Collected pieces from DesiringGod articles on dating &
manhood and
Many things to learn and to be mature on…


The Trouble with Focusing on Your

When we meet together for our memorial meeting it causes us to think of
the glorious time when we will be the bride of Christ. Like a young
virgin marrying her long waited for groom, so it will be with us meeting
Christ at his return, and being with him for eternity. The believers
being likened to a bride on her wedding day is a common metaphor in the
Bible, for example in Revelation 19:7-8:

Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about
displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church.
Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ
is more important than bearing children. Being united to Christ by faith
is a greater source of marital success than perfect sex and
double-income prosperity.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage
of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her
was granted that she should be arrayed in fine, linen, clean and white:
for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints”

If we make secondary things primary, they cease to be secondary and
become idolatrous. They have their place. But they are not first, and
they are not guaranteed. . . . So it is with marriage. It is a momentary
gift. It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the
honeymoon. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or it
may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will
be embittered at the sorrows we must face. But if we set our face to
make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no
calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be, not an
obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the
covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest
when nothing but Christ can sustain it.


Now is our time when we are making ourselves ready for the marriage of
the Lamb. A marriage is a well thought out arrangement and every detail
is carefully arranged. When a date is set for a marriage the betrothed
couple feel excited and eagerly anticipate their wedding day. Now as we
prepare for the marriage of the Lamb, we should be eagerly anticipating
that day, and preparing to meet our bridegroom. Figuratively speaking,
we were given white garments at our baptism and we want to keep them
unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

Five Pieces of Advice for Young


  1. Find your identity in Christ.

While we wait for our bridegroom to come to the wedding we obviously
want to remain faithful to him. If we have false idols in our hearts we
are committing spiritual adultery. Paul warned the Corinthians about
this in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 2 and 3:


“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:for I have espoused you
to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But
I fear, lets by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is
in Christ”.

  1. Have a plan for maturity.


A boy used to become a man at 21. Then it was 30. Now it’s 40. Desire
alone will not mature you, though. You need a plan. Imagine the more
mature man you want to be and take specific steps to become him.

The serpent told a lie to Eve which led her to sin, which caused her to
be expelled from the garden in Eden. Eve knew what God had said, but
chose to disobey God as it was more appealing to her. If we believe the
lies of the serpent we too may find that there isn’t a place for us in
the Kingdom. We must have the word of God constantly in our mind and do
only what it requires of us. The serpent which tells us lies may take
many forms, it may be the media, other people, or even our own heart
which tells us things which are not in accordance with the word of God.

  1. Invest in your friends.


Invest in your friends, but don’t rely on them to do what only Christ
can do. This will put too much pressure on your friendships, and you
will ultimately be disappointed and possibly disillusioned. Friendship
is great (1 Samuel
but we need Christ more than any friend.

Today we read about the downfall of one of the wisest men who have ever
lived, King Solomon. The chapter we read, 1Kings chapter 11 is very sad
because Solomon could have established the Kingdom of Israel as God’s
Kingdom, but instead he did not do what God commanded him.

  1. Stop looking for the perfect woman.


The perfect woman does not exist, so stop looking for her. Hollywood has
lied and taught you wrongly (Proverbs
If you hope to be married, better to spend your energy developing your
own godliness and maturity. Become a better husband (1 Corinthians
rather than shopping for a better woman.

The chapter begins with the words“But king Solomon loved many strange
women”. The first mistake Solomon made was taking other wives beside the
daughter of Pharaoh (who was a proselyte to the true worship of Yahweh).
Although it was the custom of the day for a ruler to take many wives, it
is not what God intended for the human race.

Your future wife, perfectly fit or not, will never give you the
wholeness that only comes from Christ. If you are looking for a wife to
make you feel complete, to be fully known, or to give you security, you
will put too much pressure on your marriage and you’ll be disappointed.
On the other hand, if you both know who you are in Christ, you will have
the right foundation for a good marriage.


If you’re walking by faith in Christ, trusting him to lead you, drawing
Spirit-filled brothers and sisters into your thinking, any decision can
be a right decision. Apart from willfully choosing to sin, there’s
freedom to roam in the wide field of God’s will.

The King of Israel was expressly commanded not to take many wives in
Deuteronomy 17:17:

  1. Be strong — and gentle.

“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not

I think we need men who have courage, especially courage in their
convictions (Psalm
True courage comes from security, and that is only truly found in the
truth about Christ (John


We need to be strong — strong enough to be gentle (2 Corinthians

God knew that the King would stray from following the word of God if he
chose more than one wife. It may have been acceptable in his culture,
and looked well upon by the world to take lots of wives, but God said
that he was not to do it. That should have been the end of the question.
God said no.

Stability in the Storm


When you’re young, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by the details of
every circumstance immediately in front of you — every opportunity lost,
every breakup, every failure, every sin. As you’ve likely noticed above,
the older you get, the more your union with Christ becomes a discernibly
meaningful and stabilizing reality.


Cling to Christ, and as you mature as a man, he will make clear to you
the beauty and relevance of your union with him. He promises, “I will
never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews
— not now, not in your journey of growth as a man, and not when you are
older. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely [sanctify and
mature you]” (1 Thessalonians

When God made Adam, he said in Genesis 2 verse 18: “It is not good
that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him”. God
recognised that the man needed a suitable partner, but he only made one
wife. God could have made Adam many wives, but the Divine decree was
that he was only to have one wife. Malachi comments on this in Malachi
chapter 2 verse 15: “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue
of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed.
Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously
against the wife of his youth”



This also shows that divorce and re-marriage is wrong in the sight of
God. Jesus also reinforced this idea in Luke 16 verse
18:“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and married than other,
committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from
her husband committeth adultery”.

Five Lessons for Young Christians


There is room within God’s will for you to choose a state school, or a
private school, or no school. There’s room for you to pursue that godly
girl, to say yes to that godly man, or to remain single. God’s will for
your life is your sanctification (1 Thessalonians
— to enjoy him more fully, to live more holy lives, and to invite more
people into your joy. Once the broader will of God for you is plain, the
pressure lessens significantly in the specifics. Trust in Christ, take a
step, then ask for wisdom as you move forward. He is with you “to the
end of the age” (Matthew

Although it is not recorded that Solomon divorced any of his wives, the
principal is true that God who has created us, created us to only have
one husband or one wife for life, unless our husband or wife dies. This
is mentioned many times in the Bible, for example in Romans chapter 7
verse 3: “So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to
another man, she shall be called an adulteress”.


10 Questions on Dating with Matt

We read of the second aspect of Solomon’s departure from God’s
commandment in verses 1 and 2 of 1 Kings 11. The Jews were not to marry
wives from the foreign nations, as we read in Deuteronomy chapter 7
verses 2 to 3:

Q2 Is there such a thing as “too fast” in Christian dating? How do you
know if a dating relationship is moving too quickly emotionally, or too
quickly toward marriage?

“And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt
smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with
them, nor show mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with
them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter
shalt thou take unto thy son”.

I am going to be real cautious about saying there is such a thing as
“too fast.” What I would rather ask is this: What’s driving the speed?
If mere physical attraction or some kind of emotive, frilly,
this-is-the-one weirdness is driving the speed, then, yes. If the
relationship is outpacing knowledge of character, reputation, and
knowledge of godliness, then that is way too quick.


But if you are in a context in which you have watched the person’s
godliness, you have marveled at their character, you have rejoiced in
what God has done in them and through them, then speed isn’t a big

When the Israelites returned from Babylon they again forsook the
commandment in marrying foreign wives, and Nehemiah told them about the
example of Solomon in Nehemiah 13:26:“Did not Solomon king of Israel
sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him,
who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel:
nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin”.

We have a staff person here who met and married her husband in a matter
of months. She had watched him do ministry at The Village. She knew his
reputation. What drove the speed wasn’t a flare-up of emotions — it
wasn’t a fear of loneliness, or desperation, like maybe this is my only
shot. None of that. Rather, there was knowledge of his faithfulness to
God, his desire to serve the Lord, and his seriousness about the things
of God.

以色列国(The State of Israel)老百姓从巴比伦回归时再一次违反了不可能娶外邦女孩子的诫命,尼希米在尼希米记一三:二陆里告诉了他们Solomon的事例:“作者又说,以色列国王Solomon不是在这么的事上作案吗。在多国中并从未壹王像他,且蒙他神所爱,神立他作以色列国全国的王。不过连她也被外邦女孩子勾引犯罪”。

I hardly knew they were dating before they were engaged.


Q5: Should I Date a Godly Girl I Do Not Find Attractive?

Nehemiah points out to the Jews who had married foreign wives, that even
Solomon was caused to sin by marrying foreigners. It is very sad to read
of such a great man like Solomon, who we read was beloved of his God,
falling so badly for marrying foreign wives. Perhaps Solomon thought he
would teach them the Truth, but instead we read inverse 4 that“his
wives turned away his heart after
 other gods”.

The culture tells us physical/sexual attraction is
first, then character, godliness, and compatibility follow. I think we
get it backwards. I think once character, compatibility, and godliness
are there, those fuel attraction in the way that pleases God, and is
much safer for our souls.


But at the same time, I want to protect the hearts particularly of young
women from godly men teasing them with pursuit. So, pursue them as
friends and hope that it grows into more. Want it to grow into more. And
I am confident that, over time, character and godliness will win the

Solomon was the wisest man who has ever lived, besides the Lord Jesus
Christ, and yet we don’t read that he could teach even one of his
foreign wives about the God whom he worshipped, the God of Israel, but
instead his wives taught him about their foreign gods.

Solomon是史上巳了主耶稣基督以外最有智慧的人,然则大家从未观察她教育了其他3个外邦内人他所敬拜的神,以色列国(The State of Israel)的神,反之是她的老婆向她介绍了她们国家异教的神。

Isn’t She

The lesson for us is very clear, if such a man like Solomon made such a
mistake why would we think that we could have a different outcome if we
either marry more than one husband or wife in our lifetime, or marry
someone who is not a baptised believer of the God of Israel?

The more we learn about them, the more their appearance is filled, for
better or for worse, with new and deeper meaning — with their
personality, their convictions, their sense of humor, their faith. The
once-stunning girl may lose most of her charm, and the easily overlooked
girl may become undeniably beautiful. They each look exactly the same as
before, and yet they don’t. You see them, even their physical
appearance, differently now.


Physical attraction is real, but flexible.

The New Testament also clearly saysthat marriage for believers must be
to other believers. For example: “She is at liberty to be married to
she will; only in the Lord” 1Corinthians 7:39 Be ye not
unequally yoked together with 
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with
darkenss? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he
that believeth with an infidel?”  Corinthians 6:14-15

Christians should be cultivating hearts that are more attracted to faith
and character than anything else.



The Perfect Spouse Will Not Complete

Marriage is such an important event that changes our life forever. It is
imperative in our battle against sin and the gods of this world that our
partner in marriage is walking with us towards the Kingdom. Amos
writes:“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos:3

Marriages require us to be sacrificing, honest, and willing to serve.
Your spouse may complement you, but he (or she) will never complete you.
That’s the job of Christ.


  1. Character

  2. Chemistry

  3. Compatibility

Although it is important that our wife or husband is a believer, if we
were already married when we came into the Truth weare commanded not to
divorce our wife or husband, but we should do our utmost to convert them
by our way of life. Paul says: “And unto the married I command, yet
I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband” 

1 Corinthians 7:10

Five Pieces of ‘Outdated’ Dating


  1. Put the pressure on God, and not yourself.

And Peter says:“Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own
husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word
be won by the conversation of the wives” 1 Peter 3:1

God not only joins a husband and a wife (Matthew
but he brings them to each other. If you’re mainly looking to yourself
to get married, you’ve put the pressure in the wrong place. Lean on God
while you wait and date.


  1. Pursue him or her with an open hand.

This is because divorce is fundamentally wrong. Jesus said that the
marriage between a man and woman is joined together by God in Matthew
chapter 19 verse 6:“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder”.

And yet he holds out open hands before God. “If the Lord wills,” my son
will have a wife, and my servant will find her on this journey (James


In all of our dating, we must be able to humbly pray, “Nevertheless, not
my will, but yours, be done” (Luke
Until you say your vows at the altar, know that God may write a
different wedding story than you would write for yourself. And with all
of his wisdom, power, and love, we have reason to praise him that he

Having said this, it is true that there may be cases, such as with
domestic violence when a couple cannot stay together. God knows our
individual circumstances.

  1. Pray, and pray, and pray.


God doesn’t want us to take anything for granted in this life, certainly
not our spouse. He wants all the glory in giving you what’s best for you
whenever he gives it to you.

Nevertheless, if we have children it is important that they are brought
up in a 2 parent household with their biological mother and father, if
at all possible. This is what God intended in marriage,that a godly seed
will be produced. We read this in Malachi chapter 2 verses 15 and
16:“That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your
spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
For the LORD the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away…”

If we desire a husband or wife, we should love casting our anxiety and
longing on the one who cares for us (1 Peter
Don’t start dating without praying, and don’t stop praying while you’re


  1. Date for more than marriage.

We read of the devastatingimpactSolomon’s foreign wives had on him in 1
Kings chapter 11. In verse 9 wereadthat“the LORD was angry with
because his heart was turnedfrom the LORD God of Israel”.In
verse 11 weread that God‘will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and
will give it to thy servant”.

Worship is the end of all Christian dating, because worship is the end
of the Christian life. God did not make you to be married, but to make
much of himself. Marriage is worth having because you getGodin your
lifelong commitment to one another. Marriage is about knowing God,
worshiping God, depending on God, displaying God, being made like God.


  1. Look to loved ones for confirmation.

Solomon was deemed unfit to be King over the Kingdom of Israel because
his wives turned his heart to the gods of the nations. Solomon was given
so much by God, but he turned away from the God of Israel. It seems
Solomon repented in his old age when he wrote Ecclesiastes,and we pray
that he will be in the Kingdom.


When Paul wrote the 11thchapter ofHebrews he wrote of many examples of
faith displayed in the OldTestament.Hebrews chapter 11 is sometimes
called the “roll call of faith”. ButcuriouslySolomon’s name does not
appear in this chapter.


Let us now go forward to the Kingdom with the words of Hebrews chapter
12 verse 1 in our minds:“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and
the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the
race that is set before us”.


We read in Hebrews chapter 11 of men andwomen of faith who gave glory to
God in their lives by their faith. They wereactive in their lives in
doing what God required of them. If we are going to bein the Kingdom, it
is essential we follow their example and live our lives bythe faith of


A runner in a race does not compete with extra weights tied to him. He
wants to maximise his chances of winning by removing anything which
might impede his running to the finishing line. Likewise in our race to
the Kingdom we should discard anything which is impeding us spiritually,
whether it is friends, a boyfriend or girlfriend who are not believers;
television, movies or music which takes our heart away from God; or
sport which introduces us to the idols of the world. Let us remove them
in our race for eternal life.


Verse 2 of Hebrews chapter 12 says: ‘Lookingunto Jesus the author
finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right
hand of the throne of God”.

In our race to the Kingdom we must have our eyes focussed on the Lord
Jesus Christ who has run before us and finished the race. Jesus was able
to fully dedicate his life to God even though it meant a horrible and
painful death on the cross. He was able to stop his mind of thinking of
the shame and pain of the cross by thinking of the joy of the Kingdom.
We also must carry our cross now, if that means we must remain single to
the Kingdom, that is the cross we must carry. The cross we carry now may
be shameful and painful, it may not be what we want to do, but we must
carry our cross towards the Kingdom. We can overcome, as Christ overcame
by setting our minds towards the joy of the Kingdom.



Anything we forsake now for the Kingdom will be worth it when we hear
the words of Jesus: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou
hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord” Matthew 25:21


We will be rulers in the Kingdom. Solomon was denied the Kingship of
Israel for marrying foreign wives, but we pray that we will be accounted
faithful and allowed to be kings and priests in the
Kingdom (Revelation 5:10).


Our Lord Jesus Christ gave his whole life in the service to his Father.
Let us now eat the bread and drink the wine to remember this, and to
strive to follow his example, carrying our cross now, but with our eyes
firmly fixed on the glory that shall follow.