Is Living Together Before Marriage Okay with God?

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Many old fashioned one’s such as myself would answer no to this question. Though modern day thinking, even among Christians, is quite the opposite, statistics do show that marriages in which the couples lived together before saying I do show a higher rate of divorce. Why is this? It would make more sense to the common way of thinking that just the opposite would prove true. I think the problem is the ‘common way of thinking.’ As Christians, the Bible says that we are not of this world. We are, in fact, to conduct ourselves opposite this world. Romans 12:1 “And be not conformed to the ways of this world, but be ye transformed…” 

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I have a son who recently married at age twenty. Obviously, he was too young, but I could not convince him otherwise. After many long discussions with him and his bride-to-be, we decided to the best thing to do was to support them both. And we did just that. Unfortunately, six months later, my predictions came true, and they are now on the brink of divorce. It hurts to see your children make mistakes. But as an adult, I understand he has the right to make his own mistakes, and I had no choice but to let him. Watching my son standing on the railroad tracks of life while a train headed right for him was very difficult. And watching that train run over him was even worse. Thankfully, it didn’t kill him. So I guess the moral of this story is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” 

 

 

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In a conversation with a my niece regarding this recent event, she was convinced that she was right for living with her spouse before marriage. We were at the wedding of another niece who had also lived with her spouse before marriage. These two relationships seem to be strong and can hopefully withstand the test of time. I didn’t try to argue with my niece for I knew it would do no good. All I could say was “I’ve been happily married for 27 years now and can speak with the voice of experience. I did not live with my husband before marriage and to be honest, I think it made all the difference in our relationship.” I also said I don’t think the relationships depend on whether you live together before marriage, but rather that you took the time to actually build a lasting friendship. Because true friendship can cover a multitude of sins and forgive those nagging idiosyncrasies we all must learn to live with once we do marry. I guess what this all comes down to is – Where does your personal conviction lie? If you consider yourself to be a Christian, then how far will you allow yourself to go in bending the rules so-to-speak? Do we really have that right to call the shots and put God in our own box or accept Him on our own terms? Is this true obedience? Or does ‘Obeying God’ even apply here? Who are we to tell God which of his laws apply to us and which one’s don’t? Are you willing to take God at His word or not? 

Wrecking Ball Miley

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Miley Cyrus

What was her stylist thinking?

Does she even have a stylist? I guess it doesn’t matter since she admits her life is a wrecking ball anyway.

Thank God we do not have to live our lives like wrecking balls with the proverbial bull in a china closet syndrome. We have a God who cares about us so much. There is no need to succumb to such hideous tactics. Screaming for people to notice you isn’t really lady like. Not that Miley Cyrus even has to be lady-like in this day and age. Obviously, she and her parents don’t seem to care how she looks or comes across to other people.

“My parents are proud of me…” – Miley touted on the Late Night Show

Personally, the whole wearing the bra (or is that a bib?) over my clothes is not too appealing either. I mean, is this girl ready to eat crabs or get them?

Okay, okay … I do realize many of you love Miley’s music. She does have a great talent, and I must admit I like many of her songs, “The Climb” being one of my favorites and still brings me to tears every time I hear it. However, the reality of stardom has certainly taken its ugly toll on her life. I’m sorry to see her going through such a difficult time in her personal love life, but is she the only one? Of course not. We all have our own wrecking ball moments to get over in life. Wanting someone so badly that you can hardly see straight or breathe is part of the growing up process. I’ve been there, done that too.

“Don’t let those hormones do the walkin’ before you do the talkin’”

First things first, always keep an open line of communication in the end with your close friends and loved ones. Don’t keep them out of the loop on what’s going on in your love life until you’re at their doorstep in tears. “But it’s just so personal.” I can hear you say. “And I’m not sure who to talk to about these feelings.”  Well, guess what? You have a friend who is closer to you than any brother or sister, and His name is Jesus. He will keep you in His perfect peace when you keep your mind on Him and on things above instead of the things of this world. I know that is easier said than done. Remember, been there, done that is my motto. Jesus will keep your secrets in total confidence. You can trust Him implicitly with anything and everything. So pray (talk) to Him like He is your best friend because He is.

“You don’t have to live your life like a wrecking ball.”

For more on this and other dating advice for Christians, check out my bookDate, Pray, Wait.” Available on this site, Amazon, or request it wherever books are sold.

Duck Dynasty Reveals Treasures of “Big O”

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Duck Dynasty

Here is a great video with Jase Robertson and his wife, Missy, from Duck Dynasty

K-Love Interview with Jase & Missy Robertson

Interesting to note is the fact that Jase and Missy report to have been virgins when they married. This is very rare anymore in our society today. However, this is a great testament to God‘s faithfulness to honor those who are brave enough to follow Him in obedience. I refer to this as the “Big O” factor, which should not be confused with the more commonly known of counterpart.  

Understanding true happiness and how one experiences it is just one of the many treasures revealed in this video. 

For more on the “Big O” factor, pick up a copy of “Date, Pray, Wait,” available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ebook formats.  

 

The Perfect Man Changes Drastically as They Age

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Have you ever looked back at an ex-boyfriend and asked, how did I ever date that person when we were so obviously incompatible

It’s not necessarily that you were incompatible…then. According to a survey conducted by Match.com over the past year, your tastes have simply changed over the years.

Is your family keeping you single? 

Men must possess certain qualities to be considered “the perfect man,” and those parameters change drastically as women age. In the survey, called “The Ages of Man,” what women want from their relationships with men is broken down according to age range. 

“[The research] also disproves the notion that standards drop later in life, as women over 55 were shown to be most picky about who they date,” a Match UK rep told Yahoo! Shine. 

The results of the study are summarized below. You can see the full study results here

Age 18-24: 

Women’s main concern in their late teens and early twenties is that their partner gets along with their friends. “47 percent said they would look for a relationship with someone their friends would approve of.” 

“This is a very relational social time in a female’s life. I refer to it as the ‘fit into me’ stage. Women want men who will fit in to their lives,” Dr. Karen Ruskin, a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist, told Yahoo! Shine. “A key way to fit in is to be viewed positively by one’s social network, and to have shared interests. It is less about future and more about what feels good right now.” 

Also, women this age are far more likely to date a man in better physical shape than them, but shared tastes in “books, music, and film,” are extremely important. 

Age 25-34: 

At this stage in their lives most women are focused on their careers, but physical attraction and sexual compatibility are most important. They also consider a man’s level of “ambition” to be important. Two-thirds of surveyed in this age group say this is a key trait. 

“This is the ‘can you add value or will you take-eth away’ stage. Women are starting to think about having kids someday and they certainly do not want a man who is mooching off of them,” Dr. Ruskin explains. “They want someone who can be a partner with them so that their children can have the life they want their children to have, and so that they can have the lives they want to have.” 

Age 35-44: 

Older men
 become more attractive to women in their late thirties and early forties, according to the study. This could be because they are looking to settle down and start a family, says Dr. Ruskin. “Women are mindful of their biological clocks ticking, which is why they want someone established, stable, and successful.” They are no longer dating for attractiveness, for fun and to see where it goes, or for social fit with friends, she says. 

According to the study, “73 percent said they would be willing to date someone more than five years their senior,” and a man’s manners at this age is essential. “Less than one percent of the women surveyed said they would date a man with bad manners.” 

This article was contributed by Jessica Ferri. For more about this survey, click here.

Add to these facts, Christian character and faith in God and this is what a Christian woman would consider to be a perfect mate. I met a woman, age 35, still single, Christian and waiting on God for a husband. She confessed to having lived with a guy for years, thinking he was the one. There was an obvious compromise in their relationship, which did not help either of them in their spiritual growth. I shared with this younger woman how I had to learn that God’s ways are not the world’s ways. Once I honored God with obedience in following His ways and not my own, He brought my husband into my life. I sensed she walked away encouraged. If you long for a husband and truly want to please God in your life, you too can learn God’s ways. “Date, Pray, Wait” is a quick easy read with 10 chapters and discussions questions, which you may want to go over with a couple of friends as you read through it. Pick up a copy today, click here. 

Taking it to the next level???

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When God gives us so much, is it right for us to expect more?

Let’s say you are finally in a long awaited relationship you’ve always dreamed of, and the time has come for both of you to take it to the next level. What does that next level really mean?

In today’s terms, it usually involves more than just second base. In fact, many young people accept the expectation of sexual activity to be a given once a relationship has reached a certain stage. However, the Bible instructs us not to conform to the ways of this world. Premarital sex should never be a pre-requisite for marital consideration. I can hear many of you laughing at this suggestion. But before you poo poo chivalry away completely, please keep in mind, I am not the one who made these rules. These are actually God’s commands to Christians. And as a Christian, you should be more than willing to follow His will over that of your own or the one you are dating.

This requires the willingness to take a risk at loosing what you thought was true love. But if this person you have grown so fond of does not respect your values, then who is he/she to tell you otherwise? In fact, you should question weather or not they have a genuine relationship with Christ at all.

So what should taking it to the next level really look like for a Christian?

A simple verbal commitment to date me exclusively was all I needed to confirm he really cared for me. It let me know he was seriously considering a future with me as his wife. Anything less than that was a total waste of my time and his, and I did not hesitate to let him know this. If he wasn’t seriously looking for a wife, then forget it. I was not going to be his booty call or a one night stand. I was not going to lower my standards only to be referred to as a good hook up either. Once that one piece of commitment was made clear, I was not afraid to open up to him at all. And a kiss or two was enjoyed as well.

Limitations are good.

Waiting to give yourself freely to the love of your life without guilt or hesitation is worth a little sacrifice in the beginning. Keeping healthy boundaries all the way through the process will only serve to enhance the experience and make the relationship more meaningful in the long run.

Remember who you are…

You are a joint heir with Christ and a child of God. You are worth the wait. Remember, the man you marry should love you even as Christ loved the church. This means, he should love you enough to be willing to die for you. I know that sounds radical, but that’s exactly the way God intended for a man to love his wife and vise-versa. A woman should love her husband enough to be willing to wait and give herself to him at the appointed time and season which God has already planned for you. Hold true to yourself and your beliefs and never feel you must compromise them one bit in order to get a guy to marry you.

To learn more about how to get a guy to marry you without sleeping with him first, pick up a copy of  “Date, Pray, Wait,” available on this site, in bookstores, online at Amazon.com and in ebook format.

Be not dismayed…

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Be not dismayed if a date never calls you again or if a long time relationship does not work out. Or perhaps a divorce is upon you now. God is ever ready to take up where that person has failed you. You’re a pretty special person to Him anyway. He doesn’t like it when one of His own gets hurt or is left feeling worthless or not good enough.

Trust me – You are way more than just good enough!

He has a special someone already picked out for you–Himself. Yes, you might say our Heavenly Father believes in arranged marriage. He pre-arranges everything and orchestrates our lives right down to the smallest detail. If we choose to follow Him, listen to Him, and move in the direction we sense Him drawing us, then we will be right in line with His will and His way. Pray for God to order your steps in the way He wants you to go and to give you those divine encounters that only He can bring to pass. You might just be amazed at who you meet and where; sometimes in the most unexpected places.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5, NIV

For those of you who are struggling through a divorce or a break up, it’s time now to allow Christ to be your Knight in shining armor. He’s ready to sweep you off your feet and carry you away on His steed of righteousness.

The key is to “Remain in Him.”

For more about how to make Christ your Knight in shining armor, you can purchase a copy of “Date, Pray, Wait” available now on Amazon.com and this website.

And on a date she shall go …

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Are you finally back in the swing of dating again after a long hiatus?  Say you recently went through a very trying divorce and have finally reached recovery mode. All the same, you are hesitant to jump back into a relationship and understandably so. Who knows what wolves in sheep’s clothing might be lurking about in the scary forest of betrayal?  But, Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t have to go it alone. No! She can and should have an armory hidden inside her basket of goodies ready to blast away any lurching enemies.

And I’m not just talking about condoms or birth control here, Ladies and gentlemen. Although I am not blinded to the fact that many Christian women and men who are dating do engage in pre-marital sex. This is no secret by clergy either. However, keep in mind that if you do involve yourself physically with someone in a “Hook Up” relationship, you are at risk not only of STD’s but of spiritual separation from God. Is this kind of dangerous behavior really worth it?

The armory I speak of is more of the spiritual kind. Arming yourself with the Word of God, the breast plate of righteousness, and the sword of the Spirit will keep your heart and mind in a safe place. That’s not to say the person you go out with will be doing or thinking the same way. Hopefully, you will be dating other Christian people who have like-minded ideology such as yourself. But, there are those few exceptions when people whom you think are one way turn out to be another way entirely. They have arterial motives which catch you off guard.

Be not afraid. God always provides a way of escape. It is wise to have a backup plan in place for this very reason. Mace or pepper spray is helpful, but even better, prayer. Also, always have your cell phone handy to make a 911 call, or if things are not exactly at that kind of emergency level though they might be for you, at least have a trusted friend on call to come get you or money for cab fare.

Another issue that could arise might involve exposing too much too soon about yourself to another person who may not be ready for it yet. A date is supposed to be light and fun. You’ve had too much heavy laden problems weighing you down so allow yourself to enjoy life again. I give you permission, if that is what you need.

Sometimes you just need to go with the flow and let hope float again. 

Enjoy dating and remember when you honor God in obedience, you honor yourself.

For more information on dating, download or buy a copy of  “Date, Pray, Wait.”  Available on this website, Amazon, Nook, and on the author website at http://londahayden.com.