Saturday, September 20, 2014

Courtship, Dating, Going Steady...

You may have seen this article, Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed, going around in social media. I wanted to share some of what was written that I thought you might be able to chew on. Always remember, that other then the Bible, there is no article or book that is perfect. It's written by flawed humans, thus sinners, and so you have to eat the meat and spit out the bones. 

I like Thomas' idea on "Traditional Dating".  He used the example of his Christian grandmother and how she dated. 

When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had only one rule for her.The One Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row.So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday.That sounded crazy to me. So, I asked her the rationale behind it. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. “The guys wouldn’t even want to kiss you!” She said.The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys. This meant that by the time she was 17 years old she knew which Bob she wanted to marry. They got married and stayed married till my grandfather passed away half a century later.
The Difference Between “Dating” and “Going Steady”
She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”. “Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row. It often had symbols like the girl wearing the guy’s letter jacket. This telegraphed to everyone at school that she was “off the market” and that she had a “steady beau”.It seems that my great grandparents’ rule forbidding my grandmother from going out with the same guy twice in a row was a common rule in those days.The Greatest Generation was encouraged to date and discouraged from going steady while in middle school  (I would personally change that to HIGH School)With Traditional Dating, asking a girl out on a date is no big deal. All the guy is asking to do is to get to know the girl better. Maybe this leads to a deeper relationship, maybe it doesn’t. Either way, the interaction is easier and more fun when it is not so intense.

I remember when my sister was dating in college and a young man called my dad about her. This guy wanted "rights" to her.  So he asked my dad if he could date her.  My dad said "Yes, and she can also date whoever else she wants to at the same time". The guy was not too happy to hear that statement but my dad was making the point that my sister didn't have to be tied down. She could and should go on dates with different men so that she could meet "her right one". 

I like the idea of "going on dates with different people." It helps you build friendships and doesn't make things serious too fast. I personally think that parents make the mistake when they forbid their children to "go on dates" until they're out of school. 

I attended a Christian college and met some girls who had never been allowed to date.  They went "nuts" and were the ones who usually got themselves into trouble.I am also a BIG believer in chaperons, yes EVEN FOR ADULTS!   *GASP*  

 Let's all be real here.  I think you have to know your kids and yourself (if you're single). HOWEVER, for the physical safety of yourself I really do believe in them. Isn't it funny when we hear about someone on the news that we grew up with and we are like "OH MY, I just never saw that coming." *Nodding*  That happens in dating, as well. 

I had a friend I worked with in VA who went on a date with a guy she had met and got double raped by him and his friend. I know this doesn't happen to everyone that goes on dates, BUT it does happen and thus I think we need to protect ourselves. 

Chaperones help to calm the heat down. When you have others around, there is less opportunity for things to get too serious. Ok, so maybe you need to have a serious conversation, then have them sit at a different table or go to a very popular, public place to eat. It's better to be safe then sorry. 

I just don't think ANYONE needs to be at an apartment or house or private location by themselves. If you like each other, which usually is the case, :-) it puts unneeded temptations there. No one is above it.

More from Thomas...Now Let’s Talk Some SpecificsSuggestions For Single Women
  • If a Christian guy asks you out for dinner, say “yes”. You don’t need to love him to say yes to a first date.
  • Be friendly. Give the guy hope that he has a chance with you. Coyness is not as attractive as the media makes it out to be.
  • Don’t make him run a gauntlet before he can get to know you. Realize he is not asking to marry you when he asks if he can buy you dinner.
  • Some guys are hidden gems and are more than meets the eye. Give him a chance to win your attention and to earn that second date
  • Let the guy pay for dinner
Suggestions For Single men

  • Start asking girls out. Most girls would love to be asked out and will say “yes” if you would just ask them.
  • Realize that asking a girl out for dinner is not the same as proposing marriage.
  • Get a job. Pay for dinner.
Suggestions for Both Single Men and Single Women
  • Do what your grandparents did and go out on dates with lots of different people before going steady with any of them.
  • Don’t marry the first person you have feelings for.
  • Keep an eye out for public places where you can have private conversations.
  • Find a church with lots of single people. There are still churches out there with a healthy culture of traditional dating. If no one in your church got married last year, don’t expect to break that trend. You can always move back to your parent’s church after you find your sweetheart.
  • Fear God.
Suggestions For Parents
  • Try to make marriage attractive to your children by loving and respecting your spouse the best you can. One reason that your children may not be getting married is because they don’t want what you have in your marriage.
  • Start dating your spouse again. Do whatever you can to make your marriage a happy one.
  • Encourage your sons to ask girls out on dates.
  • As your children become adults, give advice instead of commands. 
  • Pray earnestly and persistently for your child. Pray and trust God to guide your child directly.
  • Encourage your children to find their way to places where they can meet other single people. 
  • Remember that gentleness and kindness are fruits of the Spirit.
  • Treat the person interested in your child as a fellow brother or sister in Christ.

All in all, it was an interesting read. There is so much good meat there. I hope you can get something out of it. Don't forget you may have to spit out some bones.  If you have more questions about his article, there is a follow-up -> Q&A Follow-up. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jase and Missy - God's Way

I love how Jase and Missy talk about "doing it God's Way." Take the time to watch this clip. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, April 22, 2013

IT MATTERS!!!! - by The Christian Pundit

I read this article and HAD TO SHARE.  I had a "few" boyfriends before I met my amazing and wonderful husband.  I can tell you it matters.  I was 115 lbs and had a boyfriend who wanted to print out exercises for me to do because I wasn't perfect enough for him, told me that I needed to "shave my mustache" and then cheated on me with three different ladies.

At one point this "winner" told me that he was "kissing" this one girl because I wanted to "wait" until I was married to do that type of stuff.  He then affirmed that after we got married he wouldn't cheat because then he could do that with me.  WOW!  REALLY.

At that time in my life I thought he was pretty cute, and romantic, but now I look back and see the real picture. My husband has him beat any day, half-sick and at his WORST moment.  You can't even COMPARE.  Why?  Because God picked out my treasure.

Friends, sometimes we get so desperate, that we end up with "winners" that break our heart. It would better for us to stay single with no one then to marry a loser that God never intended for us. Please read this article and see the importance.

Remember, anyone can find trash, it takes patience, time and, ultimately God, to find a treasure.

My husband and I were once with a youth group. There were three kids sitting across from us at a meal: two guys and a girl. The one guy was a computer geek with glasses. The other one was a college student with slightly cooler hair and no glasses. The girl was obviously with him. But while the computer geek was busy serving everyone at the meal, clearing plates and garbage, the college student got angry with the girl for a small accident and poured red juice over her leather jacket and white shirt. She picked the wrong guy, and the juice didn’t seem to change her mind. She is in for some grief if that relationship continues and especially if it leads to marriage.

So to all the young, unmarried Christian girls out there, listen up: who you marry matters. You might think that the way he treats you isn’t so bad. It’s not going to get better after the wedding. You might think that he’ll change. It’s possible, but most don’t. You might think that you’ll be able to minister to him and help him. Possibly, but if you can’t now, you won’t then, and you will be at risk yourself. A husband should lead and cherish you, not need your counsel for basic personality or behavior issues.

Unless someone married is very frank with you, you can’t understand how much a husband will impact your entire life. Next to salvation there is no other long term event that will change so many areas of your life so deeply. Here are just some of the ways that marriage will impact every aspect of living.

1. It will impact you spiritually. If the guy is not a believer, you can stop right there. You have no business yoking a redeemed soul with an unregenerate one, even if he seems open to change. Christ has bought you with a price and it is not an option to give away that blood-bought heart to someone who doesn’t know and love your Lord. It will cripple your spiritual development, open up a host of temptations, stifle your prayer life, make regular church going difficult, and cause massive parenting conflict if you have children.

If the guy is a believer, is he a strong one? Will he lead you in prayer, Bible reading, family devotions, and public worship? Or will you be on your own? Is he going to make spiritual growth a priority or do other things come first? Is he going to ask you how it’s going with your soul so he can help you grow in holiness and love for Christ, or will he leave that to your pastor? Is he going to lead the children in this, or will you have to spearhead that? In church, is he going to help the kids sit well, pray, find the hymn, or will you be the one pointing out what is happening next and helping the family keep up? Many women have married spiritually immature men, thinking that it wasn’t a big issue, or that the man would change, and they were wrong. They bear the scars.
The health of your eternity is at stake. Think carefully.

2. It will impact you emotionally. Is the guy you’re thinking of going to encourage you, love you, be kind to you, and seek to understand you, or will he want to go out with the guys when you’re having a hard night? Will he listen when you are struggling with something or will he be preoccupied with a video game? Is he going to be annoyed when you cry or will he get you Kleenex and give you a hug? Is he going to going to understand that you are probably more tender than he is, more sensitive to issues and comments, or is he regularly going to run rough shod over your feelings? One woman was struggling to breastfeed her new baby, believing that that was the best thing for her, but it was very difficult. Instead of giving support and encouragement, the husband would make mooing sounds whenever he saw his wife working at it. We have to get rid of princess complexes, but we do have emotional needs. Any guy who is uncaring about your feelings and self esteem is selfish and should be left alone.

Be careful – a husband can cripple or foster emotional health.

3. It will impact you physically. Is the guy you’re with going to provide for your basic needs? Will he be able to shelter, clothe and feed you? At one point in our marriage, I was worried that there was no employment opportunity. My husband assured me that he would work at McDonalds, dig ditches, clean up roadkill – whatever it took to provide for the family, regardless of his gifts and training. That’s the kind of attitude you want. A man who doesn’t provide for his household is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). You might have to help ease the financial burden, but unless your husband is disabled or there is another unusual circumstance, you shouldn’t have to carry it yourself.
Will the man you are with care for your body or abuse it? If he gives you little smacks, kicks, etc. when you’re dating, get away. It’s almost guaranteed that he will abuse you after marriage, and stats show that’s especially true when you are pregnant. Is he going to care for and protect your body or will he hurt it? There are women in churches across America who thought it was no big deal to have little (sort of friendly) punches or slaps from their boyfriends, but who are covering up the bruises from their husbands.

Will the man you are with care for you sexually? Is he going to honour the marriage bed in physical and mental faithfulness to you or will he flirt, feed his porn addiction, or even leave you for another woman? You can’t always predict these issues, but if the seeds or practices are already there, watch out. I recently saw a newly married couple and the husband was flirting openly with another woman. Unless something drastic happens, that marriage is headed for disaster.
Is he going to be tender and gentle to you in bed? An unbelieving co-worker once told my sister that after her first sexual encounter, she had trouble walking for a few days because her boyfriend was so rough. In other words, he wasn’t selfless enough to care for the body of the woman he said he loved.
Watch out. Your body needs care and protection.

4. It will impact you mentally. Is the man that you’re thinking of going to be a source of worry or will he help you deal with your worries? Is he going to encourage your intellectual development, or will he neglect it? Is he going to value your opinions and listen to what you are thinking, or will he disregard your thoughts? Is he going to help you manage stress so that your mind is not burdened that way, or is he going to let you struggle through issues alone? Is he going to care for you and be thoughtful of you if you are experiencing mental strain, or will he ignore it? I know of a woman who could handle pregnancy and child birth very well physically but postpartum depression took a huge toll on her mind. The husband overlooked it, continuing to have more children, until his wife ended up in a mental institution.
You might think that the intellectual or mental side of a marriage is small. It’s bigger than you think. Consider it seriously.

5. It will impact you relationally. How’s your relationship with your mother? Your dad? Do you love them? Does your boyfriend? Fast forward ten years: you tell your husband that your mother is coming for the weekend. Is he excited? Disappointed? Angry? Making snide jokes with his friends? Of course, a husband should come first in your priority of relationships, as you both leave father and mother and cleave to one another. But parents are still a big part of the picture. Whatever negative feelings he has about your parents now will probably be amplified after marriage. Your marriage will either strengthen or damage – even destroy – your relationship with your parents. The people who know you best and love you most right now could be cut out of the picture by a husband who hates them.

It’s the same with sisters and friends. Will they be welcomed, at reasonable times, in your home? Will the guy who you’re with encourage healthy relationships with other women, or will he be jealous of normal, biblical friendships? Will he help you mentor younger women and be thankful when older women mentor you, or will he belittle that?

Don’t sacrifice many good relationships for the sake of one guy who can’t value the people who love you.

So how will your boyfriend do after the vows? Because this is just a sampling of the ways that a husband can bless or curse his wife. The effects are far reaching, long lasting, and either wonderful or difficult. True, there are no perfect men out there. But there are great ones. And it’s better to be single for life than to marry someone who will make your life a burden. Singleness can be great. Marriage to the wrong person is a nightmare. I’ve been in a church parking lot where the pastor had to call the police to protect a wife from a husband who was trying to stop her from worshiping and being with her family. It’s ugly. Don’t be so desperate to get married that your marriage is a grief. If you are in an unhappy marriage, there are ways to get help. But if you’re not married, don’t put yourself in that situation. Don’t marry someone whose leadership you can’t follow. Don’t marry someone who is not seeking to love you as Christ loved the church. Marry someone who knows and demonstrates the love of Christ.

Thanks to The Christian Pundit for writing this fabulous piece. - Rejoicing in the Present.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Please God or Pleasing Self (Last -Part 5)

Today we are going to wrap up this study. Simply put, God wants to be #1 in your life. He will not settle for anything other then that. Exodus 20 say  "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The problem with making men your priority is that they becomes gods in your life. Exodus 34:14 says "For thou shalt worship no other gods" and in Matthew 10:37-39 it talks about putting God even before your own family. "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." God is serious about being the most important one in your life.


What if you have made these lustly desires more important?

Confess and forsake. David, after committing his sin with Bathsheba writes a beautiful psalm. If you have crossed the boundaries, whether physically or emotionally. Cry out this psalm to the Lord. Here is part of it. Psalms 51"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest....Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."

What can you do right now?

Be the daughter of the King, the best you know how to be and if you don't know how, get into God's Word. He will tell you how to act and what to do.
Ask God to prepare you right now, to mold you and make you the wife that your husband is going to need for his ministry in life. Focus on being that woman right now.
Write to your future husband (Journal). Tell him about your life, your passion and desires. Tell him that you are waiting for him. Pray for him everyday and record this all. One day, after you are married you can give him the book so that he can read your journey to Him.

Just Think...

If God, who created this beautiful and amazing world, personally created and made us, do you not think that he knows best who we should be with? Why waste your time and energy and emotions. Let God bring him to you.

Pursue after God, make Him #1 in your life and let him gift you the best man for you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pleasing God or Pleasing Self Part 4

Yesterday we talking about putting out lustful thinking and putting in God's Word. Today we are going to continue with the second part of that subjuct. We are going to talk aboutpursing God.
 2 Corinthian 7:1 says "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." We pursue after dreams, we pursue after boys but when is the last time we truly tried to pursue after an intimate relationship with God.
Ephesians 5:1-4 "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."
Do you spend time thinking of God's goodness and greatness? Do you ever open the psalms and simply praise God for who He is? Do you talk to him? Do you embrace His Words to you? Do you spend time trying to make the effort of being what God would want you to be? Do you dress to please him? Do you talk to please Him? This is pursueing God.
I Peter 1:14-16 "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance :But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
Ok Ladies, we know how to chase boys, lets instead chase GOD!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Please God or Pleasing Self Part 3

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh 

What's in comes out

Today we are going to talk about safe-guarding our "love lives" You may have heard the phrase "garbage in, garbage out." What goes in, is going to come out. For example, if I poured coke into a can and then tipped the can over, coke is going to come out. If I am constantly pouring wrong thinking into my life, wrong doing is going to come out. The overflow shows what is in the container.
If we are spending a lot of time watching romance movies and reading romance novels, listening to love songs and listening to our girlfriends talk about boys, our motives are going to be all about having a boyfriend in our lives to romance us.
We will expect that man to be just like the movies and books and we will also tend to do things that those movies and books talk about and do. After a while we become immune to the sin in those movies and books. We think, everyone is doing it so why not us. This is soooo dangerous. All of a sudden our lives become filled with lust and the desire to have that someone now. It doesn't matter if its the best guy, just some guy. Then that desire pushes us to do whatever it takes to  keep him, even if it means crossing God's boundaries.
Matthew 5:28 warns us "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Thoughts lead to actions.
So if they are in your mind and in your heart they will come out in your actions. Matthew 15:18-19 " But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies..."

Put out and Put in 

Philippians 4:8 says Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Think Bible!
So first you must put away the romance novels, chic flics, boy chatter, love songs and focus on something or should I say someone who created love.
The Bible says in I John 4:8 that "God is love" Therefore unless we know God, we do not know love. So there can not be true love in a relationship unless God is present. We must get to know him and put Him into our lives. We must put in Bible reading time and must focus on pursuing God.
Ps. 119:11 says "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Focusing on God will help us to get our eyes off of boys and wait patiently until God brings someone into our lives. When He finally does, and we are continuing to put God first in our lives and hiding His Word in our hearts, our relationship will be about Him and pleasing him rather then our fleshly desires.
Joshua 1:9 says "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

Garbage out, GOD IN!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pleasing God or Pleasing Self Part 2

In the last post we talked about the gift that God gives us in marriage. Hebrew13:4 says "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." The 2nd part of this verse is what we will talk about in part 2.
Proverbs 5:21-22 says "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. Joy translation "God sees everything" He sees what you do in the darkness and he sees what you do in the light. As much as God is a loving God, He also is a righteous God and sees and judges the sin in our lives.

It is easy to talk about how loving God is but we don't want to talk about his righteous judgement. Just as our parents would discipline us when we do wrong, just like a policeman would write us out a ticket for speeding, just like we would go to jail for murdering someone, God disciplines us for our wrong.

A good Bible example of the effects of sexual sin would be Bathsheba and David in 2 Samuel 11. David took something that wasn't his and he was judged.
Now He was repentant and God still loved and blessed him BUT he still had consequences. He lost the baby that he had with Bathsheba and had all sorts of family issues.  Nathan said "the sword shall never depart from thine house." and this came to pass. David had all sorts of problems, he had his sons turn on him, he had a son rape his daughter and just a lot of fighting among the family. This was a consequence of the sin that he committed with Bathsheba. Sin always has a consequence!

I could talk about consequences such as STDs, pregnancy out of wedlock, heartbreak, divorces from early marriages and much more, but my emphasis in this discussion is not one of fearing consequence's. I want your motives to be from love of God and fear of Him.

I would like to end with one more thought. I Corinthians 6:15-16 says "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh." How can we as the temple (the house) of the Holy Spirit, abuse our bodies on this way? Think about it!