Over the years, I’ve been to a good number of Christian weddings. This first started in high school, when the girls at church who were older than me started getting married in their early 20s. Then I finished college, and my friends in serious relationships tied the knot. Then, in my late 20s, there was a second wind of weddings for former roommates from my Christian college.
It’s possible I have fewer close friends who are not Christian, or my non-Christian friends are less likely to get married, but I haven’t been to as many non-Christian weddings.
Dating is hard. Especially when people come from different backgrounds or cultural norms, based on religion or geography, for example, it can be difficult to know what another person’s expectations for. Spelling out expectations can feel unromantic. Plus, you may not know exactly what you want right away — a big part of dating is about figuring that out!
So, how can you be sure you are setting boundaries, but also exploring love and romance in a way that is healthy?
One question that comes up often is around consent. As a conservative Christian, I was taught to never date non-Christians, because we would be “unequally yoked” and it was “missionary dating,” which “never works” — i.e., you won’t likely convert your non-Christian boyfriend into a Christian. I was also taught that all men want is sex.
The first time I heard “Every New Day” was at a church youth group in junior high.
It was the kind of church where the teenagers met in a basement room and played foosball before the service started, and they’d put us on teams to play games based on popular TV shows, like challenges where kids would count marshmallows shoved in their mouth without swallowing, or races where teens would drive other teens around town in their parents’ minivan on scavenger hunts. Of course your parents always felt safe dropping you off at a church event, and that’s what made the apparent danger so delightful.
Recently I’ve been obsessed with this song – playing it on repeat in my house – and I can’t get over how beautiful it is.
I think it resonates with me because I am absolutely having the time of my life. I love my job, I love my neighborhood and the place I live and I have great friends. I feel like I am accomplishing something and making a positive change in the world. I am happier than I have ever been, I think, in my entire life. This kind of happiness – it can’t be sustainable, right? There are times when my circumstances looked perfect, but inside I was still miserable and torn apart. Surely I’ll go down that road again.