This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.
The healthiest approach to dating is to be content with your place in life. Contentment means that even though you may want to be married, you don’t need a romantic relationship to be satisfied with life. As a single adult, you can pursue God, grow in maturity, have a positive impact in the lives of others, and actively participate in life in so many ways. Even if you suffer from loneliness at times, your life can still be rich in relationships and purpose.
True Contentment Comes from God
The secret of contentment is trusting God with all our needs. As the Bible says:
1 Timothy 6:6-8 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
While this is talking about material needs, the principle applies more broadly. God is our source. Too many people are looking to find a partner to meet life’s basic needs of security and significance. God can certainly use other people to help meet those needs, but in the end, to be content we must look to him, not to others.
If You’re Not Content, You’re Vulnerable
In fact, if you think you need a man or woman in your life in order to be content, then you’re not really ready to date. Your need for human attention will leave you vulnerable to bad relationship decisions. You will open your heart too readily to people who aren’t prepared to be the kind of partner you should be looking for. But if you are already content in Christ, you can wait for the right person to come along. You can step back to view a relationship with more objectivity. If the relationship ends painfully, you will be in a better position to recover and move on, because if you were content before the relationship began, you can be content again when it ends.
Love God First, Then Look to Love Someone Else
This is such an important issue that it deserves careful consideration and prayer. If you are not content without a man or woman in your life, spend some time talking to God about why you aren’t. Talk it over with a mentor or friend. If you can’t be content with God alone, you won’t become content through a relationship with a flawed human being.
Matthew 22:37-39Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- How can you tell if someone is “content” in their singleness? How can you tell when they’re not? Have you ever met people on either extreme?
- Is it possible to be lonely at times and still be content, and why?
- What “needs” does a girlfriend fulfill for you? Make a list.
- How can you be content and date at the same time?
- What kinds of things can you do in your everyday life to establish contentment with God, apart from a girlfriend?
- Why is it so important for single adults to seek contentment in God first rather than in a romantic relationship?
- How is personal contentment a safeguard against bad relationship choices?
- What steps can a person take to seek contentment in their relationship with God?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.