I just reviewed some notes and completely forgot about this –
Several Fridays ago, a few friends and I attended an event put on by Mars Hill OC called “Dating 101”. Pastor Phil Smidt (Mars Hill Ballard) and his wife, Jen, came down to speak and answer questions on “redeemed dating”.
It was a helpful seminar overall, and though more on the practical side, it was a nice supplement to the theology-heavy studies I have been doing. The following are some of the concepts that stood out to me for whatever reason:
Pursue God. Run after Him first and foremost. Keep your eyes peeled on the author and perfecter of your faith. But also pay attention to your peripheral vision as you’re running the race set before you. Take notice of who else is running hard after God alongside you. These are the type of people you should fellowship with and, ultimately, marry. Don’t marry them because they’re running after you (that’s an ego-boost), marry them because they’re running after God (first things first).
People like to make this grand dichotomy of how either you target “the one” and passionately pursue them from the onset, or else you come across them when you don’t even think about dating/marriage/etc. However, I think this example of peripheral vision goes to show that maybe these two extremes (looking for the ‘mate & focusing on first things first) aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
Two-ship v. One-ship
Until the consummation of marriage, we and our significant others remain as two distinct bodies. Two distinct bodies mean two separate agendas and lives, and what is best for each individual in the relationship is not necessarily the relationship itself. Until consummation results in the two becoming one flesh, there will always be a need for the two distinct people to increase in intimacy only as they increase in commitment. Make no mistake, this is distinct from marriage in which, because of the greatest of commitments and covenantal vows, intimacy thrives by nature.
On-Ramp to the Sex Highway
Our bodies and all its interesting chemistry have been wonderfully and fearfully made. As such, God has geared our bodies in such a way where physical intimacy is the on-ramp to the sex highway. When we get on the on-ramp, make no mistake, it is a one way road to a specific destination. Do not prematurely write checks that your body can and will definitely cash.