12 Questions to Ask Yourself
About Someone You Might Date
New Life Ministries
When considering a relationship with someone it is important to
consider that person's spiritual beliefs as well as the way they
view life and how they treat others. Authors Lee and Leslie Strobel
say the following questions are important to consider before you
being a dating relationship.
1. Can he describe a specific time or era during which
he received Christ's gift of eternal life? If he can't
pinpoint the time of his conversion, or at least the time frame
in which it occurred, then it might not have ever happened. Listen
carefully when he talks about his faith. Is he counting on his
good deeds, religious rituals, and winning smile to get to heaven,
or does he describe coming to the point of recognizing his sinfulness,
turning from his own path in life, and receiving Christ as his
forgiver and leader? He saved us, not because of righteous things
we had done, but because of his mercy, says Titus 3:5.
2. When he talks about the future, is there room for
God? Or does he envision a future of his own making?
Does he talk about seeking God's direction for his life? Does
he have plans to serve God and the church in some way? Is he focused
on the achievement of temporal success or eternal significance?
Does he want to make a difference in the world for Christ? "But
one thing I do," said the apostle Paul. Forgetting what is
behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the
goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in
3. Is he willing to postpone immediate gratification
so that greater satisfaction can come in the future?
Does he live out the biblical teaching that sacrifice and struggle
often are necessary to achieve greater long-term goals? Or does
he relentlessly pursue short-term pleasure at the expense of long-term
consequences? "Healthy religion calls for us to forsake self-indulgent,
self-centered living and to commit instead to purity, love, giving,
unselfishness, discipline, and sometimes uncomfortable lifestyles,"
Collins said. "This is not intended to steal away our joy
and make life miserable. In contrast, a life of devotion brings
inner peace, fulfillment, and the promise of better things to
come in the future."
4. What is his attitude toward other people?
Does he use others merely as tools to get what he wants, or does
he genuinely care about other people? Is he polite because his
parents taught him good manners, or because he sincerely respects
others? How does he treat the less fortunate in our society? Does
he care about the needy? Does he have a sense of social justice
that makes him want to see conditions for the poor improved, or
is he uncaring or even cynical about those who have less than
he does? He who mocks the poor, says Proverbs 17:5, shows contempt
for their Maker.
5. Does he exhibit the traits of Jesus? Does
he forgive those who hurt him or does he enjoy nursing a grudge
and plotting revenge? Is he generous toward others? Does he stand
up for what's right? Does he care about the poor and the downtrodden?
My friend Gary Collins, a Christian psychologist, put it this
way: "The Bible knows nothing of true Christians who are
miserly, spiteful, habitually unforgiving, self-righteous, or
arrogant. Nobody is perfect and we are all tempted to sin, but
the true Christ-follower shows signs of becoming more like the
6. Who does he spend his time with? Birds of
a feather do tend to flock together. You can learn a lot about
his discernment and what he values by looking at who he shares
his time with. Is he constantly pulled toward the "in-crowd"
whose main activities would be anything but pleasing to God, or
does he seek relationships with Christians who can encourage him
to grow in his faith and lovingly hold him accountable? Do not
be misled, says 1 Corinthians 15:33, Bad company corrupts good
7. Does he care about bringing the Gospel to those who
haven't heard it? People whose hearts have been transformed
by Christ feel motivated to share their faith with others. But
someone who's a Christian in name only sees no reason to bring
the message of Jesus to those who haven't heard it. As one ancient
saint said: "I doubt the salvation of anyone who doesn't
care about the salvation of his neighbor." That doesn't mean
he has to be Billy Graham, but it does mean he prays for lost
friends and takes advantage of opportunities to engage them in
spiritual conversations so ho might be able to tell them about
8. Is he honest about the little things in life?
Integrity means there's a consistency between a person's beliefs
and behavior or between his character and creed. Does he have
a reputation for being trustworthy, or is he known for trying
to cleverly cut ethical corners? One woman said her boyfriend's
character was revealed when a waiter accidentally gave them the
bill for another table. Instead of pointing out the error, he
tried to quickly pay the lesser amount and leave - until she stopped
him. "There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity,"
said business guru Tom Peters. Seemingly small acts of dishonesty
often reveal the true state of a person's heart. The godly walk
with integrity, says Proverbs 20:7.
9. Through what lenses does he see the world?
We all view life through one kind of lens or another. "The
term worldview may sound abstract or philosophical ... but actually
a person's worldview is intensely practical," said Charles
Colson. "It is simply the sum total of our beliefs about
the world, the 'big picture' that directs our daily decisions
and actions... Genuine Christianity is a way of seeing and comprehending
all reality." Does this individual see an artificial separation
between his spiritual life and the rest of his existence, or is
his faith integrated into all areas of living? Does he recognize
and apply the Bible as the foundation for his whole life?
10. Does he take responsibility for his actions?
Is he quick to candidly admit when he has made a mistake or does
he try to justify his actions even when they were clearly wrong?
Does he gloss over his own sinfulness or blame others for things
he did? "Healthy believers don't try to pass the buck, pin
the blame on somebody else, or refuse to acknowledge our actions,"
Collins said. Instead, they "admit errors and sinfulness,
seek forgiveness from God and from others who might have been
harmed, make restitution when possible, and go on - determined
not to let a similar situation happen again."
11. Does he possess humility? Jesus spoke out
forcefully against pride, and Micah 6:8 says that true spirituality
involves walking humbly with God. Does this individual always
have to be right? Does he hog credit or generously praise the
contributions of others? Does he constantly put himself first
and think he knows better than everyone else? "[Humility]
is not a false piety that denies the strengths God has given,"
Collins said. "It does not involve putting ourselves down
and wallowing in insecurity or self-pity. Humility is a quiet
recognition that all we have and are comes from God. It is an
attitude that is open to new insights and has little concern about
inflating our ego or enhancing our image."
12. What does he choose to feed his mind? What
kind of books does he read, music does he listen to, video games
does he play, internet sites does he visit, and movies does he
watch? Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever
is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy - think about such things. What a person feeds his
mind is what he will eventually become. As Paul urged: Be transformed
by the renewing of your mind.
This checklist isn't intended to be rigidly applied. While all
Christians are continually growing to become more like Jesus,
this is a process that varies in pace from individual to individual
and will never be completed this side of heaven. Perhaps these
questions have even raised concerns about some areas of your own
life that you need to address before God. In any event, raising
these issues can help us diagnose the general condition of the
other person's Christian life. Don't flinch from being honest
as you seek answers. Keep in mind that self-interest -- such as
romantic feelings toward the other person -- can fog otherwise
Excerpted from Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage
by Lee and Leslie Strobel. Used by permission of New Life Ministries.
New Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women, and
relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit www.newlife.com.
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