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This weekend’s DNA starts with a funny conversation shared between my Dad and our middle son, James, who is having a ninja party this afternoon for his 9th birthday.

What’s a ninja birthday party have to do with your dating life?

Patience, grasshopper!

The back story starts with the fact that you can’t have a ninja party without karate chopping a board in two and my Dad was in charge of getting the right kind of wood that the boys will actually be able to break through (without risking limbs or lawsuits).

Here’s the conversation…

My Dad: What size board were you thinking we should use for the karate chopping test?
{James then goes to the garage and returns with a piece of wood that was about the thickness of a desk or table top.}

My Dad: James, that would be really hard to break!

James: Yeah, for normal boys, but this afternoon we will all be ninjas!

Board-Breaking Expectations

“Yeah, but we will all be ninjas.”


It’s unlikely you’re attending a ninja party this weekend, but how realistic are your expectations for your next date?

Of, course you’re probably not planning on splitting the table in two during dinner (though that would make for a memorable date), but how about these expectations:

No Expectations

It’s just a date,” you might say.

So you don’t have ANY expectations at all? Really? Why are you going out one-on-one with someone of the opposite sex then? And even if you sincerely aren’t interested in anything but friendship, do you know whether the same is true for them? Is this “just a date” to them? Or are they hoping for more?

In a way, this is kinda like saying, “Well, it’s just a fire.” Of course fire can be safe, but you have to be mindful of it’s potential danger lest things get out of hand pretty quickly. Why wouldn’t you want that same sort of mindful intentionality when it comes to affairs of the heart?

Everything has to be perfect!

Perfect? Like your future wedding day? And your future marriage? And your future kids? And the board-breaking ceremony at their future ninja birthday party? No pressure there!

Be mindful of the present, and let your date happen. Plan ahead, pray ahead and then enjoy your time. Have perspective when it comes to disappointments and have a sense of humor about the awkward moments.

If this is “the one” then I’ll “just know.”

Sounds more like a Jedi than a ninja.

Actually, that “I’ll just know if they’re ‘the one'” feeling is a chemical reaction going on in your brain.

Is that how God leads you to know other things? You don’t “just know” Jesus. You have to grow in relationship with Him.

A date only lasts a few hours, but meaningful relationships take time to grow.

Sex isn’t going to hurt anyone if we protect ourselves from physical consequences.

Sexual activity is about so much more than the physical. It’s not just another workout routine.

If sex was merely a physical act, a condom might save the day, but it also happens to be chemical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological. Oh yeah – and relational. And even if you don’t care about yourself, perhaps you should care about your date.

Sex is wonderful, powerful and DANGEROUS. A ninja may be able to make themselves invisible, but heart wounds don’t just disappear.

We’re just going to make out, but we won’t go as far as last time.

Yeah. And you’re going to smoke pot, but not inhale.

Sexual intercourse was meant to be just that – a progressive conversation between two people. And a good conversation is supposed to lead somewhere. That’s why it’s almost always so awkward to only go so far.

Further, the power of sexual arousal makes a 3/4-inch plywood board look like paper. So please, ninja warrior, determine to institute some sparring boundaries that will effectively keep you from falling into temptation.


That’s all I got for this week.


Ugh. It’s a fly. Let me get my chopsticks.

bzzzzzzzzz >SNAP!<

A dating life that leads to a life-giving, lifelong marriage doesn’t happen by accident. You need to know what you’re doing.

That’s why I wrote Date Like You Know What You’re Doing to empower you to:

  • Discern God’s will for your dating life.
  • Avoid heartbreak, rejection, and regret.
  • Date with confidence and clarity.
  • Win the war over sexual temptation.
  • Let your marriage hopes inspire, instead of impede your dating life.

Learn more here!