In 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.