A few friends recently listed for me their current dating apps: Tinder, which asks you to swipe photos to indicate who you’re interested in; Hinge, which makes connections from extended circles of friends; and Coffee Meets Bagel, which sends a match daily at noon. (Note to those who are long past the dating stage: yes, now there are a lot more online dating options than just eHarmony and Match.com.)
I can barely navigate a few real-life dating prospects, let alone imagine constructing pithy profiles and smartly angled selfies to snag myself a guy. While others check out their options online—the percentage of American adults using dating apps and websites has tripled in the past three years—I’m tempted to go the other direction, deleting my Facebook and Twitter accounts to making my online self less accessible (or perhaps more mysterious?) to the male mass.
Every year, between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, online dating registrations soar. There are a myriad of reasons for this: the difficulty of holidays spent single; New Year resolutions; desire to not be by themselves in dark, winter nights; pressure from family; and more. One thing is clear, it is written on the heart of every man and woman that it is not good for them to be alone.
Our generation is staying single longer and delaying children more than any other generation in history, yet desperately discontent with solitude. A friend asked me recently, “If God said it is not good for man to be alone, but all he does is good, is my singleness actually good?” Sometimes the best answer to difficult questions is to just say, “I don’t know but he is good,” and so I did.
In the Old Testament the norm for marriages was in the way of Isaac and Rebekah, Ruth and Boaz, even Adam and Eve—we read about a variety of methods employed, but in each, family was the gateway to union. All through the New Testament, though, Paul used inclusive familial language in regard to the church. He was saying, “Your spiritual family is your family now: mother one another, father one another, brother and sister one another. This is now the unit out of which you are birthed and raised and sent out.” Being fruitful and multiplying is no longer relegated to bearing natural children, but building disciples.
This new conception of family informs our approach to dating—and the surge in online dating among single people across the world.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today