Good morning, ready to read another part of the Dating devotional with me? Let’s do this!
Ah, dating. The excitement in feeling that initial rush of attraction. The hopeful anticipation that your crushcould like you back. The exhilaration of discovering the feeling is mutual! It’s thrilling to picture happily ever after when we’re caught up in the initial bliss of knowing that someone likes us back. But relationships are always more complicated than we assume they will be. We are all imperfect people wanting to be loved.
With that being said—how do you know if you should keep dating your boyfriend or girlfriend?
Start by considering how God loves you. After all, He did create love, romance, relationships, marriage, and sex. He’s pretty intentional in His design of romantic love. Check out 1 Corinthians 13. It lays out exactly how God loves you. Now, a human being will always fall short of loving you perfectly (because, sin). We will always be let down by less than godly love, but the person you’re dating should be humbly and passionately working to love you in the ways described.
So, for example, you may want to keep dating someone if they:
- Speak kindly about you when you’re not around
- Treat your server with respect at dinner
- Sit with you in church and discuss the sermon with you on the drive home
- Value you far beyond your physical appearance
- Patiently listen to your long-winded roommate’s story of waiting at the DMV
- Regularly offer their seat to little old ladies on the subway
However, you might not want to keep dating someone if they:
- Order the most expensive thing on the menu and then suggest splitting the bill down the middle when all you ordered was a salad
- Take credit for a witty comment you said earlier when it was just the two of you
- Think the free bottomless cup of coffee is the best part of a worship service
- Regularly cut people off in traffic
- Act more interested in body contact than eye contact
- Seem to take a little too much pleasure in the heartbreak of reality show contestants
Also, relationships work both ways. So ask yourself, “Am I loving in the patient, kind, not self-seeking, not easily angered sort of way?” Assuming you decide to keep dating, it only makes sense the best way to keep them is to love them like God loves them.
If you find yourself in a dating relationship that lines up nicely with what the Bible says about love, Ephesians 5 gives a great picture of how a dating relationship should progress to marriage. C’mon, it’s a short passage. Give it a read.
You are worthy of being loved well. God loves you well. As you continue dating, know that God loved you first, and that He wants to be involved in your relationships.
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT