“Time flies when you’re having fun!”
So much truth in that little pithy statement, isn’t there? When we look back over the course of the last five years of our lives, each of us are in awe over where God has taken us from, where He has lead us to, and what He has done inbetween the two. Each of us were led to seminary in Texas more than five years ago, a year later we all attended the same class and became the best of friends. We shared the same vision for ministry to women: a ministry with truth and honesty and substance. “Women don’t really like fluff, not really,” we all concurred. Women are smart…really smart, and if given the deep doctrines of Scripture can reason and understand and apply those doctrines to their everyday lives. They just need other women to step up and teach them, not step up and start teaching men, but step up and start pouring into other women. So, we took the vision God had given us in Titus 2 and 1 Timothy 6:20, we took the seminary training we received under our amazing professors at Southwestern…and we wrote and wrote and wrote. Little did we know what God set in motion on September 1, 2009.
About a year into this writing ministry, some of our mentors suggested putting our articles into print. “A Book?” we remember thinking…what would we ever write on?? But we came together and prayed about what God would have us do. “This is HIS website,” we have always said, “to do with as He pleases. If it grows, it’s gotta be Him growing it. If it produces a book, it’s gotta be Him forging us ahead.” So we resigned to have a proposal ready in the off chance that someone would want to pick it up. And for about a year, we had to consistently put it into the Lord’s hands. “God, this is Your website. If You want us to have a book come out of it, You’re going to have to orchestrate that.” And then, in the summer of 2011, a contract arrived in the mail.
God had given us a book deal, and all of us, suddenly, got really nervous. Have you ever had this happen? You prayed for something BIG, something challenging, and when God answers your prayers, a little part of you panics. That was us. What if I fail? What if I can’t do the job? What if I misunderstood God’s calling? What if no one likes what we write? What if it’s completely unrelateable? What if the world doesn’t really need ANOTHER book on dating? What if…. What if…. What if….
The call of Moses immediately floods my mind when I admit to all the what if’s that were floating in our emails to each other. Moses had a similar story. He wanted to do BIG things for God, something challenging. And He tried in his own power to do what God eventually was going to do through him (Exodus 2:11-15). But he failed…miserably so. Then after 40 years playing the lowly sheep herder, the stately Moses came upon a bush that burned but was never consumed. It wasn’t because the bush was special, extraterrestrial, celestial or even powerful. In fact, if God hadn’t been IN the bush, the bush would have burned up like any of the bushes surrounding it. It wasn’t the bush; it was the God IN the bush that made this a spectacle worth turning aside for. And when God tells Moses to go and do, what if’s come off Moses’s tongue like rapid-fired sentences.
We want to learn from Moses’s mistakes. So…when God calls, we listen. We do. We trust. It’s His bush…er, book. And while it is just a book and it doesn’t hold all the answers to every dating question or scenerio out there, we are excited to see what God does through our book. We consider it a Gospel-centered approach to dating, and our prayers are that when women read the Gospel from its pages they will come to know HIM where their ultimate relationship can be found. We pray people would come to know the God behind our book. Would you join us in praying to that end?
So….here it is. A snipet of our book. It is coming out November 14th, but can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com today, or you can buy a digital copy immediately for your Kindle. Just follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SDDA3O/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb
Why does dating matter?
Why would anyone want or need to read yet another book about relationships?
We already know how to walk away if he’s just not that into you, how to be your own matchmaker and how to make every man want you. What more does a girl need to know?
But more specifically, we need to know God’s truth, His truth about how you date, who you date, how to spend your time while you’re not on a date, and how you go about life before the wedding date.
Boys. Dating. Relationships. Singleness. We’ve been there. We’ve felt the butterflies. We’ve suffered through the awkward first dates. We’ve wondered if he would ever call. We’ve made the mistakes. We’ve struggled to recover from heartbreak. We’ve battled loneliness. We’ve questioned the point of dating and relationships.
And chances are, we’ve asked the same questions….
What if there is more to my love life than a never-ending pursuit of romantic bliss? What if all this boy-girl stuff has a bigger purpose than just my fleeting happiness? What if God has a bigger plan for my dates, relationships and singleness? What if all this romantic hoop-la was not just about a boy, or several boys, but about a Savior? What if singleness, relationships and even marriage were ways for me to proclaim Christ to the world?
Therefore, I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
What is a living sacrifice? Everything we do in life – eating, hanging with friends, serving at church, crushing on boys – is part of our sacrifice of worship to God. The question then must be asked: is our sacrifice pleasing to God? As children of God, our daily routine is about more than just eating and walking and talking and sleeping…. It’s about proclaiming the name of Jesus as a witness to the world. We are to offer the area of boys, dating, relationships, and girly dreams as a living sacrifice of worship to Jesus Christ, who gave Himself up for us. Being a single girl in dating (or not dating) relationships, means honoring God in all of her relationship interactions. That is her offering of worship to God.
And if all of our relationships are about God – knowing Him, becoming like Him, and reflecting Him to the world – then the focus of our love life isn’t the butterflies in our stomach, or even the really cute guy who asked us out, but it’s about God. The point, the goal, the focus of your love life is God Himself.
That means that it matters who we date, because our lives are a witness to the world and a sacrifice of worship to God. It matters if we date bad boys, lost boys or jerks. It matters that the guys in our lives love Jesus more than they love us. It matters how the relationship started, continues, and even how it ends.
This means that it matters how we date, because our lives are a witness to the world and a sacrifice of worship to God. Dating is more than just finding a good Christian guy, it matters that we establish physical and emotional boundaries, that we commit to living in purity, that we encourage one another in our walk with Christ. It also matters how we break up with a guy and go on with our lives after the relationship. Everything we do in and out of relationships is part of our witness and either brings glory to God or harms His reputation.
This means that it matters why we date, because my life is a witness to the world and a sacrifice of worship to God. Dating and relationships aren’t to be our identity – Christ alone defines us. As such, it matters how we handle singleness, combat loneliness, pursue relationships, and respond to guys who express their interest. The success of our relationships is founded in our understanding of God’s plan and purpose for our love life.
This may seem like an extreme perspective on dating, but when God takes over your life, your love life is included. Surrender to the Lord cannot be partial if it is to be radical. We cannot pick and choose what we allow God to have a say in. That is not a living sacrifice. That is convenient Christianity.
So, ask yourself: Are you truly ready to live radically? Are you ready for God to take over your love life? He is!