From Like, to Like Like, to Love in Your Twenties
By Jeff Taylor
On both sides of the passionate road of love is the
less desirable stage of friendship. Anyone who’s
ever been there knows the terrain is perilous. Friendlationships
shares stories of those who are in your shoes and
gives insight into how relationship issues can make
or break your spiritual life. After all, relationship
advice should be about more than sex or dating methods.
Friendlationships covers all the stages between
and during this thing called love.
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The Satisfied Single
By Jeff Taylor
Meet Ashley. Ashley is very active in her church and
is always willing to lend a helping hand to others. She has a
great heart and desires to change lives. Ashley has always had
a boyfriend. I do not mean that she has been dating the same guy,
but she has had boyfriends steadily since adolescence. After she
breaks up with a guy, she immediately begins looking for another
one. She was telling me one day how she was tired of being with
horrible guys. I suggested that she take a break from dating so
that she could clear her head and know exactly what she wants.
My suggestion puzzled her as she replied, “You don’t
understand. I can’t not have a boyfriend. I would be too
Things like this happen when a person does not find satisfaction
as a single person. If you are looking for absolute fulfillment
in another person, you are setting yourself up for failure. I
heard a man once say, “If you cannot find peace in yourself,
it is futile to search for it elsewhere.” You have to be
satisfied with your identity as a single person; you have to have
a developing, growing relationship with Christ, or you will not
be well suited for a relationship. In 1 Corinthians, Paul shares
some insight about the benefits of finding Singles Satisfaction.
“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good
for them to stay unmarried, as I am” (1 Cor. 7:8). In chapter
7, Paul shares his opinion about the benefits of being single.
Having never been married, Paul was able to find peace in God
and satisfaction in being single. Throughout the chapter, Paul
breaks down several benefits for being single and offers insight
into finding the elusive Singles Satisfaction.
“Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should
remain in the situation God called him to.” (1 Cor. 7:24)
Translation: Accept the fact that you might never get
Does this mean you should never look for a spouse? Of course
not. It means that, for some of you, God might be calling you
to be single for your entire life. If you stray outside of God’s
calling, then you are setting yourself up for heartache and misery.
You will be trading true love for a fake, for a lust of the world
that will leave you beaten and disenfranchised. If being in a
dating relationship is your number one goal, you need to rethink
your life’s direction. Your lot in life is not to be in
a relationship-—it is to honor and glorify God. You need
to view being single as a blessing and trust God’s plan
for your life. Most of you will get married, but some of you will
not. Is that fair? It is not for me to say. I am merely telling
you that allowing yourself to feel these feelings and basing your
whole life around hooking up with someone leads to nothing but
“Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried?
Do not look for a wife.” (1 Cor. 7:27)
Translation: Do not date someone for the sake of dating.
By all means, keep your eyes open, but do not assume that because
there is a mutual attraction with a person, you need to be in
a relationship. You must assess the situation and circumstances
realistically and, above all else, pray about it. As a believer,
you are not above becoming attracted to a non-Christian or a married
person (see chapter 5 of Friendlationships). Also, do
not simply date out of boredom. Dating, in the sense that I have
defined it, is an intentional decision utilized to determine romantic
possibilities. Anything done out of boredom does not imply a desire
to love someone else, but a desire to remove the boredom by using
the other person. You may be bored and want to date someone because
you have nothing better to do. The person you are on the date
with may already be planning the wedding. Feelings have a tendency
to spring up when two people spend a lot of time together. If
you are with the person for your own comfort, then you are dating
for the wrong reasons. You need to date somebody because you love
them and they love you. Pity and boredom have no place in establishing
a dating relationship.
“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried
man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can
please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs
of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests
are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the
Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in
both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the
affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I
am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that
you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
(1 Cor. 7:32-35)
Translation: Instead of praying for God to bring you
the right person, pray that God will make you the right person.
In marriage (and dating) the temptation is strong to have your
interests divided. If you think it is difficult to spend time
praying and reading God’s Word as a single person, wait
until you have a physical person there with whom you want to spend
every waking moment. If you think you have a strong resistance
to premarital sex, be prepared to resist the strongest desires
you have ever felt while looking in the eyes of the most beautiful
person who has the exact same desires as you. Ideas about how
to do well in relationships are overrun by actions in a hurry.
Being in a relationship is a big responsibility that is not for
the faint of heart. Every person in the world wants to marry someone
who is awesome, sweet, and outstanding. Are you asking God each
day to improve your character? Remember that a relationship is
not just about how you benefit from the other person; it is about
how you can invest in that person’s life for the better.
On another note, pray that God will make you the right person
for the sake of honoring Him and not to attract others to you.
God will do very little for you if your concern is not for His
“Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord,
but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is
trustworthy. Because of the present crisis, I think that it is
good for you to remain as you are. Are you married? Do not seek
a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you
do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has
not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this
life, and I want to spare you this.” (1 Cor. 7:25-28)
Translation: Realize that not everything in a relationship
is wine and roses.
Your problems do not go away when you get into a relationship.
In fact, you still have the same problems you always had, and
now you get to experience your SigOth’s problems as well
(see chapter 6 of Friendlationships). Your problems are
multiplied, but you have the benefit of working through them with
someone you love. In real life, happily ever after is a pipe dream
that is scoffed at by anyone who actually, you know, lives on
Look inside and see what feelings are there that you
should so strongly desire a relationship. Is your relationship
with God where it should be? Often, we misinterpret our faltering
relationship for God as an act of loneliness and need for human
companionship. Have you been spending time in prayer? Is there
something that God has been speaking to you about and you have
been ignoring? I feel one problem with our generation is that
it is too easy to get in contact with other people. Sometimes
we just need the moments of isolation where we get to wrestle
with God and ourselves. We do not always need to talk to other
people when things are going badly. If you find an overwhelming
desire to be with someone, then you might want to consider spending
time alone, just you and God, to sort out your relationship. We
try to fill too many things in the holes of our relationship with
God: boyfriends, girlfriends, television, money, sex, alcohol,
emotional experiences. Until your relationship with God is where
it needs to be, you will not be as effective in a relationship
as you can be.
Do you come to church to worship God or to meet people
of the opposite sex?
When I got home from work the other day, I was flipping through
the channels and landed on Elimidate. As with a horrific
car crash, I was compelled to watch. The guy was down to choosing
between two girls. He asked them if they would stay home when
he went to the clubs or if they were going to join him. That made
me think: if this guy were to enter a serious relationship with
one of these ladies, the bars or clubs would not be as exciting.
He was using the club scene as a means to an end (to hook up with
somebody). The clubs would lose their charm if he had already
“hooked up.” I know, I know. What does this have to
do with us?
Maybe more than you realize.
Replace “club” or “bar” with “church.”
Are you merely going to church because you want to hook up with
a good Christian person of the opposite sex? Is your joy in worship
because God is awesome or because that cute guy/girl smiled and
waved at you? You might find that once you get into a relationship,
church does not feel like it did when you were single. Maybe it
is because you used church as a means to an end. It was a “good”
bar or a “moral” club, but it was still used the same
I have heard a lot of talk about people who do not come to church
for the “right reasons.” Some think they should not
come if their heart is not ready; others think that it does not
matter because it makes the sanctuary look full; still others
think that these are the exact people who need to hear the truth
of God’s love. I am not presently concerned with “those
people,” nor should you be. All we can do is make sure that
our hearts are ready, that our motives are pure. Use church as
a time to encounter God and be encouraged, and you might meet
a dateable person. But if you go to church to meet a dateable
person, you will neither establish a great relationship or encounter
The necessity of finding Singles Satisfaction cannot be stressed
enough. If you are not careful with your spiritual life as a single
person, you might fall into The Couples CULTure.
What? You mean you have never heard of The Couples CULTure?
Read part two of this article.
Excerpted from Friendlationships
by Jeff Taylor, copyright © 2005. Used with
permission from Relevant Media Group. All rights to this material
are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web
locations for retrieval, published by other media, or mirrored
at other sites without written permission. Visit the publisher's
Web site at www.RelevantBooks.com.
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