The Importance of Intentional Dating
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
According to society, dating is dead. Girls should stop waiting on a man to pursue them, to protect them, and to love them; instead, they should be all of those things for themselves, and walk around with this I-don’t-need-no-man attitude. Or on another note, men and women are dating with no intention to get married whatsoever. They aren’t looking at their attributes, their characteristics, and their ambitions in life and asking themselves, “Can I see myself marrying this person?”
Before I met my now husband, Taylor, I would make excuses for not being intentional with my dating relationships. These men weren’t Christians, and they definitely were not going to lead me closer to Christ. In Ephesians 5:25, Paul gives men an extraordinary call to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, His bride. Thankfully, God opened my eyes to the true meaning of marriage and why marrying a believer is so important—and now, I see how my husband loves me like Christ more and more every day.
Sisters, this is true love. Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross, became the propitiation of our sins, and bore the wrath of God all on our behalf. And husbands (or future husbands) are called to have that same sacrificial love towards their wives. The vision of marriage we see in God’s word—the beautiful, profound display of God’s infinite love for sinners—makes it worth it to date and to date intentionally.
When dating your possible future spouse, you need to be constantly asking yourself these intentional questions: does he actually love God more than you? Is God’s Word his absolute authority? Is he actively a part of a Bible-believing church? Is he merely respecting your purity, or is he protecting your purity? Do you see him as the father to your future children? Is he going to lead, protect, and provide for you, spiritually and physically?
Those who recklessly give themselves to a love life of dating without really dating—a romantic illusion without Christ and commitment—are settling. Being intentional in dating relationships will help with unwanted heartbreak. It will keep you out of situations that are only meant for your husband.
God, thank You for sending Your Son to be the propitiation for my sins and for setting the example of sacrificial love. Help me not to settle in dating or in marriage and to always put Your word above what society says. Mold me into the wife You’ve called me to be one day. Amen.
Are you in a relationship that hasn’t been striving for marriage? Have you been dating with no intentions of commitment?
Raegan Thornhill is wife to an amazing man of God and mom to her baby boy, Weston. She is the Co-Founder, content manager, and writer at Whole Magazine. She believes cheesecake, snow, a cup of hot coffee, and an episode of Breaking Bad can fix any dreadful day. Her mission in life is to show women of all ages how they can be whole again through the Gospel of Christ. She longs for her writings to be a testament of the mercy and grace God has shown her. You can follow more of Raegan on her blog, Delighted In Him.