Tuesday, April 26, 2016
"On Fire": Before You Even Start a Relationship...
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."---Philippians 4:8(NLT)
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that ALL SCRIPTURE serves a divine purpose. This means that none of the Word is designed to contradict itself. So, when we read verses in Scripture like Philippians 4, guess what? *Relationships are not exempt*.
And since we're to think about what is true...
Does it not make sense that we're to build our relationships on those verse same things?
Yesterday, a relatively new artist Yuna released a video. I instantly fell in deep like (I'm learning to honor the word "love" more and better--LOL). It's sweet. It's innocent. It's non-violating. It's the way the beginning stages of a crush/relationship should be.
Whew! I am *so thankful* for this kind of song *and* video. For a lot of reasons (big ups to the pretty lil' girl with the 'fro!). One includes Usher being married and not being all over Yuna and also her being *fully clothed* and still fly. She's actually been in the press a bit about refusing to take her clothes off. GOOD. FOR. HER:
"In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.
And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do."---I Timothy 2:8-10(NLT)
Again, nothing in the Word contradicts itself...
Nor does God's character change (Malachi 3:6).
Modest: having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions; free from ostentation or showy extravagance; having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent
You can be *stylish* and *distinctive* and *unique* and still be MODEST.
And honestly, modesty should be about more than how you look...
There should be a *modest approach* to dating too.
In walks two articles...
I'm going to just share some excerpts, but please read them both fully when you get the chance...
Pass them along to some of your single friends too.
"7 Ways to Tell if You Are in a God-Ordained Relationship" (excerpts):
You Are Equally Yoked-Christians
The operative word here is Equally yoked. By this I mean you are both Christians for starters and are both in a similar place in your walk with Jesus. If one of you walks closely with Him and the other barely knows Him, you are not Equally Yoked. You must have a strong Spiritual connection with one another. You must view and worship God in a similar fashion. You can talk openly about God and can spur each other on in your faith and walk with Christ. You should be able to pray together as a couple and pray for one another when you are apart. This prayer should come naturally and without hesitation. I cannot emphasize enough how critical this point is. It’s not enough that both of you believe in Jesus Christ. If you are not equally yoked spiritually, your relationship will unravel quickly...
If you are not Equally Yoked because one of you is not a Christian, your relationship is not ordained by God, because this is blatant disobedience to God’s Word. If you are not equally yoked because you don’t connect spiritually or one of you is more grown than the other, particularly the woman, you should prayerfully consider taking a break and seeing if time apart will bring the other person to a closer and deeper relationship with God. If not, then it is not a match. MOVE ON… Regeneration and transformation is evidence of a Spirit led life yielded to Him.
You Are Both Marriage-Minded
You both share similar goals about marriage; you are both ready for it. The time frame should be within one to two years at the most. If neither of you are ready for marriage, why are you dating? Recreational Dating is not advisable for Born Again Bible Believing Christians; it only leads to sin, which dishonors God, then God doesn’t bless the union. This ends up causing long term issues in the marriage by blurring the lines between lust and love.
Once lust and the physical aspect has already been introduced in the relationship, the waters are muddied and both parties cannot see or think clearly. This is also a warning sign that the relationship is not God ordained.
You Have Complete Peace
When your relationship is God ordained, it will be simple, uncomplicated, and should run smoothly. It won’t be perfect, but will seem effortless. Your schedules don’t collide. You both have time to go to church, serve God, and enjoy time together. Your lives converge easily without too much effort. Both your friends and families approve. There is no drama, fighting, or constant bickering. Peace will permeate your spirit when God ordains your relationship. When you think about that person, you smile and thank God for bringing you a perfect and wonderful gift. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father…” (James 1:17)
You Enjoy Being with That Person
Take away the iPhone, Facebook, Cable TV, games, and all media. If you were stranded on a deserted island with this person with only a bible, would you have the adventure of a lifetime or does getting a root canal seem more appealing? This is the true test of compatibility. When you can sit with this person without distractions and physical intimacy and can laugh, communicate, connect, and enjoy yourself, you are on the right track, because you have the foundation of a Godly Friendship in place.
The thought of this person gets you excited spiritually and emotionally. Out of all the people you know, this person is the first person you want to share your victories and trials with. Their presence and their input is what you look forward to at the end of your day. You see Jesus in their countenance and demeanor.
Communication, Communication, Communication!
When it comes to Real Estate it’s Location, Location, Location! But in a relationship, it’s Communication to the third power! You must be able to speak freely both ways. The best communicators are active listeners. They are also great at articulating their thoughts and feelings through speaking and writing. It’s best to find someone who can communicate at your level and listens intently to your every word. After all, we have two ears and one mouth. The bible tells us it’s better to listen before speaking.
Most if not all your friends and family must approve of your mate. These are people who know you, love you, and want what’s best for you. Sometimes we can get emotionally and physically caught up in someone and not see the “Big Picture.” This is where our friends and family come in. Their opinions and insights count. Obviously, be cautious of those who are not basing their opinions on Biblical virtues. But otherwise, trust them! If a majority of them disapprove of your choice, God is trying to tell you something. Don’t ignore their opinions. They are God’s messengers for your protection. Your relationship will not thrive in a bubble or a vacuum. God did not intend that for any marriage. If anything, your relationship is meant to be an illustration to the world of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love.
God Gives You a Supernatural Love for This Person
When God ordains a relationship, He gives you Supernatural examples to confirm His approval of your union. It won’t take years or months. Sometimes it’s a matter of hours or weeks to know you are in the presence of “The One.” Now granted, if you met in high school, then it will take years, but when you are at an appropriate age, it doesn’t take long to figure it out if God is in the center of your relationship. A man will be overcome with the desire to see the woman more often, while the woman won’t have time to fret over his intentions or feelings.
Ladies, if you are sitting around fretting over some guy who isn’t calling you or wanting to spend more time with you, give it to God. You could be wasting your precious time and energy on the wrong guy. Instead of being fixated on Mr. Wrong, focus on what you should be doing, which is serving God.
Next up: "9 Signs You Should Break Up" (just the bullet points this time):
When wise people around you are raising concerns about the relationship.
When they are not a follower of Christ.
When you are not moving towards marriage.
When you are not on the same page about sexual purity.
When you are living together.
When one or both of you need time to heal.
When you are not growing in affection towards each other.
When they push you away from Christ rather than towards Him.
Before you get married.
A GODLY RELATIONSHIP BEGINS WITH *TWO* GODLY PEOPLE...
BOTH ARE GOING TO BE HEAVILY-INVESTED IN ONE ANOTHER BECOMING MORE LIKE CHRIST!
Yuna's video, in many ways, is a visual metaphor...
If you're with someone, can people describe the two of you as sweet...innocent...non-violating?
So many people don't guard their heart (Proverbs 4:23) before even beginning a relationship...
Prayerfully this will remind us all how important it is to do so.
Marriage is designed to reflect divine covenant (I John 5:8, Genesis 2:24-25).
If "he's" not making you grow in God BY YOUR FRUIT (Matthew 12:33)...
And you're not doing the same for him...
WHY ARE YOU IN IT?
If you can't see indications of both, even from the first date...
WHY EVEN START?