As a relationship coach, I frequently get questions from people about how to deal with a challenging person. I’m used to that kind of question. Last week, I got a new one that I wasn’t prepared for from a young woman… “So, you’re a relationship coach. I’m single and looking for a husband. Can you help me find one?” Helping people find dates is not really in my coaching wheelhouse and will not be the focus of this blog. I’m more comfortable helping people make their dates better!
This particular young woman had already tried a Christian dating service, but it didn’t work for her. We discussed a few other options that might help her connect with people more regularly, but I don’t think I was much help.
I’ve been thinking about her question. It reminded me that young adults spend a lot of time pondering dating and marriage. They wonder about how to know if they are in a good relationship or a bad one.
This presents an opportunity for churches who have a lot of experience with the spiritual practice of discernment. We talk about following God’s will all the time. The question here is what that means in light of young adult relationships, dating, engagement and marriage.
Churches would be much more attractive to young adults if they offered spiritual help with the relationship discernment processes that are inevitable for most young adults. A church-sponsored discernment service is bait for young adults.
For example, young couples wonder about traits of compatibility. I’ve offered the following reflection questions to help young people discern whether or not they are in a healthy relationship:
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