Should a Christian Use Online Dating?
What’s the purpose of dating? Ultimately, we date to find the person God has for us, so we can live a life serving Him together.
Ideally, we’d meet our future spouse at church. But, sadly, times have changed.
Where church used to be the place to meet your mate, it is now one of the least common places to find a romantic partner.
One report from BBC News Magazine uses graphs that show the steady decline of church as a place to find that special someone.
Instead, people seem to be looking everywhere but church to find a spouse according to studies. To be fair, this is not always the fault of Christians who are looking for love.
In Christianity Today, Dennis Franck explains, “Only 20 percent of churches offer a group where single adults of similar ages can create and develop friendships with the opposite sex.”
According to the Washington Post, there are only three ways to meet anyone anymore: through friends, at a bar/restaurant, or online. Hence the rise of Christians looking for love through online dating.
But should they?
The decision to pursue online dating is a personal one, which is why we are discussing the pros and cons of online dating for Christians.
The Benefits of Online Dating for Christians
Online dating continues to grow in popularity, especially for the younger generation.
According to Pew Research Center, “While 48% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they have ever used a dating site or app, the share is 38% among those ages 30 to 49 and even lower for those 50 and older (16%)” with many people finding success.
As a result, Christian dating sites are becoming more and more popular.
Here are some benefits of online dating for Christians.
- Expand your options.
As we mentioned earlier, it can be hard for Christians to meet other single Christians in their church if the church does not offer a singles group.
Additionally, many Christians find themselves in churches where there simply isn’t anyone to date.
With online dating, people are no longer limited to just the singles in their congregation.
Through online dating, they can meet single Christians across their city who worship at different churches.
- Search for like-minded potential mates.
With online dating, singles can search by preferences, and this is where Christian dating apps are beneficial.
When someone signs up for a Christian dating app, it means they are searching for other Christians to date.
Singles can also search by location and denomination.
- Minimizes dating just for the sake of dating.
In the world of Tinder and other apps designed for quick “hook-ups,” Christian dating sites are designed to help Christian singles find real connections.
The singles on these dating sites are generally seeking actual relationships and are looking for a future spouse.
They aren’t dating just for the sake of dating; they are more serious and often ready for marriage.
The Cons of Online Dating for Christians
However, there are some cons to online dating for Christians.
Some feel online dating is too time-consuming and doesn’t feel as natural when meeting someone new offline.
Ultimately, you must make the decision that is best for you, but here are some things to be aware of as you pray about whether online dating is right the choice.
- What you see isn’t always what you get.
On the Internet, people tend to only show their best selves. We see this all over social media, and it is especially true for online dating.
Many are not authentic. Sadly, some on Christian dating sites are not even Christians.
- Financial costs.
Most Christian dating apps have costs for joining and maintaining your online dating profile. This means you are expected to pay a monthly fee.
For some people, the cost is not worth it.
- Gives singles a false sense of control.
As Christians, we know God controls our future. But, it is very tempting to think we are in control – especially when we get to pick and choose potential mates through an app.
When we feel we’re in charge of our own love story, we are taking a risk.
Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Not How You Met But Whom You Marry
In John Piper’s message, Is Online Dating Good for Christians?, he says, “The biblical issue here is not how you meet, but whom you marry.” When it comes down to it, who you marry is more important than how you met.
If you base your dating (online and offline) through this lens, it will help you make wise choices.
Consider what godly qualities you are looking for in a spouse; then, look for someone who possesses those qualities – online or offline.
Piper further explains, “If you know what you are looking for […], I would think you could rule out a lot of losers by using the Internet. It won’t take long to learn from Facebook and Twitter and blogs if this man or woman is passionate for Jesus or if Jesus is an incidental mark on the shoulder or a trinket around the neck.”
Trust God and Seek His Wisdom with Your Romantic Life
Trust God with your love story.
Pray for guidance.
Ask God for wisdom.
If you pursue online dating, be sure to check out the best online dating apps for Christians to help you navigate the world of online dating.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."
– James 1:5