Tuesday, April 12, 2011

kiss dating hello

I spent the majority of my youth pastor years as a staunch anti-dating advocate. (the first part of my youth pastor career, I was 17, and dating, so I was pro-dating back then) The thing was, and is, teenagers are idiots. Go ahead and howl, idiot teenagers. In a couple of years you'll agree with me. Teenagers are great at making terrible decisions, and with 100+ in our little "flock", I guess we figured the easiest way to keep the hormones at bay was to strongly discourage dating. We did a lot of stuff wrong, but I'm not sure how much of this particular issue I'd change, if we did it all again.

I have made a reversal of sorts in recent years, as all of my youth group kids have quit being idiot teenagers and started being at least semi-responsible adults. And that is why I am telling them meet a nice girl and settle down. 

I think this concept of "the one" has really hurt us, in the church. When I take my 5 year old to the Dollar Tree, sometimes I give him the option of choosing 1, and only 1, toy. He will walk back and forth for as long as I will let him, trying on a pirate hat, then swinging a plastic bat, dry-shooting a water gun, etc. At some point I have to say, enough. Just pick one. It's agonizing. Listen, guys and girls: there are multiple people you could be blissfully happy and soulmated with, on this earth. The "one" is a myth. 

I'm no expert, I mean, I got married when I was like, 12. But from my 32 years of life, I see some pretty clear issues. There is a SURPLUS of single Christian men and women. And I think a lot of people are holding back from engaging in friendship and getting-to-know-you because they have a list, and if they pick an inferior candidate, they will never be happy. Hogwash. There's something to be said for arranged marriages. Stop looking for perfection and start seeing the beauty around you. She will be fat and he will be bald in 30 years, anyway, so maybe look a little deeper. Talk to people, get to know them and their humor and their passions and their pain. Sheesh. People are great. I have rarely met a person I didn't love something about, once I talked to them enough.

This is kind of a rant, because I know plenty of single people that are awesome and waiting.  I'm mostly talking to guys when I say quit being shallow and start seeing deeper, but I'm not just talking to guys.

So look around you, see the depth and the kindness and the character and the loveliness and ask someone to coffee. Worse case, you get shot down. Let me reassure you again, the "one" is a myth.

Liz. Ask her out. She's awesome.


  1. I am 60 and still have not found "the one". What I finally did was stop listening to the people who assured me that there was "someone for everyone", and started serving The One, and listening to His voice when He told me that He wanted me to Himself.

    It's not for everybody, but a HUGE amount of pain happens when the possibility of being called to singleness isn't presented with as much fervor as marriage.

  2. I disagree with a lot of what you said. But i will accentuate the positive and tell you that i don't like "the list." Some lists can be good. I like that young people are being taught to have standards. But when your list includes, "my husband canNOT have back hair," and other such superficial nonsense, you might just be praying yourself out of someone who would be perfect for you. I didn't know what i wanted; i just knew that God wanted me to marry him, and when i had married Him, i knew i had been made for him. I couldn't have done it if i didn't know it was right. Really really know. It's not a car; i can't trade it in in 5 years if i decide i don't like leather upholstery.

  3. I think that, for teenagers, the no dating thing is good...since they're so terrible at thinking about anything.

    But. If there were a saved girl that I was in to(within 500 milesish)...I'd be all about it.

    Single life is cheaper, for now. :)

  4. HAHAHA. That's funny, I was wondering if this post was because you had just talked to Liz. She is great. Absolutely wonderful.

    I am also great and absolutely wonderful.

    I agree with you, for the better part of the last year the Lord has been ridding my of my "the one" ideology--it affected way more in my life than I thought it did. I heard adults talk about how their spouse was "the one" and was also privy to their terrifying arguments and contentious relationships. It lended itself to my questioning the goodness of God and having a hard time trusting that what He would give me would be any better.

    At the same time, there is also some danger in the other side of things, as usually is.

  5. Looking for a fun attractive man.... Well look no furthur... Call me 281-793-9010

  6. I really enjoyed this blog. I was a dating teen adn although I thought the wonderful Christian boy I dated in high school was going to be "the one" he ended up not. And although I was crushed at the time I realize all the wonderful things he helped me learn about myself. Now I am married to an amazing man of God and he appreciates all the bumps and hang ups (dating relationships) I had before. They tought me to be open minded and hearted. My husband was not a Christian when I met him and I believe although God brought us together I could have alway chosen a different path. I'm just glad I took the one I did. I encourage my young adults to date and in that seek God's will for their lives.

  7. One really good book that does reference this and I think you would really like is "Just Do Something" by Kevin DeYoung

    gotta love it. Oh and a friend of mine wrote a word to the boys you might like:


  8. I could argue both sides, I suppose. On one hand, I dated ALOT and when I finally met my husband-to-be (at the age of 21), it took a total of thirty days for ME to ask HIM to marry me. Hey, when you know, you know. I had been around the neighborhood many times, I knew what was out there, and I knew he was for me. Seeing as how that was over eighteen years ago, I'd say it's worked out rather well.

    On the other hand (and as I tell my three teenagers often) I would absolutely, positively love to say

    He was my first date.
    My first kiss.
    My first prom.
    My first... well, EVERYTHING.

    He wasn't any of that, but he will be my last. God most definitely had a plan. We get too caught up in the details, I think.

    Interesting post. :)

  9. I agree with dating once you're old enough/mature enough/everything enough to be considering marriage. Not just casually dating as a 16 year old. Great post. :)

  10. i've know what you mean, i was boy crazy for a long time until i had to learn what my insecurities were. Thank God for my bff/mentor that had to slap me a couple times after several boy mistakes. However, i dont date but i do have guy friends and have learned how to talk to guys as friends and have healthy friendships without pushing them away. I see myself as planting seeds of righteousness rather than into every guy i date. But i get it now its not hard, however i pray that when i come to know with whom i know i meant to be with that i would find favor in his eyes :)


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