My 2 cents worth about dating. To all you single Christians out there, gay and straight:
Before you put rules and constraints on yourself of who you can and cannot date, first figure out what your goal in dating is. If it is specifically/exclusively to get married, then yeah, you want a tight filter. Only date those who are likely spouse-material — all that “unequally yoked” stuff applies (tho Paul wasn’t talking about marriage there; j/s).
But dating isn’t just about marriage. It’s also about meeting a wide range of people, to learn more about yourself, to broaden your worldview and experience. It’s also about your personal growth. Not everybody you date has to be a spouse-candidate. When you date just for the sheer enjoyment of getting to know people — for who they are, not for who you want them to be — you can have a much richer experience. And those tight filters don’t apply. Date people who are really different from you, even those who believe differently. You’ll be amazed at how God uses them to grow you.
photo credit: Jhayne on Flickr, cc
STEVE SCHMIDT is a Bible teacher at Expressions.Today in Oklahoma City. He is a graduate of the seminary at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, and holds two masters degrees in Biblical Literature and Divinity. He did his doctoral research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York.