Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Helpful Resource For My Single Friends

Josh Harris, still known to many only as "that guy who doesn't like dating", has provided a helpful post called A Pastoral Response to Online Dating. It summarizes the counsel and concerns of his church's pastoral team (Josh is the lead pastor--he's grown up, in case you didn't know) regarding the growing trend of online dating.

I know of at least two people who have met their spouses through online dating services, and I must admit it struck me as a little . . . what? Desperate? Not exactly. More like self-willed. Like a lack of faith in God to give what is best. I got the impression (perhaps right, perhaps not) that these people had made marriage a MUST, as in "If I don't get married I CANNOT be happy in life and if God is GOOD he will give me a spouse." To feel this way is understandable. Of course, it's also rubbish. Now, I am married--to THE BEST wife around, no less--which may cause some of you to think, "Easy for you to say--you're already married!" And I would reply that marriage is what taught me that a mere human cannot live up to Lord-and-Savior billing. If you enter into marriage expecting your new spouse to be all your happiness, you will soon be disappointed. Then you'll move on to thinking that you could be happy if only you had children. Disappointed again, you'll move on to other things--if only you had a new house or car, grandchildren, a new spouse, a face-lift--if only, if only. We humans foolishly think that if only we could arrange all the circumstances of our lives just so, we could be truly happy and content.

You see, a mere mortal--and a sinner at that-- cannot provide indestructible joy and contentment. Neither can mere earthly "stuff." But Jesus Christ, who is no sinner and no mere mortal, can. He will be more than enough. Trust it to him.

...AND ONE FROM PIPER TOO: Click HERE to Read/Listen/Watch a sermon from John Piper on how single people can glorify God in ways married people can't.


GloryandGrace said...

Thank you for this post and for your insight into the issues of marriage and children. It seems that some in the church, and in some of our immediate circles, don't see marriage/family as potentially being lumped into the category of "stuff" on which we set all of our hopes and happiness-- just pre-packaged in such a way that those relationships meant for good are idolized. But those who seek out marriage as a "must-have" are doing just that: persuing something that they thing will bring the only joy and happiness that life offers. What they will find, as you so poignantly mentioned in this post, is that they will always be on the hunt for their version of happiness whether seeking it in marriage, children, or career.

Grace and peace~

Molly Carlisle said...

Josh, I used to think that online dating was "desperate" and/or "not trusting in God," but I've since changed my mind.

If we want a good church, we look for it. If we're seeking God's will for a job, we seek for one. If we desire a new car, we go looking. If God has given someone a desire to find someone, is it wrong to go looking for one? I can't say that it is. I think it's new and different, which makes us shun it immediately, but I don't think it's necessarily saying one doesn't trust God. Can it mean that? Sure, but I don't think it's something black and white to say, "If someone is searching online, they don't trust God" or "They are not content to be single."

Just my thoughts.