Dating is one of the most powerful activities of our lives. Men and women may live similar lives, but we have different perspectives on the meaning of our experiences and the dynamics of our relationships. When we get together, we learn from each other, irritate each other, inspire each other and challenge each other to become better people.
At the same time, there is a ferocious attraction between men and women that initiates strong temptations, soaring expectations and scenarios of hope that can quickly turn into disappointment. As a result, every date you go on will either raise your confidence or make you more self-conscious.
The Good, The Bad & The Uncomfortable
In the past few months, I have heard individuals make the following comments when it comes to dating:
- “I had the best time last night. The time passed so fast, I couldn’t believe it was over so quickly.”
- “I am tired of getting hurt.”
- “I wish I had just agreed to coffee rather than dinner. I still can’t believe he burped half way through the meal and said he was proud of it.”
- “She looked stunning when I picked her up for our date, but I couldn’t get a word in. She talked incessantly about things that don’t really matter.”
- “I hope we get together again because that was one of the greatest discussions I have ever had with anyone.”
- “I think I may have met my soul mate.”
- “I think I have met the reason people stop dating.”
Anything in life that leads to responses as powerful as these requires greater skill than mediocre pursuits. Driving a car requires more skill than riding a bike. Learning to use a computer requires more skill than wearing a watch. In the same way, successful dating takes skill.
To raise your skill level when it comes to dating, you need to ask yourself the right questions. These following three questions based on Philippians 2:3-10 will help you steer any date in a strong, healthy direction.
1. Would I Act The Same Way If Jesus Was Sitting Next To Us?
Philippians 2:5 says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Jesus is the master of love and encouragement. He is intensely interested in people and committed to give people an abundant life. Actively picturing Jesus on your dates will add adventure and discipline to all your activities.
2. Will The Other Person Feel More Important After Spending Time With Me?
Philippians 2:3-4 challenges us to love like Jesus as we “value others above ourselves.” When your dating priority is the well-being of the person you are spending time with, you will naturally avoid the driving desire to get your needs met first. Focusing on our needs transforms dating into a consumer activity rather than an encouraging investment in the lives of others. Anyone who feels more important after spending time with you will likely want to spend more time with you.
3. Would I Be Glad If Our Interactions Were Broadcast?
Philippians 2:9-10 records God’s reaction of broadcasting his son’s accomplishments so that “every knee should bow and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.” God does this because he is proud of his son and wants others to enter into his life. He is proud of you also and would love to broadcast the way you live and especially the way you treat others. When you picture that your date might become the news story of the day, it helps you make choices that are healthy and highly effective.
When you’re dating, you certainly can’t guarantee that you will never be disappointed or find yourself in awkward circumstances. However, you can have great confidence in the way dating will enhance your life if you actively ask these three guiding questions of Philippians 2.
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