Most people say that you can’t choose whom to love. Then there’s the popular notion that love is a choice. Missionary dating is one of those circumstances that combine these two ideologies. You see, dating an unbeliever or someone with different beliefs or faith seems pretty harmless at first. It’s all about the excitement and adventure. This person’s personality is simply everything! Loving them is effortless. But later, the conflicts begin. The compromise, the disagreements, the misunderstandings, all sprouting from the need to maintain a relationship that was already broken before it began.
Most of us are familiar with the term, ‘missionary dating’. In my opinion, missionary dating is defined as dating or being romantically involved with someone with the intention of converting them to your faith (in most cases Christianity). There have been very few success stories; where people have found the love of Christ through their relationships. But quite rarely! Most of these relationships end up as a total and complete disaster. So, before you enter into this kind of relationship, here are a few things you need to know.
When you give your life to Christ, your ‘list’ of potential partners is narrowed down. You find yourself attracted to people who really love God and show it through their actions. Random guys or ladies just don’t cut it anymore. This is a good thing! It means you desire a meaningful Godly relationship, and only that will suffice, nothing less. The problem comes in when you try to make someone who doesn’t fit the bill believe in what you believe. You hold on to an iota of hope that they will eventually give their life to Christ. But this is only a myth, a mirage that you will keep chasing. Evangelizing to your unbelieving significant other does not necessarily mean that they will get saved. You cannot expect them to change into what you want them to be. It doesn’t work that way.
2. Get ready to bear the burden
Carrying something heavy, especially for a long distance can be tiring, and quite honestly annoying. Initiating an unbalanced relationship is a huge burden and quite an unnecessary one for that matter. But how can I talk about missionary dating and not mention the common verse surrounding this controversial topic?
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Of course, this portion of scripture cuts across all kinds of relationships; but let us focus on this particular context. A yoke, is a wooden frame that is attached to oxen, donkeys etc. when they are required to plow or carry out any form of tedious work. The attachment of the yoke to the beast of burden clearly means – work is coming. Animals who generally have the same capacity and strength are normally combined or yoked together so that one does not drag the other down and the work can be completed efficiently. A strong Christian cannot be united to someone with different beliefs. They will both feel the pinch one way or another- in most cases the believer.
3. Count the cost
Dating someone who is not spiritually synchronized with you will take a toll on your walk with God. You simply can’t have it both ways. You have to choose between your relationship with God and this person. The unfortunate reality is that we end up choosing the person we know is not a good match for us. We blindly entertain a relationship that is clearly out of God’s will, and which causes our relationship with God to stagnate and eventually die out. It is much easier for someone at a lower level to pull down someone at a higher level. Hence, is flirting to convert really worth the cost?
4. Sin is crouching at your door
These kinds of relationships are an open door for the Devil to really mess up your relationship.
Gen 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Every unmarried Christian knows that we are required to wait till marriage in order to engage in physical intimacy. (I will do a post about this soon). In this Bible verse, God told Cain that doing what is not right opened him up to fall into the Devil’s trap. In this case, it will be highly impossible to convince your unbelieving partner to wait to engage in physical intimacy when Y’all are married. The truth is, you are not under the same authority and leadership of God. It is only easier to wait when the two of you share the same sentiments and beliefs concerning this. Being out of God’s will means it will be so difficult to please Him.
5. Prepare to be exhausted
Don’t even get me started on how tiring these kinds of relationships are. I have been here and it never works! I remember constantly nudging my significant other at the time to attend church with me and live a godly life. It was so mentally and emotionally exhausting! For a while, he did though, and I was so happy that he was now seeing things in my perspective. However, he eventually stopped being passionate and my hunger for God also subsided. I stopped cultivating my relationship with God and even started questioning why I was a believer. I did not know, that he only ‘gave his life to Christ’ because he wanted to be with me and please me. When the relationship ended, he went back to his usual life and even became worse than before.
We are called to spread God’s word to unbelievers just as Jesus’ disciples did. If anything, being in a relationship with someone who has different beliefs is detrimental to the Great Commission. Relationships cause your level of engagement with your partner to be at a higher level. The type of ministry that should be taking place in godly relationships should be that of mutually uplifting one another. I mean, you are both playing on the same team and, therefore, have the same foundation as well as authority. Ministering in missionary dating is extremely difficult because you and your partner are playing on different teams. Save yourself the trouble and just do things God’s way. It really isn’t your job!!
Thank you so much for reading this. What other points can you think of regarding missionary dating? Feel free to share your sentiments in the comments section. You can also like and share this post with friends and family. I just can’t wait to hear your feedback!!! 🙂
Always remember you are so loved by God. You are literally his treasured possession. Never settle for less than what God has set aside for you!
Much love from me,
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