I mean there are all sorts of women there. Are you asking them out? In other words I attended a church in which there were lots of single people, many of whom were attractive. In fact many people go there partly because of this. I mean what better place to meet someone than a person church where singles are actually welcomed right? For starters, it can be hard to figure out the approach etiquette at church.
Four thousand years of hostility from this one mistake, this one jumping the gun, this one time where they thought, "God has failed us. He's put us into an impossible situation. I'll solve it myself. We can see that taking matters into our own hands, when faith and patience are required, can produce absolutely horrendous results. Now Abraham is a special case. He is the father of the faithful. The things that he did are magnified because of his position, but with us similar things can happen on a somewhat smaller scale.
They are still awful to have to endure, and who knows what problems will be in future generations because of this. Does not God say that He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him?
Obviously we do not hate God, but the principle is still there, and the results of sin often go down several generations.
Six Dos and Don'ts of Dating in the Church
Someone has to take the punishment, whether it is us, or our children, or our grandchildren, or our great grandchildren. God will give us everything that is good that we need if we love Him and are " the called.
It is a promise. He has not necessarily promised us a mate, but He has promised us what is good for us. If we just wait, have a little patience, and have some faith that God will give us whatever will help us and prosper us and be good for us, in His time.
That certainly would include our mate. We ask Him in faith. God says He will give it to us, with the caveat that it would be something that is good for us, because He does nothing that is not out of love.
That is just His nature. In hindsight we can see how foolish this was for Abraham and Sarah to do this. But can we also see that the despairing about our current situationóour scattered conditionójumping the gun then and providing our own human solution will only complicate matters.
Can we see that without having to look in hindsight twenty years down the road and say, "Oh, if only I had waited"? It is far better to marry as a somewhat older wiser person in the church than it is to jump the gun and marry while we are young outside the church. That is just the way it is. It would be better for you to wait a little while until you are older and more mature and find someone in the church than it would be to take matters in your hands while you are young and foolish and do what your hormones are telling you to do.
I am speaking mainly of course to the young people. I hope the older ones have a little more control over their hormones. You could even ask, if you like, some of the recent newlyweds and there were several this summer and this spring how the scattering affected their choice of mate. I bet you they would tell you that the scattering actually enhanced their choice of mate. You think about the ones who have recently gotten married, and you will find that if this had not occurred, they would have never found the other, because circumstances were worked out that they came in contact with one another, and started a relationship which led to marriage.
So the scattering is not a bad thing. It may narrow things a bit for us, but we have got to think of it more positively, that if you do really love God and you really want something like this to happen to you, that God has orchestrated affairs to bring that about. Nothing is impossible with God. Let us go to Psalm This is the attitude we have got to have. This is one of my favorite Psalms.
See, that is the way we have got to approach this. Go ahead and dwell in the land. Feed on His faithfulness. Think of God as a delight, and then lo and behold you will find that you will have the things that you really wanted. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the L ORD , and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
That last little bit advises you not to look at how other people are faring and how they have gotten what they have gotten. Wait and trust in God. He will bring it about what you need, or what you want. God does not always give us the things we ask for right away. Remember the scripture we heard several times during the Feast, that His eyelids test us?
Oftentimes the test is whether we will wait for Him to act, whether we will have faith to do, to plod on, to do good, to be righteous in the meantime until He gives us the thing that we want. And if we really want a mate, we can put that on the top of our prayer list, and He will recognize that and give it, but it may be a little while.
So wait and trust in Him to bring it to pass. If God can create the universe, if He can part the Red Sea, if He can walk on water, He can find a mate that is fitting for us. That is an easy thing. Remember, we walk by faith, not by sight. We can look around and say, "Oh!
There's no one here to marry. I'll be an old maidóor an old gentleman, I guess. That is walking by sight. God sees an awful lot more than we do. He knows what is going on. I have had people come up to me and say that they were sure that God prepared the husband or the wife for one of their children, that they could see by looking at events that certain things happened to bring it all to pass, that otherwise these two would never had met.
Or otherwise maybe they would have met, but they would have never hit it off unless certain things had happened. Some mothers I know have prayed for their children, saying, "Please prepare a fitting mate for this daughter of mine or son of mine. God is aware, and He wants us to have happiness. He wants us to have the mate that will be a helper comparable to us. So do not despair. Just wait patiently, and trust in Him. Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Do you think that this scattering of the church has changed God?
Do you think the scattering of the church has changed God's law, or the principles that God has set down for our conduct? Do you think that just because we are scattered that all the principles of finding a mate have been thrown out the window and you can just go down the street and find someone?
That is not the case at all. God says, "I do not change. The same principles that were good for us in the Worldwide Church of God fifteen years ago are just as applicable today, and a hundred years before that, and a thousand years before that, and two thousand years before that, and in the Garden of Eden.
They are the same. Things do not change. God's law is immutable. Society can go through throes of tumult. It could go through transformations like you would never imagine. They could go from one end of the spectrum to the other, politically, socially, economically, whatever, and God's way of life would not change. See, that is part of our faith. What if those things changed along with society? Could we trust God? We would never know which end is up if God's way changed along with everything else in the world.
We can rely on God's faithfulness. We know that God is there and is going to act because of this fact that He does not change, and His law does not change. The principles do not change, and we can rely on that no matter what the situation. So it is still a bad idea to date and marry outside the church. That principle has not changed either. Let me give you a few analogies.
Just because you are stranded on a desert island and all you have is pig and shellfish to eat, does that change God's laws of clean and unclean meats? Now I know there are probably some who would say, "Well, you would be tempted to eat the pig and the shellfish. If America suddenly descended into anarchy for whatever reasonónuclear strike, racial problems, I do not know what, you name itódoes that mean that we no longer would have to love our neighbor?
Is that not an immutable principle found in the last six of the commandments? If all your money were taken from you through one means or another, does that mean you could steal? Just because your situation changed does that mean that you could change the way you act? God's ways are unchangeable, and in this case the way to have a relationship and to finally marry is the same also. Let us say you find "Mister Right," or "Miss Right," you think out in the world. You think you found a perfect candidate.
What do you do? This is on the off chance that God is indeed calling that person. God does not say, "Hello down there. I'm calling this person. Go ahead and marry him. What do you do if you find someone in the world you think might be right for you? Well, the first thing you do is that you do not compromise one inch with God's way of life. You have to be totally straight and narrow. Everything must be above board in this relationship.
Do not get any further involved with this person until you take the next step, and that is, introduce him or her to your beliefs. Give them church literature to read. See if they are going to accept it, and you will know pretty quick by the reaction to the literature or to the beliefs whether God is actually calling that person. If God is calling that person he will be receptive, and things will start moving. But if there is a lot of holding back and a lot of dismissal and saying, "You know, this is weird," or whatever they might happen to say, well, you had better drop that person like a hot potato.
It is not going to work. Now if they do respond, still do nothing until that person starts counseling for baptism and moves his conversion along. And do not get married until that person has been baptized, because conversion comes first. If God is truly calling that person, you wait until he or she is converted, and then you marry.
Do not do it the other way around, because I am sure there have been times when that has happened, and the other person has done a U-turn because they wanted the girl, or they wanted the guy, and they were willing to do anything to get to that point of marriage. And then they put the brakes on and the whole thing came apart at the seams. And now you are stuck with an unconverted mate, and the problems will begin.
So that is my advice. If you indeed find somebody out in the world, take these very cautious steps, and make sure they are baptized before you do anything else. But it is rare. I am telling you now that it is very rare. It does not happen often, so be very cautious. As I said there at the beginning, I am not giving you my permission to do this.
I think it is very stupid to date outside the church, but sometimes it happens, and you should know what to do if it should happen to you. But take it very cautiously. It may be that if there is a person whom you give this literature to and they read it and they do not like it, that they will drop you like a hot potato because they will say, "What kind of a kook is this?
If you are strong in what you believe, then that will either attract them further, or repel them further. So you are the anchor here in this. How you are willing to approach your beliefs will tell the tale in many cases. Let us go back to Deuteronomy 7.
I want to show you by doing a quick survey that this principle is throughout the Bible, that we should not get involved with people outside our religion. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the L ORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.
That is pretty dire. God says, "Don't intermarry with the heathen. This is in the books of Moses here. He is already giving them this advice. It is far easier for a member of God's church to compromise in this manner than it is for the unconverted mate to come to repentance because of human nature and because of the exclusivity of God's calling. It is not a blanket calling. He chooses those He wants now, and He will call the rest later in His own time. Let us see probably the best example of this problem in I Kings 11 in the example of Solomon.
You would think that the wisest man would understand this principle, but boy, when he did something wrong, he did it in spades. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal [not faithful] to the L ORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon.
So reach out to some believing friends.
Dating someone in your church
Pour out your heart, your fear and ask for prayer. Tell them when you plan to end the relationship and invite them to follow-up with you. Surround yourself with people who will remind you that you made a good decision. Go out and have fun with friends. Make sure you go to a solid church each week, and find a way to have meaningful relationships outside of Sunday morning. Lean into the Lord. I know this can sound like a cliche. But you have a Savior who understands.
His closest friends ran away at the end of his life when he needed them most Mark Yes, it was for us, but the closest relationship that ever existed was broken for three horrific days.
Right to appear out of nowhere. Take your time; build up a solid friendship. Work towards a future that you can trust. Moving too fast can create real pain for a broken relationship among church members later.
Going to the same church and having a terrible break-up will mean trouble for your fellowship. This is the principle that I have to stress the most. I know from experience how painful it is to watch friends pick up where you left off, so to speak. Furthermore I have watched people I love in our fellowship bounce back and forth between guys and girls. I know what some of you might be thinking: It did work out for me.
In fact the way I met my wonderful wife was through this friend. He broke up with her and I moved in. And such situations are actually far rarer than they seem. The reality is often that friends get hurt, friendships dissolve, and bitterness grows. And such bitterness grows not simply from the friend slighted, but it spreads to others. It is easily one of my most shameful moments to reflect on, but it happened.
And what I found was not only had I hurt and lost a dear friend, but I had embittered many others against myself and the young lady because of that sin. Maybe you will be the exception to the norm. Maybe it will all work out for you.
But the risk is great. I love the single guys and girls in our church. Some of them are the most dedicated, passionate, and involved among our fellowship. But relationships can become a constant source of trouble for our small body. But sometimes, as a pastor, it becomes necessary to intervene. Because the reality is that all relationships in the church affect the whole church.
I would never want to discourage people from dating within the church, but please think carefully before you do it. Your dating can affect the church, and you should think about them too.Christian Dating Secrets REVEALED!
And ALL our duties at Church were assigned together!