God in the center of our relationships

Archive for the ‘Grace’ Category

I could have kissed her last night.

ImageLast night I fetch my fiancée nurse Ayi from the hospital to send her home.
She should be out by 10pm but something unexpected happened with her patient that why she was dismissed late and I was able to send her home around 12 midnight.

We really made the most out of our traveling time while we were on the cab on our way to her home. We talked and shared about the thing that has happened on that day, good and sad news, we talked about my latest blog and our plans and goals for this season.

We really had a great time together even in just less than one hour ride. It’s as if we just meet each other recently, we could stare and smile at each other’s face all day and all night. But I need to leave , need to rest too. And so I had my forehead near her forehead to say my goodbye. then I stared at her lips and told her, ” You know what, I could kiss you now but I won’t. I could figure out good reasons why I could kiss you now but I won’t present them because of the following reasons;

1. I love my future wife more than my fiancée.
2. Until we get married, she is not yet mine.
3. I want to honor and treat her as she deserve.
4. I love God and I want us to be pure and holy before him.

These are all good reasons why I didn’t kiss her yet that night. One can say there’s nothing wrong with a kiss, its not a mortal sin. But my motivation could be because we want to take PRIDE of having “it” as one of my accomplishments (to look and feel good that we’re pure, holy and obedient Christians) that the first we did “IT” was only on the very night the minister says “you may now kiss the bride” BUT we miss the real point of WHY abstain from premarital sex and have our first kiss on the altar.

Following Pastor D’s example,

“… Because she is a daughter of God. Jesus gave His life for Ayi and Jesus is entrusting her to me. I want to treat Ayi with love and respect as Christ loved her by totally relying on the GRACE of God and not on my own because I know left to myself I , I CAN’T stay pure and holy without Him in the center (first priority) of our relationship. Without His GRACE, our righteousness and good deeds are all “filthy rags” in His sight.”

Inspired by Pastor D’s blog. “The first kiss, the virgin and how I totally missed the point”.

We are here… CHRISTmas!

God’s plan for your mate

Ever heard of “S.M.P. Samahan ng Malalamig ang Pasko? or Samahan ng Malalamig ang Valentines” (Christmas/Valentines lonely hearts club) I can still remember last year when I was lonely because I’m still single with no girlfriend. 😦

I’m  always amazed and overwhelmingly grateful of God’s GRACE which He always pours out for us, in how He has brought me into this season of being “in a relationship” (before I went into this relationship I’m already sure she is the one). And I can still remember almost 8 years ago, I was a member of our  youth group  (back then we use to call it “YOF or Youth on Fire”), It was february “Love month” when our youth leaders, talked about relationships.

Start praying for WHO you end up marrying. That is a brilliant idea!, I said, Then I said I may do it as early as now. Here’s what I’ve realized.

You can get to support someone spiritually and since you know what you want in a guy/girl, you KNOW exactly what to pray for, for we know how hard it is in this society (our culture) to be a man/woman who is faithful, strong in conviction, pure, honest, and a ton of other things they need to be to be rooted in God.

Yes as early as now you can start praying for your future mate, even if you haven’t met him or her yet. Start praying qualities or traits that you want your future partner to have. But never expect that the person will be perfect because that person won’t happen. Our youth leaders gave each of us an article which have made a great impact in my life. I want you to prayerfully receive and believe these God message and promise for You, yes You.

On His Plan For Your Mate

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively.

But God says to a Christian, “No, not until you are satisfied and fulfilled and content with living, loved by me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me alone.

I love you, my child, and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you.

You will never be united with another until you are united with me, exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or longings.

“I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you that most thrilling plan existing, one that you can’t imagine. I want you to have the BEST! Please allow me to bring it to you.

You just keep watching me, expecting that satisfaction, expecting the greatest things, and know that I Am. Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you. You must wait!

“Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry.

Don’t look around at the things others have received. Don’t look at the things you think you want. You just keep looking off and away up to ME, or you’ll miss what I want to show you.

“And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you would ever imagine.

You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready (I am working this very minute to have BOTH of you ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied exclusively with me and the life I have planned and prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with me…and this is perfect love.

Dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with myself. Know that I love you utterly, I am God Almighty. Believe and be satisfied.”

–Author Unknown

Isn’t it incredible? I was amazed and I so wish I knew who wrote it. If you read it once quickly, go back and read it again, think about what it says, and think about how you date and why.

I must say that every single Christian should read this. It’s short, simple, and impactful, and can change our outlook every time Christmas and Valentines come. Don’t mind the people saying “Kasama ka nanaman sa S.M.P. Samahan ng malalamig ang Pasko” (Lonely hearts club).  God loves you so much, He is concerned of every area of your life, He wants to be part of it, including your LOVE LIFE! Yes, your very own Love life! Let that give you security and assurance that He is knows it all and He loves you so much more than your thoughts and imaginations!

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Love for Real or Reel? “Quest for the Real Love” (part 2 of 2)

by Christian Ongtangco

We’ve finally arrived to the 2nd part of this blog series I wrote 3 years ago, ( see part 1)

I was in the hospital while writing this down, I wander why do we call the sick people “patient” was it because they have to wait first in order get treatment and healing they need? I know you already have an idea of the  mostly quoted verse in the Bible when it comes to “Love” in 1st Cor.13:4, The first characteristic of Love is Patient…. and it goes on in saying that it is kind, self-less, it trusts, hopes, and always perseveres…it never fails.

After writing my previous blog, Lots of people started asking me different questions like,” Ikakasal ka na ba? (Are you getting married) ” What inspired me to write these blogs? (You have to know this was 3 years ago, but now I so glad to say we’re getting there!). Do you think you have the right to write about it even if you’re not yet married?

on Part 1, we saw how Love that’s for REEL looks like, The World’s prescription of Love. Now I want to share to you another model. Let use share to you what I believe to be the 4 kinds of Love;
1. Eros
– is what we call Erotic love. refers to “intimate love” or romantic love.

It is present in couples in a relationship, the lover and the beloved who are in boyfriend-girlfriend , fiancé-fiancée (must have guidelines) and husband-wife relationship. this is what what God longs for all of us to have.

Just like us God doesn’t want us to be with someone whom we are not attracted with. whom we don’t like and see ourselves growing old with the other person. This kind of love can be very powerful that “any mountains can be climb, anything can be done” out of this kind of love. This is a gift from God which every couple will fight for, for the rest of their lives.

This is where emotional and physical attractions are so much involved and must be backed up by Commitments. always remember, Love is a choice, a decision and a commitment . . .  not just a feeling and all emotions. Otherwise this can be deadly and poisonous if expressed prematurely, wrong person, wrong time. you may see “Fight for purity“. For couple who are not yet married (like us) Let’s not get involve physically until the right time. God’s timing is good, pleasing and perfect. (Rom 12:2)
2. Phileo

– the next ingredient is True friendship, this is where understanding, and intimacy partners share, being best friends, that’s where time, and walks and communication and sharing hearts is present. Brotherhood ,sisterhood (bff) bestfriend-kind-of-love.

This kind of love from friendships  are based on pure delight in the company of other people. People who drink together or share a hobby may have such friendships. Where both friends enjoy each other’s characters.

Mr. Webster puts like like this “As long as both friends keep similar characters, the relationship will endure since the motive behind it is care for the friend. This is the highest level of philia, and in modern English might be called true friendship.”

In my own opinion, You can have all the “Eros love” in the world and both of you are truly madly deeply “in-love” with each other but if you two where not friends, that relationship is still superficial and it can’t last. all the more when wrinkles , “ugly spots” , weaknesses and problems arise couple need to be friends who will be partners and work like a team and friends who will help, support, serve prioritize and understanding each other.

3. Storge

Family love – this kind of love is not mentioned but has been described and demonstrated in the bible. its is the love we give and the love we receive in our family. Parent to child/ren. Father or mother-to-a-child kind of love.

4. Agape

– and last and most importantly Agape Love.  The love of God or Christ for mankind.

it refers to the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow man. Many have thought that this word represents divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful Love.

We know God is the source of this love. Here we ourselves to be God’s conduit, channel of love towards one another. God’s amazing love can be seen, manifested and experienced through each others’ life and desire to unconditionally love. It’s the idea of being brother and sister in Christ, loving one another radically, That’s giving the other person what they need the most when they deserve it the least.

Agape love is doing what you choose is right (in light of God’s love) because you care, not because of what you feel. Partners always encourage each other to come to God first and foremost. This is why God has to be in the center of every relationship (Ecc 4:12)

I think by this time, you know what’s on my mind,  Yes you got it right. God prescription of Love;

Eros + Phileo + Storge = Agape Love

Agape love surpasses everything. Agape love in and through our lives.

Agape is Real Love

I believe all three needs to be nourished, If we want to have a long, lasting relationship (even for singles we need to know about this and be equipped for the the future) all three must be present.
If you we’re saying it’s hard, difficult and impossible. My response to you would be a big Yes. No one can do it in their marriage and relationship. Because this is something unattainable by human efforts but I believe this is what God wants for us. left to ourselves you cannot do it, even the two of you cannot do it. that’s why we need God to be in the center of our relationship. Not by might nor by our own works but by His Amazing Grace (Eph 2:6-8), His great and unconditional love that is already made available for us.
We want to encourage you to invite God and make Him the center, our priority, source of all love and affection. Once He becomes the source, we will never ran out of love to give. you may want to see my other blog “In love forever”
If you like this post, please don’t hesitate to share, tweet, comment or subscribe to  our blog posts. We hope to hear from you too. Thanks a lot and God bless you!

Top Five Temptations Single People Face When Considering A Relationship

by Awaken Generation

These are the top temptations we see single people have to struggle through when considering a relationship…

#1 – Compromise! Hands down this is the first temptation…and I would argue that it is the girl that deals with this way more than the guy.  She begins wanting “Mr. Right” but will settle for “Mr. Right Now” if she perceives that all of her friends are getting married and she is not.  God has NEVER called His followers to compromise…EVER!!!  (And…ladies…if you are constantly having the defend the guy you are dating, then you know you are compromising.)

AND…ladies…if he is not pursuing you in a godly manner (which means he is not constantly trying to stick his hands down your pants) then drop him!

#2 – Believing That Marriage Will Solve The Struggles You Are Facing While Dating! Marriage is a magnifier…and if it is a small deal when you are dating then I promise it will be a BIG HONKIN’ deal when you get married!

#3 – Going Too Fast! Anyone can fool anyone for a short period of time!  You need to date someone “until the new wears off!”  If two people are in a hurry to get married then it is usually because they are trying to hide something from the other person…or because they just want to have sex!

#4 – Trying To Be The Person That The Person They Are Dating Wants Them To Be Rather Than Who They Are – If you are having to lie about who you are to date someone…then you need to break up today!  Ladies…DO NOT SAY you love football and want to go to games with him if you don’t know the difference between the offense and the defense.  Dudes, DO NOT SAY you absolutely LOVE chic flics and want to watch them for hours if doing so drives you crazy!  If you are doing things you HATE to do…but have refused to be honest and tell the other person the truth…then you are being dishonest with them.

#5 – Seeking Advice And/OR Affirmation From The Wrong People! Single people…please, if you want marriage/dating advice…then go to people who are actually married and have been so for a long time!

Why in the world would you ask a single person for marriage advice?  Why would you ask someone who has literally blown through relationship after relationship how to have a relationship?  Because they read a book?  Because they know some Bible verses?  REALLY?  If you want to know how to have a successful relationship…ask those who have one.

If you like this post, please don’t hesitate to share, tweet, comment or subscribe to  our blog posts. We hope to hear from you too. Thanks and God bless you!

Why the World is wrong about Marriage

by Jen Smidt

Flipping through a popular women’s magazine recently, I came across an article on marriage.

Since I am married and regularly teach on marriage, I was interested in what advice today’s culture would bestow upon me. I was not surprised and more than a little disturbed. While I did not expect that biblically sound wisdom would flow from the glossy pages, I did hope for something more than a completely self-absorbed, wicked plan for marital bliss.

“Good Advice”

I found myself immediately refuting each point with truth from Scripture–realizing that God, much more so than culture, has graciously shaped and redeemed my understanding of his purpose for marriage. The article claimed that couples stay in love by taking chances. The 3 suggested risks were:

  1. Call a time-out. Apparently, the happiest couples spend much of their time apart.
  2. Have another man in your life. The article claimed that friendships with men allow you to “experience that rush of newness.”
  3. Satisfy yourself. Enough said.

Good advice is just that…a suggestion that may or may not work. In the case of this advice, I’d call it downright dangerous. Spending large chunks of time away from your husband, flirting with other men, and seeking selfish pleasures are invitations to disaster.

God calls us to a vision and purpose for marriage that is radically different than how the world views this union.

Good News

Let me call you to something different than what this magazine offers: Good News. Here’s the revised version of the above list grounded in the good news of the gospel:

  1. Call a time-out with God. “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me” (Proverbs 8:17). As both a daily habit and in the midst of conflict, the happiest couples have regular time with God. They pray, seek, study and listen for the wisdom that comes from above. They look for ways to build oneness, not distance.
  2. Have another man in your life…his name is Jesus. “The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant” (Psalm 25:14). Friendship with Jesus is the only possibility for a life reconciled to God and a marriage that reflects his covenant made with us: I will never leave you or forsake you.
  3. Deny yourself. Over and over and over. Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). The greatest threat to your marriage is you. Seeking to satisfy yourself first is a surefire marital destruction plan. Dying to self is rooted in living in Christ. He alone makes self-sacrifice possible and pleasurable in marriage.

God calls us to a vision and purpose for marriage that is radically different than how the world views this union. May we be married couples that reject the world’s shallow and selfish advice for marriage and embrace God’s glorious call to selfless, Jesus-filled marriages.

Our sexuality is a gift from God. Fight for Purity.

I remember a few weeks ago a friend of mine ask me a question which I want blog about today. The question was “Now that you (Me and Ayi) are in a relationship, we’re there any temptations? Whoa! I admire my friend for asking that question showing real concern for us. And I really thank God for surrounding us with friends who love us and are really there to support and encourage, mentor, inspire us and pray for us.  (I also thank God for our leaders and friends who exemplified Godly lives, worth emulating of whom both of us are so blessed and inspired to have known.) Grabe lalim ng English ko hehe!

So how did I answer my friend’s question? I said “Ah Yes, Oo naman”.  All the more now that We have known each other more and we’re both “in love” with one another, the enemy, our sinful nature is there lurking around finding for opportunities to “steal, kill and destroy this God given relationship. So may I present to everyone reading this blog “We are at war ! “ against sin, against sexual immorality.

God warns us about sexual immorality. In Ephesians 5:3-7 (NIV) God’s word warns us specifically about sexual immorality.  “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people”.

Sexual immorality can control one’s life. What takes root through the power of suggestion quickly overtakes one’s entire life.  Sexual immorality is sharing God’s gift with anyone other than your marriage partner.  The word for sexual immorality covers everything including premarital sexual relations, adultery, pornography, living together without marriage, and more.

Sexual immorality is a false promise.  It promises happiness, but never delivers happiness.  It promises deeper love and intimacy, but leaves one empty and broken.  If you were a thinking intelligent person, you would pay attention to the place that sexual immorality has brought its own practitioners.  Does promiscuity satisfy?  Does fornication build a stronger marriage?  Does adultery lead to happiness?  Does pornography satisfy the soul?  Does it bring healing and wholeness? the answer is a big NO.

Sexual sin stirs the wrath of God. And it deeply angers God.  It profanes his holy nameIn Ephesians 5:6 (NIV) Paul says, “because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”  More importantly, It breaks the heart of our loving God. He desires and wants the best for us at the right time.

Our sinful nature is awfully powerful. All sin, but especially sexual sin, can be captivating and alluring and powerful.  It is so easy for us to push out into the currents of the sinful nature.  It is so easy to be fall into the trap of lust. It is so easy to let our curiosity get the best of us.  It is easy to cast aside all judgment and constraint, to silence our conscience, and to drift far beyond the boundaries that God has set for us. Dami na kinailangang ikasal kaagad unprepared and hindi pa sila ready.

With the click of a mouse, with the touch of a remote, with the turn of a page, with the curious second glance at a stranger, with an inviting gaze into another’s eyes, with a few seemingly careless words and innocent gestures, with the careful recalculation of our steps to place ourselves at temptation’s door, we can easily be swept downstream, far away, to a place of no return.

 Sexual immorality impacts everyone.  No one is exempt.  It is a male problem.  It is a female problem.  It is a youth problem.  It is an adult problem.  It is a problem for singles and for married couples.  It is a problem among senior citizens. When Paul says that there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality among us, he doesn’t put any qualifiers on it.  This word applies to everyone.

Our sexuality is a gift from God. Our sexuality when used according to God’s design, these good gifts bring joy and happiness.  But when these good gifts are abused, they produce brokenness and sorrow. When God’s design is abandoned, our sexuality can become a kind of curse.  When handled incorrectly, sexuality can produce brokenness and sorrow, cause pain, decimate life’s relationships, corrupt the heart, mind, body and soul, and steal us away from God himself.  We live or die according to God’s design.  We can either move deeper into joy and happiness by living within God’s will or we can break ourselves against God’s design. Pre-marital sex is not God’s plan for us. Sex at the right time is God glorifying. It’s part of His good ,pleasing and perfect will for us.

If you find yourself weak in this area, only God’s grace can help us and enable us to win war against lust but we got to declare war against sin first. Know that you are not beyond the grace of God.  God wants to forgive you.  He wants to fill you with his Holy Spirit to give you power and strength.  He wants to purify you from all unrighteousness

We choose to enjoy God. Our holiness is the fruit of delighting ourselves to Him. Good news, victory is already made available for us to claim. We have God’s help, His saving grace, and His salvation. Let us always keep in mind that everyday we are at war with sin, The devil’s plans and schemes, But God’s spirit is always there to remind us, warn us, strengthen, and teach us to say NO to any ungodliness and worldly passion to grant us victory. Victory is ours,so let’s claim it everyday. Pray unceasingly for the mind of Christ to keep us from any form of sin. We (Me and Ayi) really like this next verse, we even memorize it.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” – Titus 2:11-12

Everyone can be the devil’s target. You are not alone in this fight. Join us.We will fight this battle for purity and holiness against the sin of lust by the SUFFICIENT GRACE of God because He loves us so much and apart from Him we can do nothing. May our lives always bring honor and glory to Him.

If you like this post, please don’t hesitate to share, tweet, comment or subscribe to  our blog posts. We hope to hear from you too. Thanks and God bless you!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: