You can Listen, Read, or Watch, the video. In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo talk about dating - that period when we hang out with someone, do things together, get to know one another, that time before marriage….

As always, Andy B finds us some relevant bible verses to see what the bible says about dating and as Jo points out, it doesn’t say anything specifically about ‘The Dating Game’, but there are principles in the bible to be found:

Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband should fulfil his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfil her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another. So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust. 1 Corinthians 7:1-99 (NLT)

As Andy B points out, the purpose of dating should be marriage, not to try out different partners. And both Andy B and JoJo together explore the issues around dating and the dangers, giving as usual some of their own experiences to help us get our heads around this stuff.

Resources and Tips

Jo shares how she asked God to help her choose the right husband and how Andy was an answer to prayer.

Andy recommends two books and a website:

Andy and Jo

 

 

Andy 0:39 Well, hello, and welcome to another episode of Marriage Matters. My name is Andy.

Jo 0:43 And I'm Jo.

Andy 0:45 And we're Andy and Jo, and this is Marriage Matters all about matters of the marriage that matter, 'cos Marriage Matters.

Jo 0:51 Every time.

Andy 0:53 So, if you'd like to follow us and all the things we're doing, you can like us on Facebook, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. There's loads of free resources and videos on there for you to use in your family, church or wherever, wherever. And, the best thing you can do, as ever, is to go to our website, www.BerryBunch.family and sign up for the newsletter.

Jo 1:14 Yes.

Andy 1:15 And then you'll get a newsletter from the BerryBunch family. That's us!

Jo 1:18 Absolutely. And Marriage Matters is all about the biblical perspective on marriage, 'cos that's where we're coming from. That's our experience. And we want to look at the Dating Game. There's lots of relationships in the Bible that we can look at. All kinds of ways that some people have met

Andy 1:35 Some good, some not.

Jo 1:36 Yeah, there's some like biblical ways. There's some cultural ways. And things have changed so much over the years, haven't they from, from back along. Maybe our parents were involved with how we might get married. To, it's all you know, up to ourselves. We independently go off and do things. And the internet with all these kinds of dating sites

Andy 1:53 Dating Apps

Jo 1:54 And things like that. Yeah. Clearly in the Bible, it doesn't say The Dating Game. But, there's lots of stuff in the Bible to help us, to guide us, some principles.

Andy 2:02 There is, there's loads!

Jo 2:03 And we're gonna read one particular scripture aren't we Andy

Andy 2:06 Yes

Jo 2:06 1 Corinthians 6, 9 to chapter 7, 19. But you're just going to read chapter 7, aren't you, 1 to 9.

Andy 2:14 Yes, 'cos it's entitled Principles for Marriage. And I'll give you a spoiler to the whole point of this episode. The Dating Gamem it should only have one purpose, marriage. So, if you're not dating for marriage, you shouldn't be dating. Anyway. It's a bit of a spoiler, isn't it? So, Chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians here, 1 Corinthians chapter 7, verse 1.

Andy 2:34 "Now concerning the matters about which you wrote, It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. Because of the temptation to sexual immorality each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights"

Andy 2:50 It's the ESV version

Jo 2:51 Okay.

Andy 2:51 Okay, so that's sex,

Andy 2:53 "and likewise the wife to her husband. But the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does."

Andy 3:03 Mutual care.

Andy 3:05 "Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement."

Andy 3:08 This is don't not have sex for a while.

Andy 3:10 "Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement, for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, but then come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control."

Andy 3:20 And already we're getting the whole thing of sexuality, it, it's riddled with temptation. And, actually, the Bible's got a get out of that kind of mess, and how to do it, and all that kind of stuff.

Jo 3:30 Yeah.

Andy 3:31 Now verse 6.

Andy 3:31 "Now as a concession, not a command, I say this, I wish that all were as I myself am, but each has his own gift from God, one of one kind of one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am."

Andy 3:46 This is Paul.

Andy 3:48 "But if they cannot exercise self control, they should marry For it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

Andy 3:55 And it goes on but that's

Jo 3:57 Yeah.

Andy 3:58 It's dripping with stuff to do with dating!

Jo 3:59 It's clear principles, isn't it? No sex before marriage.

Andy 4:03 No.

Jo 4:05 It's sort of there isn't it in black and white

Andy 4:07 And, even more important, you don't have to be married to be complete!

Jo 4:11 Fantastic. Good stuff.

Andy 4:11 Do you know that line you complete me?

Andy 4:13 Yes.

Andy 4:14 Okay, it doesn't work that way. You're never gonna be completed. Jo can't complete me. It's impossible. Jo is amazing. She's my wife, 25 years plus now. She's an amazing, godly person. She cannot complete me in my relationship with God.

Jo 4:27 Yeah.

Andy 4:28 It is impossible and vice versa.

Jo 4:29 Yep.

Andy 4:30 I'm pretty good but not that good.

Jo 4:32 So, that's what we're talking about,

Andy 4:33 Yes

Jo 4:33 The Dating Game.

Jo 4:49 How do people talk to you normally? Do they talk in burning bushes?

Dave the Dog 4:52 Sit.

Jo 4:52 Sit.

Dave the Dog 4:53 Fetch.

Jo 4:54 Fetch.

Dave the Dog 4:56 Do you know what I say back?

Jo 4:57 What do you say back?

Dave the Dog 4:58 You chuck the stick get it yourself.

Jo 5:06 Dave, are you there?

Dave the Dog 5:08 Are. i'm here, are.

Jo 5:10 Hello, Dave. Oh, I think we got the same problems last week. I can't see you.

Dave the Dog 5:14 Have you opened your eyes?

Jo 5:15 Yes, I've opened my eyes

Dave the Dog 5:17 Oh!

Jo 5:22 You name it. He could play it.

Dave the Dog 5:25 Pipe Organ.

Jo 5:26 Pipe Organ? Yeah, with all the pipes

Dave the Dog 5:28 Lots of buttons, like a spaceship.

Jo 5:30 Spaceship.

Jo 5:31 Yeah, you're looking good. Have you done some't to your hair?

Andy 5:35 I had me hair sorted.

Jo 5:36 You had your hair sorted?

Andy 5:37 Went To the dog groomers.

Jo 5:38 Brilliant. You look great.

Dave the Dog 5:40 Thankyou.

Jo 5:40 It's good to see you

Jo 5:47 Do you know what your name means Dave?

Dave the Dog 5:49 Dave.

Jo 5:50 Dave, it just means Dave.

Dave the Dog 5:51 Yes.

Jo 5:52 Well, I looked it up and it's short for David and it means beloved. That means your lovable.

Dave the Dog 5:58 Long for D.

Jo 5:59 Long for D!

Jo 6:06 Big, long, stick to help him protect his sheep.

Dave the Dog 6:11 I like sticks

Jo 6:11 You like sticks?

Andy 6:39 And we're back for the meaty section.

Jo 6:42 Yeah.

Andy 6:42 We call it the meaty section 'cos it's lots of talking. What we taling about?

Jo 6:46 We are talking about The Dating Game.

Andy 6:48 The Dating Game. Sorry. I was just thinking about some technical things. So The Dating Game? Yes.

Andy 6:55 So, here's the thing about dating. I said a bit of a spoiler before the break, but the Bible doesn't say to date, or not. And, actually, if we're gonna understand what does God say, today, in 2022, when we're filming this, what place has dating in Scripture? Or, where does Scripture fit with dating? And the simple truth is, Scripture says nothing about dating directly. But, like so much of the Bible, there's so much that we can easily draw, without even scratching the surface about what God, what God thinks. So we were thinking about some of the relationships in the Bible, and some of the cultural stuff like Ruth and Boaz, a great story.

Jo 7:32 That's in the book of Ruth,

Andy 7:33 In the book of Ruth, yes. The Kinsman's Redeemer, which is a really important cultural thing. Sorry, I'm gonna have a cup of tea.

Jo 7:39 Yeah, I love the story. It's a real love story in the book of Ruth, for Boaz isn't it. A great name, great guy,

Andy 7:46 Yes.

Jo 7:46 And Ruth who finds him.

Andy 7:48 So there's loads of, of, of different relationships throughout Scripture. Some, we think, oh isn't that sweet. Some we think, can we skip this part?

Jo 7:57 Yes!

Andy 7:58 And that goes on. And that's life. But that is life. There's good stuff, and there's not so good stuff in life. And the Bible,

Jo 8:03 Absolutely.

Andy 8:04 In one sense mirrors some of the things that are going on in life.

Jo 8:06 Yeah, it's life. The Bible chooses real people, living out their real lives. And if we think about our own life, Andy, we've had some, we had a good experience, when we were sort of dating. We did have a purpose to get married.

Andy 8:18 Yep!

Jo 8:18 And our, our experience was, was good. But we came with a bit of baggage 'cos we both had dating experience prior to our experience. And I think that sort of baggage came to our relationship. And that's the thing. That's what God, that's why God puts these things in place to protect us from this baggage and these issues.

Andy 8:35 We are his children and God loves to protect His children, like we protect our own children. And boundaries are a part of that. I mean, it's easy to say baggage and think oh sexual baggage, and yes, there's gonna be some of that in a relationship, with dating today, particularly.

Andy 8:47 We said, in one of the earlier episodes, about a guy I knew in Manchester, who did a real quick, kind of straw poll, of people, other ministers. And it was a number of ministers who were doing pre marriage counselling for people. And the number of those couples who were already being sexually intimate with each other. "Well we're Christian, we're gonna be married. So what's the problem?"

Jo 9:08 yeah.

Andy 9:08 Which is not the point. So, there's all sorts of baggage and it isn't just about sexual baggage, although that's gonna be an issue. Maybe it is for you, too. But there's also the baggage that comes from expectancies, and how does that person behave and how does this person behave?

Andy 9:22 We've seen some really good examples of people who've been remarried, and it's gone. Well, I'm missing some really bad examples. And part of the problem of remarrying, which you need to work through, if that's what you're gonna do, is you've got baggage. You know how the other person works and thinks. Now, in the morning, I'm rubbish, Jo's great. She's very patient with me, and I don't do mornings! I can function, but I'm not particularly great until I've had a couple of cups of tea, and I've got dressed, and I've had a shower. So there's a dance in our relationship.

Andy 9:51 But, if for any reason I ended up getting remarried again, that wouldn't be there, because that would then become something good, becomes baggage. Unless you process itand deal with it. And this is the problem with dating.

Andy 10:02 It is not biblical to go out and date lots of people. That's just not God's plan! And when we look culturally, there wasn't this kind of, 'ooh, do I like this person or don't, do or not?' And you've got to think, why? What's the purpose of dating? But the one thing I think we can say very emphatically, very clearly, scripturally. If you're just trying to date people, because you feel like you should be married, you're getting it wrong. If you're dating people, because you're lonely, you're getting it wrong. And I say, getting it wrong, I'll come back to that.

Andy 10:30 If you're in a relationship with someone, the only purpose for that relationship, and when you're thinking, kind of a sexual relationship is in order to be married, and the Bible is really clear on it.

Andy 10:41 Why do I say it's wrong? It's because he's not God's best.

Jo 10:44 Yeah.

Andy 10:44 And a lot of Marriage Matters that are how we do stuff, in these episodes is, what is God's best. We use our own stories, our own tales as our testimony. But what's God's best. And God's best is not for you to get married, necessarily.

Jo 10:58 You know, what I'm concerned about Andy, is how much it's glamorised, this dating game.

Andy 11:02 Oh yeah.

Jo 11:02 And, you know, maybe you've seen Friends, or any programme really, even just normal. And then there's an experience of someone wanting to date someone. And it just seems to be glamorised. And it's like, oh, really cool. and oh, yeah, we had we hit it off, and we got into bed, and then they're on to the next person. But it's not like that. It's not actually healthy. There's lots of warning in Scripture, isn't it for doing that.

Andy 11:24 Let me jump in on that one point.

Andy 11:25 "He who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him."

Andy 11:29 So, we're talking about spiritual union. But you come just a little bit further back,

Andy 11:33 "Do you not know that he he was joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her, for as it is written, the two will become one flesh."

Andy 11:39 The sexual relationship is such that it doesn't matter who you're having sexual relations with, you are going to be intimate with them in a way that is not just physical, but spiritual. You can argue against that, but you can't argue against the Word, which is what said that. God says it.

Jo 11:52 Yeah.

Andy 11:53 I mean, you've used a great analogy in the past, of pieces of paper, and you stick them together and rip them apart. Well, that's kind of a really good illustration of what happens after a sexual relation. You are joined in ways that you cannot fathom. And here's more, some science for you. We all like science.

Jo 12:08 Yeah.

Andy 12:08 So if you are sexually intimate with somebody, the DNA of the male is imprinted on the DNA of the female. So you are literally becoming one.

Jo 12:16 Wow.

Andy 12:16 Now that excites me as a husband, and as a man of God. But it's also, you need to flip that around a little bit and think, well, what's going on there? And actually, we don't want that going on.

Jo 12:26 That's serious!

Andy 12:26 And all these ties, yeah, it's very serious.

Andy 12:29 Why do we crave sexual relationships in particular? Well, one, we haven't read our scripture, probably. We'll come back to that one. There's a point I wanted to really quickly draw out. But, there's a, there's, it's hormones, is a big issue.

Andy 12:41 Hot, holy and humorous. Brilliant website. Wrote a great book. She writes about sex from a romanc,e from a kind of funny perspective. It' brilliant, we would heartily recommend you go and check out her blog, her website, get her book is great. We'll come back to that, and the tips and resources. But, she talked about this about hormones, and the reason why we crave new sexual relationships is there's hormones released that excite us. It's actually a bonding chemical, which is really important. But, when that starts to stop bonding us, 'cos we've been bonded, then we want that same thrill, that same rush, it's like any kind of an addiction.

Jo 13:12 It's like we were talking about in the last, one of the last episodes about Do Not Awaken Love, when when you shouldn't, and that kind of fits in with that chemical thing, isn't it?

Andy 13:20 Yep.

Jo 13:20 But, like you, like you said, Andy, it's not just about this sexual intimacy

Andy 13:24 no

Jo 13:24 Is it? I remember, I know, Pretty Woman's not a very helpful film, sometimes. But I remember her saying something about kissing on the mouth was far more intimate. And actually, there are other things. I mean, hugging and spending time. You know, there have been films we've watched where you become close to a work colleague, 'cos you talk about your intimate things. And, when you get close to someone, you share, like a friendship, you can become quite jealous and hurt by that. So, there's lots of intimate things you can do that, that are going in the wrong direction, aren't they?

Andy 13:51 Yeah. Scripture does talk about the fact that sexual relationships is a bit like a spider's web. It's not saying that this is a worst sin, a worse sin. But it is saying that as sins go this is more complicated.

Jo 14:02 Yeah.

Andy 14:03 Nothing's beyond the redemption of God. There is nothing that you can do to separate you from the love of God. If we go to God and say, God, I've made a mistake, please forgive me. He will. However, sexual sin is one of those things that I read this in the Bible and thought, wow, I didn't know that. But it's like a spider's web, is how it's described. Because it doesn't just affect a bit. It affects entirely so many different things.

Jo 14:22 Yeah.

Andy 14:23 Let me just read this,

Jo 14:24 Yep

Andy 14:24 'Cos this is one of my greatest passions. Is for people not to feel like 'you must be married to be completed'. We've seen it in films,

Jo 14:32 Yeah

Andy 14:33 Jerry Maguire, there's this great line, and it's been ripped loads of times, and people make fun of it, 'oh you complete me'. Well, here's the thing. It's wrong. It's not true. But what's that got to do with what I'm about to read? Well chapter 7, 1Corinthians says this.

Andy 14:47 "To the American the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am".

Andy 14:52 Not, 'okay'. Not 'don't worry if you're not'. It's, it is good to be single. I'm just gonna leave that one there. It is good to be single. And it really upsets me how the glamorised I think you were saying about. There's nothing glamorous about jumping into different people's beds. It's not glamorous, it's just not. Hollywood has made it all peaceful and romantic. It just isn't.

Jo 15:15 No.

Andy 15:16 I said this in an earlier episode, Jo, and I've been married for 25 years. So our sexual relationship is 25 years mature, which means I know Jo, and she knows me. And that goes on every single level. We kind of hinted at the sex stuff, but that's part of life. But it means that we are good friends, and it's matured and that maturity breeds richness. And that richness is not something you can ever, ever get on a one night stand, or in a quick relationship.

Jo 15:43 Yeah, I think also, we've talked about marriage being a commitment, of being about longevity. And if we start our journey of marriage, in this sort of flippant kind of chaotic way, how's it gonna last? Because if we start feeling like I'm not so interested, aren't we gonna look for something better? And so what God is saying, we have that purity, don't we?

Andy 16:03 There was an article. This is a secular, non Christian article, I can't remember the source so I'm not even gonna bother to try. However, it was saying that 'we've discovered now that if you don't have sexual intercourse with a person that you go on to marry, your marriage will be better. We didn't know this was a thing'. Well, the Bible does. You know, and it's like this research, groundbreaking research, that Christians have been saying for, you know, several 1,000 years. Sexuality is not something to toy with. Song of Songs talk about it, Don't Awaken Love Before It's Time. You can watch an earlier episode, where we talk about that one little thing. But the glamorising of dating is, I find it quite offensive. Not because I'm a Christian and I don't like it. I find it offensive because it's just not true!

Jo 16:44 Yeah.

Andy 16:45 It is not glamorous. It is not healthy. It is not good for you. And the Bible says, quite clearly, Paul here 1 Corinthians chapter 7, verse 8, speaking to women in this occasion,

Andy 16:55 "it is good for them to remain single."

Andy 16:58 It's not, it's the best. It's not, oh, well, nevermind. It's "it is good". On its own, standalone, it is good. It is healthy. Paul was. So he's speaking from experience. Was he married? We don't know. But we know that, at this point, he wasn't. And he's speaking from his own story. However, as ever, with scripture, there's this balance, which is so beautiful and liberating.

Andy 17:21 "But if they cannot exercise self control, they should marry for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

Andy 17:28 There is nothing wrong with getting married because you are struggling to control your sexual urges. But the thing is, we shouldn't see marriage as just something you do, or something you aim for, or you have a go at, or is what you should do. And I think, particularly in popular kind of Hollywood culture, 'women should get married and that's what they should do'. Now, that's changed a lot, obviously. But there was this real push for when should be married, and it's where their security is. And there's a degree in there that's true. But, marriage isn't the end goal. It's your relationship with Jesus that is,

Jo 17:58 Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think what we're saying is we're putting out some warnings aren't we around The Dating Game, 'cos there's some unhealthy practices. And God wants us to be protected. And I love, again that there's a film called, is it Fireproof?

Andy 18:11 Fireproof.

Jo 18:11 And the father takes the daughter out, and gives her a ring, isn't it? And it's just to say, look, you know, I want to look out for you. I want to take care of you. I want to help you to choose the right person. And it was just lovely. And it was kind of a representation of our Father God looking after us, looking out for us to find the right way for us.

Andy 18:28 I think, I was thinking about the "Honour thy father and mother" bit, the old, old King James English word of it. But the idea of, of having accountability ,and there is a, there is a moment where yes, you should go to your parents and respect them. Absolutely! But, as Christians, we need more than just to honour our mom and dad by doing what they tell us. If I honoured my mum and dad, and Jo honoured her mum and dad we wouldn't be married. They were wrong, quite frankly. But we need people who really love Jesus, who can advise us, who can hold us accountable, who we can be accountable to. Because, ultimately, marriage isn't just some't you do. It's a covenant relationship. And I remember someone saying to Jo, when they got married, 'wow, this this is really serious. I've just signed a contract'. And we were like, well, yes, you have. This isn't a flippant thing. We're not gonna go into divorce, a different topic. We're talking about dating here. It'd be easy to slip that way. But I'm not going to.

Andy 19:22 But the idea of dating being some't really good and exciting. It doesn't help you, it doesn't benefit you. And actually, when we look at culturally, which is where I'm gonna finish this bit, when you look culturally, it was how it was done. It was arranged marriages. Now we might shudder and think, oh, that's terrible. Loads of films, the film Brave, which we've just watched recently, again. The young princess did not want to be arranged married. Well, it's cultural. And yes, there are some big issues with arranged marriages. There's all sorts of abuses that can be perpetrated through that. We're not talking about the abusive side. Again, this is Marriage Matters. We're looking at God's best. But, culturally, you go back 2,000 years and arranged marriages were quite normal. There wasn't lots of dating. I mean, yes, you might get to know that person. But this is where we need to be careful as Christians, that we're not emulating the world's approach.

Andy 20:12 The godly approach is not to try who you feel to fit with. 'Cos it's all about feelings. We've got to talk about feelings before we close this segment. Dating is all about feelings. Do I feel that this person is right for me? Do I feel that we're sexually compatible? Do I feel that we've got similar interests, and we're gonna get on with each other? There are some really important things to talk about before you get married, I believe. It's really important, how do you raise children? What's your approach to parenting? How do you view money? What's your political view on certain things? We, we don't have to agree on everything, but it's good to talk about some of these contentious issues.

Andy 20:50 In our family, no subject is ever off the table. So our boys will come to us about all sorts of things, that I, I know most parents don't have conversations with their children around, about. But, we have an open policy of conversation. But, you need to have that before marriage too. You need to talk about, well if a child is is bad, naughty, how are we going to discipline that child? Really important question to have? Because if you've got one that says, well, 'we need to actually have a boundary and they need to lose things in order to do that', and you got another parent who says, 'well, it doesn't matter. Just let em do what they want to do'. You've got a real serious, contentious issue when children come along. So you need to, well, where's the middle ground? How do we compromise? How do we find a middle road for that particular situation?

Andy 21:28 Money, you know, I would always say get a joint bank account. Single bank accounts breed independence. We've had one for a time. We had to, for various reasons. But I really enjoy us coming together as one, as one flesh, one bank account, one house, one decision making process. That's God's best. And it's the same with dating. If you're trying to get into dating because you feel you're lonely, you're never going to stop feeling lonely, by the way trying to date and get married. It's not gonna deal with your loneliness. If you've got isolation, marriage isn't gonna fix that. The only way of finding satisfaction, and peace, is in Jesus Christ.

Jo 22:06 Yeah.

Andy 22:06 Jo cannot complete me. Her body's mine, my body is hers. That's a biblical principle. But Jo can't complete me, any more than I can complete her. If she needs joy, peace, hope she needs to go to God. And that's where I get a bit passionate about the dating game, because it has been glamorised into this amazing, wonderful, exciting thing. And yes, sex with somebody new is very exciting for a while. But it's also quite dangerous. Spiritually it's quite bad. And it creates a spider's web of issues.

Jo 22:34 Yeah.

Andy 22:34 We're not even going into the other stuff of this. This is, this, this is barely scratching the surface.

Jo 22:39 Yeah.

Andy 22:39 But it's an issue I'm quite passionate about. So shall we move on?

Jo 22:43 Yeah, take a break.

Nathan 22:51 "Physical training is good. But training for godliness is much better. Promising benefits in this life, and in the life to come."

Nathan 22:59 The point of this scripture is that while physical training is good, it is beneficial for us, it keeps us fit keeps us healthy. It's not nearly as beneficial as spiritual training, and all that makes up training for godliness, such as reading our Bibles, praying and going to church.

Nathan 23:16 And that is the point of Endurance. It is to show how we can maintain self discipline, and how we can endure through our training for godliness. With that in mind, go check it out.

Jo 23:43 This is our Tips and Resources section, of Marriage Matters. And I have a tip for you. Because, you know I was saying earlier that we had dated, in the past before we started seeing each other. And there were some sort of baggage, not necessarily sexual, but all kinds of things. And I became a Christian. And what I decided to do was take this idea of wanting to be married, this idea of finding someone, to God in prayer. And that's how I found, found you, Andy. And I think I have obviously shared that with you.

Andy 24:16 Yes.

Jo 24:16 But I, I'd been made, I made lots of mistakes, and things had gone terribly wrong for me. And so I just said to God 'help me, you choose, you choose, you help me'. Because I didn't have a father who could help me, at all, and I didn't really have any sort of sort of step fathers, or men who could step in and kind of show me, or any females really, if I'm honest. There was nobody in my life at that time. I'd become a Christian in a non Christian sort of environment and family. And so I said, God, I want to get this right. I want to follow you. I don't want to make a mess of this situation. I want to find someone. I want it to work and I want it to be, you know your best for me. So, I guess, I just cried out to God. And it's didn't seem like a really great prayer. It was kind of like help. One of those, you know, help God, I really need your help. And he really answered my prayers, and helped me to stay on target, to stay, to finding someone, like Andy, who would be, you know, right for me. And we had those conversations. I, you said about asking questions. We had the dog cushion, do you remember?

Andy 25:21 Oh my! We had this enormous cushion. It was about, what, 4 foot

Andy 25:25 It was ace

Andy 25:26 4 foot square. It was jammed with soft, foamy stuff. So you could, one of us would end up kind of half lie, sit on this thing, and be counselled.

Jo 25:35 Yeah, and we would share our intimate sort of experiences. Coming to the point of when we had fallen, I say fallen in love. Is that the right expression? We, we fell for each other. We, we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives for each other. There was a defining moment, and it was quite early on in meeting each other. There was something that God was doing in our hearts, and our lives I think. Again, because I had surrendered and submitted to God.

Andy 25:58 It was the first night that we went out.

Jo 25:59 Yeah, absolutely.

Andy 26:01 We weren't even a couple. We went somewhere together. And that was very obvious.

Jo 26:04 I felt a real confidence, and a real sense of peace. And I knew God was with me. So I wanted to share that as a tip. That, if you are out there, and you, you want to get married, or you know you want God's best, then just give it to God and say, 'God, help me with this. Show me the right person that I should marry'. Or, and if it's right for you to get married. Yeah, exactly. I mean, obviously, totally surrender to God. Because he has helped me to find Andy, and stay on the right target for that.

Andy 26:33 I love. I can't say how much it means to me that I was an answer to your prayer. One of the firsts time we met each other was me being your answer to prayer.

Jo 26:40 Yeah.

Andy 26:40 That's fabulous. So, some resources. We've mentioned some of these before. And I don't make any apologies about repeating resources, because there are some really good resources. And if we've got a good resource we'll keep on talking about it. These are nothing to do with affiliate links. This is just a book we've bought, and think, do you know what, this is great, we recommend it.

Andy 26:58 One is this one, which is XES, Why Church Girls Tend To Get It Backwards and How To Get It Right. Somebody who had some various experiences, and wrote a book about that. And it's part of her journey of finding Christ, finding who she was in Christ, finding who she was in Christ in a relationship, and all that kind of stuff.

Jo 27:16 Not for the faint hearted, I think.

Andy 27:18 No.

Jo 27:18 It's very.

Andy 27:19 No. If you're, if you're squeamish, read it. But there is a chapter where she says you might not enjoy this,

Jo 27:25 Oh yeah.

Andy 27:25 Because it's some of her experiences. But, those experiences, define part of who she was.

Jo 27:30 Yeah.

Andy 27:31 But God redeemed it, and it's the thing God will take any really bad situation. And if we come to Him, He can redeem it. So, the other one, is this one, Hot, Holy and Humorous, J. Parker, who has a website, which I've mentioned earlier in the episode. It's really, really good. I think it's the only book I haven't read actually. Jo's read that one. Good book, bad book?

Jo 27:49 Yeah, I think, yeah, I think so. I'm, I'm, I'm terribly British, and I get a bit squeamish, so it's very, you know,

Andy 27:55 Practical

Jo 27:56 To the point, or maybe I like to beat around the bush, and you know, have it, you know, bend it a bit, but it did is good. It is good. Yeah.

Andy 28:03 I love the fact, actually, one of the stories I remember about this particular book, I think it was her granddad, who said thank you for writing this book. And it was a really good conversation thats she had. I'm sure it was her granddad. Sorry if it's wrong. But I'm sure, it was her granddad, and he's like, 'Thank you for writing this book. This is a book that women need to read'.

Jo 28:17 Yeah.

Andy 28:17 So, she aims at women, she's not really for men and women, although there's plenty of stuff. And a third resource from me would be the marriage bed, which is a website which is superb. If you want to know what you can do in the bedroom, go on the Marriage Bed. If you're squeamish, it's a great website. But it's everything from, how do you prepare for the wedding night? How do you prepare for sex for the first time with your husband, or wife? What can you do in the bedroom? And they answer all this. They're really good. It's really quite blunt, even more blunt, perhaps than J. Parker.

Jo 28:47 Yes.

Andy 28:47 But I really appreciate their honesty at tackling subjects, that most people would blush about and think, oh. But we're quite keen to have open conversations, so that no topics are off. So The Marriage Bed is great.

Jo 29:00 Brilliant.

Andy 29:01 What's Next?

Jo 29:02 Take a break.

Andy 29:02 Oh, take a break.

Andy 29:07 We love making resources for you. Resources to inspire, and encourag you. Resources you can stream, share and download in your church, your family or home whatever your situation. But, perhaps there's a Dave the God story you'd love us to cover for your work with children or an All Age Service.

Andy 29:28 We've been asked to do videos on teaching that we've covered topics like Reverence, Prayer and Faith. Broken Dreams and Hope.

Andy 29:37 Any money we make from commissions like these goes straight back into the BerryBunch to keep everything else that we do free, for everyone that needs it.

Andy 29:45 So, get in touch. Let us know what your needs are. And we'll see what we can do.

Andy 30:08 Oh its me!

Jo 30:08 Yes it's you!

Andy 30:07 It's me? I'm looking for you, but it's me. It's good, this marriage lark innit! So we're coming, what's this called this segment?

Jo 30:12 This is the conclusion.

Andy 30:16 Conclusion. Don't we have a a better name?

Jo 30:17 The summarised.

Andy 30:18 The Take way

Jo 30:18 Ah, I like that, yeah.

Andy 30:23 The takeaway.

Jo 30:23 Go on then!

Andy 30:23 So, what's what's, what's your takeaway Jo?

Jo 30:26 What's my Take Away? The Dating Game. The actual name sounds cool, and happening, and stuff. But, it's fraught with danger. And so we really need to stick with the Bible on this one, and really stick to God. Because the enemy wants to take us off in different directions, and cause us problems. So, yeah, I think what I'm taking away is this is serious. You know, it's not a load of fun. And hey, let's just have some fun. It's, it's not like that is it.

Andy 30:33 No it's not. First, does God want you to be married? Don't assume that, okay, well, how do I find a husband? We're not gonna tell you tricks on how to find a husband or a wife. And, generally, stereotypical, but generally, it's the wife that wants to find, you know, the husband, or a woman that wants to find a husband. But, check if God wants you to be married,

Jo 31:15 yeah.

Andy 31:15 it's very easy to say, 'Okay, where, how do I find a husband and which is the Best Christian dating app?' 'And how do I do this? This is my right.' I've heard that many times! 'I have to have a husband, I won't be complete unless. I must have children.' Does God want you to be married. I tell you that as a married man, so you might say, 'oh, well what do you know?' I know what it's like to be single. Every one of us is single, before we get married, so I understand what it's like to be single. I understand what it's like to be married. Which is why I can actually say, with authority, check with God, does he want you to be married? Because I love being married. But there are sacrifices and there are costs to marriage, that you don't have being single. If I want to watch a film, I can't. I need to talk to Jo. Do you want to watch this film? Not really, right. Let's do some't else. There's a cost of a marriage. It's a really simple one. Being a little bit, what's the word?

Jo 32:04 Flippant? No,

Andy 32:05 Yeah. Well, I'm not. I wasn't being flippant. But, it's it's an example, isn't it? What are we gonna watch tonight? Well, if you've got 2 people that want to watch something different, what are you going to do? Go read the Bible probably. Hve a prayer time. But, there are costs to marriage!

Jo 32:17 Count the costs, hey.

Andy 32:18 Count the costs.

Jo 32:18 That's scriptural. Before you embark on anything in life..

Andy 32:21 Count the cost and the truth will set you free. That's a bit of a mishmash. It's not a bad mishmash, actually, as they go.

Jo 32:27 Yes.

Andy 32:28 So yeah, make sure that God wants you to. Spend some time. We've got a, some't we said to our boys, I pray every night for husband and wife for my, for a husband. I am the husband! I pray for my boys, for a wife for them in the future. And I pray every night for that, for that woman, that woman of God, who can with them, love and serve Jesus Christ. I can't state I know that they're gonna have a wife, but I prayed it every day and I'm going to keep on doing it. But we said to them, look, if you find someone you think, I think this is someone I want to marry, do nothing until we've prayed and fasted about it. We'll pray and fast for a week. We'll go to God. Because that, to me, is a biblical response to a big life defining

Jo 33:05 Yeah.

Andy 33:06 decision. Don't just jump in and out of marriage, it's not good for you. Don't jump in and out of people's beds, that's really not good for you. So we said to the boys, if you find someone you think, I think this might be somebody I want to marry in the future. Right? Do nothing. Come and talk to us. We'll pray with you. We'll fast with you for a week. And that's what we've always said to them. So we've got 18, 16 and then 11. So at any point, I was married at 19. So who knows?

Jo 33:29 Yeah.

Andy 33:29 is that the end?

Jo 33:31 That is, yeah, but I mean, we could go on for so long. the Dating Game is a massive subject!

Andy 33:36 When we were planning this one, well we might have to make it quite a short episode. And I'm, there's so much I want to say that I haven't.

Jo 33:41 Yeah, maybe we'll do this. We'll do part 2. We'll come back to this and speak some more because it's so big.

Andy 33:46 Yeah. It's a huge topic. And the Bible says lots.

Jo 33:50 Yeah, absolutely. Fantastic!

Andy 33:51 It really does. I feel like there's a question I'm supposed to ask you.

Jo 33:54 Oh, really!

Andy 33:54 Can I have my awkward questions?

Jo 33:56 Oh, no.

Andy 33:56 Ones that make you squirm

Jo 33:57 I thought you said what's your takeaway? That was your question, wasn't it?

Andy 34:01 What was your favourite? Okay, what was your favourite part of dating me?

Jo 34:07 Ah, oh, that's sweet. Oh, I just, I just loved the way you, you, you cycled around to come and see me. And you would, you know, you, and you'd, just some of the things you did to come and see me in those early times. Like you travelled 2hours on a bus didn't you? It's just made me feel very special and valued.

Andy 34:26 Two and a half.

Jo 34:27 Two and a half hours

Andy 34:28 Each way.

Jo 34:29 How much?

Andy 34:30 On my day ooff.

Jo 34:30 What you would do to come and to just to see me. Or to phone me and stuff. That was always very sweet.

Andy 34:35 Well, you're awesome to be with?

Jo 34:36 Oh.

Andy 34:36 Well, there you go. We hope if you're gonna get married, you find someone that you can, that you, you find awesome. But, the thing that strikes me about our marriage, is I was an answer to prayer for Jo. And, every time we go through any kind of life experiences, Jo, draws me closer to Jesus Christ. So, if you are thinking is this someone I can marry? Spend some time around them. But, if they're not drawing you closer to Jesus Christ, then wlak away.

Jo 34:40 Yeah.

Andy 35:01 That's my little takeaway.

Jo 35:02 Good one.

Andy 35:02 Top tip.

Jo 35:03 Fantastic.

Andy 35:04 And we'll be back next week for more.

Jo 35:06 Yes.

Andy 35:06 What's next week? We haven't got a topic yet have we?

Jo 35:08 Oh, no, we haven't really worked that one out. But it'll come!

Andy 35:11 It'll happen.

Jo 35:12 We'll sort it.

Andy 35:12 We'll sort it. We'll see you again soon.

Andy 35:14 Thanks, then. Bye.

Jo 35:15 Bye for now.

Andy 35:22 There are loads of ways to stay in touch with BerryBunch. The best thing you can do is to visit our website, sign up to our newsletter, and you can be sure to always stay up to date with our latest news, videos, posts and updates on our seasonal events.

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