She is the author of Love Done Right: Devos – A Journey From Zeal into the Love of Maker .

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There are pros and cons to online dating.

Professional: There are good people online (I have found them, know them, and am one of them).

Voor: For someone immersed te a career or ministry, online dating can open up opportunities that normally would not exist.

Professional: There is intention. There is no “Well, I project on dating someone for six years while I finish my Starlet Wars collection (sorry, guys), master the kunst of cooking Reken, and stir 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. It is the next aim ter their lives.

However, for every good, godly stud online, there is a bad one. This brings us to the largest con of online anything:

The bad guys lie.

Extremes on Both Completes

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that 1 te Five children are sexually solicited online. According to Match.com, 1 ter Five relationships start online. Connecting with people online has two sides. It could be your worst nightmare or a fantasy come true. Choosing to date online means navigating a world total of predators, knuckleheads, and potential marriage playmates. The problem is, you cannot tell the difference at very first.

If wij caution our teenagers, children, and youthfull women to stay away from strangers they meet on line, does it then make sense to turn around and encourage them to do just that—meet strangers online?

I have seen both extremes. I have read the news stories of chicks going missing after meeting up with fellows they met online. Thesis boys liedje about their ages, their locations, and their intentions. Then, I have friends who met their husbands online. They met, married, and had children with stellar studs of Heer that honestly made mij step back and ask, “How were thesis guys still single!?”

Still, it is the Internet. Still, people lie. Still, dudes prey on seemingly desperate women ter order to get what they want.

Is It Worthy the Risk?

There is no background check verifying all members of Webpagina A are top-quality fellows (or women for that matter). I would consider myself a ge Christian woman who loves the Lord, so surely there could be gepast Christian fellows on there spil well, but not all of them are. There is always the slight minority that could end up killing mij. So, is it worth the risk?

Not to be coy, but it depends on the risk you are taking. No parent would encourage a child to play te the street, but wij do train children how to walk across the street. What makes the difference? Intent, direction, and caution.

It is not that streets are bad, cars are evil, and every car is out to run them overheen. The fact is streets can be dangerous and cars can kill you. Being cautious can go a long way te preventing injury.

Tips for Online Dating

For those considering online dating, I have this advice to help curb some of the risk. Think of it spil “Stop, wait for the walk sign, look both ways, make eye voeling with drivers, listen’ for the cyber street.

1. Beg. Do not (I repeat: do not) go into this te some Jonah-like attempt to wiggle your way out of where Godheid has you right now. It is much lighter to make unwise decisions when you are making them rashly. Get Godheid involved on the ground level. If you do not have peace or, if at any point this becomes an obsession, zekering.

Two. Do Not Run Into Traffic. Look around you very first. A friend of mine collective a story from one of hier previous churches. The church had a significant singles ministry and many were involved ter online dating. One of the studs wasgoed matched repeatedly with his friends te the singles group. He would e-mail them, “Well, that wasgoed awkward.” Then, he would block the profile. If you are te a zone with potential for marriage, look there very first before searching online.

Three. Be Yourself. If you are earnestly considering marriage, it makes no point to lie. Lounging about your likes, interests, goals, and passions might seem like a nice way to ‘bait’ someone, but no one likes being tricked. So, yes, close the Photoshop. It is better to have no marriage at all than a shell of a relationship built on a sand brochure of lies.

Four. Do Not Be You. Yes, be yourself, but do not be you. Do not loosely give away private information. Limit the number of pictures you use. Use a screen name that you do not use elsewhere (IM, Facebook, bankgebouw account, etc). Guard your private voeling information cautiously. It’s not paranoia, it’s intelligence.

Five. Date Smarter. Drive separately. Meet te a public place. Go with a group if you are more convenient with that. Tell people where you are going and what your plans are. Give them whatever information you have just ter case. The reality is, you are meeting a stranger, and spil much spil you hope this stranger has bot spil truthful spil you have bot, there is always that chance they have not. Waterput yourself te an environment that discourages things like pejesapo or abduction.

The Internet presents us with many dangers. It is wise to be cautious. For the most part, the risks of online dating are avoidable. With prayer, intent, direction, and caution, a person can avoid the dangers and reap the benefits of fine friendships and, perhaps, one day, marriage.

Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc

About the author, Jessica Harris

Jessica Harris is the founder of Beggar’s Daughter, a ministry dedicated to walking with women who have an addiction to pornography. Telling hier own story of porn addiction and fight with zinnelijkheid, Jessica seeks to help other women find hope, healing, and grace. Jessica shares resources and insights from hier own journey on the Beggar’s Daughter blog and periodically travels and speaks on the topic of female wellust addiction and how churches can minister to women who fight. She resides just outside of Washington DC where she works spil a teacher and serves on the Biblical counseling team te hier church. She is the author of Love Done Right: Devos – A Journey From Enthusiasm into the Love of Heerser.

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