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If the relationship is outpacing knowledge of character, reputation, and knowledge of godliness, then that is way too quick.
But if you are in a context in which you have watched the person’s godliness, you have marveled at their character, you have rejoiced in what God has done in them and through them, then speed isn’t a big factor. What drove the speed wasn’t a flare-up of emotions — it wasn’t a fear of loneliness, or desperation, like maybe this is my only shot. Rather, there was knowledge of his faithfulness to God, his desire to serve the Lord, and his seriousness about the things of God.
” What role should the church community play in deciding who and when to marry?
I think the way that local churches can practically help godly marriages happen outside of telling single men to “man up” and telling single women to “stop waiting around to be active in your single life” — though I do think there is a space for telling single men and women this. What does it look like to serve, love, and encourage your wife? What does it look like to be a man of God in relation to your wife?
Personally, I try to do this by having single men into our home. I will help set the table, and then afterwards that young man gets to help me do the dishes.
They are being discipled, whether that be organizationally or organically, whether they are part of a church’s system for discipleship or they just found an older man or an older woman and invited that person to speak into their lives.
And I think those pieces are a much safer gauge than whether they highlight passages in their Bible and show up to service every week.
The ability to text or to tweet or to just write on someone’s wall enables you to flirt and tease without there ever being a “what-exactly-is-this-relationship” moment.