Boyfriend/girlfriend stage not legit?

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LoveDivine

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This isn't a church and you are neither judge nor jury.

Nor have you championed the poor and needy in the past. Most especially, when your circumstances were in better straits. You lived your life according to Christian principles. Much like those you accuse.

It was only when you joined the downtrodden that enlightenment arrived. Not in your travels or far flung assignments. You discovered the truth when your circumstances presented needs that your loved ones were unwilling to meet.

While it's unfortunate you can't blame the church because your relatives were unwilling to help. You can't blame the church because the people in your environment wouldn't lend a hand. And with all your allegations I've yet to hear how the poor have been bettered; how you've improved your environment and so on.

That's the difference between burdens and gripes. Holy burdens always proceed a work. You're given a mission and people to serve and the Lord funds it.

That's why there's no platform: No blog, podcast, eBooks, or YouTube channel. That's what follows when you have a message. He provides the forum and brings the audience.

That's why there's no partners. When you have a God-breathed mission He draws people to you. Some offer advice, resources, or volunteer to help. Some provide instruction or donate their services.

But that isn't possible until you move beyond the hurt. You don't get the mission until it happens.

~bella
Agreed. A lot of the recent posts being made in Singles are really the fruits of resentment and sour grapes. You can feel the spirit in which they are posted. Also, it's not fair to accuse most Christians of not helping the poor or being charitable. Most Christians understand that we are not to broadcast our charitable endeavors. Many generous Christians do actually give to others secretly and don't draw attention to their charity. Also, it is easy for those with few resources to claim what they would do to help the poor if they had more money. Talk is cheap. It's easy to redistribute wealth that is not your own lol. That costs a person nothing to do so.
 
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GodBeMercifulToMeASinner

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Pay attention very carefully to those verses. When Mary asked Jesus to solve the wine shortage problem, His response strongly suggested he didn't want to help.

Although Jesus did helped with the wine problem anyway, he didn't sound happy doing it.

If I'm going to speculate, Jesus avoided doing anything at the wedding:

- He didn't want to become famous as unlimited wine maker
- He didn't like attending weddings (The Genesis marriage did not include gatherings)
- He foresaw the miracle at Cana would confuse so many Christians in the future. Of whether Jesus promoted consumption of alcoholic beverage or liked wedding rituals that were adopted from pagans.



Exactly.

It's definitely not me with unstable mind distorting Paul's scriptures, turning God's grace into license for immorality (we are free to do all we want).

What's worse today are people trying to make it as expensive as they can afford. While having all the money to spend on unGodly rituals, they have no money to spend on things Jesus wants us to spend our money on.
That is a very good point about being cautious with such relationships, boyfriend/girlfriend. God likely has no issue with what courting couples refer to one another as, so long as it is good natured. I agree entirely with the OP’s remarks on the bf/gf thing. But that is true, such relationships should be treated with extreme care. It is also best for the interactions to be in public places or group get-togethers, to avoid potentially playing with fire.

In fact, people should also be cautious of who they even consider for such relationships, or what the world calls ‘dating’. You could apply this verse either way, for men or women:

“And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.”
—Ecclesiastes 7:26

Not a fan of this modern ‘dating’ culture at all, it seems to be a recent trend (steeply downward) and things used to be so much better. Before most of the world became smartphone addicts, and social media validation seekers, it just seemed it was common to meet people in person and interact like normal, get to know one another some, and see if they fit your criteria before even asking them out. And the first ‘date’ or whatever you want to call it would be a fun time, not some weird, forced, job interview or probation officer visit type scenario which seems to be the case now. Back in saner times you would typically hear the terms bf/gf or ‘going out’ rather than the term ‘dating’. Now, as far as christians go, there’s so many manmade doctrines and denominations..all that only further complicates things as far as meeting someone.

As for the lavish not so holy matrimony rituals and all that, yeah..big waste of money. And time. Causes a bunch of unnecessary stress and unrealistic expectations too. Everything has to be ‘perfect’ LOL. I agree, the money wasted on fancy weddings could be far better used for other things such as helping the poor or afflicted. James 1:27, Matthew 25:31-46, it is so obvious what really matters to God. I have always found this part of the latter passage particularly very deep:

“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
—Matthew 25:37-40

That’s the biblical definition of love, grace, charity, meekness, humble spirit, all that. And that is the ‘liberty’ spoken of in Galatians 5:13. Service out of love. Like you say, that isn’t what saves us is such works, but those works are the fruit of God’s people. They are a result of what He did for us, and all He has revealed to us. It is Him working through us. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

I will have to read John ch. 2 it’s been a while, never thought much about the points you mentioned. It would definitely be foolish to be shacking up with someone before that marriage commitment is made, avoid anything that could be considered a marriage by God. It is an interesting topic. Now, as for the pagans and the atheists who may have shacked up, fornicated, loved somebody, etc..God ‘winks’ upon ignorance (Acts 17:30). Again, I am not 100% sure because of lack of biblical study on what exactly constitutes a marriage in God’s eyes. But this verse comes to mind:

“Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”
—John 9:41

So there is a higher standard in place for those who claim to be His people obviously. God calls for us to be seekers (Matthew 7:7) and lovers of truth.

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
—2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

I don’t think it is necessarily that so many marriages fail due to being unknown divorcees. It is interesting to note there really isn’t much of a difference in divorce rates between the church and the world..you’d think Christians would be better prepared for successful marriages; but the truth is they may basically be cursing their own marriage with those rituals that are so common in weddings.

“And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
—Acts 19:18-19

Curious arts = the same common rituals performed in most modern weddings, originated from Druidism, and other forms of ancient pagan magical arts. The believers in Acts repented of those ways. And you don’t need books to perform them. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was not convincing the world he doesn’t exist, as the pagans say..but rather, getting people to serve him without even realizing, and it goes even deeper than that as you likely know. In fact, even in a bf/gf relationship there can be paganism involved. Such as ‘promise rings’ which include birthstones for example, which is related to astrology/divination/soothsaying, and of course that gold ring on that particular finger is pagan symbolism.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
—Hosea 4:6

So Christians ought to be cautious and seekers/lovers of truth. Not just as far as marriage goes but everything else, even carrying that title. It is not a game.

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
—2 Corinthians 13:5

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
—Luke 6:46
 
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bèlla

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Agreed. A lot of the recent posts being made in Singles are really the fruits of resentment and sour grapes. You can feel the spirit in which they are posted. Also, it's not fair to accuse most Christians of not helping the poor or being charitable. Most Christians understand that we are not to broadcast our charitable endeavors. Many generous Christians do actually give to others secretly and don't draw attention to their charity. Also, it is easy for those with few resources to claim what they would do to help the poor if they had more money. Talk is cheap. It's easy to redistribute wealth that is not your own lol. That costs a person nothing to do so.

No one spends their time this way when better options exist. Rants, trolling and likeminded foolishness are the result of idleness and limited connections. The Internet is their playground. The comments take a negative turn and slander follows.

The 'reasons' are smoke screens and convenient excuses for spewing. You don't like your life or circumstances. You've been overlooked or ignored. You have limited opportunities with the opposite sex and the probability of change is unlikely.

Sometimes it isn't what's said but what goes unsaid that's telling. I notice when people don't mention friends, family, outings or the everyday things you'd associate with being unmarried. You have a lot of freedom. When the bulk of your time is spent on the Internet it doesn't bode well. It puts you at odds with your demographic.

The elephant in the room isn't the rants. It's the reason behind them. That's why they're angry. The attacks are the byproduct of their frustration. Not the cause. You're hearing it because of the setting. There's more engagement on forums than social media. People are more receptive and you're less likely to be ignored.

If you're going to be in a place like this you have to keep negativity at arms length. You can't get sucked into the arguments and debates. The best thing you can do is ignore them. The more you engage the more it continues. Only the Lord can solve it.

~bella
 
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timewerx

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Nor have you championed the poor and needy in the past. Most especially, when your circumstances were in better straits. You lived your life according to Christian principles. Much like those you accuse.

We're not supposed to tell about our good deeds and do good deeds in secret (Matthew 6:3-4).

That's why there's no partners. When you have a God-breathed mission He draws people to you. Some offer advice, resources, or volunteer to help. Some provide instruction or donate their services.

I'm going to drop the bomb on this one. Many of these "God-Breathed", "empowered" missions you talk of are not preaching entirely from the Bible.

It makes me wonder if it's really God who's helping them.

If the spirit makes them ignore, glance over, supernaturally blind to certain passages from the Bible but at the same time makes them say the Bible is inerrant, God-breathed Word of God, then something is terribly wrong with the spirit that is with them. If there is any spirit involved at all.

While it's unfortunate you can't blame the church because your relatives were unwilling to help. You can't blame the church because the people in your environment wouldn't lend a hand. And with all your allegations I've yet to hear how the poor have been bettered; how you've improved your environment and so on.

Self blame is not what Jesus taught us. Sure, some of it is our fault, we might even be mostly to blame but it can't be 100%. Birth defects can't be your fault for example. It could be your parents smoking and drinking while pregnant.

When the Jews are about to stone the woman for adultery, Jesus stopped the crowd by reminding them of their sins because if you still continue on sinning then you share the blame, including the sins, mistakes, failures of others. They all share the blame why the woman they're about to murder committed adultery.

Because everyone sinning makes it harder to live. Makes it harder maintain a relationship, makes it harder to live righteously and not sin, and makes it harder to make money or make a living. Conversely, everyone sinning, makes it so easy to make the wrong choices, to make mistakes, to fail.

When Jesus saved the woman by the mention of the sin of others is because she is not entirely to blame for her own sins.

100% self-blame is not a Godly philosophy. It's a philosophy promoted by the rich, influential, and the powerful. Like politicians, big business owners and the popular and influential. So if things don't look right, they never get the blame because people are blaming themselves instead. Self-blaming only benefits evil people and keeps them in power because obviously, they would never blame themselves. Only "good" people would ever blame themselves. But are you actually being good and doing good by assigning all the blame to yourself if things go wrong? Are we in control of everything down to our DNA/genes, birth parents, circumstances that's why if anything goes wrong, the blame is always 100% on ourselves? I'm not saying we can blame God. We can never blame God but if you connect them together, the teachings of Jesus. We all collectively share the blame.
 
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LoveDivine

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I would personally prefer a very intimate and low key wedding celebration for myself. I would be most comfortable with something small that included only family and very close friends as guests. However, there is nothing wrong with a big celebration. Marriage is a joyous occasion and it is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's also spiritually very significant as it is the union of two Christians in holy matrimony. A covenant made in the sight of God. It is a very sacred and blessed thing and something worth rejoicing over with friends and family. God does not hate celebrations. In fact, he ordained many feast days in Scripture.

If someone desires to have a big celebration to commemorate the day that is not sinful. Christ himself often spoke in parables and teachings about wedding customs of the day and used the customs as analogies for the kingdom of heaven. There will be the feast of the marriage supper of the lamb. For all the condemnation being heaped on Christians for actually enjoying this moment and having a ceremony and celebration to commemorate the occasion, consider that this is not an attitude endorsed in Scripture.

It's not right to judge others based on your own preferences. Also, so long as sins are not being committed in the process, it is fine for a couple to date or court. Different cultures can influence how we interact with other singles and select another person for marriage. Everyone should pursue a partner in accordance with their own conscience and allow others to do as they feel led.
 
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GodBeMercifulToMeASinner

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We're not supposed to tell about our good deeds and do good deeds in secret (Matthew 6:3-4).



I'm going to drop the bomb on this one. Many of these "God-Breathed", "empowered" missions you talk of are not preaching entirely from the Bible.

It makes me wonder if it's really God who's helping them.

If the spirit makes them ignore, glance over, supernaturally blind to certain passages from the Bible but at the same time makes them say the Bible is inerrant, God-breathed Word of God, then something is terribly wrong with the spirit that is with them. If there is any spirit involved at all.



Self blame is not what Jesus taught us. Sure, some of it is our fault, we might even be mostly to blame but it can't be 100%. Birth defects can't be your fault for example. It could be your parents smoking and drinking while pregnant.

When the Jews are about to stone the woman for adultery, Jesus stopped the crowd by reminding them of their sins because if you still continue on sinning then you share the blame, including the sins, mistakes, failures of others. They all share the blame why the woman they're about to murder committed adultery.

Because everyone sinning makes it harder to live. Makes it harder maintain a relationship, makes it harder to live righteously and not sin, and makes it harder to make money or make a living. Conversely, everyone sinning, makes it so easy to make the wrong choices, to make mistakes, to fail.

When Jesus saved the woman by the mention of the sin of others is because she is not entirely to blame for her own sins.

100% self-blame is not a Godly philosophy. It's a philosophy promoted by the rich, influential, and the powerful. Like politicians, big business owners and the popular and influential. So if things don't look right, they never get the blame because people are blaming themselves instead. Self-blaming only benefits evil people and keeps them in power because obviously, they would never blame themselves. Only "good" people would ever blame themselves. But are you actually being good and doing good by assigning all the blame to yourself if things go wrong? Are we in control of everything down to our DNA/genes, birth parents, circumstances that's why if anything goes wrong, the blame is always 100% on ourselves? I'm not saying we can blame God. We can never blame God but if you connect them together, the teachings of Jesus. We all collectively share the blame.
True, Matthew 6 also contains other verses about what should be done in secret, making public displays of such things is hypocrisy according to Christ. The scriptures also speak on things done in secret, which shall be revealed (Luke 12:1-3). All in due time.

As for the approved voices of the religious system, popular ‘ministries’ or whatever, well the scriptures speak on that also of course..

“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”
—Luke 6:26

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
—Matthew 23:15

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
—2 Peter 2:1-3

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
—2 Timothy 2:2-4

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”
—Luke 16:15

Plenty more pertinent verses of course, that’s how it is. One of the main themes of the NT: beware of frauds.

For the majority, the Bible is only inerrant & God-breathed so long as it is not used to reprove their sins, their feelings, traditions, manmade religious doctrines, rites, worldliness, pagan holidays, their untouchable denomination founders, and other false ways. They make the Word of none effect for sake of manmade ways (Mark 7:13).

This is why the biblical church of the NT was an open assembly with God’s people each sharing their gifts (1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 14:26) rather than being lorded over by salaried ‘safe’ individuals, approved by the Baal system and united to it by 501c3 tax exempt certification. God’s design for an assembly is iron sharpening iron, the manmade tradition and ritual oriented system is rusty nails to the eyes, blind leading the blind in most cases. God’s design for the NT unifies by way of truth and prevents corruption and false ways. Multiple elders overseeing a participatory gathering was God’s design for the NT ekklesia. The religious system and its disciples tend to prefer controlled discourse, and framing the terms of it. So much for freedom in Christ, and liberty to serve humbly, right?(Galatians 5:13). In the religious system, we only have the liberty to obey, and the freedom to agree. Really not much different than far left or far right politics. Gotta preserve the lies, ignorance is bliss. Twist the Word if need be to accommodate feelings, opinions, control grabs/power plays, and agendas. The manmade system breeds and preserves corruption.

Where we will have to disagree is, I believe there many things where one is 100% at fault. Not birth defects like you mentioned of course, or tragic events..but choices, conduct, what they’re about. Perfect example is that adultress you mention, which the Lord Jesus Christ saved from stoning. She was 100% at fault, and chose to do what she did. The Lord Jesus Christ saved her because God looks at the heart..The Lord Jesus Christ knew she had a repentant heart and intervened on her behalf.

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
—Psalm 34:18

He also used that situation to convict the rest of the crowd of their sins. Sometimes, 100% self-blame is necessary. (Luke 18:13-14, 2 Corinthians 7:10). That’s how I became a Christian. No preaching, no alter call, no sinner prayer or ‘accepting Jesus’. God showed me what I was before Him, and I accepted that. All my sins were choices I made myself. There’s more to it than the 1-2-3 believe after me and weekend lip service, feigned friendliness and agreeability for public display/keeping up appearances, all that. But the truth doesn’t keep the pews filled, the gold plates loaded. The billions flowing in to the religious industry (and it is a business industry). The kisses of an enemy seem to be more preferable to most (Proverbs 27:6). I ain’t about that, the Bible warns of it.

“The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.”
—Psalm 55:21

“They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.”
—Psalm 12:2
 
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timewerx

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If someone desires to have a big celebration to commemorate the day that is not sinful. Christ himself often spoke in parables and teachings about wedding customs of the day and used the customs as analogies for the kingdom of heaven. There will be the feast of the marriage supper of the lamb. For all the condemnation being heaped on Christians for actually enjoying this moment and having a ceremony and celebration to commemorate the occasion, consider that this is not an attitude endorsed in Scripture.

One thing about parables is that Jesus hid their meaning through worldly concepts like money or investments, banquets, so the Pharisees and other Jews who are worldly and hostile to Jesus would think Jesus is talking about worldly things.

Where there are times Jesus talked in plain words to the Pharisees, sometimes, He talked in parables so the Pharisees would not see the hidden meaning and thus, preventing them from interrupting Christ's sermon OR worse, Jesus doesn't want the Pharisees to know what He is talking about.

Otherwise, I'm sure there are feasts/feasting in Heaven.

But I doubt they do the same rituals that was originally pagan here on Earth or even satanic. Christianity copying pagan or satanic rituals and giving it a "Christian branding" still doesn't make it Christian. The hidden pagan/satanic meaning of the ritual or tradition remains.

James 4:4
 
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timewerx

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He also used that situation to convict the rest of the crowd of their sins. Sometimes, 100% self-blame is necessary. (Luke 18:13-14, 2 Corinthians 7:10). That’s how I became a Christian. No preaching, no alter call, no sinner prayer or ‘accepting Jesus’. God showed me what I was before Him, and I accepted that. All my sins were choices I made myself. There’s more to it than the 1-2-3 believe after me and weekend lip service, feigned friendliness and agreeability for public display/keeping up appearances, all that. But the truth doesn’t keep the pews filled, the gold plates loaded. The billions flowing in to the religious industry (and it is a business industry). The kisses of an enemy seem to be more preferable to most (Proverbs 27:6). I ain’t about that, the Bible warns of it.

Most people don't realize it because you've been "programmed" to blame yourself. Corrupt people in power have been spreading those lies since ancient times.

The nature of the corrupt and powerful is to blame others but themselves. They do this out of self-preservation, human instinct.

Thus people who gets a splash of guilt every now and then have a tendency to blame themselves 100%. Even this behavior is reflected in the Bible after many generations of programming, it's not surprising

You'll find in the least corrupt and least greedy nations in the world, the crime and poverty rates are also lowest. Perhaps, if you find yourself living in such country and still end up stealing and living in poverty then maybe you can probably blame yourself 100% for committing crimes^_^

You can quickly make out the difference of the sin of greed/love of money will do to a country. Utter ruin.
 
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timewerx

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“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”
—Luke 6:26

Sadly true:

Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man. - Luke 6:22

Obviously does not always serve as a test on one's faith as you can still be hated for many other (silly) reasons.

The verse you quoted is more effective test. I'd be concerned if literally everyone speaks well of someone. A good sign that person is still very much in the world. You can't be loved by everyone when Jesus have taken you "out of this world" - John 15:19
 
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DragonFox91

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Well, guess what!

I asked Jesus, "Would you be my boyfriend?"

HE SAID YESSSSSS!!!!!!!

:love2:
We're actually engaged to him, he calls us his bride. (I don't mean this to argue, as it seems that's what this thread has become :) ) I'm saying be excited! :love2:
 
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GospelS

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I saw this post on social media.
While the author is right that boyfriend/girlfriend is not in the Bible, she makes it seem like it's something wrong to do. She relates it to sexual sin.
There is nothing that is not in God's Word if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. The lack is in us and in the fallen world. We often fail to recognize and acknowledge our short comings and the abundance available to us because of our limited perspective. Nevertheless, each person will receive from the Lord according to their season, faith, deeds, and purpose.

May we encourage one another to seek God's Word and ask for guidance to see and hear what we need to live a fulfilling life. May the Lord open our eyes and our ears that we may receive the whole counsel of God. Amen

John 21. Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
 
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bèlla

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One of the marks of a loving person is the ability to be happy for others when we're not experiencing the same. The person who can cheer you on as loudly as they comfort you is one in a million. We have greater company when we're down than when we're up. Believers should be the loudest voices in the crowd.

You should want to see your brothers and sisters prosper.
You should want to see them settled and happily married.
You should want them to have a loving family and supportive relatives.
You should want them to have a nice home in a safe area.
You should want them to have the resources to meet their needs and help others.
You should want them to have God's best.

Believers should be able to share their hopes and dreams without someone giving them a guilt trip. God has enough for everyone. Nothing He gives to another diminishes what He has for us.

~bella
 
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venksta

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I believe less is more is best and courtship is ideal. Dating has become largely dehumanized and I don't believe that honors God. However, if dating appeals you must be willing to accept the good and bad. There's a difference between courtship and dating and the difference is God.

@bèlla , what does biblical courtship look like exactly? When I've thought of the potential future relationship God would give me, dating felt like it was too worldly. Also from my observance of other christians who were dating, it felt they were leaving out on building an eternal relationship, that would pass this life, and were focused on the temporary world. Courtship always came to mind, even though I didn't know much about it. When I finally looked it up, one of the definitions for it said the couple would be under supervision of their parents usually. I took this for Christians, that the couple would be keeping in mind God is supervising them, when alone.
 
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LoveDivine

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One of the marks of a loving person is the ability to be happy for others when we're not experiencing the same. The person who can cheer you on as loudly as they comfort you is one in a million. We have greater company when we're down than when we're up. Believers should be the loudest voices in the crowd.

You should want to see your brothers and sisters prosper.
You should want to see them settled and happily married.
You should want them to have a loving family and supportive relatives.
You should want them to have a nice home in a safe area.
You should want them to have the resources to meet their needs and help others.
You should want them to have God's best.

Believers should be able to share their hopes and dreams without someone giving them a guilt trip. God has enough for everyone. Nothing He gives to another diminishes what He has for us.

~bella
I really like this post. This is what it means to have real love and fellowship for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Envy is serious sin. I find it interesting that it's always included in the list of sins that should not be named amongst the saints. It's always grouped with scandalous sins like fornication. We tend to think of those outward scandalous sins as being the most destructive, but envy twists a person's nature very much like hatred does. I think it's something that we must really gaurd ourselves against.
 
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GospelS

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I really like this post. This is what it means to have real love and fellowship for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Envy is serious sin. I find it interesting that it's always included in the list of sins that should not be named amongst the saints. It's always grouped with scandalous sins like fornication. We tend to think of those outward scandalous sins as being the most destructive, but envy twists a person's nature very much like hatred does. I think it's something that we must really gaurd ourselves against.
I think the devil in the garden was envious of Adam and Eve when it deceived them. Envy is rooted in fear, self-hatred, self-loathing, and self-righteousness.

On the other hand, when prophets and apostles spoke hard truths, they matched up their actions to what they believed and proclaimed, leading by example and demonstrating the fruits of the spirit. So we know that it was The Spirit of God.

When discussing sensitive topics, it's common to feel defensive, and the other person is likely to feel the same way. This requires God’s wisdom and submission to His Spirit.

Ask yourself-
How can I prioritize my relationship with the person I'm talking to over simply expressing my opinions?
Do I take the time to listen, learn, and communicate with love, tact, and wisdom?
Is my focus on glorifying God rather than being right or heard?
How can I engage with humility and have more productive conversations with others?

John 13. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.
 
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timewerx

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One of the marks of a loving person is the ability to be happy for others when we're not experiencing the same. The person who can cheer you on as loudly as they comfort you is one in a million. We have greater company when we're down than when we're up. Believers should be the loudest voices in the crowd.

You should want to see your brothers and sisters prosper.
You should want to see them settled and happily married.
You should want them to have a loving family and supportive relatives.
You should want them to have a nice home in a safe area.
You should want them to have the resources to meet their needs and help others.
You should want them to have God's best.

Believers should be able to share their hopes and dreams without someone giving them a guilt trip. God has enough for everyone. Nothing He gives to another diminishes what He has for us.

~bella

I love being around people who are truly happy. Their happiness rubs on me and love that feeling.

What I don't like is being around people who seems to have everything yet unhappy, self-absorbed, acts like they're entitled, mean-spirited, takes everything for granted, and seem like they're going to blow their top off at the slightest provocation.

I'm talking of those who acts in such manner when their friends and co-workers are not around to see their bad side. Their miserable emotions rubs on me too and I totally hate it.
 
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bèlla

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@bèlla , what does biblical courtship look like exactly?

The underlying principle of biblical courtship is a God-centered connection that exists to explore the suitability of marriage for the pair. They've usually developed an acquaintance beforehand and covered the basics in respect to belief and character.

Courtship is an official declaration of sorts from the pair that acknowledges their interest (mutual) and want for a period of togetherness to determine if marriage is in their future. It isn't a promise of marriage but it's an acknowledgment to proceed in that direction if both parties are aligned.

Unlike dating, there's usually a time assigned for the coupling and they're cautious in their expression. The goal isn't to fall in love or be swept away. Answering the question is foremost which requires restraint and propriety throughout.

Dependent on the age and familial situation some pairings may be arranged by parents or overseen by older couples. Mature believers beyond their twenties may choose to utilize premarital counseling during the process or counsel from marriage ministries within the church.

Group outings are typical for younger persons but may be less appealing for older pairs. They're meant to prevent impropriety and excessive isolation. Some refuse to be alone at home or meet in the evenings. That requires mutual discretion and honesty.

Speaking on my own behalf, I don't struggle with lust or have difficulty with self-restraint. I had a lengthy period of abstinence long before my homecoming as a matter of conscience. I can be in a gentleman's company without a desire to sin or an inability to resist. Attraction notwithstanding, we're not fornicating.

That's the level of honesty and self-awareness required for courtship. You don't pretend you can handle things or ignore your weaknesses or the others. You want to be supportive and above reproach. An ability to say no is important. The courtship will only be as honorable as the people involved.

Oftentimes there's a greater focus on prayer and fellowship and accountability as individuals and a pair. If they have an advisor they'll meet periodically. There's usually some measure of familial involvement. At the very least they'll meet the intended and have time together.

A key difference in courtship and dating is intention. It's not about companionship, attraction, nabbing a Chad or Stacy or hypergamy. He's not your boyfriend. It has an expiration date. Sometimes couples require more time to decide. That's especially true for younger pairs or long distance unions. When the courtship ends they marry or part ways.

They're opposed to relational hostage and I concur. It takes a toll on the heart. When a person is determined to spend their life with you you're treated differently from a maybe and that's all dating is. I see crushes in a similar light. They allow themselves to get caught up in an attraction that hasn't been substantiated. It's all emotional.

They more they feed it the more afraid they become. Now they have take action and ask the question. They've built them up in their head and fed it emotionally. When they don't reciprocate they're hurt or disappointed. It should never get that far.

Guarding your heart is an integral part of courtship. If you want romance and butterflies it's not the right path for you. If you need to be claimed or crave companionship you're the wrong fit. If you want relational experiences it will never work.

It isn't a quasi marriage nor do you want the spoils. That comes after the altar. If you require that level of togetherness, security and emotional relating courtship will disappoint you. You hold back until a decision is made. Then you can be more expressive.

On a personal note...

Like the majority, I've dated in the past but always with a question mark. Where is this heading? I was not the kind of woman who'd spend five years with a man or half that period without an end goal in mind. I've always believed men know what they want. And by that I mean if he's willing to invest in her. I have no desire to be anyone's placeholder and avoid those connections.

I mate intentionally and while I don't apply the term to myself the pairing will only commence if the altar is a possibility. I have suitors not boyfriends. That's where acquaintance is established. I say little about my connections because he's not my husband. That's the one deserving of public announcement and accolades. That's the one I'll share on social media. They're not one in the same.

For me, it's a mark of respect and maturity and discretion. He's the one I want attached to my name and image. Not the others. He's the one I want the world to remember. My restraint isn't a reflection of faith although it influences it.

I hold myself in check because of the consequences. I don't ignore the price I'll pay later on. I was abstinent because I didn't want to confess what I'd done. It's shameful (to me) to share yourself indiscriminately. I would have to admit my indiscretions and I didn't want to be in that position. I made a decision and honored it.

My faith doesn't allow me the liberty of non disclosure some Christians promote. I don't want a marriage full of secrets or unexpected surprises. I want transparency which requires a willingness to tell the truth. Sometimes that means discomfort, shame, guilt, etc.

It's unpleasant but it's the consequence of my actions and I have to take my medicine. I don't want to sweep it under the rug and pretend I'm innocent. Everyone has a right to make informed decisions. Holding things back robs them of the same. Which requires honest discussions and hard questions.

Due diligence is a must and this is the time to address it. Some are afraid to ask about explicit content, same-sex relations/attractions, addictions, sexual appetite and so on. They don't want to hurt their feelings. But you have to live with it if you marry them. It's better to know upfront.

The Holy Spirit is ever present and delivers counsel throughout. He'll tell me when someone's being dishonest or holding things back. He'll tell me what to pray and provide input on my thoughts and behavior. Including warnings. He'll say don't do it you'll regret it. Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don't to my detriment.

He helps me in spite of myself. I'm a risk taker and not afraid to fail. Disappointments aren't life ending or soul crushing. I believe I can do it again and I'll start over. When you're not afraid to roll the dice you're not afraid to walk especially when you possess a great degree of self-preservation. That has its challenges relationally.

He works with me to help me overcome the things that oppose the Lord's will. He knows the right fit for His sons and daughters. When I interacted with suitors some were obvious nos and others had potential but they were not suitable from His perspective. He knew I required a strong leader with great integrity and personal responsibility and wouldn't marry without it.

He encouraged me to rekindle a connection with someone who had that in spades. Who also had a familial blueprint that complemented the one the Lord established. He wasn't solely desirous of a traditional wife. He valued high achievement and wouldn't compromise my purpose. He wants me to succeed.

But that isn't one-sided. I've advised him from the start. That's how we met. I wrote a post describing the ideal woman and the qualities required for good companionship and lifelong connections. He messaged me and asked how do I find the woman you described? It was posted in a group I moderated on etiquette and he was a member. As we conversed we discovered we possessed what the other sought.

While I waited on the Lord I was helping others. I was mentoring someone and ran three groups that focused on manners, femininity and etiquette. I instructed them on ladyship, deportment, how to dress and communicate, how to respond to inquiries and retool their profile. Where to meet gentlemen, how to let them lead and so on. I was a co-leader of another group on domesticity and spoke extensively on a woman's role. I always believed in headship.

He saw it all and its a testament to my convictions. I had a question in my mind long ago and was determined to answer it when I found him. What have you done while you waited? How was your time spent before my arrival? I didn't want to meet those words with silence, excuses or unprofitable pursuits.

I knew the day would come and I invested in my future. The time between that commitment and today is a CV. Pages filled with training, experiences, service, thoughts and encounters. I was living Proverbs 31 before I found my way home and continue to do so. And he followed a similar course.

I share that to answer your question and demonstrate His influence. Many people are high minded and they're seeking companions based on personal preferences or societal esteem with no consideration of their mission (if known) and the necessity for its presence.

I've seen people ask for 10's on the board. But what are you doing for God that requires you to have a woman of that stature that follows Him? Abram had a 10. But he became Abraham. The father of faith. Some desire high wage earners. What have you been called to do that demands additional resources? The Lord has things in mind for his plenty that requires a spouse who'll work towards those aims.

I'm not suggesting that all pairings will be perfectly balanced. There will be disparities in both and if you're fortunate the other possesses the qualities you need to help you overcome them or you work through them together. But I am encouraging prudence.

Prudence implies caution in deliberating and consulting on the most suitable means to accomplish valuable purposes, and the exercise of sagacity in discerning and selecting them. prudence differs from wisdom in this, that prudence implies more caution and reserve than wisdom, or is exercised more in foreseeing and avoiding evil, than in devising and executing that which is good. It is sometimes mere caution or circumspection.

There would be far less singleness amongst Christians if they were more prudent. You don't have to have everything at once or the best of the best. Many things are undertaken in the union and you grow together. Have a gander at your passions and the things that stir your heart about the Lord. Then look around you and see who enjoys the same.

Stop drawing ideas from social media. It's a social experiment meant to reinforce a class driven society. That's why they have influencers. They're paid to shape your thoughts. That's why it rewards beauty, success, wealth and popularity. The scarcest qualities.

It's okay to like things, seek information and try to improve yourself. I support that wholeheartedly. But if that's your standard for companionship you're going to be disappointed. What do you think they're going to expect in return?

Many of you desire to marry but you're not marriage minded. You want to be wanted, you're chasing rainbows, or you're heartsick. If you want to be noticed give them something to look at besides a selfie, complaints and sorrows. Something they can marvel at. Something admirable. Something that demonstrates your qualities and convictions. Something that makes them want to know more about you. Something that surprises them.

If you were asked to describe yourself in five hashtags what would you say? Write them down then look them up and ask yourself a question. Is that the way I am or how I want to be seen? And if it's the latter ask yourself what needs to change and do it.

~bella
 
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