Like the woman Jesus encountered at the well in Samaria, Christians know how to say all the right things in church, but lasting fulfillment in relationship still eludes them because they have never been taught according to real life in that area. Consequently they are spiritual in church, but as soon as they get out the doors they are looking for a way to meet their relationship needs. They have a spiritual life, and then they have a secret life.
This is the reason why I am so determined not to preach sanitized sermons with superficial answers to issues such as sex, dating and the pressures of singleness that are usually given no place in church.
A major part of our assignment is to raise people up to walk in the wisdom they need so that life is genuinely good and their relationships are genuinely satisfying.
One of the most unhelpful results of poor teaching is that Christians are never challenged to confront their own issues. Just like the woman at the well whom Jesus talks to in John 4, they don’t get beyond the superficial and never recognize where they are at in life.
Maybe that is where you are today. It is so easy to just live in a crowd; never come face to face with yourself and never learn to articulate what you really feel. In fact it is possible to get so lost in the opinions of others and the demands and pressures of parents, friends, spouse and children, that it’s possible to go for years never really knowing who you are or what you want; let alone to take responsibility for your own behavior.
The woman at the well was so confused that she was no longer bothered with the covenant of marriage; she just wanted someone to be there for her, to meet her immediate need for a man. She acted out of that need, but when things started to get more demanding, she simply moved onto the next relationship.
If you live impulsively as this woman did, never stopping to examine how your life is working out, your sexuality and your drive for companionship is so strong within your makeup, that it will get you to do the most irrational things. Before you know it you have pulled in just because someone was open, and you were both content to use each other to quench that loneliness for a while. Your urgent urge to merge is not so trivial a thing, however, that you can just yield to to it without consequences. Eighteen years later you may still be paying for your impulsiveness.
Men, you are not really in love with a woman until you look at her and your first instinct is to take care of her. If your first thought is to use her, you are a charlatan.
Ladies, you are not in love if your need for company and affirmation is crying out to you so loudly that you will say yes to any man who pays you attention.
The day you decide that you are worth having a whole man, or a whole woman all to yourself, that is when things will start to change for you. Stop listening to the advice that the world gives, about the only hot sex being forbidden sex, and how anyone from a broken home is destined to reproduce the same result in their own marriage, and believe the Word instead! Let it sink in that the best sex you will ever experience will be with the one man or woman to whom you have committed your whole self to for life.
Realize that real love is not about meeting someone in a bar and cracking a few jokes together and then feeling like there is some kind of connection. You will almost certainly discover, once you have brought him or her home, that you don’t actually get on that well after all! If you decide that this is the best you can expect out of life, look again at who God is to you, because His heart and nature is never to leave you stranded with unmet needs.
Take off your mask and go for the real thing. Give yourself permission to learn about every area of your life, and dare to believe God that He cares enough about you to actually bless you with what you really want. Whoever you are, whatever your age and body type, there will be someone who will want what you have, and God knows how to orchestrate that meeting, even if He has to fly them in from Australia!