A few weeks ago my husband and I spent the day with some staff from Austin Stone. The first meeting we were in included several younger staff who were leading groups of peers. The leader “casted vision for dating” and they read Proverbs 29:18. My ears perked up! This is what I’ve been meditating on for weeks! I’ll summarize the fantastic discussion in my own words.
First, he cast vision for why you don’t date an unbeliever from Scripture:
1- Galatians 6:7 says, “Don’t be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” If you plant seeds of lust or leading on a guy or girl that you don’t intend to seriously date, you will reap immorality and lack of concern for others’ feelings. If you make the habit of giving your affection and attention to someone who does not pray with you, you will reap a lifestyle where praying with your spouse is strained or non-existent. Don't be deceived. You are not above the formula of reaping what you sow in the area of dating an unbeliever.
2- 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 reminds, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
Simply if you yoke with an unbeliever you are forcing two things that cannot peaceably be bound together. Being yoked to Christ is freeing. Being yoked to someone who seeks ungodly things isn’t freeing.
3- 2 Timothy 3:5- “….having the appearance of godliness but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
If you date/marry a Christian who doesn’t walk in the power of the Gospel your relationship will lack a “similar vision” because your frame of reference for viewing the world is seen through the lens of the Gospel. For example, if you read the book of Acts your heart is likely stirred at how exciting the early church was and how God could use Paul so that ALL of Asia heard the Gospel in 2 years. You think, I’m a junior in college and I want to serve in Thailand for 2 years before grad school. Your significant other who doesn’t see the world through the lens of the Gospel is “open to it” or “thinks that sounds like an adventure” but lacks the vision/motivation/call. One girl said, “Being open to something is not the same as taking steps towards pursuing it. I’m open to med school, but I’ve never taken any of the classes.” I couldn’t help but laugh, because she was so right.
Being open to nations is not the same as taking a foreign language, serving international students at your college, or praying for different countries. When you yoke with someone (even a believer) who doesn't share the path God is gifting and leading you down, one or both of you will always feel frustrated, bitter, or give up on the specific call altogether. Yoking is a big deal. The vision from Scripture was discussed well in this point!
The sharpening reminders from Scripture cast the vision for making the weighty choice of who you date and marry with wisdom. I’m thankful that the leader gave these younger singles not only a “vision” for their dating and marrying but also gave it in a simple way that they could teach others.
Who is someone unmarried and younger than you that you can share these truths with today? How can you model these in your own lives- thoughts, teachings, choices? What would God have you start or stop doing based on what you've read today? - Amy