Happy Valentine's Day everybody! Recently I've been working on a series of posts summarizing some messages I've done in the past few years on the topic of relationships. Unfortunately, because of my work on my new book, I haven't had time to go into the depth I was hoping to for this series. Hopefully I'll get to do that in the future, for now I wanted to share the links to the three messages for anyone interested.
These messages all reflect, in one way or another, things that I've learned since I wrote the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye twelve years ago. I still stand by the message of that book that premature, short-term romantic attachments can be a big distraction from serving God—especially for teenagers. But in the years since I've also seen that a legalistic application of these ideas can be unhelpful, too. One of my main concerns in my church or any other church is that there be no disunity among Christians over issues of dating and courtship. We need to learn to hold our own convictions on this matter with charity. Most importantly we need to make sure that our convictions are shaped by scripture—not culture, church culture or my books.
The following messages were given in the context of wanting to serve my own church and clear up what I see as a wrong application of ideas I've written about. I hope these are helpful.
"Romance Revisited" is a message I did last summer at our church's annual youth retreat. My main burden was to challenge teens to cultivate their own biblical convictions on the topic of dating and relationships, and to make the distinction between commands from God's word and the wise application of biblical principles.
"Courtship Shmourtship" addresses some misconceptions people can have about courtship, and examines biblical principles that should inform our relationships. I speak to singles who are so concerned with "guarding each others heart" that they're not talking to one another.
"Courtship is a Community Project" looks at how godly relationships can function in the context of the local church. It's a challenge to the whole church to come alongside single men and women and provide support and encouragement as they pursue relationships.
One final note: the last two messages are included in video form on a DVD that my publisher released. And the most complete summary of my thoughts about honoring God while pursuing romance is found in my book Boy Meets Girl which I wrote after I got married.
The photo is of my friends Adam and Pami on the day they got engaged. Courtesy of the ultimate engagement, wedding photographer Kristen Leigh.