Last year, I took part in the Not Alone Series, a blog link-up for young, single Christian women like yours truly. I’ve been meaning to get back into to and I decided this week I would — whatever the topic was!
And oh what a week I chose…
What are the things that you are absolutely non-negotiable on when it comes to dating? How do you keep your standards from falling? What prevents you from just dating any guy out there? What keeps you going?
The biggest deal breaker for every Christian girl has to be whether he is a Christian or not. If he doesn’t love Christ, then get out of there and get out of there fast.
I know, I know, there are exceptions and thanks be to God, sometimes people come to know Jesus through dating or marrying a Christian. But we also need to honest and admit that there are lots of times that doesn’t happen. Why would we try to make it more difficult than it needs to be?
For Catholics, we also understand that marriage is a sacrament, a visible sign of the love between Christ and the Church. In marriage, man and woman become one flesh in a sacrament that signifies the unity of Christ and His Beloved Church.
That’s why the other big deal-breaker for every Catholic girl needs to be the Eucharist. The Eucharist is, as the Council of Trent said, “a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity.” This is something that God has been pressing into my heart recently. I need to be able to share the Eucharist with my future husband.
Marriage is, at its heart, Eucharistic.
I mean, what is marriage if not a sacrament of love, a sign of unity and a bond of charity?
If, God willing, I do marry, my absolute non-negotiable is be able to receive the Blessed Sacrament with my husband.
When are joined together as one flesh (Eph 5:31), our unity will be in Christ whose flesh was crucified for the life of the world. (Jn 6:51) When he vows to love me as his own body (Eph 5:38), I need to be able to share the Body of the Lord with him. And when we become a new family, bringing new life into this world, it will be in and through the life-giving Blood of Jesus.
That’s just how it is, okay?
Call me a romantic but my ideal of love looks like this.
When it comes down to it, that deal-breaker is it’s own motivation and protection. The more I love Christ as my Eucharistic Lord, the more fully I will understand the reality of what marriage is, and the less I will want to compromise on that.
As much as I’d rather avoid the conclusion, that means only dating a Catholic guy who loves Christ. When you’re as awesome at dating as I am (read: not even a little bit), every deal-breaker can feel like another step closer to a broken heart. Because I’m trouble enough without all these “extra” requirements!
But actually, it’s just the opposite. We need to know what matters to us — and what doesn’t. I know, deep down, that if I couldn’t share the Eucharist with my husband, nothing else we could share would quite be the same. Being able to share my faith, and the Body and Blood of my Lord with my future husband, isn’t an “extra” anyway. It’s the very heart of what Christian marriage is.
So how should we Christian girls keep our standards from slipping?
The same thing we always do.
Run to Jesus, seek Him above all and before all, entrust our desires to Him and watch as He purifies and transforms them. And then, if and when he wants to bring Mr. Right into our life, He’ll do it just fine.
He gave His very life for us, dear sisters, do we really think He will withhold any good gift from us if it is truly good for us?
He’s got this.