Dating with the Intention of…

Dating is a tricky thing.  Now, don’t get me wrong-there is so much of dating that is fantastic and necessary.  It is a joy to have a confidant, comedian, caretaker, and caretakee who gets to invest in you and whom you get to invest in. It is such a blessing to have someone of the opposite gender to give you biblical wisdom and advice. It is important to know somewhere ever so well before you marry them!  It’s also great because of little things like, having a best friend who thinks you are really awesome, getting to do out to dinner with your best friend who thinks you’re really awesome, and especially lounging in yoga pants and a sweatshirt looking like a homeless bum with your best friend that thinks you look ridiculous and yet still thinks you’re really awesome.

But there is no much of dating that feels…unnatural, impossible, and often times frustrating. For example I wish I could better understand and implement how I am supposed to “guard my heart” because he may not be my husband, but also “be vulnerable and transparent” in case he is going to be my husband? And Lord knows I am not the only one who gets frustrated with years of being intimate in these acceptable ways, A, B, C…but not these ways: X, Y, Z. All while planning on probably, most likely, aiming for, trying to, might, perhaps, hopefully marrying this person-but with no real guarantee that you two will make it to the alter.

Date with the intention of marriage they said. It’ll be fun they said.

Fun until you fail.

In February, I just broke up with the man I had been dating with the intention of marrying for almost two years. When that happens, when you get to the end of your relationship, and it’s culmination is not what you have been working for-you feel like a failure. Your goal was not met. You did not succeed in fulfilling its purpose. You did not win. You failed at dating.

And it is so very painful.

There is a lot I would do differently in that relationship-maybe God in His wisdom will gives us a chance to try again. If that happens, do you know what I am going to do differently? Well, there are quite a few things, but one of the primary things will be to change my heart’s goal. I want our goal instead of being marriage, marriage, marriage- to be to date with the intention of godliness.

If we date with the intention of godliness, and at the end of our time together we realize that we aren’t compatible in marriage-that is okay! Because that wasn’t our goal or purpose. My goal is simply to help him to grow in holiness, and his is to help me grow in mine. Dating with the intention of marriage can accidentally encourage sexual sin, whereas godliness forbids even a hint of sexual immorality and there is no crutch of “going to be’s” to lean on in sin.  If we date with the intention of godliness, the man I do end up marrying would be able to thank my relationships for investing in my holiness and righteousness, for making me a better woman! And vice versa.

I thank God for each of my dating relationships, but appropriately mourn over parts of them. I pray for the day that I honor God in dating a man that leads to honoring God in marrying that man. And I pray that He blesses us with the opportunity to teach ours sons and daughters how to and how not to date for the glory of God and the intention of godliness.

What do you think? I know this doesn’t “solve all the problems” of dating? And I know I didn’t lay it out in much detail-but does it make sense? Is it possible (and or profitable) to do?


21 thoughts on “Dating with the Intention of…

  1. Leah Y. says:

    I think this is truly insightful! I’ve been very frustrated in the past with all the ‘christian’ do’s and don’ts of dating – where’s the freedom? It’s very true that our focus should not be on anything other but allowing the Lord to shape us both through the process. thanks for posting! 🙂

    • bettycatherine says:

      You are so very welcome Leah! Dating is SUCH a tricky thing, but like EVERYTHING in life, should propel us to completion and perfection in Christ (James 1)! 🙂 Thank YOU for responding!

  2. Sophie McDonald says:

    WHY IN THE WORLD AM I JUST NOW SEEING THIS BLOG?! This is one of the best things I’ve ever read on the subject (and holy cow have I read a lot). I am so grateful for you and this blog which, in God’s perfect providence, came at such a timely moment. Thank you so much! Love you!

    • bettycatherine says:

      SOPHIE! My dear, sweet friend! How PERFECTLY sovereign is our God! When I remember to pray over my blogs and the people that it can reach only by the grace of God, I forget that he controls even WHEN they read it! I love that he ‘withheld’ it from you until the perfect time! Thank you for your encouragement! 🙂 Love you so!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think these are really good points to keep in mind while you date. Godliness in a relationship IS a big part of it. Like it said, all things dont have to be said but the things that aren’t said shouldn’t affect/harm the relationship.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is such a cool idea! you are so full of wisdom,faith and love! The way you put dating into such simple but yet still very thorough wording is so powerful. Growing in Godliness together is such an important key to a relationship. The Lord can do powerful things in a relationship if you LET Him. Continue to trust in Him. Like you said having the right goal of heart is huge in a relationship,not going straight towards the intimacy but actually getting to know that person and waiting. Your wisdom is impeccable!! Much love!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is so inspiring to hear even though I can’t date. I feel as if kids these days get so caught up with what is cool and what isn’t cool. Guys or girls may want to lead you to do something bad that you should not do, but it’s cool to them so you feel pressured. You have many thoughts and desires for what you want to do, and it can be scary if you are not with the right person. It’s very important to have Christ in your relationship as well as somebody to keep you accountable for the actions that you are doing. I feel like that connection will grow as you and your significant other grows. I feel like it’s important to create boundries with a parent as well as with your significant other to see where y’all are. You should know what you both want and need in this relationship.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think this is great advice and I love how you worded it. I wholly agree with “dating with the intention of godliness” rather than the “intention of marriage” because you don’t know what the future holds for you and whoever you’re dating. It is important to have this intent, also, because it helps you focus more on God in your relationship. It is incredibly important to have God in the center of any relationship, especially in dating when it is so easy to go astray. Thank you for your advice Mrs. Bacon. It really helps with my perspective on dating and the right goals for it.

  7. kwisten says:

    I loved that sooo much it really helped me because this has been bothering me and i’m someone who is really awkward so I sometimes don’t want to talk to my parents about it but I really love it and it really taught me a lot and really kinda opened up my eyes even though it wasn’t a lot it still really helped me and i’ll defenently (that’s spelled wrong lol) but anyway i’ll take it into consideration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  8. Anonymous says:

    I loved the part where you said instead of dating with the intention of marriage, we should date with the intention of Godliness. And how dating isn’t just all about doing couple-y things with our significant other its also about leading them and their relationship closer to God.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think that the guy that you are dating should be so godly you can see it in him. I thought that what you said, you should never date with the intention of marriage because it could lead to sinful things was a great point. He should also take you closer to God and not pull you away from Him.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think that this is great advice. one thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that you shouldn’t date with the intention of marriage. I think that when you date with the intentions of marriage and things don’t end up working out, it makes the break ten times more painful. When your intentions in a relationship are to only better, uplift, and encourage the other person, it might be easier to end the relationship if it isn’t going well. It can also take the pressure off of each person to get married.

  11. Shelby says:

    This really gives good information for young people (like me) who haven’t really gotten that dating experience or a good one. This gives me such great insight on what dating should really be about and shows that even if it doesn’t work out it shapes the two of you into good Christians together. Even in the long end, it gives you a friend to talk to in the future and a strong relationship.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is truly inspiring because I’ve always had the thought of dating with the intention of marriage. I need to be dating with the intention of godliness. With how our culture is today all people think about is the bad things, we don’t truly see the important things about being in a relationship. They should inspire us to do good things and not bad things.

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