This will be a ladies only post for the comments. Thanks for understanding, gentlemen.
I am taking a bit of an email vacation this week. Thank you for your patience.
There is a significant ice storm that should be hitting South Carolina in the next 2 days. It is very possible that I could lose power for a few days. You are welcome to leave comments. I will moderate them as soon as I can. If I am not responding to comments for several days, it is probably because I have lost power.
(Adapted from a message the youth ministers at my church gave to the students)
God designed us as people to desire to be loved and to live in relationships with Himself and with other people. He also designed us also to be sexual beings. That is a good thing. God’s design is good.
Sinful people can twist what God made for good into something very destructive. But we can choose, by God’s power working in us, to build our lives on the truth of God’s Word and live in the center of His will, experiencing His best for us in every area of our lives.
God wants us – all of us – to experience ULTIMATE LOVE.
- It is not wrong to want to be loved, that is a good desire
- It is good to have relationships – we were made to have relationships
- Being a Christian is not about a long list of rules and “don’ts”
- Having sexual desires is a good thing, and part of God’s design
- God created us for His glory. That is our purpose – our highest purpose in life – to glorify Him – in every area of our lives.
- God has a plan to fulfill our sexual desires in a way that brings glory to Him (Marriage)
Ultimate love begins with God.
What is love?
God defines what love is. He IS Love.
Below is the kind of love Jesus has for us (Jesus IS God). And this is the kind of love He calls us to have for one another. This is how Jesus wants us to love others and how He wants others to love us. Love is all about God.
He wants us to be in right relationship with Him and with people – to have fellowship – to have spiritual and emotional connection and oneness with Him and other believers. Those are the two greatest commands Jesus gives us:
– He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”- to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds and with all our strength and to love others as we love ourselves. Luke 10:27
- Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:3
- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a
- Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10
- Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. I John 4:7-12
- God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. I John 4:16-21
A cheap imitation of His love does not satisfy.
Sinful “love” is SELFISH and passive. It is all about gooey feelings that someone else causes to happen to us. It is willing to hurt other people and their relationships with God. Sinful “love” cares about what SELF wants and SELF gratification and doesn’t care if it hurts the other person.
Godly love is SELFLESS and active. It cares more about the spiritual/mental/emotional/physical welfare of the other person than it does about meeting its own selfish desires. It is not willing to tempt someone to drive a wedge of sin between himself/herself and God. It does not entice others into sin. It does not dress to provoke lust in others for itself. It does not behave in a provocative way. It never lures people into any kind of sin. It propels people towards Christ and holiness and spiritual wellness. And it focuses on pleasing Christ above all else.
BASIS OF DATING AND MARRIAGE:
It is only after we have a proper understanding of God and real love and the absolute truth of the Bible that we can begin to build a foundation upon which we can properly construct our values and ideals about dating/romantic relationship and marriage.
We need a close relationship with JESUS FIRST. That relationship HAS to be more important – by far – than any other relationship to us in the world. He is our greatest need and only he can give us the ultimate love, the perfect love, the God-sized love that we all need to feel loved, secure, accepted and to drive out all of our fear. It is only when we have our deepest God-shaped hole and need filled with Jesus, that we can begin to build all of our other relationships on solid ground and truth.
How does my relationship with Christ being first affect my dating/courting relationships?
1. My relationship with Christ affects when I start dating.
i.e.: When I am able to commit to marriage and am spiritually, mentally and emotionally ready to have a healthy, godly relationship.
2. My relationship with Christ affects who I want to date.
I want to abide in Christ and live for Him daily in obedience and in the power of His Spirit, living in total submission to Him as LORD – and I am going to only want to date someone who also wants to live in total submission to Christ as Lord.
3. My relationship with Christ affects why I want to date.
What are my motives? Do I want to find out if this is someone I may want to marry? Am I willing to not tempt this person into sin? Do I care more about my walk with Christ and this person’s walk with Christ than about meeting my own selfish sexual desires? Do I just want the status of having a “boyfriend”? Do I just want an engagement ring, a wedding, a husband, a home, or children – but not really and truly care much about the man I am with? Do I just want to “feel loved” by a man – maybe more than I want to be close to Christ? Am I willing to do anything to feel loved by a man – including sin? Do I just want a man’s attention and affection? Or do I truly want to be a partner, a blessing, a godly woman and am I ready to prepare to be a godly wife according to the Bible’s instructions?
4. My relationship with Christ affects how I date.
I want to honor Christ in all that I do and bless the man I date and show godly love to him, and he will want to do the same for me. My highest desire is to bring the greatest glory to God through this relationship and every choice I make. I will be careful not to set myself up as a stumbling block to my brother but will seek to live a chaste, godly and holy life that pleases Jesus and blesses my man and others.
a note about respect and biblical submission:
God doesn’t command us as women to submit to all men or to respect all men in the way He commands us as wives to honor our husbands’ leadership and respect them because they are our husbands.
We treat all people with a certain level of respect because we love Jesus and honor that all people are made in the image of God. And we may give a bit greater honor to our brothers and sisters in Christ. But there is a special kind of respect we only give to a man we think we may marry. God does not command us to treat all men with this special respect and biblical submission. I don’t want there to be confusion about that. We only biblically submit to Christ and to those in positions of God-given authority over us: our parents when we are under their care, our bosses, church leaders, the government, police/military and our husbands once we are married.
If someone in a position of God-given authority over us clearly asks us to sin, we must have a submissive spirit towards them, but then obey God rather than man if we must choose. For more on this, please check out Spiritual Authority.