Waiting, watching, praying, seeking counsel, more waiting, more talking, more praying.

Christian circles are full of dating talk, and many well-meaning people offer input. I’ve gone through every stage – the I-Kissed-Dating-Goodbye stage, the I-Gave-Dating-A-Chance stage, the Live-Like-A-Hermit-‘Til-He-Comes-Riding-in-on-a-Horse stage, the That’s-It-I’m-Moving-To-A-Convent-Because-It’s-Too-Much-Effort-and-Drama stage. Each one has its share of struggles, but each one has taught me a lot about what it means to love God first and most.

The Bible has no explicit roadmap for dating. The path to marriage in Scripture is all over the place! Consider these:

          Rebekah was doing her chores. She wasn’t cooped up in her home, but she was going about her life, doing what young women in that culture did. Isaac wasn’t even the one to ‘discover’ her – his servant was!

          Ruth, after losing her first husband, listened to a godly mentor and put herself at the feet of a much older, but God-fearing, man named Boaz.

          Mary was ‘betrothed,’ Scripture tells us, to a man named Joseph, but we know virtually nothing of what led up to their engagement.

So, how do you date as a single person? [That sounds like an oxymoron, but a very wise friend once pointed out that, Facebook-official or not, you and your significant other are not a couple in God’s eyes. Not yet. Not until you’ve entered into marriage and become one flesh. Until you’re married, you’re single.]

Here are some tips and things I’ve found to be very helpful in this season of “walking but not wedding.”

          PRAY. Yes, it’s mentioned all over the place, in every context in the Church, but there’s a reason – it helps. It’s about lining up your heart with God’s, not about making Him do something for you. If it is wise to marry this other person, He’ll give you peace. He’ll show you His heart for your life.

          SEEK. Talk to those in your life you trust. Let them ask the hard questions. Any relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic, is fed into by other relationships. Isolation is dangerous, and if the person you’re dating isn’t willing to step into your world, RUN.

          REFLECT. It can’t just be about their personality. What do THEY bring out in YOU? Do they drain you of joy, or do they build you up? Are you a different person around them? How do you function as two single dating individuals?

          ENJOY. Relish the season you’re in! This is a tough one, personally.  I’m not wired to wait… and the Lord knows I don’t do it very well.  But enjoy this season. Laugh together – don’t make every date about the heavy stuff.

There are many other things I could hit on here – and maybe I’ll save that for a future post. But for now, rejoice in being ‘biblically unattached.’ God’s got something for you in this season, so PRAY, SEEK, REFLECT, and ENJOY it.