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Crawling in Love: Finding The Love Of Your Life, God's Way

Nicole Parker

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Nicole Parker

Wife, mother, and Biblical counselor

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Recorded

  • July 18, 2008
    7:00 PM
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hello everybody I am the call for those of you who don't know and my wonderful husband Alan and my three children are getting an early night and because we just living from Houston and they were all very tired though you'll meet them all tomorrow and let you know that you don't know I my husband works at you teaching at the university there and we've been married for seven years now seven wonderful years and for those of you are married yet don't think that it keeps all happiness but it's definitely wonderful and the Lord blesses and the presentation tonight crawling in love and I thought you know some of my dear friends here may think that that means that you need to go very slowly but that's not the point with the crawling thing but I do remember thinking when Alan and I were dating I had the distinct feeling that I wasn't falling in love with this guy I was really crawling in love with making the decisions to marry him little by little on on the basis of intellectual choice and realizing you know these are all the things that I've been looking for the husband and not just wow I can't stop myself I'm falling from the sky and so that's why we chose this title crawling and love not because you need to go slowly and I should maybe clarify Allen and I when we met him and also little bit more of our story along the way here but when we met in June of two thousand he had lived in Africa all his life I lived in America and we never see each other 's faces and a year and two days later we were married though sometimes the Lord leads you to crawl fast but that that wasn't that wasn't unlike a recommendation for this is how you should do it I just let and the five what I'm talking about tonight is about principles but it's not about rules is not yet you've got to do exactly this way and if you do it the way on telling you benefit I go find their principle that the Lord has given to us in the Bible is filled with them and when we follow God 's plan you know Donovan artists and every story and unique every person you meet we had a love story it can be amazing to see how the Lord led aesthetically in their lives but these are principles that I've seen in numerous relationships I'm working on my Masters in biblical counseling right now and somehow I get swamped with so many cases the counseling that I hardly get any school work done but there are all kinds of examples out there and my life is just crammed with examples and trying to distill down what to say in this presentation was quite a task but I'm when a missionary needs ninety five principles on how God leads people in relationships and how you can make the progress from single to happily ever after seven I say finding the love of your life God 's way I'm not saying that I think that my way is the only way that I'm saying God 's way is the only way and he'll show you as you lean on him now I titled this there something in the air and my husband loves to puns that one I know other people who do too I will look into there is more talk about love in expression of love than ever in history right now you know everywhere you look people are just wanted love movies have to be dripping with romance or else blood to him interest for different audiences and their more resources on how to love than ever before you imagine a hundred years ago when people look to when they wanted to learn how to fall in love they talk to their parents or you know their friends or something like that and now we have the Internet we have Barnes & Noble which is crammed with all kinds of books on how not to find a spouse and there are more people to choose from and more wedding than ever before were gathered here a lot of us this weekend is because of one wonderful such occasion and were all very be about that Tim and sunny wherever she may be somewhere out there and yet this is the loneliest time in all of history marriages break up half the time and the ones that stay together many of you know that the majority of those that stay together not really happy and fulfilling and I don't believe that that's God 's plan many people think well it's just because of this you know everybody thinks that they can get divorced so easily enough part of it apartment is also the way that people choose bounces why is love so important you know when I was single I remember going to the phases somebody would now be interested in the air I'd be interested in heaven and things would work out one way or another and I think that's it I hate men never to have anything to do with men again but that's that's not realistic in the cognitive given us the desire for love and it's beautiful it's a God-given longing and Genesis two eighteen says nope we are pressed for time tonight so I missed everything off the screen it is not good that the man should be alone God has designed us to love and to be loved his great relationship with Adam wasn't sufficient to make Adam happy now it's interesting that God gave Adam life before Easter Adam could be what it was like to be alone but he could appreciate marriage but it is not good to be alone and I had somebody use this text recently to explain to me and that you know he didn't have the gift of single is a new that therefore if things didn't work out his present marriage enough to get married again sometime soon please do not misapply things that the Bible says he that love is not know if not God for God is love her strong four eight in in the Bible is so plain God is a God of love is a God of relationship the ten Commandments his rules for life are rules all about love the first for love God for my fixed love your neighbor as yourself it's all about love and we love God and we love one another we are fulfilling the law and love last but not least here is Robert Frost said let it an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired you know I think that some more modern culture but despite you know that's actually true God has put into less that irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired the problem is we try to fill that God shaped hole with people when that desire to be irresistibly desired one that God wants to fill he is the one who irresistibly desires as he is the one who loves us no matter what we are like people we tend to ask expect some of the often love us unconditionally while God does love us unconditionally but as people we sometimes have to put conditions on her relationships with other people that link and as we relate more and more holy with God it makes it much easier to get along with other people as well now there is of course love evil twin and I think most of you would recognize right away what I'm talking about here is last that's what most of our modern culture terms love away save love you know he's in love we need he take it as I love this woman or his hands off this woman and it's not love at all its last here I found a little cartoon on sorry I have a terrible weakness for cartoons the other side here is love at first sight and you can see the woman had found the man of her dreams and in her dream he is going to be bringing her flowers and ministering to her every women in shorts it's all about her and with him he is also found the love of his life and in his dreams she is ministering to his every whim and every need you sits in front of the TV and you can be sure that's not exactly what her dream of happily ever after is but this is a problem at last last all about self it's all about me and we have this culture under the policy T-shirts it's all about me and Mike how can you be so brazen and something that so self obsessed so miserable but when we come to choosing a life partner it's like we have to hit the wire the road and choose which way we can ago or we can and try to follow love you try to follow lust because the two ways of finding a partner very different not many get really deeply into what's wrong with the World Bank I think most of us have a fairly good idea of it but the thrills and chills are when you feel the chemistry the team goals Allen Allen used to talk about the tingles home on getting the team know then and he figures he so funny of you don't know my husband is a delight to be around and the King Gulf are what we just smack our four heads that when the wait time try to talk to teenagers were like don't you understand this is not the time to pick yourself green line note that when he looks into my eyes I just added it would be funny but it's awfully frightening because you know that they direct their lives if they continue this way but the tingles is how people find their spouse these days believe it or not instant attraction equals instant intimacy and if it feels good you have to do it in the bottom line is follow your heart you can follow your heart and you know how many times I've heard that well you know I know that he's not the best influence on me but I love him I really love him shake people you love him or do you love him I remember I was I was dating a guy and I've I realized when I hit that fork in the road that love led me to break up with him because it all seems a wonderful at first this is a warning about long distance relationships we had this wonderful long-distance relationship he was a brilliant public speaker he was so good at doing how many things and I thought wow this guy is so amazing but you know knowing the danger the long-distance relationship but if I would better spend some time together so after we dated a couple of months he came and spent a week at my desk globe I was working in wow things were not the way I thought they were in that we went on a mission trip in wow he had jet lag to that that was exciting but the bottom line was I realized that he was writing some serious way than a spiritual experience and he needed to figure out his relationship with God without having the additional emotional confusion of figuring out whether he needed to get married and so I out of love withdrew myself from the mix it was because I loved him and it wasn't that it was easy I didn't want to do it I didn't want to break up but I realized that he needed to be broken up with he needed somebody to say I love you too much to cultivate this relationship and you know unfortunately most people when they love their following their feelings as the one wife personnel and wife said while you may love you not love blindly as I've told people he had a say but I will p.m. you don't understand you need sometimes you can pursue a person can go through a lot for them you know God has called us as Christians to love everybody in that right should you love everybody she loved the homeless person is walking past on the street we should love everybody but we should not marry everybody there is a difference in an and we should not trust everybody if you love everybody your Christian if you trust everybody you're an idiot and marriage has to be built on trust though love is wonderful as far as it goes but love isn't enough when you follow your heart I guess I was important for the thin Jeremiah seventeen nine says the hardest defeat for above all things and desperately wicked who can know it there is a way which seems right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death know the Bible is you claim that while we love God called us to be careful how we must guard our hearts make sure that we don't do something foolish because we can record our online lives of the people that we love the lives of the children they bring into the world of the sobering thing the way that romance is pictured in movies and novels and things like that today it makes it sound like all you have to do is follow your heart it will be great and you know I say this just thinking of so many stories I've seen people who been killed friends of mine because they follow their hearts and and just overall summary people that ruin their lives I just can't emphasize this enough for those who were listening by audio verse or anything else I've I've talked to some people who are just so determined that got to do this follow their hearts I want to urge you to follow the Scriptures instead the road most traveled goes from attractions impulsiveness infatuation a test drive commitment and a failed relationship and you got a find Band-Aids after this hurt the finds of the need to make you feel better at all about self fate is that why in the road you've got to find something that's not about you and it's not it's not selfish to be reasonable life partner with a life partner is chosen based on attractiveness are circumstances instead of their character and the personality you have something to fear them not saying of the Lord hasn't led people I know many people who have chosen their partner in this way and that the Lord has blessed and led them into wonderful marriages so yeah you can say the Lord not only to that way I know the Lord has done it but it's a very hazardous road to travel and when your commitment is based on feelings instead of choices and you have three possible outcomes there is that narrow possibly happily ever after there are a few people out there who follow the world system and somehow end up happily ever after more often there's a breakup that they a very painful by bonding and most often probably as a life commitment built on a faulty foundation I believe God has a better plan God has a way that still may be painful sometimes when God leads us through life if you know that God is leading you defending you not to suffer any more going on leading in a relationship sometimes he may lead you in a way that you know not it seems like it makes sense and then later on it doesn't that's what happened to my relationship with the guy that I dated long-distance agency like the Lord had miraculously led for us to get acquainted and to get better acquainted and yet the Lord did lead us to get married I think you know in an ideal world it would be wonderful if we could all aim for the goal of the first person we date is the first person we marry and that that sounds wonderful I know many people that the Lord has led that way that's a blessing but I have a little fear about that because I see sometimes people who take that the mentality that but I party held hands with him but apart he kissed her so I have to marry her or we Artie started dating recording and if we break up enough to be like admitting that the Lord didn't lead us to gather the other things that you can't learn about somebody when you're not in a committed relationship with them and therefore there are steps and that's why I want to emphasize tonight it's risky to take steps you know we want to say I'm standing on the side of the pool or I'm jumping in the pool to make the commitment to get married right away and the Lord will lead all the way I think it's better to take steps it's better to let the Lord 's show you gradually the Lord has definitely led many people in different hats but in general I think the Lord 's plan has a process that involves steps the first step on the talk about tonight is becoming whole in Christ out that step while it doesn't come again has anything to do with your ideal life partner had everything to do with it Alan and I only met when we were twenty six and twenty eight so we spent a lot of time on the becoming holy Christ part which we really needed to we dated a few people learned a lot from those relationships that didn't work out and from just you know that we realize there were some real weaknesses in our lives and separately though we had never met one another we decided we needed to study we needed to learn some things we read some really good books we learned about communication and things like that that we needed and we just started building our lives on the foundation of Christ I can truly say when I met Alan I wasn't looking for a husband I wouldn't mind if one showed up if he was what I was looking for but I wasn't looking for it I mean I was on the Heinz area of allowing younger going on a manhunt with my friends we just decided we go out and stocked the campus and theater we could find that was cute and would flirt with us again it's astonishing how and how silly you can be when your child but then again you know sometimes there are fifty -year-olds who behave that way too when you become holy Christ the first characterization of this step is that your focus is on a relationship with God is letting God fill you and you know I've met many people who go from relationship to relationship compulsively because they are driven by a longing that they don't understand that money is thrown for Christ not for a person this second focus you have if you prepare for your life calling in step one before you bring children into the world before you have a spouse to support its best if you get prepared for your life calling them may be full-time ministry may be ministry that's combined with something else that you doing in life to make money whatever it is the Lord leads you to a very important thing I know lots of people who they get married and then they finish school but as I'm watching some of that southern right now is a man of Israeli toff on them their kids are struggling to be able to get time with their parents the spouses are struggling it's just better so in general I think God wants us to prepare for life callings before we really get a series about finding a life partner and also appeared called to the mission field and the person you're interested in may be called to be a lawyer here in southern California well maybe like the beach in different ways and it's great to be able to commune with God and be confident of where you're going in life rather than twenty years down the road and I would have never chosen this this work but I had to because we were getting married that the third part of step one its focus on overcoming weaknesses and developing your strengths you know the time that I was single at that time I remember it I remember the lonely nights you know let's be honest Dan had so much going on in my mind the things that I just wanted to talk to somebody about nobody understood and nobody was there was hard but it was hard at that time to see some of the blessings of singleness and someday when those of you who aren't married yet are you look back in Tennessee were now being single was an awful lot of fun and are so many great things you can do now you know I love camping the last time we went camping we dress our daughter in five layers of fleece count them five and she still woke up freezing at two o'clock in the morning we had to Kramer in bed between us and she got sick and in that with less family camping left to go camping but they are things I don't do right now but I love I love swimming I love hiking rock climbing there are things that just are on the back shelf in my life now and when you get married there things that you can't do anymore you can't just say wake up Friday morning in fact the drive designs of software or our lady driving the car I was so much fun maybe not all of you are like etiquette I was reckless with benefits but you want to overcome your weaknesses and develop your strength find who you are get to know your own personality gets know what you like to do and if you build a lot of close friendships with other people those people also can be very instrumental in helping you I five your weaknesses and your strength when you know you seem to have a problem with being a little abrasive have you noticed the other good things to learn before you find the person you want to marry build quality same-sex friendships and nonexclusive opposite sex friendships you know the people that I dated and there weren't a lot of people that I dated after I became a Christian only three in one of them I married but I I built a lot of nonexclusive opposite sex friendships and you know the great thing about that is I'm still friends with those people every one of those guys I'm still friends with them we spent much of each other sometimes vulnerable with each other and having stayed in touch for years now I don't see him and got at no great thing but especially billing quality same-sex friendships is a wonderful part of being single because the friendships that I made before I got married are the friendships that I have to lean on now I have kids I can go out and make a lot of friends right now and it's great to be able to lean on the friends that know me very well now I want to mention the magnetic attraction of because this is this is a common characteristic of those who are single that's some sometimes you find a very strong thrive to find somebody and I call this a magnetic attraction because magnets have some things in common with magnetized people magnetize people are controlled by a force they don't understand that you are known somebody who they go from one abusive relationship to another they can walk into the room and single out in ten minutes the worst person in that room for them to spend time with and just like a magnet and mosques of the flame they get again and again and again and they just never learn and why they don't understand why but they just can't stop this got this compelling driving them from their pasts or something like that that makes them comfortable in an abusive relationship or or they need to have somebody who will show them that they're very strong and controlling when they actually are in a relationship with that person the person control them if it's frightening to see magnetize people follow impulse and instincts not reason have you ever tried to reason with these people and infatuated person is a down any say you know what he thought about this you really shouldn't be going out of style the time should you have you thought about maybe it's not the best for you to go hang out her house until eleven o'clock every night and you're right I really shouldn't should I mean you're right I've been been disobeying things that I knew I should I been found and I wasn't going to write I'm not to get anymore and sunscreen you know I've had these conversations I got the phone saved that one in ten minutes later they've invited the person out again and there are there on their track again they just can't stop themselves magnetize people are driven by their imbalances and they need to develop a dependence on Christ that brings them to balance and wholeness or they will develop a dependence on someone else when you are magnets you are seeking somebody else who is the opposite imbalance magnetize people are idolatrous their codependent codependent is just another word for an idolatrous person a person who is willing to put someone else in the place of Christ and that's always a dangerous thing and idolatrous relationship will always be a destructive relationship and a magnetized relationship in which a person is controlled and driven by their imbalances instead of being whole and complete in Christ will always be a destructive relationship of the keys to success in step one are my number one may Christ the center of your life never to plan your life around Christ not a person if you think that the Lord has called you the mission field plans another mission field it may not be where you end up but it's great to go wherever you feel the Lord of meeting you number three develop skills to support a family member for a void emotional involvement with the opposite sex emotional involvement but that I do not mean do not talk to them when you walk into the room please don't misunderstand anything I'm saying here I mean you know the conversations that you have everybody's all of the group is out of the walk but then one person could have been looking depressed lately and then they cut adrift you and start talking about how things and really hard for them lately then they walk slower and of course into listening to them you have to look forward to it then the group is up there in your back here and using the complicated I don't think I need to explain to you what I mean and avoid emotional involvement but just further case of the other psychedelics are listening audio verse don't get into anything that comes into the deeper communication levels will talk about that later develops self-discipline if there's ever a time that you need self-discipline it's when you're married evaluate your own character character I would distinguish between character and personality your character is how much you're like Jesus personality is who you are the person you're little quirks the things that that make you you only get to heaven where all you have are and personalities but world I have one character the character of Christ so you evaluate your character you figure out where my weaknesses how do I need to grow warrant that the image of Christ my struggling with anger issues and my struggling with self-discipline these are the things you work on before you find your spouse develop your own personality when I say develop your personnel and essay experiment with things that you think you know you might like to find out which you enjoy find out what you don't enjoy that that's the part of being single is such a labor have again and lastly surrender surrender is of course all the way through this process crucial I think it's worth mentioning there are no Cinderella was I found this interesting research on CNN they said researchers tracked more than twenty four thousand people from nineteen eighty four to nineteen ninety five asking participants every year to rate their overall life satisfaction from the road totally unhappy to ten totally happy the average boost for marriage with small one tenth of one point on the scale and they said people who get married and stay married are more satisfied than average long before the marriage has occurred this is from the Journal of personality and social psychology in March of two thousand three the bottom line was marriage doesn't make you happy if you were happy before you get married you were to be happy after you get married if you are unhappy before you get married in their research they found there is a little blip of a happier time and then it went back to being just about the same as they were before they got married so whole and happy people make whole and happy marriages keys to success in step maybe I meant to say the step two anyway make Christ the center of your life plan your life around Christ not a personal clarity written and executioner on button every go that much better okay until God calls you into marriage he calls you to focus on becoming hole in him your security identity and heart must be bound up in your friendship with him and without this I guarantee you marriage will not bring you happiness it leaves like an empty cup to empty cups trying to fill themselves from each other do not make two full cups only when Christ fills us and filled us all the way up there were overflowing that we have love to pour out into other people 's lives and when you have that being single is not a miserable experience it may be lonely sometimes but those lonely urges are the call of Christ our hearts as we recognize that that crisis saying let me fill you let me satisfy you that's what I really want that's what he wants to accomplish in our life now step one was becoming holy Christ step two is observing this is where we get to something actually begin focusing on somebody other than building yourself and God wants you to be when you start observing someone else now in this step I've distinguish between observing one person in particular and observing just everybody you know I think you can learn a lot from just observing everybody are never seeing when I was in college guys who would you know stop barefoot in Paris had terminated within my check but I wouldn't want for their twentieth things that you can learn by just watching I cannot specifically observing for the purpose of finding somebody but this one I'm talking about when you're focusing on building quality friendship he spent time together in groups but I'm talking about you found somebody that you are interested in you don't single him out expressing interest in them but you noticing them don't indicate your interest or feel out the other person this is where I think most people make a mistake and now I'm not I'm not saying that these steps you know like okay my one -year-old he loved it the pile blocks on top of each other right now you put the first block me but the second block then the third block and then usually whatever gets the fourth and fifty getting up and down but yet the blocks are on top of each other you have to have first before you affect this is not necessarily a block process you know you have a lot of time for your growing into who you need to be and then maybe you start observing somebody and then things don't work out for one reason or another in your back in the growing into me need to be saved or maybe you start observing and then you move into the next phase will talk about in a minute and then you realize now know that's not the best and you go back to the observing favor even to the one before it this is not a you know after you've done step one are right checked neither moving on to step two but as you as you notice in this gradual process you start noticing somebody anything that the quality person now for diamond girls obviously your approach is again a be different than that I die of noticing somebody with the intent that if things work out he needs to take some initiative and you know I may be old-fashioned but if I were to tell you the story of Alan and me finding one another and I explained to you you know I just noticed he was such a great and so one day I sat down and I said you know I just realized that your wonderful man a year all the things I've been looking for it I wonder what you consider me I said that just doesn't fit my image of happily ever after and I think it does for most of the growth or so guys you know what I'm saying observing you realize you need to be the initiator please spare women that the whole spy thing where you know you send one of your friends to talk with her and he will fill in for the night sky is enhancing its behalf I wish he got the beginning and the five carries back within a time you will a you and I remember when island I just met Alan about a week or we can have before and then one day while we were driving in the car and something came up in conversation he started singing a song to me and I thought well this not because he sang so incredibly although he does of course is that because I think this is a guy who is secure he's not he's not worried you know I can't carry a tune perfectly she's not to be impressed with me it was just singing he was he was relaxed he was comfortable about Skype Skype and afraid of what everybody thinks event like this you guys have mercy be secure if you want to pursue a girl then move to step three but don't play on the edges here and you know how to feel out is she interested in me and then at the same time you feel by now you know five other girls and say she interested in me you know girls just doubt really wanted ever know that you know you chose them because you throughout the line and she was the first one that grabbed about in I choose differently she is so I want to really you know encourage guys don't don't play with girls hearts that's trifling the parts when you play with five different girls and then figure out okay as these five these three seemed like they would be interested in me and then you pick out of those three which one you like the best that and it seems to me like the devil system more than the Lord that causes were that causes breaks and relationships with much wiser if you keep this observing phase as just what it is you're watching you're not indicating anything okay so you're not feeling out what the other person think me know when he can try across the room and see what she does just be yourself and keep yourself that girls may you know they may like it when you flirt with them he spent time with them you can't test them out but they won't respect it and guys will not would they may like it girls if if a guy you know they they may like it if you come up to them and fled with them and even about everything but they won't respect you evaluate character and evaluate personality now to the best way that you can evaluate character and personality especially when you're not trying to indicate interest is talking to your friends that's also one of the worst ways that you can evaluate character and personality because you know you have so many friends that are our self-appointed spies and will now scary to the other person so if you're going to get counsel be very discerning you can inadvertently break some hearts but you know you think about this girl I need to fight against terror and she knew all about it all along filling step two I distinguished step two step three because of this primary thing and step two you're not indicating to anybody that you're interested you're just watching and listening and train up a liable to be different in the book at this tall page fifty seven FS to trifle with parts of the crime of no small magnitude in the side of a holy God and yet some will show preference for young ladies and call out their affections and then go their way and forget all about the words that have spoken and their effect a new face attract them and they repeat the same words devote to another the same attention I wonder if Ellen White was thinking of Jan Andrews and she wrote this I know how many of you know the story and I can assure the whole story in detail here but Jan Andrews the beloved pioneer who Andrews University is named after had his own little story of trifling with hearts when he and Annie Smith Uriah Smith's sister were interested in each other they work to be reviewing out together I think Danny was about nineteen at the time maybe she was a little older than actually anyway whatever was going on apparently John Andrews indicated interested in her flirted with her and she was then you know it a very sincere girl and she liked him and then he moved on to the next girl when he got tired of Annie Annie was devastated and there was a disease going around it was tuberculosis in office at that time a couple of people had caught tuberculosis and then he stopped eating she was so depressed and dejected that she she can take care of herself specially got more mount more week and she eventually contracted tuberculosis and she had to go home and died of tuberculosis in LMI wrote to John Andreasen said Annie died a martyr at your hand trifling with hearts is not a picnic I'm not saying that you're getting killed somebody but she advised him to marry the woman that he had moved on to the stop this pattern which he did he married her that was the last thing he traveled in Europe with the lab five-story have wondered if LMI was thinking about this when she wrote this morning though the keys to success in step two are don't make a mental or emotional commitments you know the mental commitments or emotional commitment can be so strong in your mind that you are unable to see things objectively in the key witnesses you're observing your being objective you're staying emotionally out of it and right now I see some good things I see some things that maybe I should be concerned about you know you're watching for things are not going to want to be wonderful I can just see her in a wedding dress don't trifle with a heart evaluate character evaluate personality surrender and pray for discernment pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you pray for God to show you as surely as God has a plan for you to be in heaven he has a plan for you while on earth to fulfill his will and he cares about these things I don't think the decisions you make in life marriage is one of the most crucial God will guide you I believe God guided me in helping you see some things that I needed to see in people that I could have otherwise ended up married to and destroyed my life and ministry haste makes waste that the great thing about this phase when you're observing as it can last as long as you like and you not messing with anybody's heart if you start rushing toward something you're likely to hurt the person whereas if you take time and you are not hurting anybody you're watching out you just need like that like in a variety of situations this is the best way to prepare yourself not to break anybody's heart immaturity is characterized by the inability to wait if you cannot wait you are like my daughter who has a very difficult time waiting she explained to my mom the update we had several talks about the whole weight thing and she said her mom time said yes we pray he says now sometimes he says wait a while I don't like it when he says wait and we all know like it when he says way do we but if you spend the rest of your life with somebody another month of the matter right and in some ways of your investing in a quality relationship you know a girl who knows that guys and if she knows that you've observed her for a long time to know you aren't just snatching her because she was walking past that you actually have been thinking about this and shows respect for her to show that you've chosen her out of the crowd that's really rewarding a very satisfying program the more you do your homework the less you risk heartache or mistake and I'm not saying that there's no risk you know love is about risk and I have a child I choose to love this child I know this kid can wreck my life but what God do wrong without a mini and one one choice to love can consult much heartache so nothing is no risk but as you follow these steps the Lord will help you to have discernment and hopefully not have as much heartache make haste slowly Adventist home page forty four while pure love will take God into all its plans and will be in perfect harmony with the spirit of God passion will be headstrong rash unreasonable defiance of all restraint I will make the object of its choice and idle Adventist home page fifty probably all give observed relationship or to enrich that I characterized it in probably if you watched any movies there like all about that you know so the guy is a criminal but she falls in love with them anyway and then you know magically he leaves his life of crime and stop flinging from woman to woman in this faithful and gets a job and support for the family and they live happily ever after right naturally that's the way you would think it would happen if you watch some of the garbage without there true love is not a strong fiery impetuous passion on the contrary it is calm and deep in its nature it looks beyond mere externals and is attracted by qualities alone think character and personality it is wise than discriminating and its devotion is real and abiding Adventist home page fifty one that's true love that's not what you wanted that's not what you see out there in the world generally avoid serious pitfalls these of the things that you can watch and observe usually you can see these things before you start dating somebody if you take some time in your discerning lifestyle issues that I don't mean that everything in the light person 's life value note you may eat a little differently than each other you may listen to a little different music than each other Alan and I had differences on music when we first got together and we talked about things that we realized you know we may not ever see everything exactly I try but we can work to the conflicts in the end I was a lot of I chose to marry him not because I thought that we would never have a conflict that because I saw the way that he worked to the conflict that we had when I bring up since obviously what would he think about this and you give me an answer like me totaling on the way I would never send it I think I could live with that or you know and I'd share with you what I thought and without being defensive units that look interesting I never thought of it that way what about this and we could talk back and forth is just not verified out I can talk with this guy he doesn't get angry he doesn't try to force me to believe his way he doesn't demean me for the fact that I'm not as intelligent or spiritual atheist he does love me you disrespect me and treat me like I'm an equal and that we can think the mystery together that's what I appreciated about and that's the approach to conflict that will bring you success and happiness in America talk about conflict and communication tomorrow afternoon but lifestyle issues there are things that are serious I dated a guy once who I found out because I didn't follow these rules and telling him your found out too late that he believed very differently than I did on salvation he didn't believe a person could ever feel confident that they are right with God the matter what you can never actually feel confident that you're right with God no matter how much you've prayed to confess but things right between you and God you may still be lost and you should never feel safe I think that that was quite the way I would look at things the more I thought about the more I thought it wasn't what I wanted but it was congregated because now we were dating when you figure out the things ahead of time theological issues and serious lifestyle issues you know you may dress a little differently one of you may wear shorts when if you may not wear shorts and a you can usually work through that he got good conflict management skills but if one of you wants to keep Sabbath one way and the other unwanted month to keep seven different way after the much harder on your children and also get things like music candy to you can have hidden her food admitted her closer than the more difficult than his and her music once you have kids in the mix the things you need to talk to and deal with that lifestyle issue the things you can watch for doctrinal issues integrity issues I did somebody wants to buy I get sounds like I've got all these people I dated that they either really weren't that many anyway I found out only a few days after he broke up with me that he had been having a relationship on the side with a girl who was about half his age I think she was about team and I had no clue whatsoever I never would've known anything like this it was devastating to me if I only watched for some science I might've been able to be warned and personality issues if one of you is a neat freak and the other is not you know you may be able to negotiate that he may be able to grow a whole lot in your character based on that but it would be smart to at least address it think through you know Howard Howard both of you going to handle things you know one person by deal Saturday night may not be the other person 's ideal Saturday night if one of you wants invite half the church over every Saturday night for popcorn and and the other one of you thinks that Saturday night should be spent the two of you reading leptons by the fire that that may be a personality issue you can have to work out the process of mate selection step three after becoming whole length observing is not just friends I really had to wrestle with what I call this pit it's not just friends if there's one most misused term in the whole Adventist conservative English language it's just a friend that though irritating to me because everybody tells me to you now I talked about women and how can you like me so we talk about it now just friends or even worse now we're just best friends over there now because it is my camp if I like so and so anything worked out again maybe you have figured out to me but right now we're just like brother and sister and it's so wonderful because I think it's talking about everything for how respect Avenue late at night we have a great time together and he does like my brother I love it when you give me a hug and I began to me I think to me and I know it doesn't mean a thing to him either yeah just best friends whenever somebody says no we're just best friends I did Bob the alarm goes off in my mind that you're not just friends just be real with yourself okay if you lied everybody else at least don't lie to yourself if you're interested in somebody and/or they are interested in you you're not just friends you are something besides just friends you are somebody who may be moving into a more complicated phase of the relationship or one of youth interested in that the otherwise not but when you treat somebody you know they're interested in you and you treat them just like you would treat them if they weren't I can be very damaging to them and I've inadvertently made that mistake and there was one guy who is just like a brother to me and I'd I honestly I could never in my wildest dreams of thought that you would be interested in the and then I got a letter from him one day and I was thunderstruck and never in my wildest dreams occur to me to need to be interested in the eye felt terrible because here I had been best friends and I talk about everything with them and an enough I just never thought about it but we need to be careful because it's also important regard someone else's heart even if were not interested in them that doesn't mean that we can hurt them filling and not just friends you indicate interest slowly in small ways this is where things are a little hazy you know some people if they will what's the difference between observing and not just friends the difference is that when you're not just friends you have in your own mind at the very least a commitment to I think I want to find out more about the will of God for my relationship with this person now I figure you make a verbal commitment cautiously if at all Alan and I did have a verbal commitment at one point not the initial part of this process first you know the becoming hole in Christ against twentysomething years of observing parts and took us about three days to do that what I recommend there anything wherever crawling here in love right but in our case that's what happens and Alan had felt a conviction from God the first time he saw me walking past he felt God was telling him you need to talk to that woman you need to get to know her he thought that was really strange but you know eventually when circumstances work it out he did start getting to know me and I obliviously settled on the guy from Africa he obviously is not interested in me I forgot his name right away I didn't pay any attention to him but because I was hanging out with my friend Heather Cragin he was hanging out with my friend Heather Craig we ended up being the daughter quite a bat and of her weekends and then we all went to a potluck together Heather disappeared but she didn't plan it just happened and there we were and I talked to this guy for an order have to ours but how is really interesting but I really think of them as being it had prospect come down any I feel it in America but he doesn't and he had never been flirtatious with me at all so I really didn't think seriously about it but about two three weeks three weeks after that was where he e-mailed me and he said that I have made the decision in my mind I want to date you wrote back and said I'm not willing to make that commitment I told you need any more time than this but at that point I made a verbal commitment to end I was not going to pursue finding out the will of God is a relationship with anyone else until I felt confident of the will of God on the relationship between us so when in our case we had a verbal commitment may be halfway through this process but for some people it's more of you just start noticing and you know it is kind of difficult when you go through the process of observing at some point it gets harder and harder to observe without being observed right he can only hide behind the curtain and watch for so long so sooner or later you transition into the part where the other person starts becoming aware of that and and that's not a bad thing I'm just saying it's important to discern in your mind if you don't want them to know about it you need to take steps to make sure that they don't know that you're observing them because you may be observing five different people at the same time and thing all of these girls are really nice all of these guys seem like high quality and that's not offend but once you move into making that commitment or making a interest known to a person you have the potential to play with their hearts and to hurt them it is very important that you keep this keep it a level where or when you're not sure if you want to pursue this person that you don't let them know it I guess that's the simplest way to put it and seek prudent counsel I say prudent counsel because I think at this point it's really important before you make a commitment to somebody that you talk to other people who might have been very helpful and if you know you start dating people sometimes just shut up and you know the numbers are dating or not say anything about the fact that I just saw her throwing shoes at the cat yesterday but when you're not dating yet sometimes your friend to be more willing to talk with you about things especially if you say you know I been thinking about so-and-so what you think please don't say anything to her you know don't do this by thing but at some point you move from just observing which may be one or more people keep thinking I think I want to find out more about this particular person keys to success in step three move out but any little fate in there don't let intimacy get ahead of commitments this is crucial and I'll talk about that in a minute don't let commitments to get ahead of knowledge this is made even more crucial get wise counsel and surrender you have to surrender to the Lord in every step of this process and pray earnestly as LMI says if you are praying twice a day before you start considering somebody need to pray for times a day really bring them before the Lord and ask them to give you disbarment above and beyond within you in half there are things that the Lord did for me and I never would've found out about Ike for example with my ex-boyfriend who had the character issue I would have had no way of finding out but he was clocked in something that I could never have had anything to do with catching him in and then he was forced to confess to me because he was sure I was to find out from someone else which I wouldn't have because I hadn't actually been in those gossip circles but he thought it would find out about what he'd been doing and so the Lord any confirmation this is the right thing to do you need to move on from this relationship God will do things for you that will just blow your mind as you pray and you surrendering you just ask him Lord show me show me what to do at the circles of intimacy here and I wanted to show you briefly these are concentric circles for those who are listening audio varsity center circle if you are enough where your heart is and then the next circle out his intimates and then the next circle out friends in the circle beyond that as acquaintances and the outermost circle of people you just met we just met somebody you have casual conversation with them he taught out today is sure is you don't sit down to money maybe he's maybe in some of you have met people like this I know I have where you sit down with them and ten minutes into the conversation of telling you about their their daughter who is going through this really competent complicated relationship with her boyfriend in the boyfriend is related to the mother 's ex-boyfriend but it is enough and there is therefore now they got Senior Manuel what was your name again maybe it only happens to make it I happen to be a counselor but people you just met you don't usually pour out your guts to them if you're a balanced person you've got friends that you talk to who you know you can trust you don't know if you can trust the person walking past you so the more time you spend with a person the more you know if they're trustworthy or they're not they are acquaintances you may share a little more with them I'd say with acquaintances you share more information with your friends you share your opinions and courses and just layers like an onion it's a gradual kind of thing but you get the point I think the better you know someday the more you know that they're trustworthy the more that you trust them with your secrets with your heart we get the very most intimate circle in your life that's for you talk about your fears your your needs your your feelings your deepest feelings that's the kind of relationship you don't want to have with somebody if you're not sure that you're going to continue this relationship with them if you know you're asking for a lot of heartbreak or you're asking for a commitment to get ahead of where you ought to be because then you find out things about them you realize this really is the best person for me to marry a ally raise their children the family home and raise my children but now you've gotten this intimacy that draws you closer than when you're unable to pull yourself out the lecture intimacy grow with your level of commitment and this is a great principle for just interacting in all of life I remember sharing this with a class in personal evangelism the girls came up to me afterward she did a Bible worker for years she said if only somebody had told me this before hand would've been so much easier because she just found when she was dealing with guys say she would go into the bottle sitting at somebody and then they start talking about their personal problems and she had listened his about wants both to minister the way that Christ says that you should listen to them and try to help them and then the more you know it's like every time you cut off the head of the Dragon three more sprout and before she nourishes all involved in their lives and they were all emotionally connected to them because they just poured that to it I told her all about their feelings and their fears and now they were in America she's the light that the key is if you don't want to build a bond with somebody don't open your heart to them and don't let them open their hearts to you now living at diet you no growth if a guy is to have the courage to come and talk to you about his interest in you please have mercy on him in a I I had a friend who united and he wasn't the wisest on this see really like this girl so he told everybody about it except her eat a lot of his friends and all of her friends in acrimony it was the talk of the town and it was it was you know I'm using to a lot of people and it was not amusing for the finally she said them down and had a little heart-to-heart when she informed him she was not interested him and him and would not be interested in him and when he kindly stopped King about her you don't have to go through that I like girls in LA there is something to be said and I've also you know if a girl is chasing you there are ways that you can let a person that you're not interested besides just breaking the days when you catch their big Dave across the room if you yell you talking alone with the person and you sense that this person may be starting to get interested in you at one of those and now rather than the how moment if you know there there are ways to communicate your lack of interest like for starters don't talk about your needs and fears not talk about your deeper feelings found the surface talk with them about casual staff bring somebody else into the conversation being alone with somebody creates intimacy it creates the WoW only the two of us have shared this conversation so if you want to do that create that you can even write a guide interested in me when I was doing Bible work with that ninety nine and I was like no help that you just did I met him on the street headed in the handle and expanded he was coming to the meetings and asking out for coffee and so I got all the guys on the Bible working perfectly advised only event you see them getting after me come and stay with us and we ended up one night and I wanted to walk me back to that church roasting we had seven guys like me home that night it worked out he got the picture I had no intimate relationships with any of those guys and it all worked out just fine now I'll inure to be paranoid if anybody's dampener written in a couple of two venues you invite somebody over the notion of interest I'm getting a date you just you just want to keep this as a rule of thumb in your mind you don't want to build intimacy with this person don't talk to them about deep things and if you do want to build intimacy with them build lowly as you know that they are trustworthy and let your commitment and intimacy stay hand-in-hand questions to ask while you are considering this person if this person a lot like Jesus is this person a lot like you and by this I don't mean that the person needs to be a carbon copy of you praise the Lord Alan and I are not carbon copies of each other but there are a lot of things we have in common number one spiritually we are on the same page we all do everything right but we see how the Lord is leading in our lives we had the same idea of what kind of relationship with God socially we had the same threat of friends when the guys I dated his friends were we urge them there I sat around and end just talked about the delightful jokes all the application to talk about real stuff you know like what you're doing in your lives that but that wasn't the kind of frenzy and then when the Allen's friends are like wow now these are friends these are the kind of people that you just want to go camping with the whole weekend and laugh all weekend long and and just you can have deep conversations he did seem to get very and I was the kind of friends that might socially he liked the same kind of people I like that with a great confirmation to me and also the kind of marriage he wanted to have when I dated the other guy he hit his emotional debt just never was there whereas with Alan he was a person that his longing was to have a marriage where we were asked friends for we share everything with each other where we are able to communicate on a deep level and where if I don't like something I will tell him KDE data brother told him one time I'm like an open book but you know what page I'm on thankfully I read some books you need to be learned some stuff and was amazed at what I like about Nicole was that she told me exactly where she was a baby that was what he liked when I married him and he do you may regret it now but I will sit down beside him and say what I need right now is for you to hug me would you please and you that you and so that's writing another kind of things they wanted on a Saturday night unfortunately we are both the fireplace people and probable but you people over to our house but at least were in this mess together we may not be able to decide what we wanted on a Saturday night but we both are drawn by the way that's great socially intellectually one of these somewhat on the same level there's a really good book called off finding the love of your life I think it is that has some of these things in a list some of the critical things that you need to be similar in dimension also energy level which can be important but I don't think it's as important some of these intellectually might be able to share things that are interesting to you Alan I love to talk about psychology and what makes people tick and why to do the things that they do things that build a marriage because you want to share them and habitually your leisure time what you want to do when you have a day off what kind of vacation you want to go on how much time do you want to spend visiting your family when you have vacation you want to go out and shop would do chores around the house it's nice of you can do it together words if one of you wants to go sit by the lake and the other love that compass things around the house on your days off in a cost conflict conflict is not your enemy in a marriage but it can be if you can't work through it the problem is not conflict the problem is selfishness we'll talk about that more tomorrow but in the and in today's culture there are so many things to be in conflict about it's nice to have things in common on these issues so the process of mate selection after you become Christ gave observed you want to do not just friends stage now you get to step for recording our dating now you know some people say we really need to call according on not a fussy about the name and I realized that I was dating Allen or according him whatever that if I told people I was according him some people thought it was homage very now I'm not as concerned about what you call it I'm more concerned about what kind of process it is a bucolic cording or if you call it dating what I'm talking but here is when you commence a committed relationship he asks she answers hopefully that he asked and the answers well you know the figure you guys figured out here on continue focusing on getting to know one another's personality and character you know there are things that you can't find out when you're not in a committed relationship it's kind of silly to be befitting with the person that you haven't actually asked today to thank the honey gives you one American half know what what kind of things that you wanted do with your children you homeschool them you know birth-control what you believe on birth control but you don't talk about when years not dating so that's why it's important to have this page and if you can't work those things out when you're dating then you by all means don't need to keep going forward you need to work out some of those issues but that's why step-by-step this thing this needs to go gradually slowly in the night in emotional intimacy now we have this tremendous longing for emotional intimacy and there's nothing wrong with that but you know I found Smith Alan that the more that I knew him the more that I love him the more that I respected him the more that I appreciated when he shared with me and that was that was something that had to grow if I learned I could trust him there were times that he would come you know there's something I want to share with you but I'm not ready to yet I'm going to share them with you soon that was good for me I just let us know okay he's he's growing in his trust with me and you know he's not just a poor out of debt see the balanced guy he's thinking things through regulates physical intimacy by counsel and conviction this is a difficult one to explain it I know different people have different convictions on what's appropriate when a person is dating I guess I would say to rules but maybe three rules I would I would government by the one is that you just you don't want to do anything that disobeys the rule of purity and virtue whatever God has called you to do by your convictions that's what you want to do when you're when you're physically intimate it builds emotional intimacy it makes it harder for you to break off the relationship that your physical intimacy by all means must stay behind for your level of commitment is at the second thing in the third is that the more you save for later the better it's going to be if you get to be married this person someday why not save your care for later Alan and I kissed for the first time on her wedding day and now is the most amazing kids my life I can't even tell you what it was like it was just wow I'm finally really married to this guy and his people before you give people before but it was all different because this gets meant so much you just placed his life to me I just placed my life to him that was beautiful I'm not saying that that's God 's plan for every person this is what you should do roughly fallen short but I do know people who have kind of accidentally kissed and I don't think it's it's a special that way you know if your wife you're going to do something physically if you have progressed physically in your relationship make sure that both of you feel okay with it but both of you feel visiting harmony with your convictions otherwise one of you may feel this is totally fine the other one be conflicted and feeling disrespected and even unloved by this what should be an expression of affection of true love because there's feeling like well he knows I really believe I should be doing this again he's doing it anyway that's the wrong failure physical intimacy needs to be controlled very carefully and realized if you have the rest of your life to be intimate with one another why should you race now the longer you wait the more love there is in it the more you know one another and love one another you can't love them when you don't know them well the more you know them while truly love them and then what enter physical intimacy will mean in your relationship for Alan and me out of the precious part of our relationship just knowing that wow even though we share things with other people are holding back I would've been a lot more difficult if he hadn't been in Africa but we did have a couple of months that we

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