been that long?”

“Yes, you know, Jen and I really missed hanging out with you,” David said.

“I have been so wrapped up in this (near-miss) relationship, I guess I have not seen anyone lately,” I said, “I’m so sorry.”

David gently responded, “I have found relationships are best lived out in community.”

That comment became the foundation upon which John and I strove to build our relationship upon.

We were both determined not to isolate ourselves from the Christian community that was so much a part of our lives.

From our first conversation, we asked friends and family in our community to pray for us daily. We shared our dating experience with our community and invited them to partner with us in seeking God’s will. We gave others permission to speak into our lives.

My first date with John was with my friends AnnieLaurie and Brian, then John met my dad. My third date was with Kailea and Edward. My third-and-a-half date was with my dear friend Michele.

Each of these people asked John some hard questions and got to know him. “Subjecting” John to the rigours of my healthy Christian community was very intentional  – as I knew I could quite easily decieve myself so I needed others I trusted to come alongside of me.

Living out our burgeoning relationship in community was probably the best decision John and I made with our online dating experience.

Question 5: This online experience really can occur in a vaccum. How do I set up safeguards to ensure that I protect my heart and my life? I mean, what if the guy is a psycho?

Live everything out in community (see story above if you need a refresher 🙂

When you are dating online there are some additional risk factors that may not occur if you have met the individual in the community you are already a part of.

There is less accountability online so often people can get away with saying things and doing things online that may be far from the truth. It is important not only to listen to your own Spirit, but also “date online in community” so that you have a second-eye, so to speak.

My buddy and I both were online dating at the same time – so we were each other’s accountability partners. Whenever I had a match that I wanted to pursue, I showed the profile to my friend to look at. We read, giggled, prayed for each other, and made sure that if we had decided to move forward with any of our matches – we kept the other person regularly informed of emails, calls, and dates.

There were many times my friend saw things I could not. There were many times just hearing myself tell her things, I figured out it was a match I should not pursue. 

I believe I made better decisions because my buddy and I were “in it together!” 

Question 6: How much should I share online?

Sister, please do NOT give away your most precious treasures over email. Period. Often online dating can easily create a false sense of intimacy. Haven’t you ever had the experience where you are emailing with someone that you are quite smitten with, only to meet them and have the thought, “Wow, you send great emails, but that’s about it.”

The intimacy required to really share your heart and life with someone else only comes from “doing life” together. We do life togehter when we spend time together, talk on the phone, experience our day-to-day existence with each other. These moments cannot be replaced with online communication vehicles.

So, how much should we share, and how much should we hold back when we are dating online? We can learn what not to do from a biblical principle we see at work with King Hezekiah:

At that time Merodach-Baladan (translated “son of Marduk, worshipper of baal) son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness. Hezekiah received the messengers and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

(Translation people: The bad guys knew all about the junk in Hezekiah’s trunk and he had just met them!)

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”

“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.”

The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?” “They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD : The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood, that will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 2 Kings 20.12-18 (NIV)

If you give away your heart to someone you barely know over online dating – expect for them to take a part of you that you may not be able to recover. Keep some stuff to yourself girls – keep your jank at home until they get to know you!

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  1. […] (For more on this subject, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) […]


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