A few years passed from the first online dating experience, lessons were learned. Egos were checked and my insecurities were no longer affecting that particular area of my life. A new city and a newfound interest in dating seemed to be surfacing. With that came the exploration of the dating scene.
When you are in a small group of single Christian females, the conversation always circles around to men and dating. I kept hearing from these women that online dating was a great avenue in this larger city. Several had success in finding interesting dates that were beginning to change into other things. Much like the song says, “Here I go again on my own.”
This time around I found a bit more success within the initial few weeks of putting forth much effort in seeking out that ultimate online date. To be honest, I pursued after guys that were less than ideal for me. Eventually I ended up going out on dates with two guys from an online dating site, after weeks of talking both online and via phone.
What should have been my first conversation on their faith, ended up being a couple of hours of great conversation. Was faith brought up? Not at all. Did even attempt to glean any information about their religious leanings? Nope. Instead I reveled in being on an actual date—something that hadn’t happened in quite a while, and not since I had moved to this city almost a year prior.
Finally the conversation came up, on date three, with one of the guys. He shared that faith wasn’t much of a part of his life presently and he couldn’t see himself being in church anytime soon. (cue screeching tires sound) The red flag went up and the brakes were hit for me. I halted things then with him and soon began dating just one guy for a couple of months.
I understand for many individuals that is difficult to read or do when they are with someone who gives them love, attention, and time. That person who seems to be cut to be your other half in almost every way. But I wrestled too much with the way he said he was not interested in church. It was full of disdain and disinterest. The other guy was open to the invitation to join me at church and that pulled me to him much more.
Faith is too important to haphazardly cast it aside for someone, no matter how great they may seem. The oft-foolish thought that I could win him to Christ fluttered by one evening, but I had to capture it and squash it. It is much too easy to be pulled down than to pull someone up.
Believe me when I say I do believe there are exceptions to this, as I point to my parents as the biggest example that I have for my own life. However I do believe those are very rare and are glimpses into God’s gifting us with miracles, letting us see that He truly is still at work in lives each day.
Ultimately I had to part ways with both guys, as what one said in honesty, the other said in action later on. Neither were rooted in any sort of faith, regardless of whether I agree with it or not. Having no roots was worse for me than dry or wilting roots.
I kept coming back to this guilt of having their faith, or lack thereof, determine whether I dated them. Then it truly hit me—the older I become the more ingrained my faith and beliefs are to the point there isn’t compromising on who God is to me and what I am to Him. No matter how cute, or how perfect, a date may be.
I was able to see the yoke about the necks of their lives and I could not be the one to break those for them. I could only choose not to ensnare myself under a similar yoke, simply because of a desire to be doted upon and cared for. That feeling could not surpass the deep-seated knowledge that my yoke had been broken, not for them but by Him. He wouldn’t ask me to put it back on, and neither should one who truly cared for and loved me and my faith.
Have you struggled with conversations about shared faith or dating someone who might not share your level of faith?
Photo credit: MollyPeach