Hookups Leaving Many Young People Unfufilled


Walking into the gym, I glanced over at the Today Show and noticed the topic –Postmodern Dating.  Of course, I immediately dropped my workout gear and ran to the sofa to hear what they had to say.

The interview was with Donna Freitas, author of “The End of Sex –How a Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.”

Donna delves into the life of college students and examines how in the current, feverish sexual climate where the hookup is all important, an entire generation has become completely adrift from the concepts of meaningful, emotional intimacy.

Freitas interviewed hundreds of young people to determine not only what defines a “hookup” but also what was taken from the experience –both in positive and negative terms.

What she discovered was a group of young people disillusioned by a social practice that leaves little room for more traditional dating.  She found many women and men who wanted to disengage from the casual hookup but lacked the essential tools to date and foster true intimacy. 

Dead End Hookups

And here is where I believe she hit pay dirt.  Our culture –both Christians and non-believers do not know how to establish healthy relationship and so hookups SEEM like the only entry way into a dating relationship.  But unfortunately, by introducing sex so quickly and making it meaningless, we have removed the ability to truly know each other and create lasting intimacy; as well as overlooked the necessary investment of time and trust to build a solid relationship.

Singles, young and old alike are floundering in the dating realm and they don’t understand why it’s so disheartening. 

Hooking up is not getting us what we want. 

Freitas found that many young people yearn to go out a real date and be honored with intentional pursuit but they believe they are the only ones out there who feel this way. 

But there is another way…

Try Dating With Purpose

Treat your “date” like your neighbor.  Few people would ever go next door and rip out their neighbor’s trees and drive their car on the lawn.  And yet, our hookups do exactly this with people’s hearts.

We use hookups as a conquest instead of an opportunity to care for others.  We avoid any responsibility the day after.  As soon as sex is exchanged, we flee instead of growing closer.  We rip apart our souls over and over and then can’t understand why it’s difficult to connect with people. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Cor. 13:4-7

When was the last time your hookup encapsulated any one of these loving acts?

Isn’t it time we thought about dating differently?


Evaluating the “Rate a Male App” -Lulu


I was driving to work when I first heard the news about a new dating app called Lulu. 

And I almost crashed.

Lulu, if you haven’t heard, is an iPhone and Android application that allows women to review the men they date through Facebook.  Let’s just say it’s an overall evaluation of their assets. 

Think “Angie’s List” and then let your mind wander straight into the gutter.

The creator, Alexandra Chong came up with the idea at a post-Valentine’s Brunch two years ago as she sat with her girlfriends and dished on men and relationships. 

Chong claims she identified a need –to create a forum for women to talk about the men in their lives.

Here is what concerns me:

  1. It dehumanizes men.  Women hate to be objectified and yet this is exactly what they are doing to men.
  2. Women need REAL relationships with other women to process male/female interaction.  They do not need another app on Facebook to isolate even more.  Relationships and people are complicated and they cannot be numerically staticized.
  3. No man deserves to have his relational immaturity advertised.  We all make mistakes and it’s simply unfair and extremely immature to exploit another person’s faults –even if they are legitimate.
  4. If a guy has a bad reputation –it will get around.  Trust me.  Facebook can’t compete with how much women love to gossip.
  5. It could cause lasting emotional damage in the wrong hands.  One vindictive young woman could destroy a man’s online reputation. A bitter woman with this app in hand is a recipe for disaster. 
  6. It’s snarky.

The only possible good I see in this app is that a few guys might clean up their act when held accountable by a posse of young women.  Because this app is targeted for college kids in a campus environment, unless a guy plans on changing schools he might want to reconsider treating women poorly if they are all comparing notes.

Chong said women answer a series of questions and then anonymously or privately share the information about the male. Once ratings from the quiz are calculated, Lulu gives the male an overall ranking on a scale from one to ten.

The female-only application is available to students at the University of Florida and Florida State University because Chong wanted to launch Lulu at schools that have strong Greek life, social environment and academic culture.

“We thought those were some good schools,” she stated. “It certainly has been a big success so far, and we’re really happy we came here.”

 “We had a lot of guys trying to get into the Lulu app,” she said. “We decided we wanted to make sure to give them a voice on the app as well. It’s called LuluDude.”

Chong said the mobile Web application, LuluDude, which is yet to be released, will allow men to manage their Lulu profile and see their ratings.

The Bible gives it own warning in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Ladies, I imagine a male version of this app is already in the works -so tread lightly before you critique.  Only God knows our heart and no app or program could ever quantify a changed life.

What do you think about Lulu?  Would you use it if it were available?

Textamacy – How Social Media is Accelerating Relational Intimacy


Our 14-year-old son wanted only one thing for Christmas this year.

And I am sure that we weren’t the only parents who acquiesced to our child’s desire for an iPhone.

Apple sold 125 million of them in 2012.

Until now, kids didn’t have access to instant communication with their friends. Yes, they could call people on the phone, but for this generation, it isn’t fast or wide-ranging enough. Kids today want to communicate through text messages or broadcast their thoughts to an ever-listening world.

We live in a social media age.

In fact, this generation might be coined the “Social Media Generation” not unlike the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers of the past. Texting, Smart Phones, Facebook and Twitter have changed communication in our world forever.

When something big happens around us, we no longer wait to see it on the evening news; we reach for our iPhone/Pad or our Android device of choice to check in on what’s happening. This cultural shift hasn’t just altered the way we get our information; it has radically changed the way we communicate with one another.

This brings us to the world of dating and our desire for immediate gratification. We are now conditioned by smart phones and social media outlets to seek instant intimacy.  It’s no big deal to spill personal details on Facebook to an audience of thousands.

Now when I was a kid in the midst of puberty, I wanted to engage in intimate conversations with women too, I just didn’t have the opportunity.

I had to use the home telephone (remember the push-button dial-up attached to the wall?) and ask the girl’s parents if I could engage in conversation with their daughter.
And none of those conversations were private, so getting intimate wasn’t an option. Not so today.

We-my wife and I, began to look into the texting patterns of our first-born, to see what was happening in this new social media paradigm. What we found was alarming, and very telling about how intimacy is building in our modern culture.

We inadvertently stumbled upon a conversation (ok we snooped…) that had happened for all of eleven days. The first text was innocent… the girl responded “who is this?”

Eleven days and over 1,000 texts later, they were talking about how they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

Until day nine, the two had never spent a minute alone together. But on day nine, they attended a friend’s fifteenth birthday party at Laser Quest, a laser tag facility at the local mall. And it was on day nine that the two found themselves in a lip-lock inside the dimly lit maze illuminated by black lights and fluorescent bulbs.

Shocking, I know… from zero to intimate in nine days.

When we found out what was happening and unpacked the past eleven days, our son admitted the conversation just kind of went out of control. He said it was easy to say things he never would have said in person or with other people around. The conversation became provocative and arousing and he couldn’t help himself.

An interesting thing happened in the aftermath. When the conversation came to light and the texting stopped, the two found themselves in an awkward position.

They had a lot of enticing conversations, but they really didn’t know each other. They knew little things about each other, but they didn’t know each other. They fell for the image the other person expressed and their own imagination filled in any blanks.

This created a false reality that seemed flawless.

But when they actually began interacting with each other in person, they soon realized the image they portrayed in the texting relationship didn’t match reality. They found they didn’t have much in common and their personalities weren’t a good match.

They still see each other at school, but the enticement is gone and the relationship is over. And this intrigued me…

In a society where social media and texting are the primary ways of communication and a majority of singles have tried online dating, are we really getting to know the people we date, or are we just getting to see the online persona they want to portray?

And do we really want to know the person we date or are we content pursuing someone’s false image because it’s uncomplicated and desirable?
And we wonder why so many of our dating relationships end in disappointment?

Many of these disappointments are inevitable because we cross the threshold of sexual intimacy before we know the person we are with.

As social media and texting have propelled our access to intimacy, it seems as though we are becoming content with false intimacy.

We settle for crumbs instead of a real relationship.

I imagine Manti Te’o would admit he fell hook, line and sinker for this idea of false intimacy.

Have you?

Photo Source: Rodale.com

The Gap Between Marriage and Men


It’s not a big surprise.  We’ve all seen the signs.  The gap between men and women’s belief about marriage is widening at an alarming rate.

A recent study by Pew Research Center revealed the amount of women ages eighteen to thirty-four who say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives rose nine percentage points since 1997 – from 28 percent to 37 percent. For men, the opposite occurred. The share voicing this opinion dropped, from 35 percent to 29 percent.

Here’s the facts…Women want to get married.  Men don’t.

Even in the church.

When I delve into the guys heads to understand their perspetive…here is what I’ve discovered.  Men are frustrated with women but they can’t articulate why.

And it holds them back from asking them out and moving towards marriage.

It’s this unseen intangible that’s very real and it creates distance between men and women.

This is what I hear men say…

“The women around here want to see your W-2 before they even consider going on a date with you.”

“Women are angry and bitter.”

“If a girl never gets asked out there is often something else to that, as hard as it is for me to even type that. I don’t want to type it. I just feel like it’s true.”

“Women will have sex outside of marriage (or even a relationship) so why bother?”

“If a woman can take care of herself so well, why does she even need a guy?”

“I have asked out multiple girls who have said “yes”, only to play dozens of tricks with setting the date, rescheduling, cancelling, going silent, saying yes when they mean no, going unresponsive on the day, and overall flakiness.”

A friend sent me an article the other day –The War on Men and I wanted to add it to the conversation.  The writer suggests this unseen gap or ‘X factor” is due to the feminist movement.

 “Contrary to what feminists like Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, say, the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off. It has also undermined their ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family. Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.
It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.
It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek.
So if men today are slackers, and if they’re retreating from marriage en masse, women should look in the mirror and ask themselves what role they’ve played to bring about this transformation.”

So what do you think?  Is feminism creating a big dark hole of resentment between men and women?

Are women shooting themselves in the foot by becoming equal with men only to lose relationship with them?

Guys…does this resonate with you?

10 Reasons to Consider Dating a Single Parent

It wasn’t too long ago when I was a single mom.  Let me restate that.  I was a Christian single mom.

The “Christian” moniker alone made me pickier than most gals because I wanted more than an attractive warm body with a job, I wanted an attractive warm body with a heart for Jesus and a job. 

(And yes I am OVERSIMPLIFYING on what I wanted in a man because honesty, intelligence, passion, generosity, love of family, etc… were all on my list of must-haves as well)

It’s not an easy gig being a single parent.  I went on dates every other weekend.  I didn’t sleep much and I was an extreme Starbucks addict.  In between caring for my kiddos and football and ballet and cheer and keyboard, and the million other activities my kids love, I looked for dating candidates.  I searched at lunch break via Match.com, networked at Christian singles events and on Sunday’s at church. 

I had one eye on my kids and the other eye roving for a suitable Christian male.  I searched long and hard for the good ones because quite frankly, there was a lot at stake -namely my darling munchkins.

After a few years in the dating scene, I noticed how certain guys backed off as soon as I mentioned I had kids.  Eventually, it came to the point where after I shook hands and stated my name, I blurted out my single mama status.  If a guy was going to run, it was better to have him flee after a breif meeting over coffee then waste both our time and effort on an evening out.

I met my pastor husband at church.  And even though he didn’t have kids he was willing to take a risk on a single mom and love my kids as his own.  (Thank you Jesus!)

Now happily remarried, I often hear the plight of single moms and dads who feel like they get discriminated against as a single parent. 

I know, I know…it’s lame!  I remember all too well.

So, I decided to write a series on the benefits of dating a single parent and champion our cause.

Because I think single parents are a hidden treasure! And I know there are Christian singles without kids, who with a little encouragement could change a FAMILY for good.

Yes, the kids are around ALL the time.  But these little monkeys might surprise you if you give them a chance! 

Reason 1: Depth of Life Experiences

A Single Parent Has Seen a Few Things

A single parent has navigated a far rockier terrain than the average young man or woman.  From sleepless nights, to dealing with a cranky ex, to juggling a career and kids and dating –a single parent has an easier time putting things in perspective.  If the worst thing that ever happened to a guy or gal is not getting into their “A” List law school or losing a few Z’s to wake up for the Nordstrom’s half-yearly sale,  they might also have a tendency to freak out if their significant other loses his job or some other devastating but non-life threatening occurrence.

A single parent has already been through a sizable amount of suffering and trauma.  They know what is worth crying about and what is spilled milk because their toddler does it on daily basis at meal-time.  They have a PhD in the school of hard knocks and they have learned how to survive and thrive on their own and yet still be responsible for little Jr. 

A single parent won’t waste their time on trivial matters.  They have a sharp compass and wisdom tucked away in their pocket.  They have empathy and development of character which can only be learned through trial and conflict.  A single parent has seen pain and joy and experienced life on a deeper level.

Hellen Keller said it best…”Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ”

Sounds like a good reason to consider dating a single parent!  But wait…I’ve got nine more.  Stay tuned for reason #2 in my next post.


Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/helenkelle101340.html#exxzyKA42f1HkzD6.99

Becoming One

Hi friends!  We want to invite you to a retreat we are speaking at in November up in Lake Arrowhead.

Please join us to meet new friends, laugh, and hang out with us in the nice cool mountains! (don’t we need a break from this heat?)

We are teaching on building a strong foundation for a dating relationship.


Christian Singles Fall Retreat “Becoming ONE” November 9-11 (Veteran’s 3-day holiday weekend) in forest-covered mountains at Thousand Pines Christian Retreat Center.

Relax & give yourself a weekend to enjoy God’s creation!

Comedy with Retreat MC Nick Arnette
Relationship Building Activities Offered – Campfire, 3 Group Hikes, Ping Pong, Foos Ball & Pool Table Tourney, Ropes Course, Climbing Wall, Zip Line, 1 Hour Mountain Bike Tour, Paintball, Skatepark, Frisbee Golf, Lake Gregory (mile away), much more.

Awesome Teaching – Tim & Samantha Keller, Brynn Taylor Ashford, Kim Cummins Caskey, Jim Eagon, Skits & Fun Surprises.

Inspired Worship – The Jim Gray Band & Special Musical Guest Artist Jesica Specht

Don’t wait…spots are reserved for 50 MEN & 50 WOMEN at the retreat center!

Register, payments and view photos at the retreat website http://www.GodsLoveFinder.com/.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Breaking up is Hard to do

How to Break up

One of the questions we often get at our dating seminars is “how do I break up with someone who isn’t a good fit?” Many daters find themselves in relationships of convenience with no commitment and no end in sight. It’s hard to end a relationship that is comfortable, but not God’s best for a long-term commitment.

Because being alone is scary (and breaking up is hard to do) we stall and stall and wait and hope for something to change.

I (Samantha) ended one particularly bad relationship in an unconventional way.

A Different Approach?

And it’s no magic formula.

I simply prayed for God to give me a way out.

The relationship wasn’t going well. He wanted marriage and I wasn’t even sure I liked him, but I felt trapped because of some ill-advised financial intermingling. I knew God needed to intervene to get me to move on.

Within twenty-four hours of my prayer, the guy was gone thanks to a divine miracle. A misunderstanding turned into a fiasco and instead of trying to fix it, I let it rip the relationship apart –exactly what I had prayed for.

It needed to be his idea for me to recoup the money I had loaned him. (By the way…never lend money to a new boyfriend or girlfriend unless you plan on kissing it goodbye)

Sometimes having the courage to break up is the hardest part. But I believe God will give us the strength if we ask for it.

And even when we are a big wuss, like I was, God offered me an opportunity to get out. And that was all I needed.

Here are some more ways, but we still recommend starting with prayer.

Tips to end a bad relationship:

  1. Find a neutral place to meet. Do not meet at his or her home.
  2. This means you have to meet in person! Texting or calling is for Jr. High.
  3. Schedule a meeting with a friend about an hour later so you have an excuse to leave and the conversation doesn’t drag on.
  4. Repeat over and over like a broken record. “It’s just not going to work out. “
  5. Do not use blame or shame.
  6. Be empathetic but do not try to fix the pain. Walk away.
  7. Un-friend on social media after the break up.
  8. Do not kiss goodbye or be close physically.
  9. Avoid the old places you both frequented for a time.

Do you have any good advice for making a break up less painful?

Phot Credit: Dian Waskita

Gift-Giving in a New Relationship

Our son Kyle creatively asking a girl to Homecoming!

I’ll never forget buying my first boyfriend a gift for Christmas.  I agonized over each hint the young man dropped and mulled on all his interests.   I finally settled on an expensive cologne I knew he desired and hoped he would love it. 

He did…

Whew!  I was sixteen years old and it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders if I got the gift wrong. 

Did you know the #1 search internet search engine term during the holidays is “Best Boyfriend Gift” and “Great Gift for a Girlfriend?”  Apparently, I’m not the only one who struggles.

Why is picking a gift so painful?

The truth is a gift reflects the state of our heart and the value we place on the relationship.  Now I’m not talking about spending an inordinate amount of money to impress someone, although that will certainly send a message, but with a gift –it really is the thought that counts.

When Tim and I started dating, Valentine’s Day crept up fast.  We had only been dating about four weeks.  The relationship was new and fragile at best.  I knew Tim wanted to ask me to be his girlfriend but I was stalling him (as women often do) until I worked out a few issues in my heart (mainly –getting serious with a pastor).

But Valentine’s Day was THE turning point.  Tim exceeded all my expectations.  His GIFT literally turned my head.

A Thoughtful Gift Speaks Volumes

I will never forget the day.

My little daughter Faith opened the front door to fetch the newspaper around 6:00a.m. Valentine’s morn and she started squealing with delight.  My son and I ran to the door and discovered a bounty of Valentine’s love.

There were chocolate kisses and rose petals sprinkled all over the door stoop.  A three-foot hand-drawn card drew my attention depicting Tim and I holding hands with a note asking “Will you be my Valentine?”  A glass vase burst forth with a bouquet of vibrant red roses and a giant chocolate kiss accompanied it.  But the best part of all the treats was the multitude of cut-out hearts with affirmations sprinkled across my door mat.

They read, “#1 Mom,” “Beautiful Smile, and “Clever”…and so forth. 

I was overwhelmed by his solicitous attention and lavish love.  He called me shortly afterwards, playing dumb and invited me to a nice restaurant for dinner. Of course I said YES!

Well done Tim Keller!

At around 4:00pm, another man pursuing me sent me a text saying, “Happy Heart Day.”  That was it –a crappy text message.  Really? 

It couldn’t be clearer.  I knew who the man was worth keeping.  And to this day Tim continues to surprise and astonish me with his love and thoughtfulness.

The Best Gift in a New Dating Relationship

As Tim showed, it wasn’t the amount of money he dropped on a present, although roses and chocolate aren’t cheap, but it was clearly the time and energy he invested in making the card and affirmations, and then schlepping it all over to my house in the middle of the night.

His effort was priceless.

A great gift is a thoughtful gift.  It’s a gift that surprises and makes someone feel special.  It’s a gift that honors.  One of Tim’s favorite gifts was a blog post I wrote for him on his birthday called “10 Reasons to Celebrate Tim Keller on His 41st Birthday.”  It certainly wasn’t pricy but it did take some concentrated time and effort on my part to pull it together.  Tim felt respected in front of all his friends and that was big win for me.

So as Christmas approaches and you wonder what the heck to get the great person you just started dating, remember to think OUTSIDE the box.  Pray about it.  Talk with friends and unleash your creative spirit. 

Your extra-thoughtful gift this year just might be the turning point to start a lasting relationship.

Should Women Ask Men Out?

The cards filled up the podium –stacks of yellow flash cards with questions for the two of us.  My husband and I were speaking at a conference on love, sex and dating and we were wrapping up our session with some Q &A. 

One of the piles was larger than the rest and I realized about ten people had asked the same question. Curious, I pointed at the cards for Tim to read next.

Tim picked up the cards, flipped through them, and then read aloud, “Can a woman ask a man out?”

His deep voice boomed out into the audience and all the women in the room looked up at us in anticipation.

Tim began to share his opinion while I perched up on my stool and articulated my thoughts.

My husband recommended that if a man has indicated some interest in a woman then she can confidently suggest “you should ask me out.” 

So the woman is making her interest clear to a man and making it known she is available.

But if the guy say’s no and shows zero interest in arranging another time or place to meet, it’s time for the woman to move on.


But I think this holds true for both men and women.  If a guy asks a girl out and she says no, and then he asks again and again, and she still says no, then the guy needs to move on.

We tend to take “NO” so personally but if we tweaked our model just a bit, and looked  at asking someone out (or encouraging someone to ask us out) as more of an interview process and less of an emotional minefield, it would take a great deal of the pressure off.

When you go out on more dates than less…each individual date takes on less significance making it easier to act like yourself. 

It’s the whole idea of putting all your eggs in one basket.  When it comes to first dates, spread the eggs around and try MANY baskets. 

I want to be clear here, I’m talking about FIRST DATES and doing things like taking a walk and getting an ice cream cone, or meeting at a coffee shop.  I am not referring to hooking up and being the Easter Bunny hoochie or poochie (if you are a guy).

So ladies…BE BOLD and be ENCOURAGING.

And help guys ask you out.  Maybe this isn’t as easy as directly asking them out, but it is certainly more honoring and respectful to a man.

When I was single, if I was interested in a guy I usually invited him to a group event.  If he said yes and showed up, I gauged his interest.  Usually, with a little encouragement, a guy will then make the leap to asking a woman out.

Chivalry is not dead; we simply need to re-train our men to become the hero’s they were designed to be.

What do you think?  Is it ok for women to ask men out?


Further reference: A great book to read is Neil Clark Warren’s Date or Soul Mate for more on the interview process.

Photo Credit: From creativejuicephotography.blogspot.com

Counting the Cost

My friend Bob has an eye for beautiful women –beautiful and wounded women.

Not surprisingly, the woman he is currently dating is in the middle of a tough divorce.  Their relationship is intimate and this isn’t the first time he has found himself in this situation.

Once again, Bob finds himself racked with guilt, shame, and remorse.  Inevitably, it ends in a broken relationship with the woman feeling used and embittered.

Over and over, Bob ends up feeling distant from the God he loves and desires to serve, fully aware there is a better way to live.  I know he has seen the type of relationships he desires –one based on love and honesty where intimacy is appropriately saved until the day the wedding vows are exchanged.  And I know in the deepest part of his heart, godly intimacy and a loving marriage is what he desires.

So why does he continue to fall into the same rut every time?  Why does he put himself in this painful situation over and over?  Isn’t the reverberation of guilt and shame enough to cause him to move in a different direction?

It reminds me of the simple house fly.  Painfully, no matter how many times he smacks in to the window, he can’t get out.  And unless he finds another way, he will die on the windowsill.

I have some theories on this.

First, I don’t want to discount that patternistic disobedience can often be linked to addiction.  He may simply be a sex addict.  And he knows that he can get his sexual desires met by preying on hurting women looking for love in the aftermath of a broken relationship.  I won’t go into an in-depth analysis on addiction here, but there are some great resources for men and women dealing with sexual addiction and seeking sobriety at http://www.sa.org/.

Second, I also don’t want to overlook his broken past.  Having gone through a horrific divorce with his ex-wife, I know he has a hard time trusting women.  But clearly he can’t justify his behavior,  and he and I both know he needs to come to a place of forgiveness because the pain of resentment is destroying him.

So why doesn’t Bob get the help that he needs?  If he wants to honor God in his relationships and experience the trust and intimacy from a godly marriage, why doesn’t Bob pursue healing?  I think it’s possible it all stems from an innate, subconscious cost/benefit analysis that keeps many of us trapped in sin.

Let me lay it out for you.  My friend Bob knows he needs to kick his sexual addiction, and it will take some time.  Many Christian psychologists will tell you it takes a minimum of a year of hard work(often with multiple meetings each week).  And if he desires to gain the trust of a Godly woman, he needs to establish a track record of sexual purity.   He is going to need to put some time between his sexual promiscuity and his future dating life. Let’s say that all of this work takes about 1 ½ years.

Then, he is going to have to begin dating with the intent to find a suitable wife.  This is no easy search.  It is possible with his new mindset, the first person he dates might meet his criteria and he is off to the races.  But I have been around way too many relationships to know how unlikely this is.

Even with a plan to date with the intent to marry, it takes a lot of time to find someone suitable.  Let’s say that this search takes at least another year.  Then, if he is going to really get to know his new-found girlfriend, he will need time to build a relationship.  Because he has kids from his previous marriage, I imagine the woman he dates will probably also have kids.

I believe the best process to foster trust and prepare for all of life’s circumstances requires dating through the seasons.  And even if Bob asks her to marry him before the calendar year culminates, they are going to need to plan the wedding.  Even the most accelerated timetable requires a few months to execute.  So let’s say that from their first date to the wedding night will be between 12 and 18 months.

Now let’s do the math:

Breaking addiction, finding healing, establishing purity   1½ years
Search for a suitable partner                                           1 year
First date to marriage                                                      1 to 1½ year   
Total Time Elasped                                                         3½ to 4 years

It is my belief this simple time equation is what keeps people from pursuing God’s best for their life.

Discipline and life-change takes time, and it is hard work, and there are no shortcuts.

I am living proof that the benefit far outweighs the cost, but I can’t convince Bob of this.  He has struggled through his broken sexual relationships for eight years now.

I believe when he counts the cost of pursuing God’s will for his relational life, he believes it is just too high.

But is it?

If he would have started five years ago, his story could be so different.  He can’t imagine staying sexually pure for a month, let alone a couple of years.  So he throws in the towel and continues the pattern.  But what are his alternatives?

I wonder how long he will continue to fly into the window before he dies on the window sill.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

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