So the question today is, what does the Bible say about dating? And we're going to see that if you do what the Bible says, the benefits of a godly relationship far outweigh the benefits of a worldly one. We're going to see that it's possible to have friends with benefits, but not the kind of benefits that the world offers. The dating world can be challenging to navigate, especially for Christians seeking to live according to biblical standards. And today on Connect with Skip Heitig, we'll hear Skip's son Nate Heitig share an insightful message on dating relationships from a biblical perspective. Then, after the teaching, stay with us as Skip and Lenya dive deeper into the topic of dating. There's so many ways you can put boundaries around a kid when they're out there dating as well, you know, to let them know, you know, you can use us as backup and there are ways to prepare them for literally the date day. Now, here's an exciting resource bundle that you'll want to get your hands on this month. Someone once estimated the cost of the services that mothers perform.
The amount was huge. We know moms don't do it for money. They do it out of love.
While we can't repay our mothers, we can honor them. Here's a great suggestion. It's a special bundle of resources we're calling the heart songs package. It features heart songs. There's a Psalm for that, a powerful five-part series led by Lenya and Jenae Heitig designed to teach you to depend on God's love, power, and comfort in every season of life. You'll explore what the Psalms say about love, jealousy, fear, security, and longing. Maybe you can think of a time when you really, really wanted something. This Psalm is kind of about that.
It's this longing, this desire, this hunger that the Psalmist is expressing and his longing is for home. In addition to this encouraging series, you'll also receive the Sheology quiet time journal, perfect for daily Bible reading to make notes as you follow the heart songs series or for your personal prayer time. Plus you'll get a bag of Skip's library roast coffee. The coffee pastor Skip chooses when he studies in his personal library. The heart songs packages are thanks for your gift to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.
So request your heart songs package today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're joining Nate Heitzig in Matthew 22 for today's teaching. Dating. What a big topic. You know, one thing that I found is relevant to everyone in all eras and in all walks of life is the idea of male and female relationships.
And that's what this series has been all about. Male and female relationships. And whatever you want to call it, some people call it dating. The new term that's come back is courting. People say courting is better than dating. You know, back in the fifties they said we're going steady.
Whatever you want to call it, the idea is the same. And this morning we're going to look at this topic in a message titled Friends with Benefits. And I know we hear that and we think of something that we shouldn't. But tonight we're going to see, or actually today we're going to see what Friends with Benefits is really all about. Britney Spears recently said this, I don't understand the whole dating thing.
Who in here has ever felt like that? I don't understand the whole dating thing. What is dating all about? What is it supposed to be? What does a healthy dating relationship look like?
Hey, really quick question. Who in here has ever been involved in a bad relationship before? Okay, like come on, be honest.
I think all those hands should be up. We've all been involved in a bad relationship. A relationship that just seems like a train wreck.
That it never gets better. It seems like you did everything bad that you could and they did everything bad that they could. And it just always ends in heartache. You know, we've all been involved in bad relationships. And when I was preparing this message, I asked myself, why do so many people date the wrong way?
Why do so many people date bad? And I realized the reason that most people date the wrong way is because we as a society get our cues from the media. We get our dating lessons from Hollywood. And what does the media say about dating? What does Hollywood say about relationships? Well, I found a few quotes from some celebrities. Richard Gere says, I don't know if any of us who are in relationships are totally honest.
It just doesn't exist. Mitch Hedberg said, I don't have a girlfriend, but I do know a woman who'd be very mad at me for saying that. Uh oh, Mitch. Anna Kournikova says, I have lots of boyfriends.
I want you to write that. Every country I visit, I have a different boyfriend and I kiss them all. Jack Nicholson said, there's only two people in your life you should lie to, the police and your girlfriend. I don't think the celebrities have it right. So I looked at television and I wanted to see what television says about dating. So I looked at some of the most popular television dating shows to see what they say dating is all about. And I came to this, number one, dating is not exclusive.
It's okay to date and hook up with as many people as you want. Thank the bachelor for that one. Number two, dating is simply a game.
It's not real. Number three, if you get lucky, you might date and marry someone rich and then your life is set. You know, there's a new game show, a dating game show now called The Choice where celebrities, rich celebrities pick girls who come out and dance and try to make themselves look good so they can get a date with a celebrity. There was a show a while back called Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? Seriously.
Seriously. And then finally, the perfect date is comprised of a private chef, a hot tub and lots of wine and maybe getting lucky at the end of the night. That's what society says about dating. That's what Hollywood says about dating. And I know it sounds crude.
I know it sounds wrong and that's because it is. That's not the way God intended relationships to be. That is not the way we're supposed to date.
See, society looks at what can please instantly rather than ultimately. Here's a few statistics to show you where society is at with dating today. There's 54 million single people in the United States today. 40 million single people in the US have tried online dating. All right, be honest, who in here has or knows someone who's tried online dating before?
Okay. I think there's probably more people who are a little ashamed, but that's okay. I actually have friends who've met their spouse through online dating. I have friends who've met their boyfriend or girlfriend through Facebook. 53% of people say that they have dated more than one person simultaneously.
Players, man. On average, couples wait between six to eight dates before they enter into an exclusive relationship. And on average, it takes between 12 to 14 dates before couples will trade house keys.
Let me ask you a question. Is there a better way? Is there a better method to finding a spouse than that? Is there a better way to look for relationships than what society in Hollywood is forcing down our throats?
See, for the world, the only benefit of friends with benefits is sex. And a huge problem with dating today is that we view dating like these tiny little marriages. And what happens is you become so invested, you become so tied to a person because of sexual intimacy that you create this mini marriage, which over time will split up and cause a mini divorce, complete with Facebook unfriending and toaster ovens being thrown at each other.
It gets dirty. You know, I've seen couples that have come into my office that aren't married, that were dating, and they hate each other. They just can't stand each other.
They'll come in and they'll cry and I'll get a girl to come into my office or a guy. And they're just talking about this horrible relationship. And I'm always asking the question, well, how long were you married for? We weren't married. Were you engaged?
We were dating. Oh, well, like how long? Like five years?
Three weeks. Are you serious? Come on. No wonder the divorce rate is so high today. We're teaching ourselves that it's okay to give something meant only for marriage. And then once we're bored and we find something better that we can get out of there. And this is the way that human nature is. You know, I get people that come to me and they say, Nate, will you do a message on how far is too far?
I do a talk show on Sunday nights called Shock Therapy Live. And I have people that call in and say, hey, is this okay to do with my boyfriend or girlfriend? How far is too far to go with my boyfriend or girlfriend?
How far is too far to go with my boyfriend or girlfriend? At what point does it become sin? Will you answer that for me? And my answer is always no.
I refuse to do that. Because you're asking me to draw you a line that you can walk up to and look over the edge. Rather than asking how far can I go before I'm sinning, because chances are whatever that marker is, it's probably sin. Ask yourself, how holy is too holy?
Or how about how pure is too pure? Because as children of God, we should be seeking the highest that God has for us, not the lowest. We shouldn't be walking around looking for the worst Christian possible that we can get away with the most.
No, we should be looking for the best, the best person that God desires for our lives. And so the question today is, what does the Bible say about dating? And we're gonna see that if you do what the Bible says, the benefits of a godly relationship far outweigh the benefits of a worldly one.
We're gonna see that it's possible to have friends with benefits, but not the kind of benefits that the world offers. But I want to point out, as we look at this topic, we have to be careful because we want to look at it in light of biblical culture. So we have a tendency to look at the Bible through an American lens, as though Jesus wore red, white, and blue robes.
And we have to keep in mind that this was written to an audience that is far different than ours today. And what I mean by that is people sometimes like to get dogmatic about what the Bible says. Now I'm a firm believer that we should understand what the Bible says, but do you want to know what the Bible says about dating? Well, it says that most marriages in Jesus's time were arranged. That means that you didn't get to choose who you marry, they told you, hey, you're marrying them, get used to it. So that's what the Bible says about dating. So when we look at this topic, we have to take the cultural differences and view them in our differences today. You know, when I was younger, I absolutely hated the idea of arranged marriage. It was the worst thing possible. The fact that my parents could choose the person that I'm with?
No way. Let me tell you, I got a couple kids now and this isn't such a bad idea anymore. As a matter of fact, this whole arranged marriage is a very viable option for me going into the future.
You know, find a family that's got a good looking kid, exchange a few goats here and there, and there you go. We're all set. But I pray that God prepares me. I pray every day that God would prepare me for the day that I meet my daughter's first boyfriend. Actually, let me rephrase that.
I pray that God would prepare my daughter's first boyfriend for the day that he meets me. That will be a day of reckoning. Let me tell you what.
Let's just say that since cadence was born, the idea of nunneries and AR-15s is very appealing to me. But here's the thing. Nowhere in the Bible does it say this is how thou shalt date. There's not a chapter in the Bible that's the dating chapter where we can go and find all the credentials for the perfect date. And that's why when you go to the bookstore, there's so many Christian books on this subject, on the subject of dating. Let me tell you, some of them can be really helpful.
Some of them are good. But when it comes down to it, always come back to this book, to the Bible. Because although it might not give us a chapter of guidelines for dating, it gives us some very good life application principles that when applied to dating or any other area of life, it can change our perspective. So this morning, whether you have kids, whether you're married, you're dating, or you're single, this can help you.
This can help you view relationships the way that they're supposed to be. So turn to Matthew chapter 22 verse 37. And what I'm going to do today is I'm going to give you three principles based on these verses as well as the Song of Solomon for dating and relationships. Matthew chapter 22 verse 37.
Let's turn there together and read what the Lord has for us this morning. Verse 37 it says, Jesus said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Here we see our first point and that is be a God digger, not a gold digger. Now this is the greatest commandment and this applies to every area of our lives including dating. The commandment is you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Now this story is happening. Jesus is approached by somebody who asks him the greatest commandment hoping to to trick him, hoping to tie him down, and Jesus responds very quickly that the greatest commandment is to love God. Now again this commandment applies to every area of life including dating.
Now this should be your first question asked period. This is the foundation and should be asked and answered before you even consider dating anyone, courting anyone. That question is do you and do they adore God? Second Corinthians 6 14 says do not be yoked together with unbelievers. The question is are they converted?
Do they adore God? Ultimately ask this question. What do I want in a relationship? What does God want in my relationships?
And are they the same? Now this is a question that we ask in everything in life. What do I want? What does God want?
And are they the same? Whether it's business dealings, whether it's transactions, or where we go, what God calls us to in our lives, or who we're with. What do I want? What does God want?
And are they the same? You know a sad thing that I've seen whether you're a high school student, a college student, or you're grown up, that is that people have the tendency to drop their standards, to lower their standards. When we start out we have a great idea of who it is that God has called us to be with.
They're perfect. They're a Christian person. They love God. They want a family.
They want all the same things we do. And our standard starts out way up here. And then for whatever reason maybe we haven't dated in a while it drops a little bit lower. And then we see that smoking hot guy or girl who isn't necessarily walking with God and it drops just a bit lower.
And then that guy or girl asks us to do something we know we're not supposed to do, but they say that they love us, so we drop it a bit lower. And then what ends up happening over a period of time is we end up all the way down here looking up at the top and saying, how did I get myself in this situation? Let me tell you it didn't happen immediately. Happened over time. Happened with slow gradual decisions to lower your standards. No one just wakes up one morning walking with God, loving Jesus, going to church, knowing the Bible, being involved in ministry, and they don't say, you know what, I want to get pregnant today.
I really want some STDs. Doesn't happen. Doesn't happen in dating relationships just as the way it doesn't happen with drugs.
No one wakes up and says, you know what, I've never done drugs, but it's time to OD. It doesn't happen. It's slow gradual decisions that cause us to lower our standards. That's not the way it should be, is it? We shouldn't be lowering our standards.
We shouldn't be settling for the worst that God has for us. We shouldn't be driving the Pinto when God has parked out front the Ferrari. And ladies, I'm not talking about the tall, dark, and handsome Italian stallion kind of Ferrari. I'm talking about the Ferrari on the inside, not the outside. I'm talking about the motor. See, it doesn't matter if a car looks great on the outside.
The question is, does it run? And sadly, some people, because of society, a lack of discernment, are left dating someone who's a Ferrari on the outside and a Pinto on the inside. And that's because society tells us the most important things to look for are sexual attraction and money. That, man, if they're loaded and they got a naughty body, then it's good to go. And that's what we're told.
That's not right. That is not what we should be basing our decisions for dating on. We shouldn't be looking at that. We shouldn't be focusing on those external things. There's got to be something more.
There's got to be something on the inside. You know, I read some really startling things online when I was preparing for this, and one that I read about was the fact that I read things online when I was preparing for this. And one that I read, it says women who post a photo on internet dating sites receive twice as many email messages as women who don't. And the same study found that men who reported incomes higher than $250,000 received 156% more email than those with $50,000. Money and looks. That's what society wants. 4M multimillionaire banking club based in Seattle, Washington, I kid you not, has clients that are men who have made millions of dollars but are still single, and women can pay $250 to be listed as potential partners for these millionaires. Wow.
What have we come to in America today? Don't be a gold digger. Be a God digger.
Don't let money, don't let looks, don't let possessions be the number one that you're looking for in your spouse. Let it be their relationship with God. Let it be a deep, sincere love for Jesus Christ. Let them be converted. Your first question is, do they adore God? You know, the first question we ask a couple seeking marriage here at Calvary is, are you both believers in Jesus?
And if they answer yes, the second question we ask is, what do you believe about Jesus? Because a lot of people say they're Christians. You know that the majority of Americans believe themselves to be Christians. As a matter of fact, 76.5 percent of Americans claim to be Christians. The Bible doesn't say we should claim to be Christians. The Bible says we should be converted. That we're to be born again, which means changed. And not just are they converted, but here's a big one, are they real?
Are they real? Now guys, sorry to call you out on this, but unfortunately this applies mostly to us, to men. Are we really stoked about God? Or is that just a mask that we put on to be accepted? You know, it's sad.
I've known a lot of guys that will put on a Christian mask, they'll speak those Christian words, they'll go to those Christian camps just to get a Christian booty call. And that is not right. That is not right for us to pretend to get something we want. You know what that is?
That's selfishness. The question is, are they converted? Are they real? Do they adore God? And do they respect you?
Do they respect the boundaries that you've put in place? Do they respect the convictions that you have? Do they love God with their lips and their lives? It seems like a lot of people love God with their lips, but I think very few love God with their lives. As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to bet that half of those professed Christians don't really adore God. Sure, they go to church, but they've never been converted.
They've never been changed. Question arises, how do you know if someone's really changed? How do you know if someone is converted? It's really easy.
1 John gives us the method. They don't love the things of darkness, but they love the light. No, they're not perfect, but they want to grow. They want to change. They don't just adore God with their lips.
They adore Him with their life. So the question isn't, are they Christian? But the question is, are they different?
Are they changed? Are they seeking to grow in their relationship with Christ? When you look at their life, is there evidence of their belief in Jesus? Now, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with that initial attraction, being attracted to someone physically. That's the butterflies, the, oh, he's so cute.
There's nothing wrong with that. But if we base our decision of who we're with off of that infatuation, that's wrong. You know, when a guy sees a beautiful girl, he says, I think I'm in love. That's not love. That's infatuation. Understand the difference. One study shows that between ninth grade and your second year in college, the average person will have five real loves. I think that a better definition would be what they think is real.
That's a normal part of life. But what separates the feeling from true love? Simply, true love stands the test of time.
Let me rephrase that. True love stands the test of patience. The best definition that I've ever heard of love is that love is a constant devotion, not a passing emotion. It's not just about butterflies. It's not just about a warm and cuddly feeling. It's about something more. It's about a devotion. That's Nate Hyten with a message from the series, Keep Calm and Marry On.
Find the full message, as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskipp.com. Now, let's go in the studio with Skip and Lenya as they share their thoughts on dating. Today, our son Nate was teaching about dating and how to approach it from a biblical perspective. And we got to watch Nate date.
So that's kind of fun. Skip, what are some of the ways parents can prepare their children for the time when they would start to date? And what are some of the words of wisdom you have for parents today? Well, you remember when Nate was at that awkward stage and he was wanting to date. Here's teaching on dating. You know, you're talking about that. And he did a tremendous job, masterful job at it. And he did well successfully in his dating relationships.
But I remember when he was just a baby. And we would pray frequently for his future wife, not knowing who she would be. You had certain ideas of what you wanted.
And of course, I did too. But you're always praying for God's hand and God's wisdom in that. That's number one, you pray for. Number two, you model it, right?
You model it by what? Well, if you have daughters, dads, take your daughters on date, show them what a gentleman can be and do and say and what she should expect on her date with some prospective husband. I think part of that is being affectionate with one another, even showing them in the home that it's okay, that's beautiful. Also, prioritizing that it's not a child-driven home, an adult-driven home, that sometimes mom and dad are a priority, not just the child. That you let your mom and dad go on dates. And you know what? Tonight, you're not going to be a part of that.
It's just going to be us. It models the priority of love, that primary love relationship. Right. It was so cute. When Nate was first dating, there was an older gal at school that had a crush on him. And he wanted to go to this Valentine's thing. And I was like, okay, it's Valentine's Day and she's older. And just give us a call.
And he kind of did like, I'm in over my head. I want to come home. Can you call now and say, I need you home. The date's over or something. But just there's so many ways you can put boundaries around a kid when they're out there dating as well, to let them know you can use us as backup.
And there are ways to prepare them for literally the date day. Thanks, Giffenlenya. We hope this conversation inspires you to keep following Jesus. And we want to invite you to help encourage others to do the same with a gift to keep these biblical teachings on the air. Your support is vital to enable Connect with Skip Heitzig to expand into more major U.S. cities. Just call 800-922-1888 to give. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. We hope you'll be back tomorrow for the conclusion of Nate Heitzig's message, Friends with Benefits. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
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