Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating by Marshall Segal
Jul 6, If we thought about singleness the way God does, none of us would ever just “ settle” for singleness. wanting to date, you never have to “settle” for singleness. . it's filled with its own unique joys and purpose and blessings. God planned every day of your unmarried life, and he has a vision for how to spend and how to move toward marriage, or not. Trust him, and he will help you find real hope, happiness, and purpose in your climate where singleness is equally celebrated and stigmatized, and dating is.
And it never fails that this time of year those conversations hit an uptick in frequency. Since spring has sprung, I felt like it would be a good time for all of us, but especially those who are single in our congregation, to establish and understand what it means to date well so we may be able to better to encourage one another.
This time around I want to establish a philosophy of sorts for dating well, while next time covering more from a practical standpoint. As a framework for our philosophy, I think we should explore the intent and purpose of dating as believers. So, how should believers understand the intent and purpose behind Christian dating? For our purposes I want us to view intent as our aim, motivation, determination, or resolution to perform a certain task or achieve a certain goal.
And purpose should be considered as what God has established for his creation, as well as our call to live within his establishments. We see numerous relationships discussed in this letter including relationships between members of the Body of Christ, Christian marriage, and even how parents should treat their children see Ephesians 5 and 6.Advice for Guys On Dating
You see, Paul knows, as we do, that you must deal with the individual before you can deal with masses when it comes to the matters of the heart and spirit. Paul writes in Ephesians 4: This passage revolves around one simple, yet profound truth about the gospel…that it is transformative. Once in Christ you are made new, and this necessarily leads to lives that depict transformation through salvation.
So where am I going with this? Well, our intent is influenced by our salvation and thus ultimately by our Savior. Our transformed intent should be evident in two ways especially: First, our intent should be defined by commitment.
We should enter into any relationship, but especially a romantic one, unwaveringly committed to the betterment of the other person for the sake of the gospel.
When we seek to serve the other person as Christ served the Church we display our commitment to His truth and love. This bucks against cultural norms and preaches the gospel through our actions. Second, settling should not muddy our intent.
But have we stopped believing it? Our world is decaying because of sin, and there is sickness, tragedy and sadness everywhere. But we are such finite beings. We see so little.
So we must look to the cross. The facts of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the same now as they were when we first believed. If God sent his own Son to die that horrific death in your place so that he can be in relationship with you, and if he did this while you were still a sinner Rom 5: I suppose it is just another expression of that age-old sin of thinking our value comes from how other people see us.
Or another friend, who cannot tell me a single positive thing about herself but who is often quite thoughtfully supportive of her friends and family. But that would suggest that our value comes from what we do, which is just as bad as thinking that our value comes from what other people think of us!
Someone marrying you will not make you valuable. Doing things for other people will not make you valuable.
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You cannot be made valuable, because you already are valuable. You are valuable because God Almighty himself tenderly created you—in his own image, no less! Getting married will fix all your problems This is probably the lie that I wrestle with the most, mentally. I could just get used to my husband, and that would be it. It is true that marriage is a solution to some problems, some of the time. Marriage can be an answer to loneliness.
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.
Satan’s lies about singleness
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?