SINGLENESS & DATING
Singleness and dating has become a sensitive subject at church and may not necessarily be addressed as often as some would like; However it is a much talked about topic amongst an increasing number of Christians.
Janet McNish opened the discussion at Premier Christian Radio on the night of Sunday 29th July night by bringing hope, encouragement and useful dating tips to the listeners. She chose this subject, as it remains one close to her heart. As the phone lines opened, the calls were pouring in with different questions, queries and discussions challenging Janet to get straight to the point in tackling the issues and frustrations around singleness and dating in this modern world from a Christian counselling perspective.
Janet reassured many callers that it is never too late to find love! As a Christian it can be difficult to find that special someone especially with a lack of single men in church. Janet however ignited the flame of hope and gave advice in how to keep it burning…the first and most important thing to know is that God values every individual and has answers for all of our needs, desires and prayers. When you know how much you are loved; you can evaluate your worth in relationships and learn to identify warning signs early on. Janet encouraged the listeners never to ignore those vital warning signs which may appear subtle at first but if not acknowledge can become the potential downfall of a relationship further down the line.
Janet pointed out that someone is always a stranger no matter where you meet them until you get to know them…so how do you get to know a stranger you may have an interest in? Here are some tips Janet shared with her listeners:
– Arrange a pre-date. So you can see how they treat you and other people,then decide whether you want to meet them again for a longer time.
– Always keep God at the centre
– Get to know them slowly…don’t place all your cards on the table at once, instead offer one appropriate card at a time
– Ask God to reveal things to you and with His guidance choose who comes into your life and how close you allow them
– Set boundaries early on
– Build healthy foundations with potential partners…start as friends first
– Introduce them to male and female friends in order to have accountability.
– Take precautions and don’t rush into anything
Janet emphasised the importance of getting to know yourself first before you think about getting into a relationship; knowing who YOU are and who you are IN CHRIST allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses…by knowing your weaknesses you can start to work on them with God’s help.
The difficulties of a divorce or breakup were also addressed on the show but Janet reassured the listeners that God never wastes our pain, He desires to fully restore us and He has a plan for us; It is often a time when we learn more about ourselves.
As Christians it is important to know that there is nothing wrong with temptation; it is how we respond to it that matters. We must always have accountability! By building healthy friendships with men and women we remain accountable in times of trial and receive support through our challenges. In order to guard our hearts, we need to be careful what we watch, listen to or dwell on If we bring everything to God and keep the lines of communication open then He will guide us, reveal things to us and create opportunities for us.
Janet’s approach to singleness and dating was a personal one as she shared her own experiences to encourage other singles that there is hope. Her inspiring discussions were full of wisdom, compassion and faith. Her practical advice reassured her listeners that it is NEVER too late!!
By Zoe Gordon