Dating Tips For Christians - Decemember 2005 December 2005

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December 13, 2005 11:51 - Is it OK to be proactive about finding a mate?

Surfing for a Spouse
I'm 30 years old and debating whether to sign up for an online Christian dating service. I hear conflicting advice from other believers about going this route. Some say I shouldn't seek a husband; God will provide a mate in his time. Others encourage me to seek out eligible men to date. What do you think I should do?

It's easy to make the mistake of taking a "super-spiritual" approach to dating, expecting God to play cosmic matchmaker. And while it's crucial that prayer and wisdom guide you, it's equally important to take ownership of the process. Scripture is full of examples of people being proactive about finding mates. And a Christian dating service can be a great help in connecting you with people who share your interests, traits, and deeply held values. Think of it this way: Would it help to be in a room with a dozen other single men who are potential good matches for you? Of course. And that's what an effective online matching service does. I know dozens of happily married people who found each other this way.

If you choose to go this route, here are three things to keep in mind.

1) Don't be tempted to play games by presenting yourself to be different than you are. Be real.

2) Focus on the characteristics you want to find in your date. I've seen too many singles who want so desperately to be dating that they overlook problems in the other person. They sometimes fall for the popular myth, "I'll change him." You won't, so don't try.

3) God reveals his will in a variety of ways and we have to resist the idea that there's a predictable formula to follow that leads to a spouse.

One caution: The desire for love is so deep it easily can become an overwhelming goal. Resist the temptation to become consumed with the search for a mate.

Discerning God's will in your love life requires a listening spirit and, sometimes, a smart strategy. Prayer, wise counsel, and a spirit of obedience to God's direction are essential.

Leslie Parrott, Ed.D. is co-founder (with her husband, Les) of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University and the author of several books, including Love Talk (Zondervan). Have a relationship question for Leslie? Check out her website at, e-mail her at

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