So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. —Matthew 7:12, NIV
How the Golden Rule ever got its name, I have no idea. A more straight-forward moniker would be the Hypocrisy Detector. Because that’s exactly what it does. It detects what you really want for yourself but are not eager to give to that special other in your life.
Answer these 15 questions to detect hypocrisy in yourself:
1. Would you want your other judging you first and foremost by your physical attributes?
2. Would you want your other judging you for the things in your past?
3. Would you want your other telling you what you want to hear instead of the truth?
4. Would you want your other to pressure you into making a commitment before you’re ready?
5. Would you want your other acting as if he or she had it all together in life?
6. Would you want your other lusting after others or mired in pornography?
7. Would you want someone to sexually seduce your other or play with his or her emotions?
8. Would you want your other to not care about your relationship with Jesus?
9. Would you want your other to make you think more of this life and little of heaven?
10. Would you want your other to hinder you from seeking God first in everything?
11. Would you want your other always relying on you to be the spiritually strong one?
12. Would you want your other to speak little of the things of God or to pray sparingly?
13. Would you want your other to always choose what was best for him or her — instead of you?
14. Would you want your other to pursue a relationship without the intention of marrying you?
15. Would you like it if your other showed little interest in your interests?
To crush hypocrisy and follow the Golden Rule of Dating, you must stop judging the other’s past. Stop just saying whatever you think he or she wants to hear. Stop trying to seduce, get physical with, or toy with the other’s emotions. Stop rushing the relationship. Stop trying to appear flawless. Stop lusting after them, fantasizing about them, or indulging yourself in pornography.
And start caring about the other’s relationship with Jesus. Start making a bigger deal of heaven. And, above all, start helping them seek God in everything.
Most of us interpret the Golden Rule as doing things that make the other feel good. But that’s not accurate. If it were, we’d simply say whatever made the other smile and make them think we were the best thing that had ever happened to them.
But the Golden Rule isn’t about making another feel good. It’s about looking at your own hypocrisy in order to help you choose what’s best for your other — and ultimately you.
Think of all the intangibles you wish your other would one day be to you (i.e. loving, pure, selfless). Then be those things to him or her. Think of all the intangibles you wish your other wouldn’t be to you. Then resolve not to be those things to him or her.
We are not the exception to our own standards. Instead, we should make ourselves servants to living out God’s standard to our special other.
— This article is based on Caleb Breakey’s new book, Dating Like Airplanes, which just released in January. You can order it here.