Archive | January, 2015

More Than Love

29 Jan

Deciding whether to commit to or to end a relationship is a serious, but important question that anyone that has ever been in a relationship has to ask. This can be so difficult and honestly, requires many decisions, not just a broad question of do I love Him/Her.

Not asking the hard questions is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous. You may love someone, but commitment is far more than love. There are certain things to consider that may help in making the best decision.

When someone hurts us, we naturally want to share our hurt with someone but be choosy and think long and hard before you overshare your concerns with those that love you most. While you may get over what someone does, they may not. This can be unwise as it may slant any future decision making advice you may need from those that know you best.

A Pastor, a counselor, a couple you respect, with no emotional tie to you, would be a great place to start when seeking advise about concerns you may have, any fears or issues that may keep you from taking the next step towards or away from your partner.

Pray, Pray, Pray!

Do NOT skip this step. Talk to God. He is the most objective listener. Lay your heart and your future at His feet and sleep on it for a while. Give God your time. Spend time in the word. Pour your thoughts out to Him. Pray for discernment and wisdom, (HIS), then be quiet and allow Him to answer you. Do not be impatient. Let Him work on your heart or let him guide your wisdom. He will.

Take time to do your lists. Like prayer, do NOT skip this step.

First be general and just start writing down anything you love, like, dislike, or feel may be a red flag. Then rate them as a pro, con, good quality or area of concern.
Then, go deeper…Dig deep and be completely transparent and honest with yourself. Take everything into consideration. Does he/she bring positive or negative consequences or concerns in the areas of career, finances, faith, personality,are they positive or negative, if you are raising children, what are the concerns and consequences of behaviors or personalities with your children: How will this affect your lifestyle, your hobbies, community involvements, alone time. What are the potential lifestyle changes, will they add to or detract from your life. *note: do this when you are not upset, and not when you are high in love. Do this when you are able to truly be open and objective with yourself.

You should have a clear idea forming of what your concerns are and what you can let go of. I feel I must clarify this here. If you have been in abusive or unhealthy relationships in the past, take your list to a professional. Make sure you are not making choices out of habit, overlooking or not ranking a red flag, a red flag. Sadly, when we make those mistakes over and over, we have to take the bull by the horn and seek a professional to advocate for us until we are strong and sure of our own ability to advocate for ourselves.

Where there are behaviors that are red flags, and you choose to move forward, then you must write out clear and concise rules of engagement, a clear boundary of behavior that is acceptable and behavior that is not and concise consequences for behavior that is not healthy.

Behaviors that suggest a need for a clear and defined boundary/consequence are abuse of any kind, cheating, drugs,alcohol, gambling, porn. Set the boundary, and if they cannot abide by the contract, you cannot overlook or make exceptions. You must decide to end the relationship and put that in writing as the consequence. Then you BOTH need to abide by the rules.

Finally, Let go of what doesn’t matter. The best part about making a deep list is that you seek wisdom, discernment, with open and objective analysis. Make a logical decision that just may go against your emotion or your feelings for someone. If you find the good far outweighs the bad, then you have your answer. If you find the bad outweighs the good, then you have your answer. If you find it is somewhere in between, you have to explore, ask questions, set boundaries and seek help to make your decision.

Love is not enough and love will not sustain a poorly thought out, bad relationship. The level of success in your relationships depends greatly on your willingness to be honest and thoughtful about who you choose to commit yourself to.

Till Death Is A Very Long Time

6 Jan

I have found the one whom my soul loves. Solomon 3:4

There are many ways in life that God will use to guide us, to direct our steps. He will show His desire for our lives and even speak to us in a nudge or thought.

When we spend time in our prayer life, asking God to direct our steps, when we submit our longing and the outcome to each obedient step, the road will be full of God-incidences or shall I say, confirmation that God’s will is being done. He is evident.

Being prayerful and spending time in scripture, there is a connection to the Almighty, MOST of the time, that sort of just supernaturally guides our steps, with scriptural confirmation of the truth. There are times we are left alone, to strengthen our faith, to learn some tools we will need.

But God…God always remains near, even when He is quiet.

When it comes to our journey, but more specifically, relationship(s), present or future, God has spoken. There are scriptural answers to our lives. I find myself prayerfully asking God, is my relationship Your plan for my life, is this the one You intend for me?
Scripturally, He has spelled out His plan in that area. He says, He is more than enough for me. He is the husband to my singleness. He is my provider. God doesn’t need me to marry. He said it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone, but also shows us He is near to the broken hearted.

What I have shared with the Holy Spirit, in my singleness,proved His promise and His provision. He fulfilled my desire for my helpmate, my companion, my leader, my guide. So, no. God didn’t bring you a spouse, a soul mate.

What Scripture will tell you, if you cant remain pure, it is better to marry; to remain Holy. If I am choosing to become part of a relationship, then yes, marriage should best be the focus of that journey. Sin is too great a risk. When we choose to date, we begin a bit of a self-fulfilling path.

God will not remove someone we keep close at hand, He will allow us our free will. He also would never tell us to marry someone. This is why we need to be wise. We need to seek His wisdom for our decisions.

If whom we marry is our own free will, our own choice, you must realize you alone are choosing. Choose wisely, as this person will become a part of your journey with God.

Choose wisely with careful consideration.

Guard your heart and mind.

When you choose to begin to date, be very cautious. Move ever so slowly. Don’t marry too quickly. Seek to know a person. Women, do not submit to man that is not your husband. You have The Father to be obedient to. Let that man find you there.

As your relationship grows, it is imperative to keep God at the center. It is with God that you will remain strong in determining whom is fit to journey with you. God at the center will allow you to walk away from a love that will detract from your relationship with Christ, not lift it higher. Never fear being alone. God is enough. He always has been. Fulfillment comes from us reciprocating that relationship.

Being alone can be awful at times, do not let loneliness drive you or love can become your idol. God is enough.

Love is a verb. God wants us, equips us, instructs us and encourages us to love others. Not self-seeking but to give, not to just one to but to all.

First and foremost, be equally yoked. Choose a Christian.

Without that shared belief, your marriage will struggle for success.

Keep your eyes wide open for yellow or red-flags: Does your potential spouse have an anger issue, do they lie, do they drink too much, spend money too freely,too frugal, are they controlling or gamble, do they pray with you, do they leave you wanting, do they lift you or bring you down?

Always remember, we will never change anyone. God will never change someone for us. He will pursue them, but He won’t perform magic acts. If someone is giving you pause now, this will not get better with marriage. Your prayer for them will not change them, it may inspire them to change but it will not change them.

Listen to that wisdom in your gut, that is the truth, that is God. Don’t ask God to show you or to nudge you in the right direction. What you are needing is wisdom, you need to seek the wisdom of scripture, of what God has laid out for your journey.

Seek God for strength to follow His leadings, to listen to His wisdom, to not fear being alone. Stay close to Him.

Spend time in prayer and in the Word.

Sometimes we know the truth, yet, because we love, we cling to “signs” that we are convinced God is giving us, the signs that He wants us to move forward. What God won’t do, is tell you whom to marry. He will tell you HOW to be married, but He won’t tell you.. “this is the one”.

Contrary to what people will say,aside from the sin of premarital sex, there is great wisdom of remaining pure in a relationship. Without purity, you attach. With attachment comes double thinking. The longing of your heart for this relationship to align your heart with God will make you do all sorts of manipulations to make it look “right”. We will convince ourselves, this relationship is right for us. First though we have to ignore the concerns and simply just focus on the love. When you are not pure, it isn’t the sin that separates you, it is the result that separates you. You cloud the path with mixed desire. You will overlook red flags, for the sake of not losing the love.

God has many beautiful things in store for our lives. Some may include what we seek here, some may not, but the promise for the future is amazing.

Pray, seek biblical truth, trust your instincts, be brave, surround yourself with wise people, and talk to God. All the time.

Forever is a very long time to spend with someone. God will not and has not told you this is the one. You are telling God, this is the one my heart loves… and you lay it at the Cross and ask Him to bless your choice. There is a very big difference.

“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”I Corinthians 7:8-9

“You will be called Sought After.” Isaiah 62:12

“You are precious and honored in my sight.” Isaiah 43:4

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.I Corinthians 13:4-7