“So I was thinking….the dance is next weekend….and I haven’t asked anybody yet. Would you like to….go with me….?
Now hold on just one second! Let’s consider a few things in essence first. Cole Ryan’s ‘Dear Guys’ book is an excellent montage pointing us toward the deeper levels of dating.
Note: All quotes and illustrations from this point on have been directly taken (with permission) from Cole Ryan’s, ‘Dear Guys’ book.
Preemptive: What is the purpose of dating?
For starters, Cole immediately demonstrates that dating in itself is not biblical. Dating has become an expression similar to the average impulse buyer; you see something you like and before you put too much real thought into it, it’s yours. Dating is cultural…but deep down there is a purpose. “Dating is simply a gateway to marriage.” ‘Dear Guys’ has adequately portrayed the path that dating should outline; meaning that it’s very intention should be focused on marriage. “Dating wasn’t created to replace marriage. Dating wasn’t created to gain experience at marriage. Dating was created to be a road that ends in marriage.”
‘The One’ Mentality
Chapter three of ‘Dear Guys’ may just be one of most intense sections in the book. I know that was the case for me. Cole upholds certain logic when he acknowledges the problem with thinking like there is only one, the perfect one, out there. He says that logically, when one person married the wrong one, then the entire order would have been corrupted. “Overall though, it’s not really about finding ‘the one’ at all, it’s about preparing yourself to be ‘The One’. He says that we need to make sure we’re prepared to support and SERVE a spouse before we ever initiate a relationship. Dating needs to be reflective towards God and the blessing he has given a man and a woman under marriage. And if our hearts are in tuned with God’s character, then we’ll make the right decision.
Vulnerability is Key
One aspect that made ‘Dear Guys’ so great was that it always seemed to answer any underlying questions that I had as I read the book. For instance, the topic on sex. Don’t worry, Cole directly reflected on this topic (you can bet that Song of Songs was referenced). “Sex is good.” One element that resurfaces throughout the seven chapters in the book is the act of serving with humility. We all know that when we are humble, we are also vulnerable. But this is a good thing! “If you’re not willing to put yourself out there and be vulnerable for a girl, then I don’t think you’re ready to date her just yet.” This is so because “God designed sex to involve the soul…” And sexual lusts outside of marriage, such as that that involves pornography, are only dependent on the body; this “dehumanizes” the very worth that God has stitched into sex. If we do not have a servant’s heart for this girl then we are just wasting God’s intentions.
‘Dear Guys’ brilliantly concludes its instructions by seeking out where our fulfillment will be coming from in a relationship. “If you’re fulfillment isn’t found in Jesus, I don’t think you’re ready to be in a relationship, because the relationship will become an idol.” Cole said it perfectly when he said that dating, eventually marriage, isn’t about us, it’s about God. Why else would He create marriage?