A friend Facebooked a blog post by Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, discussing what he thinks are the top five temptations singles face when considering a relationship. Here’s what he had to say:
#1 – Compromise! Hands down this is the first temptation…and I would argue that it is the girl that deals with this way more than the guy. She begins wanting “Mr. Right” but will settle for “Mr. Right Now” if she perceives that all of her friends are getting married and she is not. God has NEVER called His followers to compromise…EVER!!! (And…ladies…if you are constantly having the defend the guy you are dating, then you know you are compromising.)
AND…ladies…if he is not pursuing you in a godly manner (which means he is not constantly trying to stick his hands down your pants) then drop him!
Yes, the abuse of exclamation points and ellipses is tedious, but if you can get past that, what we have is a grade-A example of the type of dating advice that leaves Christian singles single well into their 30s. While there are plenty of marriage-obsessed young women out there who jump at the mere hint of any halfway decent man’s attention, this NEVER COMPROMISE advice is why there are numerous 30-year-old Christian girls who have never had a boyfriend. I also think this type of advice plays into the pedestalization of women that the church is so (in)famous for – if you’re a female 4 who loves the Lord, waiting for your heroic Christian male 8 to wake up and realize you’re the one for him is just not going to work out well for you.
Re: men who are “constantly trying to stick his hand down your pants” – the most church alpha way of dealing with a woman regarding sexual desire is to acknowledge it openly and then draw a line in the sand and stick with it. Constant pushing of limits can get you branded a pig who is just looking for a warm body. Primly abstaining out of “respect” or pretending you don’t struggle with temptation will just make her angry.
#2 – Believing That Marriage Will Solve The Struggles You Are Facing While Dating! Marriage is a magnifier…and if it is a small deal when you are dating then I promise it will be a BIG HONKIN’ deal when you tie the knot!
Can’t argue much with this.
#3 – Going Too Fast! Anyone can fool anyone for a short period of time! You need to date someone “until the new wears off!” If two people are in a hurry to get married then it is usually because they are trying to hide something from the other person…or because they just want to have sex!
I don’t think that short courtships are a problem per se. The problem is infatuation clouding good judgment. Basically, if the only thing you like about the other person is making out with him or her, then you probably shouldn’t rush into marriage. But if you have values in common and enjoy doing things together other than sucking face, then I don’t see how dating for 2 years versus 9 months is really going to make a substantial difference in the success of your marriage, especially when you’re out of college.
#4 – Trying To Be The Person That The Person They Are Dating Wants Them To Be Rather Than Who They Are – If you are having to lie about who you are to date someone…then you need to break up today! Ladies…DO NOT SAY you love football and want to go to games with him if you don’t know the difference between the offense and the defense. Dudes, DO NOT SAY you absolutely LOVE chic flics and want to watch them for hours if doing so drives you crazy! If you are doing things you HATE to do…but have refused to be honest and tell the other person the truth…then you are being dishonest with them.
There’s a difference between being honest and being an intolerant stick in the mud. If you don’t like football but your loved one does, be honest about it but be willing to participate without whining the whole time about your sacrifice. Also, it’s okay not to do every single thing together as a couple. Just because he doesn’t want to do something with you doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you.
#5 – Seeking Advice And/OR Affirmation From The Wrong People! Single people…please, if you want marriage/dating advice…then go to people who are actually married and have been so for a long time! Why in the world would you ask a single person for marriage advice? Why would you ask someone who has literally blown through relationship after relationship how to have a relationship? Because they read a book? Because they know some Bible verses? REALLY? If you want to know how to have a successful relationship…ask those who have one.
This is TERRIBLE advice. By the same logic, you should not listen to teenage moms preach abstinence or alcoholics preach sobriety. Truth is truth no matter whom it comes from. It may taste better coming from someone who’s walking the walk, but marriage advice from married people isn’t necessarily going to be better than from an unmarried person.