Groups

Group Chat: Dating

November 14, 2022

Welcome to Group Chat

Yes, being in a conversation with drinks is fun, but we need some guidelines as you enter into conversation with one another:


Everyone is not right, and that's a good thing.

The concepts we talk about in theology can have multiple interpretations, but that doesn't mean they're all right. A lot of theology is investigating the words we use to see if they make sense and are if they're adequate for God. Being wrong is how we improve our theology, not by having all the answers.


Pay attention to how people are using words.

We all use words like “love,” “God,” and “grace,” but the the reality is we often mean vastly different things. Try to listen to how people use words and if they're using them the same way you would.


Ask for people to define what they mean.

We can't have a good conversation if we are all talking past each other. It's not embarrassing to ask people for a definitional a new word or concept, it's just how you have a good conversation.

Make this work for you.

Have someone in the group keep an eye on the questions and try to make sure you're staying on topic. At the same time, it's fine to go down the rabbit holes. Sometimes, the rabbit holes can help us clarify something that we missed.


Have fun.

You won't solve world hunger, you probably won't even convince that person in the group you disagree with. Relax, be respectful, and when the questions run out, enjoy yourself and talk about something that isn't theological. Hanging out can actually be pretty important for good theology too!

Discussion Questions

  • Share your worst date experience.
  • Who or where do you get your dating advice from?
  • What does healthy dating look like to you?
  • What are ways you cultivate joy in your dating life?
  • The Bible doesn’t talk about dating in the way we think of it today, so what does it mean to date Biblically? Is that a goal?
  • What is Christian dating?
  • What are the resources that guide your dating life?
  • How do you involve your community in your dating life?
  • What does it mean to date intentionally? Is that a goal for Christian dating?
  • How has the church impacted your view on dating?

Scripture to Consider

  • Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. / 1 Corinthians 7:28-29
  • “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. / Ephesians 5:31-33
  • Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious/ 1 Peter 3:3–4
  • Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?/ 2 Corinthians 6:14–15
  • Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. / Romans 12:9–10

Thoughts from Others

  • “A large array of options may diminish the attractiveness of what people actually choose, the reason being that thinking about the attractions of some of the unchosen options detracts from the pleasure derived from the chosen one.” / Barry Schwarz The Paradox of Choice
  • “Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person. We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” / Stanley Hauerwas Duke University Ethics Professor
  • In stressing the need for love to come after marriage, not simply before, he cites an Easterner who once said to a European, "We put cold soup on the fire, and it becomes slowly warm. You put hot soup into a cold plate, and it becomes slowly cold." / Walter Trobisch Love is a Feeling to Be Learned


Interesting Stats

  • By a wide margin, Americans who have used a dating site or app in the past year say their recent experience left them feeling more frustrated (45%) than hopeful (28%)/ Pew Research October 2019
  • Women who have online dated are also more likely than men to say it was very important to them that the profiles they looked through included a person’s religious beliefs (32% vs. 18%), occupation (27% vs. 8%) or height (22% vs. 8%)/ Pew Research October 2019
  • It’s estimated over half of the marriages worldwide are arranged and that over 20 million of those unions exist in the world today, a surprising fact given that we almost never hear about arranged marriages unless we're discussing their famously low divorce rates. In the U.S., while the divorce rate hovers around 40 or 50 percent, the divorce rate for arranged marriages is 4 percent. In India, where some estimate that 90 percent of marriages are arranged, the divorce rate is only 1 percent.
  • Since the start of the 21st century, the U.S. marriage rate has declined from more than eight marriages per 1,000 down to six marriages per 1,000 population in 2019. That marriage rate is the lowest level since the U.S. government began keeping marriage records for the country in 1867.

The Reunion Team

We are a church who helps people discover Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus did. Together we want to help all of the greater Boston area to experience the transformative love of Jesus.

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