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Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date. For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now. The small, picturesque church was crowded with friends and family. Sunlight poured through the stained-glass windows, and the gentle music of a stringed quartet filled the air. Anna walked down the aisle toward David. Joy surged within her. This was the moment for which she had waited so long.
He gently took her hand, and they turned toward the altar. But as the minister began to lead Anna and David through their vows, the unthinkable happened. A girl stood up in the middle of the congregation, walked quietly to the altar, and took David's other hand.
Another girl approached and stood next to the first, followed by another. Soon, a chain of six girls stood by him as he repeated his vows to Anna. Anna felt her lip beginning to quiver as tears welled up in her eyes. I'm sorry, Anna," he said, staring at the floor. What is going on? Then she woke up. Betrayed Anna told me about her dream in a letter.
How many times have I given my heart away in short-term relationships? Will I have anything left to give my husband? The jarring image haunts me. There are girls from my past, too. What if they showed up on my wedding day? What could they say in the receiving line? Those were some pretty lofty promises you made at the altar today. I hope you're better at keeping promises now than you were when I knew you.
And what a beautiful bride. Does she know about me?I Kissed Dating Goodbye - Josh Harris Leaves Christianity - Purity, Expectations, and Kissing
Have you told her all the sweet things you used to whisper in my ear? I do my best to forget. I laugh them off as part of the game of love that everyone plays. I know God has forgiven me because I've asked Him to. I know the various girls have forgiven me because I've asked them to. But I still feel the ache of having given away my heart to too many girls in my past. If I wasn't dating a girl, I had a crush on one.
This started in junior high when my peers and I treated dating as a game, a chance to play at love and experiment with relationships. Having a girlfriend meant little more than saying you were "going out. My friends and I would go out with girls and break up with them at a frightening pace. One girl I knew had the fastest breakup routine ever: When she was ready to end a relationship, she'd say, "Skippy-bop, you just got dropped. Instead, we began experimenting with the physical side of relationships.
Going out with someone came to mean you made out with that person, too. I remember standing by as a girl I liked called her boyfriend and broke up with him over the phone. As soon as she hung up, she kissed me. That meant we were an "official couple. The physical intimacy of those junior high relationships had nothing to do with love or real affection.
We just mimicked what we saw older kids do and what we watched in the movies. It seemed grown up, but in reality it was lust. I'm thankful that junior high didn't last forever. In high school, I got serious about my walk with God I kissed dating goodbye video series became actively involved in the church youth group. Unfortunately, youth group did little to improve my immature notions about relationships.
During Sunday morning services we passed notes about who liked whom, who was going out with whom, and who had broken up with whom. Wednesday night youth I kissed dating goodbye video series meetings served as our own opportunities to play "Love Connection," a game that resulted in broken hearts littering the foyer. In my sophomore year, my involvement in the dating game took a more serious turn. That summer, I met Kelly. She was beautiful, blonde, and two inches taller than I. I didn't mind. Kelly was popular, and all the guys liked her. Since I was the only one in the youth group who had the nerve to talk to her, she wound up liking me.
I asked her to be my girlfriend on the youth group's water ski retreat. Kelly was my first serious girlfriend. Everyone in our youth group recognized us as a couple. We celebrated our "anniversary" every month. And Kelly knew me better than anyone else. After my folks were asleep, Kelly and I would spend hours on the phone, often late into the night, talking about everything and nothing in particular. We thought God had made us for each other. We talked about getting married someday. I promised her that I would love her forever.
We began to struggle with the physical side of our relationship. We knew we couldn't be as close physically as we were emotionally. As a result, we experienced ongoing tension, and it wore on us. Eventually, things turned sour. We both knew this was coming. Not quite "forever," as I had promised. Something Better I was seventeen years old when my relationship with Kelly ended. My dreams of romance had ended in compromise, bitterness, and regret. I walked away asking, "Is this how it has to be?
Give me something better than this! I thought He'd bring me the ideal girlfriend or totally remove my desire for romance. I wanted God's best but hadn't been willing to play by His rules. The basis of this new attitude is what I call "smart love. Smart love constantly grows and deepens in its practical knowledge and insight; it opens our eyes to see God's best for our lives, enabling us to be pure and blameless in His sight. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Many people do this. Instead of acting on what they know is right, couples let their feelings carry them away.
I've engaged in my share of sentimental gush. While dating, I made many decisions based on superficiality and ignorance. I could so easily say "I love you" to a girl, feigning selfless devotion, but in truth, selfishness and insincerity motivated me.
I was primarily interested in what I could get, such as the popularity a girlfriend could give me or the comfort and pleasure I could gain physically or emotionally from a relationship. I didn't practice smart love. To truly love someone with smart love, we need to use our he as well as our hearts. As Paul describes it, love abounds in knowledge and insight. To "know" something is to understand or grasp it clearly and with certainty. With this definition in mind, let me ask you a few questions. Does love motivate the guy who sleeps with his girlfriend when it will scar her emotionally and damage her relationship with God?
Does sincerity motivate the girl who le a guy along then breaks up with him when she finds someone better? Both people exemplify selfish motivation. They need to "get smart" and realize how their actions affect others. In recent years, I've tried to let sincere and intelligent love guide me, and as I've done this, I've come to some pretty intense conclusions for my life.
I've come to realize that I have no business asking for a girl's heart and affections if I'm not ready to back up my request with a lifelong commitment. Until I can do that, I'd only be using that woman to meet my short-term needs, not seeking to bless her for the long term. Would I enjoy having a girlfriend right now? You bet!
But with what I've learned as I've sought God's will for my life, I know that a relationship right now wouldn't be best for me or for the one I'd date. Instead, by avoiding romance before God tells me I'm ready for it, I can better serve girls as a friend, and I can remain free to keep my focus on the Lord.
Knowing What Is Best Waiting until I'm ready for commitment before pursuing romance is just one example of smart love in action. When our love grows in knowledge we can more readily "discern what is best" for our lives. Don't we all desperately need that discernment? After all, when we engage in guy-girl relationships, we face some pretty hazy issues. But in dating, we don't only have to make wise choices between absolute wrong and absolute right. We also have to evaluate all parts of our dating relationships to make sure we don't go too far, allowing ourselves to get pulled into something we should avoid.
Here's an example. Let's say that someone at school asks you out. How do you seek guidance about what kind of person you can go out with?I kissed dating goodbye video series
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I Kissed Dating Goodbye Video Series on DVD: Three Dynamic Messages Based on the Bestselling Book