Every love story has a unique blueprint – a fingerprint, if you would. Some build it from an encounter, some from a character, some from a belief. But there is the question of on what blueprint do you build a life-long romance?
He’s wearing white slacks and long sleeves that seemed to glow as he smiled. No, I didn’t see the smile but i felt it – strongly.
I nodded unknowingly, “Why did you come?”
He was looking for me ever since – it’s just he decided to finally meet me.
Lately I’ve been going through a lot in my personal walk with the Lord as well as in my family and love life. Relationships are a part of life. And sooner or later, you will fall in love. When that happens, I just want you to remember this entry – that you need to love beyond your heart.
This entry has been inspired by the numerous conflicts I have experienced in my life, as well as my learnings and realizations from them. I wanted to share this with all of you because I believe it is important and that you need to hear this.
Being a man, God has assigned me the honor of being the leader in my relationship with my girl. He has designated me to bring her through the journey of spiritual intimacy, physical wellness, emotional wisdom, financial intelligence, and intellectual wisdom. This is not an easy task.
In fact it is a task that can only be possible through the grace of God. Without depending on God, I fell into the trap of trying to do this on my own. I tried to love and lead her with my heart. And I soon found out how disastrous it could be.
You see, the heart can hurt. And when the heart gets hurt, the usual, natural tendency is:
- Guys withdraw and wait things out until… (etc…)
- Girls say things they think will soothe their anxiety and work the conflict out
Unfortunately, I’m the kind of guy who withdraws. I realized that I am not honoring God when I do so because I am not leading her when I withdraw.
I tell God “But I might say hurtful things. Isn’t it good that I just withdraw?”, “I’m trying to protect her when I withdraw so that I won’t get angry and hurt her.”, or sometimes I even think “She only hurts me with her words. I think it’s wiser to let things cool off first.”
Now, I’m not saying that these mindsets are wrong. It depends on the situation. But in my case, I merely used them for excuses when I know I could’ve done something about it. I was not being a leader. I was merely loving her with my heart.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
To really love is to go beyond your heart. To really love is to know that you are capable for more. To really love is to do hard things. To go the extra mile. To live the impossible. To follow Christ. To really love is to lead your heart through the hurt.
Not to let your heart lead you.
Step out of your heart – that ‘emotional comfort zone‘. It’s a choice when you withdraw as a man because you’re hurt. Wisdom and understanding will tell you why the other person said what they said or did what they did. Knowing this, you will realize that it’s not about you – you don’t need to hurt. You just have to help him/her.
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11
Don’t let the offense of any another person hurt you. Instead, validate any truths in it and absorb only what will make you grow and what will help the other person. Filter all offenses from your thoughts. Do not let the unnecessary things get into your heart.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” – Proverbs 4:23
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Protect your heart from your thoughts. Lead your heart through wisdom. Don’t let it dictate your actions. Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is a conscious effort to do what is best for the other person in spite of the difficulty and hurts that you feel.
The problem is, the heart can hurt. Love beyond your heart.
Many perhaps of you, unlike me, have read this Parable from the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 13: 1-23, Mark 4: 1-34, Luke8: 48) before. You’ve also probably attended a Bible Study class about it as well. You may also be aware that in Luke’s account, Jesus was specifically asked to explain this parable compared to the others (v9). (Personally, I would like to believe this to be an important daily learning, not to mention a task to be taken notice of by the apostles.)
But apart from learning this Parable in the context of the Gospel, how do you understand it? More importantly, are you applying it? How about in the face of problems and trials?
If however you have not read about this Parable, I encourage you to do so that you may share with my personal insights and learnings.
- The Hardened Soil. When you’re suddenly interrupted by your classmate, office mate or friend while rushing for a deadline, you so desperately want to get over and done with, do you relate with him/her with grace? Could this person see Jesus from you in this brief, one-on-one encounter? Or did you just blow up a probable one-in-a-million chance of exhibiting a reflection of your Lord and Savior?
- The Rocky Soil. How about in those occasions when you’re asked by your parent/s to run an errand, a chore you totally don’t feel like doing, but did so otherwise? Are you willing to do so again when asked so now? How about that demanding, irritating, unappreciative colleague or classmate who asked a favor, needed your help; did you do so from the heart or only because you think (hoped) he or she will treat you better after this?
- The Thorny Soil. Remember that day when you worked so hard to the point of skipping meals, saying ‘no’ to your favorite concert, ‘no’ to the long awaited get-together with friends for a noble cause (i.e. family gathering, a Bible Study). Only to find out your efforts were in vain… the kiss-ass employee got the promotion. You were still not allowed to go with your barkada to the long planned beach outing. You were still unappreciated…
I remembered an episode of ‘The Biggest Loser’, a TV program for overweight contestants to lose weight. I watched this girl sweat, push harder, run farther only to weigh herself that night and found out she gained a pound! She was heart-broken…
- The Good Soil. Do you know about God’s love for you? Are you sharing this with people who don’t know the Lord? Do you make sure you bear His fruit everyday?
Jesus through this Parable talked about the different types of soil and as a personal understanding the reality of being in all types in different personalities and/or encounters in life. Perhaps you may be in good soil when it comes to giving but in the thorny one when it comes to being patient.
This Parable stresses that the call to be His disciples is no joke. We are asked to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses and to follow Him. But He reminds us that He came for the lost, the broken, yep that’s right—sinners like you and me.
In John 16: 33, He said “In this world, there will be trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” He isn’t unaware of your circumstances. And He is perfectly aware of what your ‘YES’ to Him entails.
We urge you now to examine yourself, check your heart. You may perhaps be ‘the silent type’ who wants to deal with problems “alone” or may be afraid to disclose things to others from previous hurtful experiences. Don’t let your past dictate your future. Sooner or later, even if you may not want to, it will find itself floating beneath the surface. And this will cause a major struggle to people who love you, even to your future spouse. Save yourself from the hurts! Confess and lift it all to God. Be accountable to a Godly, trusted friend who can encourage and edify you.
As believers, let us claim Philippians 4: 13, “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me”. Feed your mind with His Word, water your hearts with His promises and be rooted in His grace.
Why do men pursue women? Is it to find pleasure? Is it to feel romance? Is it to look after her heart? Is it to fill that longing to be loved? There are a lot of different reasons why men pursue women and ask for their love and affection. I want to talk about the 2 wrong reasons why men pursue women today.
These ideas were derived from John Eldredge’s book “Wild at heart”
He will pursue her not to offer his strength but to drink from her beauty
I don’t know if you agree with me on this but I think men today pursue women all for the wrong reasons. We don’t pursue her because we know we are the best person for her to be with and entering that relationship will glorify our God, rather we usually pursue women because we find her beautiful and we want that.
I won’t dictate what’s right or wrong, but ladies let me ask you, “Do you want to be pursued just because you’re beautiful?”
It’s true that beauty has a big part to play on men because that’s God’s design for us. We love beauty and we fall for beautiful women but pursuing a woman because of her beauty is a very dangerous reason for a relationship to start. It will easily break when that beauty fades away. And have I mentioned that it’s a selfish reason? It’s selfish because you love her due to the fact that she’s beautiful and it gives you confidence and contentment that you’ve conquered such a beauty – not because you want to give her your strength, your best, your all.
Pursuing a woman because of her beauty doesn’t make you someone who really loves her – because if you really love someone, you will want the best for that person. Meaning, you would have to search yourself. Verify yourself. Are you the best for her? If not, then don’t even think about it, buddy. In the end, you’ll just leave her heartbroken, not to mention you’ll wound yourself along the way.
Sometimes it’s not really women we’re after but our heart
Men, do you realize that when you pursue women, it’s sometimes a matter of getting accepted by the woman? A woman’s “yes” is one of the hardest thing (supposedly) to fight for. And we’ve made that our challenge and our adventure. We’re not really after the woman, often times we’re after our heart – our heart which was lost when we were young and raised in a broken family, lacking acceptance, lacking affirmation, lacking masculinity, lacking our manhood.
This is a dangerous misconception to be trapped in. We make women the way to searching our hearts. In essence, we are just using her to “feel like a man”. You might not agree with me, but I urge you to just think about it – especially those in a relationship right now. Even married men sometimes fall into this trap. They get their affirmation from their wives. Women can never validate your manhood. Only God can do that – I hope to discuss that soon in this site.
So how do we find our heart?
Sometimes we pursue a woman because it “feels right” – that feeling is the feeling of adventure and being accepted – it is the feeling of being a man. It was never meant to be answered by a woman. That feeling will always be temporary when you get it from her. Yes it might be the closest thing to “feeling like a man” that’s why so many men fall into adultery and pornography, but that’s not really it. Turning to a woman for your manhood is cowardice. You’re a coward.
You have to find your affirmation from God – which is way, way harder. That’s why some people would rather womanize than follow Him. Looking for your affirmation in God means abiding in His word. Giving Him your time. Having a personal relationship with Him. It is following the example of a real man – Jesus Christ, whose manhood was bestowed by God Himself (His father).
Only then can you pursue a woman
When you really have become a man – not just a facade you’ve put up as so many of us have done. “Surrender” is the word we all hate because of our competitive nature. And unless we realize that it’s the only way to become a real man as God has designed a real man to be, we will always keep on struggling against it. Surrendering is even harder than fighting – it is where real strength and wisdom is tested. The time when we surrender ourselves to God is the only time He can work on us and tell us “You are a man.”
When we talk about humility, it sears us to some extent because we know that somehow we shouldn’t be talking about it or that we have too much pride to really be talking about it. I’ve found out something about true and real humility.
1. Real humility is not even knowing it
Knowing something is assurance of it’s existence. A fascinating trait of humility is that it should not be assured even of it’s own existence. True humility is not even knowing it’s there because ‘knowing’ or ‘gauging’ it’s existence could misfocus the heart of man to a proud end.
When you start wanting to ‘know’ your humility, you start gauging how humble you are. King David is a wonderful analogy of this when he took a census of his country to ’know’ or ‘gague’ the strength of his fighting men. God became angry at this because taking a census would, in the end, refocus David’s heart to become proud because of his army’s strength rather than being humble and dependent on God.
2. Real humility doesn’t speak about itself
Out of the fulness of the heart, the mouth speaks. Doesn’t mean when your heart is full of humility, you will keep on speaking about how humble you are. Go back to point #1, true humility means the heart doesn’t even know it is humble because it doesn’t focus on that. True humility doesn’t say anything about itself, instead it gives encouragement to other people and puts others first and forgets about itself.
3. Real humility manifests itself in lavish praise/encourage of others (praise, not flattery)
Putting others first is an act of selflessness. Selflessness is one of the most visible forms of humility, won’t you agree? If you keep on praising yourself, you have a proud heart and that is selfish. But in praising/ encouraging others (no matter how hard it is for you because it hurts your pride to do so) you are practicing humility on your part – especially if you know that you are a lot better than that person in the aspect where you are praising/encouraging him (still praise/encourage him because he is good in what he does!)
4. Real humility listens
Sometimes we don’t really listen. Yes we give them some attention, but the words they say are being deflected by our hearts and minds – probably because of pride. Real humility listens to people no matter how hard-hitting or, on the other hand, seemingly senseless his words are to you.
Listening is a great skill and it takes a lot of humility especially if you know you’re a lot more skillful and knowledgable than the other person who’s doing the talking.
Sin is a word which all of us humans have. Everyone knows it and everyone, unfortunately, sins. So what’s up with sin if everyone has it anyway?
The Bible is explicit in calling sin, sin. It is something that must be judged – punishable by eternal death in hell. God has always called sin what it is. And He has always hated it. It is something that goes against God in nature.
Where it all started
When Adam and eve were in the garden of Eden, they and God were buddies. They were tight. They knew each other face to face. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we think that it’s when sin entered the human race – actually, it was not the action of eating the fruit but what came before that.
It’s telling God “I don’t trust you”
When Adam and Even chose to believe the serpent rather than God, that’s when sin entered our world. It’s telling God “I don’t trust you” and choosing to believe something else. Sin is something that tells God “You’re lying.” and “You’re not enough.”
The truth of the matter is, God hates sin and it all begins with us disbelieving God, choosing to go our own way when all He asks of us is this: “Trust me”
When we like someone, we usually tend to think about that person throughout the whole day – when we wake up, we check our cellphones to see if he or she replied to your message, and then before we sleep, we text them goodnight and wait for their reply. Sometimes we focus too much on the person we like we forget that we have responsibilities to other people in our lives.
You have a responsibility to the person you like
You have a responsibility to your family and friends – to the people around you
You have a responsibility to God
Oftentimes we take two or even all of these for granted. We tend to focus too much on the person we like or focus on ourselves – on what we would get out of that relationship. We forget our friends and family – that they too are affected of our affection for this certain someone. And most especially, we forget about God. We forget to ask Him what He thinks about this person you’re focusing on.
Check yourself. If you’re focusing too much on that person, maybe you’ve already dethroned God in your heart. Liking someone can be dangerous when your thoughts and emotions go for him/her and you don’t even put God in the picture – when in fact, it’s God whom you should be focusing on. I tell you, in marriage, you’ll need to focus on God a lot, lot more – don’t think that you can set Him aside while you’re in the courtship stage because when you do, you’ll find it a lot more difficult to look to Him afterward.
By: Sammy A
Whenever the word “love” comes to your mind, what do you think of? Some may think of their girlfriend or boyfriend, some may think of their parents, some may even think that love doesn’t exist. But haven’t you ever thought of God when it comes to love? The first two reasons could be possible answers, but I think God is the perfect definition for the said word. If you browse through your Bible and go to the book of 1 Corinthians 13, verses four to eight speak about love. Let me type it for you in case you don’t wanna go and grab a Bible:
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily-angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
If you’re currently in a relationship with someone, you would probably think that, “I’m all those. I love my girlfriend/boyfriend perfectly.” Sure, you may love your special someone like that, but do you practice all those traits all the time? I guess not. There will be times wherein you would get mad at your loved one. There will be instances that you would fail someone who loves you so much. And times wherein you keep records of their wrongs will never disappear. So I guess no one could ever reach God’s standards when it comes to love. As early as now, I wanna tell you that only God could love us like that. Only God could meet all those traits all the time. God made us, because He wants us to live an abundant, meaningful life (John 14:6).
Some teenagers nowadays are already allowed to engage in romantic relationships as early as 13 years old. Some adolescent kids, however, tend to hide their relationship status from their parents. The two kind of lovesick teenagers think that they’re so madly in love with the person they fancy that they’re willing to do absolutely anything for the person they’re in a relationship with. If you watch some shows on the television that are about girls who handled sexual and physical abuse from the opposite sex. You see, some girls are willing to lose their virginity, because they think that engaging in a sexual intercourse with their boyfriend would make them feel more loved. But that’s a very, very wrong perspective of love. Sex is a beautiful thing, but it is intended for married people. Those who already committed to spend their lives together come what may. If you think that you’re ready to marry the person you love so you’ll have sex with him/her already while still in your teenage years, let me be the first to tell you that you’re wrong. Well, who am I to dictate who you’re gonna be with, in the future, right? But no one knows who you would end up with. Not even you. Only God knows. And if you think that you’re already ready for marriage, think again. Being ready for marriage means that you are able to sustain a family, pay for the kids’ tuition fees, pay for the bills, and whatnot. How could you pay for all those while getting roughly P500 to P1000 every week? You’ve never thought of that, huh?
If you still insist that you really love someone, I say it’s infatuation. I hate to break it up to you, but you’re infatuated. You’re not in love. Right now, I suggest that you enjoy the remaining years of your youth. Love will come. Don’t be in such a hurry. As of now, focus on how you could love and glorify God more. Go read your Bible or do something unexpected! Help your mom in cleaning the house or study harder. I believe that you and I should spend more time on our studies and on God instead of acting all in love with someone like there’s no tomorrow. Live a life that would make God smile.