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Why Jesus Can't be Your Boyfriend

Darlye Innocent

Description

Starting in Genesis, Darlye presents a novel framework in which our relationships flourish, and presents practical advice to young people for forming relationships on their campuses.

Presenter

Darlye Innocent

Program Director at STRIDE

Recorded

  • May 22, 2018
    1:00 PM
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Brother is the 1st ever 7th Day Adventist chaplain at MIT and we campus hop so in Boston in a 10 mile radius we have over 80 colleges and universities here so it's a little bit different than your traditional. Group on 1 campus or maybe a multiset campus which was the case when I worked on my Ph D. at Arizona State University we were 1 camp we were several campuses and 1 school of Boston changed the game completely in that we campus how all week long most of the summer as well and it's just been amazing I've learned so much the students are so incredible and God has been growing me throughout this entire process and so today what we're going to talk about friendships and relationships we're going to start off more or less in the friendship area and in the relationship area we're really it's not so much the how to use of either but today I want to discuss some things that I hope will change your mindset around both which will allow you to enjoy a much more in a rich experience in your relationship does that make sense yes no OK great so I've titled this talk group project group project before we get started let's say a word of prayer she's in heaven we're so grateful for your goodness and your love towards us thank you for creating us and creating us with this opportunity to just live a flourishing life to really engage with 1 another and just the light in community so we just ask that it be your Holy Spirit to teach lead and guide us today Christ. So is there a click or if there is that would be awesome. Group project. If you hit the next life for me great so college students you got in grad students you have all been a part of a group project how do you not OK So here are 4 of the main characters of nearly every group project you have 1 guy who does 99 percent of the work right then you have a guy or gal who has no idea what's on the entire time mind you the professor has blamed it in detail it is also on line and the professor has given us thank you the professor has given us handouts so you can read exactly what the project is but this person doesn't matter it's the entire time then that is the guy or girl who says they're going to help but they're not and they don't and then there's a person who disappears at the very beginning and doesn't show up again so the very end and this character I think is probably my favorite because this is the person who the day a presentation wants to present and on the Power Point their name has to appear 1st as if they've done any work so all jokes aside this you don't want to be any of these people most of us might even say but the person who does 99 percent work and if they do the work that's a good thing right Actually no that's quite harmful because all they're doing is aiding and abetting laziness so you don't see any of these people in a group project. I believe that the Christian walk is the quintessential group project with real world ramifications oftentimes maybe too often in our academic life we take on projects and papers and research and all these different things that sometimes we don't see how does this look like after our graduate and we were not saying how the doc connect Not so with the Christian walk it's the quintessential group project and we get to see exactly how it plays out in the real world and that's really exciting so when we take this to heart this Christian walk that's a group project we become very different from the world a different kind of friend and a different kind of love for you guys might be saying most of us not met so how can we be a different kind of our I want you to just keep that in your mind and I will slowly build the case as to why as Christians we should be a different kind of love are you with me so can a sort OK I got 1 person with me so in Genesis 127 and 28 So God created man in his own image and in the image of God He created him male and female he created them then God bless them and said to them Be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it have dominion over the fish of the sea over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth this Genesis 1 and 2 are the blueprint for God's idea of what human flourishing is and while we may be very familiar with these 2 texts I want to pull something out that maybe you haven't seen before and that is God creates man and woman he blesses them and we know that they're in the garden right and he tells them to take over what I'm sorry the earth. So you're in the garden you're blessed and then God says Have at it oftentimes we think that the Christian walk is super restrictive we're in the garden and that's it that's not how God did it and he could have done the reverse God had every right to create a wonderful space that took up the entire world and then leave a little plot of land for Adam and me to do their thing but that's not how it got to this up he created them he blesses them and then says go out so I want us to understand that the world has always been ours to win it's not a thing that we're doing now that we have fallen and now that they're saying and now we have to go out and share the gospel with entire world the world was always a space that God said this is for mankind today however our work is to win hearts whereas back then it was a physical exploration so baked into the life of human beings God wants a sixpence adventure he wants to see experience exploration curiosity there's so much that God wants us to explore and we're going to look at some of that in just a little bit I believe that we've all seen this list and we're probably trying to live up to this list right where everything is in order God is 1st family 2nd friends are 3rd work and possessions and this mindset I believe actually circumvents the hole in the garden less take over the world and maybe think it Darlie we're supposed to put God 1st and this is how we're supposed to or our lives I would there's a book that I'm actually reading currently where the author doesn't even think that this list is spiritual enough and this is the list that he's come up with so God is 1st and. Second our family friends work and possessions. I would say that this author although well meaning is doing pretty much the same thing that the 1st of us is doing which is creating this Burkle linear kind of way of thinking about life what I would say that life is not a list life actually is more like artwork where your friends might be a color blue or black might be worth church might be yellow your siblings might be orange your parents might be purple on and on and on until you have a piece of art and so we were you saying OK I get the art thing that is nicer and I could feel maybe the stress coming off your shoulders as to like I have to make God 1st because now you're seeing that relationships are all a part of this life and you might be thinking but then that makes God which color God is actually not a color he's the canvas that supports our relationships he does not supplant them and so rather than this list we're trying to figure out how this person comes 2nd after God and what does that actually look like how do we know we've had enough God time to then move on to family and friends and survive and stress yourself in that way understand that God created relationships so he's in it all there isn't a single drop of pain that isn't on the canvas we understand that so even your schooling is on the canvas and God is the campus so he's supporting all that not supplant God is not in competition with their relationships he's created this for does that make sense good. In the New Testament there are 591 to another or 1 another admonitions So here are some examples and if you can for 32 and be kind 1 to another tender hearted forgiving 1 another even as God in Christ forgave you Romans $1210.11 says because of the affection to 1 another with brotherly love and honor giving preference to 1 another not liking in diligence fervent spared serving the Lord it has to be a 1 another situation so this confronts the just me and God mindset that a lot of us have in thinking about our Christian walk we look at our work right so it can't just be young God is doing that would make for a blank canvas that's not very interesting is it so many years that now when I was in college at the opportunity to travel abroad rather frequently every time I went back to Andrews there was a oh how are you freshman like now really no I just studied abroad last year but I'm back and in studying abroad 1 of the things that they take you on are lots of trips to museums 100 tonnes of museums in South America and Europe lots of museums and I I appreciate I want some art lover but I definitely appreciate our so we're at this museum walking through and there's a canvas with nothing on it and my reaction was actually imitation and I'm thinking to myself how did this get in here because I just spent 15 to 20 dollars to get into this museum even with the student ID. And here's a blank canvas that purports to be art and then you know how they have a little plaque to tell you the artist's name and the title of the work and it's name something really Posterous like space or something and I'm like really what that should be named is void because you are devoid of creativity you are devoid of effort and you must know somebody on this museum board to have a blank canvas hanging on this wall that is the same way that our world is seeing Christians and our When we talk about just me and Jesus it's a blank canvas it's not compelling it's not interesting there's nothing to it that will make them say I want to be a like canvas to so we are artwork and our canvases are going to be different they don't look different different colors different textures right different techniques perhaps but it has to be art and that's what gets people to move closer you've been to a museum where you see something really nice you move closer you just lean in and you're looking to see wow that's into wow that's cool that's how we want our lives to stand out in the world today let make sense so the just me and God know Jesus doesn't even think in those terms and look at that in just a minute but 1st I want to understand salvation is a personal gift absolutely no 1 can accept Jesus Christ as savior for you you have to do that however sanctification is a group effort. It's a group effort you'll never know what kind of Christian you are you're living up in the hills and you never brush up against a human being and their differences and what they want versus what you want how do you know that you're going in Jesus if you're by yourself so sanctification is a group effort going back to this whole idea of group work so Jesus didn't even think of just me and God look at what he says in John 1720 every 3 to 23 I do not pray for those alone but also for those who believe in Me through their word that they all may be 1 as you Father are in me and I knew that they also maybe wanted us that the world may believe that you sent me he is going and the Gury which you gave me I have given to them that they may be 1 just as we are 1 I in them you and me that they may be made perfect and 1 that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me are you seeing how Jesus himself is pulling us into the relation he had with his father I am them you and them them and us we are 1 so that the world may see and same with our lives today our friendships are not in opposition to our walk with Jesus if anything love for God is measured in our relationships you claim to love Jesus let me see your Camus if it's blank friend that's not loving God or loving your neighbor so just said John 13 a few chapters before that prayer or just read by this all will know that you are my disciples if you. As if you have love for 1 another if you understand this concept you will never think of your life as a list of people to manage the think instead of your life as our work or your trying to display the glory of God through each and every 1 of your friendships. So when we think that way will be a different kind of friend will be a different kind it will pray for our friends differently our roommate will not annoy us because we're thinking they're either getting the of our worship time or study time will understand they're part of that canvas too they're just different color and so we have to see OK how does this work so that this all looks beautiful but they're not a nuisance and they don't drop down in our list of important people or priorities that make sense yes you know. They're following so as we transition to talking more about bringing this into romantic relationships we need to have a real appreciation for the layers of the human experience so I'm looking here at what I want to call actually ration relational saturation So just to back up a little bit I'm a Christian who's a social scientist and a medical missionary So what that means for this presentation is I'm using scriptural worldview to understand social constructs that we're living in and I throw in some health at the end OK Just so you understand why we're going to get into figures and stats. And why I'm making up this diagram and calling it something. So this is what I want to call the saturation of the human experience so various levels equate to different relationships again this is not a list of 1 to 3 people look at the background this is all in soil right and that's how I titled it The crowd you're not individuals that are super close to you but they matter so these are your acquaintances your people that you walk by when you're going to classics that underneath that you have and in the crowd as well that's where we spend a lot of time when we do outreach like feeding the homeless visiting shelter these are people who don't know your favorite color they don't know your favorite food you don't know there's just whenever there's a time to show love to them you are able to but you may never see them again. Then the next saturation our classmates your cohort if you're grad school coworkers most of your church family you might have some really cool church family that might be in the friend category but for the most part they're 2nd saturation 3rd saturation of your friends who actually know you. Then after that you have extended family and close friends you've got your immediate family so siblings parents then you have chill your children you know many of you are not parents as yet and then you have your spouse and some of you have been thinking oh Would God be the following saturates is the deepest saturation and I'm going to tell you no god is the soil in which we play and all of our relationships is not a level to attain he is the means by which we can even grow anything like that. Good don't got on the list is way too big for that so when when there's rain much like you know today here Florida when there's rain it takes a while for the water to get down to the deepest levels of saturation Similarly the lower saturation levels are also what we're most known and we're most confronted with what's in our hearts. Our crowd or even our cohort they see the best of us by and large your roommates and your friends might see a little bit of the not so nice side of you they might also be the ones that you could share a little bit of your hopes and dreams with for really as you get into the lore saturations this is where you're really known and really love Why am I showing this to you Well it's really important that we understand that the single life and marry life is not a lateral move from 1 to the next there is something different in marriage that we are not experiencing in singleness and so I want to really connect with that we can go back to the text that we read in Genesis 1 or says God made man and woman he blesses them and then tells them to take over the earth today in Western culture what we're doing is we recognize women and got him it and now we take God's blessing and we go out and build our own empires our own brands write our own careers buy our. This was not in gods who print originally And so 1 of the things we ask is OK so if I'm supposed to be paired up does that mean that God can't use me as a single person does that mean that God can't grow me as a single person and there's a resoundingly yes to both of those questions God can use you as a single person and he is God can grow you as a single person and he is but there's something different when you get to those lower levels of saturation in the human experience that we're not getting while we're saying I want to appreciate what God created in his blueprint because too often we've elevated singleness to the stature that was never in script and beginning and therefore we're missing out on some things and we're not valuing marriage the way that we should be valuing it and God being the ingenious creator that he is like but but this is really good you recognize that this is really good and I want to recognize that this indeed is really good I want to read to you some excerpts from a book called sacred marriage by Gary Thomas and I want us to look at some of the history that goes into our mindset currently about singleness and marriage so he says any situation that calls me to confront my selfishness has enormous spiritual value marriage is also a means by which God can we deem us in other areas of character I found a tremendous amount of immaturity within me that my marriage directly confronted and I think as a married person here who would not agree with that. Tremendous amount of immaturity in our hearts that otherwise as a single person we're not going to be that's not even going to come up to the surface he goes on to say and a minute I forgot about the slide so here we can't be good at what we don't value and so we don't value marriage in the way that God values marriage will never be good at it and that's why the Western world is falling apart in terms of divorce rates and abuse except he goes on to say in fact there is much in Christian history that has unofficial we and at times latently considered married believers to be 2nd class Christians who compromise their integrity or were too weak to contain their sexual urges Augustine. Thought he should say he was being charitable when he wrote for Frank to the intent to procreate marital intercourse make something good out of the evil of lust not something this is a clear this is the mindset that has made its way into Christianity and by and large we believe a lot of it Scripture may be infallible but Christian history isn't I appreciate that Gary Thomas is so honest about that and unfounded prejudices do exist let's look at 1 right now although Christianity was born out of Judaism a religion in which marriage was considered a religious duty it was a long until marriage believers were scarcely an afterthought during centuries of writing on spiritual theology so that's the starting of how Christian believers going there to train draw closer to God Most of the Christian classics this is centuries ago were written by monks and nuns for monks and nuns the thought of pursuing God through marriage wasn't really given serious consideration instead the emphasis was largely on pursuing God in spite of marriage and I would say that we think the same thing about dating in marriage today. So these writings by monks and nuns for monks and nuns are absolutely beautiful I'm sure some of you might have come across some of this literature there's something about spending time in nature away from the crowd to be able to hear God's voice absolutely see Jesus taking time out find himself to talk to his father to strengthen him for community and so these individuals who are isolated from community and create their own are writing about their spiritual experience and walk which is a beautiful thing but they were consciences of who their audience was and there are audience who were other monks and nuns with time these writings have seeped into like normalise Christian literature and have been has now changed the way we view both marriage and dating and so often the rhetoric is relationships distract me from God We all see that in the good print God creates Eve and he's not at all worried about being her being a distraction to them they're supposed to take over the world to gether that comes with the ups and downs craziness of all that is adventure but here the emphasis being large put on pursuing God in spite of marriage so this concept that we just read about earlier brings us to this this phrase that I hear often with young people Jesus is my boyfriend Jesus is my husband that's related to the whole Jesus and me concept where Jesus clearly created us as 2 separate genders right to be able to come together as a pair and then take over the world our life together but instead we don't want the pair we'd rather just Jesus so that's still the white blank canvas. And when we say that we're next in Genesis $1.00 and $2.00 and what God is saying about pairing us together so does this not want to be your boyfriend the whole concept of boyfriend and Bible time in there and you the 1 of your husband he's already taken he has a bride OK. He's taken so we know about spiritual joy we read about it often talk about the jungle or often Here's a verse here some 1611 you will show me the path of life in your presence is fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures for evermore so we're familiar with this concept or even from of the concept of Platonic happiness right Jonathan David had a beautiful friendship we see that 1st time and then Paul and his apostles he's always talk about friendships how people help him how he misses people so platonic happiness we got but sexual pleasure we almost never talk about in Scripture and there's an entire book devoted to it have you read the Song of Solomon Yeah. So we are human beings with a sexual dimension and to play that down as less spiritual is a think like I'm on a monk or nun and that's not what God has created a city also going back to the whole concept of that white canvas our lives should be 1 where it's so attractive to others people want to step forward and take a closer look at Wow that's really a work of art we can that are not on our own and so really takes us to understand that God is wanting us to enjoy human flourishing and joy happiness and pleasure and all of these I mentioned. So we can go through some studies as I forwarned you being a social science nerd I love looking at articles and studies and I try to find the ones with normal language to be able to share with you then I want to chew with a little more technical language but you guys can handle it your college students so this 1 is from Fortune magazine says study found that half of Americans especially young people feel lonely A new study has found that nearly half of all American Americans feel lonely with young people in particular are experiencing the brunt of the pain how could that be when you live in dorms you are have access to your friend 247 Could it be that you were negating or ignoring that sexual dimension that pairing up that should happen earlier in life than it currently is and that might be the driving force of our loneliness Journal of social history so this 1 I can get a regular magazine so we're just going to read it straight out of academic source the rise of living alone and loneliness in history this article connects to current debates the rise of single person households or a solitary and the so-called loneliness epidemic it raises questions about how these are societally social science literature on loneliness and the social contractual and subjective experience let's jump down to this 2nd part here where the study is looking at the history of living alone as a form of family structure V.N. now says European North American and Japanese pre-industrial and sings. Many pre-industrial settlements had no single person households and the average was around 5 percent of possible current western proportions such households is 31 percent the U.K. are wholly on precedented historically even reaching to 60 percent or more of households and some modern European and North American cities and so this is a question continues on and it talks about the modern problems of loneliness as a social and a welfare and. A Well they're concerned here's something interesting happening in Japan Kut-O. cafes are becoming popular in Japan and what I love about these these articles is that they are real about because they just are not connecting it to the blueprint of God we're supposed to do that for them but listen to what they start out by saying so what is occurring is a consumer culture that allows individuals to compartmentalize the needs that relationships typically fulfill intimacy sexuality conversation except by spending money in other words there are some very funny things happening going on in Japan goes on to say it wasn't till 2012 that a physical this stablish may open its doors to those needing the warmth of another body Japan's Kut-O. cafe advertises a coast sleeping specialty shop a summer so sleep with an only sleep with beautiful women so it's not sexual just a warm body as a set. But now you don't have to travel to Japan to find a couple sorry a cuddle cafe shops have opened up in a western cities like New York bank over and Portland while many Every act of the Cuttle cafes with distaste comparing them to prostitution the shops maintain that no sexual acts will be tolerated perhaps prostitution isn't the best comparison this industry is about assembly line relationships feeding the need for human interaction feeding the need for human interaction these scientists and journalists get it we need human interaction not just hello what's up hang out no is the genesis 1 into a blueprint of being paired to gether and dispel this myth right now that if you want to be dating someone you're desperate Absolutely not or that you're thirsty Absolutely not because in Genesis once you were saying I don't buy himself he doesn't tell God he's alone God tells him This is not good you're alone then the next verse and Moses is a brilliant Narrator You should read this but read it with eyes as if you don't know what's happening next and you don't know how the story ends and it jumps out at you it's good good good good good bye pronouncement of good then not good and it's got to pronounce you like whoa wise is not good and then he says he need to help me the next verse says So God created animal and fill the earth with animal and then tell Adam to name all the animals so if you're reading this with no eyes you're you're going OK not good or all good then not good he needs to help me comparable to him and the next thing God does is create animals and if the story ended there you'd say oh I don't need pets right Adam needed pets. God gave them lots of pets and why would you be bored with elephants and giraffes and oh that's cool then it says all of that Adam Gold the names of the and there was no help me found for him so most is is really like elongating the tension between the not good to get back to a good and put in God made animal even with all that work ministry school it was still not good for Adam to be alone so Adam did all this work and then God presented with and then God goes not good not back to that but he does what. Barry. So look at the blueprint there's nothing in the movie print that doesn't help us understand that God wants us to learn as human beings All right we looked at the color cafes and then let's look at 1 of the states real quick on this is the word said to cut a list I think they're based in New York I'm not sure but here the benefit benefits of. Our society is suffering from chronic social isolation and touch deprivation. So while we have our Bible study groups that awesome right because that's crushing and doing away with the social isolation but the touch deprivation part that's far pair to do you know you need to be paired up for that and here they're recognizing the need for that and to make matters worse we have also sexualized touched right Tutt deprivation is linked to anxiety depression aggression stress violent behavior impulsiveness low job performance or relational skills and so on they have these professional cutters who are there to tell me if this isn't sound like a spouse listen comfort console encourage and journey with you throughout every cut. And we're tended to laugh at them to know what they're beating a very real me because whether they know geezer or not their bodies follow the blueprint our bodies follow the blueprint and so rather than thinking that sexuality needing someone want to be in a relationship there's a difference between hugged and being held there's a difference between standing in a circle holding hands and someone holding your hand there's the dream touch and caress and we need to embrace all of that if we're going to be credible Christian and over sexualized world are you just come off as sexually repressed and that's a blank canvas nobody wants to buy or have you or are you seeing what I'm saying great but so anthropologists call this weird and I'm in agreement and notice where it's located Western educated industrialised rich democratic societies that's us we are weird. Jesus said the scriptures out there will be put to cure but now we're so this is not God's intent for us right so noticed all the studies that I just listed are located in we are the countries right with Japan at the helm here's what I'm saying as a social scientist I'm not surprised to see this in Japan why because the Japanese traditionally that is not founded or start that culture is a founded on Christian principles whereas US Canada New Zealand Australia and Western Europe are all founded on Christian principle like in terms of how the nations operate today are they not mostly Catholic Christian and so why we're following Japan who has made academia and intellectual ism their god they're smart people right absolutely brilliant technology state of the art for sure but notice what they're heading socially because they're not aware of the blueprint we're aware of the blueprint as both Christians and living in Christian nation were following suit putting academia intellectual ism and career above and foremost and neglecting the social and relational or even sexual aspects of our humanity and we end up being weird So what God pronounced is not good we've declared good he said is not good for man to be alone he said it's good you can finish your schooling set up a career buy a house get a car and then maybe you can find someone to settle down with and have a family but what I'm seeing in Boston and through out the literature Christian literature as well as secular literature is neither promiscuity nor sexual repression. That is protected singleness honors our creator's blueprint intent and with promiscuity I'm also including their pornography as well as masturbation neither of those ends are what God intended for his children and what I'm finding by and large more often they're willing to admit is 1 of the reasons they're such a hesitance with young people the be all gung ho for Jesus super like ready to evangelize or even just comfortable enough to sit and read our church or Bible study is there carrying all the sexual kill all the sexual baggage because they've gone too far or what have you and they're like I'm not worthy So there's all the shame around sex their shame around their bodies they don't believe God has forgiven them so they can't walk in newness of life and that's because we keep pushing off this pairing up way later into life which for a lot of people is impossible and so they fall into temptation and therefore sexual sin outside of marriage and that hurts our witness and hurts our ability to really share the gospel Neither situation makes for a compelling witness for God or His Gospel we have to reclaim what sexuality actually is it's in the pool print God It thinks it's beautiful it was intentional and we need not be ashamed God created us to enjoy a healthy sexual expression I want you to use this phrase instead of just being abstinent. Because abstinence OK we get it but here it encapsulates this idea that abstinence is for a short period of time and then you have sexual expression within marriage that you can enjoy it's healthy and it's good there is no physiological indicator or social indicator that places singleness and perpetual or track to abstinence as healthy there isn't 1 it's a really need to go back to God to print and embrace it as scary as it might seem because it's like but I'm in school right now it's OK I'll share some stuff with you in a minute probably 518 let your fountain be blessed and be Joyce with a wife of your. And I know right now in the church we put 30 year olds as being used or that concept right we've got youth in our church OK where are the 30. You and I my 32nd say. Let's look at some things that pertain to you and your age that led to the case for getting married young it can be beneficial to make marriage the cornerstone rather than that capstone of your adult life this is the sexual sect Cuellar article and she does a brilliant job new research from not yet love that name a project that explores the benefits and costs of delayed marriage in America points to some of the risks of waiting so long to marry we don't often talk about the costs of delaying marriage we always think it's a benefit thing. Unmarried 20 somethings are more likely to be depressed drink excessively and report lower levels of satisfaction than their married counterparts and I love figures for example 35 percent of unmarried men say they are highly satisfied with their lives compared to 52 percent of married men among the women that report being highly satisfied with their lives 29 percent are cohabitate 33 percent are single and 47 percent are married she continues young adults are taking longer to finish their education and stabilize their work lives culturally young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a capstone rather than a cornerstone that is something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenting or parent marriage actually works best as a formative institution formative you cannot become a P.H.D. in singleness and think you're going into marriage you're going to have it all set to different industries altogether not in an institution you enter what you think you're fully formed we learn marriage just as we learn a language and to the teachable some lessons just come easier earlier in life. Interesting in a 2000 not report sociologist Marc Rich Regnerus and he's actually a Christian he I think he's teaching in Texas at a public university deputy look him up amazing research on this topic he found that much of the pressure to delay marriage comes from parents who encourage their children to finish their education before marrying 1 student told them that her parents want my full attention and grades in school but such advice reflects an out dated reality 1 in which a college degree was almost a guarantee of a good job that would be held for a lifetime that is no longer the case Furthermore with so many students graduating from college would need Buchan dead they have worse than nothing to bring to a marriage financially I'm adding the financially bit indeed a prolonged Single them or protected singleness has become a Rolling Stone gathering up that an offspring that we can imagine a woman. Angles who are weighed down with the guilt of sexual sin looking back over a marriage of nearly 3 decades she says I am thankful that I married before going down that road now as a college educated doctorate holding woman I can attest that marrying young at age 19 was most beneficial to me to my husband and to the longevity of our marriage our chief men have come I am convinced not just by our young age but because of it. But because it and rush were thinking no way I can give you that crazy no good. But really have you guys heard of neuroplasticity how your brains are more malleable when you're younger that's the time to find someone to do life with and you grow up as Ron has given you that phrase grow up together he shared with me a couple nights ago we having dinner he's like I grew up with my wife not that they knew each other with their kids they met around college age but growing like getting with the immaturity in their lives happened in marriage not before now you're mature enough to know you have to pay bills and do laundry and all that's right but again there are some things about us and our sinful hearts and whatever baggage may be carrying and stuff from our families all that stuff that needs a partner to work that out with sanctification is a group effort and according to Scripture 2 is a group right where 2 together there he is in the midst of so your college experience can offer you academics campus ministry opportunities and love don't leave that it's not a distraction I would tell you trying so hard to stay away from a ticklish unshipped is even more of a distraction than just finding a good man or woman who loves Jesus to do live with OK. I got a few women. Here's the medical missionary health have you guys heard of the study the blue zone study on the secrets of living longer so in 20052005 Dan did a study on the longest living communities of the world. And he found 5 or 6 initially and lo and behold to everyone's surprise there was a healthy community in the United States they're like No no that can't be but yeah there is Loma Linda California right. Men indeed some Adventists because you know Loma Linda swarming with that so they better show up in this. And so Loman is considered a world the booze where people live really long live old and live well so well into the ninety's into their 100 I believe now I believe I know the reason Adventist and out in the study is simply because they're following God's blueprint the original diet is a plant based diet so should come to as no surprise to us that the stats are what they are because God who print is really it so what I'd love for us to what I'd love to see is for National Geographic to do it study on how Adventists also understand that in God's blueprint our specifications for sexuality and that we would stand out from what's happening in the rest of the world not just because we eat well but because we know how to love well so Loma Linda to me is like a Goshen healthwise in the United States of Egypt disease wise right we're number 1 I think in every disease. And similarly I think we could be a Goshen relationally in the Egypt sexually of the culture that we live in today I might be an idealist and not but I serve a big God So God blueprint for human flourishing for me and thinking about what God originally intended for us to flourish when I look at those things my prayer changes and this might be a little bow but go with me here. In looking at what is and got to print I don't pray so much law is based diet you know well because what's the answer it's in the blueprint is a not so instead I'm Frank you show me how to do a plant based diet well because you do can you begin to. You you can't. Oreos all day long Yeah that's big and that's now well that isn't yes that is not Gore I got all the prayers and Lord is it your will that I work. Is work not in the blueprint OK so the parents that should be Lord show me how to work well. The phrase not Lord is the Sabbath your will. Is in said Lord show me how to celebrate the Sabbath well so in the same way my prayer and I tell the young people in Boston so the prayer is not Lord is marriage in your will no see God show me how to love well show me how to love well and being a lover begins well before you even get married so that's what I mean by we become a different kind of friend a different kind of love because start even before you say I do so anything in God's good point you do not need to as God is married and in the car she means that you will know it's up for grabs so he's got ask God God help me to do this well if he has a different plan for you that is not in the poop and he will let you know Jeremiah he came up to me said hi you know I gotta go I have you not to have kids is what you can do in German I was like OK well there you have it right now just so you understand everything in this blueprint is something that God has gifted us for flourishing but he will not impose it on us. He will not impose free will is in effect always has been always will be so in the same way Paul decided to stay single you can if you so choose but here's what I'm saying with the quote unquote gift of singleness a bunch of people who claim to be gifted who go around breaking hearts flirting with people they have no intention following up with being sexually involved people they have no intention of marrying and this we call giftedness. That's a really ugly Khamis nobody wants that and then you have all these people with baggage X. that era and then when you find it sad to settle down at 40 you say I want to woman with no baggage but you are the baggage. You caused all the situation ship Success and it goes both ways we have some sisters who play the part of the light and then they want to marry right a bow as you can't do that. Or see Jesus. So God's blessings are baked into his blueprint so that means my new age neighbors in Cambridge Massachusetts where all the big and restaurants and all of Boston's last Cambridge are not owned by Adventists they are not owned by them and but my new age friends who have their restaurants and are living a plant based diet do you think they're healthy why. Less things are baked into print so whether you know the name of Jesus or not but you're following the blueprint to whatever extent he's going to bless it he's going to bless it and this is why I have atheist friends who have marriages that will make some Christian marriage is book really. Because that somehow the Holy Spirit or the press on them you meant to this person is not about you it's about them. And so without using the name of God or the Bible that we've been going to church they understand life is about my wife my son and they have a beautiful family and I have several friends who are like that why are they succeeding because God's blessings are baked into the group and same thing with the Sabbath. And same thing with work and whatever else is Genesis 1 and 2 so I want you a little bit about Caleb Joshua what I call marital Kanan in Numbers Chapter 13 and 14 we find this often story partial is that it still. Of God think Moses and Aaron choose 12 people 12 men 1 from each tribe to be spies to go out and buy Cain in this land that I've been promising not only you. Backward to Abraham so they're on the border of Jordan they're the River Jordan and so they send out the toss by the top spies returned 10 of them said what no 10 of them said they would go the jackal like the giant they're so big like grasshoppers before them the land is so huge it will swallow up whole 10 of them are complaining and like we can't that's scary don't do it we can't do it no only 2 of them Joshua and Caleb are like no no what got promised us this so we should move forward in faith so marital canon if you will is marriage married people that come back to the singles 10 of them people they're 10 and the only tell you the awful things about marriage the blogs even some of the Christian books on marriage will just elevate the challenges and pitfalls and downfalls awfulness of marriage. Look for the Joshua and Caleb notice the Joshua when you have time to read this account on your own notice that judgment killed do not negate the fact that the the people of Canaan are huge and massive and Giants Joshua and Caleb are not negating the fact that the the land is huge and might be overwhelming for a relatively small group of Israel and China moving all they say is God's promise to sue us if we trust in him he'll give it to us to look for the Joshua's and kill us only listen to the Joshua and Caleb who are married or even single who will say to you I'm going to downplay that marriages is difficult or that there are challenges or what have you I'm not to downplay that yet there are people that decide to be unfaithful I'm not going to downplay that maybe somebody you know us have been raised in a broken home I'm not to downplay that there has been sexual abuse perhaps in marriages but here's what I know marriage is not modern human social contract God instituted this and it's in his blueprint therefore despite the challenge because God has blessed all that happened in creation we can move forward and take on the giants of marriage you could take on the hugeness of what is married life because God is with us so listen to the Caleb's and. They're always going to point back God said God will be with you I will pray for you I will mentor you come hang out with me and my wife for me and my husband see how we do that really focus on those voices and they will be few there will be outnumbered by the many who talk about how marriage is so awful that impossible. So 1 of the things that we're really starting to do and by the way my brother recently got engaged. So as we're growing up and realizing this really. Pushing for more holistic way of doing discipleship with the college students in Boston and we realize that it entails modeling and teaching others to eagerly embrace becoming husbands and wives fathers and mothers holistic discipleship that that is the discipleship of Scripture throughout Scripture saying Teach your household my way that's what God tells Today most millennial so many Genex don't even have a household right throughout Scripture says Teach your children my way and so that's the holistic discipleship and we looked at some history as to how that that's been spliced the way and how discipleship it was teaching other people how to study the Bible no disciples about doing life with God and includes family so that if we keep that in mind will make us a different kind of lover so I've got a couple resources for you I've been writing on this for the I'm pretending on this a couple years but last year I put out 2 block series on relationships you can find this on the wellness website that I manage and the 1st is called late to a potluck the dating predicament of 30 plus year old single Christians and what to do about it and I've been getting lots of text messages and e-mails and messages from young ladies and quite a few guys have been reading this to say yeah I'm not 30 yet but all that you explained is my problem right now and so much the same way you know what a potluck is right we just had 1 if you come late to it you get what if there's anything left right so right now you guys are there sitting out. That's the age group you're at they're setting out. Don't be late to potluck and then be angry at God real talk. Real talk I have some friends who are now in their forty's never married stayed chaste active in the and in both the word and in the church but because they had some of the mindset like in the later part like I talk about hope soulmate mindset that actually Greek mythology did not scripture but this whole idea of God will bring me 1 if I just I have to be all these special things and I'm awarded with a husband and I several girlfriends in their forty's who realize the guy is not there your super late the pot luck they've cleaned up fellowship hall is clear and they are upset and some have left the church that I'm so serious bad theology does harm this some serious damage then the 2nd series is called the helpmeet shortage why telling Christian singles God's love is enough isn't enough and I'm just using the blueprint were God is the 1 that told Adam this isn't good and went about fixing what's not good and were going around saying No wasn't good is still good because now I have a bachelor's or master's or Ph D. That's not the same thing it's not the same thing so you've got to check that out my emails on the website feel free to email me happy to chat with you while we're here as well. So you're going back to my main thought for this talk the Christian walk is the quintessential group project with real world implications I would go so far as to say our friends and our neighbors who are non Dius could really care less that we have our prophecies down to the day if we don't do relationships well so if we do relationships Well we become a different kind of friend that the world is so desperate for our campuses are so desperate for we become a different kind of lover. That uses God's blueprint to realize that were holistic with a sexual dimension not meant to be repressed but to be healthily expressed within marriage. That is so. If you do. Something close without some announcements great God in heaven your brilliance sometimes you think we're more walk than you and so we're sorry that we keep messing things up but your father thank you for your Grace thank you for your mercy thank you for do overs and take you for the opportunity to share what it is that you have in mind when you're thinking of human lurching we ask to God that you just grant us the wisdom to work this out practically in our lives help with the farm in the Josh was Who Be real with us about the difficulties of marriage but also the joys and the blessings and this amazing ness that you created to be taken for all these things I say. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about verse or if you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W audio verse or.

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