Dating to relating book
podcast and answered ten questions on singleness and dating.We get a lot of questions from young Christian men and women who are “not yet married.” Their season of life awakens many desires and hopes, uncertainties and insecurities, and tricky pastoral questions.And that is just my way of going: “Hey, this is a way that I serve my wife.” And then, while we do dishes, I tend to just talk about the ways that I try to make space for Lauren’s gifts.So, this is an intentional, organic kind of culture of discipleship that I hope is woven into the life of The Village. Whatever you normally do, can I just come and join you in that?The ability to text or to tweet or to just write on someone’s wall enables you to flirt and tease without there ever being a “what-exactly-is-this-relationship” moment.And so, in that regard, when you have not established what the relationship is, I think it can be hurtful to constantly be involved in the technological realm, rather than the face-to-face realm.If I can get that 24-year-old single guy with a 38-year-old married man, then I have high hopes for how that 24-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.
And I think those pieces are a much safer gauge than whether they highlight passages in their Bible and show up to service every week.So, in that way, I’m encouraged by what technology has to offer.If, though, we are saying that technology has changed the game in regards to how single young men and women approach one another, before that relationship is defined, then I have a lot of concern about technology.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.I am going to be real cautious about saying there is such a thing as “too fast.” What I would rather ask is this: What’s driving the speed?If mere physical attraction or some kind of emotive, frilly, this-is-the-one weirdness is driving the speed, then, yes.If the relationship is outpacing knowledge of character, reputation, and knowledge of godliness, then that is way too quick.But if you are in a context in which you have watched the person’s godliness, you have marveled at their character, you have rejoiced in what God has done in them and through them, then speed isn’t a big factor. What drove the speed wasn’t a flare-up of emotions — it wasn’t a fear of loneliness, or desperation, like maybe this is my only shot. Rather, there was knowledge of his faithfulness to God, his desire to serve the Lord, and his seriousness about the things of God.What can members of local churches practically do to help godly marriages happen, instead of just telling men, “Man up and get your life together,” and telling women, “Stop waiting around and be active in your singleness?” What role should the church community play in deciding who and when to marry?