Hello, Laura. Thank you so much for sharing honest relatioship truth with us.
I was wondering about your opinion about online church dating sites.
Hey! Thanks for your message! Great question! Online dating - "dating" specifically - is not a biblical issue. However, widsom is. God's people seeking wisdom that He can give in our relationships - THAT is a Biblical issue. SO - having said that - let's hit this issue together seeking wisdom from the word of God.
Allow me to grab some Scripture for us - to guide our thinking. Ready...(I'll try not to overload you...but shewweeee there's a lot on wisdom!)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
"Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom , and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this; Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." Proverbs 4:5-7
"I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers." Proverbs 4:11-14
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways." Proverbs 4:23-26
If you are reading these verses and you are thinking, that I am about to unload about how you should not meet someone online for the purpose of pursuing a spouse... I'd like you to go back again and with an open heart and an open mind read the verses for the purpose for which I am sharing them...WE NEED WISDOM. And wisdom for your paths - for your life - comes from God. And He will give it. I love that I get to encourage you to go to Him. I love that you allow me to share His truth. Thank you. It is a privilege I do not take lightly. So - with God's Word I am absolutely inserting my 40 year-old insight with this culture and dating and our desire to seek wisdom and glorify God...but YOU - one on one with the Father - His Word to YOU... there is nothing more valuable than that. Please don't just read this and think this response is your guide to dating success. God is your guide for life. He will show you the way YOU should go...and it may not be like the way your sisters are going - at all.
Online match making is a lot like facebook. It's a part of our culture now - a very relied upon aspect of our culture - emailing and texting included. It's a connection - BUT - the correct interpretation of who that person is on the other end of an unseen wire - can be lost. The better you know the author of the words you are reading, the better you can interpret them. True? If you have heard me speak...can you hear my voice? I'll bet my husband could. I'll bet he could tell you the expression on my face as I type...whether I'm wearing my glasses and if there is a glass of coke sitting beside the keyboard. You see what I'm saying? Wisdom. Who is it you are really connected to? Takes time. Takes wisdom - wise relationship building. Wow. Couldn't we apply that to reading the Bible, too? Absolutely. The better we know the Author - the more clearly we understand His Word...and our life in Him...Ahhh so good!
ANYWAY...Online dating is a virtual connection, so we must proceed with caution and MUCH wisdom. Do careful investigating concerning the online site you would choose to give your information to - and from which you would receive information about someone else. Some Christian dating sites provide a church contact phone number and email so that you can correspond with someone who personally knows the individual that you might be interested in. It's so critical to know who this person is, their roots, their reputation, the validity of their personal description - way before you agree to meet in person. And once their identity is established as true and trustworthy - any meetings should be public. Private get-togethers are always a risk...and I'm not just talking about your life - I'm talking about your purity. Right? You with me? So much to consider before you actually think you may have found someone that you want a lasting relationship with! And so many of the pearls of wisdom you must gather cannot be fully grasped online. Is he a believer - authentically pursuing a relationship with Christ - seeking to glorify God and love others selflessly... Do you have chemistry? Who are his friends? What does he do for fun? How about his family? What's his story with mom, dad, siblings? How 'bout your friends - what do they think of him? What do they think of the two of you together... If this is starting to sound like "real life" dating scearios - that's because wisdom and caution are critical no matter how you meet. I mean - yes! single women do have some virtual concerns. You gals don't want to connect yourself to a phsycho! Wait! that's "real life" dating too! See - it's ALL about WISDOM! Check out Wes's message from March 15th..."The Difference in Relationships.
1. View the relationship - your intentions for the pursuit of it - through the lens of Scripture. Just that may stop you in your tracks...or typing.
2. Pray and seek God (LISTEN to Him) as you move forward or not.
3. Invite godly accountability and counsel into your life. I've heard success stories - and I've heard the nightmares of online dating...All of my experiences (3 total) - a joke...one to tell another time. Kemper and I met in the traditional way. Someone introduced us. Go figure.
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to CONNECT with you! I hope you hear me...hear my heart. But more than that - I hope you'll seek God and hear His. Pray for wisdom. God gives it - without reproach! "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." James 3:17. Ask God. He will not deny you - one. good. thing.