Set The Pace
Updated: Feb 12, 2018
Valentine’s day (or Singles awareness day) is next week! For some, this is a joyous holiday; a time for love, romance, and expensive gifts. For others it’s a bitter reminder that we do not fit society's ideal, a.k.a. We are alone.
So, we are going to use this natural focus on romance to talk about dating and navigating relationships.
When you think about teen dating, what comes to mind? Do you think teens should date? How prevalent do you think teen dating is?
Research done by the Pew Research Center found that only 35% of teens are active in dating. I don’t know about you, but I would have thought that that number would be a lot higher! At least when I was in high school, it felt like everyone was dating, and that there had to be something wrong with me because I wasn’t dating. Love is a huge industry in our culture, and permeates almost everything we consume. Just about every TV show, movie, story, and song; they all talk about love. This can cause us to think that we are not enough if we are not in a relationship.
Everything and everyone around us tell us that we need to find someone to share our lives with, and make us whole. We view life as this big struggle to find our other half, and that life is so bleak unless you have hat person in your life.
Everyone is looking for “the one.” If you are familiar with the show How I Met Your Mother, that’s what the whole show was about; Ted Mosby’s quest to find “the one.” This stems from a greek myth that humans use to be a creature with four arms and legs, and two heads; but fearing us, the gods split humans into two; and now we are condemned to ever search for our other half.
That sounds romantic and all, but the Bible paints a different picture for us; We see, starting in Genesis, that only God can complete us. One of the consequences of the Fall was separation from God, not each other. Unlike in the greek myth, it is our connection to God that we are searching for. The writer of Ecclesiastes chronicles his search for the meaning of life. He tries everything; pleasures, work, knowledge, power, riches, and none of it completes him. In the end, he concludes that our days are given to us by God, and that life is best spent in pursuit of wisdom and the glory of God our Maker. “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (The Message Bible) says: “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together - spirit, soul, and body - and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ” So only God can complete us; no boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, or significant other can make us whole. To rely on them to complete us and make us happy is torture. How would you feel if someone relied on you, solely you, to provide for their happiness? Do you feel that you are enough to complete another person? Can you fill in everything that they lack?
By no mean! We struggle enough with just our own lives, there is no way we can fill someone else's; so why do we expect them to do that for us? Don’t look for someone else to do in your life what only God can do.
Now I want to turn your attention to Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Seek first His kingdom. Seek first His righteousness. ALL these things will be given to you as well.
What do you think this means? It means God will provide for us. We do not have to worry about finding the perfect man/woman; what we need to do is seek His kingdom, and His righteousness. Run after God, at some point, you’ll look over and find someone running the same race.
Notice, God is the one providing in this scenario, but He is only doing so when you are actively seeking. So what are you doing to run after God? Are you busy worrying about not “fitting in?” Seek righteousness, and God will provide the companionship.
So as we talk about relationships, the first thing that we need to address is ourselves. You need to set the pace in your life, and in your pursuit of God. This will help you find wholeness in Christ, become the kind of person someone else wants to be in a relationship with, and discover the type of person that you need running next to you.
Whether your in a relationship or single, seek God first, everything else will follow.
What are the characteristics you are looking for in a date/significant other?
Do you exhibit the character that you need to in order to treat someone else well in a relationship?
What can you do to further seek God’s righteousness?