Monday, January 28, 2013

"On Fire": 10 Signs That You're About to Waste Your Time

 

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."---Matthew 7:6(NKJV)

Dog: a domesticated canid, Canis familiaris, bred in many varieties; a despicable man or youth

Pig: a young swine of either sex, especially a domestic hog; a person of piglike character, behavior, or habits, as one who is gluttonous, very fat, greedy, selfish, or filthy; a slatternly, sluttish woman


OK...

First, the article itself is not really "dogging men" (that's not really a sport that I like to play). I was led to start this particular message out this way because the definitions of "dog" and "swine" should be *dead ringers* of people who you shouldn't date (including *selfish* men) and so if you are in this kind of situation (or you're considering it), Matthew 7:6 makes it quite clear not to "give" or *throw yourself* at these kinds of people. It really is a waste of your time and annoyance to them to try and use a dating platform as a rehabilitation tool.

Secondly, I'm not going to do a long intro to this because there are 10 points to touch on. A lot of you know that I am a Q&A writer for several platforms and with all of them, I have recently gotten emails from women who have spent several months or years with a guy with nothing (really) other than heartbreak (and perhaps an occasional gift and fornication-related orgasm) to show for it. As they are healing their pain, it's almost addictive (and a bit prideful) to put the blame all on the guy---"He didn't see how good of a woman I was", "He was too scared for a commitment", "He's such a jerk!"---when the reality is that if a lot of us simply applied some (if not all) of the following tips to our daily lives, a lot of the personal drama and relational mayhem could be avoided.

So, as someone who knows firsthand that one of the main things that Satan is a stealer of is time (John 10:10), a precious commodity that can not be gotten back once it's lost (yes, use today *wisely* everyone!), here are 10 signs that you are wasting your time in a dating relationship (or is it just a "dating situation"?):

1) He's not a Christian. Yes, 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 asks some pretty good questions when it tells us not to be yoked with a unbeliever. What *fellowship* does righteousness have with lawlessness? What *communion* does light have with darkness? What *accord* does Christ have with Belial? What *part* does a believer have with an unbeliever? Healthy relationships are to have a fellowship and communion that is like-minded; it's to be able to be on one accord and walk as a part of one another. However, the other point that I would encourage you to consider is that when you enter into a relationship with someone who doesn't believe the Word of God in the way that you do, it's kind of like two people speaking two different languages. You speaking broken Spanish and them speaking broken French may have a lot of similarities but something *always* gets lost in translation. One of the main causes of divorce is a lack of clear communication, right? Yeah. God knows what he's talking about (when are we really going to get that?!?).

2) He doesn't act like a Christian. Why oh why do people not think that demons come to church? They know where a lot of believers hang out. This is a part of the reason why I take 2 Corinthians 11:14 and the fact that it says that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light very seriously. Sometimes we're so...thirsty for a relationship that we treat men like mirages: we see things that aren't really there. Colossians 3:12-13 tells us what the character of a new man (a man of God) is to look like. It's to be merciful, kind, meek and longsuffering. It's to be full of forgiveness. Paul once spoke of being a man who put away childish things (I Corinthians 13:11). A "full grown Christian man" follows suit. I John 3:18 says that it's not enough to love with our words...there need to be some deeds to back it up. If you've ever seen the show Catfish on MTV then you know how easy it is to say you're one thing and be something else. That's definitely something to "take heed" about. A tree is known by the fruit it bears (Matthew 12:33), not by what it calls itself.

3) You don't act like a Christian. There are a lot of women who find themselves in some pretty jacked up relationships simply because their relationship with God is severely compromised. I will raise my hand in this particular class and say that it's a lot easier to put a man before God when God was never in first position to begin with (Exodus 20:3). All of that stuff that was just addressed about the guy? Yeah, look in the mirror (James 1:23-24) and see if any of it applies to you too. A Christian man *and* a Christian woman in a relationship is an example of two walking in agreement (Amos 3:3).

4) You haven't healed from your past relationship (or relationships). Look: If you are on a date with someone and in your mind you're comparing him with a guy from your past, do you and him a favor and cut it short. Psalm 33:15 tells us that God fashions us *individually* and that means that each person is to be treated in a distinctive and unique fashion. Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't learn from your (past) mistakes (or rebellion) and that if you see some "been there, done that flags" that you are to ignore them. But, what I am saying is that it's not a guy's job to prove to you that he's better than some other dude. It's his responsibility (Galatians 6:5--NCV) to be the best version of himself. If you're going to immediately put him on "the hot seat" or if he's going to hear you go on and on about your past relationships, you are not ready to date yet. You've got some (or some more) internal healing to do.

5) Friendship is not the top priority to you. There are a few women in my world (who are married, mind you), who advise women to tell guys "I date to marry". To them, it cuts out all of the ones who don't have marriage on their radar. While I get where they're coming from, take it from me, that is a lot of pressure to put on *any man* whether he's ready for marriage or not. Plus, you've skipped over one major component: *friendship*. Love is patient (I Corinthians 13:4) and when patience is able to "do it's thing" (James 1:4), you will find yourself lacking nothing (God says so). Telling a man "I date for a husband and we can be friends if you have marriage on your agenda" is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. Many marriages have survived the bad times because their friendship was the foundation that everything is built on. If you can't put your desire (or is it lust?) to be married behind the need for a real and true friendship (one that has no sex in it, by the way), then whether it's one date or 10, you're about to waste both his time and yours. Men tend to want to get to know the woman *and then* see if she is the wife for him. Not the other way around.

6) You're dating for the "wedding". He's dating for the "honeymoon". Hebrews 13:4 tells us that fornicators and adulterers will be judged by God and that the marriage bed is honorable. That said, look...you are not a victim for having sex with a guy thinking that you could put the honeymoon before the wedding and all would go well for you. Unless you were sexually assaulted (which is an entirely different blog and if you have been, feel free to hit me up at missnosipho@gmail.com), you participated in sexual sin. There was no deception there. Disciples of the Word (John 8:31-32) know that sex is for married couples. If the guy does not live by that standard...well, that's a breach in sexual purity that's just waiting to happen.

7) He has some unresolved relationship issues. A lot of times, this is discussed with divorced people but not the single ones who are dating them. There is a man in my world is who my "Hero of the Week" and it's because he broke off his engagement to a girl simply because he's divorced and he takes I Corinthians 7:10-11 very literally. The Word says *that God says* that a wife is not to leave her husband and a husband is not to divorce his wife; that if she does, she is to remain single or go back to her husband. I was telling someone not too long ago, "I can't believe how many people are remarried when I'm not even married yet" to which the Spirit (John 7:24) replied, "Yeah, I can't believe how many people are committing adultery either." OUCH. If you are interested in someone who is divorced and their ex-spouse is still single (meaning, not married to someone else), you have some real praying to do about if you need to pursue a serious relationship with them. Just because it's socially acceptable to date/marry people with a previous marital history doesn't change the fact that God speaks very clearly about  his resolve concerning it. The road to life is narrow *and difficult* (Matthew 7:13-14) and God takes marital covenant *very seriously* (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) whether the two people in the relationship choose to or not. Don't get yourself caught up in the middle of something that is not resolved *with God* yet. Yes, as much as he hates it, God can forgive a divorce (Malachi 2:16); however, he's quite clear on how that issue is to be resolved. Just something to think about. (A lot.)

8) You don't know what you (really and truly) want. Is there anything worse than being hungry but not knowing what you want to eat? It's so frustrating, is it not? There are a lot of women out here who waste their time and a lot of guys' time because all they know is they want to date a single guy that they're attracted to. The rest they'll just "figure it out as they go". A lot of confusion can be spared if you (and the Lord) have come up with a "this will work for me and this won't work for me" list before going out on dates. To get almost to a proposal before discussing that you don't want kids or that you want to travel the world, only to find out that he wants five children and a that he is a homebody can be...really sad.

9) You have no accountability. Oh, the "sneaky dater". What are we five-years-old and trying to get into the cookie jar? (LOL) It's *a huge red flag* when you are dating someone who the people in your life do not know about. Honestly, if you have nothing to hide, then for both your physical *and emotional* safety's sake, someone needs to know about "him" from the first date. And, as things progress, there needs to be someone *who is a mature Christian* (not one of your "kick it friends" who will only tell you what you want to hear) who you can (and should) bounce things off of. Views look very different from the outside looking in and I've talked to many people who wish, in hindsight, that they had been *humble enough* (Luke 14:11) to take wise counsel (Proverbs 12:15) into serious account. If you're too prideful to lay your relationship out on the table, you're not ready to go to a deeper level in it. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

10) God has told you that it's not time for a relationship yet. While some of us may ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) on if we are dating the right guy, what far too many of us don't do is ask him if we're even ready to date. Some of us need to heal from a past relationship. Some of us need some abstinence under our belt (this would include refraining from having sex *with ourselves*). Some of us need to focus more on our careers or the unbelievable amount of debt that we have. Some of us need to see a therapist (and that really is OK). Some of us simply are not ready for a relationship and so dating would prove to be, yes, a counterproductive act that could turn into a total waste of time. I have quoted Acts 1:7 (Message) many times before: "Timing is the Father's business" and what you will be given in the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you in the meantime as God makes you a true definition of single: *complete*.

Personally, I have spent a lot of valuable time not really believing (Mark 9:23) the assurance found in Ecclesiastes 3:11(NKJV): "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." We are to allow time to make things *beautiful*...not rushed or regretted or painful or compromised or ungodly.

We all deserve a *beautiful* relationship...in God's timing.

Don't waste your days, months and years settling for less.

Time's far too precious and so are you!

tmm,

SRW


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