Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why YOU Are Fundamentally Flawed

I recently (painfully) read THIS ARTICLE titled: Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed. This is my response.

Here is the first quote I want to address...

"The One Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row." followed by a quote from his grandma: “If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband."

What?! You can ask me, a girl who dated, if she is happy that she went out with different guys and my answer would be: NO! You can ask me if I think it helped me figure out what I wanted in a husband and I would say: NO! All my dating led to regret and heartache. Each time you date someone you are choosing to invest in them emotionally and sometimes, unfortunately, physically. Dating often leads to giving parts of your heart and body to someone who will likely not be your husband/wife.

God gave Eve to Adam. How many people did He choose in His infinite wisdom to give Adam? One. That's right person. What was God thinking?!! Why didn't He create numerous people for Adam to choose from? That way he would have known that Eve was the right one for him.

Next quote: "It is easier to justify promiscuity when you are exclusively committed to just one person, even if that commitment is only a week old."

Promiscuity exists because of lust and temptation, not because someone is committed to just one person. I have been in dating circles and courting circles, let me share something they have in common: the temptation to go too far physically. Don't blame dating or courting. Blame your flesh, that's what the Word of God blames.

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death" (Jam 1:13-15). 

Let's dissect these verses a bit and see what God says leads to temptation and then sin, which in this case manifests itself as promiscuity.

God says first not to blame Him. Sounds good to me. Then He points out each person is tempted when he is carried away because of courtship and because they are committed to just one person... oh wait! No! Each one is tempted when he is carried away by HIS OWN LUST. See, therein lies the issue: YOU. YOU ARE FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. You have this enemy called the flesh. You are born with it. It is continually enticing you to go agaist the work of the Spirit in your life. Don't blame courting. Don't blame dating. Don't blame your parents. Don't blame your genetics. Blame your flesh. You are fundamentally flawed.

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life" (Pro 4:23).

Jeremiah 17:9 says, "Your heart is deceitful."

Jesus said, ""For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man..." (Matt. 15:19-20).

Your heart is the issue... YOU are the issue. You need a new heart, not a new system, not a new program, not a new list of rules...A NEW HEART.
Don't fret! You don't have to try and manufacture this new heart. You don't have to work for it or sign up for some 12 step program. God is in the business of giving new hearts to those who receive His Son!

God said, "I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations" (Eze 36:26-27).

Another quote: "Recently I have seen a spike in divorces amongst couples who courted. I have a few theories as to why this is. Young people whose parents often maintain veto power on all of their decisions are then expected to make this most important decision without any experience in good decision making. They have no context of who they are, past decision making or an idea of what they are looking for in a spouse. How can you know what personality you fit well with if you only go out with one other person? The result can be a mismatched couple and a marriage that is difficult to sustain."

There has been a spike in divorces amongst ALL married couples, not just those who courted. His theories as to why there is a higher divorce rate is another form of blame shifting: it's not the fault of the couple divorcing, courting is to blame! Surely if they dated they would not have divorced! Divorce is a result of sin not a result of not enough taste testing.

Scott and I have counseled many couples that were considering divorce. Here is what they had in common: sin. Here's what they they did not have in common: courtship before marriage. Once again, sin is the issue.

One of my main concerns with articles like this is it encourages people to blame the issues in their marriage on something (courtship) or someone (their parents) instead of their sin. They look to divorce as a way out of their "mismatch" rather than looking to Christ.

The second part of the quote that drives me crazy is where he discusses personality. Every couple is unique and therefore every couple has a unique personality. Every couple also, therefore, has the potential to experience major differences in personality. Things that will annoy you to no end are found in each personality. A "mismatched couple" is really EVERY COUPLE. We are all mismatched in some ways. 

Couples get divorced because of "irreconcilable differences." Every couple has irreconcilable differences outside of the grace, forgiveness and love that's afforded through Christ. For example...

My husband is very organized and efficient. I am very free spirited and unorganized. I have never lived by rules and he enjoys rules. This can lead to many "personality conflicts" (and sometimes does).  Here is what we don't let happen; here is what we don't say: "Well, if we would have dated more people we would have married someone that wasn't so mismatched." We DO say: "You know what, every marriage is composed of two sinners with two different personalities. If we have Christ in common though, surely we have all we need to have a successful marriage."

Matching personalities are not what is needed to make a good marriage. Christ is. Marry someone who loves Christ. 

The article is really long and I am about to make mine just as long so I will stop here with the quotes. I just want to conclude with something I have noticed in my life...

I got my degree in psychology. Something I noticed is everyone blames their issues on their upbringing, their circumstances, etc. That to me is what this article does. Many loving parents wanting the best for their children have chosen courting for their children. If their children court and later get divorced they choose to blame courting, because the alternative would have to be accepting responsibilities for their own decisions. This is the sinful nature that makes us want to shift blame. It began at The Fall and has continued since: "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate" (Gen 3:12)

I have heard people blame everything on their problems. They're mean because their dad was mean. They're bad wives because their mother set a bad example. They went off the deep end and left the faith because their parents were too strict. They fell into drugs because their parents sent them to public school...or they fell into drugs because their parents home-schooled them, sheltered them too much...the list goes on... and on...and on...

People don't truly change - like permanently change - unless God has worked in their hearts. People don't forsake sin and choose Christ unless the Spirit living inside them enables them. It is only when people recognize they are sinners in desperate need of a Savior that they have good marriages. It is only by grace, and not by a system or set of rules that couples have marriages that glorify the Lord.

You are fundamentally flawed. You fundamentally need Christ.

You can read the second part of my response HERE.