Friday, October 8, 2010

Christian Online Dating by Denise Chand

On one of our previous shows, we did a segment on “Single Ladies” (No! It was in no way influenced by Beyoncé a.k.a. Sasha Fierce, the woman who truly suffers with identity crisis!). I had three exceptional women on the show who discussed their journey as they waited for their paths to be connected to the person who God had chosen for them. One of the ladies was no longer single and shared her powerful testimony: she prayed and trusted in God that He would connect her to her mate. While attending to His service, she met her now husband at her church. Don’t misinterpret me - I’m not saying that we will all find our husbands in the church we attend. I wholeheartedly believe not everyone will find their mates in church – so, please don’t go to church on Sunday and start scoping for your potential mate! The other two ladies shared their challenges and lessons learned as they put their trust in God for their husbands. I posed the question about online dating. Two didn’t believe in it and one didn’t comment (Well, we can certainly guess what her silence meant! After the show, she told me she wasn’t opposed to the idea.) I, on the other hand, was very vocal about my views on it and announced it on national television (for sure I can never entertain the idea or engage in it)!

Since the show I have continued my quest to see what others think about online dating, specifically what Christians think about it (I’ll share my personal views later). Recently I posted the question on Facebook, asking everyone to provide their opinions on online dating. Sadly enough, only TWO of my Facebook friends responded: one said, “Never done it”; the other, “Yes! I'm open to it!” (A special thank you to my two Facebook friends for replying!). It could very well be a sensitive subject where people are leery to share their views. Maybe there’s an undercurrent of fear that they’ll be judged. It’s not an appalling method of meeting someone, and who are we to judge anyone. Only God can judge us! However, everyone can have their personal opinion on the subject, which should have no reflection on a person favouring it. If it does, then that’s judging.

Whatever the reason is for the lack of openness from people (Christian and non-Christians), I’m still left standing where I started…I don’t know what Christians think about online dating. There are many Christian online dating sites in the Cyberworld, and there are many Christians who are active members of these sites. However, this doesn’t answer my questions. I want to know why they decided to engage in this method of meeting someone; how do they feel after participating in it; what are (were) their experiences; what is the success rate in it leading to marriage - my list of questions continues but I’ll spare you the agony of boring you with my thought process!

I don’t know anyone in my circle of Christian friends who have entertained this method of meeting their mates, who God has uniquely crafted for them (maybe they have but are quiet about it).

I certainly don’t have an archaic mindset, but I’m old fashion when it comes to meeting someone. I’m not 100% persuaded about throwing my “pearls” into a database for a $10,000+ software package (and the person who is profiting from the monthly/yearly fees) to help me find my soul mate by providing me with a list of “potentials”. They too will also have their own list of “potentials”. What’s the process of elimination: The ones with the whitest and straight teeth are the privileged ones, who will be ever-so blessed to receive an email to open communication? So, while he’s speaking words smeared with myrrh to me, where anxiety then builds like an infection creating an urgency to frequently check the site for any messages from him, he’s also being prince charming to someone else? Weeks have gone by, no communication from him, sleepless nights, to later discover his profile is down from the site (oh, he’s met his perfect match, leaving you standing there with a deeper hole in your heart, with an attack on your self-esteem, with a grimmer view on relationships, and not even the courtesy of an email to let you know he’s found someone; to later discover his profile is back up on the site because the match wasn’t a perfect match, so he sends you an email, “hey, how are ya?”) – OK, not every experience is dark and grim as this description but you get the picture.

Certainly this unfortunate situation also happens in conventional methods of meeting someone, but the way I see it, at that moment, I’m seeing with my optical and spiritual eyes who this person is (and I’m certainly not paying a monthly/yearly fee to keep my profile active – that money can go towards a nice pair of heels), which ultimately determines if I move forward with this person or not. I haven’t invested too much time and mental energy. Emphatically yes, I believe in a single meeting we’re able to discern enough about that person and make a decision of whether or not we want to build something with this person; be it a friendship or a relationship. If you allow all you’ve gained from your past relationships and listen to the Holy Spirit, you’ll know. A person’s words and actions locate them – pay attention, and don’t be distracted by the person’s physical appearance or status. And if you’re uncertain, don’t move forward. Keep your eyes on God and He’ll reveal a lot to you. Believe me or not, within a 5 to 10 minute (sometimes less) conversation, I know!

Having said the aforementioned, if online dating is working for you, congratulations! If you’re considering it, wonderful! Share your experiences with me. No one is saying it’s right, or it’s wrong. The ultimate choice is ours. For me personally, I don’t want to remove the God factor out of me meeting someone and I believe online dating removes Him (I reiterate…this is my personal opinion/belief, so please don’t come to me with a loaded gun of belligerent words; however, I welcome your personal opinion/belief!). I need to see His divine connection – the miraculous workings of His hands (as I do in every area of my life). The same way He connected Abraham’s servant’s path to Rebekah (for a wife for Isaac – Gen. 24), He can do that for me. The same way He directed Ruth’s steps into the path of Boaz (The Book of Ruth), He can do that for me. In one single meeting, God connected the paths of these individuals and many more in our world today (some we know of, and some we don’t). I love Love! Since I was eight I’ve been writing about love, so my expectation of love (soul mates) are high, which can at times seem unrealistic to others, but as a believer in Jesus, knowing that the Holy Spirit lives in me, who directs my steps (if I let Him) I function by a different set of rules and know anything is possible because I have faith.
["…Anything is possible for someone who has faith!" Mark 9:23CEV]
If I’m trusting and believing Him for my finances, career, health, family, etc., why can’t I believe He’ll move miraculously in this particular area of my life? Why limit God?

Seek out of the book of the Lord and read: not one of these [details of prophecy] shall fail, none shall want and lack her [or his] mate [in fulfillment]. For the mouth [of the Lord] has commanded, and His Spirit has gathered them. Isaiah 34:16AMP
God Bless,

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