Without a Christian spouse, one of two things will happen: you will drift away from God, or your spouse will become a functional god (more on this later). Both of these are bad.
There is another dangerous mentality in Christian circles I want to address … “flirting to convert.”
Look … Christians are called to be missionaries. The dating world, however, is not the place to be a missionary. Don’t allow pride to deceive you. You can’t change someone. That’s God job.
So, date Christians. Follow Christian dating principles. Marry someone who loves Jesus. And spread the gospel as missionaries together.
4) Have a list of values and don’t compromise them.
If you have no idea what values are important to you in a future spouse, exit the road to marriage at the next off ramp. Pull over at the closest gas station and decide what you want in a future spouse. It’s dangerous riding on the road to marriage without an idea of where you are going.
Now, when you form this list, don’t be legalistic. Don’t sit someone down on the first date and interview them to make sure they meet all of the qualities. That’s freakish, weirdo stuff. Again, don’t give the rest of us bad name. Your list is designed to give you a framework for dating, not be a checklist for it.
On the other hand, don’t compromise. Your heart and the holiness of marriage are too important to flippantly give away because you are frustrated, impatient or settling.
One more thing: have primary and secondary values. And filter appropriately.
Let’s practice. If you believe God is preparing you for foreign missions, is it important the person you marry shares this passion? Yes … this is a primary value. If you love the Cowboys and your future spouse loves the Packers, is it important to work through this before marriage? No … this is a secondary value.
Primary values are probably deal breakers. Secondary values are probably not.
5) Don’t “shotgun” date.
Ever handled a shotgun? If not, let me fill you in. The shells of a shotgun are stuffed with tiny round balls. When you pull the trigger, these balls spread over a large range, increasing the chance you hit the target. It’s great for hunting … it’s terrible for dating.
“Let’s see. I am going to ask 20 people on a date. Five of those should be keepers. Hopefully one will end up as my spouse.”
Not a good idea. I fear this mentality in the dating culture is actually promoting divorce. Let me explain.