Archive | Singleness

Stay On Mission

Stay on Mission | 3dlessons4life.com

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“ Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” – II Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)

 

My friend met the man of her dreams. She e-mailed us to let us know she was leaving town and getting married.

Happy for her, I smiled and continued reading. She described his killer smile, his sense of humor, his hard work at a thriving business, and his love for family. I was about three paragraphs into the e-mail when I read a sentence that made my heart sink.

“He doesn’t know Christ yet, but he is interested in spiritual things. I think that will come soon. He’s so close.”

I didn’t have a working phone number to reach her, so I prayed for God to give me the words to craft a gentle, grace-filled written response. I told her that I loved her and wanted her to be happy, but as her friend and sister in Christ, I wanted to ask her some questions that might prevent her from making a choice that would lead to a heartbreaking crash in her future.

The Apostle Paul challenged the believers in Corinth to not yoke themselves to an unbeliever. In marriage, couples must partner together to carry the heavy weights of this broken world. It’s impossible to work together as one when your spouse is pulling in a completely different direction. Rather than plowing the ground and harvesting abundance as a team, you end up standing apart on a barren, empty field of broken dreams.

Marriage is more than a relationship. Marriage is a covenant of two hearts surrendered to Christ. In Song of Solomon 4, we see the intimacy of the lover and his bride. They are one in body, in heart, and in spirit. He calls her his sister and his spouse because their communion is completely pure.

Marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ, and settling for anything less will never lead to full intimacy.

If you are single, heed the advice of Solomon and “do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time (Song of Solomon 2:7, HCSB). Missionary dating is never a wise choice. Our mission is to stay focused on Christ. He will open the door to marriage when the time is perfect and pleasing to Him.

 

Staying on Mission | 3dlessons4life.com

Let’s Talk:  If you are married, how did God help you stay on mission during your single season?  I’d love to hear your love story!

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“Stay on Mission” was originally published at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s Daily Devo and on You Version as part of the reading plan The Secret: How Do You See Love.

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I am sharing “Stay on Mission” and joining like-minded sisters at Give Me GraceSpiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, Fresh Market FridayBlessing CountersTell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Three-Word Wednesday, Intentional TuesdayPurposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Testimony Tuesday, and Moments of Hope.

 

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Godliness is Sexy

 

Godliness is Sexy | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto Credit



“The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:17, NKJV).

Once upon a time, I thought tall, dark, and handsome would sweep me off my feet in a sleek car dressed like a GQ model, and we’d live happily ever after.

I bought into the world’s version of romance and ended up heartbroken. I should have known I’d end up alone in a puddle of tears when my dad’s response to meeting my boyfriend was, “He’s not a bad guy, but he’ll never marry you.”

Just two weeks later, I sulked at home with a pint of ice cream and one spoon. Thankfully, a friend rescued me with an invitation to a single’s Bible study.

I’d never attended a service geared specifically to singles, and the experience was eye opening. The pastor opened up the Bible and shared how its principles applied to every area of my life – including who I dated. I soon learned to love God’s Word and decided to surrender my desire for a husband to God while I invested in developing strong friendships with other women and using my gifts to serve at church.

Two years later, one of single’s group leaders teared up as he shared how he’d befriended two men who’d lost their homes and were living on the street. I was impressed by his tenderhearted concern for the hurting victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Today, that guy with the big heart is my husband. We served together during an outreach that Christmas and forged a friendship that blossomed into love. I wanted to marry a gorgeous guy, but God wanted me to partner with a godly man.

As we put on the corrective lenses of God’s Word, we begin to understand what is truly attractive. Physical appearance will fade, but a beautiful character strengthens as couples face the hardships of life together.

We don’t marry just a body, but a whole person comprised of body, soul, and spirit. Esther stood apart from the harem because her greatest beauty emanated from a submissive heart. Likewise, in Song of Solomon, the bride was enamored not only with her lover’s looks, but also by the fragrance of his inner life. She declared that his name was like anointing oil poured out (Song of Solomon 1:3, ESV).

As we grow in wisdom, we learn that godliness is actually pretty sexy.

Godliness | 3dlessons4life.com

Let’s Talk: How has growing in wisdom helped re-define your definition of attractiveness?  I’d love to hear your love story!

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“Godliness is Sexy” was originally published at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s Daily Devo and on You Version as part of the reading plan The Secret: How Do You See Love.

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I am sharing “Godliness is Sexy” and joining like-minded sisters at Give Me GraceSpiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, Fresh Market FridayBlessing CountersTell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Three-Word Wednesday, Intentional TuesdayPurposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Testimony Tuesday, and Moments of Hope.

 

 

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4 Keys to Keeping on Mission as a Dating Couple

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To succeed at any great endeavor, you need to have a plan.  Don’t you agree?  For example, as a college student, I had a calendar, a course catalog, and a budget.  I didn’t just show up to class and expect everything to fall into place.  I made sure I had my textbooks purchased, and I had read the syllabus before day 1.  I came with sharpened pencils and a nice notebook to take notes.   I had my “game face on.”

The same preparation principle applies to almost everything I can think of – for example, running a marathon, spending a summer in Europe, and purchasing a home all require careful thought and a well-laid out plan.

Why then do we not understand that dating requires the same type of careful planning and preparation?  When you meet the man of your dreams, you want to make sure that you have your “game face on.”

Dating success is more than just purchasing some cute outfits and making sure that your hair looks perfect.  If you want to stay on mission, you need to have a plan.

My suggestion is that you get some new sharpened pencils and a notebook, and then sit down with your man over a cup of coffee to discuss what your mission is as a dating couple.

If you need some direction, my man and I would like to offer you some advice.  Here are four key principles that helped guide our dating season that I think will be beneficial to you….

I’m sharing over at Missional Women today.

To read the rest of this article, join me over here.

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4 Seeds Sown in the Heart of a Serving Single

Seeds Sown

 

When I graduated from college, I took a job at my alma mater teaching language arts at the Christian high school. My days were consumed with lesson plans, stacks of papers to be graded, and lots of adolescent drama. I loved working with the teens, but my real desire was to be a stay at home mom.  I envisioned reading bed time stories and tucking in little ones with a kiss and a prayer. The problem was that I was not married.  In fact, I was not even dating. I was a single gal with lots of free time on my hands…

I am delighted to be sharing “4 Seeds Sown in the Heart of a Serving Single” at Missional Women this week.

 To read the rest of this post, head over here.

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On Being a Crucified Single

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This week, I decided to do a clean up of my Facebook e-mail account.  I deleted several innocuous e-mails that had passed their date of relativity.  Then, I came across an e-mail I had forgotten about — one I had saved because it took me a long time to respond to, and what I shared had some meaning.   I read through the exchange again, and the Spirit whispered to me, “You need to share this.  Share it on the blog this week.  Someone out there needs to hear this.  Don’t delete it.”  So, I e-mailed my friend and asked her if she was ok with my publishing our private exchange, and she said, “Go for it.”   I hope this ministers to you, my single sister.  If you need someone to talk to, I am a listening ear and would love to pray for you and chat.

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Hello there,

I have a question for you. I have a small group of girls that meet at my home on Tuesday nights. I have one young woman who is having a birthday this week. I think she’s turning 36 or 37 and is going through the “I’m getting older and I’m still single” blues. What would you say to someone about that? Any words of wisdom?

I have shared my testimony with her, but maybe she needs to hear someone else’s story for encouragement.

I’m going to ask a couple of my still single friends as well but I know that you waited on God a long time and I’m sure had a lot of moments like hers.

I greatly admire you by the way for waiting on God the way you did. He definitely blesses and He is so faithful.

Thanks!!

M

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Hi, M,

Aw, thank you. It’s an honor for me to be able to pray for this sister tonight.

First, I would say to her that it is perfectly normal to have those bummer feelings, and that God is not mad at her for having them. He is counting her tears in a bottle. He is all about giving beauty for ashes. Second, I would tell her that she can’t let her self dwell there though — she needs to crucify those emotions that are full of doubt and not faith and lay them right down at the cross at Jesus’ feet — daily and moment by moment if she has to. Find a Scripture that gives you hope, memorize it, and quote it as much as you need to…. At the end of the day, she is basically in the same place as Eve when the enemy lead her to question God’s goodness, or Sarah when she was barren and gave her maid to her husband to make a baby. If she knows in her heart that God is good, then she needs to ask God to increase her faith and walk in courage and confidence that His plans for her are good and that His timing for her is perfect. I was always encouraged by the testimony of Ruth in the OT — she didn’t let herself wallow in self-pity when her husband died — she saw what her role was (to focus on serving her family), and she did so wholeheartedly and with grace and love. Her faithfulness was rewarded in a way that she could have never imagined — God never quite tells the story the way we want Him to, but His plot and climactic endings are ever so much better than ours.

Another thing that really encouraged me was that passage in Isaiah 40 where God says that those who wait on Him are being strengthened. Looking back now, I can see how during those long single years (42 to be exact) God was shaping me and refining me in order to make me ready for marriage — honestly, it is a wonderful thing to be married, but it is the HARDEST thing as well. The enemy hates marriage and fights for it. Relationships are all about dying to self and serving our husbands, and we don’t get a break EVER. So, I had to learn to be content in whatever circumstance I was in first as a single person, and I had to learn that God Himself is ENOUGH before I could venture into marriage — because my husband is not my all in all. Sometimes, you feel lonelier married than when you were single.

Once you get married, then the enemy gets all in your head, and you wish you were single, or a mom, or you had a better job. Seriously, it’s a vicious, endless cycle of mind games — sometimes it just wears me out, and I wish I could turn my brain off for the night….  At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that I am called to live a crucified life — I have heaven; I have a God who has given all to forgive me. I have peace with Him. That is more than enough. That is the key to everything else. That is my focus. May His Word fill my heart and mind and drown out everything else.

OK, I am done rambling. I think I ended up giving myself a pep talk instead of her.

Hugs,
Lyli

Q4U:  What has God taught you about living a crucified life?

(Married Gals:  If you have an older single friend, please pray for her tonight.  She needs your encouragement.)

Joining like-minded sisters at Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday and over at Jennifer’s place…

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