Anatomy of a Great (Christian) Date
“What is it like to date a strong Christian man? I truly have no idea. I am honestly asking for feedback from women who have dated a Godly man and men who are,” a friend recently asked on a public forum.
Just as no two women are alike, no two Christian men are alike. God created each of us uniquely for a specific purpose. Since any couple will consist of two completely different individuals with distinct personalities and wills, no person’s experience will be the same. In addition, every person goes through highs and lows in their relationship with God and other people. In any long-term relationship, there will be an ebb and flow of spiritual harmony between both people. However, since I know the person who asked this question, and I know what her heart longs to know, I will rephrase her question and then attempt to answer it.
How can I truly know if a man is a safe for me to date and eventually fall in love with?
Just because he says he is a Christian, doesn’t mean that he is. Many years ago, there was a funny television commercial in which a woman was dating a man who claimed to be a French model. Her friend warned her not to believe everything she sees on the internet. When her date arrived, clearly not appearing to be a French model, the woman gave a smug grin and walked away with the impostor. Not everyone is who they say they are, and Jesus warned us to look for spiritual fruits when determining whether someone truly has a relationship with Christ. Matthew 7:15-18 says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” Beware of any person who claims to be a Christian, but who lives a life that is producing “bad” fruit. During the early stages of dating, pretend that you can’t hear anything the other person is saying about themselves, and watch only what they are doing. It is amazing what you will see (both good and bad) when you remove the spoken words.
Christians are not all the same. Christians arrive at their first date at all different maturity levels. In addition, Christians mature at completely different rates. Mike went to church with his family as a child and teenager, but it wasn’t until a friend in college shared the Gospel with him that he truly received Christ into his heart. The moment that Mike accepted Jesus, he never looked back, and his commitment to Christ rarely, if ever, wavered. I accepted Christ into my heart as a child, but matured in my faith very slowly. Although I went to church and loved God, I struggled to bring all aspects of my life into alignment with God’s word well into my adult years. When dating, it’s valuable to cautiously consider the spiritual maturity of the person you are interested in. Mike and I both have experience with being unequally yoked in marriage. The effects of this unbalance are severe and far-reaching, even impacting your future children.
A Christian man will not negatively impact your relationship with God. One very strong indicator that a man (or woman) has a strong faith is that his relationship with you does not hinder your relationship with God. This goes beyond him simply supporting you while you go to church and praying with you. Your relationship with this person and the activities that you engage in together can either positively or negatively impact your relationship with God and your prayer life. Going to bars, nightclubs, and worldly movies can draw you closer to the world and away from God. A man who desires to engage in mostly these activities on dates may not be the best choice for a woman who wants to grow in her faith. If you consistently engage in these activities with your new love interest, it might be time for both of you to examine your relationships with God.
And since my friend originally asked what it was like to date a strong Christian man, I will close this post with an excerpt from our date document. This excerpt is Mike’s summary of our third date. You can gain a unique perspective of not only what we did, where we went, and what a lovely date looks like, but also what was going through the mind of a wonderful, Christian man.
In Mike’s Words:
Prior to this date, Julie had asked me whether I would pick her up at her home. I was happy that she asked me to pick her up. I saw it as a good step forward in our relationship. I ordered flowers and picked them up on the way. I had to call around to find a florist that would be open on Sunday. Then, I talked with the floral designer to describe the flowers I wanted. I wanted red, as much red as possible since it’s Julie’s favorite color. I had also ordered some other gifts for Julie (personalized pen with her name, Mark Twain quotes book, Hebrews Bible study book). I wrapped a copy of the book I’d written to bring Julie since she had requested one. I also wanted to give some gifts to her children since I was going to pick Julie up at her home. I asked Julie what her children would like. I gave the boys Aquaman action figures, and I gave her daughter a model dolphin.
After arriving at Julie’s home, I gave the roses to her and the gifts to her children. Her children were very friendly. Then, Julie and I departed. We drove to the Delnor Wiggins State Park in Naples. We went for a walk along the beach, stopping at a less crowded area. We stretched out a mat and sat on it. Being only date 3, we sat far apart and didn’t touch. We didn’t hold hands while sitting or while walking on the beach even though I had secretly wanted to hold her hand. However, I didn’t want to scare her away by holding hands too early. We talked and then watched the sunset. After it started getting darker, we picked up the mat and returned to the car.
Julie said that her children would still be awake so we should not return to her place. So, we went the grocery store to pick up a few items. Prior to this date, Julie had told me that she needed to tell me something and that she wanted to tell me in person. She said that it would probably make me want to stop dating her. She shared something very personal with me that she had not shared with many other people. I think she expected me to be upset about it and end the date. I felt the opposite. It made me see how sincere, open, honest, and transparent she is. I think that good communication is vital to a successful relationship, so I saw her sharing this with me as a positive thing for our relationship. It also showed that she trusted me. I wanted to hug her. I gave her the Proverbs 31 document I’d been carrying. It had Proverbs 31:10-31 on it with the qualities of a noble woman highlighted in yellow and those that Julie matched highlighted in green. All the qualities were highlighted in green because Julie met all of them. I shared this with her and told her that she is a treasure and of great value. Then, I gave her the gift bag with the gifts, and she opened them. The pen was personalized with her name. I told her that it was engraved with the name of a great writer. Julie really is a great writer, and I want to encourage her in her writing. I think she could impact many lives with her writing. I was also glad that she seemed happy about receiving the book, A Place for You.
After shopping, we returned to Julie’s home. Her children were asleep. I gave Julie money to pay for the babysitter. We sat at the dining room table and played Rummikub and Jenga. It was a great evening. I drove home very happy even though it was late.
Even before this date, I was convinced that Julie was the person I wanted to date and develop a relationship with. Sometime around this date, I told Julie that I wanted to commit to dating only her and that I was closing my eHarmony account. I wanted to date one person, specifically Julie, and devote all dating time and efforts to the relationship with Julie.