I remember it being one of my favorite games to play as a kid.
The premise of the game was that the child who was the “stoplight” would stand on one edge of the field away from all the other kids who were playing. The “stoplight” would have their back to the kids until they turned around and yelled out 1 of 2 commands, “Red Light” or “Green Light.”
If the command was Green Light you would run as fast as you could toward the “stoplight,” because your goal was to be the first kid to touch the stoplight.
However, if you were running too quickly and the “stoplight” yelled out “red light” and they caught you moving, because you were unable to stop soon enough, you had to go back to the starting line.
I found myself thinking about this game the other day while I was writing the blog posts for this week’s series: “Who Should I Date?”
Knowing who you should date is an important question to consider.
But it can get complicated and overwhelming so quickly. There are thousands of books, podcasts and tv shows about the topic, and you may have heard opinions from your family, friends and even acquaintances on the subject. When I googled “who should I date” I received 2,890,000,000 search results.
I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed during the years I was single post high school (10 years!), around this topic. I had read all the Christian dating books and singleness books I could find. I had heard countless opinions from people I respected and even those I barely knew on the topic.
What I came to realize through prayer and wise counsel is that it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems.
I want to share with you is a simple analogy that can help you determine is this a person worth dating?
It’s the analogy of the stoplight.
A stoplight has three signals, Go (Green), Yield (yellow) and Stop (Red).
Today we are going to discuss the first signal you should be looking for:
A red light is: a signal to stop, halt, cease, do not pass Go, do not collect $200!!!! You get the point.
There are some eligibles that are not eligible.
Stop/ Red Light prospect: Refers to a single person who although initially may seem interesting or attractive it should instantly become clear that he is not marriage material.
– Not following Jesus, unbelievers
– Struggling with an addiction (alcohol, drugs ect..)
– Character concerns: dishonest, cheats, steals, manipulative, inappropriate language/conversation, lazy
– Physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive
2 Corinthians 6:14-15 “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?”
Normally it is not too hard to identify if a person is dealing with any of these things I mentioned above.
Yet, it is tragic how frequently girls who are followers of Jesus are tempted to date guys who are not followers of Jesus, who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, or have a considerable absence of character.
They may even be mistreated physically and emotionally and yet they are drawn into relationship with these men.
The saddest part is that these relationships will rarely result in a lifetime commitment of marriage and then turn into a lifetime of marital peace and joy.
I think there can be a lot of reasons women are drawn into these relationships, there are two that I believe are the most frequent:
1. The value you believe you have. If you see yourself, your heart, spirit and body as being worth about $1 and not as the priceless treasure that it is, then it may be hard to feel like you deserve a quality man.
Not just any King, He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, He is your creator and your lover and your intimate friend.
He is also your Father and as the best Father in the universe doesn’t want his precious little girl wrapped in an emotional entanglement that will lead to heartbreak and disaster.
Psalm 45:10 -11 (NLT) Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.”
Let’s look at another translation…
(ESV) Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty.
I would encourage you to put this verse by your mirror, in your car, by the coffeemaker. Memorize it, and as you do let the Holy Spirit speak deeply to your heart about your un-measureable value.
You may be attracted to these men out of desperation. Believe me I know, I have been there… feeling a tad bit panicky, with every bridesmaid dress I pulled on (7 to be exact before I got married).
Fortunately God and good friends protected me from what could have been horrible relationships.
If this is you, and you are feeling a little desperate, recognize where you are at and that you may be more susceptible to dating any single semi attractive man who comes along.
This is a dangerous place to be in, and it is vital that you surround yourself with like minded followers of Jesus that will speak the hard truth in love when you need to hear it.
Proverbs 27:6: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
It can feel very vulnerable to ask your friends (especially the ones most likely to tell you what you don’t want to hear) what they think of a crush or boyfriend, but you MUST do it.
You must find a friend(s) who is honest and discerning enough to realize when a relationship needs the red light and loves you enough to tell you.
I have been a little annoyed that friends haven’t jumped on my crush band wagon and squealed all the way to Target with me to buy a bridal magazine because they weren’t as sure as I was that he was the one. But I am so thankful for their honesty and discernment.
When my quality husband proposed to me, those same friends were right there squealing, screaming and frolicking with me to the local bookstore to pour over bridal magazines. What a sweet moment that was, because our hearts were unified in joy and peace knowing that this was the husband God had for me! It is worth it to wait for this moment (I waited 29 years, and I can say it was worth every minute!)
Tomorrow we will discuss what can be the most complicated aspect of dating – guys in the yellow light category. I hope you will join us!
What are some qualities you are looking for in a potential date and mate? What would your advice be to single women who are considering who to date?