I want to start this off by saying the following words are only meant to reflect my heart and my experience, no one else’s.
Okay, let us begin.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I went to college and got really enlightened in the realm of Christian anti-dating campaigns. So much so, I joined up every chance I got. My favorite female Christian musicians did not casually date. As in, they did not date at all. Instead, the decided to not date until they had met the man they would marry. I read books that told me to side-hug dating goodbye, or something like that. I read tons of articles online about dating Jesus and how that was really superior to dating a man-boy.
I learned a lot about how I was probably a more holy person if I decided to not date at all, so I didn’t.
I was a part of the, “I’m better than you because I don’t date” club. I’m not sure what our national membership number was, but it was probably pretty high.
I distinctly remember a time when a young high school girl, who didn’t know me (we had just been introduced), asked if I had a boyfriend. Instead of just saying no, I dropped the guilt bomb on her: “Oh,” Kayla scowled as the innocent, unknowing teen looked on with great interest, “I don’t date.”
What my face and body language told her that my words didn’t was, “Oh, I don’t date. Because I’m above that. I’m better than dating. People who date are not cool people.”
I was a real winner like that.
I had turned what most people (like my favorite musicians and authors of well-meaning books) had meant for good, into a shame-inducing snarky lifestyle.
When I would explain to people that I was “dating Jesus” I wouldn’t do it with humility. I wouldn’t explain that dating relationships were an idol in my life and I really wanted Jesus to be my source of satisfaction. I wouldn’t share that it was a personal decision and that if you did date, it was fine, Jesus still loved you. I would, however, act like a total cotton-headed-ninny-muggins.
I think my point in all of this is that it’s okay to just date Jesus. It’s okay to have a season of life when you intentionally don’t pursue a relationship with someone because you feel the need to be close to the Lord. It’s necessary to put Christ above a boyfriend.
It’s not okay to shame other people in to your way of thinking, or to act like you are a superior human being because you’ve made a spiritual decision.
Don’t act like you’re life choices make you a better person. Jesus makes you a better person. So tell people about Him and how great His love is for us. That’s really the only thing that matters.
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