At Eikon Church we’ve been doing a series called “XOXO – Friends, Flings, & Relationship Things.” We’ve been spending the past few weeks talking about everything from marriage to dating to sex, and last week we took your questions. As I prepared I realized really quickly that we wouldn’t quite have the time to answer all the questions, so we decided to take to the blog to field a few more of the questions here. If you missed any of the weeks, make sure to go back and watch what you missed here.
So one of the questions we received was an interesting one. If the purpose of dating is to find the person that you might want to marry, what if you figure it out pretty quickly? Here’s the question they asked…
Is there “too fast” in Christian dating?
How do you know if a dating relationship is moving too quickly emotionally, or too quickly toward marriage? Great question!
For this I’m going to defer to something I read from another pastor first and then give my brief take. The following is from Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in the Dallas area…
“I am going to be real cautious about saying there is such a thing as ‘too fast.’ What I would rather ask is this: What’s driving the speed? If mere physical attraction or some kind of emotive, frilly, this-is-the-one weirdness is driving the speed, then, yes. If the relationship is outpacing knowledge of character, reputation, and knowledge of godliness, then that is way too quick.
But if you are in a context in which you have watched the person’s godliness, you have marveled at their character, you have rejoiced in what God has done in them and through them, then speed isn’t a big factor.
So we have a staff person here who met and married her husband in a matter of months. She had watched him do ministry at The Village. She knew his reputation. What drove the speed wasn’t a flare up of emotions, it wasn’t a fear of loneliness, or desperation, like maybe this is my only shot. None of that. Rather there was knowledge of his faithfulness to God, his desire to serve the Lord, and his seriousness about the things of God.
I hardly knew they were dating before they were engaged.”
I think this is a great way to look at it, What’s driving the speed? Where I think you might need to be careful is how quickly you answer those questions. Here’s the thing, in Jeremiah 17:9 we read: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
What does this mean? It means that our heart can fool us, we can fool ourselves. Too often I know that I can convince myself of my motivations when in fact what I’m really doing is lying to myself. Intellectual honesty is pretty hard to come by.
So how do we solve this issue? With good, solid accountability. Proverbs 15:22 says “Plans fail without good advice. But they succeed when there are many advisers.” My advice? Find people you respect spiritually that knows you well and ask them their take on it. I think that will go a long way to keep your motives in check.