In part 1, we established that, while the Bible doesn’t speak to Americanized dating specifically, key passages can be applied to dating relationships in a way that aligns our desires with those of God. From Matthew 6:33, we learned that dating is not about finding the right person but about being the right person.
In Philippians 4:4, Paul had such an important message to the Philippian church that it deserved repeating: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” The term rejoice means to return to the source of your joy. The source of joy for a believer is not the circumstances of life but the cross of Christ. Rejoicing in the Lord is an overwhelming delight in God for all that He has done for you in Christ. It includes finding satisfaction in Him alone.
Paul doesn’t just tell us to rejoice, but he tells us to do it always. Not when it’s convenient or when you feel like it, but always. This call to joy relates to dating in that you are to find your delight in God regardless of your current dating situation. Whatever dating situation you find yourself in, you are called to rejoice in it.
What dating situation are you in? By Facebook relationship standards, are you single? in a relationship? Or maybe ‘its complicated?’ How well are you delighting in your current dating situation? Are you finding your satisfaction in God or will you not be joyful until you find the one?
When I was a freshman, I came into Texas A&M with the mentality that, since there were over 20,000 girls in the school, I’ll take my chances with one of them, and if it doesn’t work out then I’ll just move on to the next. So, I came to school with a mental checklist ready to size up every girl I met. Why? Not because I was ready to pursue a girl towards marriage, but because I thought that the chase and the catch would be my source of delight. I was never satisfied with waiting on God’s timing so I was always searching for my happiness from girls.
By the end of the first semester, I realized that this was a futile approach to life. I realized I was seeking my joy from my current relational status instead of my relationship with Christ. God’s equation for joy is never joy = Christ + something else. If your delight in God is contingent on anything else, it is not the pure joy we are called to as Christians.
Until you come to the point where you find your joy in Christ regardless of your dating circumstances, you are missing His design for dating. Remember that Paul’s words in Philippians 4:4 to rejoice in the Lord are not a recommendation but a command. So, regardless of your relational status (even if ‘it’s complicated’), rejoice in the Lord.