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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.
And that is just my way of going: “Hey, this is a way that I serve my wife.” And then, while we do dishes, I tend to just talk about the ways that I try to make space for Lauren’s gifts.
So, this is an intentional, organic kind of culture of discipleship that I hope is woven into the life of The Village. Whatever you normally do, can I just come and join you in that?
If I can get that 24-year-old single guy with a 38-year-old married man, then I have high hopes for how that 24-year-old will see, understand, and desire marriage.
But then on top of that I think what you celebrate and how you celebrate is important.
Because what I have tragically found is that Christian singles hit an area of desperation, particularly young women, and they will go: “Yeah, he is a Christian, he comes to church.” And really what they’re saying is this guy comes to church a couple of times a month, but outside of attending a service, he doesn’t have a real seriousness about growing in his understanding of the Lord, growing in his understanding of the Bible, being a prayerful person, no vivication or mortification that can be spotted, and no one who really knows them enough to speak to the growth in their character.
Now practically speaking, this means singles are seeking out people to speak into their lives.
And the worst possible thing imaginable in my mind is a bunch of 24-year-olds sitting around talking about life.
To help find the right questions, we called on three not-yet-married friends who gave some time to thinking about the challenges faced by singles: Lore Ferguson, Paul Maxwell, and the recently engaged Marshall Segal.
We ended up with these questions: The Bible commands Christians to marry “in the Lord,” that is, to marry other Christians (1 Corinthians ; 2 Corinthians ).
We have a staff person here who met and married her husband in a matter of months. I hardly knew they were dating before they were engaged.
In your experience, in what ways has technology changed the way young people date today? If we are talking about a young man and a young woman who are actively dating, who have defined their relationship, and who know they are in a growing and committed relationship with one another, then I think technology creates an avenue to encourage one another and to connect more frequently.
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Any advice for inviting others into a relationship to that end? But I think what we want to do is work really hard in our churches to create a culture of discipleship.