When it comes to the decision of marriage, there’s a lot at stake. It’s easy to focus on who you want to marry, but it’s essential to first focus on who you are. In this message, we talk about love and decision making through a biblical perspective so we can learn how to build the right “profile” for our own life.
Man! That was all an illustration. Videos without audio can be a little awkward. Similar to how dating can be a little awkward. No. Hey gosh, you guys look so good, man! It has been way too long. We are so pumped and so excited for everybody to be back. If people were not thirsty before COVID, it has only increased from there. So we are covering a very appropriate…
This was already on the calendar, and then we knew when we were going to come back. Hey, just to welcome again everybody in the room right here. The loft is also full. Everyone up in the loft, welcome. Stage two is also full, and we are now gathering out in the auditorium. Now welcome, of course, everybody online in the 13 locations from around the country: Tulsa, El Paso, Houston, Northwest Arkansas, everybody who is getting back.
We are so pumped to be starting, really kicking off this series as we look at Matchmaker. Let me bring you guys into a little bit of my dating world, which was a long time ago. This is the first car that I ever drove and the first car that I ever took a girl on a date in. This is a… Thank you very much. Don't want to brag. That's a 1993 Pontiac Sunbird Convertible.
Yes, typically only ladies and cheerleaders drive that car, but I got it from my sister and inherited that car. You may be thinking, "That's a cool car." Nope. You're probably thinking of the Pontiac Firebird. This was their less cool nerdy cousin, the Sunbird. I drove this car. Here's what the problem with that car was.
The driver's side door did not open, which created significant problems when I would ever go on a date because it led to me going over to the passenger side. You would think I was being chivalrous and opening their door, but no, it was just me being like, "Actually, me first," and I'd hop over the console in order to get in the car.
So it wasn't exactly like the chick mobile to be picking up ladies. Around that time that I started to drive was also when I was introduced to dating and what that even looked like. The same is true for a lot of people. It's around that time in life where you begin to drive and, for whatever reason, you also were introduced to a lot of your friends, and people began to form relationships.
I know you do that in middle school, but everybody knows you don't really count middle school. You just pass notes and you're like, "We're talking." But in high school, you're beginning to date, and you're also beginning to drive. What's interesting is there are a lot of similarities between dating and driving.
Dating has been around about 100 years, almost the exact amount of time that the automobile has been around. In other words, they were introduced into culture at around the same time. Like dating, driving comes with significant risks. Every year, millions of people have life-altering damage done to their bodies from getting in car wrecks, millions in America. Forty thousand people a year die from getting in a car crash.
In a similar way, as it relates to dating, although the casualties are usually not life and death, they are significant when it comes to your heart, your future, your love life, and even your marriage. Some of the most painful things that people are walking through in the room, maybe that you've ever walked through in your life, was a relationship that took a turn for the worse if it didn't end up working out.
Unlike driving, where they don't have a similarity is in order to drive, there are certain requirements that are a part of it. You have to be a certain number of years old. You have to be at least 16 or, if you have that hardship license you got it a little bit early. There are requirements. In fact, usually you have to go through Driver's Ed.
But there's no such thing with dating. There's no Dater's Ed. There are no age requirements. So people are just kind of left to plunge into the deep end on their own and, oftentimes, in a way that leads to really dysfunctional relationships and a lot of pain and a lot of hurt, hurt that doesn't go away. Hurt that they carry and end up carrying into the future and future relationships.
God doesn't want you to experience that. So we're going to cover in this series what it looks like to be single, to be engaged, to be dating, and just cover what God says as it relates to the topic of romance and love. The Bible doesn't specifically address dating. It may be a surprise to you, just like it doesn't specifically address Instagram or avocado toast, because they weren't around 2,000 years ago.
But it has a lot to say about love, romance, marriage, and decision making, which is essentially what dating is. God's heart is that you would navigate this minefield, that you would learn how to drive the car of dating, in a way that doesn't lead you into a love life wreck but toward a marriage, if that's his will for you, that is the type of marriage that you want to have.
Next to who you're going to worship as your God. There is no more important… Listen to me very closely on this. There is no bigger decision that you're going to make than who you're going to marry. More than where you're going to work, more than where you're going to live, your life is going to be altered by who you decide to marry. It is a huge deal.
We live in a country where 50 percent of people who end up standing in front of one another and pledging in a tux and in a white dress and they're like, "I love you forever, ride or die," months or years later end up signing papers where they say, "I never want you in my life," and divorce. God doesn't want that in your story. He doesn't want any more heartbreak in your story. My guess is you don't either.
So we're going to launch into this conversation tonight for the next handful of weeks about what it looks like to navigate these waters really well. The other thing that has spiked in COVID, in addition to Purell and Clorox, is online dating. There has been a 600 percent increase in certain dating apps, whether that's Hinge or Bumble or OkCupid or Tinder or FarmersOnly. JD, you know what I'm talking about.
Whatever it is, there has been a dramatic increase. So part of the Matchmaker thing, that bumper you couldn't actually hear the audio for, is playing off that idea. We don't have a Porch dating app, but this is playing off of that idea of matchmaker and how to make sure that you end up with a match that is in line with what your maker would say.
So throughout the series, we're going to integrate some of the common language as it relates to even a dating app, if you will. Tonight, I want to talk about your dating profile. By that, I don't mean what's currently listed on your Bumble account. I mean by dating profile, your single life, who you are.
It is not the description you have on your Facebook, but a description of who you are in reality, who God calls you to be in this season, and how to make sure that you use this season or you set up your dating profile to lead you in the best chance scenario of ending up with the type of person who you want to end up with.
So tonight, if you take notes, we're talking about your dating profile. We're looking at scriptural principles to inform what it looks like to set up your dating profile. By that, again, I mean your single life. So we're going to launch in to what your dating profile says or what it is, and what is at stake. Then depending on what is in your dating profile, and for some of us or many of us or maybe all of us, what you need to and how to change what's in your dating profile.
So we're going to just walk through… Again, when I say dating profile, I mean focusing on you. This is huge. Before you move onto any other step, even if you're dating someone right now, you need to be asking the question, "What is in my dating profile? What marks my life? What habits does no one know about? Maybe habits people do know about. What type of character am I building?" What is in your dating profile?
Before you move onto any other step, addressing what is in your profile, what marks your life, what is a part of it. Before you focus on who today, focus on the you who will date them, which is really difficult. Let me just be honest. Inside of the room, this seems like the least fun thing. I know that what comes most naturally is not evaluating, "What does mark my life? What are the habits that I really need to address right now?"
What comes a lot more natural is, "Who is she?" Some of you, since you've walked in the room, since I began talking, you have not been listening to what I've been saying because you have been thinking, "I wonder who that is? Is he friends with Kevin? Oh my gosh, I wonder if we should all get together. How can I create a hypothetical situation or forced environment for us to have friends who go together to Torchy's afterwards? I really don't care about the friends, but I can't get around him. That would be awkward. So maybe…"
And you've been thinking about that person. You've been checking out their shoes. "It seems like he is responsible, but has some fashion sense to him." Or, "She seems like she loves Jesus. Her hands were raised during worship. That was cool." Because it's so natural and easy to drift toward, "Huh? Them." Before you go there, tonight I want to focus and call you to focus not on who to date, but on the you who will date and addressing your dating profile.
What is in your dating profile? Not what you want people to know. Not what you would list on Bumble. But if somebody saw everything about your life, what would God list out inside of your dating profile? That dating profile you're going to bring into marriage.
In other words, when you get married someday, what marks your life, the profile of your life, and the profile of her life or his life are going to be combined into one profile. What are you going to be bringing in? Jesus said this idea of combining lives and combining profiles in Matthew, chapter 19, verses 5 and 6. He said. This is what marriage is. These are Jesus' words.
"…a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh…" You're going to bring everything that's in your profile into your future marriage. What is in your dating profile? So we put together some of the profiles that typically mark what people end up listing out there when they manicure and manage on a dating app profile.
You know, their perception that they want someone to think about them. Here were some of the ones we put up. These are just fake people. Actually, Danny is in the room. He is in row four right here. Not true. Danny, here's what he would have just hypothetically. He went to TAMU. Whoop. Likes going out with the boys.
He says Saving Private Ryan is the only movie, the only thing that makes him cry. "Let's go two-stepping sometime." Got to. Favorites, of course, include travel, reading, coffee, looking for someone who loves The Office and is a Christian. And he once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. There's one example of a dating profile.
Here's Allison. Allison works at The Richards Group. (That's a company here in Dallas.) Loves to travel, see new things. Just a small town girl living in a lonely world. Got to. Ah, love that. Have some wit. Got to. "My family means everything to me. Here for a good time." Her favorites are baking, Soul Cycle, and Jesus. Exactly everything she thinks men are looking for. "Looking for someone down to earth, funny, trustworthy. Fun fact about me: I have a dog. I'm a dog mom to my Corgi named Lucy."
All right, next one? Michael. Ah, look at that smile. It's a great pic. Played soccer in college. "I love playing guitar. I have my own business. Holla! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My favorites would be family, fitness, and faith. I am looking for an Enneagram 9 with an adventurous side." Very specific, Michael. You're really limiting your options. "I once backpacked through Europe in the summer."
I think our final one. Oh Kate, of course. Man, we have a great photographer who took these people's picture. "Love to laugh, and I'm always happy. I'm a professional at watching Netflix. I am the best me when I am outside. Communication…" Is that spelled right? Kate, that is not spelled right. "Comminication is key." If she watched less Netflix and worked a little harder on her profile… "My favorite things are lattes, guac, and margs, my Bible. I'm looking for someone who is strong and dependable. Fun fact about me: I'm always down for a 5K with a good cause."
Now what would these profiles say if they were entirely honest? In other words, what are the things that likely, just like in your profile if you were making one, you're not going to list online, but they are listed in your life?
Here would be the first one. Danny, "I didn't actually go to TAMU. I went to Blinn." That's all right, Danny. "I get blackout drunk every weekend. I am emotionally unavailable. I do things girls like just so they will hook up with me. My favorites? Video games for three hours a day, undressing girls around me in my mind. Looking for someone who is blonde and has big boobs to have sex with. Fun fact about me: I'm addicted to porn." Now those are things that you would never mention and never bring out into the light, but he is bringing them into a relationship.
Allison, "I flirt with my boss to get ahead. I get guys to pay for my vacations. I haven't spoken to my parents in over a year. I laugh about getting arrested that one time. My favorites include letting jealousy control my relationships and looking for someone to project my past baggage from men onto. Fun fact about me: I have an eating disorder."
Then Michael. "I keep Xanax around in case of emergency situations. I use my musical talents to impress women. I have $20K in credit card debt. I've punched multiple holes in my wall. My favorites include drunk Snapchatting with my ex. I'm looking for someone without a backbone whose life I can control. Fun fact about me: I have an anger problem, and I have cheated on my past two girlfriends."
Then, of course, Kate. If Kate was entirely honest, her profile would include, "Anxiety controls my relationship. I don't really have much ambition. I find myself feeling too depressed to get out of bed. If you try to leave me, I will find you. My favorites include drinking a bottle of wine every night because I don't like my life. I'm looking for someone, if I was honest, to fill a hole my absent dad left and make me feel good about myself. Fun fact about me: I'm emotionally unstable and will make you feel crazy because I'm crazy."
Now no one would ever include those, but those are the types of things that mark people, many of us all over the room. The profile you list online may not come with you into the future, but the profile that is actually your life will. Right now, what you're carrying around is not just going to determine the person you're going to end up with, as we'll talk about here in a second, it is shaping the future marriage that you're going to have.
You get to decide, "What is going to mark my life? What is going to be the profile that I carry into marriage? What are going to be the things that I bring in and bring forward?" Because someday if you end up married together, you're going to combine your baggage and her baggage, your profile, and her profile.
So many people are good at falling in love. It is very easy to fall in love with people around you. There are beautiful girls in here. There are handsome guys in here. You could fall in love tonight. Staying in love is much more difficult. One of the reasons that people don't stay in love is they never address their profile, long before they ever met Mr. Right or Miss Right.
When I got married to my wife, we went on a honeymoon, which was like our first real vacation together just two of us. We're so pumped. We're flying out of the country going to this all-inclusive resort in Mexico. Just so stoked. We go to the airport. This is the first time I had ever traveled with her before. I began to realize, women are very different in terms of packing.
When guys think of packing, it's like, "All right. Need to do a backpack, and we're just going to go right through and no checking bags." When women, and particularly on their honeymoon think of it, she is bringing cargo I've never even seen before. She has the blow dryer. She has the hair curler. She has hair things I don't even know what they are.
She has all kinds of like a tacklebox of makeup and 17 different pairs of shoes. It's just… What's going to happen? As we go up to check in our bags and begin to go through the process of going through security and get in the airport, I realize that my bag and her bag were very, very different. We put her bag on the scale, and it was 15 pounds over the weight limit for a bag.
We put mine on, and it was like seven pounds. So of course it was like, "Take that off. We're putting lots of your stuff into my bag so that we can escape paying the extra fees on there." Really in marriage, that's what happens. Not just that you share luggage when you're going to a destination. You're going to share the baggage of the person who you marry, and they're going to share yours.
What is that baggage? Maybe tonight, the only step you need to take is just being honest with yourself. "Here's the stuff that I'm carrying in my profile. I can't go a week without turning to weed because my anxiety is through the roof. I don't like myself because I was a cheerleader and I got injured in college, and I've defined myself by that moment ever since. I don't like the way that I look. I was sexually abused."
What's in your profile? Becausewhat is at stake is the most significant relationship, other than the one with God, you will ever have and your ability to maintain it.What do I mean? What's at stake or why your profile matters, is that whatever is in your profile, your life, is not going away when you get married.
There's this weird fantasy idea that, "Oh yeah, then when you get married, then you become an adult and you stop doing…" That doesn't happen. I've stood by too many people who ended up getting married and ended up years or weeks or months getting divorced and walking away. It was because they never dealt with the issues inside of their life or the problems they thought would just go away.
They never went away; they got worse. In marriage, they don't disappear. They get exposed. Or if anything, they get even worse. It doesn't fix your problems. Paul, in the Bible, says it adds to your problems. So waiting until marriage to deal with them is only going to be a time when the problems get even worse. He says this in 1 Corinthians, chapter 7, verse 32.
"I want you to be free from anxieties." He is talking about singleness and marriage. "The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided."
In other words, particularly the guys… He is about to address the girls. But guys, when you get married, life changes radically. Today if you wanted to, I bet you could go home. You could turn on the TV. You could watch sports. You could watch the Mavs. You go on a jog. You do whatever you want.
Someday, you're going to end up married, and you're going to end up spending time and money on things you never would've anticipated spending time and money on. You're going to head home from a long day of work. You're not turning on the TV. You're not just vegging out or going on a run. You're going to sit there, and you're going to talk about how your day was.
You're going to have to sit there and process and talk through and give details about everything that's going on. She is going to want to know all the different aspects of your life. Then she is going to want to flip it and have you to talk and speak into all the aspects of her life. She is going to want to know that you're listening and paying attention and that you're verbally nodding along and that you're there not to try to fix her problems but just to hear and listen and empathize with.
Your life is going to change. You're going to spend money on things that man, right now, you're like, "Dude, I can go spend money on whatever I want. I may switch cars when I want. I may move apartments. I have a lot of disposable income I do whatever I want with." Nope. Not when you're married someday. You're going to end up spending money on things that…
I have no idea why we have so many pillows in my house. Duvets… I didn't even know what a duvet was before we got married and now, we have like three of them. You're going to spend money. Things are going to break apart. You're going to have a mortgage. Life begins to change. Paul says life doesn't get easier, and marriage is an amazing gift.
As someone married to one of the most low-maintenance people I know of on the planet, I have seen that marriage changes your life. So Paul's point is not that marriage is bad and singleness is good or singleness is bad and marriage is good. His point is marriage will not fix your problems. He says the same thing to the ladies.
He says, "And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord… But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband." Ladies, you're going to get married someday, likely. Statistically speaking, 90 percent of the people in the room will get married by the age of 50. You're going to get married.
Here's what you're going to understand or be exposed to about men. They're not very clean. Some of them are so not clean it's like they're reaching the danger zone in terms of their lifestyle. They're going to end up wanting to do things or you're going to find yourself going, "Man, I do not want to do that again. This is not a lingerie night again. It's me sitting on the couch wearing my comfy pants, and I just want you to sit here and listen and talk with me."
There are going to be challenges and things that are brought about through marriage. Paul's point is marriage does not make your problems go away. If anything, it adds to the problems that are there. Then when you add kids into the mix, your discretionary time goes out the window. This is such a unique season and stage in your life.
Marriage is amazing. Kids are amazing. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. My point is, whatever is in your profile is not going to go away, it's not going to get better just because you get married. If anything, it's going to get worse, and it's going to end up spilling out and end up impacting the relationships that you have.
It's not dissimilar to this. This is a Topo Chico. It's a beverage, in case you're not familiar with it. Inside of this, like marriage, if you shake it up, which is what marriage does. It's really what stress does to our life. If you shake it up, there's a greater likelihood that eventually something is going to spill out.
The problem isn't what is shaking it up, because life is full of stress and anxiety and challenges and problems and hardship and all of it, you're going to face. But when that happens, what is inside is going to come out. That was a lot messier than I thought. The problem in marriage, and I promise you, it's just life.
You're going to walk through miscarriages. You're going to have a parent who dies of cancer. One of you is going to lose your job. All of that shaking and all of that stress is going to bring to the surface, and what's inside is going to spill out. I just want you to be honest with yourself. What is inside?
The idea of someday… And I know you don't believe me. That's the most frustrating thing of having done this the last 11 years. People are like, "No, once I get married, I will grow up." No, you won't. You will grow up when you decide to grow up. The only thing getting married will do is change your last name, if you're a girl. If you're a guy, it won't even do that. What are you bringing into marriage? Because what is at stake is the most important relationship, other than the one with Christ, that you will ever have.
So now we'll talk about how to change your dating profile. So what's in there, what's at stake, and then how to change your dating profile? We're taking the best next step. As I said, 90 percent of you will get married by 50. Statistically, 75 percent of young adults will get married by 35 and 80 percent by 40. So at this time in your life, you have like a decade for a lot of you or give or take a little bit around a decade, where likely you're going to make the decision of the most important relationship you're going to have in terms of an earthly one.
Before you get there, addressing your profile. So how do you address your profile? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7, that same chapter, that singleness, despite the fact that often we don't feel like it, is a gift. Here's why I think we don't feel like it is a gift. Because we don't see it as something that God gave us for a season.
It's a unique time period for most people's lives. In other words, for 90 percent of people in the world, or for 90 percent of Americans who end up getting married, singleness is a season. It's not some perpetual trap that they're caught in. It's a season. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7 it's a season that is a gift for two reasons. He says it in verse 35.
"This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you…" Talking about what singleness is for. "…but _ [singleness is] _ to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord." Paul is saying, "Hey, here's what singleness is for." This is a season unique in your life that God gives every single person that you can take advantage of by using it to promote what is appropriate and secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
What is promote what is appropriate? That means deal with your character, with issues. Begin to live in community and confess that a pornography addiction marks your life and begin to regularly bring that out into the light. Regularly call and confess that to other people around you.
You live in a world, men, where there are borderline-naked women on every channel that you could flip through. I'm talking about Victoria's Secret model commercials that come on there. It's not crazy. Most of us, like me, were introduced to pornography at such a young age. You think that it's any shock or surprise why that marks your life? But it doesn't have to.
You can make a decision today, "I'm not going to have this in my profile for the rest of the rest. I'm not going to bring this into my marriage where all of a sudden, the type of sex that I want to have in marriage someday and the sexual fantasies that I want my wife to live out are defined by the pornography that I've consumed and am consuming. Because I want to choose to deal with that."
You make the decision, man. "I'm going to choose to deal with that problem with Xanax. I'm going to choose to deal with that eating disorder that I have because I hate myself. Everyone talks about, 'You're so pretty,' and all this, but I hate myself. I hate myself. I'm going to address not just the eating disorder. I'm going to address the roots that are underneath it and what's inside of it and what's behind it," and in doing so, promoting what is good behavior.
That's what Paul's words are. Hey, this is what you should be doing. This is what you should be doing with your singleness. Dealing with addictions. Dealing with hurts. Some of you were really, really wounded by a father, by a family member. You're still really hurt from an ex you had in high school. You never forgave them.
You never forgave somebody who did horrible, painful things to you or was absent from your life for years and years and years. Here's what I know. Holding onto that is not just going to hurt you. It's going to hurt your future marriage because you're going to project those hurts. I've seen it so many times. A person who is not able to forgive people from their past will not be able to forgive a spouse in their present.
They're going to hold onto bitterness, and they're going to claim it's like, "No, I just have trust issues." But really, it's because they've never forgiven people who've hurt them. Then they get married and they've trained their whole life to hold onto bitterness and hold onto hurts. Are you going to make the decision? "I'm going to work through that and recover from that."
If somebody sexually abused or raped you, and you have the decision. Are you going to carry that for the rest of your life? That wasn't your fault. It was wrong. They're going to give an account to God, but you have to be honest and give an account to yourself. How long are you going to let that define your life? How long are you going to carry that in your profile?
Are you going to work and work through the process of forgiving, of healing? This is why we hit on living in community to promote what is good behavior because all of us, in isolation and on our own, drift as Proverbs 18:1 says, and all throughout the Proverbs it says we drift toward self-destructive tendencies.
I need people in my life who can call out blind spots that I have, who can hold me accountable and come around and pray for me. Do you have a small group of guys, a small group of girls? If you have been walking through COVID in isolation, I know you have stuff you have to heal from. I know you're carrying things that you're not strong enough to carry, like depression and anxiety and the things that we've been talking about for the last six weeks.
It's been said, "Idiosyncrasies grow in the garden of isolation." In other words, if you've ever met somebody and you're like, "Man, you're just a little bit off. You're a little quirky," typically, it's because they don't have anyone in their life who will tell them the truth, who will say, "Here's what I see. Here's what marks your life. Do you know that you're like this?" Do you have community? If not, it will be really difficult, it will be impossible, to promote and use this season to build the character that will allow you to build a marriage that will last.
The second thing he says is, "…to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord." Before you get a relationship with a guy or girl, you have to get your relationship with God right. This is the time to go all in on your faith. To not use the time to get it out of your system, kind of sow your wild oats.
Getting it out of your system through sleeping around, living for the weekend is how you get it in your system and in your profile. This is a time to go all in and grow in your faith, to not use the weekend to just play Call of Duty with your COD squad but to invest in knowing God's Word, serving inside of a church, growing your character, and pursuing an undistracted devotion to the Lord.
Paul says this in Galatians, chapter 6. Right now, you are sowing seeds in your single life. What are you sowing? He says, "Don't be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit."
He basically says, "Hey, whatever you planted today? You're going to reap those at a later time." However you're living your life, those are going to resurface again at a later time. How did you use your weekend? How are you using your time? Are you investing it in what actually matters, like God's kingdom, building your character, or serving inside of a church?
Are you connected to a church? Are you spending time growing in his Word? Do you know how much Bible you could learn in six weeks around here with the number of classes that are available? Are you going to use this as a foundation to become the type of person who invests in the most important thing about you?
Let me be abundantly clear. The most important thing about you and the person who you will marry is not something you can see. It is what is on the inside. Every single day, you have the decision to say, "What am I investing in? How am I shaping my future marriage? How am I building into my character? How am I growing in my faith?"
We spend so much time… Ladies, I'm not throwing shade at it. We spend so much time looking a certain way, clipping up the eyebrows and getting everything all looking good on the outside, and neglect the most important thing which you cannot see, which is on the inside. Above any quality that you should look for.
Man, I remember being single and I know what it's like to be like, "Nah, I don't believe that." I have done marriages of beautiful girls and handsome guys who claim to be walking with Jesus, and they were hiding sin. Those marriages are not together anymore. The most important thing about you and about the person who you're going to end up with is something you cannot see. It is what is on the inside.
Because someday, it's like this. When I got married, my wife gave me this bracelet. It's not a tremendously crazy, fancy bracelet. It was just a bracelet of a bunch of fish hooks. The fish hooks were basically accompanied with a letter. It was on our wedding day. It showed up in our room. She was like, "Hey, this is for the rest of our lives. We're going to spend it following Jesus and doing what he calls us to. Fishing for men. Matthew, chapter 4."
Also, on that day of my wedding, there was another gift. There were lots of gifts that you end up giving, but you also without even realizing it, you are giving to your spouse whatever is on the inside of your heart, of your life, of your soul, of your profile. What are you going to give? What is there? Are you going to make the decision to be a Danny whose profile doesn't say, "I'm still addicted to pornography?"
Instead, it says, "I'm living authentically. I'm confessing. I'm living in the light." Instead of being a Kate who is saying, "Yeah, I deal with alcohol in order to work through my depression, and I'm emotionally unstable because I've never forgiven my dad." It says, "I have worked through and recovered from the hurt in the past and my heart."
What is your profile going to say? You get to decide. You have to decide. That decision will define and shape the type of relationship you're going to have in the future and the type of person you're going to end up with in general. I'm about to land the plane.
Dating also shares another similarity when it comes to driving. Dating is like driving. Driving is something you do whenever you want to go someplace. You get in the car to move from one destination to another destination. Biblically, that is the point and the purpose of dating. You get there in order to move in the destination, not of casual fun, but the destination of marriage. If you're not interested in going somewhere, don't get in a car.
If you're not interested in moving toward marriage, don't start dating. If you are not healthy, you should not be dating. If you have stuff in your profile, you're like, "Man, this is just toxic," you should not be dating. If there is an addiction that you're hiding, you're not living in the light, you should not be dating. If you're not in community, I'm not sure you should be dating.
In conclusion, what's in your profile, really? What is at stake could not be bigger. The way you change with it is by seeking to use your singleness to promote what is appropriate behavior and to go all in with Christ, living in community, confessing sin, working through past hurts. If you do, there is no limit to the story that God is going to write.
There's no person in here whose profile is so damaged and scarred and messed up that God can't write an amazing, beautiful, incredible story. Every person in the Loft right now, every person in Stage 2, every person in El Paso, every person in Houston, every person in Fort Worth, every single person, if you are willing to say, "God, I'm going to go all in with you…"
I know the fear is that hey, you have done so many things wrong, you're like, "Man, I'm damaged goods. A godly guy will never be interested in me." That is a lie. Godly guys don't look for perfection. They look for someone who is pursuing Jesus with their heart, regardless of their past, who knows that there's a God who is there named Jesus who changed his profile for you and for me.
The profile of the perfect Son of God forever eternally in heaven without sin, who became the sinful one on me. He took all of the sexual sin in my past, every look at pornography, every abortion represented in the room, every time that you've ever gotten wasted on the weekend, all of it, all the shame, everything was taken on Jesus.
His profile went from perfect to covered in your sin and my sin so that your profile, for all of eternity, would not be defined by the actions that you have, your relationship status, but what he did on the cross. If you have trusted him, you are forgiven. You shouldn't walk in shame. You shouldn't walk like you're damaged goods. You can continue to walk.
Say "Man, I'm going to become a godly person. I'm going to work on my character right now because ultimately, I want to marry a godly person. Godly people marry godly people, so I'm going to put that number one. I'm going to prioritize that. Not just because of that, but because that is where life is found."
You're not defined by your past. Until you know your Maker, looking for a match would be foolish. So those of you who have never trusted in Jesus, tonight is your night, because you're not defined by what Jesus did on the cross. You aren't. When Jesus or God looks at you, someone who is…blanket statement…"Forgiven. Pure. My child."
You are still covered by your sin. You've never accepted the free gift Jesus extended when he gave his life on the cross for you. That's what it means to be a Christian is, "I accepted the free gift that God became a man, he died on the cross, he paid for everything. I'm not defined by my shame because I've trusted in the one who saves, Jesus who died for me.
He rose from the dead, and I will too. Now I'm invited to continue to work on my character, to grow, and address my profile before I move it into that next relationship that's second to my first love and my first relationship of importance with him." Let me pray.
Father, I do pray for every person in the room who is covered in shame. They feel like there isn't hope for them. They've done things that they regret and they're ashamed of and they wouldn't talk about and they wouldn't want others to know about. Because of that shame, they feel like damaged goods, so they keep going after men and women who are not godly and who don't want to have the type of marriage that you describe in Scripture because they think it's the best that they can do.
I pray that you would pierce through that, that they would hear from the voice of you, "You're my child. You're my child. You're forgiven." That you would write an amazing story and profile and something beautiful. I pray for everyone who has never, ever trusted in your Son for the payment of their sin, death, and resurrection, that tonight would be their night.
Father, thank you that you love us despite everything messed up in my profile, everything in my past, everything in my present, everything where I need you, God, that I can rest and trust and accept and walk in your forgiveness. I pray that through this series, you would launch amazing relationships. Men and women would start dating. They'd get married from it.
I pray that you would also stop, destroy, and end relationships that they know right now that need to end. Thank you that we have a relationship with you if we've accepted it by faith that never will end. We worship you in song now. Amen.