Here at Project Inspired, we talk a lot about the importance of being equally yoked. Throughout the Bible, God lovingly commands us to only enter romantic, intentional relationships with people who are in a relationship with Him (read why here). This is for our protection! But part of this conversation involves a gray area: dating a weaker Christian.
Because all of us have unique backgrounds and faith journeys, there is always a chance one person in a relationship will be spiritually weaker than the other. Sometimes this is a red flag; other times, it just means there is room for growth. How do you know which it is? Find the answer by asking the following questions.
Does He Desire to Know God More?
When I met my husband, he didn’t know half of what I knew about the Bible. I was a religion major whose parents had diligently taught me the Word. He was an engineer who had just renewed his relationship with God. At first glance, he seemed like exactly the kind of guy I should have (and would have!) ignored.
So what made me date him? He desired to know God more. He didn’t know much, but he was exposing himself to God’s Word. He joined Bible studies. He had accountability. He was reading his Bible and praying over our dates. His heart was in the right place, even if his knowledge hadn’t caught up yet. It’s your date’s heart that matters above all else. Does he desire to know God or is he putting on a display of faith just to date you?
Does He Have a Teachable Spirit?
Is he willing to learn more about God or does he think he knows everything? Surprisingly, it’s possible to know a lot about the Bible—or even have grown up in the church—and be a weaker Christian than a person who doesn’t have a single verse memorized. Legalistic, arrogant Christianity is not Christianity! It’s more important that your date love Christ than to simply know facts about Him.
A teachable spirit is essential to growth in faith. If your date is willing to learn, humble and open to new ideas—checking them against God’s Word—you have a good candidate on your hands.
Is He Seeking Opportunities to Grow?
My husband (friend at the time) didn’t wait for me to force him to attend church or find a Bible study. His heart, submitted to God’s Spirit, motivated him to do those things. A person who wants to know more about God and grow stronger in his faith will seek out opportunities for that to happen.
If a guy doesn’t pursue spiritual things unless you initiate them, he’s not just a “weaker” Christian—he may not be a Christian at all. If he is, he needs time to come closer to Christ on his own. He should not be using you as his spiritual crutch. If he does, both of you will be damaged in the process.
Look for a date who is actively seeking to deepen his spiritual life on his own.
Has He Turned From His Old Lifestyle?
If your date has a “past,” has he turned from it? Repentance, which is part of the conversion process, means turning completely around. It means running in the other direction from the life one used to live.
If your date says he’s a Christian but doesn’t think partying is a problem or getting drunk is a big deal, or won’t set physical boundaries with you, he doesn’t understand what it means to be an image bearer of God. He is either ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit or doesn’t have Him in the first place. Either way, it’s not your job to save him. Do the hard thing and walk away.
It is possible to date someone who is technically “weaker” than you and end up in a thriving relationship—but it all comes back to the heart. Is his heart submitted to God? Does he long to know Christ? Does he make time to pursue the truth? If so, put on your heels and go on that date. You might just have a winner.