Here are 3 biblical principles that can help you a lot on a first date.
Principle 1: Be Free from Anxiety By Submitting to God’s Sovereignty
In a perfect world, a first date would be fun, easy, and stress free. But in the real world, a first date is often forced, hard, and stressful. And perhaps the worst part about a first date is the time you have thinking about the first date before it happens and after it’s over.
In the days leading up to the date, you worry:
- What will we talk about?
- Who should pay for everything?
- What are appropriate physical boundaries?
- What should I do if the date is going terrible?
- What should I do at the end if the date goes great?
After the date is over, you keep worrying:
- What if I was too boring?
- What if I talked too much or not enough?
- What if I was too touchy?
- Maybe I should have been clearer about how much I enjoyed the date?
- How long should I wait before contacting this person again?
These are valid questions; but in the big scheme of things, they really don’t matter that much. Why? Because if a relationship is truly meant to be, it won’t be hanging by a thread. Meaning, if God wants you with this person, your future together won’t be dependent on saying and doing the exact right thing at the exact right moment.
Of course your words and actions still have consequences. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be thoughtful to make a relationship work if you like this person. I’m just saying that as Christians, we must never give way to anxiety and worry. Why? Because this is a sign that we are not trusting God (Matthew 6:25-34).
God’s sovereign power to accomplish his will is not an excuse to sit and do nothing. Rather, God’s sovereign power to accomplish his will is the reason we can freely act, doing our best and leaving the results to him. As the Scriptures state:
- “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
- “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Psalm 115:3)
- “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
Principle 2: See if There Is a Connection Rather than Trying to Create a Connection
Dating should not be graded by whether or not someone likes you or not. Rather, dating should be used as a tool to discover God’s will about a relationship.
If you get someone to like you who God does not want you to date, you’re wasting your time. If you fall head over heels for someone God does not want you with, you’re just making things harder on yourself when the time comes to let them go. And besides that, it’s too much pressure to feel like it’s your job to create a great connection with this person.
Yes, you need to talk and ask good questions for a relationship connection to form. Yes, you want to put your best foot forward. But really, dating is less about creating a great connection and more about discovering if there is a great connection between you and this person. As Song of Solomon 8:4 (NIV) states, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” If a connection is there, you can arouse it and awaken it. But if it’s not there to begin with, you will never arouse it or awaken it.
One of the most consistent statements couples make when talking about their early stages are things like, “It was just so natural” or “It was like we knew each other all our lives” or “We just instantly clicked.” Sure, there are some exceptions where it takes time for a man and woman to really hit it off. But the principle remains that romance is less about forcing a connection to happen and more about discovering if a connection will happen.
So next time you go on a first date, don’t freak yourself out by putting so much pressure on yourself to make this person like you. Rather, go there with a mindset focused on discovery. If there’s a connection, great. Pursue that more. If there’s not a great connection. No problem. Just move on and thank God for the clarity he’s granted you.
Principle 3: Ask About Their Testimony
I believe a first date should be relatively laid back and casual. You don’t need to figure out if you two are going to be compatible partners for the rest of your life. However, what you should seek to know is if they are a Christian or not.
Ideally you want to know this information before going on a first date with them so you can avoid wasting your relationship energy. But even if you think they are a Christian, it’s best to still ask to hear their testimony once you go on a date. Many people say they are a Christian, but they don’t really know what that label means.
A real believer will be comfortable in explaining how they came to repent of sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their only Savior (1 Peter 3:15). If they don’t know what you mean when you ask to hear their testimony or if they just say random things about being a good person, this probably means they don’t understand the real gospel. I’m not saying you should theologically grill them or demand them to explain the way of salvation perfectly. But a real Christian has to actually understand the basics of the real gospel.
And of course be prepared to share your own testimony. Don’t get into subjects in your past that are too heavy for a first date. But share enough so this person knows you actually know Jesus. If they don’t ask to hear your testimony after you ask them to share their testimony, this is a red flag because it shows they don’t really care if you are a Christian or not.
You don’t need to know everything about someone to go on a second date. But as a Christian, there’s no point to going on dates with an unbeliever since we are called to avoid being unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14).
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