So, recently I stumbled across a blog post by Lauren DeMoss over at TheFullTimeGirl.com entitled “Don’t Be A Missionary.” Pulled in by the title, I began to read something so different than what I expected. In this post, Lauren is talking about Christians dating non-Christians, and basically giving a list of reasons of why we shouldn’t be doing that. I am writing a response to this post – not as a personal attack on Lauren or her theology, but a mere challenge to some of what she said. I don’t completely disagree with her on some points, but I don’t agree on all the points either.
There is a particular line in which Lauren writes: “Who you are attracted to says a lot about what YOU value.”
I need to challenge this statement. No matter how ‘Christian’ or ‘Not Christian’ we are – we are still human beings. We still have flesh and feelings. And so, we are still attracted to people. That being said, sometimes we, as Christians, will be attracted to people who are not Christians. That attraction is not any kind of statement about who we are as people, or who we are as Christians. Please hear me on this; we are not any less of a Christian just because we find ourselves attracted to a non-Christian. Our salvation is never, ever dependent on our behaviour – it’s dependent upon our belief in Jesus Christ as Lord.
So please, don’t ever, ever feel like less of a Christian, and therefore less of a person because you are attracted to someone who doesn’t yet know Jesus. What matters, Beloved, is what you do with that attraction. I am speaking from experience in this situation, and I have learned that dating someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus when you do is usually not the best idea… But don’t, don’t feel guilty if you have dated a non-Christian in the past. God can and will use anything, even a relationship that was not necessarily the wisest choice.
The next thing I need to humbly challenge is when Lauren writes: “girls, unsaved guys are looking for ONE thing from you… He will expect for you to follow through with the next step – sex.”
Now, I am aware there are guys like this. And I am NOT for one second saying that sex isn’t on his mind at times. But to make the statement ‘he is only interested in you for sex’ is overgeneralising. Believe it or not – there are still unsaved men in this world who care about women beyond just the physical. There are unsaved men in this world with good character and strong hearts. I’m not saying they have perfect morals and would be willing to wait for sex until marriage. I'm not saying they wont expect sex at some point. I’m just saying that not every single unsaved guy out there is only ever interested in sex straight up.
Also, I just want to say, I agree with the statement Lauren makes about us not being the ‘Holy Spirit Junior.’ We cannot save people – believe me, I have tried and failed. I know we want to be the one to see them saved, but we can still do that from a distance. Breaking up with someone who isn’t the best choice for you to date right now does not mean you cannot still pray for them. In fact, I want to urge you to pray and keep praying for them. Intercede on their behalf… Beg God for miracles in their life. Just be open to realizing their salvation may come while they're out in their world, perhaps after dating other people and living a life separate to you.
Finally, I want to tell you something… I have been in this position. It’s not something a lot of people know, but I have been on dates with an unsaved guy. I fell hard for someone who doesn't know Jesus – and it was a painful journey. I don’t for one second regret going out with him – I don’t for one second believe I am any less of a Christian for being attracted to him. But I have learned the hard way that dating an unsaved guy will not work. It was not easy loving someone who doesn't know Jesus, and honestly – I had to learn to just get on my knees and pray – constantly. I couldn't save him just because I wanted to date him. But I could realize he needs Jesus way more than he needs me – and because of that, I could pray for him, for his salvation. I could live knowing that he and I were not an accident, and God would use that entire situation for good.
If you find yourself in this kind of situation right now, know that I’m praying for you. You have the strength to get through this. Live wisely, my friend. Realize that sometimes it’s necessary to say good bye to people for a season, even when it hurts like hell. Believe in a God Who redeems – and realize that though you’re closing the door now, He has the power to open it up again if and when it’s right. Live your heartbreak, baby, but listen for God’s voice in the midst of it. I understand your pain, and there is no condemnation here for you. I get it. And lastly, know this: ‘Your past is your past. We all make mistakes. But your purity can start now.’