The New Rules For Love Sex & Dating

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Meeting the right person, getting married, and living happily ever after in a house with a white picket fence, is a dream that invades the minds of most people. While the white picket fence may have gone by the wayside, meeting the right person and living happily ever after has not. Yet, the idea that happiness will be achieved when we find the right person is statistically unrealistic as evidenced by the divorce rate, not only in the world, but in the church.

Rather than “finding the right person”, “being the right person” should be the goal. Lasting relationships require healthy people to invest themselves in making marriage work.

But what about Mr. Right? Are we to give up the dream altogether? Andy Stanley honestly discusses this question in The New Rules For Love Sex & Dating. This week we offer lesson one in this study, and we invite you to participate with us. If you are not in a Bible Study group, find a few friends who have similar needs to yours, and invite them to participate in the study with you. Whether in a group or by yourself, this study will help you set a course toward “being the right person.” ~ Fred Bittner, FaithGateway Bible Study

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“At the center of every great love story are two people who are right for each other, destined to be together. We’re usually able to spot ’em three or four scenes into a movie or a half-dozen chapters into a novel. You just know. Usually before they do. Three hundred pages or a hundred and twenty minutes later they’ve figured out what we knew all along, leaving us entertained and, in some cases, inspired by their story.

Then there’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. In the case of these two reality TV shows, we don’t know who’s right for whom until the end. We think we do. That’s what makes it so entertaining. But in the end, regardless of how many potential right candidates there are, one and only one is chosen. The right one.

Hopefully.

I say “hopefully” because every hardcore B’ and B’ette fan scans the Internet for weeks following that final episode to see who was right after all. As of the writing of this book, it appears that five contestants chose well. The others? They moved on to the next right person.

I realize that you realize movies, reality TV, and novels don’t reflect real life. I assume you don’t take your relationship cues from script writers and authors. But it’s possible you’ve embraced the underlying premise that holds these story lines and episodes together. That assumption being: there’s a right person for you, and once you find your right person, everything will be all right.“

(The New Rules For Love Sex & Dating, Andy Stanley, page 21-22)

The Right Person Myth

The Right Person Myth says, If I marry the right person, everything will be all right.

That’s what many married people told themselves when they were single. Then they set off looking for the Right Person. They met someone they were physically attracted to, added sex to the relationship right away, and fell into a kind of neurochemical bliss that made them believe that not only had they never loved like this, no one in human history had.

But once they got married, they had a problem: all their marriage had going for it was chemistry. Neither the husband nor the wife knew anything about relationships.

Soon enough, their relationship problems began causing chemistry problems. The sexual part of the marriage died, leaving both of them frustrated and confused. So one or both of them decided that maybe he didn’t marry “the right person” after all. Separation and divorce followed.

The good news is that marriage doesn’t have to be like that. There’s a different way — a better way. Our culture doesn’t celebrate this different way because it’s boring. No one wants to watch a movie about a happily married couple. There isn’t enough drama. Fairy tales end with “and they lived happily ever after” because actually watching two people live happily ever after would be like watching paint dry. But there’s nothing boring about actually living happily ever after — and you can, provided you come to understand that “happily ever after” requires preparation and changing your mind-set.

Think about some popular movies, TV shows, and songs about romance. What do they indicate about our culture’s current rules regarding love, sex, and dating? Which of the rules do you agree with? Which ones do you disagree with?

Watch Session 1 Video

Note anything that impacts you.

  1. Do you agree that the “right person myth” is indeed a myth? How have you seen this way of thinking affect your relationships or those of your friends?
  2. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. Which of the qualities mentioned is most difficult for you to exhibit? Which quality do you value most in the people you date? Why?
  3. Briefly list the qualities of the person you’re currently dating (or a person you’d like to date). Then briefly list the qualities of the person you’d like to marry. Are the qualities in the two lists the same? If not, why not?
  4. Consider the “person you’d like to marry” list you just made. What kind of guy or girl do you think that person is looking for?
  5. Are you spending more time looking for the right person or becoming the right person? Explain.

Moving Forward

If you date with the idea that you’re on a quest for the right person, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Healthy relationships don’t result from pursuing desirable qualities on a check-list. You’ll never mysteriously, providentially run into the right person. You don’t need to find the right person. You need to become the right person.

What’s one step you can take this week to start becoming the person the person you’re looking for is looking for?

Between Sessions

Memorize these key verses during the coming week:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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Your Turn

Come share your answers on our blog! We would love to hear from you!

Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley is a pastor, communicator, author, and the founder of North Point Ministries (NPM). Since its inception in 1995, North Point Ministries has grown from one church to five in the Atlanta area and has developed a global network of more than 30 churches. Each Sunday, more than 33,000 people attend worship services at NPM's five Atlanta-area churches. Andy's books include the recently released Deep & Wide, as well as Enemies of the Heart, The Grace of God, The Next Generation Leader, How Good Is Good Enough?, and many more. Andy and his wife, Sandra, live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with their three children.

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