Tuesday, May 24, 2011

all the single ladies (and men).

I can't tell you how long I've been fired up about the lack of teaching delivered from pulpits regarding dating and singlehood. Even now, as a happily married person, I get discouraged. For too long, we have -- accidentally perhaps -- taught young people that marriage is the answer, that fulfillment and happiness will come only in the arms of another, that marriage is the natural "next step" post-college, and that "Christian dating" looks a very particular way.

Let's not even talk about the fact that dating as an adult isn't even discussed. We barely talk about it with our teens -- except in the concept of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, oy vey -- so why should we talk about it with our 20- and 30-somethings?

As a result, we ignore it, and members of our body walk around confused and hurt, empty and frustrated... and they don't know what to do about it.

We've done our teens and our single adults a disservice, and based on the church's divorce rates, I'm thinking we've done married couples a disservice too.We walk around thinking that another person will fill us up the way God does. We don't say so out loud, but we act it.

Then we get married, and our dreams are shattered when we realize hey! I didn't change. They didn't change. Marriage isn't perfect.

And more chaos and hurt and brokenness ensue. 

Finally, someone's saying so from the pulpit.

I've honestly never heard a sermon about dating that I 100 percent agreed with. (I have very, very specific views on the subject. Seriously. You do not want to get me started.)

But this? This one I do. And I'm telling all my single friends so. 

I never know quite what kind of advice to offer my friends who are dating (don't worry: I only offer when asked), mostly because I feel like I just kind of got lucky. I don't know how I wound up married at 22. Those weren't my plans, I assure you. But I did, and it's challenging and wonderful and adventurous and beautifully mundane all rolled into one. But I don't think everyone out there is preaching that story.

Here's someone who is (in four well done parts, no less), and now, when friends ask me for advice, I think I'm going to direct them here. Because finally, finally, someone is saying -- probably far more eloquently -- what I have been trying to say for a really long time.

So single ladies (and men) this one's for you. I think you're going to like it or, if nothing else, you'll be blessed by it. Enjoy. (And please, for the good love, listen to all four. They are so worth it.)


Staley Mc said...

I have never found a sermon or bible study or anything that I really loved when it came to dating but I saw this the other day when you tweeted the link and watched it and I really loved it. Dating is so frustrating being older but this sermon series is a great set of rules to live by.

Anonymous said...

Andy Stanley has some great stuff on relationships. Very thankful that he is addressing this topic in a relevant, entertaining, and Biblical way. Check out his "iMarriage" study as well. Great for a couples study at church or life group.

Annie said...

i remember seeing this when you tweeted about it. while i haven't listened to it yet, i am looking forward to doing so! i completely agree with what you say here. i have struggled with the idea of dating and marriage looking a particular way and am discouraged with the fact that it seems to be the predominant idea in the minds of a lot of people i know. and i feel that as a single person with almost zero dating experience, it's difficult to say something about it. but i have watched so much hurt come to my friends, and if this was something that was regularly and thoughtfully discussed, i'm sure many of these hurts would have been lessened or nonexistent.

Melanie said...

I completely agree with this and the previous posts you linked to. I'm looking forward to listening to the sermons too.