Who Defines the Relationship? DTR’s

Friday, January 30, 2009

Many young people are searching frantically for dates and romance.  In the process, they rarely guard their hearts and are devastated.  God is not central to their search for their latest love interest, i.e. their crush.  Of course, we don’t use the term “crush” once we leave junior high because it sounds childish.  Well, “a rose by any other name…”.

There is a way to approach these things maturely, but it is counter-cultural. Requesting permission from the father to pursue a young woman is rarely admired.  It is perceived as antediluvian.  Even some Christian brothers scoffed at me when I pursued my wife this way.  Notwithstanding, God blessed the pursuit, and I am still baffled at how he brought everything together.

My wife is my sister and my bride (cf. 1 Tim 5:1).  She doesn’t have the same earthly parents.  She has been adopted by God into the covenant family.  God has done the same for me.  Therefore, she is my sister.  She was my sister before my wife.  I had to account for that in my pursuit of her.  She did not belong to me but God.  I had to answer to him for my treatment of her.  Then she became my bride.  The relationship has been defined by God from start to finish.

Recently, I have heard the term “DTR”.  This means “Define the Relationship”.  This term is for little boys who want to play with girls without commitment.  It is for unguarded girls who allow themselves to become attached to a little boy without thinking.  After the little boy and the little girl have a friendship that is too close to be just friendship, one of them wants to have a DTR:  “Are we just friends; what are we?”  This is a mess.  This little boy is not treating this woman like a sister.  This little girl is not holding him responsible for being her brother.  Instead, selfishness wins out.  They want to define the relationship.  However, God has defined it: brother & sister.  Boys, quit test-driving your sisters.  Girls, quit acting like the closest used-car dealership.  Then you might one day be men and women.  Until God defines the relationship as man and wife,  you are siblings only.

God is not honored when Christians use each other.  God is honored when they serve each other.