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Introduction

Valentine's Day
Dating
Why I'm the one speaking
Finding "that special someone" is very difficult!

In the beginning

Adam and Eve.

Genesis 2:
18 Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for [5] him." 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed [6] every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam [7] there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made [8] into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
"This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man." [9]

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

[5] 2:18 Or corresponding to; also verse 20
[6] 2:19 Or And out of the ground the Lord God formed
[7] 2:20 Or the man
[8] 2:22 Hebrew built
[9] 2:23 The Hebrew words for woman (ishshah) and man (ish) sound alike

Man, if only it could be that easy.

How God Can Lead Us As Clearly As He Did Adam

Don't do it the way the world does it.
Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Brief History of Dating

  • How they did it in the old/new testament (matchmakers / betrothal)
  • dating = to meet with a prostitute
  • 1920's beginning of modern dating with advent of the automobile.
  • 1960's sexual revolution, free-for-all sex.
  • today, we date to have fun, get to know people of the opposite sex, feel special, and, I mean, that's what we're supposed to do, right? What other option is there? (I'm going to show you one.)
I've noticed something that is almost always true about dating: our relationships are primarily selfish, for the purpose of making ourselves feel good, emotionally or sexually. But these relationships seldom last, and bring confusion, jealously, heartache, physical situations gone too far causing guilt and baggage.

There is a better way

1. Mission-mindedness.

There is one incredibly important message you (all of you!) can get out of tonight. Your primary concern needs to be your relationship with God. Not a relationship with another person. I need to mention it first because it is the basis for being able to have relationships God's way.
Ephesians 2
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved- 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
This relationship with God, however, will profoundly affect your relationship with other people!

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God has work for us to do! Our focus is no longer finding something or someone that will make us happy, we find that fulfillment in our relationship with God. And unless you find it there, you will never find it with a human being.

Our focus now becomes doing the work God has prepared for us, each individual, and together as the church. As we go about doing this work, together, as the church, we get to know each other. We get to see each other as we deal with pain, joy, hard times, good times. We get to see each other as we actually are!

How much better is this scenario than a dating scene, where it is all about hiding your flaws and trying to put up the best facade possible?

We have such a great opportunity, such a great gift of community available to us in the church.

[Illustrate: service project trip in a mixed group where you get to see each other up to your knees in mud, sans make-up, emotionally stressed, heartbroken and tired together. Praying together as a group...
...you can see whether a guy is hard working, a servant, good with kids, respects others. You can see how she holds up under emotional stress, how she interacts with others, how flexible she is, whether she's likely to flirt with a lot of guys... ...you can see how much they can be trusted.]

As we go about this work we might eventually notice someone who has the same focus, vision, hopes and dreams for life, same values, same tastes, same interests as ourselves. Things become a little clearer.
2 Corinthians 6
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
[The person you are pursuing must also be a Christian with a mission!]
1 Corinthians 7
32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

2. Counsel

Listen up, men.
Proverbs 11:14
Without good direction, people lose their way;
the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

Proverbs 15:22
Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail;
take good counsel and watch them succeed.

Proverbs 20:18
Form your purpose by asking for counsel,
then carry it out using all the help you can get.

Proverbs 24:6
It's better to be wise than strong;
intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;
to win, you need a lot of good counsel.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 16:25
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
If you don't get advice and follow it, you are being a fool and are condemning yourself to failure.

If you get a lot of advice, and follow it, you are going to succeed.

It is very important to select who you ask for advice. If you only ask people who are going to tell you what you want to hear, you aren't actually getting advice. Ask people who are going to shoot straight with you. Better yet, ask people you are pretty sure will tell you the opposite of what you want to hear. That will be your best opportunity to actually learn something.

3. Purity

1 Timothy 5:1-2
5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Ephesians 5:3 (NIV)
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: [2] that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body [3] in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

[2] 4:3 Or your holiness
[3] 4:4 Or how to take a wife for himself; Greek how to possess his own vessel

Brings trust!
Lack of selfishness and shows self control
What happens when they go on business trips, pregnancy, etc...

Conclusion

You'll notice that nowhere in here did I mention "how you feel" as a way God leads. I'm not saying emotions have no part in this process, but I think that most of us use feelings as the sole determining factor of who we pursue for this type of relationship! That will always get us in trouble if not filtered through the three points I just talked about.

There is much more to be said on this topic. Indeed I have a lot more to say, but I think we'll end here. If you are interested in hearing a bit more though, and possibly asking some questions and having them answered, e-mail me at