UNDERSTANDING WHEN TO DATE AND WHOM PT 6

Hi there.
Please try this link to catch up… http://wp.me/p6rlMY-9O

We are still looking at the common factors that people consider as markers to begin dating and now we are ready for #3.

WHEN SHOULD I START DATING?
Common reason #3:
Birds of the same feather flock together.



I have had friends and acquaintances who were in distress at one point or the other in their lives because they realised they were being left out of the dating wave. In some cases, it was a lady lamenting how all her sisters, (some younger, some older) were going in and out of relationships with not so much as a second glance from a guy coming the way of the one lamenting.

Sometimes, it’s a guy thinking “all my friends are either engaged or married and I can’t seem to get a lady to agree to go out with me.”

Whichever be the particular scenario, it leads to a number of emotional destinations. Some feel unlovable, some feel left out, depressed and lonesome making them keep to themselves which further worsens their chances at being “found”. Some get jealous, quite sadly, while others get desperate. (We’ve talked about Desperation before now).

The reason for this situation is quite understandable. We all tend to be raised as part of a community. That community would take various forms as we grow up and exert their various pressures on us and our loved ones. Some of the forms we have but didn’t realise what they were include class mates, school mates, work colleagues, fellow church members or even siblings.

We find ourselves doing things not completely because we need to but because of the peer pressure. If my child improved from 20% performance to 75%, I would be happy but only for as long as I don’t find out that my neighbour’s kid improved from 75 to 77% because that discovery would bleach the “flying colours” on my kid’s report sheet. And the child picks up on that ideology, “Life is good when I am able to keep up” and so we grow up with this flock mentality and thus, many of the pressures we experience in life as a whole and in relationships in particular, stem from this perceived need to measure up.

Unfortunately, we forget that no two persons are the same. No, not even “identical twins” (I happen to have twins as kid sisters, very pretty girls… Identical but quite different). No two persons have the same divinely scripted destiny. There is no actual competition with anyone. The only person you should strive to outdo is yesterday’s version of yourself.

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” So, don’t panic because everyone else but you seems to be getting the goods, just keep moving forward.

Free yourself from this pressure of trying to keep up. If you’re on a queue for food and the queue is so long that you can’t see the front, yet every few minutes, you see someone walk away from the front with a plate of food, then be patient, the line is moving, it will soon get to your turn. Do whatever is wise and decent for you to do in order to find your soul mate; do it for you and not because of anyone else.

By the way, those friends I mentioned all later found someone who cherished them and they are all married today.

UNDERSTANDING WHEN TO DATE AND WHOM PT 5

Hi. Still on this series however, we are now looking at the common factors that people consider as markers to begin dating. In the last installment, we checked out #1. If you missed it, try this link http://wp.me/p6rlMY-9M

Now,

WHEN SHOULD I START DATING?
#2: Tick Tock… Biological Clock. 



Ever heard the expression, “Biological clock is ticking”? It’s common amongst women because of the awareness of menopause and it’s attendant cessation of reproductive capacity. Biological clock alarm doesn’t bother men so much although it’s becoming increasingly clear that some birth anomalies are associated with increased paternal age.

In order to circumvent all these, people strive to marry early in life. While I support marrying as early as is healthy for you, for this and other reasons, here’s what is really bothering most people when they think of the Biological Clock – DESPERATION.

Committing to a relationship out of desperation is really unfortunate because anything done out of desperation is fraught with errors. Even if you date the best guy in the world, if it was out of desperation, it would still be wrong and it will go wrong.

Desperation is panic. Any action taken in moments of desperation or panic only has one good outcome, survival. That’s the only good that will come out of a relationship based on panic… survival. Such a relationship will never fulfil what it was meant to do.

It is also quite common that after finally getting into a relationship due to panic, a time comes when the panic loses its edge and the participants begin to realise that they didn’t really need to be in the relationship in the first place and, guess what happens… they break it off. Unfortunately, rather than teach them a lesson, it worsens the desperation and the cycle begins all over again.

The only way not to be caught in this pointless and painful cycle is to not be desperate from the get go. Learn now to trust that God has a plan for you and that plan includes someone special who will cherish your company and love you completely.

The only thing to be desperate for is for a good marriage. This will drive you to learn what you need to learn to make a good marriage your reality. Don’t be desperate to be in a relationship, you would amount to a beggar and as it is commonly said, a beggar has no choice. You would end up settling for less than what you deserve… less than what God has for you.

Understanding When to date and Whom PT 4

Hello again. In case you’re just joining me on this series, please be aware that this is the 4th installment and some significant foundation has been laid in previous ones. You can directly access the 3rd part which addresses the question, “Should Christians Date?” via this link http://wp.me/p6rlMY-9J
You will find a link embedded in that post connecting you to the second part of the series as well, and so on. 

Moving on….
WHEN SHOULD I START DATING?

Now that we have settled some background issues, we can move on to answering the first question that gave birth to this series.

There are two ways to go about this: I could just state my views and end it which would be much shorter or I could take on some of the common factors considered as the basis of determining who is ready to get romantically involved with someone else, discuss each one and see if they are worth the value ascribed to them.

I’ll take the second route, it’s going to be seriously longer but I think it might be more relatable.

When should I start dating? Common Reason #1:


🎶I am 16 going on 17…

I remember that line from the classic movie, The Sound of Music, perhaps you do too.

The young lady had just turned 16 and she felt she was set. She had spent her entire time waiting to turn 16 and when she did, she felt she was old enough to fall in love and be loved romantically. The young man was 17 going on 18 and he too felt he was the perfect age for a guy desiring the affections of a “sweet 16”. I think they did fall in love but things didn’t go quite as they thought; they fell out of love and they even became enemies.

Age.

This is one of the most common thoughts that people have as a determinant for when to get involved with someone else.
It’s quite common for people to get into potentially life long relationships because they feel they are getting too old to wait around for whatever reason.

In the past, age was a factor, perhaps the major factor because, as they thought, it betokened the readiness of the woman’s body for child bearing. Not much was needed from a woman back then anyway. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to them then that a lot of the death around childbirth was because the mothers were too young.

Anyhow, it is the usual expectation that people get better prepared to handle life as they grow older but I have met teenagers who were absolutely fantastic and operated well beyond their ages and I have met much older folks who were absolutely disheartening. I am sure you’ve met some as well.

Age is merely a reference to the passage of time with regards to when you were born. It is what you’ve been doing with yourself throughout that time that is important.

Of course your body has grown and taken on shapes, figures and a physique that is considered adult but I expect you realise there is more to you than your body. If physical maturity was all that was needed to manage a relationship properly, then the story of Samson and Delilah should have ended differently.

Has your mind been groomed as much as you groomed your body? Is your spirit as fed and strong as your body?

If your emotions get the better of you all the time, you have a bad temper or get depressed once something goes wrong, or once someone offends you, it dominates your thought processes for ever and affects everything you do from that moment onward in spite of logical arguments to change your mind, then, you’re not ready.

Do you have to be reminded to pray or study the word of God? Or do you still think reading the bible daily is not your thing or something meant only for pastors and others who are taking this church thing too far, then you’re not ready. No matter how old you are, you’re still a child.

Of course, there are non-Christians who have great marriages. They don’t need to pray or study the word or go to church to have a good marriage. However, Jesus said the children of this world are wiser in their generations than we are in our own. Meaning, they know what they need to do and they do it, we mostly do not know what we ought to do so we copy them and wonder why it doesn’t work for us. And, by the way, no matter how good anything is, without God, it can never be as good as it was meant to be.

So, age, though it has attendant pressures and is one of the factors that suggest readiness to get into a romantic commitment, by itself is not enough to prove that one is ready.

Understanding When to date and Whom PT 3

SHOULD CHRISTIANS DATE?

If you didn’t catch part 2 of the series, the answer to this question might not be clear to you so I encourage you to please go back and check it out because there, I explained what dating really is. Try this link: http://wp.me/p6rlMY-9H

With that background, we can move forward and address the questions that surround Christians and dating.

From the previous article, knowing that dating gives us the opportunity to get to know one another before getting married, I would say it is essential for everyone to date honourably, Christian or not.

For most young people, being too busy to have time for friends has become quite common. Many of us don’t even have time for our own selves. Quite frequently, you hear people say they are well paid but they don’t even have the time to enjoy the money they are being paid. And this is no longer the reality for doctors only.

I, for one, remember piling up computer games as I graduated from university with the intention of using them to pass the time as the occasion arose however I am yet to find that time. I am quite sure you have a similar story.

Now, in such a busy busy busy world, getting to know someone will not happen without concerted effort to take the time to know him or her. Even colleagues at work will only know your professional side and since everyone races to his car at the close of work, there is no way they will get to know you unless you set up a date to sit with and be with each other and just talk or have lunch or dinner. [Please, be reminded, there is nothing in my definition of dating that involves kissing, sexual intercourse or any other act of physical intimacy.]

Sometimes, the problem is distance. The two of you could be in cities far apart from each other. Effort has to be made to bridge that gap on occasion, frequently enough to demonstrate commitment and other things and get to know each other. So, quite simply, Christians should date in order to get to know each other because there is no free time to do otherwise these days. And there is nothing about dating that says it has to be at a restaurant or even involve a meal. It simply refers to making an appointment to be with someone.

Now, someone is asking, what is the point in dating and trying to get to know each other when you could just pray and God would point out his choice of a spouse for you? I mean, after you’ve had this powerful vision or dream or prophecy confirmed by three or more prophets that agrees with your heart and you heard a loud voice saying “This is the one”, what else is there to know? Why not just fix a wedding date and get on with it?

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that used to be a common way Christians found and married their spouses. I must point out, however, that such was applicable when the general society accepted no other roles for women beyond having children and keeping a home. It was at a time when love was not needed to seal a marriage. Some fortunate ones would find love in the shadow of mutual respect with their spouses. And, unfortunately, even amongst Christians, quite a number never found the fulfillment that marriage was meant to bring.

Interestingly, today’s woman is very much exposed to her destiny which takes her beyond the kitchen and the bedroom. The successful woman is now judged by more than how many sons she was able to bear before she hit menopause. And rightly so.

The bible says in 1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as BEING HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE; that your prayers be not hindered.” Also, Galatians 3:26-28 says “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Bottom line, if a guy has a destiny to fulfil, so does a babe. God had to show me that in 1996 and it has changed the way I viewed Christiandom. Women are not second class citizens simply because they have been asked to submit to their husbands. They have a calling to fulfil and they are going to give account of it just as the men do.

This truth was not always so clear to the body of Christ. For whatever reason, it took us time to come to terms with this light just as it took us time to accept other truths such as divine healing, divine prosperity and unconditional pardon for sin. We are still struggling with some other truths but at the end, we shall learn the truth and be free.

Does that make us stupid? No. It makes us human and alive. We don’t know it all so we will have to learn and learning is one of the things that living beings do. As long as we are still learning, we are still alive. Needless to say, the body of Christ is alive.

Ecclesiates 9:10 says “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor KNOWLEDGE, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” And 1Cor 13:9 – 12 says “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

So, we may have reasoned childishly before but we are growing and we will keep learning until we meet with Jesus whether by death or by rapture.

Now, since today’s woman is expected to live a life much less simplistic than her ancient counterparts, it would suggest that there are more factors to consider in determining which man she would be suitable for. Choosing a matching spouse is now far more tricky than it used to be and we need God to be involved in the process far more than before.

It also means we have to use our heads and hearts more than before. We need to observe, consider, think, and pray and do it all over again and again until we know for sure what the mind of God is and what our part in it is to be.

Why is it important for us to review something or someone after God has said this is the one? Firstly, it’s because God does not impose his will on anyone. God’s will shall be done but not by imposition but by willing devotion. The manifestation of the will of God on earth is not automatic else Jesus would not have taught us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Secondly, the fact that God says something doesn’t mean it will come to pass in the earth. He is God, yes! He can do anything, yes! But, by His own principles, He has chosen not to do anything in the earth without the permission and cooperation of man. That cooperation is called faith and if he finds faith in only one man, God will do great things in the earth and in our lives.

Psalm115:16 says “The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.”

We have a part to play in order to experience the good that God has spoken concerning us. For example, God wants all men to be saved but people die and go to a Christless eternity because they chose not to agree with God and give Him permission to effect salvation in their lives.

Isaiah 1:19 says “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” This is literally what happened with Israel as they journeyed from slavery to the land promised them. The land was right there, the good of the land was there and they even had a sample but, for lack of cooperation with God, they lost it. It took another generation with faith to enjoy the blessing.

I said all that to say this, even if God has pointed out your spouse to you, you need to do your part in getting to know the person if you want to get the most out of the relationship with the least difficulty. Just as Moses had his people spy out the land and take samples, so also you have to get to know the person you believe God wants you to marry and take samples, not of his body via physical intimacy, but of his mind and his spirit. Let what you can see of his or her body and dressing be enough a sample for you until you get married.

How does he/she think? How does he/she respond to difficulties? How does he/she respond to authority especially when they prevent him/her from doing what he/she wants to do? Does he/she keep his/her promises? What does he/she think about things that are important to you?

I am yet to meet anyone who claimed that God told him or her the answers to these questions about another person. I am quite sure He could but He doesn’t. Why? It is your responsibility to find out. It is up to you to study and find your place in his or her life though you do it prayerfully and with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 25:2 says “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.”

So you have work to do. You need to get to know this person, Christian or not, and one of the avenues to meet this objective is what is known as dating. God pointed out the person to you but he doesn’t need to get to know the person, you do. So get to work.

Understanding When to date and Whom PT 2

WHAT IS DATING?

Before I proceed, I need to clarify the use of the word “dating”. In many Christian circles, the word and concept of dating usually evokes bitter reactions. The reason being that many are used to dating as a platform for sexual immorality.
How did this come to be?

You know, in older times, marriages were contracted by parents for their children. There was no discussion with the young people about their choices and preferences, so very few ever got the chance to “fall in love” with someone before marrying him or her. Parents chose, kids acquiesced, and some found love out of mutual respect with their spouses AFTER they wedded.

Of course, it was quite common that though the parents approved of the family they married into, the son or daughter in-law was an apple that fell far from the family tree. Neglect and abuse were rife in marriages those days.

Anyway, with time, society began to see the wisdom in letting the young people choose whom they wanted. Still, it was common that the person one saw and admired from afar had dark shades to his character that came as a shock which were discovered after the wedding. So, humanity evolved again and opportunities for intending couples to relate face to face and get to know each other before committing to a life long marriage gradually took hold.

Such occasions where the young persons who were meeting in a bid to know and understand each other had to be scheduled. A date and time had to be set and “dating” came to be. Back then, it was all about honor. The two persons probably sat somewhere and talked or took a walk all the while discussing and getting  to know each other. The men were charged with the safety of the ladies and were expected to return the ladies to their homes at a decent hour.

It must have been beautiful because it was based on a code of honour. However, just like every other good thing in human history, it got corrupted. Dates no longer focused on getting to know each other for many people; it degraded to the point where going on a date implied trying to get the other person to consent to sex at the end of the day. Date rape became an entity with significant statistics in some societies and date rape drugs became essential commodity for some.

So, it is understandable that Christians who witnessed the degradation would frown when dating is mentioned and those of us who were born after the decay would have no good impression to associate with the word. But it’s not the words used that’s the problem but the loss of honour that brought on the decay.

Funny thing is, whether we appreciate the word or not, dating is part of our contemporary society and we engage in it. We use other expressions like “going out”, “going to the movies”, “buying lunch” and so on. The important thing is that the focus is on getting the chance to know each other well enough to decide whether to continue romantically, to pedal back to platonic friendship or run for one’s life.

So, throughout this series, whenever you encounter words in the notes that seem to have a popular ungodly connotation (e.g. boyfriend), think of the initial honorable reason that such a word came to be in the first place; most likely, that’s what I’m referring to.

We’ll pick up from here next time.

In case you missed it, Understanding When and Whom to Date Part 1 is here – http://wp.me/p6rlMY-9F

Understanding When and Whom to Date.

A friend asked me a question recently and asked me to blog it so here we are. The question is “When is the right time to start dating and how do you know the right partner for you?”

There are two questions here. By God’s grace, I will respond to both as best I can.

 

So, when is the right time?
The common answers are based on people’s varied opinions and understanding. Some set a certain age, while others set a point related to attainment of some social milestone (such as gaining admission to tertiary institution, or  clearing the first year exams, or reaching final year, graduation, finishing youth service or even getting a job and working for some time).
Some believe once they meet the right person, then it is time. Yet others believe they need to establish themselves in the actualisation of their dreams first. A number of people simply say maturity is the determinant but when asked what maturity is, many cannot put it into concrete words.

I will shed some light on these answers before we move on so stay tuned.

Priorit-ice

‚ÄčI just saw this advert: Two guys walked into a shop and wanted the same deep chilled bottle of sprite, the only drink, in the store. 


The store owner brought out the bottle and placed it in front of them and they decided to duel for it. 

First guy took the bottle, did all sorts of amazing stunts, flipping it, spinning it and all that, even got his gang involved. They finished their dance with the bottle of drink, placed it on the table. And gave the other guy a look that says, “Your  move”. 

Other guy picks up the bottle, pops it open and empties it down his throat. Then started to spin the bottle as he walked away smiling,  leaving the other guy and his crew looking like, “What just happened?” 
Lesson learned: What looks cool may not be useful. Identify what matters and then get it done.