Single but Taken

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Happy Valentine’s day!

It’s a worldwide day celebration of love. You see bouquets of roses everywhere, chocolates being sold for way more than it should be, people blushing and falling in love… and then there is the other side. Single women wondering why they don’t have that “special someone” but I am here to persuade you that you do have a special someone on this day and EVERY DAY! My some one special speaks to me through the Scriptures and tells me how much he loves me every day and how special I am to him and even compliments my hair *blushing*.

I find Song of Songs to be a very romantic book and it is perfect for today to remind us that even though we are “single”, we are completely taken in God’s eyes. These are some scriptures I found extremely encouraging and I hope you are encouraged as well…

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Songs 4:7

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies.” Song of Songs 6: 3

“…but my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The young women saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her.” Song of Songs 6 : 9

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Song of Songs 8 : 7

I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs 7 : 10

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.” Song of Songs 1 : 15

“I’ll marry you for good—forever! I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You’ll know me, God , for who I really am.” Hosea 2 : 19 – 20 MSG

God has a love that no person can fill. Reading these scriptures helped my heart to remember that I have a love that will never fade or go away. It is also a love that loved me first, when I was unlovable and kept pushing him away.

Below is one of my favourite songs about God’s love to me! ❤

 

 

*This is posted a day late*

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Dating – What Good Women Want

So this post is a bit different than my usual. It is a collaborative between myself and some of my fellow Christian bloggers. It is a mix of married, single professional, university student and a recent graduate. I am posting on behalf of everyone else. Hope you enjoy it and leave feedback in the comment section! The links to the other blogs will be at the bottom.

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Guest editorial: What Good Women Want

(James Morgan of the London International Christian Church)

I don’t know what happened in my congregation last year but there was a veritable explosion of dating couples in the second half of the year. This kind of thing usually happens in the spring right? But there it is. One after another like dominoes the London church singles got Twitterpated! It was quite something to behold. Even guys who had held on to singleness for decades were going head-over-heels.
I don’t know if it was our ex-Hollywood actor Evangelist regularly encouraging dating in the congregation or the annual international conference attended by delegates from around the globe. Anyway a number of your men had the unusual situation all of a sudden of having to organize a date almost every week. That brings with it certain challenges. So I thought about what might help them in this Herculean task of fighting off the demon of Droopage, their brother Bashful and cousin Cancellation!
I decided to ask the ladies in the church (both married and single) an important question. Beatriz has edited the answers below to remove duplications. So it seems that the these good women agree on a number of things. I hope these answers presented here will really help the chivalrous men in the church who are busy planning dates. Here they are.

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I decided to ask the ladies in the church (both married and single) an important question. It went like this….

“Sister..  You’ve been around a while. I’d like to ask you a personal question. Hope that’s OK. I’m interested.. What is top 3 things that make a date memorable for you?”

I plan dates for singles at my place. My wife and I love to cook and offer hospitality to our friends. I thought it would be useful to have a variety of answers to help me improve on the dinner dates we do. I am sure the answers below from several sisters will be invaluable to brothers thrust into an organisational role that can be quite stressful at times.

 

1. Giving your heart with planning
The main concept that popped up with all the women is planning. Planning an outing makes a person feel special because they took time out of their days to think of that person and give their hearts fully. Here is what the women have said…

– I love it when a Brother plans a date to encourage me and not just jumping on another plan. I love doing things that are fun,  action packed , good quality time with a creative twist. Great dates have input from both sides.

– To be honest, an encouraging date starts for me before the actual date. When the brother really gives his heart to plan and doesn’t just muster up something last minute so i guess my number one thing is “Heartfelt planning”. It’s super encouraging when i just know that a brother is planning the date to specifically encourage me. I can tell he is when during the week, he asks me what i like eating, what i don’t like eating, activities i like/would like to try, etc. It doesn’t have to be something big, even if its just getting my favourite dessert or something for a dinner date. It shows the heart.

– Fun and creative dates. I love to have quality time than to have the most glamorous and expensive date. New activities really encourage me.

– I’ve always had a deep conviction about going on dates in order to build unity between everyone. I feel loved when brothers ask me what I like to do or to eat and plan it ahead of time. I appreciate when I am told in advance about the date so I can properly plan my day. When they ask, it shows that they’re putting their heart behind it and really trying to encourage me.

 

2. Personal conversation
Friendships are built on being honest and sharing your life with the person, allowing them to know who you are. It also gives them a glimpse into your life and your heart!

– I love when I see the heart of God in a brother where he can share deep insight on the word ,  tips on what God is teaching him and he helps me to further strengthen my walk with God. It is always great when a brother is interested in my power times; prayer needs, really listens; and tries to be my friend and really connect. This scripture comes to mind, Colossians 3 : 16

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

– This definitely is a huge one. Dates where the conversation is vague or superficial, where I don’t really learn anything new, deep or personal about the brother, to me aren’t really dates. I believe the type of questions a brother asks and the type of conversation we have really shows whether the brother actually wants to get to know me as his sister or is just on the date for the sake of it. For me, openness helps me draw closer to people and endear myself to them.

– I love God focused conversations where the brother can share deep insight on the word. I think the type of questions a brother asks and the type of conversations shows if the brother really wants to get to know the sister deeply. Openness helps me to draw closer to the brother and understand the brother better. Numbers 32:23,

“…and be sure that your sin will find you out.”

– To me this is a big one. Conversation is such a powerful tool. Superficial conversation does not help me to know who you really are. When brothers are open and vulnerable, it shows that they trust me and aren’t trying to just say the right thing. Also, with a good conversation there’s no awkward moments.

3. Feeling appreciated

Appreciation (according to Google) is defined as recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
– There is a brother; who has a hash tag on Facebook called #everysisterdeservesflowers.
He sets the standard for how all Kingdom dates should be planned, led, conducted and ended. He always ends the date with flowers and cards for the sister just to say thank you and I love that you are my sister in the Lord. He has this focus for all sisters to be encouraged just because he has the heart of a great man of God not just because he has an interest in a sister.

– Fun! Absolutely! If a date has no fun, its totally discouraging. Fun doesn’t have to be big like going to Thorpe Park or the London Eye or something. It can just be something we do at the dinner table that causes laughs and great memories. Having fun makes a date memorable and encouraging for me. I’ll always remember and be grateful for the laughter and the memories even when I am far away from those with whom I had them.

– As a student in university, I feel appreciated and supported of when a brother offers to pay; that really shows care in the sense that he’ll be there for me when times are tight. I have also had brothers make me a card after a date and it puts a smile on my face because they took even a little bit more time after encouraging me to go beyond!
– It’s fun to consider that not only what I would like. Show genuine love on a date even if the brother doesn’t like it. He sets the standard for how the date should start, conduct and end. Ending the date with a thank you the brother doesn’t have to end with flowers and a card the brother who shows love through words of affirmation is great. He has a focus for all the sisters because he is a great man of God.

 

So there it is. Many thanks to the sisters. I’ve already adjusted how I plan dates myself. Below are the urls of the personal blogs of some of the awesome women who contributed to this article. Love. James

http://teephuong.tumblr.com/
http://www.lydiasladies.com
https://morganites.wordpress.com/
https://diaryofanewdisciple.wordpress.com/

Young Women: Building Godly Friendships

Ha, no lie when my good friend Dami and I came up with this idea of writing a few blogs about building Godly friendships we couldn’t help but laugh. It sounded a bit crazy at first writing about a topic that we are nowhere even being experts about but at the same time our experiences might help other young women who may be wondering what to do (and even what NOT to do).

Building a friendship of any kind can be an experience of supreme awkwardness or laid back fun. As Proverbs states, “Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul” (27:9 MSG). We all need friends of the opposite sex, it helps us to develop and mature. However, there will be those friendships that are simply not healthy to continue especially if they are not helping us to grow in our relationship with God. We were created first and foremost to have a relationship with God and then with each other. Therefore, if the friendship you are building isn’t directing you to God but more towards the other person then now might be a time to evaluate the reasons where your heart lies in it. Relationship #1 is with God and #2 is with man. When we change that order is when things start to get messy. But I’m not going to get into all that right now. These next few blogs will be towards helping you to build a God focused friendship. Once again, I’m no expert but hey! Experiences count for something. 🙂


 

Quality Time

     Let’s look at how these words are defined. Quality – character with respect to finesse, grade of excellence/purity. Time – a particular period considered as distinct from other periods. So basically you want to make that pure date stand out. When you meet someone new, naturally you would start building a friendship with them. In today’s society it seems as if being “just friends” with someone of the opposite sex is completely unheard of unless having hidden agenda right behind it. But to make your mind explode guess what… you can be JUST FRIENDS :O whaaaat?! I know, I know. What a shocker, huh?! I’ll wait as your thoughts gather… you ok? Great. I’m sure all of you have heard/ been told to “marry your best friend”. From what I have seen people who are happily married were good friends before they even started dating. Friendships are built on spending quality time together doing something you both enjoy. For you to grow into a well-rounded person you need to be able to get along with four different types of people: like, don’t like, don’t know and enjoying chillin’ with. To make the best of whatever time you have with that person, ask them what they would enjoy doing, what would completely encourage them and work on making that happen with the right motivation. Like to simply make their day better. If they enjoy eating at a particular restaurant every weekend, are you willing to put yourself aside (even if you’ve eaten at that place a million times before) for that afternoon and plan something for them? Are you open to different ideas? Are you making an effort to plan new things?…. One more thing ladies, do NOT try to put in any extra “alone” time with the other person. Comically, this will be referred to as a “weasel date”. That is not guarding your heart at all. Be wise on your timing and planning 🙂

“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.” Proverbs 31:13

     When you are building a friendship, you learn what they value, goals, dreams, characteristics, and personality. You learn how to help each other in a safe environment with nothing at stake. Helping, correcting, advising, motivating, at times pushing are all attributes of a friend. If they can’t tell you the hard-line truth then they aren’t really your friend. Always be open if you feel something said or done made you uncomfortable. You wouldn’t want for an honest mistake to become a giant awkward turtle in your friendship.

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”(Proverbs 27:6)

     Now one important thing I can’t miss out on is quality CONVERSATION. It’s all good you guys are getting to hang out and getting to know each other but what’s the point if the conversation isn’t anything but gibber jabber aka blah blah aka nonsense. For example, if the conversation is consisting of past relationships, comparing people, gossip, slander where in that is the focus? There is no purity in that. Speak of things that will help you grow as a person not bring others down or have no basis for it.

     “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

     Hope you guys have enjoyed reading! Please leave any comments or suggestions or even other ideas for other entries 🙂