Category Archives: Before You Marry

More Than Just Friends: Advice For Those Daring To Date

The two of you laugh at the same corny jokes. He brings you pink frosted donuts on Fridays because he knows your weakness for them. You’ve gone shopping with him to help him pick out a killer suit for his new interview. In fact, you’ve even given each other dating advice or a shoulder to cry on when past dates didn’t go so well.

You may have been friends for years, or recent acquaintances from your time together at church or at work. But now the question comes up: should we dare to date? Can we go from being friends to being in a relationship?

Daring to date someone that you’ve previously had a platonic relationship with is a tricky thing. There are some risks involved once you attempt to be more than friends, but it might just be that the Proverb was right: “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”

Here are three areas to evaluate in deciding if you should dare to date each other.

Does Your Friendship Contain Any Chemistry?

It isn’t necessary to feel overwhelming, instant attraction for someone in order to eventually fall in love with them. Sometimes, chemistry grows as the friendship grows, and suddenly there is a hint of the possibility of romance. It might just be that when he smiles, you now notice his eye crinkles. Or when she laughs, you suddenly hear the musical undertones.

If you’re now noticing this friend with a newfound appreciation and a bit of a flutter in your heart, it could be that your friendship is more than platonic. The question is, is this happening for him or her as well? It’s time to converse about this in a way that is subtle and gracious.

Has Emotional Intimacy Developed Between You Two?

Do you find yourself wanting to share more and more of yourself with this friend? It may not even be a conscious decision to open up more, but more of an ease that grows as you two text and talk openly about your lives. Feelings can ignite on one side or between the two of you.

Many friendships between men and women get complicated in this area. The challenge is discerning whether this emotional intimacy is reflective of a romantic connection that both of you are feeling. Often, one person can feel like this emotional connection means something lasting is happening, but the other person can simply just be a very extroverted and open person when it comes to sharing their feelings. So, don’t rush to conclusions yet.

It may be time to have a conversation about what feelings are being felt and what direction you both would like the friendship to go in. It also should include a type of “out” if one of you isn’t feeling the desire to become more than friends. And yes, that can be awkward. But it’s far more painful to spend months or years hoping that the other is secretly feeling more, and then later find out that you two were always going to be “just friends.”

How Would The Transition From Friendship To Dating Work?

True friendship involves honesty and a candidness where the two people can tell each other the truth of where they’re at, even if it includes fear, hesitation or vulnerability. Be sure to talk about what changes you should expect if you decide to start dating.

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Read more at Christian Mingle Believe

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Wedding Dreams and Disasters- WATCH OUR LATEST VIDEO!!

What does your wedding say about you?? It’s one of the most momentous days in your life: your wedding. Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect. But let’s be real: the truth is, your wedding day will be as perfect and flawless as you are. Sorry for the plain truth. But don’t lost hope. All those perfect and not-so-perfect moments rolled together can create a beautiful lasting memory of a very real day when a very real couple, with real imperfections and REAL LOVE, came together and said “I Do” to Love, To lasting Commitment, to the journey of a lifetime!

Whether you’ve already said “I Do” or you’re hoping for that special day to come, join in on the fun in our latest video as Abby shares her wedding fears and I share some funny stories of disastrous wedding moments. Because even with the not-so-perfect moments, this day is about way more than perfection. It’s about your incredible future together!

Here’s to Weddings, the Do’s and the Don’ts and the “Please, Oh NO!”s

 

 

 

What God Will & Won’t Do To Help You Find A Spouse!

You can pray earnestly and ask God for your needs and desires to be met, and that includes praying for a spouse. He wants to be involved in this life-changing experience of you finding a soul mate and living out a committed love in marriage.

But we need to have an understanding of what God will and won’t do for us. If you are waiting for God to do something in your life while He is waiting on you to take action, disappointment and disillusionment can needlessly occur.

God Won’t Choose For You

Joshua 24:15 says, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” God won’t make us commit our lives to him. In the same way, God won’t choose our spouse for us. He wants us to choose our spouse and choose to love them dearly and daily. He will not do that for us. We have to choose our spouse in the very beginning, and then we have to choose them again and again on a daily basis. When our will is involved, our heart will be also.

Now, God in His providential will may lead us to a suitable spouse directly or indirectly, but we have to see this person as a gift with our own eyes and involve our will to make it our choice as well. We can’t over-spiritualize this. God has given us a sound mind to discern, perceive and make choices. God holds us accountable for our choices, and expects us to grow in maturity as we learn to make healthy decisions.

God Won’t Do The Searching For You

There is a joy in the search for and discovery of blessings. Proverbs 25:2 tells us, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” We search for the things we earnestly desire.

Meanwhile, the Bible tells us that, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” To find something, you have to search for it. There is a joyous thrill in searching for your spouse and later having a beautiful story to tell of how you found one another, how you met and how God led you there.

God Will Counsel You

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will counsel us. Jesus said in John 10:10, “My sheep hear My voice.” This counsel is pivotal to our lives, helping confirm when we’ve made good choices and warning us when we are off track. We should look for confirmation that we are in His will and living our lives in harmony with Scriptural principles. This confirmation stabilizes our commitments and reassures us that God will be with us in all of the joys and challenges that lie ahead.

Learn to notice the promptings in your spirit to stay out of an unhealthy relationship, or to pause before committing, or to open your heart to the possibility of love. God’s counsel is earmarked by peace and a correlation to the Word of God. His counsel can also come through mature godly friends, a pastor or the caring relatives in your life. Learn to be sensitive to His counsel and you can be directed to a connection with someone that could wind up becoming your future spouse.

God Will Convict You When You’re Out of Alignment With Him

I had a conversation with a woman one day who was in a troubled, abusive relationship. Her family had tried to warn her of this man’s questionable character, but she didn’t listen to them. When I asked how she wound up with this man, she said, “I followed my heart. That’s why I married him. Don’t you follow your heart?”

“No, I don’t!” I said, with eyebrows raised in concern and compassion. I shared with her how the Bible tells us our hearts are deceptive (Jer. 17:9) and that only God can really sift through our motives and intentions and convict us when we are hell-bent on a bad thing for us. Conviction is a type of spiritual fire extinguisher. It’s an airlift when you’re on an island of deception and confusion. If you respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of God’s Word, you’ll stay in safe territory and be set free for a truly loving relationship.

God will lead us in paths of peace, but He won’t drop us onto them. We need to understand what He will and won’t do when we come to Him in prayer. Every answer from God is for our ultimate good.
Read more at https://www.christianmingle.com/believe/what-god-wont-do/#5tFudUbHBJsfGQbZ.99

 

When The Fireworks End, It’s Still Not Over

If you’re worried about staying “in love”, maybe it’s time to look for something better than explosions of passion and fireworks.

The highlight of July 4th comes in the evening: fireworks! Those explosions of color and sound sizzling across the dark sky thrill everyone watching. But that’s the key word: thrill. When you’re married for years, not everything will be so thrilling and exciting.

There’s a big difference between the exciting passion of new love and the love that endures after 20, 30 or even 50 years. But don’t be mistaken about the difference between thrilling and loving each other: when the fireworks end, it’s still not over.

I Feel Good

The feel-good chemicals released in our body when we’re in the throes of infatuation are exhilarating. There’s no doubt that we love to be in love. But science confirms that the rush of chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, and the accompanying heightened feelings of bliss, cannot last for more than two years. And thank God, because nobody would ever accomplish anything in this world if we were all walking around in that blissful, grin-on-our-face, drugged-like stupor that comes from falling in love. The fireworks can’t last forever, but that shouldn’t alarm us.

There’s something better than fireworks, better than explosions of passion and the euphoric state we feel when we are first in love. For one thing, that kind of state is really all about you; it’s all about how good you feel, how in love you feel. It’s like a high that we feel and it isn’t really centered on the truth of what love is all about. The essence of love is less about what we feel, and more about what we hope to make our partner feel: adored, secure and thoroughly loved.

When The Party Is Over

True love shows up when the party is over and the fireworks display is done. Deep, lasting love is shown at the hospital bedside of your spouse, or in the bathroom when you’re holding back the hair of your wife as she becomes violently sick. Real love is truly listening to our loved one confess their fears or share their story of pain. In those less-than-glamorous moments of reality, wouldn’t it be selfish of us to complain, “This doesn’t feel good. I’m not getting to feel those euphoric highs of love”?

It’s time we stop pursuing and idolizing that blissful state of falling in love and start living out the love we claim we feel. That’s when we get to the part of enjoying lasting love, committed love, true love.

Start A New Trend

I’d love to see a new trend begin in our culture…
(Read more at Christian Mingle Believe  and then comment here:

What do YOU do to keep love alive, after the fireworks are over?!)

It Only Gets Better: Why Our Marriage Is Built To Last

I’m not an optimist or a Pollyanna. But something happened to me during these last 32 years of “for better or worse” that’s changed my view on what marital happiness is. Over the years, I’ve learned how good our marriage is, how strong my husband’s love for me is, and how much better it’s going to get.

That was one of the first unofficial promises my husband made to me when we got engaged. I was nervous about keeping our love alive and whether we could have that “happily ever after.” My husband reassured me with a sincere smile, “Honey, it’ll only get better.” He promised our communication, our love for each other and our sense of peace about our future would improve day by day.

And he was right.

The following are the four bedrock values that have helped to make our marriage built to last.

Today Is A Good Day

A good day for us is no longer a day when we have absolutely no quarreling or frustration with each other. It’s nice when we have a day like that, but that isn’t the essence of a good day. A good day is more about meeting challenges and getting through any miscommunication with maybe a laugh or a quick prayer where we lay out our concerns we are experiencing.

Psalm 118:24 encourages us to echo the statement, “This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” A good day is making the decision to rejoice and press through to the other side of renewed love and deeper trust.

We’re On A Mission

Married life is no longer about the goal of each of us being happy. It’s about whether we are serving each other in love, and then taking our united front as a team out to a hurting world and serving together in some capacity of ministry.

It doesn’t have to be a formal ministry based at a church. It could be that you two decide you’ll host a dinner once a month at your house and invite newcomers from your church. Or perhaps the two of you can “adopt” an elderly neighbor or get involved in foster parenting. A shared mission makes a marriage stronger.

It’s Time For Play

Proverbs 17:22 tells us that laughter is good medicine. We laugh more and more as the years go by.

When I married my husband, he was the one known for having a good sense of humor; he was the clown in the relationship and I was a bit more like the lion tamer! But over the years, my husband’s jovial sense of humor has rubbed off on me. I always had a sense of humor, but now mine is quite developed and very much used, thanks to my comical, sweet man.

It’s About Constant Communication

I asked my husband the other day what things surprised him the most about being married….

Read more of my article at Believe

I’d love to know what makes your marriage better over the years!
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