Monday, May 12, 2014
An Ounce of Prevention: 'Recognize the Mate God Has Approved for You'
I'll tell you what caught my attention about the following article:
"GOD WILL NEVER GIVE YOU A GIFT THAT WILL REPLACE HIM."
And do you know one way to know if you are close to teetering on putting a gift before the Giver (which has some crazy consequences in Romans 1, by the way)? It's how much you to talk to God about a man vs. how much you simply commune with God, period. And yes, the author is right. It would be totally irresponsible for God to give you someone to worship. A husband is a blessing but they are not to be your all and all. That's the Lord's position and he is a jealous God (Exodus 34:13-16).
Something else I like about the article is how it has 12 points that start with "think twice". Marriage is not a boyfriend/girlfriend situation where you can break up on a whim. It's a commitment that is *very serious* and breaking vows to God comes with some serious consequences (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7). Therefore, here's another straight copy and paste:
God loves marriage. It was His design from the very beginning and marriage was not simply created for the purposes of pro-creation. God hates divorce and it is His intention that you marry the right person so that you may have a fruitful partnership in His Kingdom. If you are already married, read this article and evaluate how you and your spouse measure up to God’s standard.
If your spouse is not a Christian, pray into these areas and trust God to save them and work in the areas mentioned below.
Marriage is sowing ground where you sow your patience, love, enthusiasm and watch it multiply in those around you who celebrate your presence. Eyes require a view. Ears require sound. The mind requires thoughts. Aloneness creates vulnerability God knew it. “And the Lord said, it is not good that the man should be alone” Gen 2:18.
GOD WILL NEVER GIVE YOU A GIFT THAT WILL REPLACE HIM
A mate is not designed to produce your joy. The presence of God creates your joy. “In Thy presence is fullness of joy”” Psalm 16:11. Your mate is a gift from God to you. That gift is intended to protect your focus, reduce distractions and create a climate of protection.
Focus often creates blindness. When you are looking North, you cannot see South. Someone else is needed for your protection, so, God provides the gift of a mate. Unfortunately, some who qualify for our attention are often unqualified to receive our heart.
POINTS TO CONSIDER:
1. Think Twice If You Do Not Possess A Passionate Desire To Give To Them. The proof of love is the desire to give. Jesus explained it. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” John 3:16. Too often, marriage becomes an exchange. Exchange is the evidence of business, not love. You should desire to give time, God’s gift to you.
2. Think Twice If They Do Not Possess A Passionate Desire To Give Back To You. I am not referring to expensive gifts, money or clothes. A listening ear, flexibility, patience and the willingness to be corrected are gifts.
3. Think Twice If Your Personal Achievements Do Not Create Excitement In Them. When good things happen, who is the first person you desire to phone? Pay attention to that. Celebration is a compass. Those you love to celebrate with are clues to the puzzle of your life. When uncommon love exists, uncommon celebration is normal. Uncommon love does not compete with the success of another. It tastes and savours and enjoys the pleasure of another.
4. Think Twice If They Have Not Been Captivated By What Has Captivated You. Several years ago, a lady excited me, yet the relationship struggled. Something simply could not seem to ‘catch fire.’ She did not enjoy sitting with me when I wrote my books. She enjoyed play far more than the presence of the Holy Spirit. A minister explained gently to me, “Mike, she simply has not been captivated by what has captivated you.” It is not enough for your mate to be captivated by you; they must be stirred by the same thing that stirs you. I often speak at women’s conferences, I always emphasise that you cannot know a man by studying him. You know a man by studying his focus.
5. Think Twice If You Have Lost Your Desire To Impress Them. I watched a wife wave good-bye to her husband one morning. She was at the front door waving. Missing buttons on her gown, breakfast stains and hair in rollers – she was everything a man wants to forget. I understood why he was so excited about driving off to work…where someone would greet him at the door with a bright smile, pressed clothes and perfume. You are a walking message to those you love. Would you fly on a plane with seats broken, egg on the tie of the pilot, missing buttons and torn seats? Of course not. You would think, “That’s visible damage. What else has not been corrected in the engine?” Something is wrong when you no longer desire to present your best to your mate. I was so impressed one day when I saw a friend’s wife set the table with fine china for her husband. She explained to me, “The most special person in my life is my husband. He is the king of this house.”
6. Think Twice If They Never Ask Quality Questions Concerning Your Greatest Dreams And Goals. Questions reveal desire. Questions reveal humility.
7. Think Twice If They Ignore Worthy Counsel From Qualified Mentors In Their Life. Who are their heroes? You become like those you admire. You adapt the habits of those you envy. Who is their dominant mentor? At whose feet do they sit consistently? If they rebel against the counsel of their pastor, they are living undisciplined, uncovered and unadvised. Tragedy is scheduled.
8. Think Twice If They Have Not Yet Impressed Their Pastor. I was attracted to a lady and inquired about her to the pastor and his wife. They exchanged glances and said quietly, “She has come a long way.” I understand preacher talk. That simply said, she is a long way from where she should really be.
9. Think Twice If You Do Not See Continuous Improvement In The Relationship. Improvement is revealed by the decrease of conflict. Conflict occurs through opposite goals, philosophies or beliefs. Bonding should increase unity and brings a decrease in contention and strife. Strife is the evidence of opposite belief systems.
10. Think Twice If They Show Little Remorse Concerning Their Past Mistakes And Sins. Repentant people are not arrogant. Repentant people do not blame others for their decisions. Memories of mistakes should produce sorrow and heartache. When regret is not expressed the offence usually occurs again. Some people never repent for the past mistakes. Why? They have not tasted the painful consequences of their rebellion. They do not possess a true fear of God. They believe they are beyond judgement. It is futile to pursue a relationship with someone who does not possess an obvious fear of God. Uncorrected conduct becomes repeated conduct. The fear of God keeps a mate faithful. Beauty will not. Your beauty does not make another woman ugly. Beauty cannot guarantee faithfulness, the fear of God keeps us faithful. It saddens me to watch some mentors of women teach the art of manipulation, intimidation and deception to deceive the men they are pursuing. You’ll never respect anyone you are capable of deceiving.
(I feel led to put #11 and #12 in context. Think twice if their constant idea of entertainment is spiritually compromising or feeds into their weaknesses. I actually know a lot of people who are excited about being around unbelievers because that there where they are called to serve. And that's more than OK. So long as they're disciples [John 17]. Just wanted to mention that.)
11. Think Twice If They Enjoy The Climate And Atmosphere Of Rebels. I met a very striking lady who was a brilliant conversationalist, classy, elegant, knowledgeable. Something did not seem quite right, but I ignored it. One day she exclaimed excitedly, “Oh, I just love working with homosexuals. I would rather work around homosexuals than anyone.” She was unoffended by sin. Obviously, God loves every one of us regardless of our sin. However, anything that grieves the heart of God should grieve us. If you insist on dating someone comfortable with rebellious, stubborn, arrogant, God-despising people…you will be heartbroken.
12. Think Twice If The Atmosphere Of Unbelievers Excites Them. I once heard the wife of a preacher say, “I just love to go to the shows in Las Vegas. I enjoy Tom Jones and the atmosphere so much. He excites me!” Was I shocked over their divorce later? Of course not. The atmosphere of the ungodly excited her flesh and she fed it. I love the presence of God. I crave His Voice. I am ecstatic over His Word. My favorite atmosphere is not a curse-saturated, filthy-joking, beer-drinking crowd. My favorite atmosphere is the House of God with hands uplifted, loving and worshiping the One who created me. You have no future with someone who fuels their passion in the atmosphere of the ungodly.
One more time for the gals in the nosebleed (eh hem denial) section (LOL):
GOD WILL NEVER GIVE YOU A GIFT THAT WILL REPLACE HIM!
And that'll preach!