Skip to comments.Is Online Dating Biblical?
Posted on 06/01/2013 10:37:46 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Online dating is one of those subjects that Christians enjoy debating. In one camp, there are some who believe looking for love online betrays a lack of faith in God's provision of a spouse. In their view, the seemingly endless lists of online profiles creates a superficial consumer mentality that undermines the sacrificial nature of Christ-centered love.
The other side counters that online dating is merely a tool God can use to bring two people together users don't place their faith in the matchmaking site, but in the Lord. They point to their neighbor/sister/uncle/friend that met his/her spouse online and is enjoying a healthy, happy marriage. What can be wrong with that?
The arguments on both sides have merit. Like many things, online dating isn't inherently evil or good. Sometimes things are less about what we do than about the heart we do it with. More often than not, the Bible offers general principles over specifics. We can then take these big ideas and apply them to our everyday lives and the choices we make. But that process requires wisdom, discernment and guidance.
Focus' online community for young adults, Boundless, seeks to help singles navigate these issues. Through Boundless, Focus encourages intentional living and offers resources that motivate young adults to know their worth in Christ as individuals and to be open to the opportunities God may have for them.
For some in the Boundless community, this may lead them to trust God to bring a spouse through church, work, or a blind date set up through mutual friends. For others, it may involve signing up to an online dating site and seeing if God uses that. Boundless has even joined forces with online dating service ChristianCafe.com to help connect marriage-minded Christian singles and provide them with Bible-based relationship advice.
But then what?
What if a single man or woman signs up to ChristianCafe.com and meets someone? Where do they go from there? You can't stay online forever, so how does a potential couple make the jump from the virtual world to the "real world"?
To help answer this question, I'm going to share some tips from one of my female colleagues. She met her husband online and has good insight on making the transition from being matched in a dating service to meeting in-person. (You can read their complete story in this Boundless post.)
1. Meet in-person as soon as you can.
Think of online dating as merely a tool to meet new people. My husband and I know of various other Christian couples who met online and are now married. Common to all of us was that we transitioned from the online world to the "real world" as soon as we could.There's a temptation when meeting online to keeping it there because it's so "safe." You can share at a heart-level, showing only the best of yourself and hiding what's not as flattering. That's why meeting in person sooner rather than later is wise. It gives you a chance to get to know the person in the real world. It's important to see for yourself how this person treats others, deals with everyday frustrations and carries him/herself. Scheduling the in-person meeting before you develop serious feelings can help you make wise decisions on whether this is a relationship you want to continue exploring or not.
2. Common sense is as important online as it is in the "real world."
Be safe. Meeting on a Christian dating site doesn't automatically mean the person you're communicating with is who they say they are. When you schedule that first in-person meeting, do it in a public area. Let your friends and/or family know what you're doing.
3. Quickly bring this person into your community and get to know theirs. This gives you much-needed context to making sure this person is who they say they are.
When my husband and I first met in person, I had someone I trusted (an older male) come with me and help me make sure this "virtual guy" was legit. I also made sure he met some of my trusted friends early on so they could give me input. That he was willing to be vetted helped me realize his intentions were sincere and his heart humble.
That he quickly made sure I met his friends and family helped me know his intentions were serious.
4. It's OK if the initial meeting is a bit awkward at first.
I'm not going to lie I felt a bit self-conscious and shy that first day I hung out with The Man Who Would Become My Husband. It was strange to me that this guy knew how my day at work yesterday had gone, and yet I didn't know if his eyes crinkled up when he smiled or if he gestured a lot when he talked. (In case you're wondering, by the way, they do and he does.)
He was patient for me to come out of my shell a bit, and thank God I was able to overcome any foolish notions I had that our meeting would be perfect out of the box. We learned that it's worth working for things that matter.
5. In all things, trust God and follow His lead.
In the end, meeting online is something we don't even think about now. God used online dating to get us together, but, like couples who meet in a more conventional manner, we had to pray, trust and obey throughout every step of the dating and engagement journey.
We've now been married for four-and-a-half years and we have two precious kids. There's no doubt in our minds that God, not our dating site, was our ultimate matchmaker.
If you or someone you know is interested in trying out ChristianCafe.com, you can take advantage of a special offer through Boundless by using this link. Before you do, consider reading through Boundless' article on the 10 online dating "don'ts" for men and women.
But let me hear from you. Have you ever tried online dating? How did it go? I'd love to hear your story.
-- Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S.
He works in emysterious ways.
As with most things, it depends on the hearts of the actors.
When my husband and I first met in person, I had someone I trusted (an older male) come with me and help me make sure this "virtual guy" was legit. I also made sure he met some of my trusted friends early on so they could give me input. That he was willing to be vetted helped me realize his intentions were sincere and his heart humble.???
Is dating Biblical?
Well, going door to door with a goat hasn’t worked so far.
That’s the real question.
To help answer this question, I'm going to share some tips from one of my female colleagues.
But still, I am so grateful to Match.com for having brought her into my life to be my angel during the time she had left. I thought that medicine and all the love and care I had to give her would keep her alive for many years, but in the end it was like the Garth Brooks song: "I could have missed the pain, but I'da had to miss the dance."
People who say that you should trust God to bring you a mate instead of going online remind me of the old joke:
Old Mrs. Watkins awoke one spring morning to find that the river had flooded the entire first floor of her house. Looking out of her window, she saw that the water was still rising. Two men passing by on a rowboat shouted up an invitation to row to safety with them. No, thank you, Mrs. Watkins replied. The Lord will provide. The men shrugged and rowed on.
By evening, the water level forced Mrs. Watkins to climb on top of the roof for safety. She was spotted by a man in a motorboat, who offered to pick her up. Dont trouble yourself, she told him. The Lord will provide.
Pretty soon, Mrs. Watkins had to seek refuge atop the chimney. When a Red Cross cutter came by on patrol, she waved it on, shouting, The Lord will provide. So the boat left, the water rose and the old woman drowned.
Dripping wet and thoroughly annoyed, she came through the pearly gates and demande d to speak to God. What happened? she cried. For cryin out loud, lady, God said, I sent three boats!
“Well, going door to door with a goat hasnt worked so far.”
Maybe you need a better goat.
“Is Online Dating Biblical?”
It wasn’t very popular then — all they had was dial-up.
I had not thought of in-line matchmaking as being unbiblical. But I see now how one could argue that point. I makes me think of Reagan’s old line “trust but verify” before dating.
In Genesis, Isaac was all depressed over the death of his mother. Abraham decided that his son needed a wife. So he sent a servant back to the land that he and Sarah had come from to find a suitable wife for Isaac.
The servant took an entire train of camels loaded down with riches, found a relative of Sarah’s named Rachel, and bought her from her Father to be Isaac’s wife.
If “dating” isn’t Biblical, then should we all just have our parents buy us a spouse the way Abraham did for Isaac? (And a second cousin at that.)
He works in emysterious ways.Indeed He does. How else would I---after (pardon the pun) God only knows how many years' trial and error---have found the love of my life online . . . when we both lived only about seven miles apart in Las Vegas?
p.s. We've been together for four years and three months since . . .
Fornication is, and an overwhelming majority (plurality) of Americans indulge in, and condone it. The Bible is as opposed against it as it is against homosexuality.
Fornication = sex before marriage.
Going to its middle eastern cultural roots, even dating wouldn’t be Biblical.
Probably better than signing up to be a harem girl like Esther did
Little too much blood in the elk photo but she dropped it with one shot from her 7mm08 at about 150 yards. 5x5
I met my wife on JDate: basically match.com for Red Sea pedestrians.
In the old days there was a Shidduch, or matchmaker.
Naturally, however, we cut out the middleman.
Just because two people met at church doesn’t mean they are a good match. Churchgoers divorce at a comparable rate to non-churchgoers. Online dating done wisely can’t be too bad and is probably worth considering.