Thursday, November 15, 2012

Great Dates: Companionship

Last post I discussed dating with marriage in mind and I made a statement that I think is worth expanding. This [when you date with marriage in mind] means dating solely for companionship shouldn’t be your main motivation for dating.

Here a thought-provoking question: How many people did you date because you were lonely? How did those relationships work out?

I admit that when I was single, I dated for solely for companionship. For most of those relationships, I knew they weren’t going anywhere from the beginning. Those relationships were just something to occupy my time but turned out to be the most emotionally damaging. I think that was because I was looking for companionship in the wrong places.

Companionship is something humans need. God created us to be relational. Consider His words concerning Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone.” God made this statement after Adam named the animals but didn’t find an animal “like” him.

Although this passage proceeds Eve’s creation, I think there is an important underlying principal and it is companionship. Companionship at its most basic form is having someone present to walk and experience life with. Someone to grow with. I believe one of the greatest gifts we can give to others is to witness and validate their lives. When we agree to be someone’s companion, we are saying,  “Your life is important to me and has value in my eyes.”

But the truth is we can have companionship outside of dating and even beyond marriage. Every healthy relationship in our lives provides companionship, which is one of the reasons this series will cover more than just singles dating. Your family provides companionship. Your girlfriends (or guyfriends) provide companionship. Your sisters-in-Christ provide companionships and so do your coworkers.

All these people witness your life and validate its value. When you find companionship in all your relationships, you avoid trying to find one relationship (which most of the time is a dating relationship) to completely fulfill your companionship needs.

So before you, single Christian, start dating another person, ask yourself, “Am I relying on this dating relationship to fulfill my companionship needs?” Ask if there aren’t some other relationships, permanent relationships, that you have neglected but might be just the companionship you need. Married Christians, as yourself if you are relying too much on your spouse to meet all your companionship needs and explore building healthy relationships with other trustworthy Christians.

We need companionship, yes, but make sure you’re receiving and giving companionship in all your relationships. 

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