Last night, I skyped with my friend (and our founder), Nina, and she said something that stuck out to me, “Who we date says a lot about us and where God falls on our list of priorities.”
In my first year of college, at the age of nineteen, I started dating my second girlfriend, *Becca. Becca was smart, fun, and worshipped at the same church. We were also in the same campus bible study where I could tell that we had chemistry. All systems pointed to “Go.”
But here’s where things got tricky with Becca.
Becca disagreed with me about even the most basic aspects of following Christ. I took the lead spiritually and initiated the purity talk where I told her about my commitment to save myself for my future wife. She respected that and never tried to pressure me. But to be honest, she wasn’t on the same page and if it weren’t up to me, we would have been having sex. Also, even though she went to church and we got to know each other in a bible study, if I’d been honest with myself, I would have admitted that God wasn’t a priority in her life.
Church was two hours each week. Bible study was usually the same. Outside of that small percentage of our lives, I can say that God wasn’t on her mind or high up on her list of priorities. I don’t want to demonize her. She was a nice girl and an incredible friend to me, and what we had was real. But all the red flags, such as her jokingly saying how she just wanted to “get drunk this weekend, just once,” as she bought beers or how she’d always choose to miss church if the opportunity to go out of town with her friends presented itself, weren’t all signs of problems with just her. Truth be told, they pointed to problems with ME at the end of the day.
The biggest red flag in this situation wasn’t to do with her jokingly saying that she was going to sin by getting drunk or how she pursued God very rarely outside of Sunday morning and bible study. The biggest red flag was that I heard and saw these things, and I chose to stay yoked up to it.
When I tell this story to the kids in the youth ministry I lead, they’re always shocked. They look at me and my walk today and wonder how I could have been in that situation. The answer is simple: My walk did not have the same priority then as it does today. That’s the answer for how I was in that situation. Even though I was NEVER the kind of guy who’d talk about wanting to get drunk like it was something to laugh about and I kept myself celibate, my relationship with God had taken a back seat to popularity, sports, and Harvard Medical School applications.
Becca’s worldliness was not a dealbreaker to me because God was not the true leader of my life. I may have believed that Jesus died for my sins. I may have sung the words “Christ is Lord, Lord of all” on Sunday mornings, but I didn’t have Him in his rightful place in my life. I would say that He was Lord, but faith without works is dead and actions speak louder than words. And my actions spoke loud and clear, “Jesus is NOT the Lord of my life.”
The person you date represents you and your walk with God.
Where God falls on their list of priorities accurately represents where God falls on YOUR list of priorities. I know Becca was an accurate representation of mine.
Once I put Jesus back into His rightful place as Lord and leader of my life, that was when I ended things with Becca. I knew she wouldn’t be a good partner for me in my walk. Not only that, but I also became less and less attracted to her and more frustrated. It became obvious that she was a spiritual deadweight in my life, and not a Partner-in-Christ who would represent my values and Christ’s standing in my life the way I’d want to be represented.
The person you date says a lot about your walk with God. Choose someone who’ll represent your relationship with Him well.