Full text of Paul Washer’s sermon titled ‘Are You Ready for a Relationship?’ – Biblical Manhood Part 2
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Paul Washer – Founder of HeartCry Missionary Society
We’re going to be taking a look at now something that ought to be a great concern for you. It ought to be something that also is something that brings you joy, the prospect of it, and that is marriage, and dealing with the opposite sex.
Now, we all are aware that there are some men and women like the Apostle Paul that have the gift of celibacy. And how do you know that you have that? Well, I believe that the Lord basically takes away at least most of your desire to have a relationship with the opposite sex or at least gives you the strength to overcome those desires and to live at peace with them. I have not known many people with that gift. And I would dare say that probably most of you here do not have that gift.
A lot of young men think that it’s more spiritual. Well, it can be spiritual or unspiritual because whether you have the gift of celibacy or you don’t doesn’t make you spiritual. What makes you spiritual is being in the center of God’s will for your own life.
And I can tell you this, that although there is still much in me that needs to change, I know that apart from marriage and children, I would not be the man that I am today. And I consider my marriage and then my children to be one of the greatest privileges that God has ever given me.
Now, we live in a culture that really does not think very highly of marriage. We live in a culture that does not think very highly of children. We kill babies every day. That’s our culture. A culture of death. And even those who are married, most Americans, I think it’s something like 1.3, 1.4 children that they want to have. Many cite this reason: economic reasons.
Look, we’re the wealthiest country in the world or at least close. And so we can’t have children. So it kind of demonstrates to us that we’re also a very selfish generation. Very selfish people.
HERESY OF RECREATIONAL DATING
And so what we’re going to talk about now is the heresy of recreational dating. Now I don’t know if you’ve heard the terminology. Most people use the terminology dating. Some people use the terminology courtship, which they’re trying to live out a more biblical way of meeting a mate. But it really doesn’t bother me if you use the word dating, although I prefer courtship.
But what I am against, and what the Bible is against, is what we know as recreational dating. Now what is that? If a young man came to me and said, you know, wow, I’m going out on a date with Suzie tonight. My next question would be, well, when did God begin to show you possibly that Suzie was the girl, that it was your time to start thinking about marriage and that when did God begin to show you that Suzie’s the girl that you think you ought to marry?
And the person says, what? What are you talking about? I’m not talking about marriage. I’m just going out on a date. That’s recreational dating. And it is a manifestation of our ungodliness, our selfishness. Now all of us have done it, because again, our people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.
You say, why are you going out with her? You have no intention to marry her. Well, let me suggest this, that you want to receive from her and from that relationship something that is only supposed to be given you within the context of marriage. But you want that without the commitment. You just want to have a good time with someone of the opposite sex. And that is selfish. And it’s dangerous. And it’s not manly. It’s not who we’re supposed to be as men in Christ.
Now, I just want to read something to you: The practice of recreational dating is so far removed from Scripture that it is not even addressed. It is a recent phenomenon that is not only not found in Scripture, but is hardly found in the annals of human history. It is simply the product of a godless and lawless culture that is motivated by ignorance and the flesh rather than the Scriptures and the Spirit of God.
Why do people date without any intention of marriage? Why? Here’s some of the reasons. One is to satisfy the lust of the flesh. Entertainment or immorality. You just want to be entertained. You just want to feel the thrill of that first look.
Another reason, it can be to satisfy heartfelt passions that may even be biblical, but not seeking them God’s way. In the context of a lifelong commitment to God and embracing the sacrificial demands of such a commitment.
Here’s what I’m saying. A lot of people, young men, have a heartfelt passion, a desire to be with someone of the opposite sex. That’s biblical. But you’re going about it all the wrong way. You’re trying to meet that need or satisfy that passion without a lifelong commitment.
Another reason is a consumer mentality: Test drives several models before making a decision. Well, the problem is this, young man, I want you to understand this. You cannot enter into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex without creating a bond. Even if there is no physical contact whatsoever, you cannot enter into a relationship without creating a bond in you and a bond in her so that when you are finally married to someone else, there’s two ways of looking at it. You go to the altar not a complete man because part of you has already been given to different women. Or you go to the altar not alone, but with all the women that you’ve already had relationships with. It’s just an impossibility.
And again, this is whether there is physical contact or whether there is not physical contact, it is an impossibility.
Now, also, one of the reasons why this is done is simply ignorance: My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.
Now, I want us to look at several things that are very, very important. We’re going to look at the time of courtship first. But before I do that, I just want to share with you something.
You know where Christ says that if you’ve hated someone in your heart, it’s as though you’ve committed murder. And if you look at someone lustfully, it’s though you have committed adultery.
Here’s what I want you to see. The thing that most comes out of these commands is that God cares about people. God cares about people because God is love, but God also cares about people because they belong to Him. He made them. And to deface them, defile them, even with their permission, is a horrendous thing in the eyes of God.
Now, as I was sharing with a young man just at the table there, I will go out of my way not to be a violent person. I’m a Christian. People can push me around. People can do all sorts of things to me I am not going to respond. But if someone intentionally, I knew, was going to try to hurt my daughter, they would have to kill me. It’s just not going to happen while I have breath in me. Hurt her in any way — it’s just not going to happen.
Now, if I being evil can love my daughter in this way, if I being a person who has renounced violence, but will become incredibly violent if you try to hurt my daughter, if I being this way, then what about a righteous God? The most dangerous things, or at least one of the most dangerous things young man you will ever do, is enter into a relationship with a girl who belongs to God. It’s the only case in Scripture where God says forget it. I’m not even going to answer your prayers.
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