Ten Ways to Love
- Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)
- Speak without accusing. (James 1:19)
- Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)
- Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)
- Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)
- Share without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)
- Enjoy without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)
- Trust without wavering. (Corinthians 13:7)
- Forgive without punishing. (Colossians 3:13)
- Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)
God has been dealing with me for a while now on posting about relationships. What He has given me has come from direct revelation through Him and experience. More kneeology than theology, although I'm a Pastor, I am a relatively new pastor, however I served in Ladies Ministries for many years and was an advocate for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse as well as Marital abuse victims. (Not all victims are women as I hope you already know).
First let me say and I'm very adamant about this, there is no relationship worth having that does not have God in it. The very first relationship you should have is with God and if you do, then you will let Him direct your paths and make your decisions.
I am going to say something very serious and I know you have heard it before but it bears repeating. God does not put us in unsafe, unhealthy environments, we do that to ourselves. To spell that out, God does not put us in nor does He condone abuse in any way shape or form. First I want to speak to the single folks, if you ARE in an abusive situation - GET OUT! You have no ties, no covenant if you aren't married, run, walk, whatever just do not stay. It DOES NOT get better without the intervention of God and the other person has to truly be seeking God and willing to change for that to happen and it DOES NOT happen over night. If you are married to an abusive person, God did not plan that for you. To single and married alike - God did not sanction a relationship of abuse, not mental, emotional or physical. I had an abusive marriage, I know what I'm talking about now. But for the grace of God, I might still be there. Did I think marrying that person was of God, at the time I did because I didn't have the kind of personal relationship with my Lord that gave Him an avenue to direct my paths. I loved Him, I served Him to the best of my ability and knowledge at that time but I did not truly truly have a relationship with Him. I put myself in that situation, not God. BUT, PRAISE GOD, He brought me out of it and He can and will do the same for you if you let Him.
Now what I want to tell you is about BEING the right person. In today's world it's all about "I", "me" what I want, etc. But that isn't the way it is supposed to be according to God's Word. Let me repeat, in order to get the right one, you have to be the right one. I read something a long time ago that has stuck with me. "A woman's (man's) heart should be so grounded in the Lord that you have to seek God to find her/him." Never, ever get into a relationship thinking you can change someone. What you are doing is setting yourself up for misery. Even if they do change and I'm not saying ppl don't but even if they do it will be a miserable time for you while they are changing.
#1) Seek a true relationship with Jesus Christ. (Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.) There is NO relationship that can stand without God at the center of it.
#2) Quit looking! Let God "bring" into your life the one HE has chosen for you. (2 Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?) This does not mean just that they believe in God, even the devil believes in God and trembles because of Him. They also need a true relationship with Jesus Christ. Loving God first and foremost.
#3) Make sure they are of God. Keep in mind the devil knows what you are looking for also. (Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?) Just because someone teaches a Sunday School class or sings in a choir or even confesses to be a christian, doesn't necessarily mean their heart is right.
#4) Do they reflect the true biblical love of God, not just hearers of the Word but doers also. (James 1:22
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.) Keep in mind again, even the devil knows God's Word but he doesn't DO IT. Not everyone who calls on the name of the Lord is a christian.
Here is what it takes to BE the right one and this is what you shoud look for IN the right one.
1 Corinthians 13:3-5 (KJV)
3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
(The translation for the word charity is LOVE. Love suffereth long, and is KIND; love envieth NOT; love vaunteth NOT itself, is NOT puffed up.) (vaunteth not means not to esteem yourself over others, doesn't build oneself up over others).
You see even Jesus came to serve. He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and yet He served others.
He gave us 2 commandments, which DID NOT do away with the 10 commandments of the old testament but fulfills them.
Matthew 22:37-40 (King James Version)
37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38This is the first and great commandment.
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The first 4 commandments from God are covered in the first commandment of Jesus. The last 6 are covered by the second. In the 10 commandments, the first 4 are honoring God, the other 6 are how to honor others.
If you love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself you have gotten self out of the way and opened yourself up for God to bless you. He knows your heart. Your happiness is already His concern. The Bible says to treat others as we want to be treated. Now while that doesn't mean to be a doormat by any means, it does mean to quit worrying about self and concentrate on serving/helping others and God WILL place those in your life who are of like mind.
When you are wondering if someone is from the Lord or not, look at their fruits. How do they treat others? How do they talk when they are in a group as opposed to one on one? Are they givers or takers? By asking yourself these questions and observing their fruits, you are not judging.
This is how God sees a relationship:
Ephesians 5:24-26 (King James Version)
24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Now before the men getting to nodding and the women start backing away, lets look at this.
It says let the wives be subject to their own husbands as the church is subject to Jesus. Jesus never asked the church to do anything that was not good and not for their benefit! He never put the church in a compromising position. He NEVER abused the church. He served the church, He built the church up, He LOVED the church and treated it better than Himself.
That is why we (because we the body are the church, not a building) love Him so much and want to serve Him. We love Him because He FIRST loved us. Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it. That is a love that will die for. That love doesn't say, do what I want, do things my way, its my way or else - from either partner - that love says, I love you so much I will do for you. I will do what you ask me to because I love you and I know that you love me and I KNOW you have my health and well being at heart, over your own!!
It's easy to be a wife living according to God's word when you have a husband who also lives according to God's Word. When you both truly study and understand what God is saying. He isn't saying to be a slave to your husand, He isn't saying to be a Dictator over your wife. He is saying, love as Jesus loved the church, He is saying be subject as the church to Jesus.
A three strand cord is not easily broken. God + 2 = 3
You can't have a relationship where one is a christian and one isn't because you are linking light and dark. You can't get into a relationship thinking you will change them or they will change later. What you see when you are dating is pretty much what you will get after marriage just more of it, remember that.
(for singles). Don't be in a hurry. Make sure the person you like, date, get involved with is a Godly person, not just someone who claims to be a christian. Save yourself some years of heartache. Don't worry about being alone forever, God will take care of that. Start right now asking God to bring a Godly person into your life. Pray God's will over your life and your future relationships. (Friends and future spouse.) Let God know you are willing to wait for Him to send the right one along and then DO IT. You won't be sorry. Quit worrying about being alone, quit thinking so much about it and get out and serve God, mix with God's people, let go of this and let God work it out while you work for Him.
From someone who has been in an ungodly/abusive marriage and now has a spouse that she can serve God with I can tell you that I wish someone had written this or told this to me many many years ago.
One last thing, don't settle, don't think, "well they aren't abusive, or they don't stop me from going to church" etc. Remember "fruits".
God bless you, I pray this has helped someone and who knows, there may be a part 2 :-)
Thank you for posting this, it is a great help to me. I am a single mother, who has never had a real relationship before. I don't know how to have a relationship. I have not had an example to follow from family and so I have created my own ideas of what a relationship should be or look like and this usually contains me putting myself aside to keep the peace and letting whatever go on to avoid confrontation and issues. Since my relationships are like this with my family and those who I know, I am afraid to date or seek a real relationship although I long to one day have a loving husband with whom I can serve God with. I am so used to others mistreating me that it is my norm and when it doesn't happen I feel strange. It is hard to explain....I look at my son and hope that he does not end up like me in that aspect, I worry that he will since I am the sole parent in his life. In order to protect myself and to not stray to people that will mistreat me like the people who are already in my life do, I have almost isolated myself from the world. I don't share information about me eventhough I feel that I need someone to talk to. This is the most that I have shared about this situation with anyone other than my best friend who I don't like to burden with my issues, because she has a family of her own to care for, but she listens to my whining anyway and I appreciate that. Again thank you for listening to God and posting on here.ReplyDelete
I am so glad that this was helpful for you. The chief thing to remember is that God did NOT create us to be abused. I've been in an abusive situation in the past and it was really hard to break that cycle. I myself couldn't, God did that for me. I had to study and get to know myself to find out why I kept getting into bad relationships. I had no excuse, I had a good homelife. It was within myself and my expectations and also my opinion of myself. The greatest thing that helped me as I said was God. When I started making myself stop and see myself as God sees me, I started realizing that I wasn't junk to be used and thrown away, God created me just like He did everyone, I was no better but certainly no worse. God gave me confidence that I had never had. I also committed my life to Him and decided if He didn't send someone I would just stay single, but God knows our hearts, He knows you don't want to be alone and He won't leave you that way. Trust Him, study His word and what relationships and people are supposed to be like. Be giving and loving but expect that in return otherwise they aren't who they say they are. I appreciate your sharing and I know it wasn't easy. I don't mind listening and talking if you would like to email me anytime. In the meantime, I will pray with and for you. God bless.ReplyDelete