Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Monday, June 28, 2010

REALMnotes - Relationships and Dating (Week 1)

Here is the basis of the brief introductory talk I gave last week for our college ministry.

At the foundation of all of our relationships, we have to realize and recognize that everyone is made in the image of God (this concept is theologically referred to as the doctrine of “Imago Dei”). This is evident in Genesis 1:26-27.

Because of Genesis 1:31, we know that at the end of the day, God was pleased with what He had created. However, if we continue reading, we see in Genesis 2:18, God declares that it is not good for man to be alone. God is not bipolar or misleading when in chapter 1 He declares what he created good and then in chapter 2 he says “It is not good for man to be alone.” What we see here is God, in His infinite wisdom, declaring the importance of relationships in a person’s life before Adam knew he needed them.

God is a triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has always been a triune God and always will be. That means that within Himself, God the Father has always been in a perfect relationship with the Son and Holy Spirit. He was that way before He created anything in our universe and will remain that way long after He returns to Earth. Therefore, we should not be surprised by the fact that God understands the need for relationships in our lives and was determined to provide us with a means to experience a glimmer of what He Himself experiences.

The often-quoted-during-weddings verse of Genesis 2:24 tells us how God determined for our most intimate earthly relationship to be completely separate and unique from all of our other human relationships and that is lived out in a healthy marriage. However, before we can have a healthy marriage and before we can experience the sort of relationship that God calls most people to have in marriage, we have to sort through a bunch of misconceptions and lies we have been fed by Satan about every relationship we are a part of.

In our pursuit of a “significant other”, as well as any other relationship, we must always be mindful of the fact that God created us for His Glory. We were made to worship Him. We are commanded to love Him first and foremost above all else. It would be foolish to attempt to discuss relationships without first pointing out that the most important relationship we have in our lives is our relationship with God. Throughout the Bible we are reminded of this, time and time again. In Luke 10:27, Jesus summed up all of the commandments in the Old Testament by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. We are commanded to love God and then love other people. In doing so, we will be fulfilling our created purpose, while building and maintaining healthy relationships at every stage of our lives.

Over the course of the next two weeks we will be answering questions about relationships and dating. We will attempt to answer some pretty typical questions on the topic, while taking time to specifically answer the questions you have submitted in the previous weeks. There are some things that we will say that may not be popular and may go against the culture in which we live, but we believe them to be True as stated in God’s Holy Word. Some of what we share may be informed opinion, but our intent and desire is to base our answers on our understanding of the Bible and what it says about relationships and dating. As with any topic of potential division, we plead and pray for an extra amount of grace and mercy to be woven throughout our conversations on this important topic.

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