Monday, October 8, 2012

"On Fire": Signs That You're Ignoring the Signs

I know, right?

It just *keeps on churning out* right through here. Not sure why. But whatever the underlying cause is, please don't shoot the messenger. ;-)

While I was finishing up a deadline about an hour ago, an old episode of Cheers was watching me. Already, I found that to be a bit odd because while I liked it back in the day, it's not a show that I rush to watch in this present time (A Different World is actually more my speed). Yet, the episode was so "hilariously profound" that I actually found myself going onto YouTube to see if I could pull it up (the episode was "Simon Says" if anyone happens to find it).

Anyway, if you know even a little bit about the show, then you know that Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long) spent (or is it wasted?) *a lot of time* trying to make something that wasn't really working work. Well, in this particular episode, they went to go see a marriage counselor and after he told them (I so enjoyed this!), "You are an accident waiting to be married", Diane decided to devote all of her efforts into trying to get the counselor to reverse his decision. Finally, after coming to his hotel room so much and her getting on *his last nerve*, he told them that they were definitely meant to be. And she was smugly satisfied.

Hmph. Bless her heart and the *thousands upon thousands* of couples who are just like her. People who are given wise counsel, people with the handwriting on the wall, people with warning signs *left and right* and yet, they still want to try and make *something that is not*.

As the credits began to roll, I instantly knew that I saw that for a reason and that something needed to be penned on "On Fire". I prayed about it and the Spirit told me that he would share, not signs that you need to rethink about, slow down on or quite possibly even end your relationship, but signs that you're ignoring all of the signs leading up to those conclusions. Here we go:

SIGN ONE: You lie about your relationship. There is nothing like talking to the girl who claims she has met "the one" and then when you ask three major questions, she decides to be vague: "Is he a Christian?", "Does he want what you want?", "Are you two abstinent?" Now, if you're not a Christian and you're reading this, then the first and the last question may not really matter to you, but to everyone else, if you are in a relationship with a man who is not a believer (2 Corinthians 6:11-18), that is a surefire sign that you are in a less-than-biblical-ideal situation because a man can't fathom commands like, "Love your wife as Christ loved the Church" (Ephesians 5:25-32) if he has no relationship with Christ *or* the Church (not his mama's Christian; *he is*). As far as wanting what you want, it is *amazing* the amount of women (over 30) who will start a serious relationship with a guy who, well, doesn't want a serious relationship. If marriage is not on his radar and you decide to pursue something anyway and three years in, you have no *forward movement* to show for it, he is not "leading you on", you are dragging yourself behind him. And the abstinent thing? Well, one of the reasons why I like I Corinthians 7:23 so much is because it reminds me that I was bought with a price *and* so to put in a lot of "body work" without "marital payment", in some ways, is like it's own form of slavery. *Volunteer slavery, act that!* A lot of women know this and that's why they don't tell the truth when they are asked those kinds of questions about their significant (or is it insignificant?-LOL) other. But you're not hurting the inquirer when you lie. You're only hurting yourself.

SIGN TWO: You refuse wise counsel. Proverbs 24:6(NKJV) says, "For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety." Now, I know a lot of chicks who will get counsel, but it ain't *wise counsel*. Biblical wisdom is not like worldly wisdom. I Corinthians 3:19 tells us that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. Oh, but when someone is *desperate enough* (yet, another sign), they will customize their "counsel circle" to fit their own agenda. If it's women shacking up with their boyfriends who will say, "Sleeping around is how you keep a man", they'll enlist that counsel to justify fornication (or oral sex...just sayin'). If it's panicky women who think it's better to be in a relationship that's lacking than not be in one at all, they'll use those types as their "counsel cosigners" too. Yet, you know what? If you *really want* to be in a godly relationship, then you need counsel from godly people. That is the *true essence* of "wise counsel". Spiritually immature individuals are going to give you spiritual immature counsel (actually, it will be more like advice).

SIGN THREE: You keep lowering your standards. First, he needed to be someone who will pray with you and now it's OK so long as he goes to church with you every once in a while. First, he needed to be someone who was fine with just kissing and now it's OK so long as after he freaks you down, he doesn't spend the night. First, he needed to be attentive and romantic and now he just needs to send a text per day (did you know there is a whacked-out website called that supposedly helps you to decipher a text? What?!?). First, he needed to acknowledge your birthday and now it's OK so long as he gets around to it at some point in the week. You know what? Letting your standards drop? *That's what's weak*. A part of the beauty in being single is that you're supposed to be whole and complete enough (or at least working towards that place and space) that you don't have to compromise *standards*. Now, of course all relationships need some "rubber" in them to work. But it was Clementine Paddleford who once said, "Don't grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be." If you are giving so much that you are losing yourself, you are not in a relationship; you are connected to a parasite.

SIGN FOUR: You forgot that you even had a plan. I'm 38. This means I know quite a few women in their late 30s-mid 40s. Some of those women have told me that they want children, for example. OK, now I'll be the first one to say that if Sarah (in the Bible-Genesis 21) can get pregnant, *all of us can* (LOL). However, a (wo)man who fears God also deals with reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) and I haven't heard of another woman who is almost 100 pulling that off. My point? There is nothing like watching a woman claim that she has a plan for her life and yet, she'll *waste time* deviating from it in order to keep a *boyfriend* rather than leave the lane open for a *husband*. When a woman spends 2-3 (if not more) years of her *very precious time* with one guy and it doesn't work, *a healthy approach* is to take *at least a year off from dating* (any form of dating) to heal from it before *even beginning to think* about starting something new with someone else. This means, you have devoted, at least, 4-5 years of time that you won't get back. A woman who is serious about her future is not gonna let someone "wade" (rather than swim, you get it) in her "love pool".

SIGN FIVE: You find yourself defending questionable behavior. I know someone who is *always* defending her man's behavior. Whatever he doesn't do, she is *always* coming up with some justification for it. And you know what? It's been several years and no progress has been made. And the funny thing (in a sad way) is that when people try and tell her that she's worth more than that, guess who she gets upset with? It's not the guy who is not making a move. It's the people who remind her of that very fact. If you are always coming up with excuses for his behavior (or lack thereof) that's a *definite* sign that you're ignoring the signs.

SIGN SIX: You are acting like a wife as a single woman. OK, and why can you not see other people? And why do you use words with him like "faithful" and "cheat"? And why are you contributing to his bills? AND WHY DOES THAT SOUND A LOT LIKE MARRIAGE ONLY...YOU'RE NOT MARRIED (YET)? I was in a counseling session fairly recently and they asked me, "So, when do you start preparing for marriage?" My answer was "When you're engaged." Sadly so many people are so *wedding addicted* that they don't realize that the time of engagement is actually when *two friends who deeply love the Lord first and one another second* actually *transition* into preparing for marriage. Now, I'm a firm believer that the Lord prepares single women to have wife qualities, but it's pretty unhealthy to "assume the position" without an actual marriage. *When a man asks you to marry him*, that is when you know that he has *full intentions* on treating you like a wife and so you can start preparing to treat him as a husband.

SIGN SEVEN: Your spiritual life is suffering. OK, so he doesn't encourage you to worship but he does encourage you to have sex. He doesn't encourage you to spend alone time with the Lord but he does encourage you to be at his bait and call. He doesn't encourage you to do what's best for you, but he does encourage you to do what's best for him. *A godly relationship will ALWAYS have GOD at the helm of it* and evidence of that is that both people will spiritually flourish by knowing one another. If you two don't pray together, if you two don't learn spiritually from one another, if you two are not in sync when it comes to biblical truth...*your spiritual life is being placed in jeopardy* and take it from me, when you know this and you remain in the relationship anyway, that is one of the *greatest* forms of idolatry (Exodus 20:3). If you have feelings for a non-believer and you are a believer, all things are possible to them that believe (Mark 9:23). However, this means that *you* need to move out of the way and allow *God* to do his job. *No man* is worth your soul.

Yeah. Thanks "Sam and Diane" for that food for thought.

I hope we're not in so much denial that we all choke on it. (LOL)



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