“What if dating isn’t about finding ‘the one,” but making a wise choice so you can better serve the One who loves you most?” Gary Thomas often asks. “If singles don’t know why to marry, they won’t know who to marry.”
If you are single, dating or engaged, and looking for a meaningful way to spend the evening on Valentine’s Day, you are invited to join other singles from around Orange County at ROCKHARBOR Church to hear Thomas talk about how to walk through singleness and dating with Biblical intentionality.
Thomas, author of “The Sacred Marriage” and “The Sacred Search,” challenges the way singles look at dating. Instead of pursuing happiness as the goal, Thomas emphasizes pursuing holiness. He says that it’s not about finding a healthy relationship; it’s about making one. Thomas urges singles to think beyond finding a soul mate and to look instead for a “sole mate” – someone who will walk with them on their spiritual journey.
“I’m thrilled about Gary coming,” said Roger Tirabassi, Newport resident and marriage enrichment pastor at ROCKHARBOR. “I respect him so much. His book ‘Sacred Marriage’ was published in 2000; it’s been one of my favorite books on marriage and I’ve been recommending it ever since.”
“When ‘Sacred Search’ came out I was really excited because a lot of my counseling is with premarital couples, and this book comes from a different viewpoint,” Tirabassi continued. “What I like about it is that Gary challenges singles to look at relationships with purpose, rather than chemistry. It isn’t so much about who you marry, but why do you want to get married in the first place? One single man I recommended ‘Sacred Search’ to recently wrote me saying how much the book is helping him rethink his thought patterns and choices. He is thrilled to hear Gary in person.”
Thomas is a bestselling author and international speaker in the areas of marriage, parenting and spiritual formation. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have won numerous awards. Thomas will also be leading The Sacred Marriage Conference Friday night and Saturday.
“What I think singles should be considering is exactly why I’m exited about this conference,” Tirabassi said. “So many people think finding the right person will make them happy and they run all over the place trying to find them. Instead, they could work on discovering what their purpose is on this planet. The question to ask would be, ‘Is the aim of my life just to get married or is there a bigger purpose out there?’ As singles work at learning their purpose and how to meet that, it, they may end up finding their partner.”
“My wife Becky and I met because we both wanted to help high school kids; we both had bad experiences in high school,” Tirabassi continued. “We had a common purpose in youth ministry. Some people are called to care for the poor and needy, others to be politically involved. If you work towards your calling, you will find people with similar interests and may meet someone who you can become a team with, working towards something bigger than you. Then it’s not just each of you looking at each other and thinking about how and if the other is making you happy. Don’t spend so much time looking for that right person but look internally too, to become the right person. Pursue your purpose, not a person.”
“Many people think marriage is about being happy, and being fulfilled by the other person,” Tirabassi added. “They see wedding pictures, and all the excitement and romance, but they don’t look deeper. When people get married, they can get very disappointed when they find the parts of marriage that aren’t instantly fulfilling. It’s a painful process to develop and mature and become less selfish, but it’s worth it. Marriage is awesome when we see how God uses it to fulfill His purposes in our world.”
“In a society where the focus of singles is so much about where to go and what website to try to meet someone, we’re happy that ROCKHARBOR is offering an opportunity to experience such a meaningful perspective on singleness, dating and marriage,” Tirabassi said. “And what a perfect event for Valentine’s Day.”
For further information, go to www.rockharbor.org
Cindy speaks to women’s groups. She can be reached at [email protected]