This post on Dating: A Christian Perspective was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.
In today’s dating culture, there’s this idea that out of the 7.5 billion people on this planet, there’s a perfect person out there for us. A perfect match. A perfect puzzle piece. Somebody who will fulfill our every need and desire. Somebody who will complete us. THE ONE. I’m sorry, and I’m saying this as a romantic (albeit a secret one), but we need to get that idea out of our heads. It’s simply not true.
Yes, there are some really cool human beings out there. You may have an awesome spouse, fiancé, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, friend, etc. that is a really good fit for you. But, at the end of the day, they are still a human being. They are not perfect – far from it. We are all extremely broken and flawed, whether we like to admit it or not. I know I am. And unfortunately, in dating life, when you put a messed up human being and another messed up human being together, you don’t get a perfect couple. Just like if you put two rotten eggs together and cook them on the stove. You don’t get good scrambled eggs. You just get a whole lot of yuck.
I have the most amazing girlfriend. She is kind, thoughtful, smart, strong, funny, beautiful, gorgeous, honest, trustworthy, and so much more. She knows me and understands me better than anyone else in the world and loves me so well. She accepts me for who I am, the good and the bad. She loves God and I see Jesus in her every day. She is everything I could have ever dreamed of. I wouldn’t change a single thing about her. I could brag about her all day.
At the same time, we both know we aren’t going to bring complete fulfillment to each other’s lives. She’s definitely realized I’m nowhere close to capable of that. And I don’t expect her to fix all of my issues either. We know that’s not possible. We know only God is capable of filling our deepest needs and desires. We don’t look to each other for fulfillment – we look to Him. That is the main difference to me about my relationship versus what society typically tells us.
Imagine two stick figures facing each other (this is inspired by a passage by Tim Keller), focused on each other’s imperfect selves, but seeing each other as perfect for each other anyways. That’s what society tells us relationships should be like. Now imagine two stick figures standing side by side, hand in hand, looking towards the horizon as the sun rises. The sun represents God. That’s how I believe relationships should work. Two people seeking out a loving God together.
My girlfriend is not God. But, she is my partner as we both look to God together. She is there to hold my hand when I’m afraid, and I am there to hold hers. She is there to turn my head when I look away from God, and I am there to do the same. She is there to point out all the beautiful things about the sun, the sky, the stars, the mountains, and the oceans, and I am there to point her to the birds too. That is what I believe a relationship is for. A friend by your side as you both take on life and walk through your faith journey.
Love is a choice. While we aren’t perfect separately or together, we choose to walk with each other every day. We choose to love each other despite our flaws and imperfections. It’s not always easy, especially now that we are long-distance, but I believe it is absolutely worth it. She has brought me so much closer to God and taught me so much about myself. I hope I have done the same for her. And I hope wherever you are in your dating life, you have found the same or will in the future.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you could take away something helpful from this post. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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