Listener Q&A: Will I Be Single Forever?
How do you know you're ready for a relationship? How do you know you're in love if you've never been in love before? In today's episode, Chris and Tim tackle your pressing questions and share their insights on attraction, singleness, and being in love.
Speaker 1: Welcome to another Art of Relationships podcast. We are grateful for listeners like you. Let's get right into it.
Chris Grace: Tim, it's good to be with you again. This whole topic of relationships and things that we have, Tim, you and I get to teach a class on relationships. That's really fun because A, we get to hone our skills, bring in new topics, talk about the new reality of dating in a social media world and technology driven things. But then we get questions from students all the time that are like, "Oh, that's a great question. I wouldn't have thought of that."
Tim Muehlhoff: That's a great class. We've been doing it, how many years?
Chris Grace: It's been about 8 or 9, maybe 10 years.
Tim Muehlhoff: I mean, we're talking thousands of students have gone through it, which is huge. The reason we started this class, just a little bit of context, is we don't want to just talk about the divorce culture. We want to be on the front end of it. Yeah. We speak at marriage conferences. I think it's great to minister to couples that are dealing with issues and everybody does, but man, to get to people before they get married. Just give them a foundation and we love it in our class. Any question goes, we get questions that are sometimes submitted anonymously and we just love tackling them. Again, this is just our opinion. There's a lot of opinions out there, but we've been doing this for a long time and these are our thoughts. Of course, you're free to disagree with us. We're not the final definitive word, but we don't want to shy away from great questions.
Chris Grace: No, we give them a platform and they provide them. Tim, you and I don't know which ones we'll ask each other, but we can either one to answer this.
Tim Muehlhoff: Right.
Chris Grace: Let's just start at the first one. I'll just start. It says, when would you say someone is ready for a relationship? I think what they're asking is do I have to be perfect? Do I have to be emotionally mature? Do I have to not have any struggles or issues? When would you say someone is ready?
Tim Muehlhoff: I make a distinction between going on a date and a relationship. I think high school is a great time to go on some dates. I think it's great. The problem is very quickly they morph into relationships that then become kind of unhealthy. I don't think you need to do a ton of introspection to think, am I ready to go on a date? I think a date by its ... I know it gets messed up all the time in our crazy accelerated culture. But I think a date's a good thing generally speaking. A relationship again, if we're talking about a casual dating relationship, then I don't think it takes a ton of introspection, but if you're talking about a committed, deeper relationship, then I think you want to ask questions like, how's my self image?
Do I generally feel good about myself? What do I want out of this relationship? Am I looking for a relationship where both of us can give and take or am I mostly unhappy with my life? I'm really banking on the fact that me dating somebody I'm mostly going to take and that's going to equal into a better self image. Then that's maturity issue right there. I don't know if it needs to be these big, I mean, if the question was, what do I need to know before I get engaged? I would just up the ante. But I would say keep it loose, keep it friendly. Don't over commit. We do a whole thing on our website on escalators that propel the relationship too quickly. That's my general take on that, Chris, what would you add?
Chris Grace: That's a good answer. I would say if you go out with somebody a couple of times, three, four times, you're not shipped. You're not in a relationship. People might ship you, but you are not. Then everything you just said is golden. I would say, wait until you are at a different level before you start talking about deeper things of being in a relationship and that's when your list is great.
Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah. Then this one follows up right on it. Because what if you're a kind of person who says, man, I don't need a ton of introspection. I'd go on any date if I was asked. Okay. So one person writes, I'm a third year, we're talking the college context, junior and I've never had a boyfriend. How should I go about this frustration that I might be single the rest of my life? I would just say a couple of things real quick. Thank you for your transparency. That's hard when you're wanting to be in a relationship and it just doesn't seem like it's materializing. But at this point, I think we need to avoid catastrophic thinking, which is well, okay, I'm going to be single the rest of my life. I mean, being a junior in college, college isn't just about dating. It's a great experience.
I've seen so many people, Chris, that kind of ruin their college experience because they're always popping in and out of relationships. College is so much more than that. It ought to be a place where you go on some fun date and maybe have a relationship. But I would just say it's too early in your early twenties to think, well, great. I've never had a boyfriend. It's never going to happen. I get that. I get the frustration of that, but understand there's a million people in your situation. I would continue to cultivate good friendships. I would continue to have fun. Enjoy life. Life should not be reduced. Your self worth isn't reduced to your dating status.
Chris Grace: Yeah, I agree. I would say you are, as you mentioned, Tim, you're in a time of life where you're making friendships, you're developing relationships that are going to last a very long time and to start the process of dating, frankly, finding a boyfriend at that time, it shouldn't be your top priority. Find your major. Find somebody that is going to be a good friend. Find what you want to do in life. Start to learn a lot more about yourself and then start to worry. You know, about a boyfriend much later on. I mean, we're talking Tim, the dating process is great in college, but it's not the end all be all. I mean, there are so many other opportunities and you're not going to ... I think part of it is, oh my gosh, once I get out of college, there's not going to be a whole group of people. There will be. You'll continue to see people and you can go to church groups and other things like that. I'm with them. I probably would say, Tim, wait, I mean, the average marriage doesn't begin for women usually until their mid twenties anyway, and guys in their late twenties. There's a lot of time.
Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah. That's so good to remind people. The national average is for men like roughly 28, 29, I think for women 27. [crosstalk] But let me say this. When we were going through college, I remember a Christian leader in an organization giving a message that I thought was great. He said, the first thing you do in life is to figure out who your master is. That ought to be Jesus Christ. You need to make a Lordship decision to Jesus, right? Are you going to seek first his kingdom? Second, what's your mission. What's God calling you to do? Then your mate, what person will best augment your mission? Chris, I find today that it's been absolutely flipped.
Chris Grace: Yeah.
Tim Muehlhoff: First is mate. Second, what do I want to do? God clocks in at bronze at a distant third. I think that's kind of ... Do you agree with that assessment?
Chris Grace: I do. I think we just don't get told to ask those deeper questions. We just assume they're happening or we assume they just, I'm working out all the time, but I think it's right. I think you're right.
Tim Muehlhoff: I have a good friend of mine. We are going to have on this podcast, Chris, we've been talking about this for years. He's a really gifted communicator, speaker. He gave a talk one time, Chris, I have never forgotten it, called the Mystique of Singleness, the Mystique of Marriage. He said, listen, I promise you singles long to be married and married long to be single. He said, make use of your seasons. If you're single, make use of that season. Because when you get married, you start to give up freedoms. When the kids come, Lord willing, whatever, that's when you really start to get them up. So enjoy, I would say to this dear person, I get it. You really do want to have a boyfriend, but make use of the season of the freedom you have and enjoy it. Because when the boyfriend comes, if marriage comes Lord willing, you start to give up freedom.
Chris Grace: Yeah, no, that's good. Sometimes people have asked this question in whatever different venue or words they use, but it's about attraction. This idea of I'll be attracted, I'll know that right away. That's the person I want to date. If I go on a date with somebody, but there's not a lot of romantic or physical attraction. I want to go out, but I just don't find myself really being drawn to this person. How long and how much time do you allow for attraction to develop? Tim, I would say- [crosstalk]
I think attraction has its place. It's extremely important as a gauge for us because I believe there's something about attraction that's much deeper than we give credit for. We feel and sense and know at a deeper level people that we like. I believe our brains are very good at that. I believe our cultures, our histories, everything has prepared us to say, I really like this person, or I really don't. I'm really strong. However, there are times where we can be led astray. We might not find somebody initially attractive. All of a sudden we'd realized being around them, I kind of like this person. I mean, it's a Hollywood thing to say to people who are completely opposite, get thrown onto a desert island. All of a sudden they find out that they can be attracted to this other person.
Now we're not talking major compatibility differences or major convictions that are different, just attraction that doesn't seem to be there initially. I think we sometimes use it, Tim, too strongly to judge or better yet to filter out people. We're like, I better only be attracted to somebody before I date them. I think we use it too often to determine it. I know Tim where you stand on this issue, which is even if you don't necessarily feel that attraction, you should still go on a date. Then how much time? I don't know if you can't find attraction after three or four dates, if you can't manufacture that or find it, I'm going to say, I don't know if it's ever going to come, but then again, you're not put into an emergency situation or alone on a desert island and it might take 50 dates, 51st dates. Anyway.
Tim Muehlhoff: Good move. I'm in your camp. I'm in your camp. I like what you just said, where's the fire? Why do you need to make this ... Go on three, four or five dates so long as you're not leading them on. You're not over-committing verbally. He knows, she knows we're dating casually. There is a show, Chris, I hope I get the name right. My kids made me watch it. It was hilarious. It was called Love at First Sight.
Chris Grace: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Tim Muehlhoff: Great idea. Horrible application of the idea. These people get to know each other, but they don't get to see each other. They get to know each other and they're developing a relationship or common interests, all the stuff. Then they get to see each other. Here's where the show is a joke.
Every one of them was attractive. Every one of them was attractive. You sort of kind of knew this person's going to be in the ballpark of culturally attractive, right. It would've been really interesting, Chris, if you're really connecting with the person and they lift up that screen and you meet them and you're like, I like everything about them but how they look. That would have been it. But everyone was in the ballpark. Some of them were just drop dead. I mean, they're young Tim Muehlhoffs. You know what I mean? This is where I wrestle, Chris. I wrestle with this because primarily you are seeking a life partner, do not bank this on the one variable that's going to change the most. Age works on all of us and poor women who have babies, it works on in particularly, and the men put on the what? The married 20. Right?
The one variable that our culture has put up to the pedestal, which is physical sexual attraction, that starts to bother me. Now, that being said, Chris, you've heard me talk about this. If there is no sexual attraction, right. I'd be worried about that. That'd be a big yellow flag for me. But I do think it's whacked that we're placing all of this on the one variable that is sure to change is this physical appearance. At the end of the day, you want a life partner for the next 50, 60 years through the highs and the lows and the really tough time. That's what you want. Does that make sense?
Chris Grace: I think that's true. You can't throw it out and you can't overestimate it, but man, it plays such an important variable in who we're attracted to. That's where I started saying, Tim, I think this goes a lot deeper sometimes than we give credit to. We have a pretty good judge. For some reason, we kind of find ourselves attractive to some people. I think you need to trust that oftentimes. And if it doesn't happen over a couple of dates, I think you probably are doing something well with your gut.
Tim Muehlhoff: The thing that mucks it up is if you get sexually involved quickly. Now the clouding happens. Now the objectivity's up the window for a huge part. That is why God is so wise to say in the Song of Solomon, do not arouse this prematurely. We need to take God at his word that sex is a powerful thing. But if you get the order messed up, it can have a clouding effect that can really blind you to certain things.
Chris Grace: In fact, Tim, let's just go ahead and say it like this. All of these questions are predicated on the fact that you have not gotten everything out of order. All of these questions, if you've gotten it out of order, if you're having sex right now, there is nothing that we can say that will actually undo some of those problems that are going to happen in that relationship, but none of these kind of fit. If you are having sex before marriage, and if you've started this relationship and it's highly physical, man, all of these answers go out because now you're dealing with chemicals, you're just dealing with certain brain chemicals. All you're doing is now realizing the powerful influence that our chemical nature has on bonding with another person. Now you are open for misinterpretation, misreading, lack of compatibility. You feel all of these things like you should be bonded. You're one, you're together, you're awesome. You're compatible when in reality, you're not.
Tim Muehlhoff: Being a psychologist, you absolutely know this. The bonding effect is massive. When we do premarital counseling, Chris, and we ask them, we just flat out ask them, we do it separately. Are you sexually active? If they say, yes, this is what we do. We want you to go two months, no physical contact. You should see them, Chris. They're like, what? It's like, okay, notice what I didn't say. I didn't say you can't go on a date. I didn't say you can't compliment each other. I didn't say you can't be creative in your dates. I'm saying no physical touch. You need to get unclouded. Some couples have taken us up on it. Some have said, absolutely not. Let me say this real quick.
We need to do this like quick preamble. Listen, God forgives you. You're not a second class citizen if you're not a virgin, but at the same time, we just said it. Master, mission, mate. You have to trust that God knows how to flourish when it comes to sex. He equally knows the detrimental part of sex. We got to go to God and say, I'm going to trust you that you have my best intentions at heart and you know how sex works. Again, don't beat yourself up if you're struggling right now in this area. But at the same time, God wants you to flourish. I like how you said getting the order mixed up can just hurt some things.
Chris Grace: Yeah. At that point, you're in a different game and we are going to counsel differently. Well said, Tim. Other questions that struck you from class, I've got some. How do you know you're in love if you've never been in love before?
Tim Muehlhoff: That's a great question.
Chris Grace: How do you know you're in love if you've never been in love before.
Tim Muehlhoff: What a great question. What do we mean by love?
Chris Grace: What is it? This is where it comes down to, you are right. Is it an emotional feeling? Is it an intellectual agreement or assent to it? Is it something that you just go you'll know it when you feel it? Yeah. If you've never really been in love before you, you actually have been. You, no doubt have a connection with somebody that you're attracted to. With parents, usually-
Tim Muehlhoff: A friend.
Chris Grace: ... a sibling, a friend. You know what it means. It's just a different facet of a diamond. I think the only facet that's different is there tends to be a romantic attraction, not just a filial, a friend, not just a parent, not just an agape. You love God, you love these things. You know what it means to love. I would say it just adds in this element, Tim, of a romantic attraction that may be is a little bit different than some of these other things.
Tim Muehlhoff: I'm going to add one thing to that. There is infatuation where this person hung the moon. Oh, my word, this person. It makes me feel giddy and chemicals are flying through my brain. That's awesome, man. That's so much fun. It's great. Then there's I really like this person a lot, a lot. That's awesome. That's great. I don't think that's love. I think love is when it starts to enter the equation, I could see the possibility that I could commit to this person the rest of my life. This is it. Say goodbye to dating. Say goodbye to other romantic relationships. Not say goodbye to friendships, but I'm it. This is it. I'm hitching my wagon to this person's wagon for the next 50, 60, 70 years now. I'm not in the camp, I'd like to hear your opinion on this.
I told Noreen I loved her when I wasn't fully committed that we were going to get married. But it was in the ball game. This was bouncing around and I'm thinking otherwise, why think I'm in love? I really, really like her a lot. I can't imagine being with anybody else, but I wasn't ready to say I'm in love. I said I loved her, but I wasn't ready to say well, for sure we're getting married. I kind of liked the progression. I know some people have different opinions about when to say you love a person, but that's my take on that.
Chris Grace: I like that, Tim. I think you and I, one time you and I were asked to go speak at Berkeley. We went in and they opened the doors, if you remember this night, I'm sure of course you do. But they opened the doors. Students came in at Berkeley and you and I spoke on the real news about fake love. We talked about real love and fake love.
Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Chris Grace: You and I left kind of feeling sad that here they bring in two Christian speakers, you are a PhD com, mine in psych, the doors are open. Anybody can come in. We talked about even from a biblical foundation, what you and I believe, and we never got our riot. None of these people at Berkeley rioted at us.
Tim Muehlhoff: I know. Come on.
Chris Grace: We felt kind of left out. Well, what we talked about Tim, I think was what is fake love. You talked about infatuation. That's fake love, right? When you are seeking to always be interesting in front of this other person and never interested, right? That's fake love. Where you're always trying to do what's best for you. Or you have these unrealistic expectations. You mentioned those chemical highs, you're hold onto those.
Tim Muehlhoff: They're not bad in the beginning.
Chris Grace: No, it's not bad. It's it should be part of it. It's just, if that's really all you have, you are easily delusioned into thinking, oh my gosh, this other person is perfect. Everything about them is awesome. They make me feel complete and whole. All right, hold on here. You might be dealing with fake love. I think, Tim, with that, I think people know what real love is.
It's that sense of, like you mentioned, that idea that you already have your relationships in a priority order. You know what God is, who your identity and who Jesus is and how he's made you, what your mission is or what your goal in life is. Then I think love is just that ability to say, I really like this person's character. We seem to have a lot of compatibilities, they have all of these traits that I think are important, kindness and humor. Then you go, gosh, I'm attracted to this person. As you said, there's a possibility that you could see yourself being with them for a long time.
Tim Muehlhoff: Then I would add to this, a marriage counselor said this. I thought it was quite good. If that person never got better or never got worse, they never improved, but they never got worse. Are you okay with how they are right now?
Chris Grace: That's great.
Tim Muehlhoff: Chris, isn't it funny how many couples we've said that to have said no.
Chris Grace: Oh, forget that because I want him to change.
Tim Muehlhoff: I want him to change.
Chris Grace: Of they did this, if they started to get along better with their parents and they weren't so angry with other people, or if they could tone down their anger when we go out to restaurants and they get mad, if they can just change that, they'd be perfect.
Tim Muehlhoff: They'll relax once we get married, they'll be more easy going. Nah.
Chris Grace: That's messed up.
Tim Muehlhoff: I've got one last one. We're going to wrap our time with this. I'm going to drop a little Augustine on you.
Chris Grace: All right.
Tim Muehlhoff: Okay, here we go. I love this question. I think is a great one. Is there only one person for you in life? Do you believe in soulmates? Those are kind of two different questions, but I'm going to tackle the first one first. Okay. I go with Augustine in on this. Okay. Augustine said, love God and do as you please. Now, the first part's huge, right? This is Jesus. Seek first the kingdom of God. If you truly love God and you were seeking his kingdom, then I think God says, okay, let me hear from you. What do you want to do in life? Why? Because I know you love my kingdom.
I know whatever you're going to do, kingdom priorities are going to be present. That could be the arts. It could be full-time Christian ministry. It could be theater. It could be whatever. I know I have your heart. You're good. What do you want to do? Then it becomes well. Okay. But then who should I marry? No, no, no love God, marry as you please. Now immediately you go, well, I hate to say this, but she's not a Christian. Did we miss the first part? Love God, seek first his kingdom, right? Don't be unequally yoked. But then I don't think there was one person for me. If Noreen was in the room, I would change that in a heartbeat, Chris. Now, are we soul mates? The answer is absolutely we're soul mates.
I can't imagine a person better than Noreen when you take a look at the whole package. I can't imagine somebody better for what I'm doing now with my life. We get to speak at marriage conferences with our wives. I mean, how many people get to say that? That's ridiculous. Noreen works at Biola University. We met on staff with crew. She was, she was discipling women. But I don't think before the foundation of time, God said, I have one calling for you other than the two great commandments. I have one person I think it's Augustine . Love God and do as you please. I think if I chose different things to do in life, there might've been a person better suited for me as I do different things. That's my Augustine take on it.
Chris Grace: Yeah.
Tim Muehlhoff: Uh oh, you're smiling.
Chris Grace: Here's where we disagree, of course.
Tim Muehlhoff: If you disagree with that, I got an ant illustration. I'm going to ... Go ahead.
Chris Grace: Here's the thing. If I have, as a parent, I disagree with this. I don't know the answer. You don't know the answer, what God's ultimate design and this is however, Tim-
Tim Muehlhoff: Augustine, man.
Chris Grace: It goes like this. He was a great man, but he wasn't God. It goes like this. If I know as a parent, if a child came to me, I know them so well, so intimately, so thoroughly what they're like, and I had plans for them and they said they loved me. I loved them. Then it would just stand to reason that I would be very much concerned about their future and what they do and the choices that they make. Now I could, as a parent, let them make that choice. However, because I know them so well. I know this is such a central thing and they are going to be part of my kingdom and they are to do what I want them to do because they love me, that's the stipulation. They love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and their neighbor as themselves let's say. Then what kind of parent would I be if I not only knew them, but I knew all things because I'm all knowing.
I'm omniscient, I'm omnipresent, I'm all there. I know the heart of another person who would be perfectly designed for them because I know that other person just as well. Tim, wouldn't it be logical to think that I not only know you, but I know this other person, this one who matches up amazingly well with you and how bad would it be for me to say, yeah, but I'm going to still let you choose. Now. That's just a different take on this. My take is there is somebody. Now that comes with problems, but I believe God in his knowing and omniscience is somewhere in between our views. I think it goes like this. If you love God, he will allow you to choose. He says, go choose. But I also believe that an all-knowing God who knows the future knows the history, also knows another person deeply and thoroughly and says, this is my plan to bring these two people together. This is where my Calvinism comes in. I just simply believe love God first, love him. He knows us intimately. Then he also knows what's best for us. He has this perfectly designed plan. However, it comes with issues and problems. But anyway- [crosstalk]
Tim Muehlhoff: Let me drop some scripture on you. I'm dropping some scripture.
Chris Grace: Good because I'll drop some right back.
Tim Muehlhoff: No, we're running out of time. This is the wrap. This is the summary. [crosstalk].
Chris Grace: I'll let you do it, go ahead.
Tim Muehlhoff: I love this passage, Psalm 39, 8 and 9. Psalm 32, 8 and 9.
Chris Grace: Well, we're out of time.
Tim Muehlhoff: Now, here we go. I want to instruct you and teach you the way you should go. I will give you counsel and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or mule, which have no understanding. They must be controlled with bit and bridle to make them come to you. Chris, I think God, so here's what I would counter with the parenting analogy. I would say, son, here are the values of the Muehlhoff family. Here they are. I would hope you would marry a woman who had matched the values of the family that you've been raised up in, but I'm not going to put a bit in your mouth. I'm going to let you choose because I hope you have bought into the Muehlhoff values and I've raised you correctly. But at the end of the day, you're an adult and you must choose. Again, I'm not a Calvinist. I'm what they call the freewill defense. Or as we say, biblical. You know what I mean, Chris? To me, that's the way that God goes. As he bestows upon us adulthood and says I hope you have bought into the values and marry a person who equally buys into those values and stuff like that.
Chris Grace: Yeah, no, that's really good. I do agree. There's nothing about that. The twist on that, I guess-
Tim Muehlhoff: We're out of time. We're out of time, Chris.
Chris Grace: The twist on that would say this. Look as an all-knowing God, does he give me the freedom and the ability to choose? I believe the answer is, of course he does. Does he know who is right? I believe he knows that as well. While I believe there is one right person, I can choose to take the bit out and the bridle and go a different way and believe it is the correct way. That God can redeem and use that. It really is in reality, it wasn't the right one.
Tim Muehlhoff: Theoretically you missed-
Chris Grace: Theoretically God's best because for whatever reason, you were either not listening or not aware, or you just chose something out of your own heart. I think I've just talked to too many people who have chosen things and come back to us and said, I knew it deep, deep down, but I really felt like, no, this is the best for me. It's a fascinating experience to figure out God's will isn't it, Tim? [crosstalk] Who he has for us.
Tim Muehlhoff: But you said something we need to really latch onto, we're kind of having a theological discussion and you said, God can redeem anything.
Chris Grace: Yeah.
Tim Muehlhoff: Even theoretically guy can take this and absolutely redeem it for God's purposes in his kingdom. There is no second class.
Chris Grace: That's right.
Tim Muehlhoff: I've known people who've been haunted by that. I think we're into the realm of spiritual battle at that point.
Chris Grace: I think so, too.
Tim Muehlhoff: That's a good word, Chris.
Chris Grace: No, it is Tim. You could choose wrong and still mess up, but what could have been a very different path for you? However, it doesn't mean that you go back with regrets. I'm going to get out of this because I miss my true thing. This was my true love. Too many people, Tim, go back and they look at what could have been, what should have been, what might have been, and with deep regrets. Yet they miss what God is doing and redeeming who they are today.
Tim Muehlhoff: To be honest, there was only one Tim Muehlhoff. [crosstalk] Got the ultimate best. That was Noreen.
Chris Grace: Now she won the lottery.
Tim Muehlhoff: She won the cosmic lottery. [crosstalk] She'd be like what kind of lottery is this? We love these questions. Keep them coming.
Chris Grace: Yep, keep them coming. By the way, these are from our students but you write them in all the time so keep doing it.
Tim Muehlhoff: We do it all the time, ask the expert. Go to our website. We have ask the expert. We bring in marriage, family therapists. We bring in bylaw faculty. We bring in authors and a ton of the questions are addressed. By the way, we have a huge archive of podcasts. If we've not tackled this topic right now, man, we have a huge backlog podcast. Feel free to jump in and out of that. Check out our website. There's a lot of great things there you can take a look at, and hopefully this is all fuel for conversation. We understand that our opinions are not the authoritative version, but we just love to kick around ideas. We're so grateful we have an audience to do that with.
Chris Grace: Well said, Tim, good talking with you.
Tim Muehlhoff: Bye Chris.
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The Art of Relationships podcast, hosted by Dr. Chris and Alisa Grace, is centered on helping you build healthy relationships and marriages. In this podcast, Dr. Chris Grace and Alisa Grace weigh in on how to navigate the complexities of relationships in our culture with biblical wisdom and scholarly research. Listen to get practical insights on relationships, dating, and marriage.