April 26, 2008, 6:12 am
Filed under: Leadership, Roles and Relationships

By Walt Alexander

Now, I recently finished writing many posts on courtship. But I realize that teaching doesn’t always end problems. In fact, it often creates more problems – more questions to ask, more things to think through, more stuff to do.

If we say goodbye to dating, what do we say hello to right now? How do guys and girls relate?

Here are just a few things we say hello to:
1. Say hello to the Lord.
The primary reason –as stated in earlier posts– I love courtship (or biblical dating) because I long to see single people more in love with God than with the carousel of continuous dating. Singleness can be a unique season of life where we can secure “undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Cor 7:35). This season was a gift in my own life, as it served me to cultivate this undivided devotion, this contentment in God.

So, do hard things in your relationship with the Lord while you are single. Set goals for your spiritual disciplines. Consume Christian books. Go on reading retreats. Say hello to the Lord.

2. Say hello to more friends.
Oftentimes, the dating carousel –with its tendency to isolation and inclusion– is filled with partiality and slim relationships. Partiality is elevating one person over another in your own mind, attitude and actions because of superficial qualities, like personality, dress, physique, intellectual rigor, and other characteristics. It is sin against God and is infinitely dangerous. However, it often permeates our relationships.

So, as you say goodbye to dating, expend your energies getting to know more friends. Repent of partiality and cultivate relationships! This season in your life is a unique (and excellent) one to invest in relationships.

3. Say hello to serving.
As you say goodbye to dating, you will notice that your planner is immediately loosened. So, I would encourage you to follow Christ’s example (Mk 10:45) and utilize this unique season to serve in your church, in your care group, in your house/apartment. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor 15:58). Your labor – your serving – is not in vain. The risen Savior sees it and is glorified through it.

But, this takes work – believe it or not. A servant heart is difficult to maintain. You will have to consistently direct your heart to what is supremely valuable – treasuring and glorifying Jesus Christ. You will also have to continually manage your schedule to look for pockets of time you can redeem.

Also, serve everyone. Serving is a God-given opportunity to put partiality to death. Run from partiality and serve everyone. Don’t just ask the girl you know (and like) to dance. Ask the girl you don’t know and don’t (yet) like to dance!

What do you guys think? What would you add?


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

How bout say hello to mo money?

Comment by Travis

I think you hit it.

I wish to place an emphasis on the “Say hello to the Lord” portion even more.

The goal of these little posts is obviously to encourage the saints to take their eyes off of the dating world and rest them upon the God.

First off, the suffering in the gospel: God most glorified through the suffering of his Son, and thus of the saints. We are not even guaranteed life tomorrow, and tomorrow our life could turn into one of suffering, so we should pray that the Spirit enable us to count our days and understand the brevity of life. And if we understand this, what is better than to simply rest in God and seek to love him?

I have been reading John Owen’s Communion with God, and it has been seriously refreshing. The first portion of the book focuses on how we commune with God the Father, in which he proves that it is through love. This love is God’s eternal and unwavering love that he gives us free of charge. So we commune with God the Father by receiving his love in faith thus resulting in us loving him.

He then transitioned to communion with Jesus Christ as our Mediator. He suggests we fellowship with Christ through the eternal joining by the Spirit dwelling within us.

A few nights ago I had also read Song of Solomon (I know, warning, warning, danger, danger this one could stir up some crazy desires). But when you look at this book through a different lens, as love and passion between Christ and his Church, we begin to touch on the subject that is so encouraging!

Between the reading of Song and Owen’s book all I can say is…Oh, how amazing it is to understand Christ as the Rose of Sharon or as the most beautiful lily of the valley (Song and Hosea). As single men (and women), we should pray that the Spirit make Christ the passion of our desires. We should rest in God by wrapping ourselves in his love. Let us drown in his love!

With this brief summary, I submit that when we turn from dating, one should take a moment and meditate on the Father’s steadfast love and Christ’s sacrifice. [If you don’t know what this is, read Isaiah 53, read the book of John.] Take a few minutes and just revel and immerse yourself in his love, commune with God.

I like your question Walt. If we are saying good bye to dating, what should we say hello to? Basically, we are saying good-bye to an idol, and joining our selves with Christ by his Grace. I believe that when we focus on his love, and understand it, and we place our selves in Christ’s Church, the other things you mentioned will follow. We become the lily like Christ. We begin to have a special fellowship with other believers that the world thinks is crazy, but we know it as sweet because the cross has been revealed to us. And we begin to desire to serve. It is all a result of God’s love, because he chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

When we rest completely in God’s grace and love, we have nothing to fear but God. And then the things of this world hold very little weight. Christ is all sustaining and all sufficient.

Walt, I love this series that you did. I also agree that this life style is a hard one that requires practice and patience. I would add that on the outside we (the saints as Christians) might actually look exactly like the hypocrite or the moral person that is not saved. In fact it is probably impossible to look much different from others, after all, we are still sinners trapped in this sinful body, ever since the 3rd chapter of Genesis. But, what counts us different is the fellowship we have with Christ on the inside, during the private times of prayer and reading scripture. These are the sweet things we should count as gifts received from God and take a hold of.

Comment by Thayer

In response to Travis….

Once a single male masters the life of singleness and finds treasure in Christ, and money means little to him, then he will be able to effectively spend it all on his future wife (assuming God provides him with one).

But the really good news would be for all the ladies. If you have a husband that treasure’s Christ more than money, he is more likely to spend it on you and not be a penny pincher hoarder. Yay! Double winner!

See, God is sovereign.

Comment by Thayer

[…] NO COURTSHIP, NOW WHAT? « Manspeak […]

Pingback by Response to courtship. What do you do when you are not in one? « SLAIN FOR CHRIST

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