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.
This brings us to the biggest con of online anything: The bad guys lie.
If we caution our teenagers, children, and young 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 read the news stories of girls going missing after meeting up with men they met online.
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.
The key will be to lean on other Christians who know you best, love you most, and have a proven record of telling you when you are making a mistake or wandering away from God’s will for you.
Today more than ever before, we’re faced with a never-ending buffet of opinions and advice that has something to say about everything and yet lets us choose the answer we want.