I did 95 percent of my dating being a pastor. Try that introduction when someone wants to meet you. I was just not the pretty girl in the crowd. After our introduction that guy got the reality of this pretty girl in the crowd is also a pastor. Can I date a pastor? How do you date a pastor?
This means everyone I dated was a Christian. Or so they said. They all said they were a Christian, like over half of America says they are, but who they were as a Christian was not the kind of Christian I was.
To most of these guys credit, they tried to figure out how to date a pastor at least once. I give them brave props for that one. But now after being married to John I can’t even remember their names. I still want to give them brave props for trying.
As I learned, and I’m sure you know, anyone can say that they are a Christian. Anyone can do some of the behaviors expected of a Christian. Maybe you are one who says you are a Christian but don’t live your life by the principles of God’s word. Maybe you are also a pastor who is dating. Wherever you are on this spectrum, you need to find a match who has the same kind of faith as you.
Do you attend the same type of church? What are your expectations for going to church now as single people? Do you expect to attend church together? When you have children will you all be in the same church together? How deeply do you trust God? (The more one trusts God the more adventurous one’s faith life is going to be.) Does the Holy Spirit actively convict you when you struggle with sin? Do you live a faith that is dependent on God? Or is your first response to act independently and then pray to God to get you out of the mess that is now created? Is your faith seen through your character issues?
Even now as you are feeling in love are you excusing character flaws? Like love is going to conquer all? Because your feelings are so strong, are you believing that this relationship must be ordained by God? Because you two match up in so many areas that this relationship must be ordained by God?
Saying you are a Christian is not enough to make this a good match. Adding the words “ordained by God” does not magically make this a good match.
You need to care about your boy/girlfriend’s faith now. Married people rarely complain about the loss of one another’s looks (which always happens). But they always complain about their spouse’s lack of character issues. This irony is so real: girlfriends are quick to justify bad character in their boyfriends and try to explain it away while many wives will let everyone around them know how awful their husbands can be and how everyone should feel sorry for them for having to live with such a wreck of a human being. Yes, the same human being they justified when they were dating and in love. True, right?!
Spare all of the women’s coffees in your future by not complaining about the wreck of a human being your husband is because now you are going to make that ending. Stop justifying these important faith issues now when you are dating just so you can keep this relationship. This relationship is not a love for a lifetime. Date the kind of men or women who have a faith like you. Take the time to figure that one out between the two of you before feelings of love lead your relationship. Invite your team in to have a say in this. Hear them because they are for you. As someone on your team I don’t care how cute he/she is; how much of a match he/she appears to be; how connected emotionally the two of you are. If you do not have the same level of faith you are not a match. This is a for sure red light and trouble will come to you. I care too much about you to let this obvious trouble come to you.
Trust God (yes I know this is vulnerably brave) to bring a better match for you. Listen to your team too.
This was an actual first date that a grown teen of mine went on. (I’m a youth pastor, I have hundreds of graduated teens I’m still connected with.) She met her date on eHarmony. I’m for online dating. They are both Christian and both musicians and both play in worship bands for their churches. There is a lot lining up here. He also lives in another state. That is noted. For their first date he flew to visit her. His plan for their first date was to play music together, he on piano and she on her cello, at a nursing home playing the grand hymns for those residents. I saw the video. They had those residents in tears as they sang together on Amazing Grace. This was their first date. This is both of them being more than saying they are a Christian. They have a ways to go to figure out if they are a good match or not but this part they know about each other. They both have a faith that knows the grand hymns, a faith that serves others, and a faith that can be expressed through music. I’m judging that this part of their lives is compatible and will continue to grow together.