Date for Jesus?

It’s Wednesday and that must mean it is time for another installment of He Said/She Said. Today, I am talking about a well-known  phenomena in the Christian dating world.

For some it is taboo. For others it is no big deal. We all have our own opinion about the subject.

You know the couple: one person is a believer, the other is not. One attends church, the other not so much. Dating ensues and some eyebrows are raised. Okay, so let’s get to it–missionary dating. You know you wanna talk about it.

Question #1. Should believers date unbelievers?

Well, the Bible isn’t too clear. People usually refer to the “unequally yoked” verse. However, I find this verse to be a bit vague. I think it can apply to dating, since I also happen to believe it could also apply to a close friendship or even a business partnership.

But, the Bible doesn’t talk about “dating, at all, since dating as we know it is a modern-day phenomena. Dating among Christians is even weirder and more bizarre.

So should Christians date non-Christians? I’d probably take a shot in the dark and say “no.” I think they certainly can, but I don’t know that they should. Is this question up for individual interpretation? I believe so. However, I also like to err on the side of wisdom. Call me silly or  just call me Solomon.

Question #2. Why do some Christians date non-Christians?

My husband and I were chatting about this question. We both agreed that usually, the believer in the scenario was either a newer Christian or an immature Christian. Most people I know who are deeply rooted and rock solid in Jesus, don’t go around scooping up random dudes or chicks at the mall and then attempting to turn those relationships into life-long matrimony.

As the Christianese phrase warns though, some believers really are attempting to convert an individual through dating. From what I have observed however, it is sad to report that almost never works. Making out with someone and simultaneously singing Jesus’ praises just doesn’t seem like the most effective form of evangelism or disciple-making. Could just be me…

Question #3. What happens when missionary dating, happens?

I have certainly seen other Christians throw the glaring judgmental eyes and shake their big judging finger at those in “unequally yoked” relationships…’cause that’s what Jesus would have done and all, right? He would have made people feel guilty, or bad, or stupid, or unholy?

Or would He have cautioned them on their choice, spoken wisdom in love, and gone ahead and loved them anyway?

God can certainly reach a person in a missionary dating relationship. He is not bound by infatuation and puppy-love. Is it the best place or easiest place or wisest place for Him to reach someone? Umm, no, but He is God after all, so He can do it. Let’s just hope that people really pause to consider God’s best plan of action before they proceed with missionary dating because their intentions may be pure, but  a “I date to convert” t-shirt is never cool.

What is your opinion of missionary dating? Do you have any experience in this department?

13 thoughts on “Date for Jesus?”

  1. Oh my goodness, this made me laugh so hard!

    I would say that it comes down to the fact of whether of not you would MARRY a non-christian, and then that should decide whether or not you would date one.

    I don’t think we should seek to “change” someone, or date them and hope that they will.

    Have standards, and deal breakers, and worth- and then find someone that meets them.

    If you aren’t willing to marry a non-believer, then why date them? You will end up falling in love and justifying it, and marrying them anyways and it’s a disaster situation for marriage when two people don’t share the same faith.

    I think believers should be seeking to be with someone that challenges them in their faith so that they may GROW. Not the other way around. Because even if you convert them, have you grown at all? Probably not.

    1. Great point..would you want to marry an unbeliever? Hopefully not, so why date one?

      Agreed too that relationships should be about growing and sharpening one another, not spending one’s time converting.

    1. Yes, the old, “God told me” trick. I had a guy tell me God told him, we were suppose to get married. How do like that? When asked if he wanted to marry me, he said “no,” just that he was told he was suppose too.

      Romance lives on…

  2. I agree that the ‘unequally yoked’ verse is unclear. To be honest, the thing for me is that I wouldn’t WANT to be married to an unbeliever, so why bother dating them and risking falling in love? I find godliness attractive in a guy, and one of my dealbreakers is that he must be ‘someone who will push me closer to God’.

    I actually think dating someone can be a hindrance to sharing the Gospel with them, because so much other stuff gets in the way. If I genuinely care that he believes in Jesus, then I can share the Gospel with him just as effectively if we’re close friends.

    That’s what I think anyway :)

  3. Oh and I’m pretty sure there’s a verse in one of Paul’s letters about how if you’re married to an unbeliever, stay married to them – can’t remember the reference or the detail, but I seem to recall it implies that you shouldn’t set out to marry an unbeliever!

  4. You used the example of meeting someone outside church and dating them, but at least in my experience, people meet someone who is new to church and date them. They’re not a Christian, but they’re still sorta over the line of what people would call acceptable.

    And then the couple tend to stop coming, most because their pants magically fell off whilst they were on a bed and they feel guilty.

  5. I say, lead them to Christ first, then date them. It’s not right to share your second most intimate relationship with someone (first being Jesus, of course) who doesn’t share your most fundamental belief in your first most important relationship.

    If you want to find out about REAL “missionary dating” check out the Children of God cult and flirty fishing. CRAZYTOWN –>

  6. Ok, I must admit that I did this for many years in my 20’s. And I was very deeply-rooted in faith, very conservative. I think I was seeking an emotional connection that I wasn’t getting with the Christian guys I knew. Unfortunately, many of the most emotive, romantic, i’ll-jump-off-a-bridge-for-you types tend to be men with addictions to other things besides you. Actually, some of these guys weren’t really non-Christians – they had just wandered off or abandoned the path due to painful circumstances in their lives. You’re right – I don’t suppose I won any of them to Jesus (or back to Jesus), but I hoped I showed them a different way to live while I was with them. But, yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it to other young girls.

    1. Kristie,

      I think dating people who are wandering Christians can be just as harmful even. And yeah, we never really win them over. We probably just confuse them more than anything.

      Isn’t it nice to be done with dating?

      I love your blog by the way! I am a decor junkie and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it.

      Hope to see more of you around here too. Blessings and thanks for commenting.

  7. I think that missionary dating is stupidity at its finest. It has bad news written all over it. I think that you are right Nicole, people who typically “missionary date” are those believers who are very new or very immature. I can’t imagine one who is deeply grounded in the Word and head over heels in love with Jesus to make such a silly choice. I feel like those who do this desire to be a rescuer and a victim all at the same time. They want to use themselves as bait to bring in (rescue) non-believers. But then when they find themselves 7 years down the road, married to a man/woman who never has and never wants to share their truest Love with them they feel they are the victim of their spouses selfishness. When in fact it was their own selfishness that was the real driving force behind the decision to date a non believer in the first place-they want gratification and emotional connection and relationship NOW and weren’t willing to wait for God’s very best. The first fellah said it well “Don’t date someone you don’t want to marry!”

    1. Deanna,

      Great point. I have seen many women, think that missionary dating is rescuing the helpless and hopeless. They think they are displaying mercy when in fact they just look foolish.

  8. Love your blog!

    I’m a christian single mom, not desperately looking for a husband, but would certainly like to find a guy to share life and fellowship with.

    Now, believe me, in over 8 years of attending church, I’ve not met any single available guy. Am I too old at 34 years? All single christian men my age or older seem to be already married. I don’t know ANY man from church who is my age or older and who is not married. Not to mention a man who I like…

    So I was OK with being single. I enjoy being God’s spouse and that’s really a big privilege for us single moms. He’s been taking care of my son and I as no man would’ve ever done.

    Then, some months ago I met this non christian guy who I shared the gospel with. He was open to the Word, but haven’t made the decission. I thought it wasn’t right to even think of him as a possibility.

    But I started liking him. Like him more and more, even if we’ve been in different countries soon after we met. I thought it was better to forget him, and prayed, fasted, prayed more…and every time I got into fasting I’ve seen things getting us closer.

    We don’t have a relationship. I just like him and know he likes me.

    I’d never marry a non christian. I know it wouldn’t work. But this is the guy I happen to like after like 8 years of being a single mom. My life is full now, I have lots of friends, don’t need a husband, I feel blessed by God in lots of things. I’m happy with my motherhood.

    Should I just force things away from him? I’ve asked a married Christian friend and she’s told me go ahead being his friend and sharing the Gospel with him. And wait, of course, on God. I know that if something happens, it’d take time, as I wouldn’t marry a new christian either.

    Now I’m again in his country (not that I forced this, I even didn’t imagined we could come!, but got one and other opportunity to come). Will meet him soon. I could just run away and stay a happy single as I’ve been.

    Should I? Should I enjoy friendship with him?

    Sorry to bring the topic here. I know it’s not totally on topic. Hope to find some good insights.

    Would love to read articles on dating for single christian moms.


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