(So glad he asked me out.)
A friend of mine has just entered the dating world.
I must say, that’s one world I am glad to be out of. I had a few shining moments, but not many.
In fact, whenever I sing that line in “Be Thou My Vision” that goes, “You are my dignity, you’re my delight” I think about my dating years, wince about my regrets, and thank God for my salvation and sanctification. I’ve learned a great deal along the way and am grateful to God, my family, and my friends for their patience and wisdom. I’m mostly grateful to Ryan for sweeping me off of my feet, out of the dating world, and into the security and joy of marriage. Whew.
At any rate, my friend who has just entered the dating world happens to feel elated by it. I must say, she’s doing a wonderful job there and bringing more grace to the dating world than there was before she set foot on its temperamental terrain.
Part of her success comes from asking for advice about how to date well.
Here are a few things I texted her (one per day):
1. Put your relationship with God first – in time, thought, emotion, affection, and confidence. He is our precious first love.
2. Be kind to everyone – girls and guys included. It’s easy and natural to be self-consumed and exclusive; it’s priceless and supernatural to be selfless and kind. Especially, prepare yourself to be kind if/ when things turn south in your relationships. You will never regret walking away having offered forgiveness and grace.
3. Create reasonable and good boundaries from the beginning of every relationship. (I mean actually write them down and give them to trusted mentors and friends, anticipating their accountability over the long haul.) Everyone benefits from healthy boundaries to guard time, disclosure of hearts, and physical affection. Without clear boundaries, we flounder from one person’s control to another. Without clear boundaries, we’re easily controlled by our own fickle passions. You are worth protecting. And so is your boyfriend.
4. Prioritize your own growth intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Seasons of “falling in love” can be so all-consuming, so it’s especially important to pace ourselves and work for a balance of personal health and growth. I’m convinced that this is possible and that it makes the “love” part richer and sweeter.
5. Look out for the best interest of the other person. Encourage him to love God above all, to work diligently, to invest in his friendships with other men, and to pursue worthwhile ministry, hobbies, and activities.
I pray for her often… asking God to bless her with wisdom, patience, contentment, and joy.
What advice would you text to your friend in the dating world?