• How to find “The One”

    So many of us who are single are trying to find “The One”. You know the one who I should marry, the one who will complete me, the one who God wants me to marry.

    It goes without saying that if I find “The One” I will have a great life that will be always full of love and joy and will have no tears or heartbreak. But, if I don’t find “The One” my life will be a disappointment and I will not live the happy life I deserve!

    Well let me tell you where you will find “The One”.

    You will find “The One” in Wonderland next to the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow riding a unicorn!

    You know why you will find them there? Because just like pots of Gold at the end of the rainbow and unicorns “The One” is a myth.

    Because there is no one person who will make you feel great all the time. With whom you will never fight or get frustrated with.

    There is no perfect mate

    No soul mate

    No “The One”

    “The One” is a very dangerous concept. It is not found in the Bible and it frustrates me no end that Christians talk about “The One” without realising that they have got this concept from Hollywood and the media. It is dangerous because it gives people an over inflated sense of what a relationship or marriage is going to do for them.

    “The One” is also an impossible bar that no one will be able to clear. Imagine the pressure of being someone’s “The One”. You are there to make them happy, to fill them with joy all the time and to know what they are thinking and feeling without them or you saying anything. This not only impossible but a dangerous fantasy. I have been married to my beautiful wife for two and a bit years. I still need her to tell me what she is thinking. Sometimes she pulls a face and I am left thinking “Does she want me to get something?” or “Have I missed an important day?” or “Does she have gas?”  Holding onto the concept of “The One” will only end in tears.

    How do we get rid of the concept of “The One”? We do it by hearing what the Bible says about us all. The Bible says that we are all made in the image of God and therefore we are all to be loved and respected. But it also says that we are sinful and selfish and therefore when two sinful people come together in marriage or a dating relationship we will expect that there will be tension, there will be periods of frustration, it won’t always be the romantic comedy fantasy that we hoped for. The concept of “The One” doesn’t give us a realistic view of ourselves, the opposite sex, relationships and ultimately marriage.

    Marriage is a great thing and my life has been enriched by my marriage to my amazing wife in so many ways. It is truly a great gift of God. But let’s get rid of the unbiblical fantasy known as “The One” and lets have our relationships defined by God and not by Hollywood.

     

  • Your Sexuality is an adjective not a noun

    I hate grammar but it is important. Here is a little grammatical lesson for those of you, like me, didn’t learn grammar in school.

    A noun is a word that is a person, place, thing, event, substance, idea, etc.

    An adjective is a describing word that modifies a noun. So words like pretty, ugly, dumb, smart are adjectives.

    E.g. That girl is very pretty. Girl is the noun and pretty is the adjective.

    Now you are probably asking what this has to with sexuality.

    Well I hear a lot of people talk about their sexuality or relationship status as if it is a noun. So people say I am gay, straight, single, married, divorced etc.

    But does the fact that you are gay, bi, straight, single, married, etc. Define you?

    I hope not. I hope we cannot boil your essence down to your sexuality or your relationship status. I hope you are much more than that!

    The weird thing I hear Christians pigeon holing themselves by using their sexuality or their relationship status as the noun with Christian the adjective.

    I say this because when some people say they are a single Christian it seems that their singleness modifies their Christianity not other way around.

    When some people say they are a married Christian it seems that their marriage modifies their Christianity not other way around.

    When some people say they are a gay Christian it seems that their being gay modifies their Christianity not other way around.

    The only noun that we have as Christians is that I am in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    Being in Christ shapes and defines us. Everything else is additional.

    “In Christ” is the noun.

    Everything else is an adjective

     

  • Who should I date?

    When you look at the media and what it thinks are desirable qualities in a mate it seems like the qualities are very shallow.

    If you are looking for a girl you want her to be thin and yet stacked, flawless skin and yet look like that in the morning etc. She must always ready for sex, always funny, never angry or moody and be dressed like she is trying to be the next Paris Hilton and yet be sweet enough to be taken home and charm your mother!

    If it is a guy you are after, he is meant to have the right kind of facial hair, a six pack, he must wear no shirt like McConaughey and be manly enough to go bear hunting with a twig and come back with seven carcasses and sensitive enough to write a poem about his feelings about killing the bears!

    The issue is that looks fade. The bag and sag hits everyone’s body and so in 10 or 20 years we will not look as good as we did now let alone when we were 18.  The only option is to become a gym junkie or have so much plastic surgery that we end up not looking our age or our species. And the people we will be with will not look as good as they did when we met them.

    So if you are single you must train yourself to be attracted to and date people who have qualities that are more than skin deep.

    When  you look at the ideal wife in the bible (Proverbs 31) there is nothing to do with her looks, her body or the fact that she is a fun chick to be around. No what God says men should go for is a woman of wisdom and character.

    There is not a similar list for the ideal husband in the bible but there is a list of characteristics that a leader of a church should have (1 Tim 3). It is a list which I think should be the list of things single woman train themselves to be attracted to.

    So who should you date if you are single?

    Someone of character who loves Jesus.

  • Lies the church tells about sex: When you are content in being single he/she will come along.

    “Oh darling, when you are content in being single that is when he/she will come along”

    How many of have heard this statement? How many of us believe this? I think Christian girls are especially susceptible to this believing this statement. It seems like so many of my single sisters are working so hard at being content and at the same time they are waiting for God to drop Mr Right out of the sky. A lot of my sisters would settle for someone to asking them out on a date.

    See the old chestnut “When you are content in being single He/she will come along” is

    Just

    A

    Lie!

    Yes a lie!

    God has wired us to be relational creatures and so there will always be some kind of angst if we are single.  So when we tell the lie “When you are content he/she will come” we are actually denying what the Bible says about us as creatures. We are denying the way God has made us.

    Also, this lie gives the picture that God is up in heaven looking down on the single person waiting and watching their “content gauge” and when they are finally content enough God flips the switch and the next time that single person gets onto a train and sits next to someone, spills a drink on someone, talks to the owner of the cute dog they pat at the park, (insert your favourite romantic comedy cliché here), that person will be “the one”.

    But God doesn’t work like that. The most important thing for God is that we would desire to know him and we love him. So God is orchestrating our lives for that end. Also, God doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that he gives us good gifts when we are content or deserve them or whatever. No, God is the God who gives generously to those who don’t deserve anything.

    So for now if we are single we have to trust God that he has out best interests at heart.

    These truths are tough to swallow for many of us.

    But tough truths are better than stupid lies which make us feel good.

     

  • Guest Post: Fifteen Ways To Get A Single Woman’s Attention by Ally Spotts

    For those of you who don’t know me my name is Ally Spotts and I’m a writer and blogger from Portland, Oregon. I’m single, a committed Christian, and I also happen to write a lot about dating and relationships. If you’ve never been to my site, you can visit me here!

    Last week I wrote a post titled, “Why Christian Women Date Non-Christian Men,” and Hans found it when one of my more dedicated fans [thanks dad] posted a link in the comments of his blog. Before I knew it he was asking me to write a post about what I, as a single woman, am looking for in a man.

    The problem is (I realized, after I agreed) I don’t have a list of things that I’m looking for in a man. I mean, I am looking for some things, I guess – mostly that he is also a committed Christian – but somewhere along the line I realized that the actual or mental lists I was keeping were making me really prone to selfish, unrealistic expectations for what I wanted in a husband. So I ditched it.

    So I’ll give you a different list, instead. It isn’t a checklist, and it isn’t a list of ideas I’ve picked up from romance novels or fantasies from Hollywood. It’s just a list of things I’ve noticed the men I know sometimes do, things that tend to catch my attention.

    Again, it isn’t a checklist. I don’t expect any man to be all of these things all the time. But it is a list of real things that real men have done. I’ve witnessed them. In real life. Not a novel or a romantic movie.

    These are the things that, as a single woman, really get me thinking…

    1. When a man treats all women well, not just the ones he wants to date. The men in my life who are most protective of (and kind toward) me are often men who have no intention of asking me on a date. My brother, for example. My dad. My friends’ husbands. My brother-in-law. And when I see an available man treat his mom or his sister or a close friend with tenderness and care, it is a huge head-turner for me.

    2. When a man’s actions match his words: Some men have really good intentions but not much follow-through; and while this can seem impressive at first, I’m ultimately distrustful of a man like this. I am much more prone to notice a man who is faithful in the little things. He says he’ll call and he does. He shows up on time. He doesn’t commit to things unless he knows he can finish them. If a man is consistent, the littlest things can make the biggest impression.

    3. When a man has a strong work ethic. There is something unbelievably sexy (am I allowed to say that here?) about a man who works hard. It can be physical, mental or emotional labor. It doesn’t matter. A man who has drive and stamina and perseverance toward a particular task is bound to catch my eye (in fact, he might even catch me staring…)

    4. When a man is committed to open and honest communication. I am so impressed when a man is willing to initiate difficult (but necessary) conversations with me and with others around him. Hard conversations are (wait for it…) hard to have but I’m always impressed with a man who is up to the challenge.

    5. When a man asks good questions. A man who asks good questions demonstrates selflessness, compassion and generosity, not to mention a wiliness to connect with those around him. Those qualities are really, really attractive to me.

    6. When a man is good with a grill. Hey – a girl has to eat… right?

    7. When a man is generous with his money. Several months ago I was at a restaurant with a large group of people and a friend of mine excused himself to the restroom, gave his credit card to the waitress, and paid for the meal before any of us even realized what happened. For the rest of the week I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I admired that simple act of kindness.

    8. When a man is generous with his time. Some men don’t have the means to be as financially generous as the man I described above, but that’s okay. I find it equally attractive when I see a man offer his time, sacrificially, for the good of the community. Men I know volunteer their time to lead and inspire youth, help their parents with yard work or other chores, or give up their Saturday to help a friend move. These are all things that make me stop and go, hmmm…

    9. When a man doesn’t flirt with every girl woman who flirts with him. One of the most impressive things in the world to me is watching a man who is selective with his flirtation. This doesn’t mean he never flirts, or that he only flirts with one girl his whole life (flirtation can be a necessary and important part of determining romantic connection) it just means that he doesn’t respond to every beautiful girl who happens to blink her eyes at him. I think that single-mindedness can demonstrate a man’s strength of character, self-confidence and conviction.

    10. When a man has a positive attitude. This is especially true of a man who is faced with difficult circumstances, and still chooses to speak positive words about life, about himself, and about other people. When I see a man who approaches life with grace and gratitude, I definitely stop and take notice.

    11. When a man has a plan: I went on a first date awhile back with a man who planned the whole evening ahead of time (a flexible plan, but solid enough that there weren’t a bunch of decisions for me to make) and I was really surprised by how comforting that was for me. On a broader scale, I’m really impressed by a man who has a 5-year or 10-year plan for his life. Even if his plan never comes to fruition, I’ll do pretty much anything for a man who knows what he is called to do with his life, and knows that he wants to do it with me.

    12. When a man is competitive. I hesitate to include this because not every woman would find this quality attractive, but it is my list, so… what the heck. I love watching men play sports or games, or watching their competitive nature come out in business. I find it attractive when I see a man who doesn’t feel the need to apologize for his masculinity.

    13. When a man carries his Bible: Recently I received some bad news while I was writing in a coffee shop and a friend who was sitting nearby saw my reaction and immediately went to the scripture to offer me some encouragement. I’m not saying a man always has to carry his Bible (that would be weird) I’m just saying that I find it impressive when a situation calls for it, and he has it on hand.

    14. When a man takes responsibility, even if he’s not sure it’s his. I was with a man recently who took the blame for something that may or may not have been his fault, and I felt oddly impacted by that. It was such a small act in retrospect, but the truth was that no one really knew whose fault it was; and I felt oddly comforted knowing that he was willing to take the blame – and the consequences – to protect the rest of the group.

    15. When a man can admit his weaknesses and is willing to work on them. Guys. If you don’t remember any other item from this list, remember this one. In fact, if I had to reduce the list to one item, it would most definitely be this.  None of us are perfect. We all have areas where we need to grow. And there is something profoundly attractive about a man who recognizes this reality, is a little introspective, and is humble enough to admit when he is wrong and keep working toward the man he wants to be.

    Okay, I’m just one woman, and not the authority on the subject. I need some other ladies to jump in. What do you think about my list? Any changes or additions?

    And MEN. Call me selfish but I’m dying to hear from you. How can a girl catch your attention?

     

  • Help I am a single guy and I like a girl!

    Disclaimer: I don’t consider myself Dr. Love in any sense and the fact that I am married to an amazing woman is more to do with God’s grace than my own ability. But there have been things that I have wanted to say to young Christian men about dating and girls. Over the last week I have had three guys ask me about dating and how to get a girl to like you (I don’t know why they ask me) so I have written this blog.

    Love and the questions of courtship vs. dating and to kiss or not to kiss etc are perennial questions that have been around ever since Josh Harris penned the book that every 16 year old guys hates but every Dad with a sixteen year old daughter loves and wants to give to every hormonal teenage guy on the face of the planet. The book I am talking about is I Kissed Dating Goodbye. And there are many other books like it.

    But even though there are books out on dating and love and relationships many questions still remain. As I have said, over the past few weeks, a few guys have asked me about dating and being a Christian guy who likes a girl and so here are questions that I have asked them to think about:

    1. 1. Are you the kind of guy that you would want your future daughter to marry? This is the question that is going to shape the whole conversation. Take a hard look at yourself would you want your daughter marrying someone like you? If for any reason you would say no. It is time to get to work
    2. 2. Do you have a plan? I am not just talking about a plan for asking her out and where your first date will be I am asking do you have a plan for the rest of your life? Do you have a plan for the next five years? Do you have a plan for, if you start going out, how you are going to help her love Jesus more? If you don’t know where you are going why should she look to you for leadership? If you don’t know what you are doing in the next five years why would she want to join you on this journey? If you have no plan for how you will help her love Jesus more you will be a dead weight to her spiritually. Guys get a plan.
    3. 3. Do you have character? I didn’t ask “Are you a character?” I asked “Do you have Character?” Character is about being solid and dependable. A man with character does what he says he will do, on time every time. Are you that? Or do you rock up late, don’t work hard, sleep in till noon, look up porn and generally annoy everyone around you because of your lack of character?
    4. 4. How are you doing spiritually? I am not asking if you feel great and connected with God (though that is a good thing). I am asking how are you doing with reading the Bible and praying? How are you doing with serving at church? How are you doing with going to Bible study or community group? How are you doing morally? If you need to work on these areas take yourself out of the dating/courting game so you can work on your relationship with Jesus so you won’t be a dead weight to a girl spiritually.
    5. 5. Are you an interesting person? Are you a person who has a life? Or do you sit at home playing world of warcraft or xbox or whatever? If you have an interesting life where you are doing things that bring value and meaning to people she will be more likely to be attracted to you. Also if you are interested in her more than being interesting she will find you more interesting.

    Guys these are the questions I wish someone had asked me when I was 18-20. Have you got men around you who love you enough to keep you accountable?

    Be the man that God wants you to be and girls will be attracted to you.

     

  • Guest Post: How the gospel shapes my life as a single woman by Katie Brown

    Hans’ note: The author of this post, Katie Brown, is an amazing young woman who i have a lot of respect for. She oversees all Resolved’s social media and is one of the most switched on people I know. I hope this blog challenges you. Follow Katie on Twitter and see what great work she does as you follow Resolved on Twitter and Facebook

    I think that there is an assumption in life that all singles (whether male or female) deeply wish that they weren’t. I thought it would be helpful to start this post by asking you to throw that assumption away for a minute, because I actually don’t believe it to be true – but I also want to challenge you that perhaps this is an unbiblical way of thinking.

    I don’t know what your circumstance is but I’m almost positive that if you’re single you’ve been on the receiving end of someone who is married taking pity on you in some way (I don’t believe that this is ever intentional). Most people argue that it is the world’s media & culture that has caused us to feel that being single is a type of incompleteness – which is definitely true, but I also think that the church has been involved… controversial I know! Let me explain: over the last few years there has been a really strong & exciting resurgence of young men being encouraged & mentored into strong leaders & church planters with a large focus on telling these “boys” to buck up and be “men” – get out of their parents’ basement, put away the video games, get a job & get a wife! While some of this rebuke is probably necessary, what an unbelievably scary pressure for a young man to all of a sudden feel a desperate need to find a wife in order to assume a position of manliness & leadership within their ministry & Christian life. As a woman I have felt a deep compassion for so many of these young men who will watch all of their young friends marry while they still have not met “the one” and wonder what this means for their future in ministry or perhaps feel disheartened & inadequate as a “man”. I think as a result, there has been a strong focus within the church to encourage all single members to be married or to at least be doing their best to move in that direction (I need to be clear that this is merely my experience, and not everyone’s!). And we wonder why Christians struggle with singleness…

    The wonderful & God breathed bible says that marriage is indeed a good thing (Gen 2:18) but by no means does it say that is it the only thing; singleness is a prominent option presented. 1 Corinthians 7:17 says that “each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him [/her] and to which God has called him [/her]” – this verse says that whatever your relationship status may be, God has assigned & called you to be just that. It is for this reason that I am most content in my singleness when I am regularly reflecting on God’s sovereignty and allowing His Spirit to teach me to trust Him in everything, not just in relationships but in work, money, church… everything. I take great comfort in Acts 17:24-28 which says…

    “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

    As I reflect on this passage I am reminded that what is most important is that I am seeking the Lord & learning how to live for Him and Him alone. What a privilege that God has allowed us to take part in His plans! To suggest we know better is outrageous.

    I could now talk about how singleness is a gift, but I think that this is an area well covered by many people much wiser than I and I also think that it is a difficult point for singles to hear because they don’t feel that it is a gift at all & therefore feel guilty for thinking so. I will however say that as a single Christian I am able to do far more things with my time than I ever would as a married person (particularly with regards to ministry) & I do truly see that as a precious gift! (*Read 1 Corinthians 7 for Paul’s very clear [& controversial] thoughts on singleness & it’s importance within the church)

    I will finish on a final myth that singleness somehow equals “aloneness”.  Something I find really fascinating about this idea is the high number of married friends I hear talking about how lonely they now feel since they are now more committed to one person & see far less of their other friends – so I don’t think that loneliness is something felt only by singles. That being said, single people do struggle with loneliness & a way that I attempt to combat this is SUPER simple (but of course far easier said than done!): spending time with God in his word & communicating with him every day! I find that the more time I spend reading the word, praying & meeting in fellowship with others at church the more I feel content & completely loved. If we are in an active relationship with the loving Father who sent his very own beloved son to die a brutal death, take on the punishment we deserve & then rise to life again – all so that we could be in a right relationship with Him… how can we possibly feel alone?!

    I’ll let Paul (who remained single) conclude on this topic… In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret [of being content]—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13

    Some resources for further reading:

    A pastor from The Village Church in Texas named Paul Matthies has preached some sermons on singleness & loneliness which have been an immense joy & help to me – I would highly recommend you listening to them no matter your circumstance.

    Just go to http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/sermons & search for sermons by Paul Matthies & you will see his talks “Only the Lonely” and “Single-Minded”.

    I also have loved the wisdom from Barbara Hughes in her book “Disciplines of a Godly Woman” which I am sure you can order online or at Koorong.

    Recently my brother in law recommended Nancy Wilson’s new book called “Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married?” which I have not read but since it is written by Nancy I am sure it would be helpful, if you have read it please comment?