Saturday, March 26, 2011


I just found out from Dewen that Shawn Bolz just released a book about dating recently, called "The Nonreligious Guide to Dating and Being Single". I have not read it but if it is anything like his blog posts, it should be awesome!

I've been thinking about romantic relationships lately. In my own life, I've often wondered about my resistance to dating and marriage. One day, it occurred to me that it's because I've been taught subtly in my youth that relationship with a girl threatens my relationship with God. This cannot be further from the truth. In the beginning, Adam was alone with God, but God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone." And He created Eve. Don't be mistaken. God did not create Eve just for friendship. He created her for union with Adam. "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."

What about Paul? Didn't he say that celibacy is good in 1 Cor 7? Kris Vallotton gives a very good commentary about this passage in one of his sermons, if you can find it. In summary, Paul was talking to a crowd of people who believed that marriage was the only way. So he says to the unmarried and the widows, who felt condemned for choosing to be single, that "It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do." And when he says, "I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that," he was talking about his gift in not being tempted sexually, not his gift of celibacy. Paul never condemned marriage. He would never say that something is bad, something which God himself says is good. In fact, he talks about marriage all the time in all his books, especially with regards to Jesus as the Groom, and us the Bride.

So now, what about all the young teens who are getting into hurtful romantic relationships and premarital sex and all that stuff? I agree that such things are dangerous, but WE SHOULD NEVER CREATE THEOLOGY TO SOLVE A PROBLEM!! I believe the solution is to teach our youths what healthy romantic relationships are. For instance, we should not get from our girl/boyfriend what we actually want from God, and we should not get from God what we need to get from our girl/boyfriend. That perhaps there is "THE ONE" (who you marry), but it is often impossible to figure that out (i.e. prophetically?) until we start to date that person and get to know that person the normal way (i.e. spend quality time).

So I encourage young people to date. Ask God what it is like to have a healthy fulfilling relationship. It is a great learning experience. But don't date if you don't want to date. There have been seasons in my life where God was leading me into so much intimacy that I did not have any desire to date anyone at all. This is very different from believing that God can only lead you into more intimacy if you don't date. My own dating experience is testimony that there are things that God can teach me only through a romantic relationship.

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