• already a member? Sign in here

Worship-Style Compatibility

May 20, 2015 | 1 Comment

by Motte Brown

I’ve witnessed several young couples in the beginning stages of a relationship become frustrated over each other’s worship-style preferences — one of them likes a more traditional service, the other prefers something more contemporary. It seems a silly consideration when framed like that. Surely compromise is the appropriate response. I mean, we don’t want the path to marital bliss to be disrupted by mere preference, do we?

But what if the differences go beyond preference? What if the way we worship says more about our doctrine than our tastes?

In a letter published in New Horizons, an elder writes a young man, “James,” in college about his courtship to a young woman who finds their worship service dull. But instead of giving advice about the prudence of compromise in such matters, he focuses on the doctrine of irresistible grace. And “if you’re wondering how this relates to worship,” he writes,

… think about the motivation for many so-called improvements in worship—changes designed to make it more engaging, lively, or moving. The argument invariably is that such changes will make worship more effective, as if our efforts in ministering God’s word will make the grace of the gospel irresistible. (The same logic seems to inform churches with lots of programs. Programs will seemingly be more influential than a narrow focus on ministering God’s word.)

Now I’m not writing this to promote the merits of the elder’s argument, only the weight he is giving the issue as he mentors this young man. He encourages James to carefully consider questions of worship and whether he wants to hear them the rest of his life if he marries the “person who is asking them now.”

I believe too many of us gloss over the motivations behind our preferences, particularly in a dating context when emotions are at their highest. But since worship is one of the most intimate acts in which married people engage, I would give it its due.

The Barrier of Cynicism

May 14, 2015 | 1 Comment

You might not think of yourself as cynical, but because the posture of cynicism is so pervasive in our culture, it's easy to absorb -- and it may be one of your chief obstacles to marrying well. ... More>>

What Our Old House Taught Me about Dating

Apr 30, 2015 | 2 Comments

Living in the quaint bungalow of my dreams came with a few surprises. Not all of them good. Sort of like starting a new relationship. ... More>>

Q&A: How Does a Woman “Make Herself Known”?

Apr 18, 2015 | 3 Comments

How can I get into the game when it's uncomfortable for me to initiate contact? I know it's not sitting back and doing nothing, but what does "something" look like for the Christian woman? ... More>>

Pursuing Marriage Online and In Your Community

Apr 8, 2015 | 3 Comments

Our mission includes helping you on your path to marriage whether you meet someone here or in your own community. ... More>>

How to Respond to Rejection

Mar 18, 2015 | 1 Comment

How does a marriage-minded man respond to rejection from a marriage-minded lady? ... More>>

Online Dating Burn Out

Mar 2, 2015 | 4 Comments

Online dating is tough. You spend a lot of time building an engaging profile and sifting through potential matches to risk waiting and rejection. ... More>>

Eight Surefire Ways to Get Plugged-In at a New Church

Feb 25, 2015 | 1 Comment

Here are some ideas for single newbies looking for fellowship at the church they are attending. ... More>>

Do You Love Your Valentine?

Feb 14, 2015 | 1 Comment

The phrase "I love you" is everywhere this time of year. But what does it mean? ... More>>

Does God “bring people together”?

Feb 7, 2015 | No Comments

People say "God brought us together," but did He really, or was it more that those two persons met because they are at the same walk of life — hopefully — spiritually, emotionally, and relationally? ... More>>

Christian Dating Tips: #27

Jan 27, 2015 | No Comments

There will be problems with your relationship whether you acknowledge them or not. ... More>>