Ep. 496 Is It Okay for Christians to Use Online Dating Apps?

Ep. 496 Is It Okay for Christians to Use Online Dating Apps

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Shows Main Idea – A friend on the Supporting Member side of our site asked about dating apps because of their growing ubiquitous nature in the church. The concern for many believers who want to marry is the difficulty in finding relationships in the church and whether dating apps are biblical, possible, or wise. It’s a great question in light of our technological age and something every Christian must consider because we are past the point of no return regarding technology.

Show Notes

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Ten Suggestions

1–Bible: The Bible does not say, as the Bible does not explicitly speak to most things. Each person must seek wisdom from God’s Word, the Spirit’s illuminations, the conscience, and the faith community.

2–Freedom: Christians have purposeful freedom where the Bible is unclear, but we must modify the word freedom with purposeful. A train can run at optimal levels within the structure of the rails. If you remove the rails, it will never be all it could be. Freedom without structure leads to horrific results. The Christian rails are fourfold: Canon, Comforter, Conscience, and Community.

3–Evidence: Some folks have found biblical relationships and marriage through these apps. Other folks have had disastrous results. I only mention anecdotal evidence because people will share their stories of success or failure. Anecdotal evidence is like eisegesis; you can read into it what you want, according to the desires of your heart.

4–Options: There’s more than one way to find a spouse, e.g., arranged marriages, so we can’t have a one-size-fits-all mentality. Different cultures and individuals do things differently. The operative word is caution: Proceed with caution.

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5–Motives: Identify motives of the heart, e.g., marriage for the wrong reason. The transcending reason to get married is, “I believe we can glorify God more effectively by becoming one flesh than by being two independent entities.”

6–Disinhibition: Recognize the disinhibition effect, a lack of a social filter when online, tempting a person to say or do anything their heart desires, including all the nefariousness in our imperfect souls.

7–Transparency: The folks using these apps should be willing to show their conversations to a friend. Covenant Eyes has been doing this for years by setting up accountability that receives a report of the sites a person visits. The gospel-affected soul has nothing to fear, protect, or hide, releasing them to be open with at least one appropriate friend.

8–Diligence: I do not recommend making a lifetime decision based on online discussions. It would be foolish to do so in light of all we know about online deception. The person must do more due diligence when/if the time is right, e.g., theological understanding, meeting the parents and other family members, etc.

9–Leadership: “When you discuss dating apps, could you elaborate on the role of women, especially in the context of being pursued by men? I’m curious how this dynamic aligns with the Holy Spirit’s guidance in finding a life partner. I wonder if using a dating app would be contrary to the concept that women are traditionally pursued by men and, therefore, in a more passive position.”

  • Making yourself available for someone to find you does not have to be wrong. A lady would attend church or other gatherings, hoping a guy would notice and be interested. You could make a similar case for dating apps.
  • However, girls must understand that many guys, and even more so online, are manipulative, devious, are in pursuit of a score, and know how to say the right things to lure a desiring, romantic heart into their web. She must be transparent about those conversations.
  • Also, men should be the pursuers. One of the most disastrous character traits in a husband is passivity. You do not want to begin the relationship that way. He must be a man, and part of that is his proactivity, planning, and pursuing.

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10–Real v Good: Nancy Pearcey talked about the difference between a real man and a good man in her book, The Toxic War on Masculinity. A real man is what you might find in a “blow-em-up” movie: a John Wayne-type macho man. A good man aligns with the fruit of the Spirit. And though the world bashes men too often, the best men are good men, and the number one place to find them, according to her research, is in the local church—a warning to all of us who talk about evil Christian men. However, she did say the worst men are “real men in the church,” a danger for sure.

Call to Action

One of our supporters gave me this CTA as we discussed this topic in our Leaders Over Coffee forums. She was unsure where she got these things, so if you know, please let me know so we can accredit adequately.

  1. Will this decision/action/attitude bring glory to God or bring glory to self?
  2. Will this decision/action/attitude produce spiritual benefits?
  3. Will this decision/action/attitude lead to spiritual bondage? ( 1 Corinthians 10:23)
  4. Will this decision/action/attitude expose my mind or body to defilement? (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
  5. Will this decision/action/attitude benefit others or cause them to stumble?
  6. Will this decision/action/attitude further the cause of the gospel?
  7. Will this decision/action/attitude violate my conscience? (Romans 14:23)

Self Disclosure: I would not want our daughters to advertise themselves on a dating app. Also, I did not discuss in the episode the role of fathers, but someone should ask, “Where are the dads? How are they leading their families, specially their daughters?”

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