What happens when God’s grace and legalism are at “war”? What does God’s grace and mercy mean for us? Is sin today the same as yesterday? Is it ok for us to walk according to what we want or how we feel? Sins and consequences of sins: these are some topics that Dr. Jim talks about to help Christian singles stay focussed on God’s Word and His love.
Grace or legalism – which is correct?
The subject of emails to me seems to run in patterns. Several emails have been received recently that relate in one way or another to whether we should be guided by those who say God is all grace, or those who propose that God is demanding and legalistic. What is interesting to me is the motivation ‘behind’ why one chooses to either submit to the ‘grace’ or ‘legalism’ theory. It appears that they want to live life by their definition and find a way to justify that action.
“I want to get married”. Many Christian singles have this desire in their hearts, but over time they get discouraged, as they haven’t yet met that special someone. Dr. Jim has some encouraging words to help singles in trusting the Lord with whatever outcome He has for their lives.
If I want to get married (as God placed the desire within me to marry), why has He not provided a mate for me yet?
You pose an interesting question about desire and marriage. As I consider the question, I wonder if the desire to marry is one from God or one developed because of your personal desire. There are a lot of single adults that pose this question to me.
I want to honor your desires and feelings as I ask God to share through me. What comes to my mind is that there are often many desires in our lives that for one reason or another they are not realized. It is a human condition and we shall always be lacking in one way or another on this earth.
“The Need To Belong”
Should Christians look for a new relationship before a divorce is final? Should a single person go ahead with a relationship with a person whose divorce hasn’t been finalized yet? Dr. Jim gives advice about the consequences and what is the best approach for situations like this.
Is it okay to begin a new relationship before the divorce is final?
The scenario is usually presented to me something like the following. The individual has been diligently searching for someone where there are strong compatibilities and attractions. One is found in their search and they enjoy a great initial experience. The other person then shares that they are going through a divorce and the papers are not yet final. Often what follows is a story of why it is taking so long or the many trials and difficulties that divorcing the other person is creating. These facts are not lies, although there may be some embellishment out of their own perspective and needs.
What is love really like when you are seeking a soulmate? Do Christian singles know where their focus should be and what to look for in a person? What makes a great relationship or a disastrous one? Below are some great points to consider when searching for love online.
You’ve met someone special on a Christian dating site, you’ve sent messages, spent hours on phone calls and now it’s time for the first date. What should you do and what to expect from those dates? Some great tips from Dr. Jim to make sure that your first date is successful.
Dear Jim: Do you have any tips for singles who met on the Internet and are planing a first date?
Have you head the expression ‘things always look good on paper’? There is an element of this that is true for those who meet others on dating sites and want to begin a relationship.
Although I do hear of some singles that flatly out lie on their profiles, I believe that most profiles are completed in honesty. Let me ask you a question? When you completed your profile, did you finish the task wondering whether or not you had really done a complete and good job? If you are like most, you wrestled with whether or not what you had put done was exactly what you wished to project.
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.
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.
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:
Is Online Dating Biblical? In this blog post we have Pastor John Piper replies to the topic with great knowledge. For those singles who are in doubt if they should use the internet as a way to meet their other half.
In today’s advice piece, Dr. Jim answers, “When is it time to give up on a relationship?“.
A significant number of emails are received from single adults sharing details of broken trust, disrespect, and outright negligence in their current relationship. The writer’s question to me often is centered on whether they should stay or end a relationship. How does one know if it is time to move on or to stay and work on the relationship? (These are relationships that are between single adults and not a married couple.)