At no point does the Bible mention the internet. Trust me, I’ve looked. This could be for a number of reasons, chiefly among them that the stupid thing (which I love) hadn’t been invented yet. So when dealing with the internet and all of its temptations, we are left to our own devices and interpretations of what we should and should not do. Really, it’s our responsibility to apply the other lessons we’ve learned about right and wrong, good and evil, and make the Godly decision from there. And this is fine when it comes to avoiding porn or acting like you’re an exiled Nigerian prince needing some help from a lonely and gullible soul. Those situations and others like them are pretty much black and white. But when it comes to the arena of romance and life partners, suddenly most Christians find themselves in a world consisting of about fifty shades of grey (not like that, you perv). We want to be happy and we want what God has for us, so when it comes to finding the person we’ll spend the rest of our lives with, we hesitate between acceptable and non-acceptable ways of doing that.
We know it’s acceptable to find that person within the confines of the Church. That’s an easy one. But at a bar or nightclub? Most of us would feel only a little uneasy about connecting with someone in that sort of atmosphere because it’s not typically where you’d find other Christians—and as Christians, it makes sense that we’d want to date and marry a like-minded soul. However, online dating is a whole other ballgame when it comes to the world of romance. Why? Because most of us are still unsure if God is okay with us finding a mate while online or would He rather we sit quietly on the pew and wait for our prince/princess to come along. And that’s where we hesitate.
At this point in history, almost everything we do is housed within the workings of the internet. We can attend church by watching a streaming service. We have 47 different social networks we just have to check 47 different times a day. We can attend class online, and if we do happen to physically attend a class, most of our homework is now found on our school’s interweb. Our work schedule is found on our company’s website. We can even shop for new clothes while we sit at home in our underwear. Just about everything we’re a part of is found within the wonderful world of the internet. And being as it is, we’re bound to meet and get to know people we wouldn’t have normally met if it weren’t for our online activity.
We connect with people on Facebook, Twitter, in the comments of blogs, and everywhere else we interact; sometimes even friendships and relationships form from these connections (one of my best friends married the love of his life two years after meeting her on the old Facebook. They tell people Mark Zuckerberg introduced them). Personally, some of my best friends are people I’ve met through this space or my Twitter account.
So if we’re already meeting people and getting to know them in an online environment (and no one seems to be accruing the wrath of God for it), why would joining an online dating site be any different? Basically, it’s creating a profile and letting other single people know that you’re in the market for a mate. In my personal and uneducated opinion, I can’t see why God would have an issue with it.
Are we to represent ourselves truthfully while online? Absolutely, seeing as we are to be bearers of the truth at all times. Are we to keep from engaging in nefarious and underhanded deeds while getting to know someone through the screen of our laptop? Mmhmm, seeing as how we are to aim for living a clean and separated life. Are we to guard our hearts and hesitantly trust anyone we haven’t actually met in person, no matter how well we get to know them over our accounts and electronic devices? Manti Te’o is solemnly nodding yes.
The truth is that God will lead us to whomever we’re supposed to be with, and I don’t think He limits Himself to only in-person meetings anymore. The world is too big, the internet is even bigger, and His will rules it all. Whether on a site built specifically for meeting people romantically or just in our everyday online use, if we’re blessed enough to come across someone who makes our heart skip and our breath catch, there’s no reason that connection can’t last forever. Is there a stigma that comes from meeting someone online? Unfortunately, there still is (as Ted and the gang proved with what’s-her-name), but it’s a stigma that’s lessening day by day, honestly.
So if you feel like jumping in to the online dating world, go for it. We’re all on His romantic time and mercy regardless.