Today was the first time I have ever totally disagreed with a Blimey Cow video. Honestly it was a bitter realization, because their videos oftentimes help me understand different viewpoints. However, though I understand that the Blimey Cow crew covered the topic of being intentional in their usual sarcastic/satirical way, I feel that they completely skewed the true meaning of dating with intention, turning it into something that the world openly mocks Christians for: participating in courtships.
Like many other Christians, I tuned in to TLC to watch 19 Kids and Counting before the scandal happened last year. Though I admired the Duggars’ exhibitions of faith throughout the series, I always had mixed feelings about their practice of courting. Initially, I admired the concept, due to its similarity to the dating style in Jane Austen’s novels. There’s something sweet about only dating someone if you like them well enough to marry them; well, unless you’re taking Mr. Collins’s approach of marrying anyone off the street. Conversely, the concept is also borderline crazy, in the case that one has not taken the time to actually get to know the person they wish to court before initiating the courtship. This is where I feel that Blimey Cow went wrong today, mistaking the act of courting for the act of being intentional.
When it comes to dating, being intentional doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to commit to marrying every person you go on a date with. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Being intentional consists of approaching the entire realm of dating while asking yourself these questions:
- Am I mature enough to take dating seriously?
- Why do I want a significant other in the first place?
- Am I dating just because everyone else is doing it/expecting me to, or am I doing it for myself?
- Does the person I want to date love Jesus as much as I do?
- Am I seeking to honor God with this relationship?
- Do I actually like the person I want to date, or are they just a convenient, go-to “prospect”?
- Could I potentially fall in love with this person, or am I acting on feelings of lust?
You see, dating with intention doesn’t focus on marrying yourself off on the first date. Instead, it’s intended purpose is to get you to think through your actions in order to sort out your feelings. If you ask yourself the aforementioned questions and find that the only reason you like someone is because they’re attractive, then that’s a sure-fire sign that you are not thinking of the long-term effects that dating this person could have. So what if the guy’s hot? Will he be hot ten years from now when he’s jacked back in a recliner, beer can in hand, watching a game at an obnoxiously loud volume and refusing to go to church with you? I rest my case.
I totally agree that thinking about marriage on the first date is extreme. However, thinking of the long-term effects of continually dating someone could save you, and them, loads of heartache. For example, if a guy who you know you don’t like or have anything in common with asks you out, it is perfectly fine to decline his offer. In my opinion, being rejected before a relationship begins is easier to handle than being rejected after dating the person for an extended period of time, only to find out that the person you were dating hated your guts. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that by approaching dating with intention, you are protecting your heart.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Most importantly, being intentional means that you are not only focusing on what you want out of a relationship, but how it will affect your relationship with God. I can go ahead and tell you that if you have no intention of honoring God with your relationship, then that relationship is going to be pretty hard to bless. Guard your heart from what you know won’t work, wait patiently, and when the time is right, God will show you what He intends for you to do.
Here’s an alternative video that describes being intentional correctly:
Goodnight, and God bless!