Date Like a Princess
In the realm of Christian dating, what exactly is the best model? We have so many choices! We can always wait for a man to court us. We can go the route of the “normal” dating scene. We can go online. We can do a mixture of courting and dating. Or we could simply just not date at all. If you are anything like me, you may have finally gotten to a place where you just told God, “I give up! I don’t know who on earth would be right for me!” As He always does, the Lord gently opened my eyes to see that He has much more to say on this topic of dating than we think. But it’s not what we expect, nor is it popular opinion.
I will be the first one to tell you that my motives in wanting to get married are primarily selfish. Who doesn’t want a man to think you’re out of this world, that you’re gorgeous, and that you mean everything in the world to him? As I have prayed about my desire for marriage, the Lord has taught me that my desires and motives are good and natural, but that He wants and has the right to be in control of them.
And if the Lord has the right to reign over this desire and my motives, then He obviously has much to say about my dating life.
I came across Psalm 45 a couple of years ago. Oh, how it has transformed my life! It is a wedding psalm between a king and his bride that we can connect to our relationship with Christ. As a woman, it’s probably one of the most precious passages of Scripture I have ever held onto:
You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever…The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The city of Tyre will come with a gift, people of wealth will seek your favor. All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her – those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king. (Psalm 45:2, 11-15)
While it might not seem like it at first glance, this Psalm can teach us a thing or two about dating! I don’t have all the answers or a “right way only” approach, but I would like to simply outline a few questions that we need to ask ourselves when a potential date comes along that sweeps us off our feet…and just might sweep us away!
Question 1: Am I pursuing a relationship for the purpose of drawing others closer to Christ? Or to temporarily satisfy my own need for love and acceptance?
Take a look at verses 14-15: “In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her and are brought to you. They are led in with joy and gladness; they enter the palace of the king.” This Psalm is not just about the wedding between a King and Princess, but between Christ and the Church. That means that the Princess is leading others who follow her into the Presence of the One True King. What a purpose privilege! My prayer has been that anyone that I come into contact with would be led into the Presence of the King – not because of anything I have done, but because my King Jesus has dressed me in a “gown interwoven with gold.”
So, what does this have to do with dating? More than it might sound at first. Here comes a cute guy with lots of potential – funny, outgoing, cute, hard-working, and seems to love the Lord. But, in my desire to draw others into the King’s Presence, here’s the question I have to stop and ask: Am I looking to him to fulfill me, or am I so satisfied in the Lord that, by this relationship, others will be drawn to Christ? I wish I could say I’ve don’t this perfectly – I haven’t. But, it has saved me a couple of times from unnecessary heartache as I have paused long enough to ask this question and simply pray through it.
Question 2: Who am I honoring more in this relationship – the Lord or this man?
Verse 11 says, “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Don’t’ forget – Jesus is all about His glory (John 16:13-15). Not only does He deserve all the glory, but in the end He will receive all the glory (Is 45:23; Rev 5:13). If we are not about His glory and honor then we have not fulfilled His purpose for our lives. Secondly, Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross is the source for your beauty. The only reason we are seen as beautiful before the Lord is because the blood of Jesus covers us. So if our King deserves all the glory, and that He is literally our source of beauty, value, and worth, why would we seek to honor a man above Him?
Too often, we find a guy who thinks we’re beautiful, and begin to give him a place that rightly belongs only to Jesus Himself – the King of all kings.
In a sense we dethrone Christ as we place a man’s opinions of us above Christ’s true love for us. That’s why, in a dating relationship, it is always a good thing to ask yourself, “Who is being honored?”
What if you know that you are honoring the man more than the Lord? Does that mean it’s all wrong and time to end it? Not necessarily – but it may be a good reality check. Perhaps it’s time to take a break from talking with him for a day or two in order to root yourself in Christ. If you aren’t constantly bringing your relationship before the Lord (and for that matter, if the guy is not either), then a lot will fall apart since the Lord is not being acknowledged as the King of the relationship.
Question 3: Will this man draw me closer to Christ, or lead me away from Christ?
The very first verse in Psalm 45 a response to the greatness of the King himself! The heart is stirred to draw closer to the noble theme that this king embodies. It goes on to describe how this King, this Man, is about excellence, might, splendor, truth, humility, righteousness, awesome deeds, grace, love, and integrity. All of that in just a few verses! If this is to be a parallel between Christ and the Church and the husband and wife, then do you get the picture of what a potential husband is to look like? Whoever your Mr. Right is, he’s Mr. Wrong if he isn’t chasing hard after Jesus. The pursuit of his life should be to become more like Christ in excellence, humility, grace, love, and integrity. This kind of man will most certainly lead you closer to Christ, just as the Princess is drawn closer to the king. If we miss this one, then we live in a dangerous zone.
But why, you ask? What does it matter if the guy loves Jesus more than anything? The answer is hard to swallow because it does not involve you, your needs, your desires, or your wants. It all goes back to the beginning about what is our ultimate goal in dating relationships? That’s right – HIS GLORY!
When we are about His glory, it means denying ourselves for the purpose of the showing Him off to the rest of the world.
Jesus prays in John 17:22-23: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” As we live by His glory and for His glory, we must let His glory be the driving force behind every area of our lives – especially in dating.
These three simple questions are easy to write out, but tough to live out. And while they are not meant to be an end-all be-all list of questions, they are a starting place. So next time you’re presented with a date, seek God’s face. Go back to Psalm 45 to remind yourself of the truths about Christ and the Church, you and your King. God wants to be involved in every area of your life. Why wouldn’t you include Him in this one? My prayer is that the Lord would continue to give all of us wisdom as we seek to glorify Him in all areas of our lives – including dating.
Lord, may I continue to walk in your noble Presence as your Princess. May I honor you as King and Lord. May others be drawn to You as King Jesus with joy and gladness, not because of anything I am or have done, but because Your Kingly Presence is radiating to the effect that You cannot be hidden from those around me. I pray that if I am to be married here on this earth that the man would draw me closer to Christ, that I would continue to place You as the True King and Lord above him at every moment, and that through our relationship, others would not only see, but crave the same nobility we claim in You. In Your glorious Name, Amen.
Bethany has a passion for teaching God’s Word to women and helping them find their identity, worth and value in Christ above everything else. She is studying Women’s Ministry in the Master of Divinity program at Southwestern Seminary. Bethany loves sports, chocolate, and old movies! Connect with her on Facebook!