For many single young people relationships are a BIG deal. The guys are eyeing the girls and trying to figure out how to approach them with the skill and smoothness of a James Bond or the charm and allure of Denzel Washington (FYI- movies stars make terrible role models). Meanwhile the ladies are busy trying to present themselves as available and stunningly attractive to the eligible suitors. I hear ladies are “slay queens” which if I am correct means they are so beautiful and attractive their looks will kill you! The end game of course is for the most handsome, smooth, charming, and coolest guy to sweep the most attractive “slay queen” off her feet, and they live happily ever after. All that makes for a good chick flick so far and therein lies the problem. This “game” makes for a good fictional movie and nothing more, and it is dangerous when lived out in reality. It has created huge relationship problems and invariably affects marriage relationships. What’s wrong with the current nature of our relationships?
It encourages fictional lives
We in our pride develop fantasies about the world, our lives and how relationships should work. The problem is fantasies are exactly that, fantasies. They are often based on fictional movies, soap operas and chick flicks which are based on imaginary characters and story lines. If not from the movies, it’s from the discussions with their single friends. Talk about the blind leading the blind. As a result the relationships formed are often pretentious. Differences are either not acknowledged or ignored. The struggles and weakness of individuals are not addressed. When the couple sets goals for the future, they are simply building castles in the air. If there is one thing single people can do for their own good is live in the real world when it comes to relationships. This is life not the movies.
It makes single people act like they are married
One way this fantasy lifestyle comes out is the way single people act married. For the sake of clarity—you are single until you are legally declared husband and wife. Therefore, those who are dating and/or courting are by definition single people! However, it is often common to see single people isolating themselves and spending way too much time the two of them rather than building their friendship around people and seeking accountability and counsel from those who have gone before. Invariably this behavior often leads to sexual temptation and sin. Single people in relationships assume so much control over each other because of acting like they are married such that they even encourage each other to disobey and disregard their parent’s authority (i.e. in their desire to meet up, they break curfew or in worst cases sneak out of homes and “runaway” for weekends or holidays). As a result, a lot of single people who may be growing in their Christian faith suddenly stop growing and begin to indulge in all kinds of sin once they get in a relationship because of acting like they are married.
It often ends badly
Because these relationships start on the wrong and unbiblical footing and often have wrong motives, the break ups tend to be messy. Here you are thinking your dreams have come true and you have finally found the person you cannot live without (despite the fact that you lived all these years without them) and all your fantasies are finally being fulfilled and you commit all your time, energy, emotions and monies to this person because in your mind you are practically married, then it suddenly ends. Not only is the relationship broken but also the friendship. So people who are supposed to show Christian love and care can no longer stand each other. It is at this point that most people then seek counsel and guidance, but unfortunately the damage has already been done by that time.
I end with Paul’s counsel to young Timothy on how to relate with different age groups in the Church.
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)