The blog is an extract from a message written a few years ago.
So I was minding my business, just living life back in May and somebody tweeted the link to a preach by Paul Washer called ‘Are You Ready For A Relationship?’ The title intrigued me so I thought I’d give it a whiskers. I literally got about 10mins in and the Holy Spirit stared talking to me about the church & relationships. It then expanded into other areas (even as I was typing this up) and this blog post is the result of that download. I’ve tried to structure it into 3 parts and then have sub-sections within that as its a LONG post; (1) Dating, (2) Sex & (3) Marriage. Now I am not an expert on any of the above but I do hope to shed some light as instructed by the Holy Spirit. Listo!
Heresy of recreational dating
What stood out to me in his sermon was when Paul Washer condemned the ‘Heresy of Recreational Dating’. Wherever you are in the world Paul washer, I’d like to thank you for speaking about this from your pulpit. This is an idea I fully subscribe to. Just for context sake, this is when young people, Christian or not, date recreationally without serious intention or informed pursuit of the opposite sex. Just dating for the fun of it without any long term thought or intention. As a young woman in Christ, intention for me is everything because if a person has noble intentions they also act nobly etc.
Now neither he or I am saying that every person you date will be Mr/Mrs ‘right’, however I do feel that we much be selective about who you chose to date. This then means that if you have a classier attitude to dating and the mindset that enters a dating relationship with an outcome in mind, you are less likely to go on dates for fun. As opposed to wasting time awakening ‘love’ before its time and playing knock down ginger on the hearts of many, you’ll only step up to the plate when the meal you like is being served – ya dig! Let’s be real, if love was a buffet, we all know people that would go up and endeavour to try everything. Likewise, we also know people that are very strategic at buffets and try to get the best of what its offering without being distracted by side dishes. These people know exactly what they like, what they seek, what they desire, what will satisfy them and will go after exactly that. Time is an investment, so surely it’s better to seek a positive return on investment? This is not to say every dating relationship will blossom into marriage, but rather if you enter the relationship with specific intentions, you’ll probably learn some important things as you depart the relationship about what it is you will then require in the future.
He also spoke about dating based on the ‘consumer mentality, test driving several models before making a commitment’. This is something that I’ve never really understood but my lack of understanding doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen right. This is part of our new social ideal, try before you buy, compare the market.com. However, relationships are about commitment. It doesn’t matter what type of ‘ship’ it is, whether friendship or an eros relationship – it is essential to be committed to a long term vision. If we look at the successful people in the world, they didn’t operate in the realm of seeing where it goes, they were intentional. So after a while, you need to ask yourself, is this ‘ship’ going somewhere? If it is, be intentional about getting to that destination. If it’s not, be tactful and end it.
Every Tom, Segun & Dwayne
Rather than the dating experience to be about getting to know a person, people use it as an opportunity to get to know everybody all at once. Fellas – carrying different girls round town is not cool. Ladies – being seen on the arm of different men is equally as unattractive. Be selective in your dating. Dating is a choice. You are not given someone but rather for one reason or another, you chose to approach the other person. It’s only fair you then give them a chance. You eliminate their privilege of a fair chance when you turn dating into a competition. You spread yourself thin when you try to be all things to all men, and that’s how I view recreational/ consumer dating. It pays to be selective because the more people talking in your ear, the more you have to filter when it comes to making a serious decision.
Terminology – who you calling sexy?
Word, words, words… Guys both in & out of the church will pay you all types of indirect, sideways, duplicitous or subtle comments and compliments. Now don’t get me wrong, I not saying a brother can’t pay a sister a compliment but don’t be seedy with. Likewise, I’m not saying a guy can’t use his comments or compliments to drop those subtle ‘I like you’ hints. But be serious about the dialogue, same for ladies. Guys be like ‘You look sweet’ – is my surname Skittles? ‘You look tasty’ – am I jellof fried with assorted meats? Ok, I’m playing but my point is, the way fellow brothers & sisters in Christ talk you and what you allow them to say to you can create a number of outcomes. If you are both aligned in what is being said, it can create a positive outcome. If not, it can create situations where lines are blurred and someone gets the wrong idea about the nature of the relationship. If you can tell someone likes you through the way they address you and you don’t like them back, find a way to deflect the attention strictly towards the friendzone. Now, TRUST me when I say it’s easier said than done but it is necessary. This is especially hard in the church (or workplace) because unlike an outside setting, you will most likely see this person every week or multiple times a week depending on both your church attendance, so its key to be sensitive and tactful. Church is the last place anybody wants to feel awkward or rejected *sigh*. And to be honest, part of being grown, is learning to check someone who you feel has incorrect expectation from the relationship thy have mustered up with you. I have brothers and I always endeavour to treat other males how I would want a female to treat my brothers because I would not be happy if a fellow female treated my brothers unfairly. So paying someone a politely worded compliment or acknowledging their beauty is fine and is not lustful (if our mind is in check) in my opinion. It is an undeniable problem however, when a compliment is turnt all the way up – on the wrong side of the scale.
Some guys are straight out of the 1950s gentlemen and others are straight out of the gutter disrespectful. I’ve seen who are controlled by their inner animal, howling and cat-calling to women on the streets of London. We’ve all seen those pictures up on instagram and twitter that encourage disgusting comments from the queue of thirsty boys, tripping over themselves to tell that girl all the things they’d do to her if they had the chance. Is this life? Let’s be vigilant as to how we carry ourselves and what our giving out is bringing back in. Even in the church, the way some guys & gals handle themselves and interact with one another can cross that brother –sister in Christ boundary.
‘You look sexy’ – Gosh I haven’t heard that since I was probably 18 or 19 and was probably in a club *covers eyes*. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and when a call is calling you sexy, two of his mouths are speaking. One on his face and the other in his trousers. There is nothing more cringe-worthy than seeing a guy call a girl sexy and her face light up like a Christmas tree. Sexy as a term has become some sort of status people have been chasing since Kim K & Rhi Rhi took hold of American culture and they cascaded it down to the rest of the world. Now this point is purely my own opinion and I have no overt biblical scripture to support it so y’all can go ahead and work out your own salvation with fear & trembling. But for me the use of the word sexy, just makes me feel like a guy is standing there and imagining what it would be like to have sex with you. Dramatic perhaps but my honest opinion. Guys never call you sexy with a smile, but they pull a seedy lip biting smutty face and you know what’s going through both their mouth and minds. Likewise when a guy calls a girl cute/beautiful/gorgeous it usually from a different place (huge generalisation I know). But it’s a different type of appreciation that rarely relies on the appearance of the body (like sexy). We can all put on a tight figure hugging low cut dress and run out of fingers when counting the amount of guys that will jump out of the bushes to call us sexy. But there’s a lot more class than goes into being beautiful. We all know physically pleasing people that are not very nice people. So let’s focus on being beautiful from the inside outside. A pretty face can get a man but it won’t keep a man! A nice body will make a girl smile, but a man of integrity will make her heart smile. Just for clarity sake, I am not Jesus, I did not die for you, I will not judge you once we’ve been raptured so this is just my opinion. You are fully entitled to your own opinion and I’d love to hear them
Ultimately, as a woman of God it is your prerogative & responsibility to inform others of how they should approach you. Learn how to hold something back. The eye wants what it sees that it can already have. The heart wants what is hidden and worth finding! Nobody wants a guy/girl who appears readily available to all and sundry. You can be confident but hidden at the same time. Learn how to carry yourself with dignity. I always say you should already start walking in what it is you’re expecting. The day you say ‘I do’ should not be the day you should be transformed into a classy wife. Deep calls out to deep, so you should know who looks familiar.
Part 2 to follow.
So let’s spread the word, feed a spirit, encourage a soul!