During a recent conversation with some friends, I realized the stigma “saved” men carry. My friends were discouraging someone else from dating a man she had met in church. Convinced he was like “all the others”, they told her to end it before it ever started. Many women have been hurt by men who were in the church. Only after the man proved to be dishonest or unfaithful, did these women realize that though the men were in church, church was not in them. This kind of past hurt has left many women skeptical and reluctant to date “saved” men. Lumping all the brothers in the pews into one category, women have decided they have a better chance of finding “Mr. Right” in the world. I understand the hurt these women feel. I understand their reluctance. I validate their pain. However, I cannot validate their choice. If you are a saved woman, you have surrendered your life to the authority of Jesus Christ. You are no more your own, but bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). You are in a wonderful relationship and every thing in your life should be centered around it. Dating is not excluded. If prayer and worship are a major part of your life, shouldn’t the person you choose to date share these practices? When you sign up for a dating service, one of the first things they ask you to do is disclose your “likes and dislikes, your hobbies, etc.. Why? Because they will match you up with someone who is compatible with you. If a secular dating service sees the significance in this, shouldn’t we? Now, if everything in your life centers around your relationship with Christ; if the very essence of who you are is centered around Christ, shouldn’t the person you date be compatible? For the bible warns us against spiritual incompatibility (2 Corinthians 6:14). Furthermore, a man who is accountable to God will have character and integrity. You will not have to sneak a look at his cell phone or second guess everything he says. His relationship with Christ will keep him honest because his first loyalties lie with Him. He knows that if he is dishonest with you, he is dishonest with God. There is no “oh, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her” mentality because he is in relationship with God and God is everywhere and knows everything! When he’s not in your presence, he understands that he’s still in the presence of God. You may be thinking, “Well, Terri, if that’s the case why have so many women been hurt by “saved” men?” The answer is simple, women often do not place the same scrutiny on men in the church. They see them in church and just assume, “he is honest and faithful”. This is a big mistake. The bible tells us that we will know a tree by the fruit it bears (Matthew 7:17; Luke 12:33). In other words, you will know the person by their life. You must get to know a “saved” man the same way you get to know anyone else. You don’t just meet a person and call them “friend”, do you? You get to know the person first. You must examine a man’s quality. The last time you went out to lunch, did he lie to his boss over the phone and tell him he was in a meeting? Take a mental note. Does he treat you like a sister in Christ or a potential conquest? Are his lifestyle and goals consistent with biblical principles? What are his views regarding premarital sex? Take notes sisters and when the tree shows you its fruit, believe it. Don’t convince yourself it is an apple tree when you see oranges on the branches. There are good, saved men out there. Men who are looking to share their lives with strong, praying women who are going to help them meet the requirements of God. So, do not let your past experiences and your past hurts dictate your future. Just think, if God lumped all mankind into one category and based his present and future expectations of us on our past, we’d all be doomed. So, learn from past mistakes, don’t relive them; be a better discerner, guard your heart and let God lead you. You never know, you may find Mr. Right right on the pew next to you.

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