Our friends at The Resurgence are making available a free chapter from one of Mark Driscoll’s books, Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions (Re:Lit).
Included in this book is a chapter on dating, which is one of the best guides for single men and women we have seen. Both practical and scriptural, included are discussions on topics including:
- Sixteen Christian Dating Principles for Men and Women
- Seven Christian Dating Questions for Men
- Seven Christian Dating Questions for Women
If you’re single, grab this chapter and read it. If you’re not, forward the link to someone who is.
There are two opposite errors about marriage into which a Christian single can fall. Idols that serve as functional saviors underlie these errors. The first idol is independence. When the idol of independence is worshiped, committed relationships, in general, and marriage, in particular, are dismissed or even disdained. Underlying this idol can be fear from a past hurt, the unhealed trauma of suffering through a parental divorce, or simply good old-fashioned selfishness, whereby someone does not want to make any life adjustments to accommodate another person. When heaven is conceived of as independence, and hell is conceived of as interdependence, then singleness is worshiped as a functional savior.
The second idol is dependence. When the idol of dependence is worshiped, then having someone to date is essential, being single is a crisis to be averted, and marriage is worshiped as the central guiding principle of life in which the longings for identity, joy, and relationship are to be satisfied. Underlying this idol can be a fear of being alone, a codependence that needs someone to lean on to an unhealthy degree, or a weak relationship with God so that it is not the primary defining and satisfying relationship in one’s life. When heaven is conceived of as a couple, and hell is conceived of as being single, then a dating partner or spouse invariably becomes the functional savior that is worshiped to get us out of our hell and into our heaven.