Before I was married, I dated because:
- I wanted to make new friends.
- I was afraid to be alone.
- I thought I would be a good influence on his relationship with Jesus.
- I had a crush for years and he finally noticed me.
- He was fun to be around.
- I needed a date for a dance, prom or an event.
- I thought it was God’s will.
There are many reasons we date. I’ve had a relatively mild dating experience with few regrets. But like most people, I have a few I wish I could wash away. I’ve often dreamed a time machine would show up on my doorstep so I could change a few situations. But, I’ve changed my mind. Instead, I think I’d take myself out for coffee and say,
“Sharie, You wouldn’t believe the amazing love story God has planned for you. But, if you’d like to avoid some heartache along the way, you need to sit down right now and decide what kind of guy you are looking for. Do you want a guy who encourages your faith, or one who is embarrassed of your love for Jesus? Do you want him to share the commitment to purity, or are you going to choose someone who finds your goals absurd? Do you want a best friend, or a fling? Set your expectations now because most relationship mistakes originate from our lack of vision.”
It is essential for you to decide what kind of person you are looking for before you start looking. Ask God to help you set a list of expectations. Expectations are your first line of protection against compromise.
Maybe you think having expectations is intolerant, rigid and unkind. But if you ordered spaghetti at a restaurant and you got a slab of salmon instead, you’d probably send it back. If you interviewed for a position as a finance director, but got a degree in psychology, they’d probably choose someone else. If a pro-football team kept loosing, they’d fire the coach and find someone who could get the job done.
Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Living a sexually pure life is not easy.
If you want to stay on this narrow path, if you want to glorify Jesus as his child, you have to set some expectations to make it work. Here are some expectations you should have according to Psalm 119. You should both be:
- Living according to God’s word.
- Seeking God with all your hearts.
- Be open and willing for God to keep you from sin.
- Learning the word of God so that we can live by it.
- The above expectations are essential. Now take some time to set some personal ones and give your list to God in prayer.
- Share your list of expectations with someone who loves you and wants the best for you.
- Find someone to hold you accountable and pray for the openness to listen to them.
Offer It Up: Jesus, we all need help letting the gospel define our purity, giving our sexuality to you. I pray for you to give us victory through your grace and self-discipline. © 2013 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.
- Most relationship mistakes originate from our lack of vision.
- Expectations are your first line of protection against compromise.
- Psalm 119:9, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.