How should you react while browsing profiles from other Christian singles online? What should the proper way be to deal with your feelings while keeping to God’s purposes?
Dear Jim: As I have reactions to pictures and profiles I find on Christian dating sites, is this the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
You have signed up for a Christian online dating service and you begin to read the profiles and view the pictures. You find that you have either a peaceful or uncomfortable reaction in doing this. Where is this prompting coming from? It could be several sources. Allow me to share some thoughts as you entertain what you use as criteria in selecting which profiles to ‘pursue’.
The ’emotional’ reaction that you are finding as you view profiles/pictures can be trusted to the degree that your emotions are healthy. If you are ‘needy’ and feeling especially lonely, I would be VERY cautious with your emotional reactions. The healthier you are the more you can trust these instincts.
How is God speaking to you while searching for a soulmate?
Is God’s Spirit helping you in your selections? He wants to, but if the emotional health mentioned above is not in place, I doubt that you are able to hear His voice when He speaks to you. In addition to being emotionally healthy, you must be spending time with God to hear His voice. Running ahead of Him can get you into a lot of trouble – which is spelled P-A-I-N.
What are you seeking as you view the profiles? For many, if not most, there is the temptation to jump ahead to the ‘mate’ selection process. I call this the supermarket shopping approach. However, in a supermarket you can at least see and be in the presence of the merchandise before you entertain a purchase! It is certainly okay to desire to find a mate. Where the error occurs is when we try to fast forward the process and skip over the necessary ingredients upon which a healthy relationship should be built.
Share what you are doing online with a Christian friend.
Here is an excellent test for you. Are you sharing with your closest friends that you are using online dating services to make new friends and date? If you are not, I suggest that you should read this as a CAUTION in where your motivation is. There is an attraction to using online dating services (by both sexes) because it lacks accountability and review by others. We can be and do things over the Internet that we would not think of doing in front of our friends. A healthy approach would be to share with a few good, close, Christian friends that you are using this approach. Ask for their input as you give consideration and ask them to hold you accountable and provide their feedback as you interact with others online.
Are you finding yourself feeling a ‘force’ drawing you to use the Internet to find someone? I am not talking about an interest, but a strong emotion that seems to take over and has you checking the emails many times a day to see if anyone has written to you. Do you go to the site several times a day to see the ‘new’ profiles? If you are finding this force at play in your life, back away and build your accountability team around you.
Using a Christian dating site after a divorce.
In my experience, if you have not been divorced for at least 2 years, you should not be using the Internet for dating. Why? 70% of second marriages fail – and the major reason is that too often we race back into another relationship before we have healed from the last one. Patience will pay HUGE dividends for you – believe me from my personal experience and the experience of hundreds whom I have counselled.
Keep things in perspective as you use online dating and building friendships. Do not do anything that you would not do if you had just met the person in a singles group at church, etc. Use your head as well as your heart, invite the counsel of God and close friends, and relax!! Rushing is the surest way to invite more PAIN – and I do not know anyone who needs more of that.