From Pastor Joel’s message on Singleness this Sunday:
What you are in your singleness, you will be married. Yes, it’s true by the Spirit’s power, I can grow and change over time, but my greatest need is not a removal of external circumstance, but an internal heart change. Marriage tends to compound weaknesses and character deficiencies, not cover them. Whether it’s laziness or being a workaholic, you will take both into your marriage. Neither of those are healthy. Understand the person that you’re dating will bring his or her strengths and weaknesses into the relationship.
Find the whole person attractive. We live in the age of the image. Perception is reality. It didn’t really happen unless it’s on Instagram or Snapchat. Physical attraction is a must, but there’s more than physical attraction. Tim Keller refers to this idea as comprehensive attraction. A Christian single can model living differently by finding the whole person attractive. For instance, what evidences of grace do you see in their life that are attractive? What fruits of the Spirit do you see?
Do not commit to a deep emotional relationship with an unbeliever. Choose to date a growing follower of Christ. Unfortunately, at times, it appears that some unbelieving men and women have more character than professing believers. Here’s what could happen in your marriage if you choose to marry an unbeliever. Growing marriages are intended to be transparent. As a Christian, when you start talking to your unbelieving spouse because you are on a walk watching that sunset and you give credit to the Creator, your spouse may be fine with that or they may not. But my experience is it becomes a point of irritation in the relationship and so now you have to become quiet on the central focus of your life. In worst case scenarios, in order to keep the peace, you actually end up removing Christ from your life.