However, I remain convinced that God's word in the Bible is true, and I am determined . What I am saying is that in your desire to get married, don't look for 'the one'; . My heart breaks for women whose husbands have died. Singleness's greatest sorrows are secretly reinforced every February in the souls of encourage you to just enjoy this season of “dating Jesus. What role should physical attraction have in Christian dating? In fact, in our eyes and hearts, it should be the most attractive thing about the He's the author of Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness & Dating.
Can I get in your space? Whatever you normally do, can I just come and join you in that? The appeal of youthfulness in churches is so heavy and celebrated, and yet I have found, without a good mix of generations, you are going to get lopsided and silly.
And the worst possible thing imaginable in my mind is a bunch of year-olds sitting around talking about life. If I can get that year-old single guy with a year-old married man, then I have high hopes for how that year-old will see, understand, and desire marriage. But then on top of that I think what you celebrate and how you celebrate is important. So we want to celebrate marriages at The Village Church. And I want to celebrate women and men who have given themselves over to make disciples, whether they are married or not.
They are still desiring marriage, and desiring a spouse, but they are not sitting on their hands until they get one. A common question from single men: If I am not physically attracted to a godly woman, should I still try to romantically pursue her in order to cultivate those feelings?
- Question 2: Is There “Too Fast” In Christian Dating?
- Lie 1: You’re single because you’re…
- Question 1: Is My Boyfriend (or Girlfriend) Godly Enough?
If so, for how long, until it becomes unwise or even hurtful? But I do adamantly encourage young single men to pursue godly women for friendships in the hopes that it grows into more. But he loved hanging out with her. So I just encouraged him to stay in proximity, to grow in his friendship with her, and to hope something would grow from there. Godliness is sexy to godly people. And so if you get in proximity, and you see the godliness and character of a woman, you begin to take compatibility and godliness and gospel partnership more seriously than just physical attraction.
In the first part of Mingling I really address attraction as a good thing, but not at the level to where our culture has put it. We are all wrinkling. Our nose and ears never quit growing. It is only a matter of time till that little component that we are basing so much on starts to vanish and must be replaced by attraction founded on character and covenant.
When I got cancer, everything that was sexy about me vanished — my strength, my vibrancy, my sense of humor, my creative romantic pursuit of Lauren. All of that was gone for two years. And my hair was gone.
Satan’s lies about singleness
I became a shriveled up version of what I was before the cancer. Lauren entered into covenant with me, loved the character that God had formed in my heart, and now it was my character and godliness that fueled her attraction to me physically.
I think we get it backwards. I think once character, compatibility, and godliness are there, those fuel attraction in the way that pleases God, and is much safer for our souls.
But at the same time I want to protect the hearts, particularly of young women, from godly men teasing them with pursuit. So pursue them as friends and hope that it grows into more. Want it to grow into more. And I am confident that, over time, character and godliness will win the day. Should a dating relationship reflect the complementary structure of marriage to any degree?
It seems biblically and practically wise, but it also seems covenantally inappropriate at this stage. What would you say? Yes, a boyfriend should lead his girlfriend in some ways, but definitely not to the degree that a husband leads his wife. So what I possess, when it comes to the covenant I am in with Lauren in marriage, is headship. I have been called by God to lead, to cover, to provide, to protect in ways over Lauren that a boyfriend is not.
However, a boyfriend should be leading his girlfriend in regards to godliness, and encouraging her in regards to her giftedness.
I think he should be encouraging her in prayerfulness, an encouraging her towards an understanding and growing knowledge of the Word of God. I can get my own preferences mixed up in this, so let me just kind of put a little asterisk here. What Lauren wants from me is for me to ask: Speaking of sexual purity, what are a couple of practical helps for staying sexually pure in a dating relationship that actually work? Maybe because I have been married for 15 years, but this question of purity feels like common sense.
One of the things I say at The Village, on repeat, is that nothing good has ever come from a boyfriend and girlfriend cuddling on the couch watching a movie from 11pm to 1am. It has never ended in a discussion about cinematography in the history of watching movies on couches. To put yourself in that position to begin with is a foolish one. What works is being in public, guarding space alone, not putting yourself in situations.
I think singles have a tendency to think more highly of their own self-control than they should.
So I think dating in groups, or dating in public, is important, and we see that in Scripture. In Song of Solomon you see a growing desire to physically be intimate, and yet she describes their date as being under this canopy of leaves and this rug of grass Song of Solomon 1: They are at a park. They are in a forest. They are in the public eye, because they have a growing passion to be intimate physically. And so they have positioned themselves publicly so as to not give themselves over to their lusts.
If a man or woman is trying to stop looking at pornography, but seems they cannot many Christian men struggle hereare they ready to date, or not? If not, what is the line between ready and not ready to date for a Christian porn addict? So this is an extremely complex question that is hard to answer outside of actually knowing the people involved. My knee-jerk reaction is: No, you are not ready. Where is mortification happening? Where is vivication happening? Are we saying that this guy, or this girl, stumbles once a year, or a couple of times a month?
Satan’s lies about singleness | The Briefing
And where are we in relation to frequency, healing, victory? I think all of those questions would come into play on whether or not I would encourage someone to be in a relationship while they wrestled.
And so without kind of that information, it becomes hard to just lay down an answer. The truth is every one of us are coming into our relationships with the opposite sex needing further sanctification, needing growth, needing our identity in Christ, and needing to have parts of our flesh mortified. Are there any other circumstances in which you, as a pastor, would tell someone that they have no business pursuing a dating relationship?
When I am telling someone or leveraging my relationship with someone in regards to dating or not dating, I am always doing that within the covenant of me being their pastor and them being a covenant member of the church. From the beginning, our relationship is not just one where I have a cursory view of their life, but also one where I know where they are.
It might mean I can buy my own home. But this particular lie is one of those clever half-truths, where the truth makes it harder to see the lie. There is actually no guarantee that marriage will fix loneliness. Some married people are incredibly lonely, trapped in awful marriages with no-one to talk to about it. But we must not fall into the trap of thinking that marriage will fix all our problems.
Thank you so much, Hollywood, with all your stupid rom-coms, for helping Satan blind us with this lie. While it is true that God knows whether we will marry and whom we will marry, there is absolutely no way that we can know. All you can do is pray, make a wise decision, trust God, and then be faithful to your marriage promises. Look for someone who loves Jesus. Ask God for a husband, but also ask him to change your desires so that you will be open to the advances of a godly man, should they come.
By the grace of God, both my parents are still alive and well, together with their respective spouses and a bunch of half- and step-siblings. In my less trusting moments, I am afraid of getting old and lonely and having no-one to look after me. Chappo taught me to change the way I think about family. In a sermon he gave many years ago in his home church, he pointed out that our Christian family supersedes our biological family, just as it did for Jesus see Matt As children of God, we are part of a massive family.
The challenge for all of us, in our individualistic culture, is to act like it. Singleness can be a very painful and lonely experience.
Perhaps you are toying with this idea yourself at the moment. Let me tell you, slowly so you hear me: I know many women married to unbelieving men.
Some of these women did not become Christian until after they got married. Others were Christian and married a non-Christian. Others have watched their Christian husbands walk away from Jesus.
But not one of them would recommend choosing to marry a non-Christian while you still have a choice to make. Not the women who still trust Jesus, anyway. You will eventually walk away from Jesus yourself, as he becomes less and less important and relevant in your life and your husband becomes more important.
And when you walk away from Jesus, you will have exchanged heaven for hell. Or you will keep trusting Jesus, but it will be difficult and lonely in at least some respects. I know a dear Christian lady whose husband no longer professes Christ, although he once did.
But every week, she goes to church and Bible study on her own. And, saddest of all, unless something changes between now and when her husband dies, she cannot look forward to standing with him before the throne of God in heaven for all eternity. He is going to another place. But when you marry a non-Christian I think you probably make it harder for him to take Jesus seriously.
Of course, God is more powerful than your bad example, and he could still save your husband. Given the previous two options, why take the risk? My favourite Jane Eyre quote springs to mind here. The man she loves is trying to persuade her to abandon her moral convictions and live with him, even though he already has a wife. She responds by saying: If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? For them, single life is just too hard and too lonely.
To be perfectly frank, part of me wants to just shake them and tell them to look around—there are harder things than being single. My heart breaks for women whose husbands have died.
Some families live daily with incredible heartache and struggle because of illness or disability or poverty or tragedy. I think their struggles would be much harder than mine. I also want these women to see how much they do have. They have good jobs. They have plenty of clothes, money and food. They both have comfortable places to live—one has even managed to buy herself a unit. The grief of singleness is real and valid, and it comes from a very normal and healthy desire to be married.
What we need is God, and the perspective that comes from reading his word. Do you know how many calls there are in the New Testament to persevere and endure?
It may actually get even harder between now and when you meet him face to face. This is why I think there are also so many descriptions in the New Testament of the amazing things God has given us in Christ. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.