SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Get Prequalified: Finding a Mate
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 24; Genesis 29

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Dating can be exciting. It can also get weird and end poorly. I like the common sense of one who quipped, "Some people are unmarried for the same reason that some drivers run out of gas. They pass too many filling stations looking for their favorite brand!" Though dating was unknown in biblical times, let’s look at five principles in budding relationships to help you prequalify to build a solid, long-lasting, and satisfying Smart Home.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 5, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Get Prequalified—Find A Mate"
Text: Genesis 24; Genesis 29

Path

Dating can be exciting. It can also get weird and end poorly. I like the common sense of one who quipped, "Some people are unmarried for the same reason that some drivers run out of gas. They pass too many filling stations looking for their favorite brand!" Though dating was unknown in biblical times, let's look at five principles in budding relationships to help you prequalify to build a solid, long-lasting, and satisfying Smart Home.

  1. Separation (Genesis 24:5-7)
  2. Supplication (Genesis 24:12-21)
  3. Selectivity (Genesis 29:9-12, 15-17)
  4. Sacrifice (Genesis 29:18-19)
  5. Stamina (Genesis 29:21-28)
Points

SeparationSupplication  Selectivity Sacrifice  Stamina  "I have been taught from my mother's knee, in harmony with the Word of God, that the marriage vows are inviolable, and that by entering into them I am binding myself absolutely and for life. I am not naive concerning this; on the contrary I am fully aware that mutual incompatibility or other unforeseen circumstances could result in extreme mental suffering. If such becomes the case, I am resolved, for my part, to accept it as a consequence of the commitment we are now making and to bear it, if need be, to the end of our lives together. I have loved you dearly as my sweetheart and I will love you as my wife. But above everything else, I love you with a Christian love that demands we never act in such a way as to hinder our prospects of entering heaven which is the supreme desire of both our lives."2

Practice

Connect Up: Discuss the idea that marriage reflects our relationship with the Lord. Read Ephesians 5:21-33. What are some of the similarities and differences between human and divine marriage?

Connect In: If you are comfortable—and are (or were) married—share how you dated or courted. What can people in your Connect Group learn from your dating practice? If it is was successful, why? If not, what could you improve upon?

Connect Out: When reaching out to someone considering dating, what advice would you give? Boundless Ministries suggests that biblical dating: Do you agree? Why or why not? Re-read the letter in the Stamina section. How should this man's heart reflect all believers' hearts?


1 National Council on Family Relations, "Family Relations," 1985, https://www.jstor.org/stable/583577?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents, accessed 8/5/18.
2 James Dobson, Stories of the Heart and Home, W Publishing Group, Nashville, TN, October 10, 2000.
3 Scott Croft, "Biblical Dating: How It's Different from Modern Dating," March 23, 2012, http://www.boundless.org/relationships/2012/biblical-dating-how-its-different-from-modern-dating, accessed 8/5/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Get Prequalified—Finding a Mate"
Genesis 24; 29

  1. Introduction
    1. Dating is a relatively new practice—less than 100 years old
    2. Added to the complications of the dating process is the phenomenon of online dating
      1.  40 percent of singles have dated someone they met online
      2.  25 percent of singles have dated someone their friends introduced them to
    3. There are no dating texts in the Bible
    4. Some Christians disagree strongly with the dating process and are proponents of courtship
    5. There are, however, biblical examples of people engaged in the process of finding a mate
    6. A smart home comes from smart dating
  2. Separation (Genesis 24:5-7)
    1. Abraham sent a matchmaker to find a wife for his son from Abraham's own family (see v. 3)
      1.  The Canaanite belief system was not part of the covenant God made with Abraham
      2.  Paul mentioned this principle in 2 Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers"
        1. The farmer would find two animals that could work together to pull a plow
        2. A mismatch leads to two people headed in two different directions
        3. Believers and unbelievers have opposing masters, worldviews, sources of wisdom, aims in life, and eternal destinies
        4. If a child of God marries a child of the Devil, they're going to have problems with their in-laws
    2. Courtship and marriage are not a private matter
      1.  When people date, they first need to take a step toward God and then a step toward others
        1. Step toward God first
          1. Psalm 127:1
          2. Luke 10:27
          3. You won't be able to love another person well if you don't love the Lord more
        2. Step toward other people
          1. Lean hard on people who know you best, who love you most, and who will be honest enough to tell you when you're wrong
          2. Invite others into the relationship—couples need honest, courageous people who won't be afraid to speak up
      2.  Dating, by its very nature, is isolating
      3.  As a couple grows closer to each other, they grow further away from people who were, at one point, very significant in their lives
  3. Supplication (Genesis 24:12-21)
    1. The whole process should be covered in prayer
      1.  The chapter begins in prayer when Abraham placed his servant under oath before God not to find a wife for his son from the Canaanites (see vv. 2-4)
      2.  The chapter continues with the servant's specific prayer (see vv. 12-14)
      3.  The chapter closes in prayer as Isaac meditated in the field (see v. 63); meditate is best translated to seek the Lord in solitude
    2. A lifelong commitment involves lifelong ramifications; praying and inviting God into that relationship should be the priority
      1.  Pray together; praying immediately raises the dating relationship to the spiritual level—the best level
      2.  When you pray with someone, you receive immediate insight into their relationship with God
      3.  What role does God play in your relationship?
  4. Selectivity (Genesis 29:9-12, 15-17)
    1. There is no perfect person, but there is a perfect person for you
    2. What attracts us to each other?
      1.  Love mapping: the genetic answer to why we are attracted to certain physical or nonphysical characteristics
      2.  According to Helen Fisher, the issue with love at first sight brings up the speculation of biological origin to this phenomenon; another issue is that the infatuationphase of a relationship lasts four years or less
      3.  Proverbs 31:30
    3. Choose well—be discriminating and careful
      1.  The advice of others should be taken into consideration, but that shouldn't be the deciding factor
      2.  Make the right choice for you, not for others
  5. Sacrifice (Genesis 29:18-19)
    1. Jacob was willing to wait for his bride (see v. 20)
      1.  The seven years gave Jacob the chance to get to know her and her family
      2.  It ensured that the relationship was not based solely on pheromones and hormones
    2. Every relationship requires sacrifice: you sacrifice your independence, self-will, personal activities, solo plans, spending money on certain things, and spending time on certain things
    3. Be willing to sacrifice the back door: divorce
    4. If you go from dating to mating, you seal the back door
  6. Stamina (Genesis 29:21-28)
    1. "Love suffers long" (1 Corinthians 13:4)
    2. Deciding too quickly or rebounding too quickly is dangerous
    3. It's much easier to get into a relationship than it is to have to live through a relationship
    4. The risk of marital failure is reduced notably by longer dating periods
    5. A Kansas State University study concluded that "a strong correlation between the length of time spent dating their current spouses and marital satisfaction can be seen"
  7. Conclusion
    1. Christians are referred to as the bride of Christ (see Ephesians 5:22-33)
    2. Relational language, not religious language, is used
    3. God wants to be the central part of your life
Figures referenced: Helen Fisher

Cross references: Psalm 127:1; Proverbs 31:30; Luke 10:27; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:22-33

Topic: dating

Keywords: courtship, commitment, dating, marriage, mate


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