We’ve all heard the phrase “dating Jesus.” I will tell you why I am not now, nor will I ever be, dating Jesus.
The modern-day concept of “dating” implies a romantic relationship, one in which people show affection for one another and spend time together.
Dating Jesus implies that whenever one starts to date an imperfect human, Jesus will be cast aside. The phrase implies that a significant other occupies the same space in one’s life that Jesus does. Tell me, can you cuddle with Jesus? Does Jesus take you out on romantic picnic dates? Will you be able to marry Jesus someday?
Some people’s answer would be yes. Some people would cite Revelation 19:7-9 which reads, “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory! For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready. It was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.” (ESV)
This passage refers to marriage and a bride. However, this bride may not be individual women that some assume it is. If it were referring to individual women, the passage would be excluding half of the population. In addition, the bible uses a bride/wife metaphor for the way that Christ loves the church. In this passage, the bride metaphor can refer more to the marriage between Christ and the church, more so than individuals because Christ died for everyone’s sins, not just every woman’s.
So, where does the “dating Jesus” idea stem from and what makes it stick around? Perhaps a dating or married relationship is the easiest way for some young women to think of a relationship with a male savior. I personally prefer to think of Jesus as more of a holy brother, since we are all God’s children, rather than as a lover. And I wouldn’t want to date my brother.
The fact of the matter is that humans are imperfect. When we place Jesus in the same spot that a significant other would normally be, we assign unrealistic expectations for those we might date otherwise. Whoever you date and marry will not be as holy as Jesus, that is absurd. They will be an imperfect human because you are too.
A relationship should have a foundation of God’s guidance and love for Christ, but using the Savior of all humankind as a mere placeholder until a significant other comes along is just plain insulting.
Faith is a junior public relations and entrepreneurship major from Champaign, Illinois.