Hello wonderful friends! Here’s a seminar that I gave in San Jose, CA about the truths and myths of dating & relationships within both the church-culture & pop-culture. Stream below or download directly here.
Some things I talk about are: “The time I overheard a couple have their final knock-down drag-out fight, my absolutely favorite type of scene in the movies, what everyone really wants in the hospital, dating theology from Taylor Swift, when God looks at you through the ceiling, and Christianity according to a cologne sample.”
I also did a follow-up Q&A which you can stream below or download here.
I go over the many myths about sex and purity in both the church and mainstream, and how the Christian faith can actually inform us on relationships and dating. I also talk about: Josh Harris, Taylor Swift, my fifteen year porn addiction, finding “the one,” a theology for singles, the idolatry of giving more attention to “attractive people,” when my friend failed her first beauty pageant, the time I tried to kill myself over a girl, and my non-romantic journey of breaking up and getting engaged to getting married. The Foreword is by the amazing Lauren Britt at yesdarlingido!
The book is also in ebook. To read an excerpt, here. To hear a message about relationships, here.
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.
This is a very short e-book about how I overcame a fifteen year porn addiction. I’ve now been sober for over three. Whether you’re helping a friend or struggling yourself, regardless of gender or faith, this is how to quit porn: not just for weeks at a time, but for good.
Only $2.99! And you won’t need a Kindle, it works on everything.
Be blessed and love y’all! — J.S.
This is a seminar I gave on dating and relationships to a wonderful ministry of college students and young adults in Gainesville FL, aka Gator Town.
It’s called The Adventure of Dating and The Reality of Relationships. It’s about the exciting prospect of dating and the gritty, difficult, raw reality of relationships. Stream here or download directly here!
Some things I talk about are: The romantic theology of Taylor Swift, that time I overheard a girlfriend catching her boyfriend with another woman, two soldiers at war gossiping about the Kardashians, the best Christian pick-up line ever, the gritty raw painful sweaty work of theater actors and ballerinas, the difference between “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Hurt Locker,” three directions that every relationship takes, if my fiancé gained 200 lbs, the scary anxious fear of marriage proposal and possibly hearing “Nope,” and a Q&A Session including the truth about “wives submitting” and how to find “The One.”
The wonderful Lauren Britt of yesdarlingido wrote the Foreword to my new book on dating and relationships! So thankful for you, Lauren!
Pick it up on Amazon in either paperback or e-book! If you’re blessed, please consider writing an honest review. 🙂
In the book, some things I talk about are: The weird neurotic subculture of dating in the church, Joshua Harris and courtship, Taylor Swift’s sexual theology, how we give more attention to “attractive people,” my friend failing her first Beauty Pageant, that icky moment when you play a song you wrote in front of your friend while making eye contact, the lies about lust and purity, feeling like it’s “too late” if you already messed it up, recovery from my fifteen year porn addiction, the time I tried to kill myself over a girl, and the painful non-romanticized journey of getting engaged to be married.
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.
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.
Hey dear friends, one of the most frequent questions I get is about breaking porn addiction. I was addicted for fifteen years and have now been sober for over three, by the grace of God (and a lot of vigilant work).
So I’m going to compile a very short booklet with every resource I have and every question from this blog about recovery from porn, including my own testimony. It’ll be an e-book coming out in December or so.
My heart is for both men and women to be free from the enslaving grip of objectification and from contributing to a pain-filled industry. This is also to help your friend through sobriety. It will be written for both Christians and non. I want you and your friend to experience freedom, and perhaps even encounter Christ.
If a guy like me can recover, so can you: and not for a few weeks at a time, but permanently. Love y’all.
Purchase my book on taboo topics in the church here.
Purchase my new book on love, sex, and dating here.
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.
Some things I talk about are: The mistake we make when we focus on the methods & techniques of Christian dating, the way we hyper-romanticize mission trips and marriage, important questions to ask before pursuing our feelings and emotions, theological wisdom from Taylor Swift, how to share oxygen when you’re drowning underwater, and going after the absolute greatest adventure of our lives together.
Based on our research, I also worry that some of the Christian community’s teaching on abstinence focuses too much on the personal, individualist benefits of delaying sex until marriage. I am certainly not questioning the motives of those who urge the next generation toward sexual purity but I do wonder if some of the methods reflect a mindset influenced by individualism. ‘Save yourself for marriage and have fantastic sex with one partner, the way it’s meant to be. Sex as God intended will blow your mind. Be safe; avoid the risks of STDs and an unwanted pregnancy. Think about your future.’ Much of the abstinence messaging, however well-intended, capitulates to culturally cultivated individualism: sex is about me.