Missionary dating? Sounds like something you do on your honeymoon! Let me clarify what missionary dating is. It is when a Christian dates a non-Christian in hopes of converting them while dating. Sounds crazy, right? It is. It also is more commonplace than you probably realize.
First off, why do people date non-Christians and hope they can bring them to Christ? After all, it is one thing to befriend someone, but to date them is a whole other ball game. They think by being a light to this nonbeliever they will help them see the light. I admit, before doing Biblical research this idea seemed to have merit. Then I read the God’s Word.
You see in the Bible it says…
2 Corinthians 6:14
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
In context this is clearly talking about marriages, but since the entire point of dating or courting someone is for the intent of marriage, then we can apply it here as well. Many people who get into these missionary dating relationships pray to God and ask Him whether they should stay with their significant other. There are a couple of major problems with this.
1. They are already ignoring God’s Word and hoping He will make an exception for them.
2. By ignoring God’s Word they are placing themselves above God, because they trust their own judgment more than His.
What is even worse is if they recognize the relationship they are in is wrong yet they continue with it. This not only wastes their time, it also wastes the nonbeliever’s time. God has a plan for everyone, but it won’t happen with you blocking Him.
I had to come to terms with this myself once. I dated a girl for two and a half years before I finally realized that we were never going to get married. I had convinced myself we were going to, but all the signs pointed to no. I ignored them and we both ruined a good friendship and wasted a whole lot of time.
How can we help those who are in the missionary dating relationships? Besides watching Back To The Future and hoping we can also create a time machine to travel back to before we jumped into said relationship, I recommend just reminding them what God’s Word says. We are to help our fellow brothers and sisters. Now before you do that, let me clarify to do in a loving way. Do not be condescending about it.