Twin Cities Dating

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So. hey two cities family pastor steven here. welcome to our very first sos these are. casual conversations we’ll have around. tough topics that concern all things. relationships especially as we go. through our song of solomon series we. want to have space to talk about some of. the questions that you very well are. asking and we want to hear from some of. our tcc family so today i have some of. our staff with us spencer and olivia. martin and also miss carrie wilson. formally strickland congratulations and. here we are talking today about. singleness dating and boundaries so. we’ll jump right in spencer coming to. you. in your opinion. how are. christians a little goofy when it comes. to dating. you know there are quite a few ways that. christians are goofy and dating i’ll. just name one. i think that christians. can be prone to have.

Over spiritual expectations of. the dating relationship or unrealistic. expectations as to what they are looking. for in a potential spouse and so for. example. let’s say a. young man. loves the book radical by david platt. and this young man might think well if. this woman. doesn’t or has not read this book. radical but david platt she must not. have a heart for the nations therefore. i’m not interested in her and so i think. that christians can tend to over. spiritualize things. to the point where. it’s just not fair to the other person. i’ve never heard of christians over. spiritualizing anything it’s breaking. news right ladies anything to add how we. can be a little goofy when it comes to. dating. yeah i think a lot of times in christian. community we feel like asking somebody. on a date is asking them to marry you.

And that. in doing that we put all this pressure. on each person involved we don’t want to. ask the the guy we think is cute to. maybe grab coffee and that’s actually. okay to do that ladies you can ask. another person to grab coffee. we don’t want to initiate that dating. relationship or not even a relationship. just that date because we’re afraid of. what comes next like oh does this mean i. have to want to marry this person does. this mean. that i’m now going to have to be in a. relationship with this person. the pressure the pressure’s really too. much when really a date is is just an. opportunity to get to know another. person it’s like meeting any friend for. the first time you’re getting to know. what you have in common but you’re also. learning things about yourself so i. would say that’s the biggest thing that.

I see is people pretending like if i ask. someone on a date it means i have to. marry them and because of that a lot of. christians don’t end up going on dates. for a really long time. very helpful. anything to add anything to share. i just want to reiterate what carrie was. saying um just the importance of not. thinking that. you’re going to marry them if you on a. date with them or even you can see. yourself marrying them like the point of. getting to know this person is can i see. myself dating them you don’t have to. know that off the bat. does there need to be general attraction. and. like some commonality something kind of. drawing you towards that person i think. that probably needs to be there in order. to say yes to a date but other than that. it’s really like. yeah pressure is off just get to know. this person.

Yeah and for the christian friends out. there take the pressure off stop asking. your friends who went on the first date. whether they’re going to marry them. right i feel like your grandma and your. your friends or whatever else raise. those those pressure of those stakes too. but how about this for the the. approximately half of us right that are. single. how would you all encourage singles to. leverage their singleness for the glory. of god. how would you encourage the singles to. leverage that unique season of life of. singleness for god’s glory. i think there’s a unique opportunity. that single people have to pour into. other people. once you’re married your family takes up. a lot of your time your spouse or your. kids if you have this take up a lot of. your time and there’s a lot less margin. in your life in that point and i think.

One of the things that was beneficial to. me in my singleness was being able to to. pour into other people to younger women. to allow other people to pour into me in. that process as well but to use that. time. to glorify god one person i’ve heard. call it to cultivate holy ambition not. only am i pouring into other people but. i’m cultivating myself into the person. that i know that god wants me to be and. the person that would be a good spouse. to a future husband who would be a good. girlfriend to a future boyfriend and so. that would be. what i would say is just like using that. time to glorify god and build yourself. into that person that he’s calling you. to be. really helpful anything. i would say that we we have to. understand that marriage is a gift but. at the same time we we have to. acknowledge that singleness very much so.

Is a gift singleness very similar to. what kerry said. enables you to be flexible singleness. allows you to have the capacity to make. disciples. that it might be challenging to do so. when you’re married and so the example. that i often use is when i was in. college and shortly after college i had. the capacity to go on multiple mission. trips i probably went on two mission. trips per year in college and that was. just a perk of being single during that. season whereas now that i’m married and. have a newborn. i’m not able to just take off and leave. whenever i want to let him take off and. leave whenever he wants i don’t know. oh no. not able to olivia would you have. anything to add um i also think building. and establishing those like healthy. habits uh in singleness so um you know. just regularly being in the word and.

Prayer just those spiritual disciplines. that we’re we’ve learned about in. december i think it’s super important to. regularly implement those before you. have a family. as someone who has a newborn. fighting for that time is just so much. harder but i’m just so thankful that we. that individually we both establish. those like healthy rhythms. and our singleness that served us well. in marriage so far and as new parents. i think too for singles i’ll just answer. my own question i think two for. singleness having your goal your aim as. your single being god’s goal and god’s. aim. because the reason you are created it. was not just to find a spouse you were. created to be transformed the image of. christ and so this is time for unique. ministry unique flexibility and capacity. ministry time for unique focus on your.

Own personal spiritual disciplines this. is an opportunity for you to be. transformed the image of christ which is. carrier minded is going to set anyone up. for um success. in any relationship. but talking about desire talking about. goal in that way what’s your advice for. those who who are trying to balance um. being content in the lord but also a. strong desire to be married i would say. you know that is a good desire marriage. is a good desire god created marriage. god said it’s not good for man to be. alone and now we know that we can live. that out lots of ways through christian. community as well but marriage in itself. is good it’s a part of god’s design and. so don’t i think a lot of times we can. beat ourselves up if if we want to be. married but that’s not a bad thing it’s. when that want and that desire becomes.

Something that we believe god’s promised. to us. i think it’s important to remember. that. god promises us a lot of good things. that he will give us. and we can cling to those promises but. when we turn something like a desire to. be married into a promise that god has. given us that’s when it becomes. unhealthy that’s when the discontentment. can start and it can really. hurt our relationship with god in the. process but i would i would just say you. know it’s not bad to want a good thing. and if you are desiring that what are. you doing to put yourself in a position. a to be ready for it and two so that it. could actually happen. this could be our next question we’ll. get there. do y’all have anything to add about that. bouncing desire between being a tent the. lord and also wanting to be married. i think the idea of you know as you’re.

Praying about it i think it is totally. okay to be you know praying like lord i. i desire this like will it be in your. will for this to be a gift that you give. to me um but i think having open hands. and that was something that literally. when i um i mean i desired to be married. that was something i. deeply wanted and when i would pray. about it had to be something that i. physically would have my hands open as i. was praying about it because otherwise i. could just feel myself clinging to it. and not being willing to you know break. up with a guy if i was dating him. because he wasn’t right because i was. clinging to it so just being willing to. surrender that so not even just in. singleness but as well in dating like. just constantly having like hands open. um so i think just that that tension of. you know praying to the lord.

About those desires but trying to keep. your hands open. and so for those who would like to be. dating and eventually married. what are some practical advice you’d. give to those single people they’re. single now they want to be in a. relationship maybe one day married what. can you tell them that should be their. next step or something to focus on or to. practically walk forward. i would just encourage single people to. be committed to being engaged in. community whether that be community. group dna group regularly attending. church regularly serving it at church. putting yourself in environments that. will allow you to meet others. because if if all you do is watch church. online. and you just hang out with the same two. or three people all the time then it’s. going to be very challenging for you to. meet anyone new whereas if you want to.

Meet someone new i would encourage you. to be in community as much as you can. and then hopefully lord willing you will. come across someone who is also singing. single and you might be able to go on a. date with them so i would just go off of. that point to say i’ve heard it said. before that. if it’s nice to to really believe that. god will provide a spouse for you and. and i believe that most of us will be. married and that god gives good gifts to. us. um but at the same time if you think. he’s gonna drop someone on your doorstep. well you better be the mailman right. because otherwise that’s not how you’re. going to meet your future. spouse i think a lot of the times the. problem is like you said we don’t put. ourselves in positions to where we’re. even available to date what does that. mean for the ladies ladies it’s okay to.

Go up and have a conversation with a guy. i can’t it crippled me for so many years. and i was single for many years i think. because i was so afraid to go up to a. guy and initiate that conversation i. felt like that meant i was pursuing that. guy that it was wrong that the guy. shouldn’t know that i was interested and. it was really wrong thinking that made. me miss out on a lot of opportunities i. think shifting that and beginning to say. okay i can go up and talk to this guy. that i think is interesting and that i. really think loves the lord and i can. have a conversation with him and show. interest that was a big game changer for. me and led to a lot of positive dating. experiences. i think another thing that people. probably think about is you know is. online dating okay is that a way that i. can meet someone and you know in our.

Opinion we say like yes that’s okay now. what what’s the heart motivation behind. that and that’s with everything you know. is it that you know i’m not trusting the. lord and i’m just i’m gonna you know put. it into my own hands and just find. someone to go on dates with like okay we. would caution towards that but is there. anything wrong with being on an online. dating profile like. probably not so i think that’s something. to also have community to speak into. about you know wise ways to do that are. there certain platforms that are maybe. more likely to lead to godly dating than. others probably but i think including. community in that is really important. but i definitely think that’s an option. just to add on to something that kerry. said i think that in general a good rule. of thumb is that when it comes to men.

And women and their responsibilities in. the dating scene i think men are to. initiate and women are to respond that. is a general truth at the same time like. kerry said. it is okay to be a young woman and go. talk to a young man it’s totally fine. please do that and then to to young men. i’ve spoken with multiple college young. men who feel very uncomfortable talking. to girls and so my encouragement is hey. you know even if it’s not a girl that. you’re interested in have conversations. with females because if all you do is. talk to your your guy roommates while. you play video games in your dorm. then you’re not going to learn how to. talk to young women and so. just getting experience in conversations. can be very helpful and can make you a. lot more comfortable to go deeper with. people as you get to know them.

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Really helpful and just maybe. specifically for guys and the ladies may. have some thoughts for for girls but if. you would like to be in a dating. relationship i would just challenge the. guys to to focus on what you can control. by that i mean really yourself. and be be the type of person that is. dateable that’s responsible um that you. know if you’re in school that that’s. doing well in school that that that is. um i’m disciplined in going to bed on. time waking up at the right time that’s. like well kept. like wear clean clothes. get a haircut. wear a shirt with buttons on it. tie your shoes all that type of stuff. just just be. a presentable responsible. disciplined selfcontrolled all these. type of things things that really ladies. are interested in you could do that by. yourself. and i think that’ll very much help kind.

Of pave the way forward any any maybe. specific advice for for young ladies. i think be confident in who you are i. think um. if you are confident in who you are as a. woman and who god’s created you to be. people notice that. people. notice that you’re comfortable in your. own skin and i think the more we can be. confident in in who that person is and. even cultivate that like we talked about. before the more attractive we’re going. to appear to to the guys out there um. you’re someone who who knows what she. wants who is seeking after the lord um. that that’s attractive and so show that. show that confidence. i think that goes a long way. and so how about this if you have a. younger guy younger girl or other single. that’s maybe interested. somebody’s caught their eye their. attention or maybe a lady that they. think maybe someone’s interested what.

Are some what are some practical pieces. of advice you would give for that like. talking face where you have somebody. you’re interested what some practical. pieces you’d give me for a guy or a girl. in like the talking phase of a dating. relationship just starting out. i’d say even going into it don’t wait. too long to ask the person on the date i. think our tendency can be i’m gonna. especially for a lot of guys i know i’m. gonna watch this girl that i think is. cute and loves the lord from afar. and and if if she is exactly what i want. her to be like like you kind of. mentioned before then maybe i’ll ask her. out well the problem in that situation. is this guy or girl has set this. unrealistic expectation of who this. other person is and they get on that. date and like wow i’m this is like not. what i thought it was gonna be so i.

Think. if you’re interested take take a moment. you know you don’t have to ask every. person out that you think’s cute but. take a moment and if you really feel. like this is someone you would have a. good conversation with a good time with. what’s there to lose ask that person on. a date it doesn’t have to lead to. another. mr martin. you know i often tell college students. and not college students that dating is. designed to lead to marriage and so in. view of that you should date with. intention and so in your first date in. your second date in your third day of. course you can have small talk you can. talk about what sports you played in. high school you can talk about you know. your favorite tv shows but at the same. time your dates should. be intentional in some way you shouldn’t. be. surface level in all of your.

Conversations all the time because you. want to know about this person’s family. you want to know about this person’s. vision for the future you want to know. what they. are looking for in a marriage and if you. just all you have is surface level. conversations that you’re not going to. find out that important information that. will allow you to decide whether or not. you want to continue to take steps. forward towards marriage. i think also just some prac like. practically talking about you know if. you see someone at church let’s say and. you just want to talk to them like. what’s something you can ask this person. other than like how are you. one question that spencer and i like to. ask people just in general it’s like. what’s something you’re looking forward. to first that allows them to talk about. themselves some which we all enjoy being.

Asked about something we’re excited. about because they’re they’re excited so. it’s just like it’s something that they. can talk about um and it just gives you. an opportunity to listen and then. respond to that person so i think that’s. like a nonthreatening like question. that a guy or gal can say to someone. else and it’s not like an awkward you. don’t have to overthink it. so that’s a good question just to use in. lots of situations but i think that is. just a easy like okay i want to have my. first conversation with this cute girl. here’s a good question. and if you’re following the theme here a. lot of this theme is surrounded around. conversation like it’s it’s very easy. you may feel comfortable sending like a. dm. or even like getting her number from one. of your her friends and texting her like. and who is this again oh yeah i saw you.

Across the room. that’s fine if if you start i guess with. with those kind of impersonal. communication but i think a great. challenge for anyone if you’re. interested. physically walk across the room. and open up your mouth and have like a. actual faceto-face conversation i think. it’s a great place to start. if that’s not possible that. oldfashioned thing caught a telephone. like actually calling someone i’ve had. guys do that in the past and and that. made a big difference wow like they took. a second to have an actual phone call. that took a lot of guts. and it was a lot of intentionality so if. you can’t be face to face for some. reason the phone call can go a long way. too. and as spencer mentioned earlier i mean. if you’re in a dating relationship he. wants to encourage i think rightly so to. do it with intention you know talk about.

Things that are maybe underneath the. surface but what are some helpful. boundaries to put then if we’re trying. to if we’re trying to pursue you know. maybe date with a purpose we’re trying. to walk forward with intention but then. what should be some of the the guard. rails we place in the boundaries we make. so it’s not too intimate too quickly. what are some guard rails and some. safety places for a dating relationship. i tend to think of boundaries in the. dating scene in two main categories i. think of emotional boundaries and i. think of physical boundaries and so. emotional boundaries you know for. example you do not need to be sharing. your absolute deepest. feelings emotions. things in your past with the person that. you’re dating on the first second third. date you know certainly there’s wisdom. with when to share certain things.

But you know olivia will speak a little. bit about just wisdom when it comes to. saying i love you to the other person. go ahead olivia would you share a little. bit about that. yeah so this is something that um you. know i feel like we see often first in. college ministry and you know when we. were younger that. um. it can be easy to feed into these early. feelings of being infatuated with the. other person you know you’re you’re. maybe you’re exclusively dating this is. exciting like you know the intent is. marriage so now you’re just like okay. you’re. as a as a woman too i think we would. love to hear early on if a guy loves us. like that just speaks to us their desire. is to be loved i mean we know that as. we’re created by god but so. we like to caution people just towards. you know wait. as long as. you can to tell the other person that.

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You love them or at least until you can. act on it so when marriage is within you. know a reasonable amount of time so you. know if you and everyone is different so. there’s not an actual time frame like i. know very godly people who said that. they loved each other and got married. within three months of dating and have a. beautiful marriage um so i don’t think. we want to put restrictions we don’t. want to give people rules but just. wisdom on you know if you’re. 18 and go on your second date with this. person. do you need to tell them you love them. you know three weeks later when. realistically marrying that person is. possibly yours down the road. and i would also add that part of. emotional boundaries could be seen as. spiritual boundaries and so what i mean. by that is after. a sermon can you speak with your.

Girlfriend or boyfriend about the sermon. sure can you talk about the bible. together sure. but should you maybe try to avoid. having a 30minute bible study every. night while you’re reading through the. book of james and you’re confessing your. sin to each other and you’re just. getting into real deep personal things. as you read through the scriptures. together and you’re praying together. every night. i think there’s some wisdom in trying to. avoid. lots and lots of spiritual intimacy. while you are also of course. trying to maintain physical boundaries. and trying to be selfcontrol in that. area as well yeah i think you need that. accountability outside of that. relationship. and even once you’re married you’re. going to have out accountability outside. of your relationship so cultivating. friendships with people of this same sex.

Now like a dna group where you can have. those types of conversations i think is. really good and honestly really good. practice for the future but when you. make that person you’re dating that. accountability partner so to speak and. you’re laying all of it out on the table. there’s a weird kind of con connection. that happens almost a soul tie some. would call it when we begin to have. those types of conversations. that creates this idea that we’re more. connected and committed than we actually. are and can make it really painful when. things don’t work out. so i’d always say it’s really important. to have people you’re accountable to. while you’re dating for the physical. boundaries for emotional and physical. but um it’s it’s important to make sure. that you’re not trying to make that. person you’re dating the person you’re.

Accountable to. now time for the million dollar question. how far is too far. what do you think spencer. i don’t have a bible verse for this and. so i probably shouldn’t start my answer. with something when i say that but. here’s here’s what i normally tell. college students that there are acts of. affection. and then there are acts of desire. i think that a good rule of thumb is to. ask yourself the question is this. you know kiss is this whatever is this. an act of affection or is this an act of. desire and i think that acts of desire. are clearly meant to be experienced. inside the lifelong covenant of marriage. between a man and a woman. but sure you know you can show affection. to. your your girlfriend or your boyfriend. you can you know you can hug you might. can even give have a kiss goodnight. without it crossing the line between.

Affection and desire but if you’re. on the couch at 10 o’clock at night. making out that clearly crosses the line. between affection and desire yeah i’ve. heard it said before that in the kingdom. of heaven in god’s eyes we’re brother. and sister in christ or we’re husband. and wife and there’s no in between and. so to think about. okay if that is the situation. is this something i should be engaging. with with my brother or sister in christ. or is this something where in the future. i meet this my current boyfriend’s wife. that i could say hey i honored you in. our dating relationship and if it’s not. it’s probably not something that. i should engage in. i think like carrie mentioned about you. know accountability it’s so important to. to already know like how far is too far. before you even are on that second date.

It could be a first date kind of. conversation or very early on. i definitely encourage if you know the. girl doesn’t bring it up it should. definitely be the guy’s responsibility. that it is addressed early. and readdressed often i think. but also like the accountability of. having your dna group or having other. friends who know like what those. boundaries are and and also just like. what in your mind what is too far um and. that having people speak into that. before you’re in a situation where. you’re having to reevaluate um but yeah. like like spencer was saying acts of. desire for sure. anything where you know it kind of is. leaving you really wanting more is. probably too much. yeah these are things to have. established before you get like you. mentioned by yourselves. with no roommates in town or whatever. else conversations have on the front end.

Before you get into the situation and i. think just a word of wisdom and just. realize in our highly sexualized world. you probably need to pull the boundary. farther than you think. that you want your decision to be based. more on scripture than you want to be. based on 20 years of romantic comedies. and even pornography. so really find someone that loves jesus. more than you do find someone that loves. the bible more than you and help them. orient your thinking. on this conversation. last question we’re kind of laying in. the plane for those that are in a. relationship how do they figure out if. the person their relationship with is. the one. how can you tell i love this question so. if you are a single man or woman. and you are a christian there are likely. thousands and thousands and thousands of. other christian.

Men or women that you could get married. to and have a wonderful fruitful. marriage with and so in that sense the. word there is not. the one out there as if there is only. one person that you could have a. fruitful marriage with. now does god know who you’re ultimately. going to marry yes of course. but what charles spurgeon said charles. spurgeon was a great pastor in the 19th. century he said choose your love and. then love your choice. and so basically what that means is you. have the ability to choose who you want. to marry. and then once you marry that person then. they do become your one and so once you. are married is this the one. yes that is the one because that is the. one that you chose and so moving forward. you should act and operate out of the. understanding that you have your one. your soulmate is your spouse.

Ladies anything to add i think that’s so. good i think the other thing. to remember too is that we’re all the. wrong one we’re all broken we all need a. savior and part of marriage is a part of. getting to live that out giving grace to. another person we see our sin laid out. in front of us even more clearly. in marriage than in a lot of situations. and and so no one person is going to be. able to feel this hole in you like. ultimately jesus is the one jesus is the. one that that you need to fill that that. void in your heart and your life and if. you are not secure in your relationship. with him. no man or woman is ever ever going to. meet your expectations so i would say. understand that no one’s perfect we all. have our sin issues we all have our. quirks and flaws and weirdness and it’s. it’s considering is this someone that i.

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Could pursue christ with is this someone. who can make me more. like the one which is christ and i think. that. that’s how you kind of know bring us. home olivia. um i heard a pastor share this just the. three things that you know how to know. the person’s the one and kind of going. along with what spencer said it’s very. general there’s there’s a lot of freedom. and knowing who the one is but are they. a christian are you attracted to them. and do you have a good friendship um so. that can you know in a dating. relationship do they. check all those three boxes and then. just the wisdom of do people who know. you and know the bible are they. affirming that relationship is there. affirmation is there you know are there. people speaking to that is this not a. relationship that’s we do not want. relationships that are just you know in.

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