Christian Dating, Waiting, and Actually Following the Lord

waiting Christian dating

Proverbs 3:5-6

After watching my YouTube video, “Should a Christian Girl Pursue a Guy?” one AGW subscriber reached out for my advice about a guy she liked. After reading her question and thinking about the details she shared, I recommended that she invite this guy she liked to go out with her to do something fun and casual together. She didn’t need to profess her love, but by sending him an invitation she could let him know she was interested.

Well, the guy respectfully declined. However, she wrote back and said, “Thanks Mark, just wanted to update you. I did it and was happy I did. He was kind and said thanks for my sweet note but he is currently interested in someone else. He thanked me for my honesty. It felt good to take a role in dating instead of always waiting.”

I really respect this girl’s perspective because so many Christian singles have become passive victims in the dating game. They want a godly relationship for good reasons, but they feel the only thing they are supposed to do is trust God and just wait.

Trusting God is always right, but “just waiting” is only sometimes right. So let’s discuss when waiting is good and bad when it comes to Christian dating.

Wait to Start Dating If You Need to Mature in the Lord

Many times a Christian single will need a period of time to get their heart and mind right with God. To do this, they feel God is leading them to not date for a season of time. This season will be used to focus solely on the Lord and to mature in certain areas that this individual may need. Seasons like this are also helpful to younger Christians who know they are not ready to get married.

Waiting to date is a very wise thing to do when you know you are not mature enough for a serious relationship that could lead to marriage. However, seasons like this should be for a specific amount of time and not just an endless season of rejecting all feelings about the opposite sex (unless this person feels led to live a life of singleness). Having feelings for someone of the opposite sex is not a sign you are discontent with God unless you are replacing your desire for God with a desire for a person. Romantic feelings and attraction can certainly lead to sin, but these feelings can also lead to a healthy Christian relationship or marriage.

Therefore you should only wait to start dating when there is a specific purpose and need for this season. If you are mature and ready to start dating, there are no extra spiritual points you get for sitting around and doing nothing to actually get into a relationship.

Wait to Date Until You Meet Someone with Potential

Perhaps you are personally ready to start dating and you want to be more proactive in the process, but there are no good candidates to actually pursue. In cases like this you should wait to date.

Don’t force dating. If there is no one around that you genuinely like or no one around you seems to have the qualities of a godly spouse, don’t waste your time by dating people of low caliber or that you really are not that interested in. When you date the wrong types of people, you actually slow down the process of meeting a good possible spouse because you are too busy wasting your time and emotional energy on guys or girls who are not going to pan out in the long-run.

So Christian singles should wait to date if there is no one around worth dating.

Don’t Wait to Be Found

Here’s my main caution when it comes to the idea of Christian singles waiting for God to bring the right person into their life: Don’t wait to be found.

Of course you should be relying on God to bless your search for a spouse. I really do believe God plans who we will marry. But when you believe the only way God will bring about this union is by you “just waiting” and relying on the actions of “someone out there” to see you, like you, pursue you, get to know you, ask you out, date you, then make you fully comfortable that they want to marry you, then you are setting yourself up for a long wait.

I feel women struggle with this more because the pastor usually pounds the pulpit preaching that only a guy should pursue a girl. I agree that a husband should lead his wife, but for a girl to initiate a conversation or to invite a guy out to show him that she likes him is not a sin and can be a very helpful thing to do.

Christian men, too, can sometimes have a great understanding of trusting the sovereignty of God but then they can be very immature in their application of this doctrine. God’s power is not a reason to do nothing. God’s power is the reason we can step out in faith and follow him as he leads us to actually make decisions in our pursuit of good things, like marriage.

If we are telling all the Christian singles to wait, we are creating a flawed system. If everyone is praying and trusting God but doing nothing to actively engage the opposite sex, is it any wonder why so many Christians remain single? If no one is being active then it’s no surprise there are so many people sitting at home alone when they wish they were not.

Somebody has to make a move! Do you know who that person should be? You – the person who wants to be in a relationship. If you want to be in a relationship it is your responsibility to do more than “just wait.” I’m not saying you stop trusting God and try to take control of everything. But trusting God results in actions too. You may need to wait for a period of time, but when an opportunity comes you need to act. We all need to take responsibility for our own desires and stop relying on other people to hopefully fulfill what we want to accomplish in our lives.

It works especially nicely when a guy and a girl both stop playing games and start communicating their feelings. You don’t have to write the person a long letter or profess your undying devotion. But there are practical ways of letting someone know you would like to get to know him or her more. Invite them out to dinner. Invite them to a family party. Ask them if they are dating anyone and then if they say no ask them out to coffee.  They will get the picture. If they are interested in getting to know you too, they will respond. If they are not interested, they will communicate that somehow and then you can move on and stop wondering what might or might not happen between the two of you.

Don’t Wait for Dreams, Visions, and Signs in the Sky

Another bad reason to wait is when you want an abundance of confirmation to make a small decision. Waiting on the Lord for an answer and seeking confirmation from God on what he wants you to do is very wise and should be done. But the level of confirmation you seek should correspond to the level of importance of the decision you need to make.

If you barely know a girl at church but you would like to take her out to coffee to see where things might lead, you don’t have to fast about that decision. Why? Because whether she says “yes” or “no” is not that big of deal. If you go out to coffee and then go on a date because it seems to be a good connection, great. But stay in reality, you’re not getting married. And if coffee turns into nothing and you never speak again, great, you barely know that person and it is not a big deal. Now if you are considering getting engaged to someone, fasting and deeper meditation on that decision would be very appropriate.

You just don’t want to wait to date because you have not received a dream, vision, or supernatural sign in the sky confirming a decision you need to make that is not overly important. Many times Christian singles have been taught the importance of marriage so well that they become paralyzed in pursuing it. People wait for signs in the sky when they fear making a mistake. Fear is never a good ingredient when it comes to relationships.

So follow God, pray, consult his word, and seek the Holy Spirit’s direction in all things; just make sure you are not asking for too much confirmation for decisions that, in the big scheme of things, are not life and death decisions.

Don’t Wait for God to Do What You Ask. Start Doing What He Asks You to Do

In summary, maybe you are not waiting on God. Maybe God is waiting on you. Waiting is helpful when you know you are not ready to date or if there is no one around to date. But waiting as a way of finding a spouse is illogical. Patience, of course. Wisdom, absolutely. But “just waiting” is not how relationships work. It takes two, so if you are not playing your part in the search maybe you will never be found.

Waiting on the Lord is a biblical truth, but waiting on the Lord does not contradict other biblical truths like working hard and using wisdom in our decisions, which includes how we approach Christian dating and relationships.