Christian Dating Part 4: Setting Some (Realistic) Standards

First of all, here’s another article I found by chance that has everything to do with what I’m saying. http://briantreadaway.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/5-things-to-look-for-when-dating-and-considering-a-mate/

We’ve talked about all the pre-dating stuff: getting a good relationship with God and yourself, as well as dating with purpose. Doing these things will result in you having some good standards. You need standards when dating. If not, you end up settling for something you don’t really want. Is that how you want to describe your relationship? “Good enough?”

I don’t have to nail this principle down very hard; everybody knows it’s good to have standards in a relationship, or else you’ll end up with the lowest society has to offer. Now I know what people deem “low” varies, but no matter our religion, we can all agree that some people are bad news (i.e. obvious rapists, gold diggers, and the entire cast of Jersey Shore). The question, then, is which standards to have.

Source: Google

Most too-high standards are simply too specific. I want a girl who likes horses. Common interest is a good thing. I want a girl who owns a ranch. Try again, champ.

If you get too picky, you’re clearly just dating for your own interest. On top of that, you’re leaving no room for God to decide who is good and who is not. Don’t get caught up in the little details.

However, some things must not bend, so here is a list of a few basic standards that I believe are Godly. Many men and women fit these and they’re well worth waiting for. I’m sure I haven’t thought of everything, so if you think of others, please add them in the comments!

Quick note! NOBODY IS PERFECT. Even in each of these standards, people will fail. We’re looking for a general pattern, not a flawless deity. That would be Jesus, and I don’t think he’s looking.

A STRONG WALK WITH GOD. God is the most important thing. If they don’t have a proven walk with Jesus, they won’t serve Him first. Let their faith be proud and proven; you’re not a Christian just because you go to church on Easter and Christmas.

INDEPENDENCELadies, how many of you want to marry the guy living in his mom’s basement? Guys, how many of you want to marry the girl whose daddy pays all her bills? That’s right, none of you. As I said in part two of this series, you need to be a strong “ME” before you can be a strong “WE.” Someone who isn’t standing on their own two legs can’t possibly walk in tandem with one who is.

Now listen, stuff happens. People genuinely fall on hard times, especially nowadays. But they cannot lean on you. A good man or woman will acknowledge their state, make active efforts to get out, and rely on God to help them up, not you.

MATURITY. People are on their best behavior when they’re first dating. You really think they’re going to grow up if you wait around?

GOING PLACES. I know a girl I would recommend as a fine catch for any good man. I also know a guy I would NOT recommend to any good girl. The difference? Her life is moving forward. Even though she doesn’t always know where she’s going, she’s still pressing onward, over every obstacle. He, on the other hand, has hit a dead end and is making no efforts to rise above. There is no future for him right now. No woman can give him that.

PUSHES YOU. A good boyfriend or girlfriend will try to push you to the maximum of yourself. They don’t try to change you per se, but they’re always trying to bolster you onward and upward. They want you to have a great relationship with God. They want you to have confidence. They want you to take healthy risks. They don’t want to MAKE you grow like a parent, but they do ENCOURAGE you to grow, like an equal.

ABILITY TO BE OPEN AND INTIMATE. You won’t learn everything about them from the get go, but if you make yourself trustworthy, they should be able to tell your about themselves with no fear. Ladies, a guy doesn’t have to tell you about his every pain and hang-up until he’s ready. But if he’s afraid to even mention his family? Something is amiss.

ABILITY TO RECEIVE OPENNESS AND INTIMACY. If they don’t listen, they probably don’t care. On top of that, they need to be a safe place. If you’re going to give your heart, don’t just give it to anybody; make sure they know how to keep it.

SIMILAR GOALS AND DREAMS. Where do you want to be in a few years? In a few months? Does this person want to be there, too? Are you walking in the same direction?

CHEMISTRY. Despite what the world thinks, Christian relationships are not dull and cold. There needs to be a spark between you. There are ways to foster and reignite a lost spark, but if there’s nothing to begin with, they’re only a friend. If you date someone who is only a friend, you miss out on the passion of a relationship.

ABILITY TO SHOW AFFECTION. Some people are extremely shy, and I’m not saying make out at Denny’s. I’m simply saying they should never be ashamed of you.

PERSONAL STUFF. This is where only you can decide what you want. Every person is different and a world of desires cannot be summed up here. It’s okay to want a guy who likes dogs, or a girl who enjoys making fun of cheesy movies, or somebody who likes the Beatles as much as you do. Similarities in hobbies, tastes, and recreation are good and healthy. However, this is the area that requires the most flexibility. Most of these things are not worth getting in the way of love.

My final word of advice is to let God set your standards. He loves you and cares so deeply about you that he will not let you have anybody other than someone He personally approves. And if God approves, you know they’re good to go.

If you know any others, fill up the comments!

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