3 Bible Questions For Christians Dating & How To Tell If You're Obsessively Idolizing Someone

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What Is Obsession & Idolization In Christian Dating, According To The Bible
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Self, Heartbreak

When you start dating, you think about connection, love and trust... and intimacy that will bring you and someone else closer together. You consider how God can be at the center of your relationship.

You don't really think that you might get to the point of an unhealthy obsession.

But when there is a fine line between wanting closeness and being consumed by desire to the point where you idolize that person more than you care about yourself, your friends, or even God.

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The word obsession and idolization are strong terms. Perhaps, too strong. What do you think of when you hear the word idol?

Do you think of the Japanese performance stars? The little totem-like thing that contestants on Survivor have to find? Or, how about the statues that people used to worship in the Old Testament?

The term idol in a worship sense is pretty scarce in today’s speech, but just because the word itself has faded, doesn’t mean that it’s not still applicable.

What used to be considered idolatry we now call something more along the lines of obsession, and it can relate to dating when you're a Christian.

Then, the question becomes, what are you obsessed with and what fuels your overwhelming desire?

Is it money? Material possessions? Is it a person you want to be with? Whatever it is, too much of it can put your faith in danger.

Now, if you’re unsure if you’re a Christian who is dating, you may be guilty of doing this. I want you to ask yourself these three questions.

If you answer yes to all of them, you are obsessed, if you answer yes to one or two, it's time to look at why you are so focused on this situation and how to get healthy again.

1. Does it feel like your partner is the only person in your life?

If you take a look around you socially, do you notice anything?

Like maybe your friends have suddenly disappeared and only one person is occupying all of your time? That’s a sign that they’re already partially on a pedestal.

The second of the Ten Commandments is “There shall be no other gods before me.”

Now, of course, this applies to having literal gods like Baal (WEB, 1 Kings 18:20), but it also applies to the things that we like (especially considering actual idol worship is pretty lacking anymore).

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2. Do you find yourself sacrificing things you love or want to do in favor of making them happy?

Making sacrifices is a part of a relationship, but when it becomes one-sided, it’s clear that one person is doing all the giving while the other is getting.

Moreover, if you say you’re doing this because you want to, but seem to be getting nothing in return for your “kindness,” then there’s another step on the pedestal.

Colossians 3:5 says: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

Aside from stuff you can hold in your hand, there’s something else all these qualities can be a part of- love.

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3. Finally, are they the only person that you’re concerned with?

This means that you see them as more important than even your family or closest friends. It feels like they’re the only one that matters.

You always want them around and want them (if you know what I mean, wink wink).

You view them as your world. If that also sounds like you, then ding, ding, ding, you’ve completed the pedestal for your idol to sit upon.

You’ve reached an unhealthy level of obsession that goes beyond simply love. Some may call it stalker-ish, but I’ll call it something else- idolatry. I get it, you love him or her, but maybe it’s time to tone it down a bit.

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Not only are you isolating yourself from others without even realizing it, but you’ll just make God mad at the same time for basically making your own idol. And no one wants to get smited.

Love is the strongest emotion a person has. It’s what’s led to sayings like “Love is blind,” or “Love makes you do stupid things.” But what happens when that love goes from affection to obsession?

I’ve seen so many of my friends go down this road. They go from being available and being a good friend to suddenly being always “busy” because they let their new squeeze take over their life.

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This isn’t something that happens just because he or she is controlling. It takes the individual putting them in a place of importance. Basically, let’s say you start dating someone.

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Naturally, you make them a priority. However, it’s when you make them too much of a priority that it turns into a problem.

Love is the strongest emotion a person has. It’s what’s led to sayings like “Love is blind,” or “Love makes you do stupid things.” But what happens when that love goes from affection to obsession?

I’ve seen so many of my friends go down this road. They go from being available and being a good friend to suddenly being always “busy” because they let their new squeeze take over their life.

This isn’t something that happens just because he or she is controlling. It takes the individual putting them in a place of importance. Basically, let’s say you start dating someone.

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Naturally, you make them a priority. However, it’s when you make them too much of a priority that it turns into a problem.

Let’s make something clear: there’s nothing wrong with you putting your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife first. In all honesty, they probably should be first. That’s the person you (should) want to spend the rest of your life with.

But it’s also about balance. Balance with your friends, but also a balance between your relationship and your relationship with God (if you’re so inclined).

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Jesse Oakley is a writer who writes about love, relationships, self-care and spirituality/astrology.