The 10 Commandments of Dating By Clarissa Worley Sproul

Clarissa Worely Sproul
The world of dating is hardly a safe or stable environment. And so for my girlfriends who are still in it, I decided to seek counsel from the ten most enduring directives of all time. I figured the Bible could at least make the trip more enjoyable, not to mention more productive, and I was right. Check this out.

Thou shalt have no other god’s before me
Don’t make Mr. Potential the center of your universe

The first command is exquisitely practical. Men—though wonderful—are mere mortals, and the masculine mortal cannot and will not ever be up to the task of giving you a life or shaping your destiny. God already has that worked out. So if you are waiting for a Mr. Right to give you meaning and purpose, or if you are sitting there with a heart full of needs and thinking a two-legged mammal with a deep voice is all you are lacking, let me recommend the memorization of the first commandment. There is only one Savior and maybe it’s time to distinguish Him from the cute guy at Starbucks.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image [or]
bow down thy self to them or serve them…

Don’t worship Mr. Potential

The second commandment becomes very personal when we remind ourselves that worship is about what we “can’t live without.” If you having a Mr. Right falls under this category, you may want to step back and re-evaluate your heart. Things we can’t live without are often things we are using to feel good about ourselves. Yes, using. Maybe it’s time to search out your motives and uncover what drives your dating choices. What are the pay-offs? Are they healthy? 

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain
Don’t use the God-excuse to substantiate your dating choices

This third command is fantastic. It’s all about taking responsibility for your choices and owning your life. It’s all about being honest with yourself, and those you date instead of hiding behind excuses—especially God excuses. If you “feel” God leading you to date someone, explore the hard evidence and your Bible. Use your head. You don’t ever want to say God lead me based on a few fuzzy-wuzzy feelings, not ever. You are responsible for your choices, and feelings can deceive, romantic feelings especially. Do your homework. You are worth it.

Remember the Sabbath Day to [rest and] keep it holy…
Don’t try to create or earn Mr. Potential’s love

I have way too many girlfriends who are working their tails off trying to “land a man.” All this stressing and striving is completely unnecessary. God has us resting the last day of every week, Saturday—Sabbath—so we can remember He’s the creator, the one who makes stuff happen. Applied to dating? Clearly the finding and marrying of Mr. Right is not your deal to broker. It’s God’s. He created you. Created your future husband. And He also created everything else. So chill out and trust up. The gift of love will be given you just like the gift of life was.

Honor Your Father and Your Mother…
Do ask your parents what they think about Mr. Potential

There are a million believable reasons for why you may want to skip this fifth commandment. Maybe your parents are over-powering, controlling, harsh or even mean. Even so, don’t. We honor our parents (or anyone) by listening to their side of things. Yes, ultimately the choice of whom you marry is yours. But believe me, if you are unable to listen to a possibly differing opinion on the subject, something is wrong on your end of things. Are you not mature enough to listen to a differing viewpoint? Do you have something to hide? What are you afraid of? The truth?   

Thou shalt not kill
Don’t try to change Mr. Potential

One of the craziest of human impulses is the one that drives us to want to “fix and change” someone else. Instead of allowing those who jive best with us the find their way into our lives naturally, we often strive to “win” a man’s heart; only to then try recreating him into someone he isn’t. This is very disrespectful, not to mention hurtful. It’s full-blown rejection. Do you love him as he is? Yes? Great. No? Then it’s probably time to say goodbye. Unconditional love is essential for any relationship and easiest to practice when you’re with someone who resembles what you naturally value. Besides, to try and shape someone according to your image is to play God and to kill what God has made. Not a good idea at all.

Thou shalt not steal  
Respect Mr. Potential’s time

Honoring this commandment means cutting off a relationship when you realize the person you are seeing cannot possibly be Mr. Right. Sometimes this means doing so before the relationship even gets off the ground. To carrying on with someone you have no intentions of marrying someday is stealing from him the one thing he can never get back, his time. I cannot stress how wrong this is, especially since his feelings for you make him a willing accomplice in your thievery. It’s up to you to be honest and respectful. It’s your integrity that is on the line. Not only are you stealing his time, you’re also keeping him from meeting the Mrs. Right who’s still out there somewhere. Let him go.

Thou shalt not commit adultery
Don’t have affairs on your future Mr. Right

I’m sure you’d agree that the married me kissing some other Mr. Right is outrageously wrong. Well what about me kissing him before the wedding? Better? And what about me kissing him before meeting my husband? Just fine? I would propose to you that deep bonding with someone other than your husband—even if he is still future—is having an affair, even cheating, on the man of your dreams. Think about it. We have only one heart and one body to give in marriage. Give that to someone else and you’ve ripped off your future relationship. Be smart. Respect your marriage before it happens and love your husband before you meet him.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Don’t lie to yourself about Mr. Potential’s faults and issues

Commandment number nine is all about acknowledging and acting on the warning signals going off in your head. Does he get really angry, really fast? Does he blame everyone else for his mistakes? Is he overly friendly with your girlfriends? Sometimes we are so eager to fall in love we repress the truth about the other party involved. This is called lying. And what could be worse than betraying your own heart with your own lies? Don’t compromise your conscience. Those red flags are your very good friends.

Thou shalt not covet your neighbors [husband]…
Don’t linger on someone else’s Mr. Right

Interestingly enough, affairs don’t actually happen in the bedroom. They happen in the heart and mind. This is profound. This means that you can cheat on your Mr. Right without lifting a finger. It also means that drooling over Brad Pitt or fantasizing about that cute guy at work are both acts of unfaithfulness. If you don’t agree, tell your boyfriend about your thoughts and see how he feels about it. Exactly. You were meant to deeply love and cherish one Mr. Right. Focusing on the rest of the Mr.’s only hurts you and yours. It is the exclusivity of marriage that makes it so intimate and meaningful. Guard it with your life.

Clarissa Worley Sproul lives in Salem, Oregon, and spends most of her free time eating at authentic restaurants, hiking here and there, writing, talking to friends, and making music. Visit Clarissa's website at clar.ccAll rights reserved © 2007 Click here for content usage information