Monthly Archives: April 2006

On Being Alone

Why do we find it so hard to be alone?  (And by 'being alone', I mean, not married or in a romantic relationship.)  Why do we sometimes feel incomplete unless there is someone we can call at the end of the day, someone holding our hand as we stroll through moonlit parks, or someone to dance closely with us as the soft music plays in the background? 

 I am faced with this question a lot as I see single girlfriends and guy-friends who have been single many, many years.  Who seem to have lost hope in ever finding 'the one' and spend their time at church, watching television, eating, sleeping or incessantly working out.  Why is it so hard for us to be 'alone'?

I believe the main reason for this is that God never intended for us to be alone.  We have our friends, of course, and our families.  But the ideal union (in God's mind) was between a couple.  The scriptures of Jesus saving the church are filled with analogies of a bride and a bridegroom.  Husbands are admonished to love their wives like Jesus loved the church.  King Solomon pours out his love in Songs of Solomon about the one 'whom my soul loveth'.   God created a perfect mate for Adam in Eve – someone to be by his side, helping him, loving him, supporting.

God never intended for us to be alone.  And, for the great majority of us, that means marriage.

So, as a single man or woman, if you feel that hope for you is gone – take heart!  Know that your destiny will likely include someone who will be the 'perfect' mate for you. No, he or she will not be perfect, but they will be perfectly suited to meet your needs, desires and wants.  He or she will of course be flawed (as you are), but you can find a way (through God) to make this relationship work.

The key is holding on until he or she comes.  Staying busy so that your time (and mind) are not idle.  Living your life to the fullest so that when that person comes, he or she meets a well-rounded, complete individual. 

So Stay encouraged!

Question – what have your experiences been as a single person waiting on God to send you a wife or a husband?

Advertisements

Characteristics of a Christian Mate

(Continued from Characteristics of a Christian Husband and Characteristics of a Christian Wife) 

The following scriptures give traits and characteristics for a Christian spouse of any gender:

You Must Be Sexually Attracted to Him/Her

1 Corinthians 7:3

  The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:4 

 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.

Must He/She Be A Believer?

2 Corinthians 6 

 14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  However, the Bible also speaks about an unbelieving husband or wife being sanctified through marriage:

 1 Corinthians 7

 12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.        

 In the search to find your Christian mate, pray, as in all things and ask God to help you to find that person.  But remember – it is all in God's timing and not your own.  Pray, be diligent and, in the meanwhile, seek to fashion yourself after God's idea of a Christian husband or a Christian wife.  Your search might just end that much sooner!

Characteristics of a Christian Wife

(Continued from Characteristics of a Christian Husband)

Following are scriptures concerning the role and characteristics of a Christian Wife.

1. She should not be a nag:

Proverbs 21:9

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome (contentious or strife-causing) wife.

2. She should be industrious, hard-working, able to provide for her family,  wise and able to bring honor to you:

Proverbs 31 (excerpts)

12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;  for all of them are clothed (to be fully clothed) in scarlet (Commentary:  scarlet–or, "purple," by reason of the dyes used, the best fabrics; as a matter of taste also; the color suits cold. (Fausset, A. R., A.M. "Commentary on Proverbs 31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible".))

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

3. She is Willing to Be Submissive

Ephesians 5:22-24 


 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.(Commentary: From v. 22 to the end he speaks of the duties of husbands and wives; and he speaks of these in a Christian manner, setting the church as an example of the wife’s subjection, and Christ as an example of love in husbands. I. The duty prescribed to wives is submission to their husbands in the Lord (v. 22), which submission includes the honouring and obeying of them, and that from a principle of love to them. They must do this in compliance with God’s authority, who has commanded it, which is doing it as unto the Lord; or it may be understood by way of similitude and likeness, so that the sense may be, "as, being devoted to God, you submit yourselves unto him.’’ (From: Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Ephesians 5". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". ))

Characteristics of a Christian Husband

What attributes should you look for in a Christian mate?  Following is a handy checklist of relevant scriptures that you should keep in mind as you search for your Christian soulmate:

1. He should be willing to put your relationship before all others:

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to (to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch) his wife, and they will become one flesh.

2. He should be a good leader:

Ephesians 5:23
For the husband is the head (metaphor, anything supreme, chief, prominent of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church of things: the corner stone) of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

3.  He should love you as much as he loves himself and be willing to give himself for you:

Ephesians 5

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church. Next: Characteristics of a Christian Wife

Is Dating Really Worth It?

It's Saturday night. You're sitting at home. Your phone has not rung in the past few hours. As a matter of fact, your phone hasn't rang much in the last two weeks (other than the bill collectors). You sit there. You pull up the movie offerings on Comcast. And you wonder – 'Is this what life is all about?'

You think to yourself – 'Shouldn't I be out with someone?' And, even if you didn't want to go out, shouldn't someone at least have called so that you could have the pleasure of saying no? Or should you call someone to ask him or her out, though you're sure they'll say no?

I mean, it's not like you don't have other options – as much as you don't want to use them. You would call your 'girls', but you're starting to think you're related to them because you see them so much. Or, you could call the 'fellows', but one more made up story about how many girls your one friend has will definitely send you over the edge. So what's a girl or boy to do?

First, let's ask ourselves – is it okay to be home, alone, on a Saturday night? Are you the butt of some cosmic joke that is destined to make you a permanent bachelor or bachelorette? Though it may seem this way at times, it is simply not so! Being single is a great thing. And, if it makes you feel any better, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you are not alone.

Being single (by choice or by circumstance) simply means being called to 'singleness'. This means you are solo in life, but not in your friendships, with your family or as a valuable, contributing member of society. In other words, you don't have a mate, but you have everything else a healthy individual needs to enjoy life. You have a job (and if you don't, being single gives you plenty of time to look for one!). You have your family, and you may or may not have children, so you are not lonely. You have your friends, so you have people who will talk to you or hang out with you. You have yourself (and if you find you get bored with your own company, then you might really have a problem!). But, most importantly, you have God.

Sometimes God is overjoyed at our singleness. His joy is the equivalent of your being on a diet and eating half a fat-free popsicle every day and then, whoo-hoo, getting to eat a whole pint of Haagen Dazs (or maybe it's just me)! If your life is like most people's, you are probably pretty darned busy most of the time with life, family career and church. And, when you were in a relationship, you were probably busy with the talks, the dates, the drama and the like. So you probably don't have a whole lot of time for God in the first place. But being single works in your favor – you have more time to spend with God, more time to pray and more time for the solitude required to develop a true walk with God.

Because this is when He can truly work on you! It says in the Bible that a single person seeks to please the Lord, but a married person seeks to please his or her spouse. The inference is obvious – when you are married, your mind shifts to other priorities. Even if you were domesticated before, now there's double-duty – double the dishes, double the money to do your grocery shopping, double the trash to take out, double the cars to service, and double the time spent with another person. Double the time, but still only one you. Being single is the perfect time to devote yourself to God! And to let Him develop you into the Christian He wants you to be.

This is not to say that you should never go out. Go out, have some good, clean fun. Mr. or Mrs. Right is out there somewhere waiting for you and he or she will put in an appearance – at the right time. But, until then, take advantage of your free time! Get in tune with God (because, believe me you'll need it when you get married), re-discover who you are, spend time with your friends, and become more committed at church. More importantly, spend 'quality' time with God. He wants you to. And you need to, to maintain joy, happiness, and peace of mind.

Date sometimes, but spend time with God all the time. And – here's a bonus – you just might find that spending all that time with God has put you on the fast track to spiritual maturity which will lead to finding the mate of your dreams even sooner! Better than waiting on the phone to ring, right?

Christian Date Conversation

What do you talk about on a date? Is it okay to just listen and nod attentively or are you expected to take an active part in the conversation?

Do you get nervous at the thought of going out with someone new? When you think of going out on a date, is it like 'been there done that' or do you think of ways to wow your potential new love? For those of you who are super confident, you can stop reading here, but for the rest of us (who could use a little help), following are some basic guidelines to follow to help you make great date conversation!

Listen to what the other person is saying.

Don't pretend, nod without listening or zone out – pay attention to your date is saying to you! If you decide to keep seeing him or her, she'll be grateful that you remember that her grandmother raised her or that his mother makes the best apple pie in the world.

Pick up on conversational cues.

Most people are dying to talk about themselves, and you are the perfect listening audience! If your date casually mentions that he used to play football in college, ask him about it. Or if she mentions that she used to be the 'bomb' back in the day, draw her out in conversation. You could be just the friendly ear he or she needs to remember those old 'glory' days.

Have something to say.

Think about what you would like to talk about. Practice some things in your mind. And please don't give in to the TMI (Too Much Information) Syndrome. You may have started off talking about your cat, but, believe me, he does not want to hear about the interesting places Fluffy deposits her little hairballs! And, guys, please don't tell her all about your last girlfriend – she is gone for a reason, don't resurrect her for your new date's benefit.

Don't talk about sex on the first date.

Yes, I know we all break this rule sometimes, but you're better off leaving sex out of this conversational rotation. Why? Because once you go there, it's hard to get back to regular conversation. And where does talk about sex usually lead? To more talk about sex and deeper revelations until all that's left is to try it out! So, leave it alone until date four or five and, for tonight, tell him or her all about the last movie you saw instead.

End on a positive note.

If you mistakenly mentioned your Aunt Hortilda and got a bit carried away describing her obsessive toe nail clipping, redeem yourself by changing the conversation as soon as possible! Laugh at yourself for mentioning such a thing, talk about something positive and leave the date on a positive note. Don't overstay your welcome, don't end the conversation by dogging out your boss or your new sister-in-law and definitely don't share any deep personal revelations (like the fact that you were molested at age 2) on the first date. You can and definitely should talk about those things with someone you are seriously involved with, but that takes time. Don't let that be the last thing your date remembers about you at the end of the evening.

So date and have fun! Enjoy yourself, keep it lighthearted and make sure you keep the conversational ball rolling. If you have any suggestions about dating or want to share your dating horror story, Contact Us and tell us all about it!

Christian Dating Basics – Part 2

Here are the steps to dating successfully:
 
 Establish Your Criteria
 
 What are you looking for in a date? If it's good fun and fellowship, then choose someone with a healthy relationship with God, common interests, and who is outgoing and articulate. But if you want something more serious, you need to give it more serious consideration. Write down a list of at least 10 attributes you want to find in a mate. Put stars next to those traits that are a must. This will serve as your future checklist. As you meet people and begin to date, make sure the people you date have at least one of your 'must' traits. And at least 6 out of 10 traits you have listed. You will probably not meet someone who has every trait you listed, but that's okay, too. You might meet someone who has a great trait you never even thought of and will be happier you were open to meeting that person. And, don't expect anyone you date to be perfect. After all, you're not perfect, so make sure you maintain realistic expectations.

Make Yourself Available
 
 I know what you're thinking – 'I'm not desperate' or 'What does she mean by 'available'. I know you are not desperate and what I mean by 'available' is just that – available to go out, available to meet people, available to attend functions or social gatherings. And, yes, I know we are all holy and sold out for God, but there's nothing wrong with going out on a simple date. Let people know what you are looking for in a mate or a friend. Go places where you think you're likely to meet such a person. I'm even a fan of online dating and matchmaking services. At least online, you'll have an opportunity to get to know that person a little bit through email. Just be available – be open to the idea of dating, be open to the idea of meeting new people, be open to the potential of new conversation and including new activities in your life.
 
 Be Interesting Date Company
 
 Okay, you've met some new people, you've scheduled a few dates (where you will meet them on neutral ground) and you're ready to go. There is one very important that thing you must bring on your date – yourself! Be the kind of person you would like to go out with. Be interesting. Be alive. Be informed. You want to get to know this person and allow this person to get to know you. How much interest do you think they will have in someone who answers their questions with one word responses? Not much. There are no formal rules for date conversation, but you must talk! No matter how good a listener you are, eventually the conversation will turn back to you and you will have to say something about yourself. Be ready. Talk about this article. Talk about God. Talk about whatever your heart desires, but be sure to talk!
 
 Follow Up
 
 Make sure you thank your dates for their company. Let them know you enjoyed yourself (if you did) and that you'd like to go out again (if you do). But remember – play it cool! If you say something like, 'I enjoyed myself' and they say little in return, don't say anything else. Dating is a two-way street and if you're the only one participating, you need to find a different road! If the date went well, call in a few days to a week, but be casual. Ask them how they are, what they've been up to. But again, be cool. If they seem interested or excited to talk to you, then follow up with a suggestion for another outing. But if they say little or show minimal interest, just let it be. Say goodbye, wish them a good day and let it go. Because the simple fact of the matter is, if they want to see you again, they are fully capable of saying that for themselves.
 
 Stay Positive and Focused
 
 Remember that even if some of your dates don't turn out so well, it probably has little to do with you and everything to do with them. It's okay if you don't click with someone. It's okay if you don't want to pursue a relationship or they don't. The value in knowing your own self-worth is that you understand that another person's opinion of you does not make or break you. Perhaps that person is not the person for you. Perhaps you've set your aim too high or too low. Re-evaluate, move on, but don't let bad experiences deter you. I've seen many single men and women afraid to go out because they are afraid of rejection and they don't seem to realize that there are other men and women out there who feel exactly the same way they do! Just do it. Go out and have fun. And remind yourself that no matter what happens, this is not the end of the world (or the beginning) and your life will go on, just as happy, just as contented and just as focused as it was before that person came into it.
 
 Pray Always
 
 No matter what stage of the game you're in, pray always. Pray about if you should date, pray about who you should date and pray about your expectations and game plan. God will guide and direct you in anything You seek him for (and some things you don't), so make sure you get His input before you do anything.
 
So, go out and enjoy yourself. Plan your strategy, use your strategy and pray diligently! And be encouraged, the person you are looking for is probably right around the corner, searching for you as well.