Monday, October 20, 2008

Relationships Within the Body: Leftovers

Trying to come up with leftovers to yesterday's lesson is pretty daunting. The buzz and amount of discussion that it created are both encouraging and overwhelming. It seems that there are two different responses from the group that we can categorize. One is that for some folks this lesson came completely out-of-the-blue. They weren't aware that unhealthy guy-girl relationships existed in the group, so for them the lesson kind of left them scratching their heads. To those folks, I would say, "Great! You're obviously involved in the right kinds of relationships, so keep doing what you're doing."

For the vast majority of folks, though, there seemed to be a sense of frustration. They recognized that there's a problem, and they want to see things change, but they were really dealing with the fact that, in the lesson, I didn't give any practical steps or rules as to what to do. This was on purpose, as I said in the lesson, but I think it did present some folks with a sense of "what do we do now?" It's as if they would have preferred I give "5 Guidelines for Healthy Relationships with the Opposite Sex." Problem is, I couldn't do that because that's not what the Bible does. There aren't any specific rules or guidelines given for how singles should interact in community, and so we are left with a mess to kind of sort through.

One of the few things I'm sure of about this issue, though, is that we cannot fall into legalism. We cannot come up with a list of rules and guidelines and expect that these will solve the issue. It just doesn't work that way. The law (whether about holiness, dating, or whatever) will only condemn us because we can't live up to it. But, so often if feels easier instead of asking ourselves the really hard questions the gospel forces us to.

My guess is we aren't done as a group with this issue, and I'm actually looking forward to grappling with it together in the coming weeks and months!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a book entitled Emotional Purity that I think is great on this topic- has stuff "for guys' eyes only" too- not just for girls. It has great ideas I think, though with any book, one should think about the content and not take it as gospel truth. It has principles more than dos/don'ts and addresses our relationship with God as well. I think it would be a good discussion piece honestly. -Gina