April 22, 2012 Comments Off on Who’s Your Keeper?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phil 4:6-7
One of the most important decision you will make for the rest of your life is who you decide to marry. However, for so many of us we really don’t have a lot to go on besides “oh, he/she’s attractive and fun”.
So, I have put together 3 checklist items for you to see if your on-track with what I believe is the right direction. Ask yourself, who are you allowing to be the keeper of your heart, mind, and happiness?
- Are you more concerned with the you in you or the you in us? I think one of the biggest and fastest mistakes in a relationship is to lose sight of who you are as a person- your values, your relationship with God, and your morals. Keeping in touch with the you in you (who you are as a person) will keep you on track with where God wants you to be. The moment we begin to act and make decisions based on our emotions, we run the risk of creating serious mistakes that will not only affect the relationship, but our life as a whole. Keeping up with who you are is so critical and ensures for a long-lasting relationship. God created the person you want to be with, you cannot change the way they act. Stop wasting time trying to fix their tendencies that you don’t like about them and either learn to compromise or move on. Do not dig yourself in the never ending hole of trying to mold them, focus on YOU first because the MOST important relationship that you will ever have is between you and Jesus Christ.
- Where am I looking for in my worth, my self esteem, and feelings about myself? I think the common tendency is that the longer we date someone or the more we care about them, the more we give away our rights to our feelings. We begin to only seek their approval rather than Gods. I think this is especially important for non-married couples because it is so easy to fall prey to seeking attention through a comment and feeling lesser about ourself if our significant other forgets to comment about our new dress or our latest hair style. The moment we become obsessed with what others think about us, is the moment that we forget who created us. The bible tells us that we are uniquely and wonderfully made in His image, we are made in the image of God; therefore, we are special because He says so, not because he says so….
- Does my view on Sex involve emotional and physical sensations or symbolism? After reading Genesis, we find out that sex and marriage were things that God made for Adam and Eve- which would then be obviously carried on to our generation. However, for the longest time when I thought about sex I always considered it to be something that was pleasurable to our bodies and that was it. But after reading Genesis, we find that God created marriage as a symbol between a man and a woman to show their relationship together, to live together, and to help each other out. The bible clearly states that men are responsible to be respectful, honorable, and serving their wives. Sex isn’t just an emotion, a movie rating, or something to do in your bed- sex was created by God for us. God created the institution of marriage, and designed sex to be the ultimate creator of intimacy. Just go read Song of Solomon! You will find out that romance is referred to as intoxicating, Sex is only meant for a husband and wife, which is clearly found in many many verses throughout the bible. On a practical level, I think that commitment is especially important to keep because the emotional intimacy is all too powerful to share with just any stranger. God wants to protect us, not deprive us of what we want. There is a time and place for everything.
April 13, 2012 Comments Off on Vertical or Horizontal?
As we continue to grow into our lives, we have new objectives and new goals each and every day. As we continue to grow in our relationship with others, we get deeper and deeper with our feelings. And as we continue to grow in our relationship with God we continue to grow closer in our communication with Him.
However, sometimes we focus too much on our horizontal life and forget about our vertical one.
Jesus says in Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Notice that Jesus did not say that we should put our treasures where our own hearts lead us to. So often times we allow our emotions and feelings to lead us into action, whether in a relationship, investment, or decision.
Prayer is our pathway to growing our vertical relationship with God. Becoming closer to Gods heart allows us to follow His perfect plan for our life better by having a better understanding of His will.
Spending too much time in our horizontal relationships trains us to lean on our own understanding; therefore, forgetting about God in general and only seeking what our flesh desires.
Spending too much time in our vertical relationships keeps us from being effective on others. You can never spend too much time with God, but it is possible to neglect the people in our daily lives that need Jesus the most.
Through it all, we serve a God that loves us and created us to spend time with Him- it’s why He created Adam. God wants us to be with Him, God wants us to have a relationship with Him, but a relationship is a two-way street and you have to be willing to make an effort to see your relationship grow with your Heavenly Father.
November 9, 2011 Comments Off on Pursing: What Am I, Why Am I?
How many of you have ever heard or said this statement: “He/She is such a great person and I love everything about them, but I just wish they were more attractive…Then I’d want to date them”? But why do we say that?
The truth of the matter is, they really are a great person and are precisely the person you need to be dating. Why?
Our society has become obsessed with attractiveness to physical qualities and even popularity. Our eyes are poisoned and drawn to tan skin, toned muscles, and big curves.
The problem: We are drawn to wanting to pursue sin with these people without even knowing it. We are allowing ourself to pursue their physical nature, something that isn’t constant, rather than the things that we need to be. We want attractive significant others to enjoy our physical pleasure- now I am not meaning just sex, but anything of physical pleasure for the only reason of just experiencing the pleasure.
At the heart of the matter, we have subconsciously trained ourselves to believe that we are only going to find love, happiness, and joy in a relationship if he is muscular, chizled, and she has toned legs and a incredible face. We want all our friends to be jealous of how attractive our boyfriend/girlfriend is.
ASK YOURSELF a question: How many attractive people do you know? Probably a lot. You can pull up tons of them on your facebook page if you made yourself, but ask yourself another question….How many people do you know that if you merely observed from a far without knowing anything about them you would see God’s love and joy in their life? Probably almost none.
Sure physique, smarts, and knowledge are may seem what matters and have been things I have pursued my entire life until last year, but the most beautiful and pure thing you will find in someone is their ability to pursue God. Not their belief in God, but pursue God on a daily basis with so much passion. A immense desire to please God and nobody else.
It is this writers opinion that attraction can be built and sustained at a level far greater than physical desire if you find someone that you enjoy being around rather than staring at like a trophy on a shelf. A love can grow that will not fluctuate based on aging, based on their mood, based on if their hair falls out…
Pursue a body and you will be let down every time, pursue God in them and you will never be dissatisfied.
November 7, 2011 Comments Off on Obedience = Resistance
“Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your forefathers to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Deuteronomy 11 : 8 – 9
We believe that God treats us like we may treat our dog. God may ask us to do something, but if we decide to go and chase a squirrel instead God will still be happy with us because it’s all about just enjoying eachothers company, right? Wrong.
Sometimes great obedience to God causes great resistance from others in our life. Others will not understand why God has called you to make a certain decision or live your life in a certain way. However, that’s ok if they don’t understand because we’re not out to please others with our life choices – only our God. I have found that the quickest way to lose obedience and closeness to God is to start valuing what others think of me more than what God thinks of me.
People may make fun of you, friends may forsake you, or you may not get invited to all the functions you used to go to. But hold firm to the promises God has made you. Understand that when someone may threaten you or tell you your full of lies and God tells you something different, God will always 10 times out of 10, 100% be right.
Look at Deuteronomy 11:8-9, the verse opened with, God called Moses to obey the commands He had given him for today to be able to accomplish Gods plan for him weeks later. God promises the Israelites the promised land, but it was only going to be accomplished by following the commandments He was giving them in the here and now.
What are the things that God is asking you to sacrifice for today? What is He asking you to do right here, right now? Sure certain things about our life may be fun or important to us for now, but they are the very things that are going to keep us from inheriting the life God has planned out for us later.
The greatest intimacy found with God is created through our obedience on the smallest of things.
November 3, 2011 Comments Off on Relationship Checklist
- Your conversations with the opposite sex always turn into advice seeking and dissatisfied life decision talks. Here’s the problem: Misery loves company. Your priorities aren’t right and you are seeking the wrong people for advice because they cannot give you the solution to your problem, but only a speculation and mutual pitiless regrets as well. Any relationship that begins with deep emotional stimulation will eventually be required to be stabled with intense physical or spiritual compensation- don’t let this happen. Why? This never ending cycle of always having to be intense in all aspects will leave you dependent on that person for your happiness and leave the door open for you to be burned, hurt, and abused every time. Moreover, fully cutting God out of your life. The ability to be honest and level with someone is beautiful, but becomes ugly and self centered when it’s the only thing you look forward to in your time with that person.
- You plan on making Christ a priority after He gives you prince charming. We like to think that we can approach the negotiation table with God; we think we are worthy enough to make demands of God in exchange for service to Him. But here’s the thing, God is never going to be willing to give you big things in your life if you can’t execute in the small things He wants you to beforehand. God will never honor selfishness, ever. If you aren’t satisfied with who you are as a single person (what God has given you now), you will never find satisfaction in a relationship (what God gives you later). Our obsession with wanting to have what we want, when we want it has inbreed a strong dependance on what we can do for ourselves, rather than honoring the awesome plan God has already created for us. Honor him first, be honored later by Him later.
- I don’t have a clue what I want to do with my life. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful and heart warming characteristics about a healthy relationship is the ability to support goals and aspirations of the other person. The most important role any woman can play in their relationship to their man is their ability to provide counsel. Notice I did not say be their counselor, but provide counsel- 2 totally different things. I strongly believe in the wisdom and keen emotional abilities God has equipped each and every woman. However, if you have no clue what you want to do with your life, how do you expect to be able to understand the compatibility of your future with someone else? Yet again, I am not saying you need to go through your contact list until you find someone that has an adaptable job in any city, but it is a true sign of maturity that you have a great awareness and concern for both members futures and aspirations.
October 7, 2011 Comments Off on Connect Back, Connect Forward
For many of us today, it is our future that gives us the most trouble and long, sleepless nights. Wondering who or if we are going to get married, what our major will be, what to do after graduating, what retirement will look like, or how we’re going to pay the future bills piling ahead.
But before you can undertake your future, you must understand your past. Before you can take on what is ahead, you must put away what is behind you.
For so many of us, we allow past memories, experiences, and regrets shape our future goals and aspirations. Honestly, we let the past dictate how effective we think we can be in the future because we are scared to trust again, scared to love again, scared to take a leap of faith.
If your future seems overwhelming to you, I want you to remember this principle:
I can connect back to connect forward.
Connect your life dots backwards, remember where God has brought you from. Remember that even though it seemed terrifying at the time, God brought you through that difficult time into a greater meaning or understanding for your life. This idea isn’t just a blog post, but is a biblical example. Think about the Israelites, they were delivered from bondage but never connected back when they were in the wilderness and allowed their present trouble to ruin the promises God had for them.
Though the future may seem scary, though you may not know if this next date on friday will be your last, though you may feel like quitting, or you may not know what you want to major in – God does, God knows. Trust in Him, remember the faithfulness and goodness He has been in your past to propel you into your future.
October 3, 2011 Comments Off on Past Joy, Present Waste
Do you ever remember what presents you were given for your 1st birthday? How about your 3rd, 5th, or even 8th? Probably not.
What about all those expensive cloths you bought 2 years ago that you recently donated to Goodwill? How much did those cost?
There are so many things in our life that brought us past joy, but are present waste to us. If you think about the sum of money you spent on all those clothes you eventually gave away, you wouldn’t be struggling to pay the bills these days.
There is a greater waste though, far greater for far more people than clothes.
God gave us a free gift, a gift that lasts for eternity. A chance to find a best friend when we’re alone, a place to run when we’re scared, someone to correct us when we do wrong and to reward us when we do right, someone that will love us more than we could love back.
For so many of us today, our salvation was our past joy, but we can’t seem to even remember the last time God brought us happiness in this present season of our life. We go about living our life forgetting to spend time with God – unable to even remember the last month we even actually read our bible.
But here’s the good news, God wants to change something in your life starting right now if you will let him.
Our plan for our life = Past Joy, Present Waste
God’s plan for our life = Past waste, Present Joy
God has the ability to turn our mistakes into miracles, no matter the circumstances. You may think that you’re too far into your life to give God a chance, but you’re wrong. God is fully willing and able to turn our present wastes into our past as we transition into the next day.
The only person holding you back from a new chapter in your life is yourself – it’s not God. God’s love is always constant and never changing, you have to overcome yourself to be able to come into his love.
The greatest gift you’ll ever receive is a free one, but are you willing to accept it?