Thursday, April 22, 2010

Can't I Just Have Fun?

Dear Jocelyn,
I had a marvelous time on a recent first date, though I already know there's no longterm relationship potential since he is not a Christian (and I am). The church generally says Christians shouldn’t date non-Christians – the potential for needless heartache, etc – but since I am not currently looking for anything serious, hanging out with him seems ideal. Plus he’s fun and makes me laugh. Am I foolish for thinking I can casually date a non-Christian for a season, or should I quit overthinking and let myself have some fun?
-Not Serious

Dear Not Serious,
This is a tricky question, mostly because it depends on your definition of "date." The purpose behind the church's guideline to not date non-Christians is that it is unwise for a Christian to marry someone who isn't. Considering that one of the most argued about subjects in marriage is religion, I would say this should be everyone's guideline. Since when you date somebody, you are not always in control of your heart, it is a good idea to avoid being in a situation where you might fall in love with a person you cannot marry. However, hanging out and spending time with non-Christians is perfectly fine. Since I don't know the state of your heart, let me ask you a question: Does the thought of cutting of communication with this fellow hurt? Does it make you sad? If it does, how will feel after becoming even more romantically involved?

I recommend Henry Cloud's book "How To Find A Date Worth Keeping" for further reading. He discusses the purpose of dating, and how a Christian can date casually. You can use this experience as a way to get to know him, find out things you do and don't want in a relationship, etc. But since, as you said, this is not going to go anywhere, you should keep this from becoming a relationship, and just enjoy seeing him on a casual basis.

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