HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
Shivonne and I hope that if you are in a relationship, you will enjoy your time with each other and go out to dinner or go watch a movie!
PS. Our advice is stay away from seeing the next 40 Shades of White movie.
PPS. Who am I to give you advice because I have never been in a relationship on Valentine’s day… well guys, there was that one time in 5th grade…but that doesn’t count.
Anywho, this article is for everyone. We have some advice and encouragement for those who are in a relationship and those who are not in a relationship.
Over the past three weeks we have shared with you the importance of being real and the importance of realizing your worth in Christ alone. If you were not at chapel last Thursday, we were blessed by Pastor Brooks Rice. He ironically talked about singleness and relationships and how they were both blessings in their own way. When he first said that he was going to talk about it, Shivonne and I jumped with joy in our seats because it was exactly the topic we wanted to chat with all of you about.
To start, Pastor Brooks encouraged us to remember that both marriage and singleness are good. The Bible has a high view of both. He continued to read some readings from Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:17 that further explain this:
“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them”.
He continues in verse 32 and 36, “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married.”
Through these verses we learn a few things:
- Dating is not a sin.
- Being single is a blessing.
- Being married is a blessing (but not more of a blessing than being single).
Finally, I’d like to point out in verse 32 it says a man should be concerned about “HOW” he can please his wife. NOT how he can receive pleasure from his wife. When you are married, you seek to please each other because you love each other. Not to receive pleasure from each other (Just wanted to make that clear before we move on).
As we continue, we’d like to address those of you who might feel anxious or feel hungry to be married or be in a relationship. I am sure some people might feel discontent in their lives when they are not with someone. What we must understand is that your discontentment is designed to show you that you cannot find your identity in marriage or singleness. Remember, we live in a fallen world and with that fall comes sin into our lives. We start to thirst for things that only The Father can quench. So, we encourage you to remember that it is okay to have appetites in this life that do not get quenched because it is a part of being human. However, hunger and thirst are suppose to lead you to the thing that you need most: Jesus. This is contradictory to our culture because it likes to say, “By all means! Quench your thirst!”
After explaining the passage by Paul, Pastor Brooks continued to share some advice on dating:
- Date out of evaluation not out of desperation or recreation.
- The myth of compatibility is that we are all static characters. But the reality is that we are always dynamic characters and we will always be dynamic. Ask yourself: “Can I grow with this person? Can I see myself working with them in order to grow with them?”
- If you’re gonna date, find a companion on the front lines. Your priority should be to bring glory to God. Find someone whom which you can glorify God together.
To finish, we want to leave you with a few tips on what to look for when you date (provided by Pastor Sol of UFC). At a Q & A during a UFC retreat, Pastor Sol, who is married with a 1-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son, a student asks the question, “what would you like your future son in law to be like?” Sol was very taken aback by the question because his daughter is only one year old. He admits that he had already thought about the question and proceeds to answer it by saying, “I would want him to love Jesus more than he loves my daughter”. After he said that, many people in the crowd, including Katy Noel and I, start snapping with our fingers. After, he continues to give advice on how to know if you really love the person you are with. “If you think about them alot when you are not with them, if they completely take over your mind for a long time, then that is a good sign that you love the person.”
More advice comes from Sol’s wife, Lizzy. She says that being their friend first is a great place to start because you get to see different sides of them. Try to see them when they are sad or angry, how do they deal with those emotions? Do they deal with them by shutting people out? Or refuse to find compromise? Those are the things you want to look out for and ask yourself “Can I live with those emotions that he or she gives off?”
As this Valentines Day comes to an end, a day meant to be shared with your love, we hope that you find the never ending love that comes from your Father in Heaven instead of the incomplete love that comes from this world. Your relationship status does not determine who you are. God’s love does that. He has determined you worthy through Christ Jesus. Once you find your worth in God and God alone, your whole perspective on life changes and you realize you don’t need no human to make you happy.
So go, make disciples of all nations while proclaiming God’s name. And do this with or without your “Boo Thang”.
-Tomas and Shivonne