Susan has been “talking to” and “hanging out” with Craig for about nine months but things don’t seem to be moving anywhere fast. She is sure he likes her; after all he calls semi-regularly. Although, it does seem a bit peculiar that most of those calls seem to come after 10pm. Nevertheless, the conversations are always fun and interesting. They have only gone out a few times but he loves coming over to her apartment to “watch movies.” Although there isn’t much moving watching after the kissing starts. They haven’t messed around too much and she is sure he is there for more than a good time. But just where are things going? She often wonders, “Are we dating, friends with benefits or just hanging out with potential?”
The above scenario is being played out all the time in the lives of single adults everywhere. Relational immaturity is played out in physical, non-committal “hook ups” in order for the parties involved to mop up legitimate needs by illegitimate means. And before you write this off as a problem in the “world” and not the church may I remind you that statistically the sexual ethics within the church mirrors that of the “world” when it comes to single adults.
OUR NEEDS ARE LEGITIMATE
The sexual, emotional and relational needs we all feel are real and legitimate. When the man you are dating says, “I have needs” he is speaking the truth but if this statement is followed by demands that you satisfy his needs in an illegitimate way, such as premarital sex, he is playing the part of the “Snake” in your life. In the Garden of Eden the snake tempted Eve by speaking of legitimate needs and the “injustice” of any God given restriction by which we might pursue them. Don’t fall for Satan’s tricks!
If the woman you are dating offers herself to you sexually then “run for the hills” my friend. Such a woman is playing the “harlot” in your life. She is offering you the fruits of sexual intimacy without the commitment which makes it a legitimate blessing. The result is sin and a curse. The consequences of such will show up in unexpected places as you suffer the loss of a part of yourself.
So how do we satisfy genuine sexual, emotional and relational needs? Get married young! God means for us to do life in unison with another human being of the opposite sex. We are meant for team play not a solo match. Be open to marriage and prayerfully consider those in your life as a potential spouse. Don’t fear the commitment which brings the fruits of God’s provision for the needs of your heart, soul and body. Trust God to bring you peace and the ability to live in marriage. Stop the madness of fear which prevents you from seriously pursuing a relationship in the way God so desires.
If you are a Christ follower and closed to the prospects of marriage then be certain that a lifetime of singleness is God’s call on your life! If it is not, you are withholding the blessing that YOU are meant to be in someone’s life! Your love and service are a part of God’s plan for someone! Marriage isn’t about you alone and the one you are denying is suffering the consequences of your inactivity and disobedience to God’s plan for your life! There are needs you are meant to meet in someone’s life.
So stop wasting time and begin living intentionally. Pray, get out there and begin seeing the world in a different light. Take a hard look at your current relationships, ask the hard questions and begin making decisions with the long term in mind. Like Susan in the story above, it is time for you to begin looking at the signs and asking yourself the question, “Am I dating a punk, coward, “Peter Pan” or THE ONE?” Just as important it is time for you to ask this question about yourself! The following is a help as you begin the process.
Warning Signs You or Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend Are Afraid to Get Married:
- Serial Committed Relationships — If your relationship history could best be described as an ongoing soap opera then I have news for you…Something is wrong with YOU! Anyone can blow off a few relationships gone bad but if you are continually in serial relationships that last longer than a year without talk of marriage and long term commitment it is time to fess up, confess and repent of your lack of maturity on the matter. Nobody should want to be or be with a “Peter Pan.”
- Sexual Promiscuity — If you are sexually active then you are “giving/getting the milk for free” and its time to stop. Such activity denies the sacredness of sex and relegates such to one of many “fun choices” for the weekend. Those waiting for marriage to have sex are more likely to be in pursuit of such so they might do things God’s way. Healthy sex is marital sex. Premarital sex is a sign of relational immaturity and a lack of serious desire for long term commitment.
- Dating Around — Nothing wrong with going to dinner and “figuring out” whether you are meant to spend time with someone but if you are “seriously dating” multiple people at once you have a problem with commitment. “The Bachelor” might be popular on television but no woman is looking for a gigolo in real life and you should have no desire to be one if you are serious about finding a wife. Ditto on the “bachlorette.” No man wants her for marriage.
- Friends with Benefits — If you have a “friend” of the opposite sex whom you hang out with, do holidays/birthdays with and on occasion call your “friend with benefits” then you are a cowardly “Peter Pan” in need of a kick in the backside. I have news for you partner, when you kiss a girl her heart is in what she is doing. YOU may be able to separate the physical from the emotional but most women simply aren’t built that way. If you are with such a woman…run! If you are a woman giving these benefits stop hurting yourself and learn to value who you are in Christ! You deserve better!
- Cohabitation — If you are unmarried and living with someone you need to ask yourself the simple question, “Why?” Are you testing the waters to see if you really want to do life with this person? Are you allowing the person you are living with to do so? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes” then stop being a coward, grow some faith and trust God! You don’t know what this person is going to be like in 10 years and they don’t know what you will be like either. You are either meant for each other or not and God knows the answer to the question. So pray, seek Him, His answers and STOP leaning on your own understanding of things. Stop trying to control everything! And stop giving the milk for free!
No one wants to hurt themselves or anyone else yet single adults do so all the time in the illegitimate pursuit of legitimate needs. Its high time you pray, take a look at yourself and who you are spending your time with so that you might pursue the higher call of Christ on your life. Stop doing things your own way and start walking after God’s way of doing things. Stop dating punks, cowards and Peter Pan (and that is a message to women AND men) so you might find your ONE!
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