Legacy Ladies Note: I met Caleb my freshman year of college at SMU. Shortly after meeting him, Caleb started dating a sweet, intelligent, Jesus-loving girl named Sara who eventually became my best friend and roommate. At SMU, Caleb has served as the chaplain and then president of his Christian fraternity, where he developed a passion for receiving mentoring and mentoring others. When it comes to dating Sara, Caleb knows his imperfections (as do I, as the best friend of his girlfriend…sorry Caleb – it’s all for the sake of community!), which is why he finds guidance from his few deep relationships with friends and mentors so crucial to keeping Jesus at the center of his relationship. It is my joy to give you a glimpse of his perspective on dating! -Katie
Ladies (and the few gentlemen who may be reading this), there are way too many dating articles, books, video series, blogs, vlogs, seminars, retreats, etc. telling you how to date in the “Christian” way and “find the mate that God has designed for you.”
Even as I write this I have a stack of dating/marriage books sitting on my desk and, yes, I’ve read them all. From Lewis to Harris to Chandler there is no shortage of wise, Jesus-loving authors who have spilt much ink on this topic. It is a tall task for any well-meaning, committed Christian to wade through the sea of advice and teaching out there.
As smart and as qualified as those voices may be, none of them know you – your specific bent, your personality, your struggles, successes, and failures. That’s why, if you ask how to focus on holding a God-honoring dating relationship, I’ll tell you to focus on deepening your non-romantic relationships.
Specifically, by this I mean two things: get a mentor and get friends.
A wise mentor and close friends can speak through all of the clamor and bring you the insight that you need. They know when to extend advice and counsel and when to withhold it. They know when to push you and when to sit back and let you process on your own.
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight” (Proverbs 4:7). Notice how Solomon does not say, “Whatever you do, seek advice and the counsel of many voices.”
The tricky thing about wisdom and insight is that they are situational; they are best offered by someone who knows you well and who can speak truth into your life. Put stock in the words of those trusted figures who the Lord has carefully placed in your life.
But Caleb, what if I have struggled to find friends I can really trust? Or a mentor to pour into me?
Well, deep friendships are not easy to form, but whether or not you are in a romantic relationship right now, working on deep same-sex relationships now is the #1 best thing you can do for your relationship (second to deepening your relationship with Christ, of course).
How do you start those relationships?
Pray. Pray that God would bring those relationships into your life.
Look. Look around at whom you know, where you are involved, and what mentoring programs are available through your church or other ministries.
And then sacrifice. Sacrifice your comfort zone and extend yourself to find a mentor who is right for you. And sacrifice your time to deepen your friendships and be present with your mentor.
That’s the dating advice I’ve got for you, folks. If you want a quality relationship with your bae, make sure you’ve got some quality non-baes that are already doing life with you, who can speak that wisdom and insight into your life. Go forth and get wisdom.