Saturday, January 31, 2009

How Far is too Far?

The age old question. Let's be honest, sex and everything that leads up to it is fun. We want to have as much fun as possible without sinning. I guess in some ways that is a good thing! Sinning is not so much crossing a line drawn in the sand as it is an attitude and a way of thinking. Jesus hit this very notion in His most famous message the Sermon on the Mount. This is why the question, "How Far is too Far?" is a bad question.

If we believe that the purpose of mankind is to in fact "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever" then we must ask a different question when we are setting physical boundaries in a relationship. Our question in any decision we make must be "What will glorify most glorify god?" We are better able to enjoy God when we are glorifying him.

I am not going to suggest that I know where the line is. Here is what I do know. We will glorify God much better if our judgment is not clouded by an emotional draw to do what does not glorify God. In other words the more you can save for after the wedding the better for your relationship with God and the better for your relationship with each other.

I have said over and over agian that if I were to start at the beginning of all my dating relationships I would not kiss until my wedding day. You may think that sounds crazy, but consider this. I have been married for almost 16 years. My marriage is not perfect, but it is good and strong. I believe that my marriage would be even better had I never kissed my wife until the wedding day. Also consider this, I am not saying the opposite. I am not saying I wish we would have had more "experience" before we got married. Actually come to think of it I don't know of anyone who has ever suggested that. I am sure there are some, but no one I respect has ever suggested that.

It is much more important to learn about a persons character than it is to learn about a persons body. Do they love Jesus? Are they committed to raising kids in a Godly manner? Do they have a Biblical view of manhood and womanhood? These questions are of the utmost importance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Dating Game

Dating, it's fun and's nerves and excitement all in one! The thing is, it isn't a game. As long as I can remember there have been game shows about dating. Really it is sad to let some game show host decide what your love life will be like. I imagine those kinds of shows are exciting for the people on them, but my guess is they are rarely effective.

When you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend you feel loved and accepted, maybe in a way that you don't at any other time. That is what marriage is like in some ways, only marriage is much better. You are loved and accepted in the context of a life long commitment. Unconditional love can only be truly experienced in that context. If it is love you are seeking (and we all are) then you should start by making sure you have developed a good relationship with the one who is most committed to you...Jesus! His commitment was completely sacrificial and He is committed to your well being more than anyone ever will be. In the story of Ruth she gets here relationship with God right before she ever meets Boaz.

In the end dating isn't about feeling loved for a moment, a day, a week, a month, or even a year. Dating is about finding that person with the right character and values. Dating is about finding a person who will be comitted to loving you for the rest of your life, not a person who "falls" in love with you and might just as easily "fall" out of love with you. Boaz went to great lengths to make sure that Ruth was taken care of, he was committed to her for as long as they lived. He wasn't the kind of guy that was going to give up and go away nor was he the kind of guy that would later turn his back on a commitment he made. Ruth was the same way she was in it for th long haul. That's what dating is about. As soon as you realize that the person you are dating is not that kind of person...end the dating relationship. The longer you put it off, the harder it gets to end it. If your not careful you will end up married to someone you should never have married.

One last thing. A couple of people have asked me how you go about asking a girls dad if you can date her. Let me give you a couple of ideas:

  • First, you may want to go on 1 or 2 dates to make sure she is interested. Going on one or two dates is not a relationship. On those dates I would highly recommend not even holding hands. Holding someones hand only tells you the temperature of their body which is probably close to 98.6 degrees (mine is closer to 97.6...must be Minnesota blood).
  • Second, if there seems to be a desire on your part and her part to actually have a relationship, then it is time to go and talk to dad. If it is possible do this in person
  • Third, her mom and dad are always "Mr." and "Mrs." Be respectful and honest.
  • Fourth, let dad know your commitment to his daughter is honorable and that you take a dating relationship seriously. Because of that you are committed to being honest and forthright in the relationship.
  • Fifth, make a commitment to yourself, your girlfriend, and you her parents to stay pure...but make sure you follow through on it. As a dad who has a daughter who will one day be dating I can assure you that if that commitment was made to me I would want to do everything I can to help the couple accomplish it and I would be very upset if that commitment was broken. That doesn't mean there wouldn't be grace and forgiveness, but I might have to go off by myself and cry for a couple days.
I am going to do another post later this week about how far is too far.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Why is sex before marriage such a big deal?

Sex...just saying the word can cause a persons mind to wonder in certain directions. What is the big deal? Why does God tell us in Scripture to avoid "sexual immorality"? What is sexual immorality? Is sex before marriage really that bad?

Those are some great questions!! Sex is a big deal, but not for the reasons you might think. It isn't a big deal because God is a kill-joy. It isn't a be deal because a bunch of strait edged Christians decided "fun" was the devils tool. Sex is a big deal because God designed it to be something great!! It's kind of like this, you don't buy a great game system for a three year old. they will simply take the controllers and break them. Sure they might try to use the system, but they do not have the right experiences, maturity, and commitment (they didn't have to raise the money to buy it) to operate it the way it is intended to be opperated. God created sex to be great and amazing for people who have the right experiences, maturity, and commitment to participate in sex. When it is not used in the right context it can be damaging to a relationship instead of good for a relationship.

God is all about relationships, He created mankind to have a relationship with him and he created man and woman to have a relationship with each other. These are good things!! God wants people to have the best relationships possible. Sex is a physical intimacy that caries with it an emotional and even spiritual connection. It is not optional, you can't turn off those connections and I am not sure why you would want to. Sex in the right context (between one man and one woman inside the commitment of marriage) is great and those connections bring the two people involved close together. Sex actually is good for a marriage relationship. When there is not physical intimacy taking place inside of marriage there are likely problems. Hebrews
Hebrews 13:4 tells us clearly that we are to keep the marriage bed pure. The problem is this sexual intercourse isn't the only thing two people should not do outside of marriage. Some have made the mistake of believing that everything except intercourse is acceptable. The problem is this Intercourse itself is not where the spiritual and emotional connection takes place. The connection takes place in all forms of physical intimacy at different levels. The more physical a couple become the more they are connected emotionally and spiritually. That is why there needs to be a commitment surrounding deep expressions of physical intimacy. We should not be asking "how far is too far?" instead we should be asking "what is good, wise, and honoring to God in a relationship?" When we ask the first question we are trying to get as close to sin as we can without sinning. In one sense this is itself a sin. Our attitude is not a Christ like attitude. The second question is one of submitting to a wise God who has our best interests in mind.

Sex outside of marriage dulls the senses and limits the quality of future relationships. Having sex with several people trivializes sex and in so doing trivializes marriage. The best sex is found only in marriage and the strongest marriage relationships will be ones where the couple did not have sex outside of marriage.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Usually when you see a movie involving vampires you expect to see a lot of violence, gore, and blood. In the case of Twilight there is some violence and blood, but in reality it is very mild considering the fact that it is a vampire movie. Instead we find a romance surrounded by all kinds of different relationships. There are relationships with parents, with friends, and with those who are...different.
At Rock student ministries we are beginning a series based on the book of Ruth. This book has a lot of similarities with Twilight the movie. There is a romance, relationships with parent, friends, a those who are...different. As we go through this series I am going to be blogging about the topics we cover each week. Relationships are difficult and the decisions we make in regards to these relationships often impact us for the rest of our lives in ways we may not even be aware of.
Check out the blog every week for some added insight in regards to relationships.