Christian Dating Tips: Missionary Dating
Christian dating tips on missionary dating are necessary for Christians who find themselves in environments where there is a high percentage of non-Christians. Why? Because they may find themselves in a situation where they may be tempted to date non-Christians.
Should Christians date non-believers? How should a Christian apply the Bible’s teaching about dating a person who doesn't share his/her beliefs? This is the subject of this article.
What is Missionary Dating?
Missionary dating may simply be defined as dating an unbeliever with the intention of getting him/her converted to Christianity.
In undertaking missionary dating, some Christians are first attracted to an unbeliever, then seek to win him/her to the Lord, because of the awareness that the Scripture specifically forbids a romantic union between a believer and an unbeliever ( 2 Corinthians 6:12).
On the other hand, some are believed to date an unbeliever because their primary motive is to help their dates seek and find the Lord.
The Motive Behind Missionary Dating
Advocates of missionary dating normally cite the great commission and other passages that encourage witnessing to non-Christian peers and acquaintances:
"Go into the people of all nations and make them disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20; CEV)
“Rescue any who need to be saved, as you would rescue someone from a fire. Then with fear in your own hearts, have mercy on everyone who needs it.” (Jude 1:23; CEV)
“Honor Christ and let Him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.” (1 Peter 3:15; CEV)
Quite a number of interesting observations can be made about these texts. Firstly, they do not have dating in mind, any more than they refer to American politics, or Hollywood movies!
Secondly, there are different methods of evangelism, apart from dating. For instance, men could witness to men, and women to women. And thirdly, motives do often become mixed.
What the Bible Says About Dating Non-Christians
First, 2 Corinthians 6:14 applies to dating, as well as other aspects of life: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”(NIV).
The unequally yoked metaphor has helpfully been interpreted to signify a team of oxen pulling in different directions! That is precisely what happens when a believer and an unbeliever are in a relationship, married or unmarried.
There will normally be misunderstanding and arguments because of two different ways of looking at issues, biblical and non-biblical.
The prophet Amos puts it in an appropriate manner, when he inquired: “Can two walk together unless they be agreed?” As far as Amos’ question is concerned, your guess is as good as mine.
Secondly, the Lord’s will for His people must be considered. “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:39; NIV).
The Holy Spirit cannot go contrary to His word. If the Lord wishes that a believer marry an unbeliever, He will normally convert him/her before they meet, or while they are dating, otherwise, there is no guarantee the conversion will take place, after the marriage is consummated.
Christian Dating Tips to Apply If You are Considering Missionary Dating
• Pray for protection from temptation, and don’t forget to include prayer that the Lord should keep your motive pure!
• Do not date in a place where you will be alone with the person. You must remember Paul’s word to the Corinthians: "Flee fornication,” and to Timothy, “flee youthful lusts.”
In other words, stay away from a situation that may lead to sin. Date in a place where others are meeting. Of all christian dating tips, this is the most important.
• Pray that the Lord will empower your witnessing, for only then can you go ahead with your plan to marry the one you love without incurring the Lord’s displeasure.