Archive | April, 2012

What it really means to be pursued

30 Apr

pur·sue

1. to follow in order to overtake, capture, etc.; chase.

2. to follow close upon; go with; attend.

3. to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish.

4. to proceed in accordance with.

5. to carry on or continue.

If you read any Christian material on the subject of dating, you will most likely hear the word pursue used in the context of relationships. Usually it is that the man should pursue the women. However, I’m afraid that our definition of what pursue means has become a term we just throw around and often ends up misunderstood. Girls understand that a guy pursuing them is a good thing, but what does it really look like for a man to pursue a woman…the right way?

What it’s not:

A texting relationship. This is very popular in our society. If a guy can work up just enough courage to ask for your phone number, he can then just continue to hide behind the phone and send you obscure texts. If a guy is sending you texts but still ignores you when you are in the same room, that’s a problem.  I’m not saying that texting back and forth is a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be a substitute for talking in person. Texting is the easy way out. If a guy will text you but not call you or talk to you in person, he is not pursuing you.

A Facebook relationship. This goes along with the previous point. If he likes your status, that does not mean he likes you. If you talk on Facebook chat all the time, that is not pursuing you. If he is talking to you, he’s most likely talking to other girls too. Chatting is fine as friends, but if a guy asks you out over Facebook do not let him off that easy.

A guessing game. This is when you can’t tell whether a guy is really interested in you or not. A man pursuing a woman should not be a guessing game, it should be completely obvious! If he really wants to pursue you he will make it known. If he seems to treat you nice one day and ignore you the next, he is not pursuing you. This is where girls tend to do the pursuing, when a guy gives just enough attention. Don’t fall for this. He is most likely a coward and wants you to do the work to pursue him, which is his job.

What it is:

Awkward. To be honest, when a guy pursues you the right way it can be awkward at times. Like when he asks you out on a date face-to-face, or explains that he has feelings for you… it doesn’t always come out smoothly. But that’s okay. After all we have to give them some credit for their courage! There can definitely be awkward moments, but I encourage you to embrace them. I promise you will look back and learn to love all those awkward moments you shared together in the beginning.

Hard work. If you are talking about a man pursuing a relationship with a woman  with the hopes of one day making her his wife… that’s not easy! It’s hard work. I don’t want to get too old fashioned, but he should work to make you feel valuable and special. He should pay for you, surprise you, listen to you, respect you, and show you how special you are. If he wants to win your heart, he had better work for it.

Continuous. A man does not just pursue you the first month of dating, or until you get married, a man is called to pursue you for the rest of your life! If you enter into marriage together, he is still to pursue you. The hard work isn’t over! When a man makes the decision to pursue you, it should be a continuous journey through the rest of your lives.

 

So far I’ve given you some characteristics of what pursuit is, but there is a great picture of what pursuit in action really looks like. The ultimate example of pursuit is found in the story of Jesus in the Bible.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The truth is, you have already been pursued. Because of his great love for you, Jesus chose to pursue you. He left everything he knew and suffered persecution and death, all because of his love for you. His pursuit of you is continuous and never ends. Jesus has never and will never give up on pursuing you. No one will ever go further to pursue you than Jesus already did. In comparison to Him, no man could measure up; however, his sacrificial pursuit of us is a good example to guide us.

I hope that this helped to clear up some of our misconceptions of what it means to be pursued. Maybe you realized that the guys you thought were pursuing you really aren’t, or maybe you realized you are pursuing him! Whatever the case is, don’t settle for less than a man pursuing you. Embrace the awkward moments, make him work hard, and enjoy it for the rest of your life.

 

 

Is he ready to lead?

26 Apr

Men have a special calling from God to be the spiritual leaders of their families. If you are looking for a godly man to one day be your husband, you need to look for a leader. And he is not just called to lead you, he is called to lead your family as well. Here are some questions to ask about him to see if he is ready to lead.

How is his spiritual walk with God right now?

Is he actively pursuing Jesus? Or do you have to drag him to church? Once you get married, it won’t change. His pattern will continue whether good or bad. A guy with a strong relationship with Jesus will constantly be being changed by the Holy Spirit and trying to be the spiritual leader he is called to be.

How does he handle his money?

Luke 12:34 says, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” What does he spend his money on? It will tell you about his heart. If he can’t handle his money, he is not ready to lead a family.

How does he handle his job?

Does he have a new job every 3 months? Is no job ever good enough for him? A godly man needs to be able to work hard at whatever he is given. Look for a guy who is a hard worker.

How are his grades?

This question obviously only applies to some. If you are dating in high school or college, how seriously does he take his grades? When you are not yet on your own with bills and responsibilities, your grades are the only thing that you have stewardship over. If you can’t succeed or take your grades seriously, that is a bad indicator for the future. The Bible says we are to do our best at whatever it is, like we were doing it for the Lord.

I encourage you to keep these things in mind as you try to find a man who could be a Godly leader for you and your family someday. If you ask yourself these questions and you find yourself encouraged, there is a good chance that you have found a man who is ready to lead you and your family.

 

Worth Your Watch

23 Apr

Check out this 1 minute clip of Pastor Andy Stanley from North Point Community Church.

A few thoughts about the video…

You should have no tolerance for being treated like a commodity!

In case you’re wondering what commodity means, one of the definitions you can find in the dictionary is: A mass produced, unspecialized product.

Mass produced meaning there are tons like it. There are tons of girls who unfortunately let men use them for their bodies. Don’t be one of those girls. Demand better for yourself.

Being a commodity is more than the way you dress. It has as much to do with the inside as it does with the outside. If you have Christ, you are a daughter of God and you are precious to him. You are rare and special creation. You are not a disposable product.

If you are fishing with your body, you will catch body-snatchers! As funny as that sounds, it is true. If you keep attracting the same type of guys, switch the bait you are fishing with. Don’t lead with your beauty, lead with what’s on the inside. Then you will get the kind of guy who cares more about touching your heart than touching your body.

Click here to watch the full message!

 

Vague Prayers and Bold Prayers

16 Apr

Let me start of this blog by saying, I am in no way an expert on prayer. It is probably the area I struggle with the most in trying to find a rhythm with my relationship with God. Some people really struggle with reading their Bible every day, but for me finding the time and place and way to pray has always been my struggle.  However, I realize there may be some of you out there who struggle with the same thing, so I am willing to share my weakness.  I am currently reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson so I have been thinking about prayer a lot recently.

In my short life I have already seen God answer some of my prayers in crazy ways. I have seen God do miracles in my family and personal walk with God. But more recently, I wanted to share a simple prayer that my fiance’ and I prayed. It was the day before Easter and we were talking about our church’s Easter service the next morning. We decided to pray that God would bring 150 people.

The next day at church went really well, we had an amazing response of people who accepted Jesus! After the service my fiancé came up to me and was excited to tell me the attendance number. It was 150. Exactly. Wow! It was so exciting and I almost find it humorous that God would bring EXACTLY the number of people we prayed for.

As I mentioned before, I am currently reading a book on prayer that is teaching me a lot of good principles. One of those principles is:

“God does not answer vague prayers”

If we would have prayed: “God, please bring a lot of people to church tomorrow.” How would we have known if he did? When we pray vaguely, there is no way to know if God answered.  It is because we prayed specifically for 150, that we knew God had heard us, and answered.

When you pray vaguely you don’t give God the chance to really answer your prayers in a powerful way. I like what he says about specific prayers in the book:

“The more faith you have, the more specific your prayers will be. And the more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives.”

Because God answered our specific prayer, we can boast about how great our God is! When you pray specifically, you can no longer give credit to coincidences, only glory to God.

As amazing as that is, I couldn’t help but wonder… What if we had prayed for 200 people? Or 300 people?

One thing the author repeats in the book is:

 “Bold prayers honor God, God honors bold prayers.”

Was 150 a bold prayer? I thought so. But I think we tend to dream small because we don’t want to ask God for too much. But the crazy thing, God wants us to! God isn’t offended by our bold prayers, he is offended by anything less. God wouldn’t have been offended if we would have prayed for 300 people. It actually honors him when we dream big.

 “Nothing honors God more than a big dream that is way beyond our ability to accomplish. Why? Because there is no way we can take credit for it.”

Praying for things that are completely beyond our ability gives God the chance to show off. And when he answers, no one can take credit for it but Him.

I challenge you to stop praying vague prayers. Pray specifically. Don’t be afraid to pray big and bold prayers, they honor God. And then when God answers, give him all the glory he deserves and tell others.

If you are interested in learning more about the book I am reading, check it out here. I highly recommend it!

 

Bite-sized Blog: You probably shouldn’t be dating him if…

12 Apr

Today’s Bite-sized blog comes from “10 Reasons I should not be dating him/her” by Perry Noble.

 

You probably should not be dating him if…

1.   He is not willing to fight for purity.

In relationships, it is primarily the job of the man to set boundaries regarding physical purity. If your man doesn’t, or does but then doesn’t abide by them- this isn’t a good sign. The man should be the protector of your purity. If he isn’t willing to protect your purity before marriage, he won’t be willing to do so after marriage.

2.   He tries to get you to compromise things that God’s Word states clearly.

God’s Word is the manual that should guide our relationships. Once again, if he leads you further away from God and His word before marriage, he will do the same after marriage. Remember: you cannot change him, only the Holy Spirit can.

3.   You are always defending him to the people who know you, love you, and love Jesus.

Love is blind. We can become so smitten with love that we are blind to the obvious truth of who a person really is. Your Godly friends and family have an important role in your relationship because they can see what you often can’t. If you find yourself always defending him to these people, they might be seeing something you can’t.

4.   You hide your relationship from people because you suspect they may disapprove.

When you feel like you have to hide parts of your relationship from people, you need to stop and ask yourself why. When you hide it, you are eliminating the chance for Godly people to speak truth into it.

5.   You know the relationship has no future.

Many girls will hang on to dead-end relationships simply because they feel who they’re with is better than being alone. This shows that your identity is in who you are dating, rather than in Christ.

6.   You find out he is lying to you.

If he lies to you before marriage, he will lie to you after marriage. If you find this out, do not ignore it.

7.   You can’t confront him about issues without him losing his temper.

If your relationship has any future at all, you will need to learn how to overcome and communicate on issues. If he is incapable of this, it is a bad indicator for the future.

8.   You discover he is unfaithful to you.

You are a prize and worthy to be cherished and honored. If a man cannot remain faithful to you he does not deserve to waste one more minute of your time.

9.   There is something about him that drives you absolutely insane.

I’m talking about more than a pet peeve here. They are what I like to call “deal breakers”. It is something that you absolutely cannot get past. Often times people ignore problems and convince themselves that after marriage it will go away… it won’t. In fact it will probably become larger.

10. You constantly feel God leading you to end the relationship.

Many girls are too afraid to “hurt his feelings” or afraid they won’t get a chance at another relationship. Stop making excuses. Obey God.

 

If you can relate to 1, or 2, or 3, or 4 of these points… I challenge to you take a closer look at your relationship. You shouldn’t have to defend or make excuses for the guy you’re dating. You should be confident and proud of him. Maybe God is leading you to end this relationship because he has better things in store for you.

If you are a daughter of God, you are a princess. You deserve to have a prince who treats you like one.

 

 

Waves

9 Apr

“Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:6-8

Can you relate to this verse? I know I can. Sometimes I feel like it is a constant battle between serving God and my love for the world. Like waves, we can be blown back and forth by whatever new thing the world has to offer us. This verse is a reminder to us; that our loyalty must be to God and to Him alone. If we find ourselves in the middle, God cannot give us anything we ask for, due to our lack of loyalty to Him.

1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”

It is clear that what the world has to offer us is not what is best for us. But more than that, this verse says that if you love the world, you do not have God’s love in you. This should scare us a little bit. There are some days when I find myself still wanting to be part of the things of this world, even though I know it is just fleeting pleasure. We have to constantly remind ourselves to hate the things of this world, for the love of God is not in it.

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24

Not only does our first verse say that divided loyalty results in being unstable in everything we do, the Bible also says that it impossible to love both God and the world. It is impossible to serve both wholeheartedly. Eventually, you will hate one and love the other.

God is a god who demands our all. It is not okay to simply be tossed like a wave back and forth. We have to be solid and committed to serving Him. His expectations for us are high.

Jesus says in Luke 10:27, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.”

Being like a wave in the sea is not good enough for our God. He demands our all. As long as we continue to be like waves, getting tossed between our love for the world and our love for God, we cannot receive all that God wants us to have in Him.

Don’t be like a wave tossed back and forth in the sea. Commit yourself fully to Him. Love God and not the world. Give Him your all.

 

Bite-sized Blog: 7 Myths Single Women Believe

2 Apr

Bite-sized Blog: 7 Myths Single Women Believe

Today’s Bite-sized Blog comes from “The Seven Myths Single Women Believe” by Suzanna Hadly

If you are around women for any length of time, you will realize that there are plenty things we are taught to believe about singleness. However, not all of these things are true. This blog covered the top 7 myths that single women believe, and I couldn’t agree with them more. I myself have fallen victim to believe these lies, and I know many of you probably have too.  The enemy uses these lies to discourage us and leave us feeling lonely and defeated. If you live believing these lies, they can be destructive to your life and relationships. Let’s acknowledge them and start to change our thinking.

And the 7 most deadly myths are…

1. God will give me a husband when I’m ready

Not true. Finding a mate is not based on our own righteousness. Many women believe that if they just obtain a certain level spiritually, that it will somehow makes them ready for marriage. All of us are sinners and must constantly rely on God, whether we are single or married.

“Being in a single state may or may not have anything to do with your readiness. It likely has more to do with God’s timing. If you are daily allowing the Lord to mold you into His image, you are probably ready to be in a Christ-centered relationship.”

2. God views me more as a useful tool than a beloved child.

Wrong again. Many times you may hear that while you are single, you should maximize those years in service to God. While I believe this is a wise thing to do (Stop Waiting), God isn’t withholding a man from you so that you serve him longer. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” God is our loving father and he wants to give us the desires of our hearts. Not only does our Father want to bless us with good things, He knows the perfect time to give us those things.

3. When it’s the right guy, I’ll just know.

Not exactly. In our romanticized culture we are obsessed with the idea of finding “the one” or our “soulmate”. While these things aren’t bad, we often form unrealistic expectations as a result of this.

“In the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye Joshua Harris writes: “Too many couples overspiritualize the decision of whom they marry. Instead of realizing that God leads us by providing wisdom and allowing us to make our own choices, those couples wait for a ‘mystical experience’ that will tell them what to do.”

Don’t wait for a tall dark and handsome man to come sweep you off your feet. If you do, you’ll be waiting forever. Don’t wait for a mystical experience. Don’t over complicate it. Too many girls wait for a guy who meets every criteria they want in a man. I encourage you, give the good, godly men around you a chance (even if they are not the exact height, build or type that you imagined.)

4. When I get married, then my life will begin.

No, no, NO! This in my opinion is one of the worst, most prevalent lies that single women believe. There is nothing wrong with the desire to be a wife and mother. However, it is NOT okay to put your life on hold until then.

“Of the more than 500 references to life in the Bible, none puts marriage as a prerequisite. Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” John 5:24. My life started when I believed on Jesus, and it does not hinge on my marital status.”

It may seem that marriage cannot come soon enough, but embrace this time and use it to prepare yourself to be the best mom and wife you can be someday.

5. Marriage will/will not meet my deepest needs.

These are two extremes that women will go to, neither of them being correct. The first is that marriage is the answer that you have been waiting for! A husband is all you need to satisfy your soul’s deepest longings. Wrong.  God created woman for man to cure his loneliness. So while a husband may cure your loneliness, (this is a great thing, something we should be very thankful for!) there are some things that your husband will not be able to satisfy in you. Those are the things that only Jesus can.

So while our marriage cannot satisfy the needs that Jesus can, neither can our relationship with Jesus meet the needs that He intended other humans to satisfy. They go hand in hand. A relationship with Jesus and a husband will satisfy our deepest needs.

Marriage cannot satisfy all of our longings. However, you shouldn’t set your expectations too low. Marriage is an awesome institution created by God. When you put God at the center of your marriage you will experience amazing things.

“As women, we must embrace a balanced understanding of the distinctive roles that Christ and a godly husband should play in our lives.”

6. There must be something wrong with me. If I could just figure out what it is, I could fix it and guys would start showing interest.

In our messed up society, girls are often tricked into thinking that there is something wrong with them. Our society tells us that in order to be attractive, we have to be the right height, weight, and wear the right clothes…right? Wrong. The Bible makes a point to mention that “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting…” Proverbs 31:30. We cannot rely on beauty alone.

“The things I should be concerned about improving are spiritual in nature. Am I submitting to Christ? Am I manifesting the fruit of the Spirit? Do I have a gentle and quiet spirit? The right kind of man will be attracted to these qualities.”

7. The older I get, the less likely it is that I will find someone.

If this is something you struggle with believing, I challenge you to examine your view of God. Do you think God’s ability to bring you a mate is limited by the number of years you’ve been on earth? Do you think that he forgot about you? He didn’t. God is working in ways that you will never know. If I can get one thing across to you, it is that His timing is PERFECT. We may never know why or how, but it is.

“As you cultivate godly attitudes and avoid damaging lies, you allow the Lord to pour out the things He has for you. That way, when the right guy comes along, you’ll be ready.”

 

Stop believing the lies. Don’t allow them to leave you hopeless anymore. Remember, loneliness isn’t a destination; it’s just a place you pass through.