Dating Tip #1 How to Flee Like Joseph


Ever meet a woman (or guy) who seems irresistible?

You are in a dating relationship with them and there is intense CHEMISTRY. Or maybe she lives down the hall and gives you “the look” every time you take out your trash. Maybe it’s your male trainer at the gym whose hands accidentally brush up your side when he adjusts your posture.

They put out the vibe that they are AVAILABLE. READY to RUMBLE. SEXUALLY OPEN.

And let’s be honest, it’s tempting.

But you want to follow Christ. You are committed to walking in purity. You know better, right?

I imagine Joseph felt this way too.

Potiphar’s wife was more than likely pretty hot.

She was a wealthy Egyptian woman and the wife of a high-ranking official. This gal probably had all the time in the world to primp, work out at the “Desert Sand’s” 24 Fitness, and practice the smoky eye with her Cleopatra line of makeup.

She certainly had time on her hands to lust after Joseph, her handsome and well built man-servant.

It would have been easy for Joseph to hook up with her when his boss wasn’t looking.

It’s always easy to say “yes” to pleasure.

When Tim and I were dating, there were many nights where our kisses on the sofa turned into lingering hugs and the temperature rose a notch in the room.

And choices had to be made.

Tim’s favorite method of recourse in those steamy situations?


He would excuse himself to go to the restroom and call me from the car ten minutes later.

Half the time I never even knew he was struggling. A smoldering kiss for a girl doesn’t have the same effect as it does for a dude.

But Tim knew his limits and sometimes running was his only option.

When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph -Joseph ran. And the temptress had such a hold on him she ripped off part of his clothes.

Temptation is like that. It grabs on tight. It wants us to surrender.

But God will give us the strength to flee if we seek him.

It helps to have a plan to deal with these situations BEFORE they erupt.

Knowing your triggers and knowing HOW YOU WILL DEAL with the temptation before it arises will give you the tools to navigate sticky situations.

  • Maybe you don’t drink alcohol on a date with this person -until you make it down the aisle.
  • Maybe you have a group of guys or girls checking in with you and encouraging you to date differently.
  • Maybe you set a curfew and stick to it.
  • Maybe you get a same-sex trainer.
  • Maybe you take a longer route to take out the trash.

Tim and I made it down the aisle without sexual compromise. It wasn’t easy but the truly good things in life rarely are.


Dating Tip #1 -When the temperature get’s hot, FLEE like Joseph!

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this manner no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or a sister.” –1 Thessalonians 4: 3-6






Sometimes this word seems synonymous with single.  So many women come up to me week after week struggling with this emotion.

Sam, does God care about my loneliness?

Does he see my heart’s desire for a relationship?

Does God know I am losing hope?

And I remember those emotions all too well.  I struggled with them too.  The ache of going to bed alone night after night without a husband is still near to my heart.  I wondered if I would ever experience a happy marital relationship again.  Would I ever be free from the nagging insecurity of being a single mom?

God broke through my struggle a few years after my divorce.  After too many bad experiences to count, I threw up my hands and surrendered my dating life. 

Jesus take the dating wheel.

It was a simple but profound decision to let go and let God. 

I finally stopped looking for a husband and started focusing more on Christ and His will for my life.  I leaned into my calling as a mother, provider and minister of Jesus.  And when I eventually put myself back out in the dating realm (many months later), I was a different person. 

My focus shifted drastically from a ravenous man-hunt to a thirsty God hunt and I finally felt freedom from the overwhelming ache in my soul.

God wants you to operate in this freedom as a single person and not only that, he wants to use your newfound freedom to build into His kingdom.  He has called you and set you apart to serve “regarding the things of the Lord.”

In 1 Cor. 7:34 Paul recognizes the unique opportunity single people have to focus their time, talents and energy on serving the Lord.  Now, as a single parent this might mean focusing on more on raising Godly kids or maybe it’s taking the time to serve foster kids. 

Either way, God does not want you wasting your precious moments dreaming about your wedding day.  He wants to use you AND ALL YOUR GIFTS until he creates your wedding day.

I met my husband working in the church bookstore.  Our first conversation was a feisty debate about a seminary book.  If I had not pursued the things I felt called too –service and seminary, I never would have met my sweet man.

Ask yourself…

  1. Do you have a sense of calling and a mission for your life?
  2. Do you have a passion that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning with a smile?
  3. Is there an area in your life God is whispering for you to pursue?

Living in freedom is a choice.  And HOPE-ful is one dating decision away.


Technology and Dating

Working in ministry, we get to meet terrific Kingdom Minded people.  DJ Chuang is one of those guys -DJ is a strategy consultant, ideator and connector. 


We ran into him at Catalyst this year and he asked Tim to contribute to a podcast on the effects of social media and relationships. 

Social media is affecting ALL RELATIONSHIPS –specifically DATING! 

Here is the podcast from DJ Chuang’s Social Media Church featuring Pastor Tim Keller. 

How Technology Will affect Your Ministry: Episode 44

This episode of Social Media Church features a caller’s comment, commentary, and presentation. You can listen to the episode for the comment and commentary. And, the presentation “9 Ministry Issues You’ll Face with Technology” is an audio excerpt of a Chapel message by John Dyer, courtesy of Dallas Theological Seminary – used by permission. 

Read More at Social Media Church

We hope you enjoy it!

–Tim and Samantha Keller

Dating Tips -Single Parent Plus 4


“I’ve decided not to tell the men I date that I have kids. What do you think about that?”

My husband and I were wrapping up a teaching series on love, sex and dating at a local Christian singles group when the woman approached me with her question. 

My mouth dropped open in shock.  “How many kids do you have?”

“Four,” the woman replied.  “But I make a lot of money and I can keep the kids in a separate residence if I have too.”

I shook my head back and forth (and tried to hide the vomit curling in my throat).  “Listen, I’m not sure you want to hear what I have to say about this, but here I go…”


Never conceal your family from someone.  Children are not a fun surprise in an established relationship.  It’s pure deception if you choose not to tell this to a potential date.  And dishonesty is no way to build a solid relationship.

If a guy or gal is turned off by kids then move on.  It only takes one person –the right person who adores you AND your kids.

You are a package deal not à la carte!

Now, if your kids are so difficult they scare all potential suitors away, it might be time for an honest parenting assessment.  Maybe your kids need you more now then you need to date.  I know that’s hard to hear, but it might be true.

There are some seasons where your kids might need to be the priority and dating needs to take a backseat until your family is back on track.  Seek counseling.  Find healing. Get in a support group.  You only have one shot with your kids and divorce is devastating to them.  Do not minimize their hurt or be so self-absorbed you put your desires above theirs.

I shared this all with the woman and she squinted her eyes at me and looked mad (probably because I didn’t agree with her twisted scheming). “I think my way is the best,” she mumbled and stomped off. 

I felt sorry for next poor man sucked into her web of deception.  I also felt sorry for her kids. 

There is HOPE

Single parents looking for love are tasked with a far greater responsibility than most –but the right person will treasure you even more because you are a loving and genuine parent.

Be proud of the blessings God gave you choose to steward their hearts (and yours) well.


Photo Source:

Red Balloons, A Bad First Date, and Just Saying No


I remember the day I met Tad from at a sushi place for a first date.  (I totally changed the dude’s name for obvious reasons here). 

Tad and I had little in common, other than a love of sushi –in fact he seemed a bit depressed –as if life had sucked the air out of his red balloon.

We talked through dinner, or mostly I talked as he had little to say, and somehow we made it through a whole evening of awkward.

I thought the pain was over.

But Tad liked my balloon.  Let me rephrase that –he liked my energy and passion for God.  Who knows…maybe my high spirits lifted his out of the doldrums?  And so he called me again and again.

And about a week and a half later, when I was on vacation in the wilderness and eating bugs for dinner, Tad mentioned via text he wanted to take me out on his yacht –so I decided to give him a second chance. 

I know how lame that sounds.  I was materialistic –yep.  Guilty.  I fess up.  And even worse, I was SELFISH. 

I never intended to get serious with Tad, in fact I thought he was BORING.  But I moved into a relationship with him and dated him for three whole months –for no reason beyond “I didn’t have anything better” going on at the time.

Not only did I use him (although I imagine it was mutual), I also wasted both our time and energy and his resources.

And that’s the problem with dating without direction –we USE people.

We date aimlessly and spend time with people we never intend to marry.

It begs the question of “why we date?”  The truth is I wanted to be married.  I was looking for a good match and a Godly man, so why did I lock myself up in relational purgatory and take myself off the market?

Was it worth the rides in Tad’s Porsche? Was the loss of my valuable time in the dating realm equal to the painful conversations I had to carry because we had nothing in common? 

NO, NO and a thousand NO’s.  It certainly wasn’t worth the months Tad spent in therapy trying to become the person he thought I wanted him to be -long after the relationship was over.

Reason 187 is this…Don’t Date Someone You Can’t See Marrying.

That doesn’t mean don’t go out on first date or even a second.  Go out and meet lots of different people.  But end it the second you know it won’t work.  And we know pretty quick don’t we?  If you avoid their calls by day 2, that’s a good sign the relationship is going nowhere.

JUST SAY “NO –I don’t want to go out with you again.”

It’s that easy.

It won’t get better on the fourth date.  Sex won’t make it better.  And no matter how hot she is or how much money he has it’s not enough to build a relationship on.

 What do you think about dating someone you can’t see marrying? 

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