FS: The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating

The New Rules For Love Sex & DatingIn this post, I write not about just one sermon, but an entire series. I don’t know why I have waited so long to publish something about this set of sermons. I listened to each of them as they were being preached, last May. And it has deeply impacted me! I have already recommended these talks to many non-married people. Honestly, I wish every single (or dating/engaged) person would listen to these sermons. They have the potential to be very impactful!

Because this article covers four sermons, it will be longer than others I have written. So please bear with me. I don’t imagine you’ll have the time to listen to all four sermons in one shot. In fact, I would encourage you to give yourself some time after listening to each sermon to reflect on what it meant to you, before jumping into the next one. So feel free to bookmark this page and return later to pick up where you left off. Lastly, please forward the link to this page to non-married people in your life. Note that I am taking special care to not say “single people”, as this series is for everyone who is not married, even if they are already in a serious relationship and wouldn’t consider themselves “single”. So henceforth in this article, “single” refers to anyone who is not married.

There’s a lot of information here! In America, the length our attention span has dropped significantly over the past couple decades. As a result, some of you will simply click away when you see how long this article is. Others will read the article, but won’t bother to listen to the attached audio. I would like to urge you to resist the temptation to do either! The really important thing here is that you listen to the sermons. Yes, it will take time. But it will be worth it.

I pray that you will listen to each of these sermons with an open mind. And when you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach, like what you’re hearing is for you… LISTEN UP! That feeling is very possibly The Holy Spirit trying to tell you something!

Series: The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating

In May, 2011 Andy Stanley did a four part series titled “The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating”. This series was unique, in that it was directed toward single people. The general premise of the series is to instruct single people on how to be successful in life, relationally as it pertains to dating and marriage.

If you are married, I do recommend listening to this series, as you just might gain insight into how to be a better husband or wife. Also, I’d like you to recommend these sermons to single people in your life, and how can you recommend something you’ve never listened to? :-) Do you have teenage or young-adult children? These sermons are perfect for them!

Andy Stanley is the lead pastor at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. He is one of my favorite pastors to listen to. He does a superb job of communicating biblical topics in a very easy-to-understand manner.

If you enjoy listening to these sermons, I highly recommend subscribing to one or all of North Point’s podcasts.

Part I: The Right Person Myth

In this sermon, Andy talks about something that most single people have probably thought at one time or another: “When I meet the right person, everything will be alright.” He begins by explaining why this approach often leads to angst and problems as relationships grow and mature. He suggests a different approach which he will carry through all four parts of the series:

Instead of searching for the right person, you should focus on BECOMING the right person.

To emphasize his point, he posed the following question: “Are you who the person you are looking for is looking for?”

He mentions that scripture does not offer much guidance on how to find the right person. But when you search for help on how to become the right person, the scriptures erupt with valuable information. In the sermon, Andy mentions a scripture card. You can find it here.

This sermon is 50:25 in length. Listen below, or click the link to download the mp3.

The Right Person Myth

Part II: Gentlemen’s Club

This talk is actually targeted toward men. Andy begins by talking about the message regarding women that men receive from society and how damaging that message can be to young men, and consequently the women they date and marry.

Andy preaches about how to think of women in a biblical manner. Some may think this is “old fashioned”, and he admits that in some ways, it is. But he explains how, when these basic principles were originally taught in the bible, they were even more strange to the contemporary population than they are today. He does an excellent job of convincing listeners that thinking of and treating women as he recommends can be life-changing for both men and women.

This talk is one of my favorites of Andy Stanley’s. I have listened to it several times and return to it every so often. If you are a man, single OR married, I really encourage you listen to this message!

Last October I wrote about my “One Year Challenge”. It was this sermon that was the catalyst for my taking a year off from dating. So, to say that this sermon has been impactful to me would be an understatement!

This sermon is 43:40 in length. Listen below, or click the link to download the mp3.

Gentlemen’s Club

Part III: Designer Sex

This is the “sex” talk. This is the talk that you never had with your parents. That’s right. A Christian pastor talks with his congregation about sex. Intrigued? You should be!

Andy begins by talking about how sexuality is not just physical. He argues that the nature of sexuality goes much deeper than society would have you believe. He talks about the delicacy of sexuality. Ten minutes into the sermon, Andy dons a pair of white gloves while a church employee, also wearing white gloves, carefully brings a violin to the stage. He uses this very delicate instrument to illustrate a point. You’ll need to listen to hear what happens. Let me just say that he nails his point!

Sex can be profoundly damaging if handled improperly. But God intended it to be incredibly beautiful, if engaged in the proper context. Andy teaches about where in the bible rules about sexuality can be found.

This sermon is 44:40 in length. Listen below, or click the link to download the mp3.

Designer Sex

At the end of this sermon, Pastor Stanley tells about the story of a woman who had taken the One Year Challenge, a few years earlier, and how God had changed her life through it. After the story is told, they played a song in church. The song is not included in the sermon. Here is that song:

“How He Loves” by David Crowder Band

Part IV: If I Were You

The final message in this series, Pastor Stanley wraps up and connects the dots. He explains why married people often make promises they cannot keep. It’s not because they don’t intend to keep them. It’s because they haven’t prepared themselves to keep them. And it causes problems in their marriage.

Promises are no substitution for preparation. For example, I can promise you that I will run the Chicago Marathon next October, for charity. I really want to do it! But if I don’t prepare for that marathon, I won’t be able to keep my promise. And the promise will ultimately mean nothing. Likewise, at the altar married people make promises that they want to keep. But because they haven’t prepared themselves, they are often unable. The 50% divorce rate in this country is proof of this.

The best indication of your future behavior is your past behavior. It is not possible to live your life a certain way, then simply change by making a promise at the altar. A prudent person will not be fooled by a promise or a commitment. Rather, they will look at the past of an individual and judge for themselves whether or not the person making the promise is able to keep it, because they realize that the past is a better indicator than a promise.

This message is all about how single people can prepare to to keep the promises they will make when they get married. And what they will likely find is that as they put the time and effort into making these preparations, they will be much less likely to want to commit to someone who has not also taken the time to prepare themselves.

This sermon is 42:18 in length. Listen below, or click the link to download the mp3.

If I Were You

In Summary

I hope you have enjoyed listening to these sermons. As I mentioned above, they have been especially impactful in my life. I have lost count of how many times I have listened to them. God continues to use them to remind me of the ways in which He wants to change me before I will be ready to marry a woman.

Please return here as often as you need, and listen again and again. And if you have found these talks to be insightful, please forward the link to this page to others.

Lastly, if you are more of a “visual” learner and would prefer to watch the sermons, as of the writing of this article the streaming video of the series is still available on the North Point Community Church website.

I thank God that by His grace, through messages like these, I am slowly becoming the person who the person I am looking for is looking for.

This entry was posted in Andy Stanley, Dating, Favorite Sermons, God, Hope, Life, Love, Marriage, Self Improvement, Sermons, Sex and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to FS: The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating

  1. Hey our mutual friend Adam sent me this post to read…has he made it his mission to find you a woman as he has for me? I too listened to and was impacted by Andys series. Thanks for the reminder and for the encouragement of a fellow single man living the Christian mid-life. :)

    • Ron Wells says:

      Hi Kurt.

      Ha ha! No, he hasn’t made that his mission for me. At least, he hasn’t told me about it. :) He knows about my “one year challenge”, though. So I doubt he’ll be giving me any phone numbers any time soon.

      I checked out your blog. Nice work! I like the look of it, too. I just checked my Twitter account. It appears that I’ve been following your tweets for a while. Small world (but I wouldn’t want to paint it).

      Are you a fan of Mark Driscoll? I enjoy a variety of teaching styles, including his. He did a sermon a while back for men. I felt very much that it was something other men needed to hear, so I blogged it too: http://somethingtosay.michiganron.com/2011/09/21/fs-marriage-and-men/.

      Thanks again for checking out my blog!

  2. Emmanuel says:

    Hi, I’m a reader from Nigeria. A friend sent the link to me, and I must say I’ve been blessed by it.
    I’ve also sent to many people to read, and I’m sure I would get positive feedback soon.
    This is to encourage you and also to say, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
    God bless you

    • Ron Wells says:

      Emmanuel,

      Thank you so very much for reading my blog, and for the encouraging words! It is wonderful to hear that others are benefiting from the series of talks which Andy Stanley did last year. I pray that you will continue to be blessed by his words and my blog.

      Again, thank you! And may God bless you!

  3. Feyi says:

    Hey Ron, thanks 4 sharing the message…. Really enlightening and inspirationak, and I must add, FUNNY!!! I see you are on the one year challenge…. How’s it being???

    • Ron Wells says:

      Feyi,

      Thanks for the message! I’m glad you got a chance to check out my blog. I hope you found the messages by Andy Stanley to be as inspirational and challenging as I did.

      I will be finishing my “one year challenge” next month. It has been more difficult than I thought it would be. And to be completely honest, I’m not yet entirely sure that I am ready to begin dating yet. In the coming month, I’ll be spending some time praying about it.

      Having said all that, I am glad I decided to take the “one year challenge”.

      God bless!
      Ron

      • Feyi says:

        Yea I listened 2 the sermon and it was and is VERY inspirational. Wow!! The one year challenge is something I so duno if I can do…. Seems really hard…. Well, I’ll see how God leads….. Sometimes wish God could reveal ‘the person’ in a dream…bt HIS ways aren’t ours anywayz…. Wld sure like to hear ur experience…

  4. Joanne says:

    Hi
    I read your blog and want to tell you that those messages also had a huge impact on me. Its made me look at myself differently and my 14 year old boys are dreading watching a “christian” dvd but I have told them they have to, not because it is christian but because I want them to be the type of men that those messages can inspire them to be!! I am trying to become the person that the person I am looking for is looking for. I have watched 4 DVDs of Andy’s (so far) and all of them are like he is talking right into my heart. Thank you for this blog – I am definitely going to come back and check it out.

  5. Lag says:

    I have listened to the sermon series many times. I am considering taking the one year challenge. I hope you share your journey with us. I know it is almost complete. God bless!

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