By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
Heaven. The goal for every believer in Christ. It's the place described as having streets paved with gold, filled with unimaginable mansions and pearly gates upon entry. Heaven is the home of Our Heavenly Father. It is God's dwelling place designed for total praise and worship. Earth. The world we live in. The place where humans dwell. The ground on which we walk on. The place that God Himself formed for His glory. As we can see by the brief descriptions, it is clear that heaven and earth are naturally two different realms that have few similarities.
Nonetheless, heaven and earth are both God's creations, with distinct purposes for existing. Many people wonder many things about heaven. For instance, some wonder how soon they will see Jesus; will they reunite with loved ones, or will their pets be alive in heaven? While these and other wonders ponder through the minds of numerous believers, another question lingers in the thoughts of Christian singles; will there be time for dating in heaven? There are a number of unmarried believers here on earth who are either searching for their soulmate or patiently awaiting their arrival. Unfortunately, many of them never get the chance to meet them before God calls them home to live with Him. Not only this, but many single Christians have a difficult time dating here on earth, so this question gives them hope for the possibility of better dating options. The answer to the question of dating heaven is a hard no. Here's why.
Dating is a multifaceted action with many purposes and definitions. The world defines it as a period in one's life where a person is actively seeking intimate connections. It's further defined as an action designed for unmarried individuals to discover the one they will spend the rest of their lives with on earth through the process of trial and error, heartbreaks, and disappointments. During this time, an unmarried individual decides the type of dating relationship they desire for different periods of their single lives. For instance, someone can decide on casual dating, meaning they are not seeking long-term commitment. There are monogamous dating relationships where people decide to commit to one another to see if they are compatible for a long-term commitment. There are heterosexual, homosexual, and even sexual dating relationships.
From the Christian perspective, many may argue that dating isn't biblical because it is often associated with many sins; fornication, lying, backbiting, covetousness, lust, jealousy, and other sinful temptations. In the dating world, these are some of the things/sins that people (believers and non-believers) engage in, consciously and subconsciously, that are covered up as typical, physical and emotional actions and reactions resulting from dating interactions. Unfortunately, many Christians fall prey to these dating expectations simply because standards for dating have not been established for believers based on biblical standards, so it's hard to understand why many would wonder if there will be dating in heaven.
With dating, temptation can be at an all-time high. Physical attraction, financial attraction, and the need to compete with others to secure the heart of someone can tempt a person to indulge in sinful activities to fill their fleshly desires. Temptation is a sin that does not exist in heaven. We will no longer exist in fleshly bodies; therefore, we will no longer have a sinful nature.
While dating, many people often confuse lust with love in search of it. I Corinthians 13:4-7 says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." The traits that describe love seem to be missing in many relationships in this world. Many people fail to be patient with others. They don't show kindness. Some are envious of others' relationships, dating, or marriage. People who are casually dating or in some dating relationships are often self-seeking; they're only concerned with what they can get from someone else. Others post and boast about their dating relationships on social media for the approval of onlookers/on-likers, while others date multiple people simultaneously and are untruthful about it. This is not love or the process of seeking it. This is lust of the flesh. 1 John 2:16 says, "For everything in the world- the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." Desires of the flesh will not be the experience in heaven. Why? Because, again, we will no longer exist in sinful natures; desires will automatically be different. Besides, lust for the flesh and satisfying them are temporary, and who wants temporary satisfaction? There will be a different experience with love in heaven. Honestly speaking, true love will be experienced in heaven. It will be the unconditional, everlasting love of God. The love that we should show each other every day while on earth.
Heaven will be filled with peace and joy. While dating is an exciting time, it comes with ups, downs, and disappointments which can disturb someone's peace. The agony of uncertainty with certain relationships. Anticipating hearing from someone. The various pressures from the world and even family can accompany dating. Now again, dating is an exciting journey but can bring unpeaceful and unpredictable situations. Heaven is filled with the peace of God that only He creates.
Heaven will be filled with praise and worship of the Most High God. Souls will be focused on praising and uplifting God, so there won't be time to focus on dating. Heaven will also be filled with adoration and joy for God. In the game of dating, people focus on admiring the traits of others to see if they are a compatible partner for them. If the focus is on someone else, then the focus won't be on praising God.
The game of dating has varying purposes with varying outcomes. However, no matter what the end goal is, one thing's for sure: people are seeking love and companionship. While the methods of seeking it here on earth can be difficult to fathom, believers who are saved and secure in that knowledge won't have to be concerned with finding love on the other side of this world. Therefore, they won't have to be concerned about dating in heaven. And let's be honest; if heaven is truly the believer's goal, then they should know that things we do on earth will not be the same in heaven. Not only this, but they should look forward to seeing God, meeting Jesus, and praising Him. Honestly, I believe if more people included God in their dating relationships, choices, and actions here on earth, things would not seem so daunting. Not only this, they would have experienced dating at its fullest and won't have to look for it in heaven. Dating is a blessing that teaches lessons that can change someone's life forever. While it is a learning experience, it is meant for dwelling on earth.
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
You can read Rhonda's full article here.