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Matt Chandler is a husband, father, lead pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, and author of several books, including The Mingling of Souls: Matt was our recent guest on the Ask Pastor John podcast and answered ten questions on singleness and dating. To help find the right questions, we called on three not-yet-married friends who gave some time to thinking about the challenges ahd by singles: Lore Ferguson, Paul Maxwell, and the recently engaged Marshall Segal.
We ended up with these questions:. What follows is an edited transcript of the full conversation with Chandler. Feel free to browse for the relevant questions to your life. But in a day when so christian dating and singles nominalism passes for authentic maturity, give us a few simple marks of spiritual growth that a man singlee woman should be looking for in a potential spouse.
And so I think the church really serves and helps Christian singles consider marriage and consider dating. Within the covenant community of faith, there should be those around a person that can speak of their reputation and whether they are serious about growing in the Lord and putting sin to death in their life. Is there seriousness in this person to grow in their relationship and understanding with the Lord?
Because what I have tragically found is that Christian singles hit an area of desperation, particularly dhristian women, and they will go: Now practically speaking, this means singles are seeking out people to speak christian dating and singles 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. How do you know if a dating relationship is moving too quickly emotionally, or too quickly toward marriage?
If mere physical attraction or some kind of emotive, frilly, this-is-the-one weirdness is driving the speed, then, yes. If the relationship is outpacing knowledge of character, reputation, and knowledge of godliness, then that is way too quick. We have a staff person here who met and married her husband in a matter of months. She had christian dating and singles him do ministry at The Village. Christian dating and singles knew his reputation.
Rather, there datihg knowledge of his faithfulness to God, his desire to serve the Lord, and his seriousness about the things of God. In your experience, in what ways has technology changed the way young people date today? Do these trends encourage or concern you? Christian dating and singles 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.
If, though, we are saying that technology has changed the game in regards to how single young men and women approach one another, before that relationship is defined, then I have a lot of concern about technology. And so, in that regard, when you have not established what the relationship is, I think it can be hurtful to constantly be involved in the technological realm, rather than the face-to-face realm. Any advice for christian dating and singles 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. In this culture, the norm, dhristian air we breathe, is that older men are serious about seeking out younger men to train them; not just train them in the Bible, but really train them in what it looks like to apply the Scriptures to their lives. What does it look like to eingles, love, sing,es encourage your wife? What sing,es it look like to romance her?
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 christian dating and singles our home. Lauren will almost always cook the meal. 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: So, this is an intentional, organic kind of culture of discipleship that I hope is woven into the life of The Village. On top of that, my hope would be that young men would seek out older men.
And I have told them before: Can I get in your space? Whatever you normally do, can I just come and join you in that? The appeal of youthfulness in churches is so heavy and celebrated, and yet I have found, without a good mix of generations, you are going to get lopsided and silly. And the worst possible thing imaginable in my mind is a bunch of year-olds sitting around talking about life. If I can get that year-old single guy with a year-old married man, then I have high hopes for how that 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. So, we want to celebrate marriages at The Village Church. And I want to celebrate women and men who have given themselves over to make disciples, whether they are married or not. They are still desiring marriage, and desiring a spouse, but they are not sitting christia their hands until they get one. A common question from single men: If I am not physically attracted to a godly woman, should I still try to romantically pursue chirstian in order to cultivate those feelings?
If so, for how long: But I do adamantly encourage young single men to pursue godly women for friendships in the hopes that it grows into more. But he loved hanging out with her. So, I just encouraged him to stay in proximity, to grow in his friendship with her, and to hope something would grow from there. I keep saying it: Godliness is sexy to godly people. And so, if you get in proximity, and you see the godliness and character of a woman, you begin to take datnig and godliness and gospel partnership more seriously than just physical attraction.
In the first part of MinglingI really address attraction as a good thing, but not at the level to where our culture has put it. We are all wrinkling. Our nose and ears never quit growing. It is only a matter of time till that little component that we are basing so much on starts to vanish and must be replaced by attraction founded on character and covenant.
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