Jack vs. Scratch . Santa Fe, TX Writer

by Jamie Zenteno


Before I dive into the blog post today. I want you to picture those Jack in the Box tacos. Oh you know the kind...2 for .99 cents, soaked in grease, crispy, ya the ones that give you the belly ache from eating them.

Now think about these few questions: How long did it take to make them? Are those things even made from real food?

If you were to Google the word "matchmaker," you would receive something in the neighborhood of 21,200,000 responses — with a few of these outfits claiming to be Christian, but most making no such claim. "Dating" will get you 790,000,000 hits.

As Christians, we're called to be holy in the ways we think and act about all issues that confront us and those around us. This topic is no exception. So is there such a thing as biblical dating?

So lets just get right to the point…

Every relationship you have should first honor and glorify God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 31 dWhether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Notice this covers everything not just some things.

Dating shouldn't mean "mini-marriage." You aren't really married, so don't act like it. You may be young or you may be older. If you're younger you don't need the problems of a close relationship right now. Hurrying things won't help your dating relationship. In fact, it may harm it. Don't get sloppy in your dating relationship by going too fast. You've got plenty of time.

..and YES who you marry is very very important!!

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

The Temple of the Living God

14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil[a]? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:

“I will live in them
    and walk among them.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.[b]
17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
    and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t touch their filthy things,
    and I will welcome you.[c]
18 And I will be your Father,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
    says the Lord Almighty.[
d]

Moving right along… lets get to

 I Corinthians 15:33

33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”

This is not to say we shouldn't have casual contact with unbelievers. That's extreme and not what the Bible teaches. We're to win them to Christ.

BUT……

This is saying we shouldn't get close to those whose character stinks. Hanging around with bad company will harm us spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically.

When we worked with young people for the last 6 1/2 years, we saw this play out a lot. It seems to have the worst consequences in teen dating relationships. The teen dating story goes something like this...

1. Teen starts dating girl/guy of questionable character.

2. Teen is confronted by the spiritual leader in his/her life

3. Teen becomes defensive.

4. Teen declares he/she can "change" that person or lead them to Christ or...

5. It's all downhill from there!

How do I know this? From personal experience.

They were deceived into thinking good character would rub off on bad. But remember the verse above...it doesn't work that way.

Your character is only as clean as the people you hang around with.

Date those who have dedicated their lives to living as Christ would have them live.

If you're a guy...date a Christian girl who you know has God's will in view.

If you're a girl...date only guys who model strong Christian leadership skills in their lives.

It doesn't matter how "cute" they are. It doesn't matter what kind of figure or how athletic they might be. If their character is flawed, they're spiritually ugly and weak. That counts more than outward appearance in relationships...

At least God sees it that way! So...what's the bottom line...?

Date Christians who have proven their Christian character. You're only deceiving yourself if you do anything else.

God has given you the life you live. That's God's gift to you. What you do with the life God has given you...now...that's the gift you give back to Him.

Remember the tacos from earlier? Well that’s the kind of love that the world wants you to have. Cheap, quick and easy.

Now I want you to envision my in-laws homemade Mexican tacos. The kitchen smells of tradition, the food has taken a few hours to make, the hands that crafted the warm soft tortillas crafted each one with love, the meat, beans and salsa have all been made from scratch.

This is the kind of love that God wants to give you, its something traditional, its fragrance spills into every area of our lives, and its is good for you.

Its from scratch. Its genuine. It took time to make, and He made it just for us.

I sincerely pray that you find His love for you in this Jack kinda of world and remember that no matter what His love is never fake.

Jamie