Dating with respect

“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

Before we start this post I need to do a disclaimer. This is all about bad relationships, and for the purpose of simplicity throughout the article I am going to write with the example that the guy is the tool and the girl is the victim. Obviously that isn’t always the case, but in my personal experience it is much more common. Probably because guys tend to be more likely to be tools than girls (and I can say that as I am a guy…). But just because the article is written that way, I am aware there are couples for who it should be read the other way around, so feel free to do that. Also, in this article I am speaking more to dating couples than married couples, as I have never been married so don’t have much insight to offer there.

I don’t know if you have even seen a couple walking around town and wondered what on earth they are doing together? How could a girl as sweet as her end up with a guy that treats her so badly? How can she not see she is worthy of so much better? If a guy like that can get a girl, how the {insert word I can’t use on a Christian blog here} am I still single? I worked a placement in a psychiatric hospital over Valentines day this year, and that was a seriously depressing time wondering how all these patients were holding down a partner while I was, to quote the song, “dancing with myself”.

So often it seems girls fall for guys who are less than what God has in mind for them. So often it seems guys fail to reach their God-given potential, and fail to live up to the title of “man”. In the church there is a particular problem that apparently there are considerably more women than men, which means many women either have to embrace singleness, or settle for someone who doesn’t meet up to God’s standards.

But here is the thing. You are a daughter (or son) of the Lord of creation. You are made in His image. You are God’s beloved. Christ loves you so much that He died for you. You have worth. You have value. And you deserve respect. You deserve a guy who will treat you with honour and love. You don’t belong with some guy who isn’t prepared to commit to exclusively you. You don’t belong with some guy who thinks it is cool to play the field. You need to flee from any guy who thinks he can raise a hand to you, or talk trash about you to his friends, or pressurise you into going further than you should before marriage.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 Paul warns us not to be unevenly yoked. I don’t claim to be any sort of relationship expert, but I know there are a lot of unevenly yoked couples out there. And they stay together for a number of reasons. He thinks she’ll change. She is dependent on him. She is afraid of what he’ll do to her if she tries to leave. So people (often girls) end up feeling trapped in a bad relationship with an abusive guy who treats them like dirt, rather than like an image bearer of God.

Listen to me please. If your partner doesn’t treat you with respect, with love, with purity then at least respect yourself. Flee. You have worth, for the Son of the Lord of all the earth paid a high price for you. Don’t let any guy tell you you are worthless. Don’t let any guy treat you like trash. Don’t put up with any guy who tries to use you. Flee. Run. Get out of there. End it.

If you have regrets, if you have shame, if you have guilt you are carrying round because of what you have done in the past, or what has been done to you, know that there is a Cross. Know that there is grace. Know that you are loved. Know that in Christ, God doesn’t see your past, He sees your potential. Know that Jesus offers rest to the weary, and a light load (Matthew 11:28-30). A second start is heaven’s heart for you. Know that if you have been sinned against, no matter what the devil tries to tell you, you are not guilty. It is not your fault. Trust in Jesus. Let His blood wash you white as snow. Let His love reassure you of your worth. Know there is a better relationship for you than the one you are in. A relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who cherishes you, the One who constantly pours out love on you.

Learn more the author of this post:

Pete McM
The original founder of All4God, Pete is 26, lives in Northern Ireland, is a junior doctor, Ulster fan and is passionate about Jesus
  • 42

    Although I agree with the Biblical points you make, your comment about the psychiatric ward upsets me. Feeling “depressed” because mentally ill people can have loving relationships and you don’t? That’s a pretty disturbing attitude from a medical student. And I’m not sure that posting these sentiments on a public blog will go down too well with, say, the GMC.