Are you Christian, single and want to mingle, but have found very few prospects at the church you call home? If you feel like the clock is ticking and you're tempted to embark on a church quest to find your mate for life, Pastor John Piper has seven questions he thinks you should consider before changing pews.
1. HAVE I ASKED OTHERS FOR ADVICE?
Piper: "Do my elders approve of my move? Have they given their counsel? Don't be a lone ranger Christian, seek wisdom from those who know you and your situation best."
2. WILL MY ABSENCE BE FELT?
Piper: "How much would I be missed? How much harm would I do if I left? How much am I needed here?"
3. WILL I HAVE A CLEAR CONSCIENCE?
Piper: "Will I honestly be able to throw myself into the ministry of a new church with the authentic sense that I love the people here and I want to serve them? Or, will I be tempted to feel like I'm just using these people? I'm just showing up here for reasons that don't have to do with so much what the church is about?"
4. HAVE I EXHAUSTED EVERY OPTION?
Piper: "Have you really exhausted all the proper ways one might connect with Christian young women of your age? For example, have you been open with a network of family and friends whom you love and trust, and [told] them that you're really open to their suggestions? We don't do arranged marriages in the West, but many good marriages have been partially arranged by other people who know him and her."
5. WILL I KEEP CHANGING CHURCHES?
Piper: "If you go to this new church and nothing happens there, will you move again? Would that put you into an unhealthy situation of defining your life around wife-seeking?"
6. AM I TOO FOCUSED ON FINDING 'THE ONE'?
Piper: "Have you seriously considered whether you might want her too much? Not that it's bad to want to be married, but ask the Lord to make plain to you, 'Do I want this too much? Is it out of proportion in my life?'"
7. DO I TRUST GOD TO WORK IN HIS OWN TIME?
Piper: "Do I trust the sovereign grace of God to do this for me in His time? There is a proper balance between trusting God to do a thing, and taking initiatives that are fitting for a young man to make."
The question on church-hopping for love was asked by a 20-something male listener from Northern Ireland in episode No. 262 of "Ask Pastor John." Listen to Piper's full explanation on church-hopping for marriage prospects in the audio player below, or online.