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Any advice for inviting others into a relationship to that end? But I think what we want to do is work really hard in our churches to create a culture of discipleship.
I love this question because I’m such a big believer in what God has called the covenant community of his people to be in a local context. In this culture, the norm, the air we breathe, is that older men are serious about seeking out younger men to train them; not just train them in the Bible, but really train them in what it looks like to apply the Scriptures to their lives.
Because what I have tragically found is that Christian singles hit an area of desperation, particularly young women, and they will go: “Yeah, he is a Christian, he comes to church.” And really what they’re saying is this guy comes to church a couple of times a month, but outside of attending a service, he doesn’t have a real seriousness about growing in his understanding of the Lord, growing in his understanding of the Bible, being a prayerful person, no vivication or mortification that can be spotted, and no one who really knows them enough to speak to the growth in their character.
Now practically speaking, this means singles are seeking out people to speak into their lives.
If the relationship is outpacing knowledge of character, reputation, and knowledge of godliness, then that is way too quick.
And I think those pieces are a much safer gauge than whether they highlight passages in their Bible and show up to service every week.So, if I think about my daughters, to have a young man constantly texting them and constantly engaging them on social media without any real clear “I’m pursuing you,” any real clear desire to want to establish a shared knowledge of this relationship, I have concerns.I see a lot of our young women at The Village Church get teased by guys who simply “like” every Facebook post of theirs, or constantly text the young woman, without ever having defined the relationship.I think the way that local churches can practically help godly marriages happen outside of telling single men to “man up” and telling single women to “stop waiting around to be active in your single life” — though I do think there is a space for telling single men and women this. What does it look like to serve, love, and encourage your wife? What does it look like to be a man of God in relation to your wife?Personally, I try to do this by having single men into our home. I will help set the table, and then afterwards that young man gets to help me do the dishes.
The ability to text or to tweet or to just write on someone’s wall enables you to flirt and tease without there ever being a “what-exactly-is-this-relationship” moment.