This article will most likely be much shorter than many of my latest articles have been that have concerned the subject of dating and romance, a subject that as of late I have felt a great conviction to ponder and write on. I have found myself much in meditation over the Scriptures for instruction and greater attentiveness to God in all things, including this matter, and also much in prayer to God for wisdom and in critical thought to reason through this matter. Dating, I feel, is a very important topic that Christian people and churches need to consider often and spend time praying and reflecting over. One reason for this belief of mine is the tragic ignorance that many believers have of Biblical teaching on marriage, romance, and sex.
Another is that there is a lot of over-psychologized, culturally appealing material out there on dating and romance that is often overtly unbiblical and doctrinally thin and much of the time seems to focus far too much on people and far too little on the big things of God. Not at all to say that people and their needs are not important, but to emphatically say that the universe doesn't revolve around us, but the glory of God. Because the Bible touches on romance, marriage, and sex and those who have authority in the church are charged to preach and teach the whole counsel of God, I reason that there is Biblical warrant to spend time touching on issues of this stripe.
There is a trend that I notice in modern thought on dating where people seem to seriously buy into a tremendous lie that they can find "the one" and that "the one" will somehow satisfy the deepest longings and cravings of their soul. As I have written before, I think "the one" is as mythical a creature as unicorns or goblins, but that is something I may write about more later on. With that said, the Bible is crystal clear that there is absolutely nothing that has the ability to satisfy the human soul and make the heart content and filled with peculiar, unrivaled joy apart from being in a saving relationship with God, which comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If Christianity is true, and I believe there is great reason to believe that it is, this proposition that many Americans seem to be altogether duped by is blatantly and dangerously false. But why is that exactly? So what if someone tries to find their ultimate happiness in a relationship with another person? What harm may that do in all reality?
It is idolatrously wrong indeed for a person to regard another person as their rock in life because God designed human beings, those who are unique in the universe in that they bear His image, to glorify Him by being supremely happy in Him. It suffices, perhaps, to sum it up this way: In all that God does, it is necessary that the primary purpose for which He works is for His glory since there is no higher or immediately important reality than His glory. Why? Because holding something else higher than God in value is idolatry, which is sinful. It follows then that God created humankind for His glory and the Biblical idea that humans are made in God's image implies that we were made to reflect His glory and majesty.
We cannot reflect the splendor of something, nor can we make something appear glorious and supremely beautiful and pleasing if we, well, think that it sucks or is merely good in a sort. In short, we were made to regard God as our "rock," building our whole existence on Him in His reality and His glory. When we don't, we make other things seem better than God, which is idolatry, and we regard other things as more worthy of trust and faith than the Lord, which is just plain foolishness.
But what about being someone's "rock?" Is it harmful to one's soul to be the one in which someone supremely trusts in? Is there anything wrong with being regarded as the greatest thing in someone's life? With being what someone worships and supremely adores, which is just to say their god? I cannot stress enough how bad this is for your soul, reader, and if you are dating someone who has told you that you are the single greatest and most amazing thing in their life, I plead with you to have a serious conversation with them over what they have said. This is blatant idolatry and no matter how cute and warm it sounds, it is disastrously unbiblical and very damaging to their soul to be thinking things like that.
It will hurt you, too, and here is the biggest way in which this is the case.
One, people will put their hope in that which they worship. When people worship the Lord, as they ought, this a splendid, heavenly thing and He will deepen that hope and that faith, producing much good, sweet fruit by His sanctifying grace. There is no person that is growing in holiness and developing in the Christian life that does not hope in God. But people were not designed to be hoped in and the human soul is not a powerful enough reality to bear the full weight of the heaviest hurts, deepest concerns, highest needs, and weightiest issues of another soul.
Yes, we are morally obligated to bear one another's burdens, but we are incapable of bearing burdens and ministering people in precisely the same way that God can and does. When someone hopes in someone else, someone that isn't God, they will also expect that person to give them the joy they need and to make their soul cease to be restless. As the legendary theologian and one of my ministry heroes, Saint Augustine once said in his famous book Confessions, "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee." This is so abundantly true and obvious and beautiful. It will do each and every person that realizes it and is mastered by it so much good. We were made to be content in the Lord and from that contentment in the Lord, live our lives in glad submission to His will and design and in happy obedience to His ways.
This is the answer to our greatest problem in the Gospel: that we can be reconciled to God and free from this sort of sinful foolishness.
In our relationships, it is the difference between meeting someone that you genuinely and purely enjoy that you are free to want and meeting someone that will not let you breathe because you are their main source of contentment in life. We were made for so much better and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are free to drink deep of and enjoy all that God is for eternity. The beautiful truth, that is the truth we were created to delight in and be founded upon in every regard, is that God is the greatest rock and the only rock upon which it is fitting to build one's whole life. We are free to enjoy Him as our rock, free to be guarded against the urge to regard lesser things as our rock and to be safe from being put on a pedestal and treated as the rock by others. This is a wonderful truth in all reality. Let us regard it as such and let it go deep into our souls, friends.