We ended our "FLIRT" series on sexuality and dating and such last weekend. We called it "Talk to me about Flirting" cuz it was a "4 couple panel" made up of one engaged couple and three married couples: the youngest of which had returned from their honeymoon the day before and the oldest of which was 8 months into this gig. They responded to some predetermined questions to get us started and then to some written by students on cards.
The result was some very fresh eyes for students on the end game of the dating world and some powerful stories on hope and regret and healing too. The most interesting part I asked them about was why they all chose not to live together before getting married, even the one couple where one of them had been previously married and even the couples where "virginity" was no longer still being "saved". All chose to not go the common route and all experience significant pressure towards that from friends especially. This choice is super rare today and they had such powerful words to share and in ways I never could have said them myself. Honestly, it was one of my favorite mornings in a long time.
It also gave me another chance to remind our students of my four fold process and I wanted to encourage them to find truth in. It's my "how to think vs. what to think" filter of sorts for finding or discerning the will of God in their life. I've been processing it for a while and have landed on 4 B's as my memory tool. This week was all about the third B.
I laugh every time I share them because I have a friend who sends me e-mails to "BBBB", which he says stands for Big Bad Brian Berry. So I hear his voice in my head every time I share them, but here they are, with some cautions I tell students as well:
BIBLE: what does the Bible say about this issue or choice?
- caution: be careful with this question. Cuz if you're looking for what the Bible says about texting, oral sex, abortion, sex before marriage, the internet, or any number of other topics, if you simply "search for those words" in some online Bible, you'll find them not in there. Therefore, you could say the Bible has nothing to say about those issues. But you'd be wrong. Asking what does the Bible say about an issue is deeper than this.
BRAIN: does this make logical sense? Do I have to do mental gymnastics to endorse this?
- caution: sometimes God calls us to do that which makes very little reasonable sense.
BELIEVERS: what do some people you respect, especially those in the faith who are older and wiser and farther down the life experience road than you..... what do those people say about this issue or choice?
- caution: be leery of getting your opinion validated by your peers.
BEEN THERE: what does experience tell you?
- caution: there are only two ways to learn stuff in life: the hard way and from those who learned it the hard way. the wise go to school on other's people's mistakes as much as their own. Be a learner of experiences, both good and bad. Both yours and observed in others.