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To help find the right questions, we called on three not-yet-married friends who gave some time to thinking about the challenges faced by singles: Lore Ferguson, Paul Maxwell, and the recently engaged Marshall Segal.
We ended up with these questions: The Bible commands Christians to marry “in the Lord,” that is, to marry other Christians (1 Corinthians ; 2 Corinthians ).
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.
And so, in that regard, when you have not established what the relationship is, I think it can be hurtful to constantly be involved in the technological realm, rather than the face-to-face realm.
They are being discipled, whether that be organizationally or organically, whether they are part of a church’s system for discipleship or they just found an older man or an older woman and invited that person to speak into their lives.
But if you are in a context in which you have watched the person’s godliness, you have marveled at their character, you have rejoiced in what God has done in them and through them, then speed isn’t a big factor. What drove the speed wasn’t a flare-up of emotions — it wasn’t a fear of loneliness, or desperation, like maybe this is my only shot. Rather, there was knowledge of his faithfulness to God, his desire to serve the Lord, and his seriousness about the things of God.
And that is just my way of going: “Hey, this is a way that I serve my wife.” And then, while we do dishes, I tend to just talk about the ways that I try to make space for Lauren’s gifts.
So, this is an intentional, organic kind of culture of discipleship that I hope is woven into the life of The Village. Whatever you normally do, can I just come and join you in that?
So, in that way, I’m encouraged by what technology has to offer.
If, though, we are saying that technology has changed the game in regards to how single young men and women approach one another, before that relationship is defined, then I have a lot of concern about technology.