So, you met someone special, and you think a dating relationship has potential. He even possesses most of the qualities on your list of must-haves. He’s intelligent, thoughtful and has a terrific sense of humour. He could connect well with your kids and is financially responsible.

There seems to be only one obstacle. Your would-be Mr. Right doesn’t share your faith in Christ. He says he’s interested in understanding your beliefs. He might even visit your church sometime soon. So, you reason, maybe it’s only a matter of time before he commits his life to Christ.

In the meantime, you figure you’ll pray diligently for him and enjoy his company. He’s Mr. Almost for now, but perhaps with one change he could become Mr. Right.

Before your heart rides off into the sunset, consider a few important reasons why dating Mr. Almost is never a wise consideration.

Consider your children

Keep in mind that any significant person in your life will influence your children. Granted, Mr. Almost is a good person, but is he the best role model for your children? He may show them good morals, but will he show them how to trust God with their lives? He may display respect for authority and other people, but will he show your children how to obey God? He may be resourceful, but will he teach them how to pray for God’s guidance?

Consider your spiritual protection

You may have resolved not to marry Mr. Almost until he becomes a Christian, but you don’t know if he actually will. If you date someone who never accepts Christ, he won’t become the spiritual leader and protector that you and your children should have.

Consider Mr. Almost

He seems open to learning about your faith. But if he moves toward a commitment to Christ, it could be that he is not feeling drawn to God but just wants to be closer to you. If that is the case, then when times get rough, you could also become the reason he walks away from God.

Consider the tough stuff

There is no need to be harsh or judgmental, but you might be doing Mr. Almost a favour if you gently tell him you don’t see a future together as long as your core beliefs are different. If he doesn’t come to share your faith, what will be the foundation of your relationship? How will you approach problems together? How will you resolve conflict?

The truth is that difficult times are bound to come. Dating may seem fun and innocent for a season, but eventually real life will knock on your door. If you are with someone who doesn’t turn to God in hard times, then how will the two of you overcome sorrow, sickness, tragedy?

You want a well-balanced, godly home and family. So hold out for someone who has the same goal and the same faith. By not settling, you will have peace of mind in knowing you did what was right for yourself, your children and, yes, even Mr. Almost.

Alice Crider is an editor and life coach who enjoys spending time with her four adult children and two grandsons.

© 2008 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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