Dating in a new Light

IT WAS an almost six-month wait. After much prayer and a confirmation from God in January of 2008, Efraim Elijah Tendero, or Buddy as his friends and family fondly call him, expressed his love and intention to marry Maimai in the summer of the same year.

“He had to wait for almost six months as I went through a prayer and counseling program, and also because I was not yet sure if God was leading me to enter into a relationship with Buddy,” Valerimae Lacap, or Maimai, recalls.

“As September 2008 was about to end, God’s answer for me to say yes to Buddy was so clear. I knew what answer to give to Buddy the moment he would ask again. My counseling program would end in October 28 and I had no idea when he would again ask me for my decision.”

Right as Maimai exited the door after her counseling program’s graduation, Buddy was there, with flowers and all. “There he asked again, saying he had waited and prayed and didn’t want to wait for another day! He asked if God was also leading me to enter into an exclusive relationship with him.”

“Of course, my answer was yes. :)”

"Yes!"

We see eyebrows raised at the mention of this unique concept of dating. Henry Ballesteros, pastor of Community of the Resurrected Christ, International Inc., a Born-Again Christian church, said that recreational dating has been “a period wherein [couples who are dating] want to find out whether they click together as a couple.”  To him, dating is now a trial-and-error method. “Try and try until you succeed—until you find the ideal person for you.”

But when the words waiting and God’s timing come into picture, dating comes off as a totally foreign idea. Friends, say hello to Christian dating.

Christian dating defined

Christian dating has no one sole definition, but it can be synonymous to the word biblical courtship. Joshua Harris, author of bestsellers I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl said that biblical courtship is a healthy, joyous alternative to recreational dating. Recreation dating here is defined as premature, short-term romantic attachments which can be a big distraction from serving God.

Christian dating, then, does not involve the trial-and-error stage that Pastor Henry mentioned. “For me, dating is when the couple is already in an exclusive relationship,” Maimai explains. “The relationship [the couple] shares is serious from the start and they both know that it is leading to marriage.”

But this is not to say that couples who are not in a Christian dating relationship are not serious. Christian dating is different in the sense that one pursues a relationship with marriage in mind. To many dating couples, the thought is too scary, if not too serious.

“Christian dating is so different in the sense that when you enter into dating, it is a period of knowing each other well so that when marriage comes you could complement each other as mates,” Pastor Henry said.

Roles

Christian dating defines a man and a woman’s role the old-fashioned way. It brings us back to the era where the girl waits in the balcony while the guy chops lumber for the family.

“The woman is to be wooed and pursued. She is to be led and nurtured. But even though she is to be taken care of, I strongly believe, she is also to bloom and call forth the leadership of her man,” Maimai explains.

“The man is to lead the relationship; he is to set direction and primarily, as far as I understand the Biblical concept of relationships, is responsible and accountable to God for the relationship.”

Since she understood that the woman is to submit to the man in a Christian dating relationship, it has allowed her to feel liberated and relaxed, which is a complete irony to the Feminism movement where the female, in order to feel secure, seeks equality with the man.

“[I am relaxed] because I know I am in good hands.”

On waiting

The concept of waiting is what probably makes Christian dating so distinct. Waiting can be different from situation to situation, but the main idea is this: the man and the woman waits for God’s perfect timing before pursuing a relationship. While waiting, they are committed to serving God. To know God’s timing, they pray and ask for a confirmation, just like what Maimai and Buddy did before turning their friendship into a Christian dating relationship.

“Only God knows the perfect timing of all the seasons of our life,” Pastor Henry said. “If we have the confidence that it is God’s will and timing with His chosen person for us, then it is a relationship that not only will work but will also last for a lifetime.”

“I have learned that waiting does not end when you have a relationship. In fact, there may be more waiting when you’re in a relationship! Waiting manifests a trust in God and your partner; whatever you’re waiting for will come in its right time. It manifests a spirit willing to submit its own agenda to the One who hold us and our lives,” Maimai said.

Christian dating works

Just like the usual dating, Christian dating may also fail when not grounded in the Word and will of God. It is impossible to have a working relationship apart from God, and the only way that a man and a woman can be so committed to each other is to be committed to God.

Leomer Clavio, youth pastor of More Than Conquerors Fellowship International Inc., another Born-Again Christian church, said that there is no formula on Christian dating, but that couples should date in the right time and way.

Maimai said that a Christian relationship can work when the couple’s focus is on Christ. “Without Him, it would be so easy to give in to lust or to do what ‘others are doing anyway’. Without Him, it would be easy to harbor anger and complain on not getting what you ‘deserve’”. She said it can work when both the man and the woman are ultimately devoted to love and obey Christ rather than their own wills and desires.

“As long as it goes in accordance with God’s words and principles, it can never go wrong,” Pastor Henry said.

Happily ever after

Pre-nuptial photo of the couple

Buddy and Maimai have known each other for four years, serving as full-time missionaries at Campus Crusade for Christ. After Maimai accepted Buddy as her life partner—in faith and love—she can only describe the journey in awe and wonder. “It has been a wonderful journey since, serving God together, growing in love and character.”

“Again and again, Buddy and I can say that God had prepared us for each other. We call each other God’s Best Bonus, seeing we were just bonuses to God’s already wonderful plan for our individual lives. I am forever grateful to God for giving me a love story I never thought I would have; for blessing me with a wonderful and God-fearing man to love, serve with and submit to.”

Last December 2009, Buddy officially proposed to Maimai, to which she answered: ‘Of course!’ “And so, presently, I am three months away from being Mrs. Buddy Tendero!” Maimai shares with excitement.

Christian dating transcends emotions, the giddy feelings inside, and the butterflies in the stomach. It involves commitment, submission, patience and perseverance. It is not without sacrifice, and it requires trimming down of some pride here and a few self-centeredness there. But what makes the process worthwhile is the assurance that God always has something wonderful in store for those who endure.

The wait will never be in vain.

30

IT WAS an almost six-month wait. After much prayer and a confirmation from God in January of 2008, Efraim Elijah Tendero, or Buddy as his friends and family fondly call him, expressed his love and intention to marry Maimai in the summer of the same year.

“He had to wait for almost six months as I went through a prayer and counseling program, and also because I was not yet sure if God was leading me to enter into a relationship with Buddy,” Valerimae Lacap or Maimai recalls.

“As September 2008 was about to end, God’s answer for me to say yes to Buddy was so clear. I knew what answer to give to Buddy the moment he would ask again. My counseling program would end in October 28 and I had no idea when he would again ask me for my decision.”

Right as Maimai exited the door after her counseling program’s graduation, Buddy was there, with flowers and all. “There he asked again, saying he had waited and prayed and didn’t want to wait for another day! He asked if God was also leading me to enter into an exclusive relationship with him.”

“Of course, my answer was yes.J

We see eyebrows raised at the mention of this unique concept of dating. Henry Ballesteros, pastor of Community of the Resurrected Christ, International Inc., a Born-Again Christian church, said that recreational dating has been “a period wherein [couples who are dating] want to find out whether they click together as a couple.” To him, dating is now a trial-and-error method. “Try and try until you succeed—until you find the ideal person for you.”

But when the words waiting and God’s timing come into picture, dating comes off as a totally foreign idea. Friends, say hello to Christian dating.

Christian dating defined

Christian dating has no one sole definition, but it can be synonymous to the word biblical courtship. Joshua Harris, author of bestsellers I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl said that biblical courtship is a healthy, joyous alternative to recreational dating. Recreation dating here is defined as premature, short-term romantic attachments which can be a big distraction from serving God.

Christian dating, then, does not involve the trial-and-error stage that Pastor Henry mentioned. “For me, dating is when the couple is already in an exclusive relationship,” Maimai explains. “The relationship [the couple] share is serious from the start and they both know that it is leading to marriage.”

But this is not to say that couples who are not in a Christian dating relationship are not serious. Christian dating is different in the sense that one pursues a relationship with marriage in mind. To many dating couples, the thought is too scary, if not too serious.

“Christian dating is so different in the sense that when you enter into dating, it is a period of knowing each other well so that when marriage comes you could complement each other as mates,” Pastor Henry said.

Roles

Christian dating defines a man and a woman’s role the old-fashioned way. It brings us back to the era where the girl waits in the balcony while the guy chops lumber for the family. The woman is to be wooed and pursued. She is to be led and nurtured. But even though she is to be taken care of, I strongly believe, she is also to bloom and call forth the leadership of her man,” Maimai explains.

“The man is to lead the relationship; he is to set direction and primarily, as far as I understand the Biblical concept of relationships, is responsible and accountable to God for the relationship.”

Since she understood that the woman is to submit to the man in a Christian dating relationship, it has allowed her to feel liberated and relaxed, which is a complete irony to the Feminism movement where the female, in order to feel secure, seeks equality with the man.

“[I am relaxed] because I know I am in good hands.”

On waiting

The concept of waiting is what probably makes Christian dating so distinct. Waiting can be different from situation to situation, but the main idea is this: the man and the woman waits for God’s perfect timing before pursuing a relationship. While waiting, they are committed to serving God. To know God’s timing, they pray and ask for a confirmation, just like what Maimai and Buddy did before turning their friendship into a Christian dating relationship.

“Only God knows the perfect timing of all the seasons of our life,” Pastor Henry said. “If we have the confidence that it is God’s will and timing with His chosen person for us, then it is a relationship that not only will work but will also last for a lifetime.”

“I have learned that waiting does not end when you have a relationship. In fact, there may be more waiting when you’re in a relationship! Waiting manifests a trust in God and your partner; whatever you’re waiting for will come in its right time. It manifests a spirit willing to submit its own agenda to the One who hold us and our lives,” Maimai said.

Christian dating works

Just like the usual dating, Christian dating may also fail when not grounded in the Word and will of God. It is impossible to have a working relationship apart from God, and the only way that a man and a woman can be so committed to each other is to be committed to God.

Leomer Clavio, youth pastor of More Than Conquerors Fellowship International Inc., another Born-Again Christian church, said that there is no formula on Christian dating, but that couples should date in the right time and way.

Maimai said that a Christian relationship can work when the couple’s focus is on Christ. “Without Him, it would be so easy to give in to lust or to do what “others are doing anyway”. Without Him, it would be easy to harbor anger and complain on not getting what you “deserve”. She said it can work when both the man and the woman are ultimately devoted to love and obey Christ rather than their own wills and desires.

“As long as it goes in accordance with God’s words and principles, it can never go wrong,” Pastor Henry said.

Happily ever after

Buddy and Maimai have known each other for four years, serving as full-time missionaries at Campus Crusade for Christ. After Maimai accepted Buddy as her life partner—in faith and love—she can only describe the journey in awe and wonder. “It has been a wonderful journey since, serving God together, growing in love and character.”

“Again and again, Buddy and I can say that God had prepared us for each other. We call each other God’s Best Bonus, seeing we were just bonuses to God’s already wonderful plan for our individual lives. I am forever grateful to God for giving me a love story I never thought I would have; for blessing me with a wonderful and God-fearing man to love, serve with and submit to.”

Last December 2009, Buddy officially proposed to Maimai, to which she answered: “Of course!” “And so, presently, I am three months away from being Mrs. Buddy Tendero!” Maimai shares with excitement.

Christian dating transcends emotions, the giddy feelings inside, and the butterflies in the stomach. It involves commitment, submission, patience and perseverance. It is not without sacrifice, and it requires trimming down of some pride here and a few self-centeredness there. But what makes the process worthwhile is the assurance that God always has something wonderful in store for those who endure.

The wait will never be in vain.

30

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8 thoughts on “Dating in a new Light

  1. Amazing article! Really, really. I felt like I was reading a passage that’s comparable to Joshua Harris’ work. Awesome job, bestfriend. 🙂

  2. Heartwarming article. Pwede mo kaming gawing example ni Tito Alex mo. Ha ha:-)

    Indeed, He makes everything beautiful in His time. Everything good and perfect comes from Him.

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