I’m an urban jungle ghetto Asian dude and not an expert in relationships, marriage or dating. I grew up watching my Dad watch porn on those old-school VHS tapes. I’ve seen grown Asian men have affairs with minor wives like it was nothing. I’ve been around young girls who cake their faces with makeup and give up their bodies to weed smoking gang bangers. I’d be smoking a joint in one room while my homeboys be having sex with girls in another room. That was my reality growing up, so if anything, I’m an expert in knowing who not to date.
It wasn’t until I came to faith in Jesus that I saw good models of healthy relationships. I learned that one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life, second to choosing to follow Jesus, is who you decide to marry.
I’ve come a long way since then and now have three crazy cute kids and a beautiful wife that will put any super model to shame – cause she’s perfect inside and out. It now bugs the crap out of me to see broken relationships, failed marriages and fruitless mission. It hurts to see friends not take seriously who they date, what they believe and why it matters. It sucks to see people fail in leadership, mission and church because of relationships.
Here are a few nuggets of Biblical wisdom that were given to me on the journey to a healthy marriage and a healthy mission.
1. Who You Date
I got single friends who are good looking and single friends who are butt ugly (you know who you are). Some are active in pursuing their careers and others are actively trying to get kill streaks on Call of Duty. Both say they are Christians. One is married to their career and the other is married to the Xbox, but neither are married to Jesus.
Date someone who is passionately in love with Jesus (Hebrews 12:1). Not in the cliché going to church on Sunday kinda way, but someone who is actively living out their faith in word and deed in their sphere of influence. A relationship that is built on pride, money and sex is bound to fail because of pride, money and sex. But a relationship that lives in view of eternity and the pursuit of God’s glory will…well, last forever.
A great indicator of this is how they treat their family and others. Are they part of a healthy family, quick to forgive and living on mission? Or are their priorities focused on career, success, money and sex? Are they willing to serve others and live compassionately? Or are they more concerned with their own comforts?
2. What They Believe
The first time I laid eyes on my wife was on the very first day of college. It was the first day of my Freshman year at this private liberal arts Christian college in southern CA. Schools like this don’t have a lot of diversity, it’s mostly white people with a few token black people. You can imagine my surprise when I met another Southeast Asian like me…but unlike me she was female, smoking hot with long flowing black hair and best of all, I immediately saw her love for God and compassion for others.
Date someone who has the same values as you do (2 Corinthians 6:14). It was clear to me that this hot Asian girl had a personal passion for Jesus, faith-filled family, and willingness to serve overseas – all things that were primary values for me. So, don’t compromise on your own values and don’t settle for less. God wants to use your relationship for His purposes but you can’t possibly reach that destination if you aren’t sitting in the same car. You both have to be sitting in Jesus’ Honda Civic with Him at the wheel…and yes, Jesus drives a Honda.
3. Why It Matters
Dating eventually leads to marriage and marriage is a picture of God’s perfect love for humanity. The Scriptures tell us that one day a huge wedding party is going to take place in heaven. Jesus is described as the Groom and the Church (all communities of faith) is described as the Bride. All of human history is moving towards the day when people from every tribe, tongue, language and nation will be worshipping God in heaven…when the Bride will finally be reunited with the Groom (Revelation 7:9, Ephesians 5:25-27).
Date with a trajectory towards marriage (Revelation 19:7). Date with purpose. Your relationship must have the aroma of the Good News. The person that you decide to spend the rest of your life with will determine your effectiveness for the Kingdom of God.
Dating with purpose doesn’t mean you date just one person ever, cause it would be weird if you found out they like to collect Smurfs and eat stinky papaya salad but couldn’t break up with them. It just means to put God’s glory at the center of every decision and pursuit. There’s a lot of marriage books out there, that are way better than reading some Asian dudes blog. Better yet seek out people who have healthy marriages. Learn from them. Stay accountable. Who you date matters. Your future marriage matters. God’s glory matters.