Junior and I have been friends since youth group several years ago. Now he's super smart, teaches the bible to young minds, and found a BIOLA girl to marry him in spite of his hilarious antics. We've been dialoging for months about how difficult it is to meander through the labyrinth of Christian dating, so we decided to go to the masses of the world wide web and stand on our soapboxes. For more ramblings about life and culture, you can check out his blog. If you agree with him, leave a comment. If you don't agree with him, keep opening your soda cans with your teeth while singing Amazing Grace on your porch and throw stones at us [yes, that could be in the form of an anonymous comment]. Enjoy!
Christian dating has certainly become extremely complicated. I’ve heard sermons on the topic using the passage in Genesis where God put Adam asleep and when he woke up, Eve was there. Therefore, do nothing and “wait on the Lord.” I have never heard a sermon preached on Judges 21 when the tribe of Benjamin kidnapped the daughters of Shiloh and made them their wives as “instructive” for the same topic. They are both OT narratives. Why apply one and not the other?
I’ve read Christian dating books such as the popular I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris. Although it should have been called I Said Hello to Bad Exegesis. The premise of the book basically was to avoid dating at all cost because it was somehow more spiritual. Then there’s Henry Cloud’s How to Get a Date Worth Keeping, which makes dating a commandment and to date everyone in sight.
With so much unclear direction and different authorities saying numerous things, it’s no wonder why women have taken the subject so seriously, and I argue a little too seriously. When I first started attending Biola University as an undergraduate I thought I was in the Land of Milk and Honeys. I would casually ask out girls to coffee just to get to know them. To my amazement, every time the word “coffee” was mentioned the girl reacted like I asked her to bear my children. Why are women taking something so simple and making it complicated? (This is where I see older men crack a smile and have “the talk about women” with me.) Why does a woman feel if she can’t see herself marrying the guy on the spot, she can’t even have coffee with him? Is anything in life that instantaneous? Consider all your closet relationships. Did they happen over night? No. And yet you expect arguably the most important human relationship, your spouse, to happen that way? Baffling.
No matter how you pour it, coffee doesn’t mean marriage. If the guy has the intestinal fortitude to ask you to coffee it might be worth going. There are no obligations afterwards. Some coffee dates might be good and some not but at least you get to experience getting to know different types of people. As relational beings, we all benefit from it. Who knows, maybe you end up actually enjoying yourself. In short, don’t take dating so serious and simply enjoy getting to know people because you’re stressing all of us out.