The Nonreligious Guide to Dating and Being Single by Shawn Bolz
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Fellowship with each other could not hold the same meaning as it once had because God was not as present in the relationship. At the same time God allowed marriage to be a picture of His covenant desire to share Himself with man. Marriage was not a judgment from the fall, but a redemptive picture that acted like a shadow to show us what eternity will be like.
When Jesus prayed in John 17 to have union with us, the Father honored this desire of His, because it was the original plan of heaven. It is what Adam and Eve had and lost. They were untied with God in a covenant love that had no earthly comparison.
Their relationship to each other before the fall was in enjoying this union with God which played out in their own union. Because of the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 he was able to promise us the Holy Spirit, and in that He was promising the restoration of God's original plan.
Through the Holy Spirit we have that longing for deep relationship, or a counterpart, fulfilled!
He is the fulfillment of that desire! Adam and Eve after their fall were bound to each other. Because of redemption, we as Christians are bound to Jesus. Though we need relationships we don't necessarily need an earthly counterpart to have a fulfilled life here on earth.
This doesn't mean we will not have to work at our relationship with the Holy Spirit. In some ways it can hold less immediate gratification then marriage, but when you pursue the Holy Spirit with a whole heart, there is always the payoff of true union. One of the most powerful demonstrations of this principle is that in the New Testament, rarely are spouses ever mentioned. This isn't discounting marriage, but it is also not validating it as a primary need of humanity anymore.
The New Testament refocuses our higher desires first on Jesus, then on other Godly relationships such as marriage. None of the apostles had a recorded wife except Peter. Martha and Mary had no recorded marriages either.
The list of those who remained unmarried goes on. This can either confuse you or encourage you about how awesome intimate covenant with Jesus really can be. The whole identity of every culture on earth is that we are not complete until we have a mate. This is true of nearly all earthbound creatures. The Bible is very clear in the New Testament though, that Jesus completes us and that we do not need anything else but Him.
The trend in teaching in the church has always been that we have a perfect match out there for us and that your life will truly start when you find your mate! There is an unspoken rule that your true maturity starts when you are married, and in many religious structures adulthood starts when you are hitched. Maybe that's why I still like video games Why would Paul encourage virgins to remain unmarried in 1 Corinthians? It is because in our fellowship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, we are no longer bound to the old covenant which basically mandates us to being married as a need in our life.
Its the highest place of relational fulfillment for those who do not have Christ to achieve because there is a blessing on marriage.
The Nonreligious Guide to Dating Being Single, Shawn Bolz. (Paperback )
We though, are bound by a new covenant of fellowship with God, and to be married does not have to be the center part of that. Because of Christ, You can be successfully single. It is a high and mighty role that is one of the purest pictures of what a believer can have with union in Jesus.
At the same time it is not the only way into this union and as a matter of fact the closer we get to the last days, the harder it will be to stay married because of the particular challenges it will hold. So really, this message is not anti marriage. I respect what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7 as to warn us about false teachings that say marriage is wrong.
My point is lets put marriage in perspective. Lets recognize that we do not have a need for it to define who we are in God unless God Himself is calling us to the marriage. This realization actually makes marriage to a Christian more beautiful because when you have a choice whether to be married or not and you still choose it it brings such a depth of meaning to the relationship. It is a picture of God's love and His desire for us when looked at under this light.
God does not have a need for us, but a sincere desire to share himself and this is why we were created. Is God not self sufficient? If we have God do we really need anything else?
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Non-Religious Guide to Dating and Being Single
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- The non religious guide to dating and being single by shawn bolz
- The Nonreligious Guide to Dating and Being Single
- The Nonreligious Guide to Dating and Being Single
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