Why We Need a Theology of Relationships

A few years ago I began meeting with High School seniors in local High Schools for mentoring and one of them was a boy we will call “Dave” (not his real name).  Dave and I had lots of fun together because we both loved to talk and be really loud; a few times they even had to come down from the office and ask us to be quieter  🙂

One week Dave was strangely silent…I tried to get him to open up because something was obviously on his mind but he wouldn’t talk.  Finally as our session ended I asked if there was anything he wanted to talk about.  “Yea man” he said slowly while picking at a piece of the desk in front of him “how did you ask a girl out?”

Like many shy teenagers Dave had never been on a date before, and had become smitten with a girl, but didn’t know what to do about it.  We laughed a bit about his coming to me for  relationship advice (a single man in his late thirties) but then he asked “so how do I do it?”

Looking into his desperately lonely eyes was a frightening moment for me.  Not because I didn’t have a lot of experience with relationships, but because I didn’t have an answer for the questions that started pouring out.

  1. How do I let her know  like her?
  2. What should the first date be like?
  3. How many dates should we go on till its a serious relationship?
  4. Should I text her, and how often?
  5. What if her friends don’t like me?

The truth is even the couple that’s been married for many years would struggle answering these questions because things have changed A LOT since they were in High School!  The real problem here is there isn’t a Biblical roadmap for relationships.  Obviously there are principles of Scripture that are helpful,but the Bible doesn’t say “thou shalt declare the fourth coffee a date.”

While the relationship conversation with Dave was a bit awkward, I thank God for it because that forced me to start asking myself some of those questions.  And more importantly wrestling with them using Scripture.  In that moment my theology of relationships began.

Now that may sound weird but basically a theology of relationships means studying male and female relationships in an organized way using Scripture.   It began as a way to make sure the next time I was asked a relationship question my response wouldn’t be a “deer in the headlights look”, but eventually it helped me view all relationships Biblically. 

I do still see the humor of God leading a single male who has been called to singleness and celibacy (virginity) to create a Biblical view of relationships.  But the truth is each of have to wrestle with those hard relational questions.  Because although the Lord hasn’t given us a step by step process of relationships, He has provided Christians who can become faithful guides.

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