When singles are looking for someone to help, they’ll look for Christian dating advice, or search for tips on how to handle difficult situations, or the best way to deal with a potential relationship. Dr. Jim presents below some dating tips for Christian singles on how to handle these situations. Who is the best person for you to look for when you need help?
Who do you go to for Christian Dating Advice?
Life often presents challenges that are beyond our experience. When you find these occasions confronting you – where do you turn for help? This may seem like a strange article for one who gives suggestions to write. I suggest that it is actually one of the more important articles that I could possibly present. Everyone wants to share guidance, but is it the solution that is best for you?
The input from family and friends is one of the more interesting sources for Christian dating advice. I shall forever recall the words that I received from many Christian friends, even a pastor, many years ago when it had been revealed that I had been in an affair. Many ‘Christians’ suggested that I move on with life, divorce my wife, and get busy finding a new one. They even suggested ‘where’ I should go to find a new wife. Most of the suggestions that I received from family and friends was not in this vein, but it still surprised me how many actually suggested this course for my life.
Proverbs 15:22 reads ‘Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.’ Everyone needs the counsel of the wise to better understand the elements of life and how to process through challenges. However, unwise counsel can add misery to your life and submit you to unnecessary difficulties.
“Life often presents challenges that are beyond our experience”
How does one go about seeking the best recommendation?
Allow me to share some thoughts that you should take into consideration as you seek direction.
- Ask yourself what your motivation is for seeking help. Is it truly to learn the wisest alternative, or is it to support a selfish desire? Our hearts need to be prepared to receive and discern wise recommendation. How does one do this? I am glad that you asked! John 14, 15, and 16 tells us about the work of God’s Spirit (Holy Spirit) when He came after Christ left us. John 14:17 states that one of His duties is to be the ‘Spirit of Truth.’ Before you seek assistance from any earthly source, you should invite the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart and lead you to the right counsel and speak to you through them. Do not ignore a great gift that God has provided for you as His child.
- Does the one providing Christian dating advice have the demonstrated experience to enable them to give input in the area that they are sharing? Almost everyone is quick to share their opinion or suggestion, but do they have success in either living out their own guidance, or success in guiding others in this area?
What is the motivation of the one providing the direction? Words of advice too often come out of the giver’s own needs and selfish motivation. Perhaps they made a mistake in this area and the old saying ‘misery loves company’ may apply. Consider the motivation behind their words before you embrace the suggestion.
- If this is an area that requires special insights or expertise, does the person have this expertise? I would not go to a plumber for surgery, nor an attorney for advice on how to fly an airplane. If you have a spiritual question, you need to seek the counsel of a mature Christian or pastor. However, if you need surgery, you would seek the direction of the one best trained in this area whether or not a Christian.
- Family and friends care the most about you and their direction should be sought. However, they may too involved in the situation or family circumstances to provide objective input. If the family member or friend has a seasoned demonstration of providing wise counsel, then seek out their input. Otherwise, I suggest that you take the suggestion and then confirm it through other sources before embracing it for your life.
- There is a temptation to seek the help of someone that we know will tell us what we ‘want’ to hear. This is not getting objective counsel to base wise decisions upon. This activity is better called building a case for what you want to accomplish without regard for the truth of such counsel. It often serves one well to find someone who will provide a challenge to your position to ensure that you are properly considering all aspects.
- Finally, I would ‘confirm’ all pieces of suggestion that you receive. This confirmation can come from the Holy Spirit or through the wisdom of more than one counsellor. It is interesting to me that I often receive a response to solutions that I share with a single adult that this confirms other input that they have received. This is a great approach! No one person has all wisdom and is infallible. The more important the issue the more counsellors’ input one should obtain.
“You should invite the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart and lead you to the right counsel”
The temptation of Isolation
Isolation is a big temptation for single adults. God does not want you and I to isolate ourselves – from Him or from others. He has provided some wonderful counsellors (some Christians and others in their expertise) to help guide us to wise choices in life. His Spirit can do this alone. However, I have found that He most often chooses to use others.
I invite you to give some thought to the manner in which you obtain or receive Christian dating advice. It is a very important area and one that you should not treat lightly. It is my prayer that God will lead you to and bless you with many wise counsellors.
Author of “Guide to Successful Online Christian Dating”