Is Online Dating Against God's Will?

November 27, 2020
Online Dating in World

Religion and romance don't often mix easily. 

Although Christian dating continues to expand as a niche online matchmaking sector, there remains conflict in different faith groups about whether digital dating meets with the morals and ethics of religious doctrines.

However, marriage, family life, and love are vital fundamentals of Christianity - so it's less about whether dating - as a construct - is 'wrong', and more about how contemporary dating might jar with traditional Christian values.

That said, the Internet can be a power for good as well as bad. 

Particularly this year, during a global pandemic that has brought with it economic chaos, hundreds of thousands of deaths and a significant impact on daily lives, digital worship has been a lifeline to Christian communities unable to meet as they usually would.

Let's look at online dating, what Christian dating does differently from the mainstream, and whether faithful followers can enjoy the opportunity to meet new people, without questioning how it aligns with their core beliefs.

Doesn't Online Dating Mean You're Not Trusting in God's Plan?

In a word, I'd say no. As a little bit of background, I grew up in a Catholic family but attended a Baptist church (since it was all that was available in my area of the city!).

I attended a Catholic convent school, got married in a C of E church, and my daughter attended a Christian nursery school.

Although that's a smattering of churches and denominations, I think it does give me a broad oversight as to how different faith groups view modern romance, and what it's like growing up as a teenager in a faithful household - but still wanting to enjoy the excitement and freedoms of youth!

In the Christian Church, we view God as our father, and yes, it can seem uncomfortable to think that He has a plan for us that involves dating, marriage and sex.

Yet, these things are all as crucial to our health, societal values and relationships as any other - and being Christian, or indeed of any faith, doesn't mean you experience emotions any differently from anybody else!

In my opinion, it works like this:

  • Most Christians believe that God is actively involved in guiding our lives, but that we also have Free Will, and therefore it is up to us to use that guidance in the best way.
  • You have the power to make choices for yourself. If you are religious, those choices should follow the values of your faith, but still, the choice is yours alone.
  • Praying and waiting for a miracle isn't reality. Yes, prayer can be powerful, and it is a crucial part of worship. However, we've all heard the saying 'God helps those who help themselves'. To sit idly back and wait for your God to deliver you a ready-made family just isn't going to happen - plus, it's plain lazy!

So, in my view, going online isn't bucking Christian values. You're not signing up to a casual hookup site, throwing your belief system out of the window, or behaving in a way that would be frowned on in Church.

Instead, you are being proactive about finding a life partner, using the tools and resources that we are all fortunate enough to have at our disposal in the modern era.

  • Would you have thought it inappropriate to meet somebody at a Church event?
  • Is it wrong to actively seek out a partner who shares your values and would like to build a life with you?
  • How is meeting a person online in a Christian dating community any different from meeting a single person directly through a mutual connection?

We're all encouraged to be active members of our Church communities - attending clubs or social occasions, gathering together and sharing our challenges. 

Likewise, Christian dating is exactly the same type of community; but spread over a wider geographical area. For my money, it's no different at all than meeting a date through the Church!

Why Do Some Christians Frown on Internet Dating?

On the flip side, it's essential to acknowledge that my opinion is just that - my personal opinion. Some Reverends, Priests and Vicars might have very contrasting views, and if you're thinking about looking for love online, it's worth having a well-rounded opinion. 

Here's the opposing argument:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5 - 6.

This bible verse tells us that we should trust God's timing, and believe that the right person for us will come along according to God's plan.

For me, that doesn't quite mean avoiding an opportunity to meet like-minded people. 

It means that we trust that if we feel excited about meeting a partner, and have the option of joining a digital Christian community, we have come across the plan - and should grasp it with open arms.

It's also worth considering vital factors outside of your faith:

  • Loneliness can be crippling and cause untold mental health issues and self-esteem challenges. Waiting for years for something to happen without taking action isn't a way to make the best use of the life you've been given!
  • Suppose you feel ready to connect with another person and build a family unit that means that you are mature enough to commit. You shouldn't doubt the timing of your life because of an interpretation of a Bible verse.
  • Fear of not meeting 'the one' or getting married can be a big issue for young Christians. Online dating gives you back control over your journey and means you can connect with like-minded men and women from the safety of your own home.
  • Many people find it impossible to meet dates in their everyday lives. That might be because there aren't many eligible people of your age in your town. It could be because you commute to work, and don't have many friends nearby. Perhaps you have met all the singles in your church community, and haven't met anybody who sets your heart on fire!

Online dating, therefore, is a tool. It means that you can expand your social circle instantly, and harness the power of digital communication to meet people you'd never have come across in your everyday life.

If you are Christian, single, and looking for a partner, I'd say online Christian dating websites are the way to go. The community is supportive, friendly, and welcoming, and you'll only come across members who share your faith, and will similarly be looking for their life partner.

Sitting at home and waiting for the perfect guy or girl to arrive on your doorstep? It's just wishful thinking.

Lauren Edwards-Fowle
Lauren is a freelance writer passionate about how we develop rewarding experiences, and overcoming the barriers we face to living our best lives. Lauren writes regularly about the modern world of dating, relationships, parenthood, and social dynamics.