Romance in Cyberspace = Lack of Faith?

The four of us get questions from time to time at Unlocking Femininity, really good questions by sincere individuals who are trying to live out what has been called “street-level theology.” We get them in response to articles we write, in emails we’re sent, and from conversations we have. And we love, love, LOVE interacting with our readers; YOU are why God put this ministry on our hearts a year and half ago.

A while back the four of us got to talking about some of these questions. Even though they all seem very individualized, often all of us are wondering the same things; we just have differing circumstances. In response to the growing number of questions we have received, we’re launching Questioning Femininity Mondays. Each week, we will take a question and endeavor to answer it biblically, sometimes individually, sometimes as a group.

We hope you enjoy this new aspect to Unlocking Femininity. If this idea has sparked a question you’ve been asking yourself, shoot us an email: unlockingfemininity@live.com. We’d love to search the Scriptures with you!

In response to You Can’t Marry Mr. Darcy!, this question was asked by Sage:

    “What do you think of online dating? Is it right to try to help ourselves? Do you think it matters to put ourselves out there and would that be a lack of faith?”

Sage,

Thank you so much for your question. It’s a common one. With the world of technology that we live in, it can be very tricky to navigate through some of these issues when Scripture doesn’t speak directly to them. It does however speak directly to the underlying principles, and that is where we look to find our answers.

When it comes to online dating, I believe there is balance that is required, a balance that, unless you’re tenaciously intentional, is very difficult to maintain. Being the pursuer is at the base level of any online dating site, and almost a requirement for success. This is problematic for women who see Scripture telling us that men should be pursuers (Read Gabby’s Me Tarzan, You Jane for more info on this). Another downside of online dating is the expenditure needed: namely, time and money. It can cost a lot of money, especially the sites that do a lot of the leg work for you. It can also take up a lot of your time and energy. If a woman rushes home from work and immediately hops online to see if anyone has digitally winked at her, she may have an issue. If a majority of her time is spent in front of the computer perusing the scads of prospects, to her I would say it is wrong. Her time could be better spent elsewhere.

Do I think it’s a sin to utilize an online dating service? I can’t say that. For starters, I am not God!!! (Aren’t we ALL glad about that!?!) I cannot tell you something is right or wrong when Scripture is mute on the subject. Also, I know personally a handful of couples that met, dated, and married because of their involvement with online dating sites. Was it wrong? No, I think God blessed and actually used those sites to bring them together.

Bottomline: I think you need to answer this one for yourself. I know where I myself personally stand on this issue, but what God has shown me about it, may not be what He does in your life regarding it (This principle ONLY works for those things that are not clearly pointed out in Scripture). In the end, you must study the Word, pray about it, continually evaluate where your heart is in the balance, and do what the Lord has given you a peace about doing.

Hope that answers your questions.
Sarah

– – – – –

Sage,

This is a great question for our modern culture – where as many as 1/3 of couples are meeting online through dating and social media sites. I think the issue is not as much about the “online” aspect of dating as it is the behavior when we are online. I unpack this more in my blog tomorrow, but often online dating quickly crosses normal dating boundaries. We single girls are reminded again and again to guard our hearts in relationships. As we go out on dates we are reminded to get to know the guy before becoming emotionally connected to him, etc. But online dating usually doesn’t get the same warnings. Moms worry more about their daughter’s personal safety, rather than whether or not they are guarding their heart.

But, as we all know, online dating is still dating and so there are some key Biblical principles that apply to any type of dating relationship, digital or otherwise. Does the way you date show your trust in God? Prov. 3:5-6. Do you talk, date or hang out (whatever the term is these days….) only with Christians? 2 Cor. 6:14. Is the dating relationship leading you to think, talk, flirt with, or do anything immoral? 1 Cor. 6:18. Is this dating relationship more important to you than the Lord? Or is the relationship taking up more of your time than you give the Lord? Matthew 10:37. Does your dating life – online or otherwise – glorify God? 1 Cor. 6:19-20.

I agree with Sarah that, as long as you are obedient to Scripture in these things, the choice of online dating is between you and the Holy Spirit.

~ Gabrielle

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2 thoughts on “Romance in Cyberspace = Lack of Faith?

  1. Great advice, Sarah and Gabrielle! I agree wholeheartedly with you both on this particular subject, and I really like this new section of your blog. I am a 30-year-old single and have no intention of online dating (based on my own convictions from the Lord about it). That being said, I too have friends who met on eharmony and are, to this day, happily married.

    I have a couple words of caution for women who are considering online dating, especially those who are a bit older like me and may be wondering how they are ever going to meet available Christian men (now that they are long past the college years and most of the people around them are married). First off, in online dating (especially sites that ask you to fill out very long, personal questionnaries), you are delving really deep really quickly. By this, you lose a lot of the mystery, romance, excitement, and careful unraveling of an in-person relationship. You may know a lot about someone, but that does not translate into truly knowing them. In person, you see them interact with others on good days and bad days, you most likely have mutual friends in common who can attest to their character, and you have accountability (as other people see you out and about with this gentleman).

    The people I know who have used online dating websites honorably have told spiritual mentors about their online relationship right from the start. They have spent a lot of time in prayer, asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance. They are willing to break off an online relationship if they discern from the Lord that it’s not meant to be. They have moved slowly in revealing a lot of their innermost thoughts and feelings. And they have maintained appropriate gender roles in the relationship- the man has pursued, the woman has responded.

    Ladies, never forget that God is perfectly capable of bringing your husband to you in His own timing and way. You do not need the internet to make this happen on your own time table. I’m not saying that every person who goes online for a relationship has a lack of faith, but it’s likely. Remember, the Lord knows you inside and out, and knows your future spouse inside and out. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Why would you want to give up a relationship built by our perfect God, for a relationship built by mere mortals? I’m not saying that this relationship is going to fail, or that it won’t make you happy, or that it won’t put the gospel on display. I just wonder if it’s settling for “good” or “great” when God has a “best” in mind for you.

    But, however one chooses to date, the bottom line is: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

    Great advice, Sarah and Gabrielle! I agree wholeheartedly with you both on this particular subject, and I really like this new section of your blog. I am a 30-year-old single and have no intention of online dating (based on my own convictions from the Lord about it). That being said, I too have friends who met on eharmony and are, to this day, happily married.

    I have a couple words of caution for women who are considering online dating, especially those who are a bit older like me and may be wondering how they are ever going to meet available Christian men (now that they are long past the college years and most of the people around them are married). First off, in online dating (especially sites that ask you to fill out very long, personal questionnaries), you are delving really deep really quickly. By this, you lose a lot of the mystery, romance, excitement, and careful unraveling of an in-person relationship. You may know a lot about someone, but that does not translate into truly knowing them. In person, you see them interact with others on good days and bad days, you most likely have mutual friends in common who can attest to their character, and you have accountability (as other people see you out and about with this gentleman).

    The people I know who have used online dating websites honorably have told spiritual mentors about their online relationship right from the start. They have spent a lot of time in prayer, asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance. They are willing to break off an online relationship if they discern from the Lord that it’s not meant to be. They have moved slowly in revealing a lot of their innermost thoughts and feelings. And they have maintained appropriate gender roles in the relationship- the man has pursued, the woman has responded.

    Ladies, never forget that God is perfectly capable of bringing your husband to you in His own timing and way. You do not need the internet to make this happen on your own time table. I’m not saying that every person who goes online for a relationship has a lack of faith, but it’s likely. Remember, the Lord knows you inside and out, and knows your future spouse inside and out. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Why would you want to give up a relationship built by our perfect God, for a relationship built by mere mortals? I’m not saying that this relationship is going to fail, or that it won’t make you happy, or that it won’t put the gospel on display. I just wonder if it’s settling for “good” or “great” when God has a “best” in mind for you.

    But, however one chooses to date, the bottom line is: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

  2. Thank you so much Ladies, Sarah and Gabrielle, and the 1 response Lindsay, for addressing this issue. I get so much pressure from married and single Christians especially telling me to try online since they find that I am not social enough to find a husband. And you’re so right I have done everything you described. It can cost close $160.00 for six months,though i have yet to pay, I sometimes rushed to my phone to see who checked out my profile, since its on my blackberry, to see who winked at me, or send me an email. I sometimes think like I’m running after him. But like you ladies said, prayer is the key, which I will continue to pray about it and whatever I do has to be filtered by the Holy Spirit. Thank you again for highlighting this issue.

    Sage

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