The Golden Rule of Dating

pray_boldlyToday’s guest post is by Caleb Breakey, author of Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church. Breakey’s latest book, Dating like Airplanes: Why Just Fall in Love When You Can Fly?, offers a roadmap for Christian dating in the modern world, and provides relatable and biblically sound relationship advice. 

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 7:12

How the Golden Rule ever got its name, I have no idea. A more straightforward moniker would be the “Hypocrisy Detector.” Because that’s exactly what it does—it detects what you really want for yourself, but are not eager to give to that special person in your life.

15 questions to detect hypocrisy in yourself:

1. Would you want your other judging you first and foremost by your physical attributes?

2. Would you want your other judging you for the things in your past?

3. Would you want your other telling you what you want to hear instead of the truth?

4. Would you want your other to pressure you into making a commitment before you’re ready?

5. Would you want your other acting as if he or she had it all together in life?

6. Would you want your other lusting after others or mired in pornography?

7. Would you want someone to sexually seduce your other or play with his or her emotions?

8. Would you want your other to not care about your relationship with Jesus?

9. Would you want your other to make you think more of this life and little of heaven?

10. Would you want your other to hinder you from seeking God first in everything?

11. Would you want your other always relying on you to be the spiritually strong one?

12. Would you want your other to speak little of the things of God or to pray sparingly?

13. Would you want your other to always choose what was best for him or her—instead of you?

14. Would you want your other to pursue a relationship without the intention of marrying you?

15. Would you like it if your other showed little interest in your interests?

How to crush hypocrisy in yourself

To crush hypocrisy and follow the Golden Rule of Dating, you must stop judging your partner’s past. Stop just saying whatever you think he or she wants to hear. Stop trying to seduce, get physical with, or toy with the other’s emotions. Stop rushing the relationship. Stop trying to appear flawless. Stop lusting after them, fantasizing about them, or indulging yourself in pornography.

Instead, start caring about their relationship with Jesus. Start making a bigger deal of heaven. And above all, start helping them seek God in everything.

Most of us interpret the Golden Rule as doing things that make the other feel good. But that’s not accurate. If it were, we’d simply say whatever made the other smile and make them think we’re the best thing that had ever happened to them.

But the Golden Rule isn’t about making another feel good. It’s about looking at your own hypocrisy in order to help you choose what’s best for your other—and ultimately you.

What you can do right now

Think of all the intangibles you wish your other would one day be to you (i.e. loving, pure, selfless). Then be those things to him or her. Think of all the intangibles you wish your other wouldn’t be to you. Then resolve not to be those things to him or her.

We are not the exception to your own standards. Instead, we should make ourselves servants to living out God’s standard to our special other.

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