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Man with a Maiden Series....Part 1....Eric Simmons

The way I look at it, anything worthwhile I ever say has either been shown to me through God's word or taught to me by some really really smart men. And stuff that I say that isn't worthwhile is just that-not worth anyone's time to read it. So I figured since I'm the nerd who listens to sermons, why not just keep summarizing solid truth sermons. Anyways, whenever Sovereign Grace comes up, typically Josh Harris and the whole dating bad/courting good thing comes up as well. I'm currently going through a sermon series done at Covenant Life (kind of like the mothership of the Sovereign Grace churches. Covenant is in Gaithersberg, Maryland and is also where the Pastor's College is.) back in 2003 for their singles group. I'm halfway through it and have enjoyed it immensely. I hope you will as well.

The first sermon was by Eric Simmons. It is entitled "Why this Series?" and was orginally given on February 21, 2003.

Eric began by asking us this question. “Have you ever been amazed by something?” In Proverbs 30:18-19, Agur writes

“Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand:

The way of an eagle in the sky,

The way of a serpent on a rock

The way of a ship on the high seas,

And the way of a man with a maiden.”

These are things which Agur just can’t really even comprehend. How does an eagle stay aloft in the air? How does a snake move with no feet? How does a ship stay afloat? How does a guy ever get a girl?

In our day and age, it could be very easy to simply go on google.com and explain away the first 3 things. We could learn about air currents and density and motion and what not. But men and women? Psh. That’s STILL something we don’t get.

In 2003 when this sermon series began, Eric said he counted 11 reality TV shows on the process of dating and guys relating to girls. Joe Millionaire, Elimidate, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Last Resort, etc. In fact, he said that for the season finale of Joe Millionaire, 40 million watchers turned in.

Why are we so amazed with it all? Truthfully, because we don’t know what we’re doing and we want to see other people who have no idea what they are doing mess it up too. We don’t always know how to have genuine, God glorifying friendship, coming together and loving one another and serving one another.

He then went on to list factors that prohibit friendships between guys and girls.

  1. The “Duh” Factor

Face it. Guys are stupid. Guys will say and do stupid things, but 98% of the time they don’t mean it. He gave a couple different examples. One was of a man who was dating this girl and he said to her “I just want you to know this. I am much more attracted to you spiritually than I am physically. Physically, there are others that could beat you, but spiritually man, you are the most attractive woman I have ever met.”

The second was of a group of singles from Covenant Life. This girl had been talking about how she had started exercising and working out and a guy friend responded like this. “Well that’s good. You should keep doing that. Because you’re not really the skinniest girl in the singles group. I mean, you’re not the biggest of everyone, but you’re not the skinniest.”

He said in situations like these, we just shake our heads and think “Duh.”

  1. The “Small Print” Factor

Ladies tend to read into things…not just big things, but EVERYTHING. A look, an e-mail, a kind hello…all of the sudden in a nano-second, she’s got you married with 3 kids and a picket fence.

  1. The Romance Factor

The same feelings that go along with plain old friendship are stored up in the same place as the feelings that go along with love and romance and emotions. Sometimes, we get confused and pull out the wrong feeling in the wrong situation.

  1. The Friends Factor

Even if the guy isn’t saying stupid things and the girl isn’t reading into all things, you’re friends will still be stupid and still read into things. Often, in front of the very person they are talking about in the first place.

  1. The Silence Factor

For girls, this may not be such a problem, but for guys, well…they’ll walk up to a girl and have a whole conversation planned out. They open their mouths, and NOTHING. Just complete and utter stupidity and silence and questioning looks.

  1. The Attraction Factor

Guys never think they look bad and girls never think they look good.

With all of this, how does ANYONE ever get married?

Especially at Covenant Life at this point in time, Eric said that there seems to be this one way of doing things mentality. If you fall outside of these specific dating boundaries, they “You Bad.” We need to learn wisdom, not rules.

For example, do we think that the guy should be the only one with all the feelings and desires at the start of a relationship and that the girl should just step out in faith with nothing in her heart and just rely on God to bring the feelings?

How you think WILL dictate how you act. The goal of this series is this:

  1. That new friendships would start.
  2. That old friendships would deepen.
  3. That courtships would begin.

This is not going to be a series of rules and wrongs and rights. It will be a series of cultivating wisdom.

James 3:17

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Our dating lives will be one of the most incredible opportunities we will ever have to glorify God to unbelievers. If 40 million people tuned in to watch the Joe Millionaire season finale, you can bet there are some people watching how you handle this aspect of your life.

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