Defining the Relationship

by Steven Hong

Recent Sunday nights at Lighthouse Bible Church havebeen packed, as a sizeable crowd has been in attendance for the current DTR series. DTR is an acronym for “defining the relationship”, the term du jour for that conversation when a girl and a guy first explore the possibility of moving from friendship to romance, or some variation thereof. This second sermon series on the same subject has come with great anticipation, as Pastor John has been dropping tidbits of it in recent sermons. In a church where the majority of membership is comprised of non-married people, the often confusing and nebulous subject of dating and courtship is a popular conversation topic. However, amidst the discussion, there is unfortunately not a shortage of bad counsel, ranging from unwise to unbiblical. This series is, in part, a response to such advice and confusion floating around.

Entertaining skits and informative interviews have certainly been highlights of these nights, but the main entrees have been our times spent in the Word of God. In the first few sessions, Pastor John’s aim was to lay a strong biblical framework to understand dating. As we entered Reformation Month, he unconventionally, but appropriately, recounted the Five Solas of the Reformation and tied them to dating. After challenging attendees to deconstruct their worldview, which can be subtly but powerfully tainted by secular movies, magazines, and well-meaning but misguided friends, he taught that the Word of God should be the primary source of our principles in approaching romantic relationships. In promoting the sufficiency of Christ (Solus Christus), he so poignantly asked, “The preeminence and centrality of Christ must always be the focus. Is Christ really the most important thing in the relationship?”

In further deconstructing skewed worldviews, Pastor John challenged listeners to reconsider their pursuit of “the magic” that we often find depicted on television or in the movies. The Bible, though not addressing the subject of dating specifically, has much to say about marriage and what a God-honoring marriage is based on and looks like. A successful marriage is not a union based on ephemeralß emotions, but grounded on the firm foundation of God’s truths.

Upcoming sessions promise to be just as provocative, as Pastor John plans to tackle specific subjects such as buliding proper accountability, God-honoring break-ups, sexual purity and working with parents.

In regards to the response thus far, Pastor John has been encouraged. “I think the interviews with the couples as well as the ongoing skits have been wellreceived as they help to provide a different angle in addressing the topic,” he explains. “I hope that people are being challenged and willing to consider how their worldview needs to be adjusted so that they would have the right foundation to build on regarding the issue of not only dating and rlationships, but everything else in life.” It is obvious that the leadership’s ultimate aim, in this and other studies, is to point members to Christ and Christ-centered thinking in every facet of our lives.

If you are interested in supplementing these sessions withadditionalreading, check out theses suggestions from Pastor John:

Suggested Reading

    1. Holding Hands, Holding Hearts by Richard D. Phillips and Sharon L. Phillips.

    2. 5 Paths to the Love of Your Life edited by Alex Chediak

    3. With One Voice by Alex Chediak

    4. Losing That Loving Feeling by Lou Priolo



The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.



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