So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV (emphasis added)
Dating. These relationships can twist and turn, making us the happiest girls one minute and feeling like we’ve walked straight out of a Taylor Swift music video the next. All the highs and lows can cause us to ask ourselves, “What is God’s point for dating relationships?”
We often believe this lie that the purpose of dating is to please ourselves. We believe that our relationship exists to make us happy, to be loved, and by having a hand to hold and cute date night selfies, our lives look romantic and exciting. While these may be sweet perks of relationships, dating is so much more meaningful than merely pleasing ourselves.
I believe God’s purpose in dating relationships is to glorify Himself (or to make His goodness known to the world) by painting a picture of the Gospel through your relationship.
Here’s why: as we see in 1 Corinthians 10:31, the Bible instructs us to do everything we do in a way that glorifies the Lord.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
- John 13:35 ESV
Every aspect of a Christian’s life has the potential to honor God. The way we interact with others, our boyfriends for example, is a very important part of our witness as believers. When non-believers watch us interact with our boyfriends, they shouldn’t just see another cute couple. They should see something unique; something that makes them double-take. They should see a counter-cultural picture of Christ’s love for His children. And when they ask what makes our relationships different, BAM! There’s an opportunity to share the Gospel!
In order to live out this purpose in our dating relationships, we need to ask a simple question: Am I glorifying myself with this relationship? Or am I glorifying the Lord, painting a picture of my relational God’s pursuit, as I date my boyfriend?
Here are a few ways to glorify the Lord in your relationships, especially dating relationships:
1. Paint a picture of God’s love. Glorifying God in your relationship means being gentle and kind in the way you talk about your boyfriend to others and the way you talk to him. When you choose loving your boyfriend over complaining about him, you are displaying Christ’s love.
2. Paint a picture of God’s grace. Arguments and disagreements will occur. You and your boyfriend will hurt one another because we are sinful human beings. However, you can show God’s grace to your partner and to onlookers when you choose patience over anger and forgiveness over a grudge.
3. Paint a picture of God’s sacrifice. When you choose to sacrifice your fleshly desires in order to take up God’s Heavenly desires for you, some may think you’re weird, but maintaining pure habits and healthy boundaries is honoring to the Lord. Sacrificing your desires in a relationship for God’s desires will be a powerful testimony of your love for the Lord and His love for us. He sacrificed all perfect pleasures and comforts in Heaven so that he may die to fulfill God’s will.
4. Paint a picture of God’s trustworthiness. When you choose to find your identity in the Lord, rather than your relationship, you display a trustworthy King. Entrusting the Lord with your relationship and holding it with open hands is a testimony that you know that the Lord is good in all that He does, in all that He gives, and all that He takes away.
1. What kind of picture is my relationship painting? A picture of my happiness or a picture of God’s love and glory?
2. How can I glorify the Lord with my current dating relationship, starting today?
3. For the single lady: How can you glorify the Lord in your friendships, and prepare your heart for glorifying Him in possible future dating relationships?
You are the King of my heart. Help me to glorify You in every single thing I do, including my relationships. Take away my desire to glorify myself, and remove any self-honoring patterns in my life. Let my relationship be pleasing to You and a shining light to the world.
Love, Your daughter