I often see discussed in evangelical circles the idea that a single Christian woman should accept any date offer from a single Christian man. After all, the logic goes, he took the Enormous Risk of asking you out. Therefore, since you do not want to discourage risk-taking, you should reward the man for Taking Initiative and should go out with him. Besides, you might magically become attracted to him! He is a Child of the King, after all!
Friends, this is idiocy, and worse, it is disingenuous idiocy. Indiscriminately accepting a date from any Christian man, whether or not you have any inclination toward him whatsoever, is tantamount to giving out your Social Security number to a stranger on the phone just because he asked. There is nothing wrong with using some discrimination in choosing whom you will be spending some time with. It is not wrong to look for some basic, bottom-line characteristics that are necessary for a relationship, particularly one which may lead to marriage. If, say, a man is terrible at managing his money, why should you reward him with a date? Because Jesus forgave his sins? Bad money management is not an issue that is going to go away easily just because you are now in his life. Ditto other universally undesirable characteristics like lying, laziness, and bad dressing unkindness.
The reason I say that it is disingenuous idiocy to vow to say yes to every Christian date proffered is that all women have standards. I’m confident enough in this to say all. Some women have higher standards than others, but all women have standards. Beyond basic attributes like Not A Psycho/Stalker/Rapist/Child Molester/Murderer and Is Alive, a woman is going to demand specific qualities in a man to whom she will be attracted. It’s impossible that every Christian man who desires a date with her is going to meet that threshold. A woman who denies this reality, therefore, is a disingenuous idiot. Why would she put herself through a date with a man when she already knows she’s never going to be attracted to him? And why would she deceive a man by showing a modicum of interest that doesn’t exist? Going on a date with a man to whom you are not attracted is NOT showing him kindness. It’s NOT boosting his ego. It’s NOT “encouraging him in the Lord as a brother in Christ.” It’s you leading him on and giving him false hope.
Evangelicals LOVE hard-luck-made-good stories. Evangelical women turn to piles of goo when they read or hear stories about impossible love that triumphed through alcoholism, pornography, adultery, bankruptcy, homosexuality, obesity, and just about every other terrible something that can happen to people. That’s why it’s so hard for them to admit that not saying yes to every Christian man who asks is a poor strategy that they don’t really want to follow through with. It’s romantic (and status-building) to be able to say, “Yes, if Nose-Picker Wall-Eyed Willie asked me out, I’d say yes, because he has such a good heart for the Lord.” But push come to shove, how many women would enjoy a date with Nose-Picker Wall-Eyed Willie? How many women would not be cringing through the conversations, trying not to check their watches too often or notice all the instances of nose-picking, and, gee, the smacking sounds Willie makes when chewing his food are really kind of disgusting. But oh, did he ever offer up a genuine prayer of thanks for your delicious meal at Taco Bell. Remember that the Lord loves a cheerful giver.
The one caveat I do have about my advice opinion is if a man about whom you are on the fence asks you out. He doesn’t really set your heart afire, but he doesn’t douse it with ice cold water, either. He’s not genuinely good-looking, but he’s not not good-looking. He’s just sort of there. However, he is not a psycho/stalker/rapist/child molester/murderer, and he’s kind to others, and he’s not a hopeless slob, and he doesn’t seem like the idea of talking to a woman terrifies him to death. He’s the one you might want to give a chance to. Even if the date doesn’t lead to another date, you’ll still have spent some time with a decent man, and you never know if he has some other single decent man friends….