Summary: Dating: Before and After Marriage. Part 1 in series Relationships That Work. This sermon looks at how unmarried and married couples can date better.
Dating, Before and After Marriage
Relationships That Work, part 1
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
May 20, 2007
I Googled the word “love” this week. You know how many results came back? Exactly 1 billion, 60 million. One billion, sixty million! Interesting stuff. There was lovecalculator.com where you can enter your name and the name of the one you love, and it will tell you how likely your relationship is to survive, just based on your names. Christy and I scored a terrible 34%. I quote: “You must be aware of the fact that this relationship might not work out at all, no matter how much time you invest in it.” Hmmm. Kind of depressing. Note to self: Discuss lovecalculator.com results during extended weekend getaway next February for 20th anniversary. Mike and Susie, I have really bad news for you – yours came back only 28%. I mean, that’s terrible – that’s less than one percent for every year you’ve been married!
Wes and Kim Ellis, you only scored 14% - half of what Mike and Susie scored. Things must be terrible for you guys.
How about our new pastor? Brent and Linda, a relationship might work out between you guys, but the chance is very small. 23%, to be exact. Now a successful relationship is possible, but you both have to work on it. The site cautions you, “Do not sit back and think that it will all work out fine, because it might not be working out the way you wanted it to.” Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
Now the one that really came very hard for me was my own dear parents, Chuck and Nina Flowers. It turns out there is a 0% chance of that relationship working out. You’d think after more than 40 years together they’d have figured that out.
Now who DOES have a chance? Josh and Courtney Hrinik stand a 76% chance. Those are good odds! Scott and Elise McCullough came in at a respectable 69%. And Bill and Michelle Webster weighed in at 66%. Not bad, you guys.
I want to talk to you about relationships in the coming weeks. Today we’ll talk about dating. Then it’ll be marriage, then parenting, then work, then a break for Father’s Day, and then we’ll wrap up the series discussing our relationships in and with the church.
I have entitled today’s sermon Dating – Before and After Marriage. Interesting, huh? Usually in a series like this we cover dating on its own, then we “move on” to cover marriage, etc. We think of dating as something that happens before marriage, and stops after marriage! (Unfortunately this is how some think of sex too, and we’ll address that later this morning!) So this morning we’re going to do this differently. I want to talk to all couples this morning who are, or should be, dating. That would include all unmarried couples, and all married couples. Unmarried couples, you are almost certainly dating right now. Married couples, many of you stopped dating a long time ago, and need to get at it again! So you don’t get off the hook with our dating sermon this morning just by virtue of being married!
My friends, what is there to say, Biblically, about dating? I mean, there’s nothing in the Bible about it. Dating didn’t happen in Biblical times – marriages were arranged. Dating is a fairly modern phenomenon. When a subject isn’t addressed directly in the Bible, we look for principles – for general advice we can find about one area of life that applies to other areas. This is really easy to do with dating, because although the Bible doesn’t talk about dating, it does talk a lot about relationships. So I want to suggest to you today three principles that should guide those who are, and who should be, dating! Following each principle, I’ll suggest a practical action step that unmarried daters can take, and a practical action step that married daters can take.
Principle #1 – Honor God as the author of your lives. Where else would we start in a Christian church? In everything we do, in every attitude, every decision, we must honor God as the author of our lives. Remember this passage I used just last week?
Psalms 139:13-16 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.