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One of the top 15 bachelors chosen for ABC’s The Bachelorette
World-class speaker to corporate executives and various college/young adult ministries
Former Vice President of Institutional and International sales for a multi-billion dollar firm
B.S., International Finance, Texas Christian Univ., Magna Cum Laude; finalist Rhodes Scholarship
CBN.com Jason grew up in a Christian home as the eldest of three brothers. He attended church regularly but did not profess his faith until he attended a Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s camp when he was 17 where Reggie White was his huddle leader. Jason realized he needed a personal relationship with Jesus. “That was the moment that everything changed in my life,” says Jason.
Jason says there are many misconceptions about dating. He says that somewhere along the way we began to believe that we either had to have a satisfying relationship with Christ or a romantic relationship with a significant other, but we couldn’t have both. Jason says that is wrong. He reminds us that God is a good, compassionate God who instilled a strong sense of romantic love in our hearts. “Your heart was not designed to love God one way and your partner another,” says Jason. “They are not mutually exclusive, but instead divinely complementary.” Romantic love is built on the precepts of God’s unconditional love. Dating, Jason believes, is a vital part of training for marriage. He says rigid rules (don’t date, hang out in groups, don’t be romantic) are standards that have been taken to the extreme. “All these rules sound impressive, but they don’t make you holy,” says Jason. “They leave you hollow.”
When Jason was 10, he was playing in a friend’s yard. Surrounding the yard was a tall wood fence. Even though they had all the space they wanted, Jason and his friend thought it was unfair the fence was keeping them in. Later as an adult, Jason visited his friend again. They decided to venture out of the backyard since they were grown. They found wolves, snakes and huge spiders! Jason says God builds a fence for us. “He gives us plenty of room to date, build relationships and discover our passions,” he says. “The fence is for our safety and protection. He is not trying to keep us in – He is just trying to keep all the terrible things out.”
At one time, Jason was engaged to be married. “My broken engagement was a painful personal lesson that I wanted to share to prove one point,” says Jason. “God will use all means necessary to draw you close to Him.”
Jason says he dropped the ball on many occasions. He didn’t make sure they attended church on a weekly basis, or took quiet times together.
“I made the relationship about us and what felt good instead of about what is good. It was only by God’s grace that we didn’t have sex or get entangled in even bigger problems,” says Jason. He admits that because he allowed their relationship to wander away from God and His perfect design, their romance failed.
THE VIRGIN BACHELOR
Jason was challenged by a friend to send in his application to ABC’s The Bachelorette in 2004. The producers were intrigued by Jason’s commitment to purity. He started advancing in the rounds and living in a house with 14 other contenders. Jason’s belief system was definitely foreign to his roommates. During the second round of eliminations, the bachelorette sent Jason home. Relieved at the decision, Jason was grateful for the experience. “I went on the program to show love rather than find it,” says Jason.
When Jason was in college, he started speaking in public and addressed such controversial issues like sex/relationships, leadership, substance abuse, etc. He was also an NCAA Academic All-American and Captain of the TCU football team. He graduated with honors, was named one of the top students in America by USA Today and was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. After college Jason co-founded an innovative strategy firm that focused on high-impact companies and their executives. Prior to that, Jason served as a VP of Institutional and International Sales for a multi-billion dollar investment management firm.
How far is too far? Should you date multiple people at once? CBN.com's Laura Bagby asks Jason Illian the tough dating questions in this in-depth interview.
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