Dating the Wrong Man
Okay, so every other social media post that comes through your feed are pictures of happy couples and every time you talk to your best friend she can't seem to stop mentioning her new boyfriend and how much they are in love.
As a single woman working out her salvation in Christ you begin to feel lonely and envious of your friend's relationship status.
Then one day you meet an attractive, funny, friendly man while out with some friends and pressured by your peers you exchange numbers.
Soon after your first encounter you begin talking on the phone for hours because he makes you feel comfortable and wanted.
But here's the thing, not one time did he ask you about your faith in God. While humming the song, Caught In The Rapture by Anita Baker you finally realize you forgot to mention you are a devout Christian.
By the time you bring up your love for God you've been seriously dating for 8 months and he tells you that he isn't religious and doesn't feel the need to investigate further about the importance of salvation.
What do you do?
After your last boyfriend broke your heart you're finally healed and ready to date again. Your office co-worker waited patiently for you to get over your ex and asks you out on a date.
Since you've worked along side him for 3 years and know that he is a professing Christian you say yes. You never once questioned his walk with the Lord because he has post-it notes all over his cubicle of scriptures and invites co-workers to his church's bible study.
Then on your date he wines and dines you, tells you how much he loves God, and is looking for a future wife. At this point your heart starts beating fast as you envision walking down the aisle with him someday.
After a month of innocent courtship you bring him to your house for the first time and within 30mins he's persuading you to have sex with him.
After challenging him he tells you he isn't going to marry a woman who he hasn't tried first. He want's to make sure they are sexually compatible before taking the big leap.
What do you do?
You are entering dangerous waters with either man and I highly suggest you break off the courtship immediately! Do not be unequally yoked with non-believers let alone lukewarm believers 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
It’s easy to convince yourself that no one is perfect or you guys barely know each other so it's not that serious. These careless thoughts come from the flesh and demonstrates blatant disobedience to your Father if acted upon.
This critical flaw is asking for trouble and confirms your willingness to settle. It’s deceptive to belief you can miraculously change him over time —only God can change the heart of man Proverbs 21:1.
I love this excerpt from the article, It Matters Whom You Marry (source),
What Makes an Unbeliever or a Lukewarm Christian Dangerous?
May tolerate your faith without wanting to know more about God for himself
May go out of his way to prove God doesn’t exist —God is mythical and imaginative
Makes it difficult to properly rear children in the way of the Lord even with you being a believer —two parents who aren't on the same page often rear disobedient and confused children
Doesn’t understand the importance of naturing your relationship with God —lack of spiritual support can stunt your growth
May cause you to stumble (fornication, adultery, drunkenness, greed, etc.)
The Lukewarm Christian...
Pretends to have a deep relationship with God
Twists scripture to fit his personal agenda
Doesn’t bear righteous fruit
Supports worldly viewpoints
Participates in worldly activities
Lacks the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the flesh
Lacks the power of the Holy Spirit in his prayers
May cause you to stumble
Undermines biblical marriage —biblical marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman, both who are believers made before God.
Beguiles you only to show his true colors later in the relationship —sometimes manifested as physical and or mental abuse
Fears righteous judgement and reproving from his peers
Says the words I love you in vain
Concerned with worldly pleasures and material possession.
Treats you like a trophy and flaunts you around causing men to lust after you
When you decide to move forward into a relationship with an unbeliever or lukewarm Christian one of the first things the enemy does is help you justify the relationship. Before long, you’ve fallen in love or what I like to say, lust.
When you finally realize you’ve made a mistake ending the relationship isn’t as easy as starting it. Whether it is because children are now involved or the thought of leaving frightens you the enemy fulfilled his true purpose which was to produce a stronghold over your love life.
To avoid all this drama, leave the unbelievers and lukewarm men alone. You’ve planted seeds in their lives by professing your faith, but allow God to handle the nurturing. Continue to pray for them to work out their salvation, but let God turn their hearts toward Him.
The sooner we Christian women understand this the better off we’ll be. Remember King Solomon had many wives that didn’t share his beliefs which played an integral part of his downfall 1 Kings 11.
Discerning a true Man of God
A good question to ask a professing man of God is, who does he love most? Unfortunately, even a Godly man may get tripped up on this question if asked on the spot, but the answer should always be God. Not his mother, not his father, nor his siblings or possible children, but God should always be his first and number love. The same should go for you Sisters in Christ.
I understand that society programmed us to love our families and even ourselves more than anything else, but let’s not ignore that greatest commandment given to us by Jesus Christ
37You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.
If a man of God takes Matthew 22:37-40 to heart especially verse 39 which says the second greatest commandment is to love others as you would love yourself then my sister you’re off to a great start. The two greatest commandments are the foundation of a successful courtship and possibly one day a happy, healthy, Christ filled marriage.
More importantly, our entire faith rests upon what Jesus Christ explained to the Pharisees in this passage. This segues into the qualities a man of God should possess.
A Godly Man
Understands the importance of the biblical family structure
Uplifts you instead of tears you down
Is a provider
Sensitive to your emotions
Encourages your spiritual growth
Doesn’t display you as an idol or trophy to others especially, men
Upstanding in his community
Loves even those who have wronged him
Is bold in sharing the gospel
Is a protector
Is faithful to both you and God
Bears the fruit of the spirit Galatians 5:22
Doesn’t fellowship with darkness
Has a strong prayer life
Considers you his equal and not his lesser
Doesn’t allow family members to overstep their boundaries in the marriage or courtship
Teaches his children the ways of the Lord
Divides scripture properly
Resists lust to include fornication
Means it when he says I love you
Is unashamed of being a Christian
Balances his spiritual life with his family responisibilities
These are just some of the characteristics of a Godly man. If he places God in the forefront of his life then the majority of the qualities listed above will come naturally. I played the fool twice when two men I dated professed to be Godly men –all I received in the end was a broken spirit and heart.
Even worse, I got engaged at 18 years old to a man who never read the bible with me, cheated and got someone pregnant while we were planning our wedding. That's what happens when you don't know your worth in Christ Jesus and fall in love after dating someone for only two weeks.
Instead of examining my ex's fruits I took their word for it only to find out neither one had a meaningful relationship with God. I was in love so it took years to finally break the strongholds.
My disobedience caused a lot of heartache, tears, and set backs in my spiritual development AND finances. I’m asking you my sisters not to travel down that road. Always examine the fruits of a professing man. It’s your God given right to do so Matthew 7:15-23.
But I’m Not Ready to Settle Down Yet
The concept of marriage was brought up throughout this entire post. Maybe you aren’t ready for marriage just yet and are content in your singlehood. Perhaps you enjoy the companionship of men, but haven’t found anyone you are truly interested in.
Regardless of which situation describes you best please keep this post in mind. You never know when God or Satan will send someone your way so it is best to be mentally and spiritually prepared and ready.
Lastly, the foundation to a healthy marriage begins with the Godly man you decide to make a covenant with before the Lord. Interesting enough, an eight year study conducted by Harvard-trained researcher Shaunti Feldhahn, debunks the notion that nearly 50% of Christian marriages end in divorce.
In the article, Research Challenges “50 Percent” Divorce Statistics for Christians (source), Feldhahn reveals that the number is closer to 15-20%. Although, the actual percentage of Christian divorces is much smaller then notoriously quoted, our percentage should be a big fat zero.
Despite statistics many Christian marriages on the brink of divorce survived because couples placed God back at #1 in their marriage. Now that’s some serious food for thought.
–Call to Action–
In the comments please share the biggest red flag brought to your attention while dating and did you hesitate ending the relationship upon realization.