I started writing the answer to this post and before I could type a word, realized I had no idea what the answer was. So I polled women I knew and respected of various marital statuses. I asked them what they believed the role of a woman in dating is according to their experience and according to scripture. I love the richness and diversity of their responses:
Single/22 years old: The role of a Christian woman in dating is to be pursued. We are called as women to submit to the pursuit and leadership of men. Therefore, let’s let them do their job. We have a biblical call to wait, submit and be patient. Since this is a biblical instruction spoken by God, in that place we as women will have most peace. Straying away from that call (which could mean taking control, impatiently initiating yourself, etc.) can mislead, confuse or awaken love too soon.
Single, divorcee/34 years old (But that doesn’t define me! My blue eyes that have a slightly cynical outlook, my hips that are 2 sizes too big, sarcastic leanings and an extreme love for NCIS are what really defines me 😉 ): My role as a divorced single mom, I feel, is to seek healing, honest-to-goodness, soul-changing healing. This healing takes time, pain, time, trust in God, time, and patience…oh, and time. Then, I am to live my life…I mean live it. Do what I dreamed of, go on adventures, ask people all sorts of questions, reflect, seek and live! And then, always hope…hope in God and rest in His grace.
In a relationship/25 years old: I think I now have a much more refined and actually fairly simple view of the role of Christian women in dating, and it’s this: The role of a Christian woman in dating is, at it’s core, the same as that of a man: be prayerful, honest, open, and ultimately, be genuinely yourself. I think if we, as women, do those things, then the right men will join us in the right relationships by taking on that role as well. This is not to say that “being ourselves” means not being open to change and growth, but it just means that we don’t try to be someone we aren’t. It has been a struggle of mine before, which is perhaps why one of my favorites verses is Romans 12:9 – Love must be sincere.
Married/26 years old: To guard your heart, seek God’s will for the future of your relationship, be open to God’s leading (it doesn’t have to end in marriage), and build your significant other with love and respect. Keep in mind flashing red lights in dating can destroy a marriage. Marriage is the second most important decision in your life and you’ll want to listen closely and tread lightly before you head down the road. Marriage is the greatest blessing when you’re with the right person! Date with purpose and grow in the process.
Single/27 years old: The bible teaches that marriage is a picture of the gospel. It is to illustarte the pursuit of Christ to his church and in return her submission to his love and authority. While the bible doesn’t teach a lot about “dating” as we know (and love) it, I do believe that dating should be a preview of that picture of marriage. While we aren’t called to submit to the man we are dating as we are to our husbands, nor are we to engage in all the activites marriage allows, we still mimic those roles of Christ and the church to a certain degree. In dating the girl gets the chance to sit back and relax (if she can allow herself to see it that way). The man initiates and pursues her as God turns his heart to do so and the girl responds and affirms his pursuit. Plain and simple. One of my favorite things to see is a man of God who is pursuing a woman. That woman is freed and covered by his pursuit. She is freed to affirm his masculinity being manifested by his pursuit of her and in turn she is not put in a position to be solely vulnerable or manipulative to get his affections.