As you can tell from the photo, Tinder did bring us together. And we are definitely people that love Jesus. But in hindsight, should we have had that app as Christians? Sure, God worked it for our good. But He works sin for the good in a believers life too (Romans 8:28). Would I let my daughter or son have this app? Does it make one more holy?
If you've been living under a rock, that's totally fine. I'll explain quickly what Tinder is.
Tinder is an app that uses your GPS location to find potential romantic matches near your location. After creating your own profile page with a photo, you are shown potential matches and if you’re not interested, you swipe their photo to the left. If you like them, you swipe right. If they also swipe right on your photo, then bingo – it’s a match and you can start messaging.
Meeting people nowadays is tough. Especially if you are out of college and you're in the working world. Many guys are afraid to go up to women in person and many women are too nervous to start a conversation with a man on their own. Simply scrolling through people's photos is a convenient way to meet others and date. It eliminates all of the nerves and pressure.
But is it okay that a Christian connects with another person while the only commonality is the fact that they think each other is attractive? Is that too fleshly and surface level? Is it too secular of an app to have?
Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 10:23 is really applicable to this subject of Tinder. Everything may be permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Everybody is different. If I had a glass of wine, it may not be a sin for me because I don't struggle with alcohol. If an ex alcoholic had a drink, it would probably be a sin for him because he struggles with it. So, if you are considering downloading the app, here are a few things to keep in mind...
Be Bold: Stand up for Christ. Make sure your pictures do not contradict your faith. Utilize your mini profile paragraph as a way to tell people that you absolutely adore Jesus. Let no man or woman be confused when seeing you on there. Be clear in where your standards are. My profile description said this and this only "I love Jesus." I was also very careful with the photos I chose to put up. Sure, I still got creepy messages- but I'm sure I lowered the number of weird guys reaching out by how straightforward I was with my faith.
Know Your Weaknesses: This app does have a reputation as a hook-up app. People get connected on there quickly, set up a time to meet, and satisfy their sexual desires and move on. Many of the users are just looking for casual sex. If you struggle with remaining pure, then pray hard before you download this app. You don't want your holiness derailed because of an app. Even if you've never really struggled with purity before, this app can be a slippery slope for you if you're not careful. I remember getting all of these messages from guys wanting to meet in my area for a quick hook-up, and while I knew I was never going to go, I was tempted to entertain it because the attention felt nice. Beware. The enemy can use anything to make you stumble.
Have Accountability: If you are planning on keeping your phone on silent and always hiding your Tinder notifications, then think twice. If you truly feel peace about entering this venture, then you shouldn't be ashamed and secretive about it. Be casual. Be cool. Also continually confide in two or three people that you trust to walk with you through this journey.
Realize It's Not A Quick Fix: Every woman I know struggles with needing some affirmation. A lot of men like a confidence boost once in a while too. If you think that this will cure your insecurities, you're wrong. There is nothing bad about meeting people and going on dates, but it's not going to heal your brokenness. Until you are fully surrendered and satisfied in Him, you have no business downloading the app. Don't run to your phone out of loneliness. Run to the cross.
This swiping left or right is similar to walking into a church and choosing who to approach once you find someone attractive. The tricky part is that you have access to thousands of people right in your pocket, and it's easy to forget that they aren't just objects, but other humans with hopes, dreams, aspirations, loved by their friends and families. Make sure you're not "shopping" through people, but that you're remembering that they are made in the image of God.
I encourage you, Christian, to engage in the current dating culture. But if you are unwilling or too hesitant to do all of the above, then I'd stay away for it until you are. Some Christians can use Tinder and be absolutely in God's will, while others could be completely disobeying Him while on the app. It all starts with the intentions of your heart. As with anything, you can use it it for good or for evil. Just like guns. You can use them to protect your country or you can use them to commit murder. Tinder is okay if you go into it with no conviction and with the purpose of finding someone to truly get to know.
While an initial spark is important, it’s a person’s values, integrity and faith that will make them a good partner for you.I'm thankful that I swiped right and found my happily ever after. Because it's not really how you meet that matters, it's who you meet. And if they love Christ with all of their heart, then you found a winner.
P.S - I absolutely adore the Bethke's. Check out there video on this very subject here!