It wasn’t all that complicated. Just check one or the other right?

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Then, a lot happened within a short time:

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Now it’s complicated.

When gender was distinctively masculine and feminine, the rules of engagement were finely tuned and everyone operated within those boundaries and expectations.  But take a 20-year-old girl and put her on a college campus today where she literally crosses paths with guys all day long:

  • Is she to live expectantly, in awareness of her femininity?
  • Should she dumb down her gender until casual becomes….really casual?
  • With marriage and dating out of favor, should she defer vulnerability until she’s a senior?
  • How should she navigate the two preferred girl options for self protection: 1) hook-up target or 2) man-hater?

What isn’t complicated is that you’re needed more than ever. Call it customized coaching: 

I’m hearing from several girls, either outright or implied, the desire for focused female identity development, relational mentorship from older & wiser female “sexperts” if you will. Especially those females who’ve navigated the single/dating/engaged community in their mid-to-late 20s. (29-yr-old Audrey)

What is a Sexpert? Are they charged with staying up to date on Facebook’s custom gender options (currently over 50 to choose from)? Do they carry around a small booklet of definitions and characteristics so as to always appear relevant?

“…at the beginning, the Creator made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4)

Sexperts understand something about masculinity and femininity.



They promote God by exploring the created expressions of being made in His image: male and female. When sexperts cross paths with those who are younger, they forge the type of relationship that allows the learner to gaze into the mystery. They enter the eye of the storm together where motion stops, where knowing God is risky business, where spiritual life is transferred in gender flavors.

They hang out.

They rub off.


Arranged Marriage

Find a set of railroad tracks and put your ear to the rail. Feel it? A distant hum, a low vibration. Arranged marriage is coming.

This is not your mama’s version nor an extraction from eastern nations nor taken from the tradition of Jewish matchmaking. Fiddler on the Roof anyone?

“Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. Find me a find, catch me a catch. Matchmaker, matchmaker look through your book and make me a perfect match.” (Fiddler on the Roof)

Today’s digital information panorama has so confused the waters that our former straight shot to marriage now resembles the Mississippi River: muddy and winding, it even went backwards once. Consider the sand bars that the late adolescent must navigate around if they ever hope to get downstream and achieve this traditional marker of adulthood:

Loss of Confidence – Divorce has rocked the stability of the institution of marriage

Loss of Wonder – Pornography and Erotica (literature designed to arouse) are two sides of the same coin and have destroyed the hidden wonder of intimacy, a magnet that use to pull people towards marriage

Loss of the Trades – Skilled labor (manufacturing, construction, business) is out of favor, giving way to an endless forage into ‘education.’ One now needs a graduate level degree to match what used to be gained by a bachelor’s. This results in debt and the delay of traditional adulthood accomplishments (career, marriage, family)

Loss of Financial Recovery – The phenomenon of student loan debt is a cultural monster, often fed by forces beyond a student’s ability to process. 18-year-old optimism can suddenly become a 23-year-old’s disillusionment.

One thing is sure:

The short-timed social era where farms were abandoned for cities, where kids had nothing immediate to do other than to create an adolescent bubble, hang out, fall in love and get married….is long gone.

The complex world of sexuality, where students often spend 15 or more years in adult-ready-bodies, requires your help. It’s possible that this challenge may be partially met by arranged marriage, coaches and mentors who deeply enter the lives of single professionals. One thing is certain. Risk taking almost always carries a gender expression. If you’re meeting with a young man or young woman, your advice- if followed- will usually lead to godly masculinity or femininity.

But beware of the extremes as they generally backfire:

Extreme #1 – Where one’s reputation for match-making is so ambitious that it becomes their identity. Young singles sense this a mile away and cross to the other side of the street.

Extreme #2 – Buying into the old mantra that students should finish school, land a career, pay off student loan debt, save a gazillion dollars and buy a house- all before marriage. Good luck doing this before 40.

So, what could godly coaching look like?

  • Let God bring it to you. As you work with students and single professionals, work on first things first. Their love for God and his community
  • Pray for their private lives, including their deep longings for marriage
  • Assign risks in areas where their behavior seems counter to what they really want
  • Demonstrate trust in God as you overcome your own stage-of-life fears through faith
  • Invite them to activities where significant interaction with marriages and families occur
  • Point out a good match from time to time for them to process godly character
  • On rare occasions, arrange a blind date

Because of an increasingly complex culture, customized coaching is a growing need for our younger generations.

The Bizarre World of Dating

Check out dating“>Andy Stanley’s new book:

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Andy offers a fresh new look at many of our cultural complications. I’ll highlight two:

1.  Who is “old fashioned?” Culture stamps marriage (preserving sexual intimacy for a lifelong commitment) as outdated. But Stanley turns the tables and says if such a though is old fashioned, then current culture is absolutely ancient:

“I may be old-fashioned, but you predate old-fashioned by centuries. You’re ancient. You are so ancient you make my old-fashioned look space-age. Here’s why. In ancient times women were treated like commodities. In our vernacular the term commodity is used in economic or business contexts to describe an item with commercial value. Things such as real-estate, oil, gas, gold and silver. We place a value on these items and then use them however we want. There’s no personal or emotional attachment to a commodity. A commodity is an impersonal means to a personal end.” (Pg. 102)

He goes on to explain why both men and women are complicit in this line of thinking via the hook-up and porn culture. Modern sexuality has gone commercial, a mere commodity to be bought and sold.

2.  Conversation. The ongoing call for the parent is to stop thinking in terms of having THE TALK. The sex talk. Instead of a 15 minute talk, think in terms of a 15 year conversation. This represents a critical shift. Whether we parent early, middle or late adolescent children, an ongoing conversation takes the burden and pressure off.