Serial Dating- Lining up many dates with multiple partners, choosing not to center on one person.
Single Christians have it hard. I know I highlighted a Biblical standard a couple of weeks ago that is easier said than lived by. I suggested that only married people are approved by God to have sex. I received questions from several single people who are doing everything they can to hold on to what is right as it pertains to keeping themselves. Both privately and publicly, individuals asked “What do you do when you’ve been single for ten, fifteen, or even twenty years and you’re still at a point in your life where you crave to be sexually active?” “When you have no marriage prospects, in fact you’re not even dating anyone seriously, are you ever supposed to get to the point where you ask God to just take the desire to have sex away?” “When, if ever, are you supposed to settle with the idea that celibacy is your life and you’ll never get married?”
Considering that I’ve been married for nearly twelve years, I don’t really have answers. My heart goes out to you and I pray that your struggle will soon find its expiration date as God blesses you with a wife (or husband if you’re a woman reading this). However, what I have seen over the years and have had brought to my attention in recent weeks is the unhealthy practice of serial dating within the church. Here’s the deal! Even though many of you desire to have your sexual needs met, it is encouraging to know that there are still people who choose to not just marry anybody. You desire to do it right and that’s where the serial dating begins.
For the most part, Christians desire to be in relationships with people who share the same convictions. That’s important when considering if one is marriage material. You ask yourself questions like, “Could I see myself having children with this person? If so, would we rear them the same way?” “What are her/his convictions about how to handle money?” Our convictions are not only realized by our own study of the Bible, but also the sermons we regularly hear. This means that it is quite possible that those who attend the same church you attend and are being fed the same spiritual food you’re being fed have very similar, if not the exact same, convictions. Knowing this, men easily mess up.
There are way more single women in church than men. This means that the percentage of beautiful, single women in your church is higher than the percentage of solid, single, men. Men fall into the trap of believing that because of the mutual church membership and the aesthetic appeal of the single sister, we should pursue her. In many ways, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, what do you do if that pursuit escalates to a more serious relationship, but the relationship doesn’t work out? For several of us, we move on to the next one- IN THE SAME CHURCH! I’m not innocent. I dated a girl who at one point attended the same church I attended. My wife, although joining years later, attended that church as well. That’s the full extent of my experience with this topic. Yet, there are several of you who have dated three, four, and even ten women from the same church. Let me tell you why that’s dangerous and must be stopped.
It Damages the Church Experience
Yes, we go to church to worship God. Yet and still, it is very difficult to focus on the true reason for being there when your ex has to constantly see you with your new bae. More than likely, if you and the new bae don’t find another place to worship, your ex will.
It Promotes Distrust Among Family
Christians are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ. This is especially true if we attend the same church. Not only does it show your lack of respect for the “sisters in Christ” relationship, but it exposes those who find it perfectly acceptable to break the unwritten rule that we are not supposed to date behind our sisters or brothers. Once your sister has dated him, especially if you are close, he should be off limits. However, in desperation, many people disregard this rule. Once the rule has been broken, trust is lost and it’s quite possible that it will never be regained.
It Sets a Bad Example
Believe it or not, the youth are watching you and they see more than they say. When they watch you go from person to person in the same church, it communicates that this must be acceptable. Hence, long after you’ve been married or simply moved on, the serial dating saga continues in a new generation.
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full-time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 12 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.