Share This Episode
Family Life Today Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine Logo

Dating in the 21st Century

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2020 9:00 pm

Dating in the 21st Century

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 244 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

July 12, 2020 9:00 pm

Author and campus minister Shelby Abbott reminds us that Scripture calls us to something greater and healthier in our relationships with the opposite sex. It calls us to love through self-sacrifice, communication, service, and patience. How does this apply in the dating phase? Shelby, now married, shares his own dating history and talks about how technology has changed the dating game.

Show Notes and Resources

Find resources from this podcast at

Check out all that's available on the FamilyLife Podcast Network

Have the FamilyLife Today® podcast and resources helped you?  Consider becoming a Legacy Partner, a monthly supporter of FamilyLife.

COVERED TOPICS / TAGS (Click to Search)
Core Christianity
Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

The rules about dating in our culture have changed over the years and technology has made the whole dating experience a little more complicated. Shelley Abbott says some of the current rules about naming need to be reconsidered. I was telling Rosen is at the guy texts you doesn't ask you out face-to-face text him back and saying have the guts to come to my face and asked me out to my eyeballs in icing.

If he go soon and he doesn't respond at all and you dodged a bullet. But if he does respond to incomes and passing out face-to-face is teachable.

This is family like today. Our hosts are David and Wilson about being how can young people today navigate the sometimes choppy waters of relationships and dating got some wise counsel. Stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us so I got two questions to start off with okay this happens every time always failures.

Question number one listers's need to know. We do not do show prep where we talk, only it might be a good idea you ever want to go.

I like the spot I if you could have a do over on your dating years, would you take that are not my dating years with 100 my dating years before.

In total, dating your dog. Definitely a do over. So I talked to parents for years and I've asked the question, raise your hand if you would like your kids to have the same dating experience as they go through their teams as you have. Oh, what a great question and you get like you know maybe one hand yeah back of the room and then the next question is so is there anything you can do to help them have a better one and and we start the parenting process with that for your euro wise he what you know why dating experience before and was so bad that when I tried to date in dad barred me 1/2 day.

He was my baseball coach. He knew my soda history. Talk about a tool definition of a tool which were as either a secular and here's the second question before we get into tools that is not her second question is do you think that that young people going through the dating years today are having an easier time or a harder time with that phenomenon and you had yours was not good yeah I could do all yeah you think young people today have an easier or harder.I think now it's way more confusing social media has chat so we messed up when we went through it and now it's harder. So, what conclusion should we be able to draw about how this is working for teenagers. Yes, well, I'm glad we have some way to make this a sensible reason this school time in talking about tools is because Shelby Abbott is joining us shall be welcome as I have and am excited to be explained why we call you to I wanted to come up with a clever title for the book.

He certainly did.

And I am a tool is a phrase that is used to communicate ineptness in some form or fashion.

So I thought it would be clever to name the but I am a tool to help with your dating life in the pause in between those two is is quite important that the subtitles in real times and I can barely agree that that Shelby is on staff with crew and working with high school college-age students across the country as a speaker as a writer is an MC as a done standup comedy. As I write.

Yeah, in 2010. Maybe I decided to do a comedy show for Christian college students at different campuses would involve the crew in order to train them and motivate them in the art of evangelism. I figured if certain agendas could be pushed via humor consumer has the ability to tear down walls. I thought if I can breach the subject of evangelism which is like so difficult times and put a humorous spin on things.

It would help people at the very least to have a heart for wanting to share their faith as I did, I did apply for years. That's a little intimidating to say I think I'll go be a standup comedian to college student. Yeah, it's it's not fun. I got beat up on Steve like a lion give us something. I used to joke a lot about kind of just the nuance of what it means to be a college and like how things are difficult and hard but just kind of putting a mirror up in front of people's faces through the medium of humor is one of those things that makes people want to at least listen to you like one of my opening lines was college is truly one of the most amazing times in a person's life.

Another point in time. Can you sleep until 11:30 AM get up put on sweatpants walk out into public to go get food get it, bring it back to your room, eat it while you binge watch Netflix and still be considered a normal, hard work, so I'm hoping that okay this guy gets me because you can relate. Can you relate to what we shared about dating experience would you say do it the same way again.

If I could make. I would make a lot of different choices so I'd say no that I wouldn't want that for my kids, but there were some areas where I did make some good decisions.

I'm short I'm 5 foot six and so when you're short in high school girls don't care about you at all and it's one of those things where I didn't date anyone in high school because no girl really thought I was manly and okay tell listers there with there was one time when black girls needed to walk back to their dorm yeah yeah that will that's a hard story. Thanks for bringing it up to leave this girls used to say I was cute, which on the surface sounds like a good thing but is actually not when they're talking about me specifically wasn't like you like my gosh she's so cute. It was like you like a little pop kid brother yeah and I wouldn't like that very much. And so this one time this girl came up to me and she was at Shelby you are so cute. Not had enough so I smacked her like hand away from my face and I pointed right at her head and I was like, listen, I want to be cute anymore. I want to be desirable and she literally laughed and he turned around and walked away. I never ever spoke to so well that yet with being short, it was one of the things I felt like it was a difficult got protected me in those times where probably would've been making a lot of the same poor decisions that my friends were in high school and become a Christian to college and so I think it was one of those things got ordained in my life because I got to college and became Christian and then I started dating quite a bit in college was very insecure because of my height and fact that the story you're referring to Bob earlier was there was this girl named Katie who I liked.

I was a sophomore. She was freshman and we were hanging out one night at the beginning of the semester. She was just starting involve the crew was instant her.

So I would try to do is much they could take a pair off with her in and talk in the can a stuff wherever this apartment for the evening playing games hang out eat and snacks and stuff like that and I was hanging close to Katie and sit next to her on a couch and one of my other friends were sitting on the other side of Katie. Her name is and and I was, waiting lingering to see when she would want to go home so I can walk her back and gets more time with her on her way back to her dorm and so, sure enough, the time came in and said hey Katie and I are gonna walk back was. Is there any man that would want to walk us back to the dorms and I quickly volunteered and I said I'll do it and then and looked at Katie, the girl I liked and said, does he count and I know that she she wasn't trying to be malicious or mean she wasn't trying to be like evil or even try to make a jab at me but I would make a lot of jokes about myself by being short because I would try to beat people to the punch and prove to them that I could be smarter than them or more more funny than they could in their attempt to try to cut me down and so no doubt she was thinking what he makes fun of himself about this a lot. I could probably say this. What she didn't know is that does he count line would stick with me for years and years and years and years not only as like a guy who girls would want to date but as a friend as a child of God in ministry as a spouse does he count yet that question can echoes in your head.

Over and over and over again to.

I have worth or value. Do I matter exactly yeah I think is one of the things that colleges in general where you where your living whether you're single or your you're with someone you ask yourself the question, do I Do I have an enemy of our soul.

Satan who replaced those offenses and those lies over and over in our heads to make us feel insecure yeah and you start to believe that exam and then you live that insecurity in a way that not only affects your brand Effexor decision-making.

It affects how you communicate with people.

It affects what you choose to do in ministry.

It affects how you are is a student all that, stuff.

So when did you deal with the lie. How did you get through it. Yeah well there's thing accrued. We talk about a lot called walking the power of the Holy Spirit and really I heard that a lot wasn't really until the end of my junior year that I finally started to understand what it meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in the part of the Holy Spirit to allow him to work in and through me so that I would not believe the lies that would constantly come at me, not only internally but also externally from the world, living in a in an environment with people who looked at the heart who didn't always judge by the outward appearance, so getting in it and a good Christian community of people naming crew. I really felt known, and I felt cared about and like always have wrestled with that throughout my whole life. But the out overcompensate by. Try to be the center of attention or funny or whatever and eventually you guys would this one person I respected called me on that, stuff, and said you know hey eat you realize there there is no condemnation for those who in Christ. Do you know what I'm saying is, again, he is not not, do you actually know what I'm saying and I had to wrestle with the present and now I don't think I know what Romans eight want to say I don't know that saying and so I think honestly maybe a few years into being on staff with crew and that's kind of sad to say that that that I was a full-time missionary for a few years before I moved past some of the stuff you struggle with as an adolescent, always been a late bloomers, I think so many people struggle with that, not only in adolescence but we carry into our adult lives just a few weeks ago I was hearing in church about some of those lies. I continually battled growing up, and then as an adult as a young mom as a young wife where I would look at myself in the mirror and say things like character, your fat you're ugly you're not worth anything it had become such a pattern that I wasn't even aware of the lie that I was continually speaking to my own self insight church a few weeks ago I had people write down the lies that they are continually replaying in their heads and they came out innately had crosses on both sides and there are stage and people dumped the lies and when church was done and people had left and gone home. I sat makes me cry thinking about it and read the lies and it was appalling to me of the territory that Satan is taking in our own hearts and our minds of the things that we believe that aren't true because God is always cheering for SEC's the best he sees that look at you you know you look how I've made you the things that I read on those papers where you don't belong here worthless. Your life doesn't count one person said you should take your life because you don't matter and so many people are walking around with those hidden lies without communicating it and they believe it. I love that you're bringing this up because I think it's a battle that we all face and that we need victory in even going back to what you're asking before Bob like is it harder now.

The layers of digital existence that are out there right now when it comes to relationships, which are always awkward and messy and sweaty and weird.

Anyway, now you have this more of an opportunity to put distance between you and another person not only on social media, but texting in general becomes a replacement for actual communication is the fundamental mega shift that has occurred over the last two decades, and how young people engage in relationships technology in an the digital world is is that what's the biggest difference, yes it is the biggest difference I think that one of the tendencies of older generation is to blame technology and say this is what the problem is and I don't think technology is the problem.

I think technology. It's what technology has forced to the surface in our lives. Fear, apathy, loneliness all that, stuff which existed in the early dating years. Anyway, it's just pushing it to the forefront.

So now you don't have to go through the awkwardness of asking a girl out and the girl doesn't have to go the awkwardness of saying no you just type it into a text message while that kind of relieves the initial stages of anxiety and awkwardness.

It trades one thing for another.

It ends up being a way of communicating that says I'm in a deal with stuff in our relationship. In the easiest way possible in a way that now glosses over the realities of life because you need friction you need awkwardness you need to be able to look someone in the eye ago.

This is the real me is because you have a real relationship with somebody exactly hopefully all will know how to do is is under passably safely text one another. Although I do have them did text my wife.

I was upstairs and she was downstairs this morning. I texted her, because I heard her shouting at Alexa she was shouting at Alexa about something and so I texted her and said, it sounds like you Alexa are not in place or are you okay but the point you're making.

I think is is a significant one.

In fact, I've seen the statistics that say teen pregnancy is down is that's a good thing you loneliness and depression are way up, snarling, and it's because kids are spending time together during their bedrooms, living out life on Snapchat and Instagram Graham. That's where Toby was up yet is and I read this one teen author who wrote their names to kill Crow she wrote about.

She said if you think about it. Speaking to adults when you had to deal with bullying in school. When you are there you dealt with it from 8 to 3 now the way the things exist and how everybody's lives are lived out socially online.

You can get bullied 24 hours a day you can get comments made about you. Any picture that you post people will post negative things about those things and so consummately, people are feeling. I gotta put my best foot forward.

I got a perform.

I got a look.

Certain ways I guy have to say the right things because if I don't, I will be mocked and ridiculed, and it will happen. Not in the confines of the school. It can happen in the comfort of my bedroom looking at my phone is scary scary as a parent tail yeah to hear that it's very scary is apparent to know how I help my kids how do I help them not go through that. I would think that a young person today who was conscious of this and said phenomenal live differently, to try to have relationships in real life I will try to have it face-to-face not just digitally, I would think their peers would be like you're just weird yeah I mean there is an element of that. I think you have to you have to move past that by living a life that is authentically committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

And when you do, no matter how clinical weird. You might seem because you don't use your phone in the way that other people do. People will eventually look at that and go. There's just something remarkably attractive about that and I would like to tell the students I talk to that that social media, texting your phones should never be a substitute for relationships. They should be a springboard for relationships into something deeper. Some anti-texting or not anti-social media at all in any way. But if those things become a substitute for authentic relationships with friends with the opposite sex. What ever that's when your problem starts to arise. And that's with happening when it comes to Jen's ears and millennial's so, but you can use social media.

You can use your your phone text messaging outcome stuff to deepen your relationships the way it helps you instantly communicate with people is a great thing.

It's a really great thing.

Let me ask this is dating a dinosaur.

Is that still a term that we can use. I would say no. There is you don't call dating. I don't anymore because it's such a foreign concept when they think about dating now they think listening. My parents did. I don't go out on a date with someone. I asked do you want to hang out sometime casually and what he wanted to eat. We can you number my place and we watch a movie we can watch Netflix or we can maybe hang out with a few other people that can deal now there's plenty people who would say that they have a boyfriend or girlfriend which is in my definition as semantics. It's dating.

That's what it is they may not be going out on dates. That way, but there is just a lack of intentionality in a way that there used to be.

Even when I was in college which was in the late 90s and at that point, I would think a young man who was hanging out with the young woman and said to her, you know, I want to be purposeful and I want us to use texting as a way to communicate, but I don't want our relationship to be a text relationship. I want to be a real relationship. I think you would weed out the wheat from the chaff.

Pretty quick, and how young woman responds young woman of character would go I'm attracted to that you it's a diamond right there and young women who art attracted to that.

Those are the ones you let go anyway.

Can you flip it around.

If young woman says to young man look I want to have real relationships, not just text relationship so I'm just letting you know a guy who is worth something will step up to that and a guy who's not will build a passive route and so I just want girls I can text him you. We will yeah yeah, you're absolutely right. I was told girls. It's of a guy text you and doesn't ask you out face-to-face text him back and say have the guts to come to my face and ask me out to my eyeballs and I say if he go soon and he doesn't respond it all, you dodged a bullet.

But if he does respond, then he comes and asked out face-to-face. He's teachable.

So it's a win-win. It really is like, why not raise the bar raise the bar. I just hope the girl who texting back and says have the guts to do that when the guy comes and says okay we go out with me. I hope you do go now being injured like that is a guy is that we need to take our legs it's it's healthy for now.

Are you are you seeing in the dating culture now. Are you seeing women and men responding like Bob was saying like that's what they really want down. I think authentically yeah they they really do want a high school student college students for certain and high school students actually talked about this with a group of high school students a month ago and they were riveted because it's so foreign. For them, for someone to communicate in a way that says why don't we live authentically. Why don't we raise the bar in the lives of the people around us. Why don't we have the guts to look people in the eyeballs and interact with one another because if you just text your avoid the bumps of relationship friction, but it will come back to bite you in the future, because you will not know how to communicate authentically and you won't be able to argue. Well I even tell them you won't be able to get a job as much because the guy or girl who can look the boss and the I listen to what their questions are answered in an intelligent way is going to be a way better candidate for getting a job in the future than someone who has no idea how to communicate with someone because they don't how to make eye contact and to shake a person's hand and or know how to answer a question because they spent their lives looking through a digital window and I would just concur with that insane man. Here's what I'm hearing God say to the men out there and you can talk to the women but I can talk to the guys. It's like he's calling it a step in the manhood there some guy listen right now he's a drive over to the dorm room drive over there her house, walk up to the door ring the doorbell. You sound so elementary but like step into risk-taking manhood and look her in the eye and if you found a woman you want to pursue and him and do it. If you need tools to help you without tools we we got the tool that one. We got copies of Shelby's book which is called I am a tool to help with your dating life. The book is available in our family life to the resource Center you can order a copy from us Call to order one 800 FL today I got a website is family life to phone number is one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and in the word. Today the book were talking about is by Shelby Abbott.

It's called I am a tool. The course were dealing with something here that is pre-marriage and family life to, is known for ministry to marriages and families but are real focuses on relationships on helping you with the most important relationships in life. Your relationship with God and your relationship with your spouse. Your relationship with your children, your extended family members. This is where the Christian life is lived out in the family life to our mission is to effectively develop godly marriages and families. So when we get into issues like dating pre-marriage issues.

It's with that bigger goal in mind help us know how we can walk faithfully with Christ in every relationship in life were so grateful for those of you who make family life to a possible for the hundreds of thousands of blisters who join us each day. Those who listen on radio.

Those who listen to podcast online through our family life app you make that possible when you make a donation to support the ongoing work of family life to the if you're a regular longtime listener, and you've never made a donation wanted to pay it forward today so that there can be hundreds of thousands of people who listen to tomorrow's program. You can go online and family life make a one-time donation or become a monthly legacy partner again.

The website is family life to you can also call to donate at one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and than the word today and we hope you can join us back again tomorrow when Shelby Abbott will be here again to help us think about how we can assist young people, friends, family members going through the challenges of dealing with the rugged terrain of the dating scene in the 21st century can be with us for all of them tomorrow. Think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast behalf of our hosts Dave and Wilson about the pain. See back tomorrow for another edition. Family life, family life to as a production family life of Little Rock, Arkansas accruing ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime