Lately, I have been listening to some of Pastor Andy Stanley’s messages online. Someone recommended a series by him with the title “The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating.” Let me tell you, it is amazing! Andy points out a lot of things that I had learned, but forgot about. Things that are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT if you are a single person who hopes to have a successful marriage someday. So at first I thought I would do my own series of posts on this same topic, but then I realized it would be better to no try to reinvent the wheel, after all Andy Stanley is much more eloquent than I am, and has much more knowledge on this topic. In this post I will outline some of the points I believe are the most relevant and important to young single ladies (I might even put my own spin on it!), but I really encourage you to listen Andy Stanley’s messages as well. Here’s the link:
1. Are You the Person the Person You’re Looking for is Looking for?
Everyone seems to think that finding the right person to spend the rest of our lives with is the be-all and end-all of life. It’s the thing that is supposed to solve all our problems. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but, the Disney movies are lying to you. The thing that the movies don’t tell you is that marriage takes work, before and after. The fact is that people with problems who bring all their problems to marriage just end up having more problems, marriage isn’t the solution.
People tend to think if they have some sort of problem when they get married it will magically go away because they found the perfect person and they make everything better. That, I’m sorry to say is an unrealistic fairytale (ahem, Disney- not that I don’t like Disney movies! They’re just unrealistic!). If you are lazy before marriage, you will be lazy after. If you have a negative attitude before marriage, you will not magically become Snow White; you will still have a negative attitude. This is real life, and things are not automatically fixed as soon as the main characters get together. The point is that you need to BECOME the right person BEFORE you can find the right person.
2. Men are Accountable to God for How They Treat Women
We live in a culture where women want rights, but they are constantly devalued by men. What I mean is that the world we live in teaches men that women are a commodity, something to be used. It does this through the porn industry as well as other things. But the truth is that God designed women to be loved and valued by men just as we are loved and valued by Him.
3. Sex is Not Only Physical
Sex was designed by God for one man and one woman in marriage forever. So it follows that anything other than that is sin. God designed sex as a way to share intimacy in marriage. Many people have separated the intimacy from the sexuality and therefore treat is as though it is only physical.
“Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, ‘The two shall become one flesh.’ But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:16-19
This passage clearly states that there is more to sex than just the physical. Every time you have sex with someone you are becoming one with them and essentially giving a part of yourself away. If you keep giving pieces of yourself away what will be left when you want to commit to one person forever?
I encourage you to decide ahead of time what honoring God with your body, as it says in this passage, looks like. Also, determine the story you want to tell, and then live in a way that writes that story. Because, giving up something now for something better later isn’t a sacrifice, it’s an investment. Don’t ever feel pressured to give up your purity.
4. Commit Now to Being Someone Who Can Keep Commitments Later
So many people go into marriage thinking that if they can just keep the promises they make at the altar, everything will be alright. Well, here’s how it is, if you are not prepared to keep those promises, you won’t be able to. Look at it this way, I can promise you that I will run a marathon next week, but if I haven’t been training for that marathon for months previously I probably won’t be able to finish it! It’s the same with marriage, if you haven’t been preparing yourself for commitment by committing to a Godly lifestyle now there is a good chance your marriage will fail. Your inability to keep promises makes them worthless.
In this last message Andy talks about the importance of being prudent. A prudent person know that all of life is connected and what you do in the past will affect your future. He basically says that if you have done foolish things in the past or are doing them, you will probably do them in the future, unless you drastically change your point of view and lifestyle. This not only applies you, but the person you want to potentially spend the rest of your life with. Don’t marry a fool thinking they will change just because you marry them. They won’t! If anything their problems will probably get worse. There are many other awesome points in this series, go listen for yourself!!
“The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way,
But the foolishness of fools is deceit.” – Proverbs 14:8
“The naive believes everything,
But the sensible man considers his steps.” – Proverbs 14:15