5 Kinds of Romanticized Crushes That Will Mess You Up

I think “crushing” on someone is a natural thing, and in the right place and the right time, it can lead to something great. Most of the time it’ll pass, as it’s meant to, and we can look back and laugh at the ridiculous amount of time spent mentally replaying the one failed conversation that we still twitch about in the shower. Crushes happen, and they almost never equate to a magical romance materializing out of thin air.

But the darker problem with “crushing” is that it occasionally turns a real live person into a trophy, a sort of non-independent rubber statue imprisoned on a pedestal, and if you ever finally reached it, you’d either squeeze it too hard or please it too much. In both cases, both people lose.

Relationships are hard work, and absolutely require more than the initial illusion of fleeting chemicals in our easily tricked brains. That rush of first feelings is overwhelming, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grander scheme: and we could save ourselves a lot of trouble if we took up Taylor Swift to “count to ten, take it in, this is life before you know who you’re gonna be.

Here are five types of romanticized crushes that require a heavy dose of self-awareness. I apologize in advance for the snark: I’m only so impassioned here because I’ve seen how badly it can get out of control.

1) Hate Crush (aka Freudian Defense Mechanism)

What it looks like: You like someone, but you hate that you like them, so there’s a lot of passive-aggressive, mean-spirited, hyper-critical gas-lighting aimed their way. This looks cute in movies, but is often awful and humiliating to an actual human being with, you know, their own thoughts and dreams.

Problems: This can be irreversibly destructive if you drag someone long enough through your daily catharsis. I understand the psychology behind this—we resent what we can’t have or we just hate it when we feel so vulnerable with someone—but displacing anger out of confusion when you can’t “have someone” is a really dark, desperate issue that might require real help, immediately.

Continue reading “5 Kinds of Romanticized Crushes That Will Mess You Up”

Singleness Is Not Waiting For “Completion”


Singleness doesn’t define your value, ever.

What exactly is “singleness”? I wish we would stop defining things by the absence of something else. Being single doesn’t mean you’re somehow “incomplete” until someone else completes you. Let’s pause to consider that even the idea of singleness is false at its best, and oppression at its worst.

In the first century, Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 7 specifically to address single people. To paraphrase, he said, “If you want to get married, good. If you want to stay single, good, and it could be better.” To you, this might sound ordinary. But at the time, it was a loaded bombshell. This was actually an entirely revolutionary view of sexuality that had been previously unheard of.

During Paul’s life, the Emperor of the Roman Empire was actually charging a fee for the unmarried because it was considered bad for the economy and the family (never mind that Caesar was already bad for both). Being married with a family was considered the gold status of society, and a single person could only have been a widow or prostitute; there was no middle ground.

So Paul comes along, and moved by the Spirit of God, completely wrecked the whole idea of family and marriage and singles. Though marriage is desirable, it’s not a “state of completion,” and we have an entire church of brothers and sisters in Christ who are meant for deep soul-community, for both singles and couples. Paul legitimized singleness as an absolutely acceptable life-choice, but more than that, said it can often be better for carrying out God’s mission on earth (1 Cor. 7:29-35). Paul himself was single, which itself would’ve been quite a scandal.


— J.S.


Finding a New Dream In The Wreckage

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Everyone has their own idea of the future, and at any moment it can be smashed to pieces. We’re not in as much control of our lives as we tend to think. And the more you plant your hope into something so untenable, so will your soul dry up into a soul that is collapsible.

I am begging you now: If you’re in this place of over-attachment to anything outside of you, please find a healthy way to handle it or just leave. Otherwise you will crush that person, that dream, that future, and you will be crushed by it too. Nothing can be sustained under the weight of your idolatrous expectations, including you. It’ll be worth your time to seek counseling, seek outlets, seek real help — and don’t get addicted to the recovery either. You need to learn to be alone with the silent vacuum of your own thoughts: because when you honestly confront the ugliness inside, you will be liberated from the weight of yourself.

I’m not writing this from a wrapped-up bowtie of a life. I’m still fractured in so many places of the soul; I still feel depression sinking its bony fingers into my sides. But I’ve also found that in the healing, by the grace of God and through wonderful friends, that life is worth living. If you think it hurts right now — healing hurts even more, because you have to get up and move. But I’d rather hurt this way. If life has to be pain, then I’d rather hurt moving forward than sitting down.

— J.S.

Be Rocked By Grace, Dear Friends

Instagram books 2


Love y’all and may you be totally rocked by His wonderful wild grace!

My books are on Amazon for less than nine dollars and the e-books are four!

What The Church Won’t Talk About

The Christianese Dating Culture

– J.S.


The Christian Life Isn’t What We Run From.


The Christian life can’t just be about running away from sin: but is ultimately about running to Him.

That means finding His mission, His purpose, and His heart for you. It means asking for His wisdom in how to discipline yourself, to be shaped by His truth, to be restructured in His image. It means bonding with other like-minded individuals to live out your God-given calling. It’s so fully experiencing the love of God that you are shaken down to your very core, melted and tenderized by His grace to never go back, but only pursue Him forward.



— J.S. from The Christianese Dating Culture


Breaking The Grip of the Lesser.


Here’s what I’ve learned about choosing the things of God and partaking in His mission.

I’ve noticed that after I disciple a young kid and see his eyes light up from the truth of the Bible, I can’t go back to how I was. It’s too good to give up. After I serve food at the homeless ministry, after I volunteer at a retreat, after I go on a mission trip, after I serve at an orphanage or a prison or the projects — the attraction of sin loses its grip on me.

Because the things of God are so much brighter and bigger and deeper than the things of this world. This is what Thomas Chalmers called the Expulsive Power of a New Affection.

Ever notice that after the gym, you’re too tired to fight anyone? Ever notice that after a healthy meal, you’re much less willing to eat a bag of Cheetos? And whether you “feel like” going to the gym or eating healthy, you choose it anyway: because not only is the alternative bad for you, but it makes the alternative less attractive.

Sometimes people wait to “feel right with God” to go serve Him. You don’t have to wait. You don’t have to be qualified or clean or deserving to serve. Your choices change your heart just as much as your heart changes your choices. What you do comes out of who you are, but who you are also comes out of what you do.

— J.S. from The Christianese Dating Culture


My Upcoming Book, Releasing Sunday October 26th!

Dating preview


Hello beloved wonderful friends!
This is a preview for the cover of my new book, releasing this Sunday, October 26th!
It’s called: The Christianese Dating Culture: On Courtship, Purity Rings, Prayer-Sex, and Other Weird Things We Do In Church.

I talk about the bizarre subculture of Christian dating within our churches, including an honest response to Joshua Harris (who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye) and an examination of our reactionary church tactics.  I also get personal, about overcoming my fifteen year porn addiction and the time I tried to take my life over a girl. And like my last book, I answer real questions from real people about sex, dating, and relationships.

When you have time, please send a prayer, even for five seconds, that God will do His restorative life-giving work through these words, because God is in the business of infusing grace in busted up vessels like you and me.

Love y’all and thank you!
— J.S.


7 Thoughts On Singleness: Is Something Wrong With Me?

Anonymous asked a question:

I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’ve only dated once but that didn’t go so well. I’ve prayed and I’ve prayed and I’ve asked God for my significant other but honestly sometimes I feel as if God doesn’t hear me. Which then causes my heart turmoil especially when I see other girls getting married and dating all the time. It just makes me feel like there is something wrong with me or I maybe I’m unworthy of someone else. I just really need some peace in this area or my life.

Hey dear sister, I know this is an especially painful season for you right now, but please allow me the grace to share a few thoughts with you.

1) Singleness is not a season of waiting.

I’ve said this before, but: You’re not waiting for a man.  A man is not the focal point of anything.  Jesus is the focal point of everything.

A Western culture indoctrinated in romanticism would lead us to believe that “singles” are simply biding their time, waiting for some significant other to save us from the throes of loneliness.  And I know that the latest pop song or chick flick or young adult novel has awakened some weird feelings in you, and it would even be nice to have someone.

But relationships are hard work, celibacy is hard work, and life is hard work.  There’s really no such thing as waiting for a spouse: your life has launched into being, and there’s work to do.  If God is your priority, then a man who comes along who can even catch up to you would be dang lucky to have you.

Continue reading “7 Thoughts On Singleness: Is Something Wrong With Me?”