Sunday, November 1, 2015

"On Fire": (VIDEO) Are You 'Courting with Purpose' or 'Dating in Desperation'?

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"Afterward Lot left Zoar because he was afraid of the people there, and he went to live in a cave in the mountains with his two daughters. One day the older daughter said to her sister, 'There are no men left anywhere in this entire area, so we can’t get married like everyone else. And our father will soon be too old to have children. Come, let’s get him drunk with wine, and then we will have sex with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father.'

So that night they got him drunk with wine, and the older daughter went in and had intercourse with her father. He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.

The next morning the older daughter said to her younger sister, 'I had sex with our father last night. Let’s get him drunk with wine again tonight, and you go in and have sex with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father.' So that night they got him drunk with wine again, and the younger daughter went in and had intercourse with him. As before, he was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.

As a result, both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their own father. When the older daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Moab. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites. When the younger daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Ben-ammi. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites."---Genesis 19:30-38(NLT)


Yesterday...

I penned a devotional entitled "Don't Force a Blessing. From a Warning." If you're not on the devotional list and want a copy, shoot an email to me at missnosipho@gmail.com. It covers quite a bit of ground, but one of the main takeaways is "God's mercy is not to be mistaken for God's approval". The Holy Spirit provided me with that to say (Luke 12:12) and it's still resonating with me even now.


THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO GOT MARRIED UNDER GOD'S MERCY...
NOT GOD'S APPROVAL.

That doesn't make them any less accountable to their vows (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Malachi 2:16), but it is something that singles should keep in mind as they are making their own mate selection. As I was telling someone who got pretty disgruntled with me recently, marriage, with God, doesn't come with "my bads" and "do overs". According to God's will, way and purpose for marriage, short of death, we are to be married once. We are not *owed* another spouse when things don't go our way...or as we planned. Even in marriage, we must remember that we will have to answer to God on the other side of this lifetime. An amazing (and uncomfortable) article on this topic is "The Role of Marriage in the Kingdom of God". Click on it to see just how seriously God takes covenant no matter how casually the world---and sadly far too many people in the Church---do.

In connection to all of this...

The reason why this post leads off with the story of Lot and his daughters and their *flat out desperation* is because, to me, it goes in line really well with the devo. Those girls tried to force a blessing...out of desperation. As I checked out R&B singer Chante' Moore's UnSung story, which includes being married and divorced three times, a part of me wonders if she can relate. Shoot, I know I can. 

I mean, just look at what those women were on...

Because they didn't see any available men...
Because they feared that they would soon be too old to have children...
Because they didn't see marriage as being in the cards for them...

*They took marriage into their own hands*. 
NOTHING GOOD COMES FROM DOING THAT.
They got their own father drunk, had sex with him and got pregnant.

Here's the catcher: *They got their kids* (a lot of people force a marriage and get a husband too). Oh, but do some research on the Moabites and Ammonites sometime. Other than Ruth (who was a Moabite), there are not a lot of redeeming qualities that come from those tribes---and a part of me can't help but to wonder if it's because the root was not only *incest* but *desperation*.

Desperate: reckless or dangerous because of despair, hopelessness, or urgency; having an urgent need, desire, etc.; leaving little or no hope; very serious or dangerous; extreme or excessive; actuated by a feeling of hopelessness

Desperate people do reckless things...
Desperate people do dangerous things...
Desperate people always seem to have a sense of urgency...
Desperate people tend to make moves that are pretty extreme and excessive...

And one of the main reasons is because they feel hopeless.

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A Scripture that I quote oftentimes on this blog is Romans 5:5(NKJV): "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Although Proverbs 13:12(NKJV) does say that "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life", something that we must focus on is what King David was once divinely inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17) to pen: "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope." (Psalm 16:9-NKJV)

That's big, y'all!

In the moments when you might feel like you want to date (or sexually compromise or even settle on a person) out of desperation, because you feel hopeless, that is when you need to seek the Father (Matthew 7:7-8) for divine wisdom (James 1:5) about if it's *your flesh* that has you feeling that way. If that's the case, *surrender it to the Lord* because *your flesh can't be trusted*. In any way, shape or form. It's biblical: "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13-NKJV) Aside from the physical consequences that can come from putting your flesh above the will of God (Romans 6:23, Galatians 5:16-17), your flesh will have you out here thinking that *emotionally* you'll die without getting/having what you want.

That's dangerous!

Remember that hope is directly connected to faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1-NKJV) Oh, but please don't lose sight of what/who we are to put our faith in: "So Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have faith in God.'" (Mark 11:22-NKJV) If you're out here putting your faith in anything or one else before God, that is a form of idolatry (I Corinthians 10:14). Real talk. *NOTHING AND NO ONE IS TO COME BEFORE GOD. NOT EVEN YOUR DESIRES* (Exodus 20:3).

Desperation is the result of a lack of hope due to a lack of faith in God...
And when that's the case, it can cause you to not court with purpose...
But date in desperation.

Strange things, relationships and decisions tend to happen...
When that is the case.

If you desire to be married in a way that brings God glory, make sure your standards bring God glory. Let the attributes you look for in a godly spouse be far more focused on godly things than material things. And most importantly, set your eyes on things ABOVE**! The more you do this the less you will focus on all of the material things and more on what GOD has ahead for you! -via Quite Women Co <3:


So, just what is dating with purpose?
What does it look like?

I've shared a few videos from a "Dating with Purpose" series that I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) several months ago. Well tonight, I checked out another installment that was *so good*, I almost found myself transcribing the entire thing!

Here are some of the notes:

Husband: "I met her through her father..." (I like that because it made me think of God.)

Wife: "You can understand 'rest'...he's my daily reminder of grace." (Her views on her spouse.)

Husband: "God doesn't want us to learn by tribulation; he wants us to learn by revelation."

Wife: "God's best would be that it would be on his calendar and his time...he restores and redeems time when we choose to learn by experience rather than the Holy Spirit...when you allow Jesus to be enough for you, you really start living."

Husband: "It's important that we understand the whole purpose of why God has a man and woman come together, in matrimony, and that's for me making her the best ministry/woman of God that she can be and vice versa. From that place, you don't just want a 'yes'...you want 'God's yes' for your spouse...Lord, I don't just want a 'fill in the blank wife'. I want the one that you handcrafted...I don't want second-best."



Whew! They were such a breath of fresh air! It's worth every minute of checking out.

When it comes to us as single women, two of the greatest takeaways (to me) were these:

"The man that God has for you, he hasn't have to have arrived but he has to be on his way there."

"You'll know the man that God has for you because you'll be able to do more for the kingdom of God together than you ever could have apart." 

So many people I talk to who desire marriage overlook the second point! If the person you're seeing is not showing *clear signs via their fruit (Matthew 12:33)* that they can help you to do more for the kingdom of God with them than apart...what's the point? *'Marriage is a ministry' is not a cliche. It is a reality*. 

And one of the things that I personally liked so much about this couple is they exude what the Word says is in the kingdom of God: "...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17-NKJV)

Dating/courting with purpose, in part...
Is about allowing God to join you to the one you can do kingdom-building with.

Dating/courting with purpose is also about...
Not settling for *anything less* than an environment of righteousness, peace and joy.

Yep.
One way to know that you're dating/courting with purpose...
Will be if there is evidence of righteousness, peace and joy. (Righteousness is moral living, by the way)

If it's not...
*You know it's not*...
And you're remaining anyway...
There is a spirit of desperation somewhere within the situation.

*You deserve better/more than that*.
So is the person you're involved with.

Remember again, Lot's daughters' desperate attempt got them what they wanted...
But nowhere near in the healthy way or beneficial it could've been...
Had they put their hope in God...
Rather than feared their circumstances.

Plus, look at the degrading things that they put themselves through...
Directly due to that desperation.

When it comes to dating...
You basically have two choices:

You can court with purpose...
OR
You can dating with desperation.

PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO AND CHOOSE WISELY.

Adorn,

SRW

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