So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Friday, November 19, 2004

The hilarity of the wisdom of dating experts...

Well, after I logged out of Hotmail today, I saw a link regarding 'the craziest dating advice ever' or something like that. Being curious about any article with 'craziest ever' in the title, I checked it out. After a few moments I got a great sermon illustration on the foolishness of men's wisdom. Two supposed 'dating experts' were giving advice on how to land 'the one'. Things like "eat an onion ring before hitting the bar because Murphy's law says that if you got onion breath, everyone will want to kiss you" or "women should stand with their feet slightly turned in because it makes them more approachable". Apparently I'm supposed to wear blue because blue shows that I'm comfortable with committment and good table manners mean I'll be sexually rewarding. Apparently the carnal mind is still unable to submit to God's law (Romans 8:7) . Is it just me or are the 19-29 crowd obsessed with relationships? (Or should I say "obsessed with sex", and most relationships are only a mean to that end?)

At last check, the medium age for marriage is somewhere around 26 now. We're getting older before we're getting hitched, getting careers first and getting 'settled' before typing the knot. We then end up attempting relationships in a pagan way, and amazingly their way doesn't work. Heck...look at the divorce rate. Over half of Canada and the U.S. can't figure out how to make a relationship work. More than that, how many people date 5+ women or 5+ men in their 'dating careers'? Why can't so many people get it right the first or second time? Well, what does the Armchair Theologian think? The only useful opinion is that of God on this subject; ask "what does the Bible say"? Here's some scripture that jumps to mind:

1. Ephesians 4:17-24: "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

How do we constantly jam-pack out mind with the futile thoughts of the Gentiles (i.e. non-Christians)? How about watching the "sexual escapades of group of single 20-something friends" shows on T.V.? Maxim magazine? Cosmo? Romance novels? Pornography? (and those are just media ideas...)

How do we 'put off our old self'? It seems clear in passages like Colossians 3:5-9 and Romans 6:6-14 that this is simply declaring war on the sinful practices in our lives. Do whatever it takes to kill that sin before it kills you (check Romans 8:12-14). What's more, in Ephesians 4:25-5:16, Paul lists a whole load of sins that believers must 'put off'.

What about being 'made new in the attitude of our minds'? In Ephesians 5:18 Paul commands the believers to 'be filled with the spirit'. Colossians 3:16 parallels being 'filled with the spirit' with 'letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly'. Also, Romans 12 (the passage that everyone quotes on this), comes right after Paul's lengthy teaching on unconditional election. After pounding through the Old Testament and hammering home some of the most difficult teaching in the Bible, Paul says "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?'" (Romans 11:33-34) Then, after saying that, Paul says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). You renew your mind with the scriptures.

Then, what is 'put on your new self' refering to? Well, it should be fairly clear that putting on the new self is walking in righteousness. Stop sinning and start obeying the Lord. Ephesians 5:22-6:9 talk about righteous things that the people in Ephesus should be doing instead of sinful activities. Then, in the famous 'armor of God' passage (6:10-18), Paul gives specific advice on how to do this. The armor of God is essentially moral virtue and the scriptures. Live uprightly and educate yourself with the Bible on what living uprightly is all about.

So how does this apply to dating? Well, I'll slam through that on another post. This has turned into giving some basic foundations. In a nutshell though, I'd say that one should search through the scriptures to find what God says about sexuality, male and female roles in relationships and the home, and what God says about moral virtue. This post has taken more time that I thought, but this is what I'm thinking today! LOL! Okay. Till next time,

The Armchair Theologian


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