Dating is on the minds of almost every college student. If we are single, we walk into a room scoping out every corner for potential dating material. We are either dating or looking to date. Unfortunately, the culture of college tells us we always have to be on the look out, and because of this mindset, we jump into relationships before we are ready or with someone who does us more harm than good. In the end, we get hurt, and so do they. We lose track of who we are, and who we want to be. So before we commit ourselves to another person, let’s make sure we have our heart in the right place. Here are a few motivations that will lead us into a unhealthy relationship:
We Are Bored
Sometimes we just get lonely. While every one else is out on their date night, we have our own date with Netflix. And many times, we envy that other couple, not because of the relationship, but because they have someone they can always hang out with. We think, “If I was dating someone, I would have something to do on Friday nights.” If this is our motivation, it probably means we aren’t in the relationship because we care about the other person, but instead, we only care about what the other person can give. Which leads us to put pressure on them to always care for our needs and serve us. This sets up the relationship to be life-taking instead of life-giving.
We Are Incomplete Without Them
Matt Chandler often refers to the unfortunate, famous line, “You complete me,” from Jerry Maguire to have set up false assumptions for relationships. The over romanticized idea goes like this: if we can just get with this guy or girl, everything in our life will make sense. They will give us meaning. They will fix all of our past problems. They will be the answer to what’s missing in our life. But the truth is, they’re sinners just like we are. Going into a relationship where we place all of our hope on the other person saving the day is ultimately going to crush them. Then, in turn, it’s going to crush us.
No other fallen individual is going to be able to offer us the satisfaction we long for. Only Christ offers true satisfaction. And he doesn’t just complete us; he”transforms us into his image with ever increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Not only does he transform us, but he never changes. His desires are always for our good. Once again, another person, at some point in the relationship, is going to only have what’s best for them in mind. They will change. They will hurt us. So when looking for a relationship, let’s rework the idea of ‘You complete me,”to “You push me towards Jesus.”
“Don’t ask others to be more than they were designed to be; they will fail you. Put your hope in God, not in men” – Matt Chandler
We Are Tired of Being Single
In our culture, singleness is normally portrayed as an unfortunate period of time. The common idea is to push through it, and God will bless us in the end with someone. Well here’s the deal, singleness needs to be seen as a blessing from God as well. So many young adults feel they aren’t doing something right if they are single. It’s seen as a problem. But we need to rethink this idea. God gives us periods of singleness as a gift. Paul even said in 1 Corinthians 7:7 that he “wishes that all were as I myself am,” single for life. If we are single, let’s not rush out of the season just to be with someone. We are given singleness to learn to find contentment in Christ, to learn who we are as an individual, and to learn to pursue holiness before we pursue a relationship. With this in mind, let us not rush out of singleness just to be in a relationship, but instead, let us rest in God’s timing and enjoy the git of singleness.
We Have Done All the Right Things
“God, I’ve done good, so I think it’s about time you give me a relationship.” This might be the most prevalent thought of all, and it also might be the most severe that we must fight. At the root of this thought is this: we think God owes us something.That God can be indebted to us after we “do good.” But God does not work through negotiations. We don’t come to God saying, “I’ll do that if You give me this.” Unfortunately, we probably have all had this state of heart at some point. We have looked at others’ lives and told ourselves that we are a better person, and in turn, we have argued with God that we deserve someone more than they do.
In order to push against this idea, let’s bring ourselves back to these two truths: God owes us nothing, and we cannot put God in our debt. Now when we look at our love life through this lens, we see that its not about twisting God’s arm to make him give us what we want, but its about resting in his arms and wanting what he wants. And what he wants is our good (Romans 8:28). So that might mean we find our husband or wife in college, or that could mean we find them when we’re 60. That’s not our call. It’s his. Our call is to be obedient to his revealed will. Which strictly means this, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). It’s not our choice if a relationship will be added to us. It is our choice if we pursue God daily. If we do this, it does not promise us someone. But God does promise us his joy, which is far greater than any “love” some other person can offer.