Why Christians Are Bad at Dating, Part 3: The Love Cocoon

Mark Beuving —  February 15, 2012 — 5 Comments
This entry is part 3 of 6 in the seriesWhy Christians Are Bad at Dating

We have all seen it happen. We watch with excitement as an awesome Christian boy and an awesome Christian girl begin hanging out more and more. They gradually show signs of being interested in each other, and before you know it, you have a new couple on your hands. All of their friends are excited—until it becomes clear that this couple no longer needs friends. Their relationship is exclusive, isolated even. Two people who formerly had a solid support system of friends now have only each other. Cupid has struck, and the only thing that matters is the relationship.

This is unhealthy for several reasons. First of all, nobody likes a couple that is always isolated in a love cocoon, even when they are in public settings. It’s just not fun to be around; it makes everyone feel awkward.

But there are more important reasons why this is unhealthy. At the top of the list, God is the most important relationship we will ever have. Anytime our human relationships are pulling us away from our relationship with God, those relationships have become idols.

It’s also important to remember that God designed us to function in the context of the church body. Your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend is important, but it is only one of the relationships God has given you. You still have a responsibility to the other people God has placed in your life. This may mean sacrificing some of the time that you want to spend with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but a dating relationship doesn’t give you a free pass to be unfaithful in other areas of your life.

Beyond that, I can’t think of a more effective first step toward falling into all kinds of sin than isolating yourself from the body of Christ.

The reality is that God has placed you and your dating partner in the church body so that you can be an active part of what God is doing around you. An essential part of glorifying God is you actively using your gifts to be a blessing to the people around you (see Eph. 4:1-16 and 1 Cor. 12). So if isolating yourselves as a couple means you are no longer ministering to the church body, then you are in sin.

When couples get so introverted that the rest of the world ceases to matter, breakups are literally the end of the world. When the relationship ends, you have to redefine yourself. You also have to start from near-scratch in making friends and building a support system.

Edward and Bella sharing an apparently painful wedding kiss

And I know, you and your boyfriend or girlfriend will never break up—you’re one of the world’s great love stories, like Romeo and Juliet or Edward and Bella—but do you really want to be setting yourself up for that kind of failure?

While we’ve all seen the isolationist couples in action, most of us have also seen couples who are very into each other, but who also make the people around them feel welcome and appreciated. These couples are able to show their affection to each other while also reaching out to and serving the body of Christ.

So let’s ditch the whole love cocoon that makes everyone else in the room feel like a third, fourth, fifth, or fifteenth wheel. Let’s learn to see our dating relationships as one of our God-given relationships, and strive to be faithful to all of them.

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Series Navigation<< Why Christians Are Bad at Dating, Part 2: What Do We Call It?Why Christians Are Bad at Dating, Part 4: Test-Driving Marriage >>
Mark Beuving

Mark Beuving

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Mark Beuving currently serves as Associate Pastor at Creekside Church in Rocklin, CA. Prior to going back into pastoral ministry, Mark spent ten years on staff at Eternity Bible College as a Campus Pastor, Dean of Students, and then Associate Professor. Mark now teaches online adjunct for Eternity. He is passionate about building up the body of Christ, training future leaders for the Church, and writing. Though he is interested in many areas of theology and philosophy, Mark is most fascinated with practical theology and exploring the many ways in which the Bible can speak to and transform our world. He is the author of "Resonate: Enjoying God's Gift of Music" and the co-author with Francis Chan of "Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples." Mark lives in Rocklin with his wife and two daughters.
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  • Yeah! I tried the Mark Driscoll approach: “I have a job, I got a Bible, and I love Jesus; will you marry me?” Still amazed that she said yes!

  • Casey Groves

    Brilliant, I loved this. Especially the supplemental photography.

  • Hey this is really good stuff Mr. Beuving. I wish you would have sat me down at taught me this right when I got to EBC. It could have solved one or two problems that I caused. Nonetheless, I learned. Now your next blogging series should be on how to be a good dad. I’m going to need some of that advice real soon : )

    • Mark Beuving

      Andrew!

      So good to hear from you again! How exciting that you ended up married and now have a kid on the way! I’m still figuring out the dad side of things (I’m still figuring out everything, really), but if I ever come up with any answers, I’ll be sure to share.