Blog Series

Solo 4.0: You couldn’t wait, Now What?

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my first three installments in this series were about basically waiting to date. So it’s no coincidence that I’m focusing on what happens now that you couldn’t wait..

Being solo isn’t the end of the world.
There’s the saying that being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. It’s like you’re dating yourself. Even that could be a handful. You gotta love yourself,  spoil yourself.  Know what you like and don’t like.  Be comfortable in your own skin.
Being single should be one of the seasons in your life that you’re happiest. No matter if that season of singleness lasts a few months, a few years, or even your whole life. Your season of singleness is a time to focus on yourself. Discover what makes you happy, and keep doing it. Over and over and over again. Rely on yourself. Grow by yourself. Being by yourself doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. It should be just as fun, if not more, as dating someone.
Dating can be fun.  Getting to know someone, finding out what they like,  dislike,  etc. That brand new feeling. It’s refreshing. The first flirt,  first heart eye emoji, first date,  second,  third, first kiss, etc. Butterflies in the stomach feeling.. Right?
Dating isn’t everything either. I can’t speak on marriage or a whole lot on serious relationships that last longer than a couple of years,  but I can speak on dating.
I look at dating like a group project. A fun,  TWO person project. There’s a common task and goal in mind that you’re building towards. Finding out if this could turn into a serious relationship or not.
The idea about group projects is everyone has to contribute. It’s not required, but it’s the ideal thing. If everyone in the group contributes, the project should come out good. If everyone doesn’t contribute,  the project will lack.
Same goes with dating.  Both people ideally should want to contribute to building towards something greater. It’s not a requirement and either person can choose not to contribute and pull out of the dating relationship. Problem is, more times than not,  one person is always more interested in the ‘group project’ than the other. It’s life.  That happens.  But this is where the dating experience turns south. 
You won’t ever be able to make someone like you or be into you the way you’re into them. The best thing you can do is be into yourself so much,  the right person will come along and be into you the way you desire them to be. Naturally.
So just what happens when that experience between you two turn sour? It’s no longer dating at that’ll point. It’s now considered a situationship.
I’m not sure when this term was created but the word Situationship doesn’t sit well with me. It shouldn’t sit well with you either.
Urban dictionary defines a situationship as:
any problematic relationship characterized by one or more unresolved, interpersonal conflicts. usually confused with dating.
Problematic relationship ? But y’all were dating and having a good time, what happened? Interpersonal conflict? What the heck?
I’ll tell you what happened.. Somewhere along the way of you two dating, one of you developed deeper feelings and wanted more while the other would rather continue to date and not get too serious. I don’t do the whole situationship thing. Situationships are toxic. Usually at the dating stage, everything (well almost everything) is innocent. The conversation is good, connection is legitimate. Everything is fine. What causes a situationship is when the conversation starts to become a struggle because now all one person wants is to talk about it being a relationship, something more. And the other doesn’t want to hear it.
Okay, it’s not just the conversation that changes.
Usually situationships are the result of a dating experience that has progressed to the point of introducing sexual relations.
So what’s wrong with having sex with the person you’re dating?
Nothing, if you’re heartless and don’t care about your emotional, physical and mental security and integrity.
Sex is avoidable while dating, but is it always avoided? Nope. Does sex alone cause Situationships? No. But does it affect the health of the dating experience? Yes and no.
It affects the experience because you two are still at the level of learning each other, getting to know what that person likes and dislikes. Having sex at this point is tricky cause you want to know as much as you can about them without getting too physical too fast.
I was browsing Twitter for content about situationships because let’s face it, we are in the generation of social media .. I saw this tweet.
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Interesting thought.

As I said, if you’re completely emotionless, then having sex with someone you’re dating won’t affect you as much… you robot

For the 98% of us that are affected by sex while dating, be extremely careful. I can’t tell you to stop having sex or stop dating altogether. I’ve been down that road before several times.
What I can say is, watch yourself. Make sure you and the other person have a clear line of communication. Hopefully, if the dating experience has progressed to being intimate, there’s consistent communication already taking place. You both know where y’all stand. Y’all both know how one feels about the other. What sex will do is possibly add more to what you’re really feeling about the other person or what you’re actually ready to feel, if that makes sense.

Avoid the situationships. They’re toxic. The communication has broken down. Theres a chemical imbalance of emotions and thoughts with yourself and the other person. You’re thinking you’re just being led on until they find something better or until it’s time for them to get serious about their life and career. You’re instantly regretting getting into this. Maybe you’re the one who is on the other side. You’re the one that isn’t into them as much as they are and you know it. Maybe you’re the one that just wants something better and this is just convenient for the moment. Bottom line: Someone always ends up getting hurt.

The way I believe it to be is this:
There’s being Single. Dating. Serious Committed Relationships. And Marriage. No in between. No blurred lines. No situationships.

It’s best to just wait. If you can’t wait, it’s okay to date. Just date smart. Know your worth. That’s all I’m saying.

J.

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Breaking The Silence: Interlude

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Where do i start? Where do I begin?

SAY SOMETHING. SPEAK. NOW. no wait, don’t start off like that.

At least think first, right?

Our minds develop, contemplate, and reflect on over a million thoughts a day. Maybe even more than that. No, that’s not scientifically tested. I dare you to try and actually perform an experiment, that’s a pretty good estimate don’t you think?

No , but seriously, we think every second of every minute of every hour, of every day. But do really say what’s on our minds? Do we really express our most inner thoughts, feelings, emotions? Do we just rant to the nearest ear, or social media account we can log in to , without having any filter, ? Or do we just sit back and observe our surroundings first , completely quiet, shut up , hesitant to really speak out on what’s really bothering us..

Personal issues, interpersonal , global events, political, entertainment gossip, civil issues, morals, religious beliefs and views, you name it. If it’s something to think on, it’s something worth speaking out on… Or is it?

My point is , we should watch what we say, do, and think about first and foremost. But at the same time we should also take into consideration that someone may need to hear a word of constructive criticism, or uplifting encouragement… without the biased filter.

Someone may need to know that there’s still hope in a broken world . Regardless of their personal background and life’s choices 

Someone may need to be told that they can still be something in this world, even if somebody told them they’re nothing.

Someone may need to be reminded that if they fail 99 times, that the 100th time will always be there, it’s not going anywhere.

Then someone may already be on the road to bigger and better, and they just  need that one push and tap on the shoulder with the words “I notice your effort and hard work, Don’t stop. Persevere, you can do it!”

Rather or not these few sentences hit close to home or not, don’t worry, these next few posts , I’ll try my best, with the grace of only God Himself guiding my footsteps (and finger tips) to briefly and respectfully touch on some topics that should be spoke out on…

{Relationships/Friendships, Racial Discrimination/Profiling (including interracial relations, and inner racial disputes) , Self reliance vs dependence on others, Homosexuality, Self esteem and Self empowerment , just to name a few}

Now mind you these posts will be brief in nature and will reflect my open minded views and beliefs. But as I mentioned before , will still be respectful . These are some topics that I have been keeping silent on , and want to.. Break the Silence on.

My goal is to inspire, encourage, and to share my intellect and hope to, open minds up to speaking their minds more , but at the same time be respectful of their peers.

So take this journey with me over the next few weeks, and ask yourself this: What are you keeping silent about? Isn’t time to break that silence ?

J

The Review: S.W.B Series: “Let’s Just Live Together”

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The final installment in Pastor Carter’s summer sermon series “S.W.B.” wraps up with a message entitled ‘Lets Just live Together’ addressing the rising epidemic of singles engaging in “shacking up” and living together before marriage. What does God’s Word have to say about that? Let’s find out..

Before I get into the sermon notes, let me just say this, when I heard this sermon the first time and again the second time to take notes, I was blown away at what all God said through my pastor. This message is so crucial in today’s time. We simply believe that living together is the new marriage. That we don’t have to have a piece of paper or even a ring to signify that we’re together officially. Truth is, that’s wrong, and the world’s view of how being together should be. As believers, we can’t just follow what’s popular. We have to adopt God’s view on this. here’s what God’s word has to say..

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Hebrews 13:4

Three basic principles from this verse:

  1. There is a responsibility to honor marriage. First part of verse 4 in chapter 13 of Hebrews says it word for word: Marriage should be honorable by all…
  2. Reserve sex for marriage. Again taken from this verse, ‘and the marriage bed kept pure’.
  3. Responsible to God. “for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” we are held accountable to the one who will judge.

Even with those basic principles, people, even believers feel that it’s okay to live together. And a problem most people experience is, they drift into it. It’s not necessarily a planned decision.. or one would think that.

Here’s 5 myths about living together.

  • Myth #1: Living together is my personal choice, and shouldn’t affect anyone else’s life, so why should it matter??             Truth: It DOES matter. It’s sin, which leads to sexual sin. The definition my pastor gave to ‘living together’ is two unmarried people living together having sex for a period of at least…..one day…That’s it. Why only one day? Because that’s how it starts…
  • Myth #2: Living together helps to test out the relationship and see if it will lead to marriage.        Truth:Living together sabotages the chances for marriage. You can’t “test” what God has commanded to be a lifelong commitment and covenant relationship between man and woman. you can’t just try it out, and if you like it, you’ll keep it, or if you don’t, you push it aside and keep moving. It’s not like that. Trying it out is having one foot in and one foot out. Always having a plan B if it doesn’t work out. Little do you realize that’s setting up the relationship for failure by always having a backup plan, instead of trusting God and stepping out on faith.
  • Myth #3: Living together is viewed by men and women equally.          Truth: Men see this as sex being the greatest value in the cohabitation experience. We, as men, see this as a opportunity to “cash in” without having to put all of their chips on the table. We don’t have to make a big commitment. What ends up happening is men have problems taking responsibilities for their relationships. Instead of loving and sacrificing for your woman like a MAN, we’re just satisfied with having a woman to put our hands around, and whatever else we can get our hands on.   this leads to absent fathers, a MAJOR DECREASE in REAL AUTHENTIC MANHOOD, and a SHARP INCREASE in COHABITATION.                                   And for women, they see this as an actual step towards marriage. Some women struggle with loneliness, self esteem, so they would take any part of a man, just to have one. Some women would lower their standards just to feel happy and secured with a man, that chances are God doesn’t want you with. ‘The more you lower your standard for a man, the more a man will assume the lowest position’. Just because he/she moved in with you does not mean they will marry you. Just because they had a child with you, does not mean they will step up and marry you. Women set the unrealistic expectations of marriage when living together.  So as a result, both parties don’t view living together as equal opportunity, but unequal settling
  • Myth #4: Living together is the only way to save money.        My pastor literally said out loud when preaching this: REALLY??? REALLY??? THAT’S THE ONLY WAY??? THERE’S NO OTHER WAY TO SAVE MONEY???        Truth: There’s plenty of ways to save money WITHOUT living together. You can move in with a friend or have a friend move in with you (of the same sex, of course) to save money. Move back in with your relatives to save money. Pick up a second job. Cut back on spending. the list goes on. Basically living with your significant other before marriage just for the simple fact you want to save money is saying you’re building and focusing your relationship around money. You basically have a business agreement. “I’m just with you because you can help me pay this and that bill.” or since it is 2012, and you don’t need anyone to help you pay your bill, you figure, well why not put money together and go from there. (that’s not a bad idea) but you’re still putting money first. It’s a great idea ONCE you’re married though.
  • Myth #5: Living together provides a happy or better environment for my children.         Truth: It’s actually more unhealthy. A healthy family is built on a foundation of a committed couple, married. Studies show that co-habitation couples struggle emotionally, socially, and even academically. Not only that, but also they’re anywhere from 20 to 33 times more likely to be abused by their biological father or mother (if the two parents decide to part ways) Children need consistency. The main responsibility of a single parent is to care for their kids, not finding a mate. If God sends one, great. But if not, the child is the #1 priority. It’s not healthy to have people coming in and out of the home. That leads to vulnerability for both you and your child.

 

So you ask yourself, what I do now??  3 things. And a choice.

  • Move away. Adopt God’s view, not yours or popular opinion. As a believer, move away from what the world says about living together/co-habitation and move towards God’s view.
  • Move out. Here’s the choice. You can move out. You realize you’re there for all the wrong reasons. Convenience. Money. Sex. Security (false sense of). Get out. you’re already in sin, don’t make things worse by being miserable forever. Repent. and start fresh with yourself and God.
  • Marry now. …Or if you know in your heart, and God has revealed to you that this is who you are to be married to, then get married. Now. What’s the rush?? Why not, live together the RIGHT away. Live happy, the way God wants you to be . Don’t let the enemy fool you any longer!

It’s time to put to death the living together/co-habitation trend! Step out on Faith, and TRUST GOD with your relationship!! We as people are the church, and as my pastor said: “The church should be about Redemption” Allow God to redeem your relationship, allow Him to redeem you from your past, living in sin. Praise and Thank Him in advance for your redemption. Thank His Son Jesus Christ for dying for you and your sins. That’s redemption, you already have it. 

 
Glory to God for using Pastor Carter to preach such a powerful and inspiring message and series altogether. This whole entire series may have even spoke to married couples, as well as singles. You never know when someone needs to hear a particular message from God’s Word at any given time. No matter what season you’re in…

 

The Review

The Review: S.W.B. Series: “Are You the One?”

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The third installment in Pastor Carter’s summer sermon series, S.W.B. ‘Single With Benefits’ , continues with “Are you the one?” Pastor played the role of traffic control, along with revelation from God’s Word, and the help of the Holy Spirit, he gives us the best ‘route’ to finding the one, amongst the world’s crowded and backed up view of singleness.
There’s 5 signs we must be aware while on the path to finding the one:

  1. The Believer Sign (2nd Corinthians 6:14) If we’re going to be together, we’re going have to believe in the same God. Don’t be unequally yoked. One can’t be devoted to serving and living for God, while the other is in the world. Beware of ‘missionary’ dating. You can’t save someone living in the world on your own, just for the simple fact that you’re attracted to them. It won’t work. I believe this is the most important sign out of the five… that is until I heard the next one.
  2. The Baggage Sign. (Genesis 30:20) We all have issues. How do we deal with it?  Where does Baggage come from? Families & Past relationships. You cannot let baggage from past relationships clutter the current relationship you’re in. Even unresolved issues with family will prove costly to your relationship, if not dealt with in the right manner. So the way to deal with your past baggage, is you have to admit you have it, own up to it, and “go home and unpack your baggage.” Release. Remove. Refresh.
  3. The Employment Sign (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) Paul writes to the church and people of Thessalonia that “Christian life isn’t something you can just coast through.” The same pertains to a relationship. One of you can’t do all the work, while the other just coasts through. BOTH people should be contributing to the relationship. That means BOTH people should be providing and supporting the relationship financially, emotionally, AND spiritually!! This sign just doesn’t mean have a working job earning a paycheck, this also means be involved in growing with that person and connecting on a deeper level. staying active at work, home, and church!!
  4. The Self Control Sign (Galatians 5:22-23) Control yourselves!! This entire series has a common theme. Singles struggling with sex, loneliness, temptation, etc. Lack of self control. I even feel sometimes that I have no self control whatsoever! It’s a fruit of the Spirit. Without it, all the other fruits on the tree of righteousness won’t grow. Self Control is all about having discipline. Whether you struggle with money, greed, lust, or just being weak and lazy minded, Self control is key to getting back on track with your personal relationship with Christ, and a jump start and lasting foundation to a healthy relationship with someone. Communication, Trust, Agape Love is all key and important. All those elements are birthed from Self control!
  5. The Truth Sign (Proverbs 12:19,22) Simply put, TELL THE TRUTH. Proverbs 12:19 says ‘Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.’ Verse 22 says ‘The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.’ If someone lies to you on the first date, whose to say they wont lie to you when y’all get married, assuming that it gets to that point… Being truthful shows your character and speaks about the integrity you have.

Out of all the messages, this is my favorite, because of the easy, simple layout plan of what to look for in the one. Best thing about it, it’s packed with scriptures from God’s Word!!

If you want to find the right one, YOU HAVE TO BE THE RIGHT ONE.

The Review: S.W.B. series: “Single With Benefits”

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The first installment in Pastor Carter’s summer sermon series ‘Single With Benefits’ starts out with giving a general background on the world’s view of singles today, whether from reality TV, or from people’s own perspective of singleness. The problem that what the world sees as being single and how to live the lifestyle doesn’t agree with God’s view.

Throughout God’s Word, no scripture or verse emerges as how to successfully date. That’s because God doesn’t believe in “dating” There’s single. and there’s courtship, which leads to God’s holy covenant between two people…marriage. That’s it, nothing whatsoever about dating. Paul brings up the lifestyle of being single in the biblical form in 1 Corinthians 7. Paul, himself is single.

I wish that all men were as I am. but each man has his own gift from God’ one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

1 Corinthians 7: 7-9

Paul later speaks out on a situation if an unbeliever and believer are married (2 Corinthians 6:14), and the unbeliever leaves, the believer should let them leave, because they, the believer, are not bound in such circumstances. (1 Corinthians 7:15)

Later in the chapter Paul addresses those who are still virgins, men in particular. He says that he has no command from the Lord but says that it is good for them to remain as they are. If they’re married, don’t divorce; if they’re not married, do not find a wife. And if a virgin so happened to marry, they wouldn’t be in sin. Paul basically says this because those who are married are to live in such a way with a sense of urgency for their spouse, not themselves. A married man is more concerned with how he could please his wife, vice-verse with the wife. And its better for the singles to live in such a way devoted to the Lord.  (read verses 25-35)

The passage states that singles are to be more focused on serving God than anything else. Not to say married couples are not to be focused, for they can be a ministry as well. But in today’s world, the biggest distraction to singles is sex. Rather it’s loneliness driving you into sexual temptation, or a “dating” relationship, singles struggle with sex.

But that’s the amazing thing about being single. Even when you’re struggling, you know that God has something bigger for you. You’re struggling for a reason… the sermon notes explain..

  • Singleness is a gift from God. It’s not a second-class way of living. The single years are the years you are most available to serve God! A gift from God is meant to be utilized for His glory alone. Utilize your singleness.
  • Singleness is good.You have freedom & flexibility. The problem, however, is that we use that freedom and flexibility for the wrong reasons, and get caught up in sin. The reality is most singles are having sex. Marriages have problems too. You can be married and still be lonely. If you’re burning with passion as Paul mentioned, don’t get married and think your desire for sex, struggles with lust and pornography will go away. REPENT from those sins, while you’re single, don’t wait til you get married. Pastor said it best:

The whole “you complete me” is a LIE. You were completed the moment you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You are not half, you are WHOLE by the GRACE of GOD. -Pastor Carter

  • Singleness is for Greater Impact for the Kingdom of God. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:35 that singles “should live in a right way in undivided devotion of God.” (NIV) Singles should have an undying devotion to God! How am I living my singleness? Am I in a holding pattern??
  • Singleness grows you personally. That’s the best time to find yourself in Christ, as well as finding yourself in your surroundings. When you’re about Christ, and devoted to living solely for Him, that’s when everything else around you starts to change, You experience growth, and you find out right there and then, what else, and who else is growing with you.

This first message of the series on singleness was music to my ears. Something I needed to hear. I enjoy writing these reviews on these sermons, especially when I relate directly to them. I am technically in God’s eye, single. Yes, I’m in a relationship, and striving to honor God in that relationship, and shift it further and further away from a worldly relationship. hearing and applying a message like this to my relationship wont be a walk in the park, but it’ll all be towards the Glory of God in the end.

The Review: S.W.B. Series: “90 Day Rule”

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Pastor Carter continued his summer series on singles “S.W.B.” with the fourth installment entitled the “90 day rule.”

It’s been a series that has changed my perspective on singleness for the better. God has spoke to me, as well many others who have heard this series in the past few weeks. Pastor spoke today on the “90 day rule” taken from the popular book ‘Think Like A Man’ written by famous author, and comedian and personality Steve Harvey. The book was a #1 seller and was eventually turned into a movie that sold over $100 million. (I still haven’t seen it)

In Harvey’s book, He brings up an experience he had with his very first job at an automotive factory. There he realized that his employer would not give him any benefits until he had worked there for 90 days. No health, life insurance, dental, or vision, none of those benefits for the first 90 days. Steve then relates that experience to relationships saying women should go 90 days before giving their man “the benefits”.

Pastor Carter tried his best trying to line this “90 day rule” up with scripture… but there was no correlation. Because God’s rule is better! 

If you want a successful and healthy relationship, you’re going to need more than Steve Harvey’s book! You’re going to need the Word of God. – Pastor Carter

 

Matthew 5:27-30 is Jesus’ standard on the 90 day rule. We often believe that if we are “in the act” of adultery and premarital sex and sexual immorality then that’s where we fall into sin. But to the contrary, we fall into sin way before the act. We fall into sin with our mind and heart. v. 27

1. I need to lean away from lustful looks. 

Jesus says that if even look lustfully at someone, then you have already committed adultery. Lust comes from a Greek word that means  heat upon heat. Basically that means when you look at someone and you start to get warm, and ‘hot and bothered’ then my friend, that’s lust. Lust is when you desire sexually what God says is OFF  LIMITS. What does it mean to ‘look’ lustfully? Look comes from another Greek word that basically means to glare or to look again. The first look isn’t the one that gets you, its the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on look that kills you. It’s the look where you turn your head to the side for a better angle, the look where u tell your girlfriend/homegirl ” Girl , look at him! Mmph girl, he’s fine” That look when you tell your boys, “Dawg, look at her…man! she’s fine! Mmph, mmph, mmph.!” That’s LUST.! 

Many people and myself included look at this particular passage and say to Jesus, really?!! You want us to cut off our hand? or gouge our eye out just for looking? Is it that serious??! Jesus simply says, Yes, it’s that serious.  No glance at her booty or a 2nd look at his muscles is worth your whole entire body burning in hell!!!

Pastor said it like this: 

Before your hand goes in the wrong place, your eyes and thoughts go in the wrong place!

It’s not worth it!! God created intimacy, NOT lust! When we take what God so clearly commanded only for married people out of His context, we become corrupted with lust, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality.

Pastor even went so far to speak on the problem of men looking vs. women dressing to attract “the looks” from men. A man will tell you it’s just what they (we) do. I’ve done it. But even now in this day, women are being bold to the point where they will leave their house half naked, but not be on their way to the swimming pools, but to Church!! Short dresses, tight blouses, low cut shirts, etc.!!

It’s getting that crucial! Men (myself included) we have to take full responsibility at what we look at, and how we perceive it in our minds! Women, y’all must have more respect for yourselves and learn to dress and carry yourselves more appropriately and with more modesty. 

2. Lean toward a plan for purity. 

You have to have a plan in place when striving towards purity! It just won’t come to you. Especially when you have struggled with lust and sexual immorality. I have struggled with lust and sexual impurity for almost 10 years. I’m not even 25 yet. Jesus tells us in this passage that it truly is this serious! All through out the bible there are passages that help fight the battle against impurity. From having Faith to overcome, to knowing that there is an escape, to resisting temptations and the devil himself, to perseverance (my favorite biblical term)

To have a plan set on obtaining purity you have to:

  1. Reset my affection on Christ. (Colossians 3:1-2; Revelation 2:4) We have to ‘reset’ our affection on Christ. Just like when you have to reset some sort of device because it’s not acting properly, the same way we have to reset our minds, and hearts on Christ. Because we have forsaken our first true love.
  2. Remember Who we are. (1 Peter 2:9) God tells us who we are. He gives us our true identity by saying we are a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, so that we can declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light. 
  3. Remember everyone is vulnerable. (1 Corinthians 10:12) If you think you resist, and stand on your own, and not give in to sexual temptation, I got 5 words for you: Take heed, lest you fall.
  4. Restrict!! This one stood out to me the most. We have to restrict our relationships, as well as the friendships we have outside of our relationship. Pastor hit on this one because this one affects the seriously dating couples (what I’m currently in). We have to restrict the relationship we are in by setting parameters on it. No hanging out late, overnight stays, etc. But also we have to restrict the external friendships. Stop going to the home girl to talk about your girlfriend, or stop going to home boy to vent about your boyfriend. This is a rising epidemic called emotional adultery, where you’re not necessarily committing physical adultery, but you’re giving other people access to your deepest emotions when they should be reserved for your significant other and God. This is something that I’ve struggled with in my past relationships and current one. But by the grace of God I am learning to fix it and improve on that. 
  5.  Retreat!! (2 Timothy 2:22) Sometimes it’s good to just get away from it all! All the distractions that cause us to be tempted. It’s good to have that accountability partner [of the same sex] to retreat with you into prayer, and to retreat into scripture. Whatever it takes to flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 
  6. Resist!! (James 4:7) What’s keeping me from resisting? What’s keeping me from submitting myself to God, and resisting the devil. Who am I really fleeing from? 
  7. Take Refuge!! (Romans 7) This is exactly why I asked those self reflection questions in the last point. Paul said it best! “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do….. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out… If i do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it… what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to do God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!” v. 15, 18b, 24-25
  8. RUN!! (Genesis 39) If you haven’t already, read the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. Joseph ran when tempted by the wife of Potiphar. He didn’t delay or said no and stayed, he ran!! When all else fails, RUN!!!

so much for the “90 day rule” 

The Review: S.W.B. Series: “What about me?”

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[I’ve been slipping on writing the notes from bible studies and sermons, so everyone please forgive me for that, I will get back to being more consistent. From now on, all of the sermon notes will be part of it’s own blog series called ‘The Review’.]

 

 

 

My Pastor just started a new sermon series last Sunday entitled ‘Single With Benefits’ talking about God’s plan for singles. Last week, he talked about how singles struggle with sexual sin. here are the notes from this past Sunday’s message and the second installment of the series: ‘What about me’.

One word describes how we should approach every unique situation in life . This one word is found in bible several times.

Contentment.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty . I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

                                                                                                                                                                                      -Philippians 4:10-13

 

Paul writes this letter to the people in Philippi as a thank you letter. Mainly because of a gift they had sent him upon learning of his detention back in Rome. Inside this letter, Paul expresses several points and addresses different matters to the people in Philippi, but in chapter 4 he brings up how he has learned the value of contentment through his life. Paul lays out a small blueprint just in those few verses of how important it is in the Christian journey to learn the value of contentment.

 Contentment is the ability to be satisfied with where God has you right now. It’s the feeling of peace knowing you have everything that you need, whether or not you could really use more or don’t have enough. In respect to being single, content means to be at peace with being just single. No dating. Just waiting. We get into a rush because the world around us tells us to rush into a relationship. to get “cuffed”.

Being content basically says ‘what’s the rush? God’s voice basically represents this word fully. You won’t ever hear God command us to rush into something (unless He’s talking about repentance and saving souls).  That includes your season of singleness. Besides, while we’re rushing to be in a relationship, or desiring to be in one so bad, we could be putting that energy towards greater purposes.

I say “we” because I include myself in this. I feel that learning the value of contentment is vital in all aspects of life, especially your personal life. Achieving contentment doesn’t come overnight. a lot of us are impatient, frustrated, and we even sometimes doubt god. I’ve been there. I learned from Sunday’s sermon that there are 5 principles in achieving true contentment, even in a season of singleness.

1. Learn how to value yourself. Love yourself first. 

You can’t love anyone else until this happens. You have to know that you are valuable. If you honestly feel right now that you don’t love yourself it’s okay we’ve all been there. Myself included. At this point you have to remind yourself that you are indeed loved and valuable. God believes that you are valuable. How am I sure? he sent His son Jesus Christ down to earth to die for you. Now that’s love right there. That should make you WANT to love yourself. Somebody gave their own life for you, and rose from the dead AND still loves you the same, even more. If that doesn’t do it, God tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalms 139:14) Never let life’s circumstances make you question your value. God says it Himself that you are valuable.

2. Learn to value your God. God is love.

To know God is to know love. (1 John 4) You wont find one in it’s true form without the other. Along with love, knowing God and his immeasurable value comes full revelation and understanding of who He is. To know Him is to love Him, but it’s also to fear Him and recognize what all God is capable of.. more than we could ever imagine.

 Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm He said: Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off it’s dimensions? surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together an all the angels shouted for joy?

                                                                                                                                                                                        -Job 38:1-7

Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God? Do you not know? have you not heard? the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall. but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

                                                                                                                                                                                        -Isaiah 40:27-31

Knowing God helps us in our never ending quest to be content and wait on Him, not to mention strengthen our faith and our spirit.

3. Learn how to value who you allow in your life. 

This is simple. Take pride in who you allow in your life. Unlike in the bible with Samson, don’t chase after anybody because they look good and end up in a compromising situation. A very special friend of mine said this. ‘Who you let into your life will have an effect on your life.’ I could not agree more. You have to be careful who you allow access into your life. It also says a lot about yourself and your desires. My pastor said during his sermon that we often sometimes misinterpret the meaning behind Psalms 37:4 ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ But what if your heart isn’t in the right place? The scripture  really means if we truly delight ourselves in the Lord, He’ll re-align our desires with His. God has a perfect plan for your life.

4. Learn to value God’s timing. 

Nobody else’s timing is better. Especially when His timing is connected closely with being content. The thing about contentment is that it’s never in a hurry. When it’s time to meet someone and date, remember there’s no rush. There’s no rush to get all boo’ed up and be kissing and or anything else and it’s only been the first date…slow down. After all, what’s the rush?

5. Learn to value substance over style. 

Our society has programmed us to choose style of substance. From our appearance to who we choose to date, “style” is the more popular choice. Intellectual and spiritual values aren’t highly regarded in today’s culture. Even in relationships, people are so consumed in choosing someone with style (Looks, money, swag, sex appeal, etc.) that they fully miss out on the substance. Substance is the personality, the heart, the intellect, the deeper relationship with God. That’s substance! Choose that over style.

Contentment helps to discern between substance & style. If you’re content, you’re in no rush to make an immature decision in your personal life, or any aspect of your life.

Once you start to love yourself the way God loves you and value and know God for yourself, value who you allow access into your life, accept God’s perfect plan and timing, and choose substance over style, you’ll definitely say to yourself that you’re content with where God has you in your life.

God bless.