The list has emerged through countless conversations and discussions, and offers some great ground-level wisdom on how the call of discipleship should steer our journey through romantic relationships.
This is not a list where it’s all or nothing—that is, in order to be a disciple, all of these ideas need to be in place.
But Jesus isn’t our relational back-up plan, someone we put first until someone better comes along.
He needs to stay central for us regardless of whether we’re single, dating, or married.
There is always the slight minority that could end up killing me. Not to be coy, but it depends on the risk you are taking. It is not that streets are bad, cars are evil, and every car is out to run them over. The reality is, you are meeting a stranger, and as much as you hope this stranger has been as truthful as you have been, there is always that chance they have not. For the most part, the risks of online dating are avoidable.
No parent would encourage a child to play in the street, but we do teach children how to walk across the street. The fact is streets can be dangerous and cars can kill you. Put yourself in an environment that discourages things like rape or abduction. With prayer, intent, direction, and caution, a person can avoid the dangers and reap the benefits of great friendships and, perhaps, one day, marriage.
It’s easy to give Jesus priority status when there’s no competition.
When we start dating, however, it’s common for many of us to slowly channel the energy that we’ve been investing in our relationship with Him into our newfound love.
But when Jesus is relegated to being our second, third, or fourth priority, our entire view of love, sex, and relationships becomes distorted.
Knowing Jesus intimately is critical if we want to know what authentic, life-giving expressions of love, sex, and relationships look like.
It’s important to remember that discipleship is a process and a journey.