And not like my normal crazy – this time, the words I’m about to think, the ones you are about to read are going to be completely opposite of what our culture tells us. Are you ready for it?
The Gospel directly impacts your love life.
Did you realize that? It’s true. It’s why Colossians 2:6 tells us, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” The Gospel isn’t just about initially getting you into a right relationship with God; it’s also about keeping you there. The Gospel isn’t just about granting you eternal security, although that’s definitely a perk! And the Gospel most certainly isn’t fire insurance, which unfortunately is how a majority of Christians live their lives. Scripture says…As you’ve received Christ (aka, the Gospel), so walk in him…every day.
So, if the Gospel is for my every single day, it’s only natural that it’s going to make its way into my love life. In fact, I’m going to say something else that’s pretty crazy…pretty against our culture.
Did you realize that the way you date – or the way you go about getting a date –
says something about what you believe about God?
It’s true. The way you date or go about getting a date reveals who you believe God is. Allow me to illustrate by introducing you to four of my friends. …okay, so they’re not really “friends.” I made them up, but I can almost guarantee that either you can relate to some aspect of their character or you know someone who is exactly like them. I promise.
First, there’s Gwendalyn Get-A-Man. Gwendalyn sees herself as powerful and independent – the quintessential feminist. She has a get-it-done attitude. Gwendalyn uses her words and body language to hook her man. Taking her cues from Tamar, if a relationship isn’t falling into her life, Gwendalyn Get-A-Man makes it happen. After all, she’s a fixer! But what Gwendalyn doesn’t realize is that her behavior towards men is speaking loudly about who she believes God is. In her mind, what God can do…she can do better. And although she’d never admit it, deep down inside she sees dependence upon God as a sign of weakness. Because she secretly believes God is holding out on her when it comes to her love life, He could never really satisfy her. In fact, she’s pretty sure that while God may be able to bring someone good, godly, and kind into her life, more than likely…he’d be ugly, and she’d have to sacrifice looks for personality and character.
Bottom line for Gwendalyn Get-A-Man: she doesn’t trust God because she doesn’t know the character of God.
She doesn’t know that “no good thing does He withhold from one who walks upright” (Psalm 84:11). She doesn’t know that if God takes care of the tiniest details of the entire universe, then surely He’s working out His perfect (and simultaneously good) plan for her life (Luke 12; Psalm 139). Gwendalyn hasn’t quite learned that God has already given her everything that she could possibly need in her life when He gave His Son as a sacrifice for her sin (2 Peter 1:3). You see…Gwendalyn needs the Gospel to invade her love life.
The second woman I want to introduce to you is Marjorie Man-Eater. Marjorie toys with her relationships much like a cat with a mouse. To her, relationships are play-things and she swings from one to the next. Manipulative to the core, Marjorie plays the part of the good girl to the good guy and the bad girl to the bad boys. She learns her techniques from historical man-eaters like Delilah. To Marjorie, God is also just another thing with which to play. She thinks she can manipulate God just as easily as she manipulates others. Because of this ill-view of who God is, she tends to not be serious about her relationship with Him, and often finds herself on a roller coaster ride, spiritually speaking.
Bottom line for Marjorie Man-eater: she doesn’t realize that she may fool others, but she’ll never fool God.
Marjorie needs to realize that while she might be playing games with God, God is not playing games with her. Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” And even though she may think herself to be a pro when it comes to getting what she wants, God cannot be manipulated (Daniel 4:35). Psalm 115:3 reminds us who is the controller of our lives, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” Yes, Marjorie Man-eater needs the Gospel desperately to humble her heart.
The third woman is kind of the antithesis of the first two women. While Gwendalyn pursued men and Marjorie chewed them up and spit them out, Rachelle The Runaway evades them. For Rachelle, being in a relationship scares her to death, so she simply runs from them. She deems relationships as too high a risk. She loves the idea of ‘kissing dating goodbye’ because then she will never be vulnerable, never in danger of getting hurt or letting someone down. Rachelle the Runaway is locked in fear and it’s keeping her from lessons God may very well be wanting to teach her. In her thinking, God is all business and NO pleasure; He doesn’t really care if she is having fun in her life. Rachelle is fearful that if she gets into a relationship, God won’t protect her from getting her heart broken or that if her heart gets broken that God is powerful enough to heal it. So she stays locked away from what could be.
Bottom line for Rachelle the Runaway: she doesn’t believe God has her back because she’s never allowed herself to see Him work in that way.
Rachelle doesn’t realize that God is all about living life to the fullest within the context of biblical boundaries and principles. In fact, the reason why Christ came to earth was not to offer us a dull, boring life but an abundant one (John 10:10). Rachelle doesn’t see that by limiting this aspect of her life out of fear of rejection or hurt, she is limiting God’s moving in a way she never imagined. She needs to allow her dating life to be about her progression in her relationship with God. If God is her focus in dating – even if the relationship ends – it will never be a waste. Rachelle needs to understand that just like God had her back when it came to her salvation, He is a shield and refuge when it comes to her heart. Yes, Rachelle the Runaway needs the Gospel to illuminate her world.
The last woman I want to tell you about is Rebecca Relying-on-God. Rebecca has come to realize her need for the Gospel in every area of her life, including her love life. Rebecca’s story is found in Genesis 24. She wasn’t out chasing the boys; she was going about her normal routine doing what she normally did (Genesis 24:15). Rebecca wasn’t out flaunting her stuff – even though she clearly had the stuff to flaunt (Genesis 24:16). She was just going about doing what she supposed to be doing…unlike Gwendalyn. Rebecca was also kind, even though she wasn’t expecting anything in return for her kindness (Genesis 24:20, 25)…unlike Marjorie. Rebecca also didn’t run from opportunities to see God work (Genesis 24:58)…unlike Rachelle. Instead, Rebecca saw the clear hand of God answering the specific prayers of a servant and trusted that the Lord knew what He was doing.
So…which woman are you? Which one can you identify most with? And what does it reveal about who you think God is? Unfortunately for us, we don’t get to decide who God is – that’s His job (Exodus 3:14), and He has used His Word to define His own character. We have but to know Him, trust Him, and watch Him work…in bringing about our salvation and in orchestrating our dating life.
What does your dating life say about God?