As a young person in church, one of the topics I get asked about most is dating. I'm a 20-year-old college student, so I can’t say I’m an expert in any way when it comes to dating, marriage, or even faith; nor am I going to claim to be. That being said, I do want to share what God has revealed to me in this season with hope that it will be helpful to you. My generation of high schoolers, college students, and young adults have everyone from celebrities, parents, and peers telling us what we should look for in a relationship. As great as social media can be, it’s only compounded this issue with those my age looking for likes, followers, and posting over-filtered pics. In the midst of all these voices it can be hard to stop and think: What does God say about dating in our modern world?
When we look at dating from God’s perspective, our eyes are opened up to see the big picture. During this pandemic, it is hard to meet people as we isolate and all our normal social settings have evaporated. However, during this time, we can choose to listen to God’s leading and use the pandemic as a time to slow down and work on ourselves. Before looking for love in a romantic relationship, we must first focus on the perfect love, which is God’s love for us. 1 John 4:10 says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” God sent Jesus as a sacrifice but also as a living embodiment of love - and we can take comfort in that.
DEBUNKING THE MYTH
I’ve noticed there’s this myth amongst Christians that one day the perfect partner will magically show up, everything in life falls into place and you live happily ever after. Pastor Andy Stanley calls this the “perfect person” myth. While I hate to disappoint, this scenario is highly unlikely, and more importantly, misses the point.
As Christians, we are never going to find the "perfect person" because Jesus was the only perfect person who ever lived. Even the best partner you can dream up will be flawed. Also, we won’t find our “perfect partner” if we are not the right partner for them. What I mean by this is, the ideal Christian partner is not going to be attracted to you if you are deep in sin: Constantly partying, sleeping around, are a serial liar, or are the guy who dips out of church early every week. Rather than go out of your way even MORE to start a relationship during this pandemic, use the time to work on your relationship with God - the fruit of becoming a great partner stems from this relationship, after all. Then, when the time is right, you’ll be able to offer the person you’re dating a healthy, Christ-centered and hope-filled version of yourself.
LIFE IS BETTER IN COMMUNITY
At Liquid, we believe that if you want to grow your relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to connect with other people who have the same goal — and Liquid Groups are the ideal place for that. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” This verse shows us that Jesus himself recognized the importance of community. He even chose 12 disciples: Close friends who walked with him on his ministry journey.
I have been a part of the same College Small Group for almost two years now, and have actually had the privilege of leading this group for the last year. I’ve watched many people get sick, lose jobs, get discouraged, and feel lonely in the midst of the pandemic. But our College Small Group is the one constant we've had during the pandemic. It's become a safe place without fear of judgment or shame.
I’ll close with this: Even through a pandemic, don’t lose hope. If you feel lonely or long for a relationship, don’t neglect your faith and relationship with God in the meantime. Take heart knowing that you have like-minded brothers and sisters ready to come alongside you. This is an essential part of the journey as you wait on these desires of your heart to come to fruition. So, allow God to mold you into the person He wants you to be. God is with you on the journey. He is the one that loved you before you were even a thought, and He will transform you into the partner you are one day meant to be.
For more personal reflections on love and singleness, check out these additional blog posts from Liquid Church:
- ARTICLE: Appreciating Singleness In A Pandemic - Click here to read why Hannah Sanico, an adult in her thirties, has learned to appreciate her single life in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ARTICLE: When Your “Honeymoon Phase” Is A Pandemic - Read on to find out how our very own Brooke Stempert navigated newlywed life in 2020.