Sparks in a relationship

Sparks in a relationshipWhen we’re in love, there can be physical attraction, with sparks flying. Are these feelings healthy? Should Christian singles follow them, or are there more important signs we should trust before allowing ourselves to fall in love?


Are sparks important in a relationship?

I think that you will find an almost unanimous agreement that sparks are important in a relationship that leads to marriage. However..it is only one of MANY ingredients that go to make a successful relationship. Some other VERY important ingredients are: character, personality, beliefs, tastes, intellect, basic compatibilities, styles, financial habits, temperament, etc.

Physical attraction to the opposite gender is something that seems to have been placed into us by God. It is a strong motivation and has been manipulated by ‘Hollywood’ to a point that most accept that it is THE single most important ingredient. It is not!

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Expectations vs reality with online dating.

Online Dating: Reality vs Expectation

Long distance relationships have theirs ups and downs and we shouldn’t allow our fantasies to blur reality when using online dating.


What advice would you have about dating online and long distance relationships?

The development of any relationship is challenging – but long distance does add some unique aspects to consideration. Although I am sure not all-inclusive, here are some thoughts that I believe one should consider as they entertain long distance relationships.
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Guide to starting a successful relationship when dating online.

Relationship guide to dating online

Dr. Jim provides advice on the process of having a healthy relationship in the online dating scene and steps to take (and not take) to find your perfect match.


Dear Jim: Are there general guidelines for screening people that perhaps I can use in the future to avoid the bad experience I had?

You are one of many who have written to me with a similar question. Yes, I do believe that some guidelines SHOULD be created (called boundaries) as you approach any relationship – especially over the Internet.

Guide to start a successful relationship Online

  • The first one is NOT to develop any undue expectations PRIOR to meeting one in person. Approaching the subject of marriage before even meeting should be a sign that “expectations” are getting ahead of the process. I could not state this too strongly. Would also suggest that approaching the subject of marriage even after meeting for the first period of time should not be done. The single biggest cause of heartache in finding relationships is unrealistic expectations.

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A match made in heaven – or not?

a match made in heaven

Is our perfect match chosen by God? What should we expect to feel when we start dating a potential “soulmate”? Dr. Jim gives us some insight into what we should expect from “the one” (assuming their is just one).


The phrase ‘soulmate’ is often included in an email from a single, or I am asked if there is such a thing as a soulmate. The Bible does not discuss this concept but it certainly is used a lot among singles.

There is a desire to find someone who is a ‘perfect’ match. Although this is but a thought, it really surfaces when they meet someone who appears to meet all their expectations. The other person says the right things, likes the same things as they do, and just seems to know exactly what to do to please them. The feeling is so overwhelming and it seems like a divine appointment. Is this really a match made in heaven?

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What are the ‘normal’ stages in a relationship?

The Relationship Stages

Dr. Jim explains the relationship phases with a simple guide to build a healthy relationship for those singles who are marriage minded.


The media bombards us with sex and dating built appealing to our fantasies. There is a progression that should take place in building a relationship. The following is offered as a guide to consider as you build a relationship.

Note: As soon as I say guide, every single reading this will think they are an exception and the timing noted does not apply to them. Yes – it does! One of the strangest phenomenons that I have observed is that single dating behavior is more common than most of us think. I encourage you to not look for the ‘exception’ but where you can build the type of relationship that will serve you and your partner well for years to come.

Fantasy Stage 1 – 6 months:

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Is Love Enough?

Is Love Enough

In today’s singles advice, Dr. Jim Rives talks about: Is Love Enough? for those seeking for a lasting relationship.

Please let us know your thoughts on this, in the comments below. Thanks!


Seeking a lasting relationship…

What criteria do you use in seeking a lasting relationship? Is a strong emotional bond sufficient to see you through the years?

Life presents us with many twists and turns. One sets out to find a good relationship only to find someone show up who does not meet all the desired qualities. Have you set your criteria too high, or is it okay to have high standards?
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Online Dating Red Flags

Online Dating Red Flags

What red flags should you be aware of when using an online dating site? We’ve put together some tips to help keep you safe.

There are a two main areas when you think of profiles/”members” to avoid in online dating:

  • “Fake” profiles that try to build a rapport with you and then hit you up for money with the help of a made up tale.
  • Legitimate members who you simply shouldn’t spend your time getting to know.

Let’s dig in.
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Is Online Dating Biblical?

The question posed to Pastor John:

“Is online dating a good way to meet your future spouse…”

Pastor John’s response includes the following key points:

“The biblical issue is not how you meet, but who you marry.”

“The great question is, are you mature enough to discern a worthy spouse?”

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Over 30 and Single? God Has Control

Christian singles expert Lisa Anderson from the Focus on the Family ministry Boundless provides a couple minutes of advice for those finding themselves over 30 and single.

How can Christian singles no longer in their 20s feel content? Realize that God has control of the situation. There’s work being done “behind the scenes” that is part of His story for you. Continue living life and trust God with his plan for you.
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The Gift of (Temporary) Singleness: Embrace It

Embracing the Gift of Singleness

In today’s singles advice, Dr. Jim Rives talks about embracing the gift of singleness after a broken relationship – viewing it as a growing phase of your journey.

Please let us know your thoughts on this, in the comments below. Thanks!


From weeds to…

There is a field near where I live that is covered with weeds and some plants that came from old cotton seeds. It is not much to look at and is not attractive or of much use. However, I recall only a year or so ago when this field was filled with rows of beautiful Pima cotton. It was a picture of God’s masterful design and commanded everyone’s attention because of the healthy, lush green plants standing at the same height and fullness.
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