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Logo of GYC 2016: When All Has Been Heard

2. Advising Love’s Growth: A Holy vs. An Unholy Courtship

Sebastien Braxton Candis Braxton

Description

This session we explore love’s journey in courtship. We will discover in complete transparency the signs of an unholy courtship and how to build and maintain a holy courtship. We will answer questions like: where did the concept of courtship come from? How do we set up physical boundaries and what if we violate them? How do we know when to end the courtship? Who should we include in our relationship for advice and counsel? And much more!

Conference

Recorded

  • December 29, 2016
    10:30 AM
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This was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference has been heard in Houston Texas other resources like online heaven. Thank you for. Strength for all the things that we need we pre-filing for your spirit to be here with us now to continue being here with us as we seek. Just to learn more about how have been designed to carry ourselves. Especially in the realm of this we ask. Men. So our title of this next seminar we went from advising love to beginning to a life advising love's growth. Right. So we're now moving into the question of the holy vs unholy courtship. And obviously we talked about in the last and in our session at the end that one of the primary differences between a courtship and dating is that there is an aim towards marriage right when you're dating you're just spending time with the opposite sex to have a good time but when you're courting you're spending time with another individual to build a relationship to draw their affections because your goal is to get married you see the potential for that marriage to take place. So here we want to talk about the whole idea of courtship. And so when we look at the history of the word courtship. It goes all the way back to the mid fifteen hundreds. When you had kings and queens and the King had a royal court he had a what a royal court and in that. Royal Court you had a court jester. You probably heard that term before right. He has a court person who brings them is food he has a court kookie has all these different people in his court and one of the main issues was to court the attention of the king. So people would come in and to entertain the king to try to draw his affections out toward them. And so if you were engaged in trying to win the affections of the king. Let's say you were a visiting nation or let's say you were a nobleman who was looking for a promotion you would go to the Court of the king in front of him his wife the Queen and his kids in all of his servants and you were there to perform some great thing to win the affection of the king. If you were doing that you were engaged in courtship. And this is why I don't know why it makes the statement that we should have a thorough royal knowledge and what what does the word mean. Complete right you've done your homework and then you should have a thorough knowledge of the individual upon whom you seek to be stow what word your affections your affections are yours to give. And you should have a thorough row knowledge of that person whom you seek to give your affections to are you tracking you should know who you're giving It's just like an investment. You're not going to go and say here's my life savings and just go give it to someone you just met in my telling the truth. But we will treat our affections as cheaper than our money. You'll sit and do all your vetting to make sure and on I'm not going to give you all the money my dad just gave to me by inheritance. Just because you look good. Just because you sound like it's a good investment. I'm not doing. I'm going to vet you. I'm going to get advice I'm a talk to a lawyer. I'm a talk to a finance person. Am I telling the truth. But when it comes to our factions. We just give them away so freely without doing any investigation. So we're talking about courtship and playing course we must recognize that a big part of that whole experience of bonding. Is in drawing the affections out of that other person. Now as we go forward. We want to focus on three key takeaways from this particular session. Our first key takeaway is that the goal of courtship is not to avoid pain but disobedience. I know when you look at this you know I have not avoid pain. Who's trying to engage. But many times when we are. When we're in a relationship where we're in stage we're recording. We're feeling like I want to do everything the right way or I don't really want to cause you know ruffle any feathers or. We end up not being our shoe authentic selves and I know that as a female sometimes you may think I'm a little too strong in this area. So I'm a temper that back a little bit just so that I don't have to experience the pain of him seeing or having something to say about this in it. Therefore causing things not to work out and so many times we hold back. You know to avoid the pain. And recognize that you know basically what you're doing to a person right. They think they're marrying Rachel and waking up when we're right. It's like oh yeah she's so nice and she's so about ministry and I'm telling you the truth. Right. We told you an introduction we don't give you The Good The Bad and Ugly right and a big big big thing that you know I always appreciated about our courtship is that we were very honest with each other before we were even dating. Right. I remember us having a very honest conversation about ministry and she's I well you're traveling a lot and although I don't know if I want that life. But we're interested. But we got to have an honest and open conversation. Right. We can't just sit here and talk and pretend like. You know Sebastian is preaching you know Sebastian is traveling in ministry. That's what he senses God is calling him to do you know you're interested in going to grad work in all these different things and being a mom. How do we now have a conversation about this honestly rather than oh let's all look prim and proper everybody and Sadducees are sitting together matching sweaters and we get to have all the benefits like we're dating and courting or about to get married and then once we get married now all the honest stuff comes out but it's too late you cross the line. You marry. Well I don't come crying to the preacher like oh you know my husband is my wife this life bro. Did you check her out before you got married. She was pretty she was coming to Bible study. Are you serious. Marriage is more than being pretty uncommon to a Bible study. Somebody should have said I mean it's true. That's the truth. So they weren't even on the converse you know he said Going to bed thinking maybe to making up with Leah but on the converse we can also and by holding back. We end we can end up in a situation where a person thinks that OK well maybe this is not the person that I really need to be you know the ship with because the very things that you're hiding or you're holding back of the things that they're looking for and that does work some both sides and I think that's a critical point that you're bringing out because you know one of the things that a lot of people you know when Candace and I had expressed interest right a lot of people didn't know. And so a lot of guys would come to me and I'd be like yeah I mean I think I'm interested in Candice and I'm my own really. I need some counsel and I'm like oh OK. I think this is a bad deal. You know it's like but when these guys were coming to me their perception of Candice was different in who I knew she was there like all Candice is super nice very supportive and I say you know supportive it's just. And they love the Candace as she's going to be that you know Martha Stewart in the kitchen making order in entertaining and super happy to so your clothes from scratch. But I say you know Candace is a very strong mind and they were like Yeah but I feel like you know I could be with a girl like this and I said you don't know what you're going into this like you have to recognize the fact that Candice is that way because you're not her boyfriend. She'll be cool and calm and you know. Yeah that's cool. You want to do that but in her mind she's think it's about actual never do that. You know yeah I remember one time we went to we went to church and this guy came in you know and his tie was all jacked up and you know the shirt was clearly not iron. And you know my wife she doesn't play this them so. But she's coming to him and she's a hey man you know there's a way you can fix this to make it look right. She's fixing his tie obviously you know you're going up on the pulpit like you need to look appropriate but she's very courage and positive it's OK don't feel bad you know Jesus going to accept you as you are just focus on what you're doing now let me try to walk to the door without a wrinkle shirt Bay where you're going to go to church not like that. People don't think that because I'm your wife I allow this the light allowed this. And so it's a recognition of the fact that sometimes the aspects that Candace did not show about herself right were things that for her it was like We're not in a relationship. So this is not appropriate for me to show to you. I don't need to have that kind of intimacy with you. But when we were becoming very good friends. We are goal was not to avoid the pain of this doesn't work out. We wanted to be honest and it was going to work out it wasn't going to work out. And yes that hurts. Because you were public right. Once you go public and everyone knows you're. Dating where everyone knows you were engaged. No one wants to come back to church and have to deal with the fact that all what happened to you and Bobby what happened to you when Sebastian I'll come that didn't work I say hey what about James you know so well you know and you got to try to make up these answers because you're not trying to blast the dude. And that I was he messed up and did this and this so because he might be preaching a sample. I'm telling you the truth. And so because of that we are so afraid of the pain of separation and having to face the community about it that we'd rather push the relationship forward than be honest and say this is going work out. Because guess what. I'll take two weeks of pain three months of discomfort. Then a lifetime of sorrow. Any time. So for us this is a very critical take away. That when it comes to courtship holy versus unholy courtship it's not just about physical boundaries. It's also about an authenticity. Don't try to pretend to be what you're not because once you get married. It will come out and you will find people and we've talked to people you know believe I don't know if you can speak to that because she's a marriage and family therapist so she gets people telling her some stuff they won't tell me but. Let me think about it some more. But you you you get you get these individuals will come and be like you know my husband deceived me my wife deceived me. People are falling out of love been married right and everything was great and even though you counsel them. I don't think this is a good idea. Don't go south. Yes and that is a very painful. I remember that's a very painful thing to listen to people that that want to listen to people that are experiencing that you know where they come. They've been expanding or expecting something in marriage they've gone through all the process the prophecies to get to that point only to come to say I think this other person deceives me. And that's a true. Rachael in Leo. Situation right and nobody wants to be in that situation. Because you know once you cross your mind you've crossed the line. And so yes be real. Be honest and I think we're Kennison I draw this principle from you know even in our marriage we continue to practice it that you know she's not going to pretend that she likes something I'm doing just because Right if we're in public and I say or do something she doesn't like she's not going to blast me in front of other people but for sure. On the way back to the hotel in the elevator. You know you go find out. Hey that was not cool like you said that sort of person. And in that sense right. It lets you know that in Jesus's a life when Jesus was born of Mary he did not live his life to avoid pain because he knew exactly where his life was going. He lived his life to avoid disobedience. That would have destroyed the plan of salvation and God's purpose for his life was disobedience not pain. Are you following what we're saying. So in your own relationship and courting don't think that God's purpose for you in marriage and relationships is gone because of pain. It's only gone because of disobedience you stepped into some foolishness. Then we are now stepping into a Samson situation where now God's purpose for your life is now more difficult to accomplish because you and I decided to veer off from his will. We decided to do things our way rather than God's way. So for us this is just a very critical principle that we see in Jesus's life. And we feel that is immediately very pressingly relevant when it comes to courtship and what separates Holy from one holy courtship. Our next thing. Our next. Take away to the next. But the disobedience part and I just wanted to mention too that you know Sebastian was talking about his. Calling like knowing very early on what God was calling him to in Fimo some of us to know what God has placed on our hearts and He has revealed what what things. What areas he wants us to be a blessing in the world right. And so in some ways. Sebastian could have said well I know God has called me to do this but I'm really interested in this girl and I really want things to work. So maybe I can hold back on or maybe I just won't speak as much or maybe I'll just do this or that in finding ways to kind of accommodate any that my own desires were and at that that would be him being disobedient right. So it's not just disobedience of we didn't follow you know the the physical the physical boundaries or we ate something like it's it's more than that even being disobedient in what it is that we know God is calling us to like are for the purpose so I didn't want to know that's a good point. I don't even think about the fact of how. You know sometimes we surrender our calling to God to try to accommodate a relationship. And national never be the case. And I think that's a great point. Our next takeaway is that courtship is not an automatic gateway to marriage but a testing in preparation for a. You know you get these people. Who are getting into a relationship is such a big deal to update that thing on their Facebook profile that once they do it. They don't want to change. My telling the truth. They don't want the drama they don't want to show for them it's like courtship is rubbish that we're going to get married. When courtship is not about oh because we're dating we're automatically going to get married. Are you following courtship is a gateway to marriage. It is a testing and a preparation for it right you don't just get marry. Just because a he's godly on godly he loves Jesus. We're all ministries are parallel I hear that a lot about people all when you know. He preaches I play the piano. You know she's into you know organizing and I'm a very good visionary that does not mean you should get married. Listen truth. Right. You need to recognize that a big part of this is testing in preparation for marriage. So don't come in and think well because we're dating and now we're public and our and our parents gave their blessing automatically we should just go for it no matter what that is dangerous thinking. Very dangerous thinking. So for us it's very critical that when we look at a holy verses on holy courtship. Don't go into a situation where you decide what God's will was before you even had time to look at what you were dealing with. And this is a very critical point that I think Qantas and I also want to address under this. Take away. You know a lot of people when they go into relationships they have this mindset that God has one specific person for them. And if that doesn't work out with that specific person then all well now going back to the quote. That we said from day one should have a thorough knowledge of the one upon whom you seek to be still your affections. I want you to follow what God is encouraging us to do in that statement. Have a thorough knowledge that means investigation does it not the real knowledge does that not take time. Yes or no. OK bestow your affections is that not a choice or not. Yes or no. So now how does that reconcile with the fact that I can just go on my knees and pray. And God's going to give me a vision that I boom can is your life. Those don't go together. This is the person you will marry that person no matter what. Now we're what we're venturing into the area of pre predestination. We're basically saying that all I'm going to pray and see is God's will for me to marry. This person you don't even know that. And how can you marry someone you don't know because you don't know them you don't love them and if you don't love them. It's a sin to marry them. So when tracking back on this point that courtship is a perpetration in the testing for marriage big parts of courtship are all about learning how you and him and her solve problems together. You've got to engage in things that we begin to learn how do we work together. How do we solve problems together and if we're not able to do that you're not going to do well in marriage because you're going to have a lot of problems you're going to have to solve them together and if we are not able to solve them together and what I want to do my thing and you do your thing that's not a marriage. That's a roomy those are two different things. And that you know we try to turn that can be made. That's being made versus being matched right. Sebastian just described being meted but it's not necessarily the right match right. Yeah the mated but not match these is very very critical because I think for Candace and myself we when we look at our relationship and some of the people that we've counseled together. You know you recognize that people. There are very very afraid of facing up to the fact that this relationship may not work. Especially when you come to the point of engagement. They're just afraid. And now you're coming for outside counsel and somebody who can is and I always tell them like we don't love you and we don't love you. We're not invested in making this relationship work. We're invested in making sure that God can bless this relationship and that all the things that are going to bring unhappiness and sorrow into this relationship have been identified and that you're being honest. So don't come to us expecting us to rubberstamp your relationship. And be like oh yeah you're good. Which is going to go to the sessions just to go through the motions. Then what's the point of premarital counseling. If you came for counseling that means you don't have all the answers. And if you don't have all the answers that means you and I have to have a heavy dose of humility and acknowledge that I could be blinded by my emotion I could be blinded by attraction. I can be blinded by my bonding I could be blinded by my own desire to recognize that my clock's ticking and I can't have kids. We're too many more years so I better hurry up and get married and you know some of your thinking like that women and men. I've got an expiration date please use by December twenty seventh seems like. That's not a safe approach to relationships we got to be honest and recognize a if the Lord can't bless it. Why would you want anything that God cannot bless. And also as it being a testing and a preparation for marriage. We also remember that it's also a testing phase to see what kind of love we do have with this person. In the last session we went through attraction. We went through interests you went through liking and then the next the next step on that progression was right. Sometimes we realize we may not always realize that there are different types of love. There's need love appreciative love. Special you had to find a way to define terms. So when when we look at C.S. Lewis has a good book that we recommend It's called the four loves. It's a great thing to explore the concepts that we're about to talk about right now in this book he talks about this idea of need love appreciative love and give love. Now I need love is the kind of love that when my daughter sees a dog and she comes terrified and she runs to me she's not running to me because oh yeah I just appreciate my papa so my. You know she's running to me because out of her love for me is that she feels like I'm going to protect her. Are you following me. Right. It's not because she's like oh you know I just want to encourage my papa and give him a big hug you know she's running to me because she's terrified she needs protection she's like I love you. I need you pick me up. Please hold me because I'm afraid of this dog that's a sense of need love were desire preceded the actual affection and this is very important. This is how we identify infatuation when there is a desire behind it because what happens when the desire is fulfilled. I no longer have any love for you. Just like Amnon and Taymor. Oh I love her so much. I can't even eat. Soon as he raped her. He hated her and kicked her out of his house. What happened to all that love because it was a need love. It was based upon a desire that he had. But appreciative love is a type of love that. You know you ever walk by somebody in the hallway. And they say they have a really nice perfume or cologne. And you just I mean that's nose and you look in a crowd like Who is that. You know it's not that you're necessarily looking for the person and you weren't meeting a good smell. Are you following me there was no desire. I just need to smell something a smells good. You know maybe women have that feeling. As men were not thinking like I do seem to smell something good. So desire. Did not preceded your appreciation of that good cologne are you following You're just appreciating the fact that this thing smells good. And even if you don't have the cologne. You're not saying no one else could should have this cologne. You're just saying that smell is really good. I wish I could find it because I like to smell it again and that's an appreciative type of love. So when you you look at your relationship when you look at infatuation infatuations says I need you. But appreciation says I appreciate what I'm giving you value and recognition that just. Because of who you are even if I cannot be with you. I still recognize that that's a good person. Even if someone else marries him or her. I still appreciate the fact that that's a godly guy. That's a beautiful woman. And I can appreciate who she is or who he is. Give Love is the kind of love that motivates a father to go to work every day. To provide for his family. He's not necessarily reaping any benefits out of what he is doing his love is simply a so sacrificial love where he says I'm going to give this to you for your benefit alone. Now we recognize that in this particular space when we engage in relationships with people our ideal is to be able to develop the kind of relationship in our courtship where we don't have a need love. What's not based on a desire like I need companionship or I need just to have someone to be around me I just want someone to hug me or just to call when I'm having a bad day. That's a need love and when the bad days go away or you find someone better to satisfy and you are no longer be in love with them. But with an appreciative love you're saying you know what. Even if I can't have this person. I still appreciate who they are and I'm thankful for the time that I had with them in this particular relationship and that's the type of love that we're seeking to have I think that's a it sounds really honorable right. But actually it's a good guide as well because we know that it's a good indicator. So and a guy knowing that what we're feeling is legitimate. It is true pure love and makes me think back to our time before. We were in the right way and yeah we weren't dating. If we were friends but we had expressed interest. During this waiting phase and that I told everyone in the first session that was kind of driving me crazy because this was different for me waiting a year nine months like who does the. Before you can say after you've already expressed interest. And then you just. Well you know during that time of feeling crazy and being driven crazy I was like Jesus I just need some me and you time money get out of here. So I want to weigh in was on some mission trips and we knew that we would we decided that we wouldn't talk to each other during that time you know we're just taking some time to figure things out for months. And we knew that at the end of the trip he was going to be coming to the same place that I was we were doing it like a joint trip or groups were and so at that time we'd reconvene and see what God you know what the conclusion was where we're going from here. And I remember during that time there were people either of the males that were probably that were. That I started having or having actually into are right and I'm thinking whoa what's going on here. And then also you know different pivotal questions. You know what if what if marriage is not what God wants for you. You know someone asked me. Well what have got said no and I Why is that I say no. You know he knows the desires of my heart couple but I remember finally getting to a place where I was like you know if Jesus said no it's OK and well that was a hard place to get to if Jesus said no it would be OK I would be hurt. I would be upset but I'll still be OK because I rather have Jesus Amen. Well there's another point as well where I came to realize. Not only do I love my Jesus but I also do love Sebastian enough to say you know if I really am not the best person for him. I rather him find that person and be with. Because I want. I truly do love him and I want the best for him. I love him to be. I love you to look a like a man and. And I think there in that same time. When we were not talking you know I had similar experiences and I remember that even though we weren't supposed to talk I was sending her e-mails. Such as I'll just read this e-mail she in Africa. She can't get this e-mail. So there's no wife on the route but I wanted to express you know during that time my thoughts because I was I recognized during that time. How much I appreciated her friendship. And just our ability to talk and connect and discuss different things and her perspective. Being very different from mine. And one of the things that I really recognized during that time when we were not talking. And looking at the testing and preparation and all that stuff aspect of courtship. Was I said you know one of the things I loved about Candace was that how humble she was not she didn't care if I never ever preached at a big conference again it would have never changed her view of who I was she never cared about how much money I was making or what kind of house we would possibly live in or my income level or any of those things for her it was all about you as a person she said Look even if we just have to drive and I remember one time you know we took a date night and. You know we just drove to some little I don't even know where that was got some ice cream. And we're like well we're going to split this ice cream and just sit and talk and to think about the fact that you know you could have met a girl who was like what kind of date is this like I don't want to be here like this is so boring like take me to this kind of place right. And she was the one that suggested it like I don't need to go anywhere. We don't need to spend any money. I just want to sit down and spend time with you. And in that sense when I had saw her in Ethiopia I'd already decided in my mind right that I was going to come to and say Look. I want you to be my girlfriend if this were going on trying to get married next year. You know I had the whole plan. And I remember in Ethiopia we went for a walk. And that was the time I was going to tell her. Right. I was super nervous I was like she was I was wrong which I was I shaking and stuff like I know something is not the shaking. And some like yeah you know under the Ethiopian moon. And I said you know I'm really interested I want to take this relation to the next level and I'm thinking I know she's interested we talked about it already a year and a half ago. And. She looked at me and she said well I got to talk to Jesus. First I'm like What. I thought we had this conversation. So there I was in Ethiopia waiting two days. She just let me hang in. I did I was a little salty. But we we appreciated the fact that through that time when she came back and she said I prayed about it and the Lord gave me his blessing. And we prayed. We had a prayer together. We thank the Lord in even before we put it on Facebook that following December. You know it was a whole ritual we were like sitting there at the computer praying together and we're all nervous and stuff because we know people about to start emailing you and you know sending you messages. So what was going on was so we see had going through that whole process we saw especially after we got married. The week after our wedding. I was sick. The whole week. I mean literally like terribly sick and therefore we couldn't really do anything right. But we ended up staying home and we were just talking and laughing and one of the things that really shocked us was that after our wedding and we were there just hanging out and I was sick. We just didn't realize how good of friends we were and that we didn't need all those extra things. Laughing to talking to enjoy each other's company. And that's what really shocked us after we're married because we had already gone through all the honest conversation. There was no surprise there was nothing we were going to do or a weakness that came out that we didn't know about each other because we're confronted and we were honest about it. The next thing that appreciative love gives you the freedom to do is not wait for there to be some kind of tragic ending right. Sometimes and where cording we feel like OK there has to be this big thing that comes in or a BIG he has to make a big mistake or she has to make this big mistake in order for us to stop or to end this and many times we don't really. We don't always need those those huge things or maybe they may not come and so we continue progressing because we're like Well that hasn't happened. But we see other little things along the way. So this having that appreciative love as well. Helps and protects us gives us the freedom to. To know that this is not our only way out is if something tragic were to happen right. You not waiting for the person to cheat on you or decide to give up their faith in God like oh it's like these things or happen. This relationship to just go forward no matter what. That's not true. And this goes back to the emotional intelligence we talked about in the previous seven or you have to know yourself and you have to recognize like this is not working out for me and when I was single before I met Candice and I was to travel and preach people be like social rational men when you get married man where you know where's your wife man. Where's your wolf man. And I'm like look man asked Jesus. You know I'm not going to be pressured into a relationship and people used to say Well Sebastian was the issue and I said Look. I'm not single because I can't get married. If I wanted to get married I could find someone to marry. But I said the reason why I'm single is because I can't just marry anyone. And that's a decision we had to make in our minds Candice in the same way. It's like we can't just me. Anyone. You may make mistakes. You may fall here in there in terms of the relationship path but you have to determine in purpose in your heart. I'm not just going to get married just to get married. If I'm going to be single. It's because I can't just marry anyone there are no good options. So I tell people if you wanted to buy a car and all the cars were broken down and had issues you wouldn't just buy a car just to have a car or you following. You want to make sure you buy a car that works and it's the same thing with your relationship in your marriage. So we move on to another key takeaway in terms of holy verses on the holy courtship and that is infatuation is not legitimate interest. One of the best ways to identify infatuation as we talked about is that need love that base of desire. That's something they needed something to remember I told you my spiritual mother talk to me about you need to learn to cook need to learn to clean your own place. Learn how to take care of yourself and remove all these things off the table so that no woman can exploit your weaknesses or no men can exploit your insecurities as a woman. You know many avenues girls get caught up because a brother just got a silver tongue. She super insecurity super broken. No one ever told her she was pretty No one ever took her aside and say I want to spend money on you and call her when she's feeling down and girls you know we put you play into it right you over here depressed and everything and he call and so let me talk to him you know I need a friend. But in the back of your mind you know better. And so when when we're going to infatuation. And recognizing like I can't just be in a relationship because I need this thing you want to make sure you're in a relationship because I appreciate. And that appreciation of that person brings you to decisions in your mind. Number one what can be said earlier if I'm not the best person for you. I have so much. It for you that I will break up with you because I'm not the best person. And we need to recognize when we're bringing stress in other people's lives because we've got baggage because we've got problems but no I want you. And guess what. That's a selfish love and that's not a Godly love and that will not lead to a happy marriage. Please believe there is a time when the wedding dress will come off and all the little accoutrements that go to that preparation for the wedding and all the photos on Facebook that they never stop the person from getting divorce. They never stop the person for not cheating on their spouse let me look at my wedding pictures. Oh you know that date was so amazing. No to thinking what was I thinking on that day. I don't love this person I'm not happy. Those things are not going to make up for true happiness and that appreciative love should lead us to a gift when we say I want to do these things. So that my wife can have a good life. If I can give her those things. It's not because she did something for me it's not because I told them to her. It's simply because of I appreciate who she is and in my opinion. She deserves it because she's just a good person. So we want to make sure that we don't get caught up in a factual and just being drawn and one of the clearest signs of infatuation is a lack of patience. People can't wait. It goes both ways. You know sometimes women will be pressing guys a member. I was talking to a girl in college and we were just friends. And I kind of sense. Maybe she was interested and before you know it right. We're hanging out and talking right because I'm thinking. I don't like her so it doesn't matter. Just like we talked about last session. Well you know I don't like her. I'm not attracted to her. So we can hang out don't matter. But clearly she had feelings and every single day. She's like well what is this what are we a my we are friends. What are you saying my WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE TO YOU You look like a friend. That's how you look to me. And it's like well I mean we're hanging out. We're doing this. Yeah that's great. We're hanging out like I hang out with my boys like I'm not trying to date him like he's not asking what is this and she's like I'm not one of your boys in my mind. You're one of my boys. And as we're having this conversation. You know in in not addressing the reality is is that look I don't appreciate that person like that. Why my why am I playing this game. I need to just own. This is why I stand. Not trying to go that direction with this particular person. And I got telling the truth and I need to conduct myself. Accordingly. So I'm not operating on the fact that why was I keeping her around because she was fulfilling needs that I had but at the end of the day I didn't love her as a person. And I wasn't looking to take that relationship any particular place. So let's move on to the Bible as we have. All time is running down right let's go to Genesis Chapter twenty four. Look at some of these things. Genesis Chapter twenty four looking at Isaac and Rebecca. Definitely. Want a sense of. OK so we're going to switch gears a little bit and just move to judges. We're going to look at Samson and Delilah a little very briefly. Because it kind of goes along with what Sebastian was just talking about. So we'll look at judges fourteen. Fourteen judges fourteen. Samson is one of my favorite people in the Bible and the reason why he's one of my favorite people in the Bible is because he shows me he showed me myself. And a lot of these principles. I knew. As I'm looking at census life I'm like This is exactly what I was doing so judges fourteen. This person is one through five are going to be for us now. Samson went down to temple and saw a woman in ten of the daughters of the Philistines So he went up and told his father and mother saying I have seen a woman in ten Timna of the daughters of the Philistines Now therefore get her for me as a wife and then his father and mother said to him. Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren or among all my people that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines and Samson said to his father get her for me for she pleases me well but his father and mother did not know that this was of the board that he was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines for at that time the Philistines had done many had to minyan over Israel. Now I want you to notice several different problems with this and I hope you already are starting to recognize them a census life. The first thing is he goes to the daughters of whom. Would he go to the daughters of the Philistines right now what it is parents ask him in their grief is there not a person where. Among your people who believe as you believe. So we've got to be very very clear that in this courtship phase. I'm not saying there's not a lot of people that are respectful that are loving that have upright characters who are not Adventists there are people like that who are not. Not Venice on this. They love God in terms of what they know of him and what they understand but they are not of the daughters of your people. And please believe that temptation is real. Why because of need love. We want companion we come to church and we feel like we can be our actual selves with another advantage because they don't drop your business because you know in our church we have a problem with gossip. So you go and be real with someone they break up with you guys have some drama. Now they just put all your business on social media. You know I'm telling the truth. And I preach that churches that are divided by those very types of issues. His son embarrassed my daughter blah blah blah he should be disfellowshipped from the church all this kind of stuff and the church doesn't take action. OK We're out the church. We're going to go to a different local church. All over some foolishness like this. Now here's the reality is that for many of us right. If we are considering someone who does not know God does not believe in the saying sure we message does not recognise where Jesus is right now. And in terms of the message that God has given us to preach. I always give people the very basic illustration. We are pictured in Revelation fourteen as angels flying in the midst of heaven Amen. Now we are angels flying in the midst of heaven. What are we supposed to be doing. According to the Bible. Having the everlasting Gospel to do what to preach to every nation tribe tongue in people that dwell upon the earth right. So can you imagine an angel. Right. Gabriel God sends Gabriel. To go tell Mary that she is going to give birth to Jesus and comes back and say hey you know. Marian are in a relationship. What God didn't send Gabriel down there to explore some sort of friendship with Mary. He sent Gabriel down there to bring a what a message. So if you're not an angel carrying the message then you're a person in need of the message. How can I be dating a person who needs the message because what's going to be the result. I'm a spend a lot of time talking about our favorite T.V. shows and what kind of cereal we like and what kind of house we may want to live in then I'm talking about your eternal salvation and where this great controversy is going. Don't be fooled and think because someone has emotional fondness for us that in the end times when all the stuff is coming down and hitting the fan all of the sudden you're going to switch sides you know. If you're not with him. You are against him. Now that may not come out now but when the Sunday law and all these different things hit it will come out. And so we must not play the game that Simpson is trying to play well I'm going to use this relationship to make a move on the Philistines you know God was using Sampson's foolishness in going to the women of the Philistines and notice what else the Bible said Simpson says in verse three get her for me for she what she pleases pleases me well. Is the focus upon her. Who is the focus on the song Samson she pleases me. Well the second the first question he should be asking is does she. Please God. But that's not the question we ask does this person please me what as great that they please you. The question is do they please. Jesus and I think you people over to you. I think in my Becca gentle and forth. Yet. My wife keep me on track. So. Sampson clearly he was not avoiding pain right. You see that in there he was is seeking he was avoiding to the beating. He was just seeking his own pleasure. And also in doing so he was actually his purpose. He was not even at all. Taking his purpose into consideration. And we'll see that handled a little differently when it comes to Isaac and Rebecca. So Genesis twenty four. Sure. And at the end of the day we know what happened to Sampson it didn't end up too well for him as he continued trying to seek his own pleasure. Yeah. OK. Genesis twenty four. Looking at verse two Thor just verses two through eight. So Abrams said to so Abrams said to the old the servant. Well let's start in verse one now Abraham was old well advanced in age and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things so Abraham said to this to the oldest servant of his house who ruled over all that he had Please put your hand under my thoughts and I will make you swear by the Lord the God of heaven and the God of the earth. That you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I do well but you shall go to my country and to my family and take a wife for my son Isaac and the servant said to him. Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land must I take your son back to the land from which you came but Abraham said to him be where that you do not take my son back there. The Lord God of heaven who took me from my father's house and from the land of my family and who spoke to me and swore to me saying to your descendants I give this land. He will send he will send his angel before you and you shall take a wife for my son from there. And if the woman is not willing to follow you. Then you will be released from the oath only do not take my son. So here we see Isaac is not even involved in this transaction. He submitted to the wisdom and the trust of his father Abraham to help him to find a wife. So when we look at the contrast between Samson in and Isaac we see Samson fighting against the wishes and the wisdom of his parents do we not sense it can't you find a woman among your brother are not she pleases me. Here you have Isaac on the opposite side saying here's a man who I know God spoke to told him to leave and is blessed him in all things. Isaac says look of God blessed Abraham even though he messed up in Egypt got took him out and save Sara God blessed Abraham and he delivered lot. God bless the Abraham even though he decided to go away from Saddam all these different experiences the Bible says God blessed Abraham in all things. So I think said to himself. My father is wiser. He is a blessed person and he's one hundred seventy five years old. You think you can trust his wisdom over your own. So in this sense Isaac decided I'm going to submit to the wisdom of my father. And I trust that he's aware. So when we look at the requirements that Abraham said to his servant he said first of all she can be a daughter of the Canaanites. And if you want to know what Canaanites were doing just read the book of Leviticus. Sleeping with animals all kinds of orgies sacrificing their babies on altars and all these different kinds of things you can understand why someone would tell you any woman who would take her own baby and put it on another altar to sacrifice so that you don't want to marry into that religion. Can you same and so we're not just saying Canaanites like oh they're nothing is really serious over there. No not of the daughter of the Canaanites from his own country from his own family and he said I told you to go get a wife for my son. Not a girlfriend. The clear intention is marriage. Which is the exact separation between dating and courtship. He said I want you to go get a wife for my son. Now when we look at Abraham's requirements he also says she must be willing to come to Canaan without seeing Isaac. We must recognize that at the very heart of every relationship. There must be a step of faith. You never truly know. You never truly know. And there must be some elements of God's providence or his leading that you sense. God is leading me in this direction but it is your choice. She must be willing or you fun. It wasn't just get her for me and God like you the one you better call now. Or you're disobeying him. No He also says this and I love this one. Ellen is ourselves one of the woman's not willing to come. I mean I will make sense right. Hey you want to come marry my master died on me. How does he look does he have any money like where does he live like what's the situation. No no no no. Should I take Isaac back there and neighbor and says Be ware. Do not take my son back to the very place God called me from. That means you don't have to go into the world to find someone. You don't need to go backward spiritually to get married if you get into a relationship and the condition of the relationship is that you must lower your spirituality. You must lower your evangelistic commitment. That's the wrong relationship. You don't go back to get marry. He says Don't ever take my son back there. She has to come here and then he says what would have she's not willing he says then it will not be. Willingness to let it go. If it doesn't work. But I want you to notice there are. Clear non negotiable. On Abraham's mind. Those non-negotiable have been expressed a liaison and I think by submitting to Abraham has also acquiesced to the same non-negotiable. So it's very important that we develop our own set of non-negotiable. Now when we look at it from a modern application. Right. In today's world. How do we apply the same principles. Well the first thing we see is that not being the daughter of the Canaanites means not of the world not a false worship or when you look in John for the woman at the well because of sake of time. I'm not going to turn there but Jesus makes a statement to the woman at the well and he says Salvation is of the Jews. We know what we worship you don't know what you're worshipping he says in God seek such that worship him how. In spirit and in truth. That's what he told the woman. That's who God is looking for and right now. You don't know what you're worshipping So clearly she was not of the people she was not of those place where salvation lies. Why would you marry someone who you know in eternity is going to be lost. You set yourself up for grief. You will marry someone who may never ever make the decision to cross the line for Jesus makes sense that God has these requirements because he doesn't want us to experience sorrow. He wants us to go to heaven with the people we love but not just they're not supposed to be from the world of the Canaanites or from the daughter of the Canaanites but they're supposed to be from his country right. But his country. When it's I mean for God's people I know many times we look around and we say there's no one in the church in many times females I speak from my perspective we're like well this guy treats me well he. He knows how to how to take care of me at the end of the day. Yeah he may not agree with all the principles but he believes that there's a god. And we think that that's enough. They are not from God's country. Nor are they from his or we can go to the converse where not only do they need to be from his country but they also have to be from his his family we can look in the church too and we say well there in the church there dentist then you know we go we keep the Sabbath we keep the health principles etc etc But we see their practical daily law of living or in the areas where it doesn't matter in terms of their character their integrity. Except era. They're not at all living what it is that we know we are at or the things that we preach are not converted not born again they're not born again they're not converted exactly they're not born again they're not from his family. The fourth thing here. His intention is to get a wife and so it demonstrates the qualities of a mate. We're not looking for someone to explore it. So we see here. He was looking for a wife again this is courtship this is not this is not the stages of trying to figure out if you're interested in a person. So there's this is this person as a package. Are they marriage material. That is the intention. And you know it reminds me back in the day even before I was a Christian. You know we used to have this phrase where we say this girl is wifey material. And you know as a worldly person. There is a difference between a girl that was like you could date her and play around but she was going to bring her home for Thanksgiving. Because you know what your mom was going to say I'm telling you the truth. Or you don't bring someone home for Thanksgiving because you're not ready to get married so I don't. Timothy A.T.P. you already know like my parenting go for this one. They're not. And you know the difference even in the world we knew the difference. That girl got a job. She's intelligent. She looks sophisticated respectable. You know she has goals and aspirations. I could bring her home with my family my family is a group of very intelligent people you bring some girl home who can't hold a conversation. Nothing to look at me like what happened. Why did you bring her here. You know and. So I knew that I'm not going to bring that kind of person I remember my brother started dating a girl my dad's first question was does she have a job. I'm like What does she have a job. He's like I mean you need a woman that can work like. You Why are you going to sit up here and just marry someone because she chillin at home. No no sort of Dr No sort of duty no sense of purpose. He's like you think that's going to change when you get married. And then you won't be that guy that's embarrassed to even tell people I'm sure why. And ladies you can easily apply this to men is absent I mean. Not just picking on women. Oh no no I think we know that when you see I think that I could. And so yes making sure that this person is. Why he has been the material. So we also have must be willing to come to Canaan without seeing that means you have to be willing to come into the relationship on the basis of faith. You're never going to fully know you have to get that idea out of your mind you know you get these guys right they start getting cold feet on the way to the wedding or whatever. Oh no I'm in and I'm making a mistake. Maybe I mean that I'm a she did go off last week like what if there's something in there. It's like look man you're never going to fully know. She may present this thing and I say anybody can pretend to be anything. If they're motivated enough to deceive. That's just. The truth and it goes from male to female in both ways. So in that sense you have to recognize that this is a decision of faith. This is not a decision of complete certainty. I don't care what anybody says no we're all I knew I knew and then you found out when you got married. What you really signed up for. And that's the reality and he talked about already not returning to the world to get your spouse. That's not just in like the physical you know looking outside forces inside the church but also where you with a little right now. Are you going to have to not really you know your spirituality down for all intents and purposes. In order for this to be relationship that we're And we know that's not that's not what that's not the person that he sent for us. They should never be taking us back which they should be lifting us full upward and moving us forward we should be doing that for each other and I think we already addressed the point that if the requirements are not met. That's OK. In any form. Amen amen. Nothing else to be said it just wasn't meant to be. Now one of the things we also recommend is having an Abraham. It's very important you find someone in your life when God is blessing in their relationship with him that can tell you know if we don't have someone that can tell us you know in our lives in our pursuits of relationship. We are in a dangerous place that means you love to your own devices and you young. It's not like you've been to a lot of marriages or relationships and in this sense if God has a very deep relationship with another human being that you know when you can see that the Spirit is working in a person's life. Why deprive yourself of that wisdom. There's no reason to protect you from making a foolish decision so we highly recommend having a neighbor and I remember when. We were dating and like she mentioned earlier that we waited a year and nine months. And I came to my spiritual parents and I said look I'm interested in Candice this is what it is and they said. OK Well we want you to wait a year a year. Unlike a year a year. And so of course. Candice is thinking What's up with this guy like you express interest but nothing's progressing. You know and I remember one time I was flying to Germany and you know I got this little hate message on Facebook from Candice I don't know what's going on like I don't want to guy playing with my emotions this illness and this run and look at the messes like oh snap. You know I'm under pressure. I'm under fire and you know we had a conversation it wasn't a good conversation but we were honest. But the reality was that she she saw and obviously my spiritual parents saw that I was very very serious about being careful not to trust and lead to my own understanding if they thought a year was good and I was going to wait a year and if that meant that she had to walk away and I told her and is that in that conversation I said you know if you don't trust me you have all license to walk away. If you think I'm just playing a game as your friend. I encourage you to move on. And I think that's very very important. And our time is come to a close but there is one thing that I want to and none of us who have been as we look in Genesis twenty four. Something that I found very interesting in here is that there is an old that is me right or Abraham as any use. I put his hand under his thigh and eat makes him take an old. He's pretty much taking an oath to to add here to what these requirements are that Abraham has listed. And as we think about it. We just went through and saw that how God's requirements relate to it and in a way we. See what God's requirements here too are and so for many of us. I guess the encouragement and the admonition is to also you know. Have you taken the oath with God that these are the things in the principles that you to want to add here to. Because you trust that your father like Abraham is blessed in all things. That I haven't a father is truly seeking our best interest. And not only that but that he has agencies that are also working on our behalf. L.D.S. Our went out for Abraham and the same we have the Holy Spirit right now that is working according to the father's command right. And he's going out. And we say we trust him. We say that we want the Lord to to guide us to whoever this person is and we know that he does that through through the Holy Spirit are we really are we really like Isaac in which where we're saying I don't even need to be a part of the equation. I'm trusting that whatever my father is has planned out and whatever is going before me. It will be. And so I think we we just wanted to end by making that very very simple appeal is that some people have not made a commitment in their mind like Isaac made a commitment like a liaison are made a commitment to Abraham that this is just not going to operate and so we want to extend that same decision because some of you are already in relationships. Some of you have come out of bad relationships. Some of you are just starting and some of your interest. But we've got our list of the facts wherever you are in that spectrum. Maybe it's time for you to also make a commitment to God and there was a young lady that came to me in England. Last year. And she said to me that she was in a relationship. And when she got in a relationship she was on fire for Christ. But after five years of being in that relationship she stopped having devotions she stopped going on missions. She stopped being involved in the church. She stopped seeking God and she says we knew along the way that we were distracting each other from God but we continued our relation because we were so tightly bonded and so she said now it's been five years and I was convicted by your presentation that was given on relationships there in England and she said What should I do and I said you should end it today. And she looked him in she said but you know it's been five years. I feel like that's a little rude in it's going to hurt his feelings like we've been dating for five years and I said what about Jesus his feelings. You've been neglecting him for five years. So what about Jesus his feelings. So our appeal this morning is about us taking due consideration for the Lord's feelings. I don't care how much you love another man or another woman. They did not die for you. So every head is about every eye is closed and we just want to call people to a decision to say Lord I need to make a commitment to write down my non negotiable. And if you want to make that commitment this morning to say I'm going to write down a list of my non-negotiable Zz and I'm taking an oath before God and in the presence of the Holy Spirit that I will submit to God's wisdom and to this list. I will not deviate from what I know to be biblically sound and reasonable. If that's your desire to submit to that and to make an oath with Jesus today. Then I'm going to consider Jesus's feelings. First I just want invite you to stand right where you are he said I want to make that oath that I'm going to consider Jesus is feelings first. And my approach to the relationships going forward Father in heaven. We thank you so much for the privilege of being able to study your word this morning. To be able to share from personal experience and to look at various Biblical illustrations. We ask father that your Holy Spirit with us as we stand before you. And humility. And recognition of the limitations of our reason of recognition that our motions sometimes get the best of us. And so Lord here we are putting our hand under your thigh and saying yes we take this oath with you to do things the right way to consider Jesus's feel as we explore the potential we thank you for hearing and answering for this prayer from this message was presented at the G Y C twenty six conference in Texas a supporting ministry at the Seventh Day Adventist Church young people to be centered and so winning Christians for other resources like visit us online.

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