God in the center of our relationships

Posts tagged ‘dating’

Advice for single people

by Shane Duffey here are some quotes from him…
• singles – have you ever considered praying that God would literally shape the eyes of your future mate to love exactly who you are?
• singles – have you ever asked Him to shape the mind of your future mate to complement and complete you instead of mimic you?
• singles – have you ever asked God to prepare your heart from the unexpected… instead of expected Him to give you what you think u want?
• single men – ball up and ask a girl out
• single men – treat all single ladies with respect (& as a friend once told me) lead her away from the curse instead of toward your bedroom
• single men – quit hanging with girls you have no intention of pursuing just to get your emotional jollies
• single men – ACT LIKE A MAN and not a middle schooler… they’ll be time enough for that once your married
• single ladies – quit thinking that just b/c a guy asked you out that he wants to marry you… just stop that!
• single ladies – stop rejecting date offers from guys just b/c God didn’t put a big sign over him that says “This is THE one”!
• single ladies – stop talking about a guy you may like with your other single friends b/c they’ll impose all their past hurt on him
• single people of all sexes – unless you want to live in arranged marriage countries… go on some dates … just act like you know Jesus
DANG!!!

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Does God Promise You a Spouse?

Written by Rob Eagar

Do wonder if God has heard your prayers?

Jennifer was a disgruntled, single woman at my church. She was thirty-six years old and complained that her life was slipping away. Six years had passed since her last boyfriend, and her dating life remained in limbo. Jennifer wondered whether her heart still had the capacity to love. Beneath her jaded disposition festered an undercurrent of resentment toward God.

After attending church regularly for over two years, she suddenly disappeared. Three months later, I bumped into her at a restaurant and asked her whether she had moved to another church. She replied, “No, I’ve quit church altogether. I just can’t bring myself to worship a God who would leave me in such loneliness.” Jennifer concluded that if she was ever going to let God back into her life, He’d better bring her a husband—and fast.

Does God promise us a spouse? The Bible says “yes” by describing Christians as the spiritual bride of Christ. Our true spouse is Jesus. Yet, many of us say, “I’m glad to be spiritually married to Christ, but I can’t feel Him. Wouldn’t it be better if I could enjoy God’s love with someone else? I want Jesus with skin on.” So, we pray for God to bring us an earthly mate.

The gripe for love

My search for a spouse turned into a cycle of frustration as I encountered numerous relational struggles and a wife who abandoned me six months into our marriage. I started to wonder if God actually cared about my romantic relationships. Whenever I felt particularly upset about being single, I would sit in my den recliner and gripe to God about the injustice of my social life. Knowing He possessed omnipotent power made it seem logical to expect a wife from Him.

Whenever I demanded that God rush me a spouse, however, He seemed to whisper this question in my heart, “Rob, is the love of Jesus Christ enough for you? Have you allowed My complete forgiveness and unconditional acceptance to satisfy your heart?”

In tears of resignation, I conceded, “I appreciate Your love, Lord, but all I really want is a wife.” I still believed that my heart needed the affection of a person in order to feel complete. In essence, I valued human love more than God’s love.

One day, I began to look back over my life and the numerous dead-end relationships from my past. In each situation, romance had started out with a bang but fizzled under the weight of performance-based love. No matter who I met, either I was too demanding or she couldn’t accept me for who I was.

Suddenly, something clicked within my mind. I thought, “Why am I chasing marriage when it cannot provide the unconditional love that my heart craves? Only Christ offers everything I need.” With this new perspective, I relinquished to God my demand to get married. I still wanted to find a spouse someday, but I no longer considered marriage necessary to complete my life. If I remained single for the rest of my life, that was okay—God promised to fulfill my heart.

When we demand that God bring us a mate, we block His love from enhancing our social life. The anger that we harbor builds a wall between us and Him. If we are honest with ourselves, we realize that our demand for marriage is a refusal of God’s love because we want our selfish desires met. God will never stop loving us, but we ignore Him when we desperately seek a human being to make us happy. Furthermore, whatever we depend upon for our happiness will wind up controlling us. If we believe that we need a human spouse to be satisfied, then people, rather than God, will dictate our lives.

God is in control of everything, but He does not intervene just to make our lives easy. He had no intention of making a woman magically appear and fall in love with me. Instead, God wanted to use His power to mature me into someone who would initiate sacrificial love towards other people. I wanted to get love, while God was teaching me to give love.

The freedom to love

Likewise, God is working in your life to help you meet and love other people. However, you make the final choice as to whom you accept and whom you reject. When you interact with another person, you have the freedom to decide which direction your relationship will take. You can choose to become romantic, just be friends, or end your time together and separate. In addition, the other person has a decision in the matter, which means he can influence the outcome. Consequently, a relationship will not develop unless both of you decide to love each other. On the other hand, if you or the other person make selfish decisions, your relationship may crumble.

The desire for marriage is a fair request, but the consequences of living in a fallen world can prevent people from reaching that goal. For instance, you can pursue someone romantically, but that individual may choose to ignore you, a crisis or illness could hinder you, or that person may decide to leave you. The sins of humanity create numerous barriers to good relationships.

Yet, why is life so hard sometimes? Why doesn’t God use His power to protect us from pain? Actually, God is at work, but in a different way than some of us realize.

God uses His sovereign power to encourage people to love each other, but He also allows us to make selfish choices that can tear us apart. God permits calamity so that we can experience His greatest gift – a free will. Without free will, you and I would be robots or lifeless, stuffed animals. Fortunately, God limits His power to let us make our own choices in life. Does your free will nullify God’s omnipotence? No, as Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord.” God is so powerful that He can allow you to choose and still work the outcome for His glory.

Why is free will so important? God wants you to enjoy true love, and true love cannot exist without a choice. If you were forced to love God or another person, then love would disappear, and you would be under manipulation. Free will is the key ingredient to true love.

I recognized the importance of this truth when I couldn’t get a date for my junior high school prom. I had asked several girls, but they all turned me down. Four days before the big dance, however, a friend told me about a girl, named Tiffany, who needed a date. Frankly, I wasn’t attracted to her, but I asked her anyway, because she was my only option.

During the prom, Tiffany and I attempted to be cordial, but it became obvious that neither of us had an interest in each other. We didn’t talk during dinner, we didn’t want to dance as the band played, and we didn’t smile as our pictures were taken. Most of the evening, we sat in silence and stared dreamily at the students whom we really liked. Through that ordeal, I learned that love cannot exist unless both parties freely choose to be together.

Therefore, finding an earthly spouse will not occur through demanding God to miraculously bring someone to your doorstep. Marriage is not a predetermined process that happens mysteriously. You will get frustrated if you believe that God mystically pairs people together. If God predetermines marriage, then why doesn’t He stop divorce? Instead, God lets us make the decision to love or the decision to leave.

The choice to love

God brings people across your path and encourages you to love them, but He lets you manage your relational responses. Thus, marriage revolves around deliberately making choices to love another person. You can improve your opportunities for romance by getting out and choosing to sacrificially love people. Or, you can opt for selfish or reclusive behavior and diminish your relational prospects. The quality of your social life hinges on the choices you make.

Does God promise you a spouse? Yes, as the bride of Jesus Christ. Does God promise you an earthly spouse? No, because finding a husband is a process, in which two people decide to sacrifice themselves for each other’s benefit. So, don’t let the goal of earthly marriage control your life. Otherwise, you will become miserable, because you cannot control the future or free will of other people.

God wants your spiritual marriage to be your heart’s primary source of love and acceptance. Earthly relationships are the avenues to express His love to others. The more you love other people, the more you increase opportunities for an intimate relationship to develop. God may not orchestrate a passionate romance on earth, but He promises a life of passion to enjoy with Him.

Questions:

Use the following questions to consider if your desire for marriage has become a demand:

  • Am I dating to find someone who can make me feel better about myself?
  • Can I feel content and thankful to God in my singleness?
  • Am I cynical about relationships with the opposite sex?
  • Am I afraid of the possibility of never getting married?
  • Is the love of Jesus Christ enough for me?

If your desire for marriage has turned into a demand, find encouragement by meditating on these verses: Philippians 4:6-13; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

We should break up because…

I think I should BREAK UP when/if…

#1 – The other person (usually the guy) ceases to pursue me and make me feel special/valuable.

(If he is a slacker before marriage…it will be HORRIBLE after marriage!)

#2 – If our relationship is based on sex.

(If you are having sex then you are not experiencing true intimacy.  SO…when you get married you are going to discover that you have nothing to talk about because you built your relationship with the hay and straw of sexual experiences and not the bricks of self control and discipline.)

#3 – If they are not fun then they’re not the one!

(Seriously…if you do not enjoy being with him/her and/ore spending time with them before the marriage…why in the heck would you ever think that you will after marriage?  Don’t marry someone that you don’t like–DUH!!!)

#4 – The Holy Spirit is pressing you to end the relationship.

(There are SO many people I’ve spoken with that KNOW the Lord is pressing into them to end the dating relationship…but because of their insecurities they just won’t do it.  If God is commanding you to give something up that means He has something greater in store.  Even though you can’t see it…He can!!!  I Cor. 2:9)

#5 – You KNOW you aren’t going to marry the person you are dating.

(Dating was not created to be some sort of hobby/sport.  So…when you KNOW that the relationship is NOT heading beyond its current condition…you KNOW that he or she is NOT the person God has for you…END IT!  Don’t date someone just so you won’t be alone…this situation ALWAYS goes bad because so many people get married “just because we thought it was the next step!”)

#6 – He/she is always flirting with other people…and/or he/she isn’t faithful to you before marriage. (If they AREN’T being faithful before marriage…they won’t be after marriage either!!!)

#7 – You think, “he/she isn’t who I want them to be…but I can change them.”

Please read this…

You are not God, You can’t change anyone!!!

God is the ONLY ONE who can change someone…

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10 Reasons I Should Not Be Dating Him/Her

by Perry Noble

#1 – They are not willing to fight FOR purity.  (Trust me…if they won’t fight for purity with you before you are married, then there is a greater chance they won’t fight for purity after you are married.)

#2 – If they are trying to get me to compromise with what God’s Word says so clearly.  (If they lead you away from God’s Word before marriage, they will do so even more after marriage…the way they have lived in their past and the way they are living now are indicators of how they are going to live when they marry you.  You cannot change them…you are NOT the Holy Spirit!)

#3 – If you are always defending him/her to the people who know me, love me and love Jesus.  (Love is blind…and many times you cannot see the blind spots that others can see so clearly.)

#4 – If you find yourself not wanting to talk about him/her in front of the people in your life that you know may disapprove of the relationship for some reason.  (Because…when this happens you are choosing to ignore what the Lord could be trying to make obvious through others because you are too involved emotionally to make a rational decision.)

#5 – If you know the relationship isn’t really going anywhere…but you don’t want to “break up” because doing so would cause you to be insecure, because you have allowed yourself to be identified by who you are dating rather than who you are in Christ.

#6 – You find out that they are lying to you.  If they lie to you before you are married, then they will lie to you in marriage.

#7 – If you cannot confront them about issues without them losing their temper.

#8 – If you discover that they are unfaithful to you.

#9 – If something about them absolutely drives you insane…but you convince yourself that after you get married “that problem” will go away.  (Actually…it won’t, it will get larger!)

#10 – If the Lord has specifically spoken to you and instructed you to end the relationship but you can’t/won’t because you either “don’t want to hurt them” or you fear that if you end this relationship then you won’t have another chance at 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!

10 Dating Tips for Christian Singles

By Dr. Linda Mintle

CBN.com – You are dating an incredibly good-looking guy. You both feel the attraction building up. What do you do? Now is not the time to decide! It’s too difficult to think when passion overtakes you. You must decide before you go on the date what your limits will be.

1) Do not be unequally yoked.

Take II Cor. 6:14 seriously.

Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? (NLT)

If you are dating someone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ, you are playing with fire. If you fall in love, what will you do? Don’t let the relationship progress to a physical point and then hope you can cut it off later.

2) Put on the armor of God daily.

You need all the help you can get in today’s world. Are you spending time with God? Do you depend on Him to meet your needs of love and security? You can resist temptation if you put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20).

3) Put obedience over passion.

Not everything we do that’s right, feels good. In fact, usually the opposite is true. It feels incredibly good to give in to passion. But, the authority of Christ needs to take precedence over your physical drives. Society tells you to give in to the moment. Christ tells you to be obedient to His word.

4) Physical expression must be appropriate.

Physical touch/intimacy should correspond with commitment. This doesn’t mean anything goes if you are engaged. Physical touch should be in the context of a meaningful relationship, not reduced to satisfaction of personal need.

5) Limits must be set mutually.

Both partners should take responsibility for setting limits. Mutual boundary keeping reflects maturity.

6) Examine your personal motives.

What is your motivation — power and control, gratifying your own ego, meeting a selfish need, or genuine affection?

7) Is there too much physical and too little other?

If the social, emotional, spiritual dimensions are missing or lacking, you are out of balance. If you can’t stand the person but have a great physical relationship, rethink the relationship.

8) Less is better.

If one person is uncomfortable with any type of physical expression, don’t do it. You should respect and honor each other. Don’t push a date to do anything that makes him/her feel uncomfortable.

9) Be guided by love versus lust.

Love is the fruit of the Spirit. From love comes self-control. Operate in love, not lust.

10) Allow the Holy Spirit to direct and lead you.

If you feel convicted of certain behaviors, stop doing them.

Special Note: If you are a teen, you must honor your parents and respect their counsel (Ephesians 6:2-3). You are subject to parental authority. Don’t be sexually active just because you can get away with it.

You may want to see Love vs. Infatuation

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!

Six Signs The Dating Relationship Is In Trouble…

a repost from Perry Noble’s blog

In working with college students and singles for over a decade…here are six signs you can use to see whether or not your relationship may be in trouble.

#1 – You Are Not Spiritually Compatible.

I hear it all the time, “But Perry, I know he/she is not a Christian, but dating me will change that.” Let me be very clear…God did call us to be missionaries, but not on the dating field. He is very clear in His Word that Christians and non-Christians should not date (II Corinthians 6:14-15). And trust me, this always leads to problems down the road–always!

AND…you are NOT the Holy Spirit–He changes people–and not through dating. “But Perry, I know this one couple and…” Yes, I know…you know a success story or two, trust me–I know MANY more stories that didn’t turn out so good.

One more thing on this–even among Christians you need to decide if you are spiritually compatible if the relationship gets serious. This will require some serious conversations and a serious seeking of Scripture on a personal level to really own what you believe and why. (I Peter 3:15)
#2 – You Have To Continually Defend The Relationship–Especially To Those Who Love You.

They say love is blind…and I would say that is just about right in many instances I have seen. He/she begins dating someone and, after a few dates the term “reasonable decision” is thrown out the window. People come to you, confront you…but you just won’t hear it because you are determined that this is THE one.  (If you say that with everyone you date–face it–you have issues!!!)
The Bible says in Proverbs 27:6 that wounds from a friend can be trusted. So, ask yourself, if your friends who love you keep expressing concern should you ignore it–OR–at least be willing to lay the relationship before the Lord to just see if He might be trying to communicate to you through your friends.

#3 – PDA

Couples who make out in public make me want to throw up! Lucretia and I were on an airplane once and the couple in front of us in their 40’s were on some sort of romantic fling. After the plane took off they reclined their seats (which REALLY cramped me) and then began a make out session. FOLKS–I SAW TONGUE! It was SICK!

It is great when couples affirm their love for one another publicly; however, is putting your hands in each others back pockets really that necessary?

PDA usually is prevalent when there is an extremely insecure person (or people) in the relationship. They think that by showing the world that they are practically obsessed with one another that somehow that will solidify the relationship–when it actually causes it to erode because a solid relationship is built on trust–and if trust is not present when two people are with one another–how can it be present with they are apart. (PDA guys usually tend to be overly possessive as well…and PDA girls…like it or not, have a reputation because people think, “If that is what she does in public–what happens in private?)

My advice–go with Ephesians 5:3 on this one!

#4 – Sex IS The Relationship

If you want to create insecurity, guilt, mistrust and confusion in a relationship…then by all means, have sex. BUT if you want the I Corinthians 13 kind of relationship that honors God then sex MUST be avoided…no matter what.

I have seen couples who really do love Jesus choose to have sex, thus creating a tension in their relationship with God and one another. (I almost said, “fall into the sex trap;” however, people do not trip, fall and accidentally have sex on the way down (oops, sorry about that)…it is a choice.) AND as a result of this choice the relationship no longer becomes about getting to know one another–it becomes about how the couple can manipulate time and circumstances and even other people so that they can get alone to have sex.

Sex is a STRONG temptation! But I Corinthians 10:13 promises us we can handle that temptation. I know it’s tough to not have sex before marriage, trust me, Lucretia and I dated for almost four years before getting married!!! BUT…we went into marriage with no regrets in regards to our relationship with one another–it wasn’t always easy…but it was the RIGHT thing to do.

#5 – You Hope That Marriage Will Change The Person. 

I say if often around here–marriage is a magnifier…if he/she is that way before marriage then they will REALLY be that way afterwards.

When you decide to get married you need to have an “as is” attitude–that meaning that you are willing to marry that person “as is,” and if that person NEVER changes a thing that you will be committed to loving them for the rest of your life.

Too often couples go into a relationship thinking that, once married, things will change…and that is NOT the case.  I can honestly say that I spent a lot of time thinking about this before asking ‘Cretia to marry me…I married an awesome woman, but I didn’t change her into one–she was already awesome before EVER marrying me!

#6 – You Find Yourself Trying To Bargain With God.

If you are currently in a relationship and, every time you pray and sincerely seek the Lord about it you just KNOW it isn’t right–then–it isn’t right.

I remember a relationship I was in once that I knew I shouldn’t be in…but could not figure out why.  She was a great girl, loved Jesus and we enjoyed one another’s company–but something just was not right.

Finally I began to bargain with God and say things like, “OK God, if I feel this way in two weeks then I will end it.”  Two weeks later, same feeling…so I would say, “OK, what I meant to say was if I REALLY feel this way and a green monkey appears to me the next time I go to Wal Mart…”

Get the picture?

If God says it’s wrong then He’s not changing His mind.  He’s never had to say “oops” or “My bad” in regards to anything.  The reason I held on to the relationship I knew I didn’t need to be in was because of my personal struggle with insecurity.  I finally obeyed the Lord and made the painful decision to trust Him instead of the dating deal…and through that experience He led me to establish a solid friendship with and eventually marry the most awesome and incredible woman on the planet.

God is TOTALLY into relationships…marriage was HIS idea–AND–when dating and marriage are done in HIS ways…things just work.

True Love waits


As I was looking for my seat in a bus on my way to work, I saw a girl with a wallpaper on her phone. The wallpaper says ” True love waits”. I told myself she must be a Christian too, maybe not , she might have read the book or she just kinda like the idea of it.

Then I remember that was my “motto” during my “waiting season, from the time I was still in college trying to fight with infatuations and crushes. But then hit me and reminded me that it still applies with me. Even more for me.

Even more for couple who are in a courtship, relationship, engaged. There where moments when I would daydream of being in one house with Ayi. Can’t wait to finally call her mine, my wife.

But just like what the wallpaper says “True love waits“.
We choose to trust in Christ . We exercise our love each other all the more as we choose to be patient, as we choose to wait. We would like to ask the readers to keep us in your prayers too. Thank you!

If I was able to wait for her for 28 years. What more for the next couple of months/years.

If God has enabled me to wait till the time He revealed her to me, God’s grace is all the more sufficient for me to wait until he has brought us to enter that new chapter of our lives, marriage.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” – 1 Cor 13:4

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