Summary: Based on Tim Kellar's book and "How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk" by John Van Epp, PhD.

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Since I haven’t married, I volunteered to preach on this chapter. When people ask why I’m 51 and still single, I tell them I’ve been to 30 countries and I haven’t settled down yet. There’s an old joke that if the Army wanted me to have a wife I would’ve been issued one.

I’m a David Letterman fan, so here are my top 6 Christian pick-up lines:

I believe one of my ribs belongs to you.

I was reading the book of Numbers then I realized I don’t have yours.

I didn’t know angels flew this low. Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?

Is it a sin you stole my heart?

Is it warm in here or is that just the Holy Spirit burning in you?

I put the stud in Bible study.

In a similar way Kellar wrote the following regarding how churches incorrectly try to explain singleness:

Think Valley Boy for the first two. Gag me with a fork, dude.

You’re too picky as if God is frustrated by our fickle whims and needs broader parameters in which to work.

As a single you can commit yourself wholeheartedly to the Lord’s work as if God requires emotional martyrs.

Before you can marry someone wonderful the Lord has to make you someone wonderful.

As soon as you’re satisfied with God alone, He’ll bring you someone.

I realize that most of our congregation is married, but today’s message may encourage you to give hope to those who single around you.

Here is a reminder of how the first man and woman were made.

Gen 1: 26-28 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [b]sky and over every living thing that [c]moves on the earth.”

Man and woman are made in the image of God. We both have attributes that reflect God.

1 Cor 7: 28 – “If a virgin should marry s/he has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.”

Paul warns those in Corinth that marriage may be difficult.

I didn’t know until I skimmed Kellar’s book dating didn’t appear in print until 1914 (p. 234)

There was a book in the 1990s called I kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. Two years ago he was interviewed by NPR and he said “that doesn't mean that dating is somehow wrong or a certain way of dating is the only way to do things.”

Kellar’s Practical Counsel For Those Seeking Marriage is as follows.

1. There are some seasons not for seeking marriage. I know a guy from high school who ALWAYS had to have a girlfriend. He’s happily married now.

2. Understand the gift of singleness from 1 Cor 7:7-8 “Yet I wish that all (hu)mans were even as I myself am. However, each human has their own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.” But I say to the unmarried and to the widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I”.

According to Christianity Today Paul was probably single. He may have thought the world was going to end soon.

Vs. 9 “But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.” These are strong words that the world needs to hear through us.

3. Get more serious about seeking marriage as you get older. I’m working on it. ?

4. Don’t allow deep emotional involvement with a non-believer.

2 Cor 6: 14 – Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Gal 5: 22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

5. Feel attraction in the most comprehensive sense.

(M ental E motional P hysical S ocial S piritual)

6. Don’t get too passionate too quickly. More on that in a bit.

7. Don’t become a fake spouse for someone who won’t commit to you.

8. Get and submit to a lot of community input. Proverbs 11: 14 states But in abundance of counselors there is [a]victory.

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