Wednesday, January 25, 2017
"On Fire": Rethink 'Missionary Dating'
"And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him."---I John 5:14-15(AMPC)
I checked out an article entitled "'Missionary Dating' Isn't Just Unbiblical, It's Selfish". It caught my attention because I'm not a fan of *traditional* (bookmark that) missionary dating either. Plus, the writer shouted out one of my favorite books of all time---The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. It's a classic.
Anyway, the gist of the piece is that we need to be really careful about dating someone who already doesn't have a relationship with God. One, because the Bible warns us about unequally yoking ourselves (2 Corinthians 6:11-18). And really, that should be enough. Whether we choose to see it this way or not, we're already committing a "low grade form of idolatry" (kind of like having a low grade fever---I Corinthians 10:14) when we'll do ANYTHING that the Word speaks against, even if we claim that our motive is good (Proverbs 21:2&8--Message).
Another problem with missionary dating is that, no matter what pop culture may tell you, God is clear that a wife is supposed to SUBMIT to her husband (Colossians 3:18). Why would you want someone to lead you when you started out the relationship *leading* him? It's usually just a set up for him to be resentful and you possibly being pretty bossy. Kinda like when a couple gets married and the husband moves into the wife's home. You have *NO IDEA* how many times I've seen that blow up, pretty much for the same reason. They get in a fight and all of a sudden the wife is on the "Get out of MY house" tip.
However, I do want to present something to think about *and* pray over concerning this topic...
If there's one thing the Bible shows us, it's that there are all sorts of ways to become a couple. Moses and Zipporah's story is nothing like Isaac and Rebekah's and theirs is nothing like Boaz and Ruth or Joseph and Mary. My point? Although there are certain things NONE OF US are supposed to do (like have sex outside of marriage---I Corinthians 6) because the Word speaks against it (with NO exceptions), because the Bible also tells us that our hearts are fashioned individually (Psalm 33:15), why wouldn't our journeys be as well?
The reason why I am personally such a fan of Adam and the Woman is because the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1-2) shows us EXACTLY what life was supposed to be like before sin entered into the world. So, if there's any guideline that we should follow, it would be that.
Adam had a relationship with God.
Adam had an assigned purpose from God.
GOD DECIDED that it was time for Adam to have a divine helper.
GOD BROUGHT the Woman to Adam.
Over and out.
So yeah, even the "Genesis formula" shows us that a man should have a relationship with God BEFORE being in a relationship with a woman.
Yet there is one thing that I want to encourage every woman reading this to consider...
It's the actual definition of missionary.
Missionary: a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work; a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others; a person who is sent on a mission
Mission: a group or committee of persons sent to a foreign country to conduct negotiations, establish relations, provide scientific and technical assistance, or the like; the business with which such a group is charged; any important task or duty that is assigned, allotted, or self-imposed; an important goal or purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction; a calling or vocation; a sending or being sent for some duty or purpose; those sent
Being that I am big on words and their definitions, when you look at what being a missionary really and truly means, can we say across the board that missionary dating is wrong? Dating someone who doesn't have a biblically-based (if you claim to be a bible follower) relationship with God is wrong/unhealthy/counterproductive. However, what happens when you DON'T self-impose a spiritual assignment but God actually does calls you to it? What happens when you're sent, by God, for the purpose of cultivating a relationship with someone? What happens when that is your calling and mission?
Look, before you get all excited and aggressive (LOL), two points:
1) God will not call you to do ANYTHING that contradicts his Word.
2) I'm not implying that God is calling you to "save a man" and then make him your husband.
What I'm saying is that there are so many articles out here that talk about "missionary dating" while leaving out one very important point. That a definition of missionary is *seeing what God is assigning, purposing and calling you to do* in ALL of your relationships.
See, the mistake that far too many of us make is we see something (or one) that we like (or want), go after it *AND THEN* ask God to bless what we're doing. Yet based on the definition of missionary, that's not what being a true missionary is about.
If you're going to be on ANY KIND OF GODLY MISSION (and marriage should be revered as *nothing* short of that that), you need to WAIT UPON THE LORD (Psalm 27:14 & 37:34, Isaiah 40:31) to do what a missionary does.
Wait on God to assign you.
Wait on God to call you.
Wait on God to send you.
Because what you can be sure of is what God assigns, calls and sends---it's a part of his will and what's a part of his will, it will honor his Word, it will bring him glory and it will not cause you to compromise your value as his daughter or a woman in order for it to manifest.
This takes the pressure out of traditional missionary dating because the problem with it is that usually the person is the one trying to do the "saving" rather than allowing God to do it. It also removes the drama because the focus is not about trying to get someone to "be yours"; the focus is being used by God to bring forth whatever he desires.
If it's witnessing, so be it.
If it's friendship, so be it.
And if it is marriage, God will do the work---not you.
So, traditional missionary dating? Nope. I'm not a fan. At all really.
However, going to God about what his will is FIRST and then following through with what he calls?
Yeah, I'm all about it.
Dating or otherwise.
Pray openly, y'all.
Seek HIS WILL over your own.
Including when it comes to your heart (Psalm 4:23).
His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...