– I'm not really praying for someone who will love you, though obviously I want them to love you I'm praying that you'll find someone who loves the Lord, sincerely, genuinely

Because if they love God, they will love you (upbeat music) – Welcome again, to the Straight Truth Podcast I'm your host, Josh Philpot As always, I'm joined by Richard Caldwell, the pastor of Founders Baptist Church And our special guest today is Stuart Sanders, pastor of Tomball Bible Church here in North Houston

As always, we invite you to leave a comment for us, and then we get to know your thoughts as we address these important issues Pastor, if I'm a single, Christian male, and I desire to be married, or maybe I'm interested in somebody, either at college or at church, how would you counsel me to pursue a Christian lady – You don't compromise what you believe in order to have a relationship with a person That's one of the first things I would say You need to measure any relationship you desire by the standards of Scripture

We know 1 Corinthians 7, that a believer can marry anyone they want, only in the Lord, so that's the standard Someone who knows Jesus Christ, you have fellowship with them What fellowship does Christ have with Satan? What fellowship does a believer have with an unbeliever? Right away, my standard is going to be I'm not going to date someone who doesn't know Jesus Second, I've gotta understand what's most important, even in the marriage relationship, and that is someone who loves God, genuinely, so that they'll have the capacity to love me, and in the same sort of way, I'm going to love them out of my love for God I've told my kids We have four children, all in adulthood now, we told them as they were growing up

I would say to them, "I'm not really praying "for someone who will love you, "though obviously I want them to love you, "I'm praying that you'll find someone "who loves the Lord, sincerely, genuinely, "because if they love God, they will love you, "as long as they walk faithfully with Christ" Sometimes I think our young people in our churches, they get really caught up on things that are secondary in nature, instead of thinking about what's primary in nature Someone who's going to love God, and I can serve the Lord together with them I'm not really into the idea that you find the person you're going to marry attractive (chuckles) Right? – Sure, of course

– That you have things in common, but it's amazing how those things change over time anyway I mean, you marry someone that you think is beautiful There's no guarantee that our temporal beauty is going to remain I'm thinking about 1 Peter 3, where a godly woman is taught to win her husband through her godly behavior, and to set her attention on the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God Even there, a woman is taught to put her attention on internal beauty, spiritual beauty

If she's to put her attention there, how about the guy who's going to marry her? Is his attention there? Look for someone who's beautiful in the Lord, for someone who loves Christ and is going to love you and don't be so picky Don't be so picky, and let's look inside the church too It's always amazing to me, you've got like 20 singles in the church and they're all praying to find someone to marry, (guys laugh) and I want to say look around the singles room I mean, they're not married, they're not married How about go out with each other, and explore that

One final thought, I think for that to happen in churches, we gotta sort of lower the expectations and the pressure also Sometimes the reason why young men and young women don't want to go out with each other in the church is because there's this immediate expectation of marriage, they can't even get to know each other Let's just lower the pressure If I ask you to coffee, it doesn't mean I want to marry you It means I want to go to coffee, and let's get to know each other better

– Good Stuart, this is sort of a Tinder apt culture that we live in, where dating over a long period of time, or maybe dating multiple people is just accepted and really expected before you actually find the one as Christians are often saying, that you will marry Is that a biblical ideal to date many people until you find the one? – I think the conventional wisdom over the decades has been the idea of joining and unjoining and are you teaching yourself divorce by dating and breaking up and dating and breaking up all the time We can put methodology to bed and let's just look at the principle behind that You're starting from a flawed principle that I'm looking for someone who will make me happy

And so, that's why I run through the carousel, 'cause you made me happy, but then you stopped so now I'm going to go over here And so then when you find someone who just seems like supremely makes you happy, then you marry them and then now you're just waiting for when she doesn't or when he doesn't The carousel dating mind, not that if you've ever dated more than one person that you're somehow broken beyond repair and you can't marry anybody now, 'cause I think we can swing too far the other way to where you do pressurize If anybody shows any interest then that's courtship and that leads to marriage and then you so you better not like Taking the first step is paralyzing, but at the same time we can be too libertine on the other and say no, just run the gamut No, there's discretion and then so the second thing I'd say is there's wisdom

And the Tinder culture and then even just kind of in the, maybe, the more millennial culture is we have privatized, that relationship is private to me And so if I have godly, Christian friends, and I have a godly, Christ-exalting, gospel-centered church, and I have hopefully, prayerfully godly parents, or older influences, a Paul in your life, I am somehow keeping my dating ideas separate from all of them, which violates the wisdom of Proverbs, that in many counselors there are good decisions And so, instead of keeping it privatized on your phone in some app, or just me, I don't want to tell anybody Why aren't you involving the church, the greater body of believers in this colossal decision of marriage, or of potential marriage? I want to know everybody's thoughts and wisdom as they pursue the Lord, that they might be able to see something that I'm blind to, 'cause you don't ever want to be in a position where you're dating someone, and all your friends don't like that person, and that person doesn't go the your church, doesn't believe like you, but now you have this emotional connection and the blinders are up Why wouldn't I involve it on the front end? Why wouldn't I save myself heartache on the front? – Right

Pastor, how do you know who is the one? Where's the decision-making part, like human responsibility in making decision and knowing that this is actually God's will? – To make it practical, I like what Stuart said in terms of not privatizing I think it's a good idea I mean, first of all, you don't date anyone that you wouldn't want to marry That's a good place to begin from the standpoint of character When I was a youth pastor, years ago, (Stuart laughs) back when people were dating wagons I would tell young people, I would say look, "You're not in a position to date "until you've worked out for yourself a set "of principles from the word of God

" And there's no verses that are gonna deal with dating, but a set of principles about the kind of person that I want to spend my life with You've worked out a set of principles from the word of God that you won't compromise, even if it means you don't have any dates If you're not willing to lose dates to uphold those standards, you're not ready to date You'll compromise somewhere else Once that's in place, it really does become a matter of desire

Do you desire to spend the rest of your life with this person? But it's wise, go to your parents They know you very well What do you think of this person? Go to your siblings who also know you well What do you think of this person? Go to mature saints that you know in the church, let me tell you about this person But above all, we're looking to the Lord

I'm smiling because my wife was the second woman I ever dated, and I asked her to marry me on the second day (laughs) There you go, there's the way to do it, right there That's how you do it Not, that's not the way you do it And now we're married 34 years, and love each other with all our hearts

We're looking to God, just like raising children, we're dependent on him We don't knowingly Jackie and I were very young in the faith also when we were dating; we didn't know a lot We don't knowingly violate his word We take those principles to heart We're not going to violate them or compromise them, and then if I desire to marry this person, and they're in the Lord, and their character is godly, I'm free to marry them

1 Corinthians 7, as he was talking about widows, she can marry anyone she wants, only in the Lord so that's the standard – Thanks again for joining us for the Straight Truth Podcast You can find all of our social media channels at our website, straighttruthnet, and so don't forget to subscribe and share this podcast You can also find us in the podcast feed of your choice, if you would like the audio only version of this podcast

Now, Straight Truth is a production of Walking In Grace Ministries For more info, go to walkingingraceorg Thank you (upbeat music)