It’s Not as Complicated as You Think
September 2021 • Paperback • 978-0-8024-2084-8
Pitch the Christian dating rulebook out the window. There’s a better way!
No matter what you might have heard, God didn’t mandate a divine way to date. What He did do, in the Bible, is lay out principles for wise and healthy relational living among believers. His boundaries for us are wise and good. But exactly how you apply God’s principles to your dating life is up to you to figure out. All you need is guidance, not micromanagement.
How Should a Christian Date? doesn’t try to boss you around. It just offers wisdom about the relevant principles in God’s Word. Eric Demeter—a single guy who has given this subject a lot of thought—separates the truths of Scripture from the baggage of Christian dating subculture. He talks to you like a big brother or favorite uncle, not your mother. You’ll cover topics such as:
- Busting 12 Myths of Christian Dating
- How to Meet People & Have a Good First Date
- Clearing the Fog in Sex and Physical Affection
- Getting the Best from a Breakup
- Take Dating One Stage at a Time
There isn’t one “Christian” way to date. But there are ways that Christians should handle themselves while dating . . . and those are the truths to live by.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric Demeter (B.S., Purdue University; M.A., Bethel University) is a relationship and conflict resolution specialist with advanced studies in mediation, peacemaking and negotiation from the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and Peacemaker Ministries. He is currently a missionary with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) based in Athens, Greece where he disciples young people from the Middle East, and teaches conflict resolution and healthy relationships to YWAM staff and missionary students. His experiences growing up listening to heavy metal, working alongside ex-convicts, and being raised in the Roman Catholic tradition give him the ability to connect well with people of diverse belief systems. He considers every reader a friend and challenges everyone to become more like Christ in everything they do.
Dating is often fraught with residue from past hurts, poor communication, and unspoken expectations. Cryptic communication makes it worse. I took five courses of Japanese in college, but I don’t think it was as confusing as learning to speak Christianese.
Love, on the other hand, is transparent and honest. There’s no spiritual arm-twisting when we love. Playing the God-card in asking someone out or breaking up is weak at best and manipulative at worst. Show how close you are to the Lord with your actions, not your words. Your faith in Christ is displayed much more through respecting physical boundaries, speaking clearly and courageously, and showing gentleness and grace if a person wants to end a relationship with you.
At the same time, be sure to give yourself space and grace to have klutzy dating moments. Mistakes are unavoidable and perfect language is impossible. Go with the flow and laugh it off if you speak something spiritually whack. Our goal isn’t to get a master’s degree in dating – it’s to find a husband or wife. Consider this: if dating isn’t awkward sometimes, you might be a professional dater. And if you’re a professional dater, you need to stop reading this book and get married. Seriously, do you want to get to the point where you’re so suave in relationships that you don’t occasionally bumble over your words or do something embarrassing?
It’s important to remember that weird isn’t inherently bad; it’s just fantastical. God seemed to fuel some relationships that developed in strange ways in the Bible. When Ruth laid at the feet of Boaz in Ruth 3, it was odd (and highly provocative). When God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute, it was bizarre. We trust that God knew what was best, and His will was accomplished in these specific cases. I don’t understand why He chose these strange means, but God does what He wants. He’s God. For the rest of us please-oh-please stop using weird and overly-spiritual phrases. Can we leave the weird stuff to the Lord? Doing so will give you freedom to grow in Christ and in your relationship with another.
I’ve known Eric for a lot of years, and, as his pastor, I’ve walked with him through the ups and downs of his own dating experiences. His stories will make you laugh, cry, and at times, even wince. These pages are full of clear insight and practical wisdom. I hope that the lessons he’s learned and the scars he’s earned can become a source of wisdom and healing for you wherever you are on your journey.
– Glenn Packiam
Associate Senior Pastor, New Life Church
Author, Blessed Broken Given
Eric Demeter writes passionately and practically to Christ followers who are seeking to do the ‘dating thing’ well. He doesn’t try to prescribe a template for the way to date, but rather offers helpful prompts for those wishing to pursue healthy dating relationships. If you’ve been around the dating block or are new to the process, I recommend you give this book a read!
– Shawn Holtgren
Vice President for Student Development, Bethel University
An immensely readable and practical guide for developing healthy habits in dating. Eric gives us biblically sound advice for growing ourselves, respecting others, and honoring God in a culture that says ‘anything goes.’
– Lisa Anderson
Director of Boundless.org, author of The Dating Manifesto