Vitale_Top_10_Dating_Tips.pdf (250.4 KB)
Above is a PDF📄 of the content that is pasted below.
Note: the content is simply the transcript of the videos which I edited as I saw fit as well as the addition of a few extra quotes & resources.
Vitale Top 10 Dating Tips
Preparing to pursue a romantic relationship (Day 1):
1. You already need to be in a romantic relationship before you desire to pursue one.
You need to be in a marriage with God before you pursue marriage.
A relationship with the ultimate lover - the one who is Love - is the key to everything else.
Your identity must first and foremost be grounded in an intimate relationship with God - not in any human relationship. Make sure you are in an intimate relationship with God before you start thinking about pursuing a relationship with anyone else.
2. Don’t discount singleness.
Being in a romantic relationship doesn’t define us or determine whether we live a meaningful life.
“God doesn’t promise us a partner, He promises us Himself.” - Jo’s Friend
The God who created love and who is Love has given you Himself. If we find ourselves in a place where we think we have to settle for God then we clearly haven’t understood who God is at all. If you make an idol out of marriage (or relationships) you will miss out on the best of God.
“We say that Christ is the bread of life but we actually treat marriage to be it.” - @lou.phillips
If we do so we will miss the intimacy and fulfilment that only He can give us. No one else even comes close. Every one of us has to deal with the question is God enough for you? If we’re not satisfied with Him we never will be with anyone else.
“if the Lord wants me to be married praise Him, if not, praise Him still.” - @lou.phillips
3. If you’re not being faithful then you’re not ready for a faithful relationship.
If you’re in repetitive sin it’s not yet time to be looking for a romantic relationship. You may think that being in a relationship will solve problems but it actually doesn’t - it only makes them worse. The purpose of a relationship is to build another person up. You can’t build another person up consistently if you’re consistently being unfaithful. So, if you’re not ready for a faithful relationship then you’re not ready for a relationship at all.
How to pursue a romantic relationship? (Day 2)
4. Reject the Christian test. Go even deeper.
Christian test? Are they a Christian or not.
Most Christians think that they should be looking for a Christian partner, which is great! But so long as they pass the minimum standard of Christian then you can start deciding whether they’re right based on other criteria. The thing is…
“You don’t just need a Christian partner you needed a spiritual partner.”
If your goal is just to tick the Christian box then you’re setting the bar way too low. You need to be looking for someone with whom you can dream God-sized dreams. Someone who inspires you to love God wholeheartedly. Someone who challenges you to become more rather than less of the person that you were created to be.
This relates to the question: Should Christians date non-christians?
There’s no arbitrary rule. It’s not about who we shouldn’t be looking to date it’s about who we should be looking to date. If Jesus has His rightful place in our lives. If He is the most important thing to us and the lens through which everything else about us makes sense, then it’s only natural that we’re going to need to be able to share Jesus with someone we’re dating. If someone doesn’t understand Jesus then they’re not going to understand you. You need someone you date or marry to be able to understand you & you them (Three-legged race analogy). Some relationships cause us to stumble and others will enable us to soar. Christian dating is about pursuing the latter.
5. Embrace a Godly physical attraction.
A requirement we all subtly have is for our potential spouse to be good looking - to be hot. But it can be discouraging - destructive even - for people to try to meet some worldly standard for what society tells us should be attractive. The standard of physical beauty is fickle. It changes from culture to culture and from time to time.
Godly physical attraction, however, is radically different from somebody being hot.
A challenge: Are there people you would not date because they are not good-looking?
If yes, that’s not Christ-like. That’s us being enslaved to the world’s standards. It’s us showing favouritism, which in certain respects is worryingly similar to racism.
Vince suggests that physical attraction is something that should primarily come after you are attracted to someone’s character & faith. You find yourself attracted to someone’s awesome heart for God & for others. You then begin to find their physical being appealing and attractive.
It’s not that the physical isn’t important. It is just imperative that our physical attraction be a Godly physical attraction - one that increases in intensity over time.
“Attraction is a good thing, but not at the level to where our culture has put it. Gravity always wins. We are all wrinkling. Our nose and ears never quit growing. It is only a matter of time till that little component that we are basing so much on starts to vanish and must be replaced by attraction founded on character and covenant.” - John Piper
We must be careful in labelling people as "hot’ and judging people based on the world’s standards of beauty because these decisions impact our futures and the futures of so many around us.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Vince’s criteria for a potentially suitable spouse was ultimately narrowed down to:
- An awesome heart for God.
- An awesome heart for His church.
- An awesome heart for himself.
All imperishable things to delight in forever
How to pursue a romantic relationship? ( Day 3)
6. Don’t blame God for your decision making.
We sometimes avoid taking responsibility in decision making by hiding behind God saying we’re waiting for Him to speak. If we reject people this way we could make them feel that God has rejected them as well. Be very careful putting the blame on God rather than taking responsibility for your own choices. We could very well be taking the Lord’s name in vain by doing this.
We may have to understand that God is willing to bless a relationship if we take the responsibility for its future and tell him what we actually desire.
Don’t hide behind “I haven’t heard from God.” when the truth may be that God hasn’t heard from you yet."
7. Keep the destination in mind.
Stop “test driving” potential spouses. The purpose of a test drive is to buy the car.
In our society it seems normal for couples to fall aimlessly in & out of various relationships. But it’s only within the lifelong commitment of a marriage relationship that God intends for human beings to be fully sexually and romantically fulfilled. Christian dating is not supposed to be an end in itself.
Christian dating should be purposeful. Its purpose is to be a journey of discernment with marriage as the destination.
This doesn’t mean every faithful christian dating relationship will end in marriage. Both individuals may be faithful in pursuing God in a relationship but no matter how hard they try the relationship just isn’t right for marriage & that may be God’s grace. When relationships end we can be made to feel like a failure. It is not a failure when you sought God’s will for a relationship even if the answer isn’t the outcome you hoped for.
8. It’s not about you.
Pursuing a relationship is not just about who or what is best for you.
Pursuing a relationship is about who God is calling you to bless and serve.
Does the person you are pursuing come alive because of your presence in their life?
Jesus Christ offers the ultimate example as he spread his arms wide upon the cross and was willing to be torn apart for the sake of loving you. Jesus didn’t choose whether or not to marry you based on some criteria of what was best for Him.
Forget about looking for perfect - you won’t find them - look for someone to love.
What it looks like as you pursue someone in a romantic relationship (Day 4)
9. Say what you mean to say - emotionally, spiritually & physically.
All of the ways we interact with each other is a means of communication. In every way we need to be careful that we are not implying more than we intend.
Great care must be taken in the emotions we convey.
The Vitale’s decided that since the words “I love you.” are the strongest statement of affection available they would not say it to one another until they could back the words up with the level of commitment they implied. Meaning the night of their engagement was the first time they expressed this magnitude of affection for each other.
The depth of a spiritual connection between a dating couple should be met with vigilance.
Worshiping God should always be at the centre of christian dating. However, spending a lot of intense time together in personal prayer & worship early on in a relationship can lead to an unhealthy spiritual dependance on each other. This is a level of intimacy that you won’t we ready for & may never be (if you don’t get married & become one flesh).
This can be one of the most powerful languages because fulfilling another person sexually is the strongest word in our physical language. It’s the word that says: “All of me. For all of you. Always.”
If we push the physical interaction in a relationship beyond where the relationship actually is we say something we don’t mean - we actually lie.
So, say what you mean. Wait for sex.
- Because honouring each other physical allows for better friendship after breakup.
- Because waiting is a gift to your future spouse. It’s an amazing gift to be able to have saved yourself for a single person - it’s makes them special.
- Because it’s also a gift to your current girlfriend or boyfriend’s future spouse (if that’s not you).
- Because it’s a special gift that you can give to your potential spouse while you’re still dating to tell them that they’re worth waiting for. Amazingly this is actually a gift you can only really give before you are married and it makes it particularly meaningful.
Don’t see purity as a waiting room for sex. Rather, gaze at it as being a wonderful gift to your spouse that is both being given now & being saved for later.
Honour your boyfriend/girlfriend in the same way you would want another to be honouring your future wife/husband.
Ok, if not sex, then how far is too far? Rather ask: How pure is too pure?
You & your potential spouse need to meet eye-to-eye on this. If only one person is committed to a certain standard it won’t work - both need to be. You need to talk about these boundaries regularly, not just once.
What if you’ve already said too much? What if you’re not pure before marriage?
Be assured of this:
In Christ, that is not who you are anymore. (Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
What if others have made promises that they went on to break?
This is where the beauty of what Jesus has done for us shines through. Are we not all unfaithful? Have we not all failed? Yet still Jesus pursues us like a lost sheep, like a special coin. He runs to us with outstretched arms. Because of His love we can reach out and love one another. (John 13:34; 15:12; 1 John 4:11)
10. Love one another as Christ has loved you.
Our culture says love is something that we have to earn. The thinking that you have to earn or deserve each other can quickly turn into taking each other for granted or worrying that you’ll never be good enough. Christ has a different message.
God’s message is that love is always an undeserved gift.
How do we ever deserve another person to have and to hold as our very own? Surely that is a gift beyond what any of us could ever deserve.
Recognising that the love you receive is never deserved - that it is a gift from God - gives you the freedom to love in return without fear of failure or rejection.
With God you can stop competing to be loved & just enjoy it.
“if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” - 1 John 4:12
God’s desire for you is that you love so deeply that He could be said to live in you & in your relationships. That in our love for one another His love would be perfected in us.
God’s love for you is a undeserved gift. If you’ve learnt to love as He has loved you then you can share the gift of love with others.
The purpose of human existence is to receive God’s love that has come to us in Jesus and then to give it back out to others, creating an ecosystem of others-focused, self-giving love. - Bible Project