Posted: August 4, 2008 in blogging, dating, Revelation, singleness
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By Shawn Bolz







Well I was going to name this Shawn’s Kick Butt Guide to Dating, but that would have offended some people, so I renamed it. Of course those same people just read this introduction and are appalled and have probably stopped reading. Wow, now I realize that I could have named it that anyways! Well lets call it that from this page forth! Welcome to Shawn’s Kick Butt Guide to Dating!

Disclaimer number one: Nothing written in here is meant to be controversial or offensive. This blog series is not a theology blog, but a philosophy blog. Therefore do not stop reading just because you don’t agree with one point, it is a blog that has a series of values that will help you set your own standards even if you do not ascribe to one you may be helped by others. There are so many church cultures and backgrounds that some of the things I say are obviously going to be different than others theological and philosophical values. The good thing about reading another perspective, even one that is not entirely complimentary to yours, is that it helps sharpen what you believe yourself. You are welcome to visit my MySpace page where the blogs are being done, and rant or cry, or hate, or love, or encourage. Who knows you might even appear in the book that will be a combined printed form of all of these blogs!

 Not all of this blog will be written with this incredible wit or sarcasm, we do have to get serious sometimes, but in the same token, lets have fun with a subject that is always too stiff when talked about under the umbrella of church.

 Let me just start out by saying that I am shocked that I am writing this. No really _____insert your name here because I am talking to you____ I am!  I never intended to address the subject of dating and relationships. I am not the hopeless romantic that you can find in many a movie. I am ordinary, and relatively inexperienced.  Ok Ok really inexperienced, I was born April 26, 1974 and am not married but for good reason (you will find out if you are brave enough to read on in future blogs).

 So as I was sitting and pondering one day about why I would never speak at the singles conference that I was seeing an invitation for in my email box, I got a call from a friend. She was in a very awkward relationship that had so many strange dynamics that I had to have an opinion for the sake of her very sanity.

 First rule guys, don’t ever have an opinion that you don’t want to spend some time developing when addressing a member of the opposite gender. Our conversation went on longer then I had ever spent on the phone and I was sure that if cell phones really do produce tumors I was well on my way to receiving one.

What was amazing though, is that my friend did not have a moral and romantic compass guiding her new relationship. Instead she had religion and structure given to her by people who hadn’t dated in a million years, if at all. There is nothing better then the woman who instantly knew who she was going to marry in prayer only to be pursued by him the next day and getting married six months later without any trials in the relationship giving you advice on how easy it is to find the right one. “Just pray!” She says. If I weren’t a Christian I would have an equally cliché remark back at her but it wouldn’t involve clean words.

 I think that being single for my whole adult life with only a few real relationships has given me a compassion for single people. I have witnessed most (almost all) of my friends walk through relationships, and most even get married. I have been in weddings too many times to count, and even am kind of not liking the wedding scene anymore because of it unless the person is so close that I can’t help be sentimental.

I have also watched terrible break ups, divorce, and dysfunction wrecking peoples faith in true Godly relationships.

 This blog series is not an exhaustive manuscript on the subject on being single, dating, and or relationships, instead it is more of a project to challenge your way of thinking and to help you live in a balanced view of your own dating or single pursuit, and also to set right boundaries for your relationships. It is a philosophy document exploring our changing culture and our role in it. There are books that can help you define what you want in a relationship, how to pray relationships in, kiss relationships goodbye, and that sort of thing. This blog series does more than that because it makes fun of, and dismantles many of those books without me even trying! Even better than that, you will hopefully have a much freer way of thinking later.

Why there are some awesome books on dating and relationships in the Christian world, there are also some ridiculous ones that have especially caught the conservative crowd up in a storm of dating bureaucracy that kills true passion. I do want to point out that I am not singling out any books or making fun of others. In other words I am not picking on any one book (well maybe one but it will be so obvious that you will either hate me or love me for it).

 So here is the question: How do you set good boundaries for yourself, using the wisdom of others but not being limited by their experience? If every relationship is different, how do you follow your heart in a way that is still protected and yet not legalistic? (Legalism: To do everything by the book (not the Bible) that someone else wrote or spoke to you to tell you how you should think. Legalism violates relationship because the rules become more important then love.)

 So here I am writing on a subject that I am sure has better authors in, but you know what? If you choose to read on you will surely find something that you relate to.

 I do want to say that I am writing this series for adults not for youth. I believe that youth need their parents to help set these boundaries and a right compass from within in a way that is different then adults. I am not limiting youth, but qualifying the audience that this is first intended for.

 I consider it a great privilege to speak into the relational process, because God loves relationships. They are the most beautiful and painful things in our lives.

 At the same time, I do want to qualify that I do not do singles conferences, give dating advice to people I am not in relationship to, do premarital or marital counseling, and I will not do dating seminars. This book is one of my only efforts in speaking into this subject outside of my own church as a pastor.

This series is for all of those single people who are on the road to a balanced relationship and are sick of the extremes in both the world and the church. It also may help parents and even those already in a relationship. This is your time! This is your blog series!

Stay tuned for the next installment next MONDAY where we will get into it good! Woot woot! Also you will be able to preorder the dating book very soon!

 Shawn Bolz





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