Deep and Meaningful (Part 2)

In the last post, I offered the idea that when seeking out friendships, what most of us earnestly desire is not a large number of relationships, but rather deeper and closer friendships. Such relationships take time to build, but given the ease in which we can connect and network with people all around the world, it has been harder to focus our time and attention to build such relationships (some of us may feel like we’re surrounded by too many people – and this is true compared to pre-Internet days). In this post, I will clarify a few implications of the previous post and then move on to give a few suggestions as to how we can go about building deeper and more meaningful relationships.

 

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Deep and Meaningful (Part 1)

If you were given the option between:

  1. Talking to one friend for an hour; or
  2. Talking to six friends individually for ten minutes each

Which option would you pick? On one hand, talking to just a single friend for an hour gives more room to grow that friendship and to get beyond the surface formalities of “How are you going?” On the other hand, talking to more friends for a shorter period of time gives more opportunities to catch up with multiple people and allows you to manage more friendships simultaneously. Some of you may have opted for an in-between option; perhaps chatting to three friends for 20 minutes each instead. And perhaps how we decide to use an hour for our friends depends on what we aim to achieve in our relationships.

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Grace and Gratitude

Commonly when we do things for other people, in whatever ways it might be in, we typically want something back. In light of seeing God’s grace (a free gift that we do not deserve) for us through Jesus Christ, Christians have learnt what loving grace is: it is caring for someone else without expecting anything in return. Whether it be saying something encouraging, giving someone a present, giving someone a lift or spending time for someone, we know that it is real genuine love if we do these things without wanting anything in return. Love is selfless and with the idea of grace permeating the whole of a Christian’s life, the balanced “equation” of receiving what you give out no longer holds. To some degree, the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is talking about doing things you “hope” others will do back for you, but they may not necessarily return that favour. The golden rule is about giving than receiving.

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Christian Dating Part 2: Leadership and Submission

Before we get into the practical side of dating relationships, we should continue looking into the Bible at what the final outcome of dating relationships (ie marriage) should look like from the heart. Let’s move onto the topic of submission, as it’s the one that’s still widely misunderstood by non-Christians. If you haven’t been paying to all the marriage debates that have been going on in the last year or so, let me bring you up to scratch with why secular society looks badly at the word “submission”. Society seems to synonymously replace “submission” with “domination”, so that a wife submitting to her husband means “letting the husband do whatever he wants, without any regard to what she wants or doesn’t want”. And alarm bells start going off because this seems to suggest that the husband has the option of abusing his wife (in a world where domestic violence happens somewhat frequently), and so for Christians, we seem to be allowing husbands to abuse their wives, because they are “commanded” to submit to their husbands. And of course there is this notion that the wife is now inferior to her husband, and Christian marriage doesn’t seem to have gender equality.

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Christian Dating Part 1: Overview

In this day and age where many people get into (and fall out of) dating relationships, it probably gives good reason to address this topic. And perhaps at least, we finally get the chance to put onto the discussion table what the Christian perspective of dating is. Bear in mind, though I myself am not currently in a dating relationship at the time of writing, I am quite convicted about the truths in the Bible and the way they should shape how dating is done today. So although it may make me seem like a hypocrite and one who cannot talk about what I haven’t experienced, the ideas I want to present here and those that I will live by – they are, in some sense, my personal plans on how I think God wants dating to be done in my life. I would not only like to address this to non-Christians (to educate them on what some Christians think about dating) but also to some Christians (particularly to those who are also doing it with a lack of understanding of the Bible). As with all posts, I hope this creates food for thought in conversation (where we can further develop and refine these ideas), rather than try to set in stone some legalistic system of how dating “must” be done.

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