I often speak to Christian women frustrated by the lack of dating options in their circle of peers. They’ve tried involvement in their communities, joining new groups and clubs, and even switching churches to surround themselves with people their age – and still, women outnumber men 3:1! But when I suggest they consider online dating, I am universally received with shock. “Doesn’t that mean I’m not trusting God?” They ask.
“Absolutely not!” I answer – and this post explains why!
A few weeks ago on my weekly Facebook live, I talked about this topic (watch the video here). It was requested that I write a post to go with it, so following is a transcript of the points I made in the video.
FAITH AND ACTION ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE
When people argue that online dating is a “lack of trust”, it reveals a very narrow definition of trust in God. This interpretation indicates that faith and action are mutually exclusive – when that couldn’t be further from the truth! Sometimes trust IS a matter of waiting on the Lord. But there are many times when faith necessitates action.
Abraham is a great example of both kinds of trust. He waited many years for God to fulfill His promise of a son. Once his son was born, He knew God’s intention for Isaac was a godly spouse. He functioned within the cultural standard of the day – arranged marriage – and stepped out in FAITH to find a spouse for his son. In my post “Should a Christian Woman Put Herself Out There?” I went further into this story:
Abraham sent his servant on a journey expressly to find a godly wife for his son Isaac (Gen. 24). Was Abraham lacking faith for not believing God could bring a Rebekah to Canaan for his son? To the contrary, Abraham was acting on His faith that God wanted a righteous spouse for his child (and in that day, they achieved those ends through arranged marriage – not so the case today). Seeking out godly company is acting on faith: faith that God has a plan and timing for your future, and taking a step of faith in His provision. That involves risk. But it might mean you date someone who isn’t actually ‘the One’.
We aren’t promised a future spouse, but most people marry at some point in their lives. We have the freedom of choosing a spouse from among the Christ-followers we meet – but we have to meet them! Putting ourselves in a position to do so is not “faithless”; it’s wise. Just as we don’t sit around waiting for a job to show up when we’re unemployed – we edit our resume, send it out to companies, and network within our industry – we shouldn’t sit around in our homes expecting a spouse to appear out of thin air. We should live lives sold out to Christ, pursuing His commission, and actively put ourselves in a place to meet people who know Him – even online.
KNOCK ON EVERY DOOR GOD PROVIDES
Not everyone will meet their spouse online, including those who online date. I myself online dated briefly before I met my husband – and we met at our alma mater. Online dating is not a quick fix or a guarantee; it’s just another open door to try.
God doesn’t always make one path the answer. Sometimes He offers many doors, and it’s our job to knock on them all. Sometimes, He gives us freedom to choose a door to walk through. Those doors may be a singles group at your church, a new gym class – or online dating. If your current work and lifestyle keep you from meeting people, the door you may need to open could be the one you’ve ignored: Online dating.
THERE ARE WEIRDOS IN REAL LIFE, TOO
The final objection I receive is, “But online dating has so many WEIRDOS!”
But if there weren’t weirdos in “real life” too, would you be single right now? No! You’ve probably turned down dates from one or two “weirdos” – people who were strange or obnoxious or overly needy. Weirdos are a universal aspect of society. Online dating just concentrates a bunch of them in one place!
You WILL have to sift through profiles. You WILL have to discern who is stable and “normal”, and it may take time. But many, many godly couples meet one another online in this age of busy careers. It is not evidence of lack of faith. It may be a step of faith. It may be a one-time experiment, or a once in a lifetime experience.