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Set High Standards

Disclaimer This was not written in the recent past. 

My mind has been on relationships a lot lately, particularly Christian relationships.  For a multitude of reasons.  And when I say relationships, I’m particularly talking about romantic relationships.

SetHigherStandards

If someone you are romantically interested in cannot put effort into prioritizing your relationship, they are not worth your time.

Please, hear me when I say that. I beg you.

You probably know what they are doing daily if you’re dating or “talking” to someone and if they can’t manage to talk to you on the phone on a semi regular basis or put the effort in to see you, why are you with them?  No one has so very little time that they cannot pick up the phone for 5 minutes to talk to someone that they like.  Moreso, if they want to be “with you,” they’re going to want to be with you hanging out.

If you know for a fact that they have plenty of time but are making it seem like they’re incredibly busy, stop talking to them (romantically). Stop giving them the time of day, because you are worth so much more than that and someone, someday will value you and put effort into a relationship with you.  Just because they refuse to do so right now doesn’t mean that you must settle for that kind of behavior.

Nope.  You can gracefully tell them that you deserve to be a priority and you can still be friends with that person if you’re both civil human beings.  But that doesn’t mean you should accept that in a romantic relationship.  Got it? Good. Because I feel like a broken record right now.

It’s perfectly okay to have high standards, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Gosh, I can’t even say how many times I’ve heard “You expect too damn much.” No, I don’t.  I don’t date for fun.  So I’m not looking for someone to just hang out with when I think about dating.  I’m considering whether they’d actually be someone I could see myself with.  Yeah, I know that’s a lot.  It’s a hell of a lot. But that’s living with intention.

It doesn’t mean we’re gonna get married.  It means we have similar values, interests, and most importantly, beliefs.  It means we can both be ourselves around each other. And preferably he’s not a giant stick in the mud.

High standards are a good thing.  Especially in Christian relationships.  You should be holding one another to high standards, especially once you are already dating.  Before you are dating, you should be looking for character traits that are indicative of strong character and a desire to honor and glorify God in everything.

You have to know that you are worth so much more than to not be valued.  So I’ll leave you with this — for a Christian relationship to succeed and flourish, Jesus must be your first focus.  Jesus must be the person you would like to date or are dating’s first focus. You can’t be one another’s primary focus.

“Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure”  (Psalm 62:5-6 CEV).

You cannot get your peace from another human being or anything else in this world.  I promise you that.  Peace only comes from Jesus.

 

 

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Dating Someone Who Doesn’t Love Jesus

Disclaimer: We’re gonna talk more about marriage than dating because the Bible doesn’t directly address dating but it talks an awful lot about marriage. Okay? Okay.

I’m gonna say this, plain and simple:

It’s not easy to find someone you like who is following Jesus whom you can potentially see yourself falling in love with.

Is it okay to date someone who doesn't love Jesus?

But don’t give up and decide it’s okay to date anyone regardless of their faith. We are very clearly told that we are not to be “unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV). What’s that actually mean, though?

Let’s take a deeper look at this verse and see exactly what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he wrote this verse and, specifically, the words “unequally yoked.”

“A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the taller, stronger one, causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another.”[1]

Here’s the whole verse:

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV).

Now picture that image that is discussing marriage between believer and unbeliever. You don’t get anything done. You only go ’round and ’round in circles when you try to make decisions because you’re on opposing ends of the spectrum when it comes to what you believe is important.

Let me give you a few examples:

  1. Say you meet someone in college and he’s the guy of your dreams (minus the following Jesus part). The two of you decide to get married right after graduation. You both get decent jobs as soon as you graduate (yay, you!) As soon as you get your first paychecks, you go to give 10% of both of your checks – or even just yours, to your church and he has an issue with that. See the problem?
  2. A few years into your marriage, you now have a 2 year old and another baby on the way. After this baby comes, you’d really like to adopt because you have a heart for ministry and caring others. He says you have a perfectly healthy body and doesn’t understand why you’d want to adopt.
  3. You would really like to take your kids to church, but he says absolutely not. What do you do?

I really hope you see where I’m going with this. Marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian is a constant battle that we are not meant to fight.   God intended marriage to be a beautiful thing.   He didn’t intend for marriage to be chaos. Yes, you will have ups and downs, but if you ride them, you will find beauty in the journey.

Don’t even go down the road of thinking about the possibility of being with someone until you know for sure that they are completely head over heels for your Savior before they’re going to fall in love with you. Especially when you think that person does love Jesus to find out that they don’t. Just be absolutely 100% certain. Protect your heart – someday, someone will cherish it. For now, rest in the fact that your Savior loves you more than you can comprehend.

Bibliography

“What does it mean to be unequally yoked?,” Got Questions Ministries, accessed July 7, 2017, [https://www.gotquestions.org/unequally-yoked.html].
[1] “What does it mean to be unequally yoked?,” Got Questions Ministries, accessed July 7, 2017, [https://www.gotquestions.org/unequally-yoked.html].

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How We Should Use Social Media

HowToUseSocialMedia
Photo taken by Wilfred Iven

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  

 

There’s really so much that can be said about this thing that has threatened to taken over our lives.  So let’s talk about just a few:

#1: “You must not have any other god but me.” Exodus 20:3 NLT

This is the most important point I’m going to hit, so if you leave this post with nothing else, leave with this: social media very easily leads to idolization if we aren’t careful. There are two different forms of this.  Both incredibly toxic. God will not tolerate us worshipping anyone or anything but Him.  Nothing.

  • Idolization of others
  • Self-idolization

When we think of idolization in terms of the Old Testament, we often think we might never have any god like that.  How dare we! It’s so simple to find examples of both forms of these types of idolatry all over our society; just look around.

#2: Glorify God!

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

There are so many ways to share your faith on social media.  Word of caution: there’s a difference between sharing and shoving down someone’s throat. 😉

#3 Use it for fulfill your spiritual gifts!

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV

Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? If not, there’s a great test you can take here.

#4 Use it to speak life into others’ lives.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who life it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV

The way we speak to others can change lives.  It really can.  Social media is no different.  Be positive and encourage others. Do your best to avoid the “Facebook Fight.”  It’s stupid. If it’s going to hurt someone, don’t post it. Think. Pray.

#5 Use it to grow relationships!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 NIV

You actually can build your relationships that you aren’t constantly involved in day-to-day contact in online.  Just be careful.

#6 Use it to learn!

“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15 ESV

People actually post some pretty cool stuff on social media other than things about politics and videos of cats. Find something (or things) you’re interested in, pages that share things related to it that will give you videos or blogs related to what you want to know.

#7 Share Scripture!

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16

We share quotes all the time. Take the time to find Scripture that means something to you..and even better..give the world (a.k.a. your friend list) a little insight as to why.

#8 Take some time off from it once in a while!

“Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7 NIV

It’s good for your mind! Just spend some time with God.  Spend some time with your family and friends.

#9 Obviously, use it to share your faith!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV

This one’s really pretty simple, to be completely honest.

#10 Don’t use it to promote yourself!

I saved this for last because I want you to remember it.

“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'” Luke 9:23 ESV