Pro: There are great people online (I have found them, know them, and am one of them).
Pro: For someone immersed in a career or ministry, online dating can open up opportunities that normally would not exist. There is no “Well, I plan on dating someone for six years while I finish my Star Wars collection (sorry, guys), master the art of cooking Ramen, and move out of my mom’s basement; then, maybe I will consider marriage.” For the most part, the people on dating sites want to be married—soon. However, for every good, godly guy online, there is a bad one.
There is always the slight minority that could end up killing me. Not to be coy, but it depends on the risk you are taking. It is not that streets are bad, cars are evil, and every car is out to run them over. The reality is, you are meeting a stranger, and as much as you hope this stranger has been as truthful as you have been, there is always that chance they have not. For the most part, the risks of online dating are avoidable.
No parent would encourage a child to play in the street, but we do teach children how to walk across the street. The fact is streets can be dangerous and cars can kill you. Put yourself in an environment that discourages things like rape or abduction. With prayer, intent, direction, and caution, a person can avoid the dangers and reap the benefits of great friendships and, perhaps, one day, marriage.
If we blindly wander into male-female friendships with the naïve notion that they are no different than same-gender friendships, we are blindly and dangerously mistaken. Tragic and heartbreaking trends in the church suggest affairs very often begin subtly or even innocently, and end in horrible destruction. This is the wrong attitude: “We aren’t fooling around. It’s not like that.” The calamity of fornication almost occurs suddenly. It always shows up at our door with an innocent smile. The question we must honestly and consistently ask ourselves is: “Does the structure of our relationship look like kindling primed for a forest fire?
Are they obviously inappropriate, or undeniably essential in healthy church community? To start, multiple What do these friendships look like? Does God prohibit them, or are they vital to the body of Christ?” we must realize that each new possibility of a friendship between a woman and a man may require a “no” or “yes” in various circumstances, or at various stages of life. But even between single people, the dangers are significant. This is called “the friend zone,” and it’s very easy for tectonic plates of desire to create exciting and heated friendship when that heat is, in fact, caused by motivations moving in opposite directions.“The path of life leads upward for the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath” (Proverbs ).So what is the appropriate path for female-male friendships?