The R.I.N.G.G.

(Relationships Inspired to Nurture and Grow Greatly)

Location: One Body In Christ In Love Ministries
Address: 621 NW 167th Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33169
Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Speakers: Davon and Deborah Johnson
Topic: KNOWLEDGE: What You Need to Know About Relationships From All Perspectives.

Light bulb revelation: In the darkness, you can’t see. You are in a state of ignorance. You can accidentally run into things in the dark and end up hurting yourself. But where there is light, there is knowledge and revelation. There is truth. There is clarity and clear direction. That’s why we need the light that knowledge brings when it comes to relationships, so we won’t be ignorant when entering into a relationship, and so we won’t find ourselves getting hurt in them.

Let’s take a little survey. How many of you are married? Engaged? Single? Single but desire to be married one day? Single and don’t desire to be married?

Things you need to KNOW:

1. KNOW God’s will for your life concerning marriage.

  • Everyone will have a season of singleness. But not everyone will get married.
    • Some will die before getting the chance to get married.
    • Some will be eunuchs. (Matthew 19:3-12)
      • A eunuch is a man who may have been castrated, or one who is not castrated but who is impotent, celibate, or otherwise not inclined to marry and procreate. These men have a specific social function to perform. Being a eunuch will make these men more reliable when it comes to completing their task or function.
    • Some will have the gift of celibacy. (1 Corinthians 7:7)
      • Celibacy is the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations altogether; a vow to remain unmarried, usually for religious reasons. Celibacy is different from abstinence, which is the state of refraining from sex only until after marriage.
      • God gives some individuals the gift of marriage and others the gift of celibacy, according to His will for their lives.
      • Catholic priests and nuns are known for taking vows of celibacy. Apostle Paul was also celibate.
      • Taking a vow of celibacy does not make you any more spiritual or righteous in God’s eyes than one who is married, and vice versa.
      • God will give you the grace, strength and self-control to remain celibate if this is His will for your life.
  • One way to know whether it’s God’s will for you to get married is if you have a burning desire to one day get married. God often places these desires in the hearts of men.
    • But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with lust [passion, overwhelming desire]. (1 Corinthians 7:9)
    • Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned… (1 Corinthians 7:28)

2. KNOW how to occupy your time when you are single.

  • Don’t spend your entire singleness focusing on marriage. This will be a distraction from you enjoying the benefits of singleness.
    • Benefits of singleness:
      • Lesser responsibility, lesser bills, lesser hindrances. You can basically do what you want, when you want, how you want, where you want, with whom you want, for however long you want. (Of course within the boundaries that the Lord gives you.)
      • But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. (1 Corinthians 7:28)
  • When you are single, you have undistracted devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
  • You can focus on your spiritual maturity, ministry, education, career, etc.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you have been called to celibacy or if you are still single in the natural right now. Find contentment and fulfillment in knowing that your Maker is your Husband. (Isaiah 54:5)

3. KNOW how to interact with others when you are single.

  • Appeal to older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, in all purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)
  • Put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)
  • If you think you are standing firm, take heed lest you fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
  • Don’t be a stumbling block to your brother or sister. Know where they are. (Romans 14:13)
  • Don’t let what you know to be good be spoken evil of. (Romans 14:16)

4. KNOW when it’s your season to get married.

  • How to know if you are NOT in the right season to enter marriage:
    • Christ is not center of your life.
    • You are still not over your ex.
    • You are not delivered from your major strongholds.
    • LADIES: If you don’t know how to submit to God as your spiritual husband, how are you going to submit to a man as your natural husband?
      • Young women of Jerusalem, swear to me that you will not awaken love or arouse love before its proper time. (Song of Solomon 8:4)
    • MEN: If you are not led by God and He is not your head, how will you know how to lead a woman and be her head? In order to enter a place of authority, you must first learn how to submit to authority. Lead by example.
  • How to prepare yourself when you know you ARE entering into the right season for marriage:
    • Start cutting back on your excessive fellowship with others of the opposite sex. You need to make room for your future spouse to take center attention.
    • Straighten out the relationship you have with your child’s other parent (if you have any children from a previous relationship. You don’t want to bring baby mama or baby daddy drama into your new relationship.
    • Make sure you are delivered from [sexual] lust that could cause porn addiction or physical adultery in your marriage. That could really scar your spouse and hurt their trust for you.
    • Save money! Save toward your wedding, your new family home or car, your future kids’ education, etc.

5. KNOW how to discern your God-given spouse.

  • What to do when you THINK you’ve found the one.
    • Don’t tell too many people. If you are still unsure yourself, telling the other person can create confusion, especially if they aren’t sure about you either. Telling your friends can give you false confirmation They’ll begin to say things like, “Oh yeah, I think you will make a cute couple together.”
    • Talk to your parents (if they are saved) or to your leadership at church to get wise counsel and accountability. Your elders usually have a greater discernment than you when it comes to the spiritual condition of others. They may be able to see things in a person that you can’t see because you are ‘blinded by love.’
      • Where there is no counsel, the people fall, but in the multitude of counsel there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).
    • Pray for God to confirm if this is the one or not. Sometimes, we don’t want to ask God because we are afraid he may say no, or this isn’t the one. But God’s sheep knows his voice (John 10:27). And the Spirit of God will lead you into all truths (John 16:13).
    • Whatever you do, don’t GUESS, THINK, FEEL, DESIRE, or WANT this person to be the one for you. You must KNOW by faith that this person is the one for you. And faith comes by hearing a word from God. What did God say? Also, an acronym for F.A.I.T.H. is (F)ull (A)ssurance (I)n (T)he (H)eart. You must have full assurance that they are the one because if you get married without full assurance, and conflict and storms arise in your marriage, you may begin to doubt and/or second guess whether or not you married the wrong person. You definitely don’t want to waver in your faith about your spouse!
    • What to do when you KNOW you’ve found the one.
      • LADIES: If God has shown you who your husband is first, keep it to yourself. Don’t tell him at all, even if you do suspect that he may already know.
        • Wait for the man to approach you.
        • Be patient. Don’t seduce, entice, flirt with, give hints to, try to force a relationship with him, or pressure a guy to be with you. Let your relationship develop naturally. Remember, when a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing, not when a woman finds a man. (Proverbs 18:22)
      • FELLAS: If God has shown you who your wife is first, don’t rush to tell her right away. God may still be dealing with her on certain issues, and you don’t want to be a distraction or hindrance to what God is doing in her heart at the moment. Pray for the perfect timing to approach her.
      • Perhaps God is preparing her to receive you as her husband, but if you approach her before time, she may reject you because she is still unsure about you. If this happens, and she rejects when you know for sure that she is the one, just be patient with her. Give her time and allow God to give her a confirmation just like he gave you one. (God works with each woman differently. He may give her a confirmation about you being her husband before you approach her, when you approach her or even sometime after you approach her.)
  • Receiving confirmation. (John 31:32-37, John 10:37-38)
    • Confirmations from God himself is the biggest confirmation.
    • Confirmations aren’t always through dreams, visions, supernatural appearances or prophetic utterances. Sometimes, it’s the confirmation of the heart. Faith.
  • You will know if you have found the right one if:
    • You have two or three [credible] witnesses to confirm they are your spouse.
    • They do everything in order (they aren’t afraid to meet your parents or speak to your pastor).
    • They don’t deal with you according to the flesh (they aren’t trying to flirt with you or have sex with you).
    • Your relationship bears fruit (character) in the both of you
    • If your relationship is used as a platform to minister to others.
  • Watch out for red flags. (Luke 6:43-45)
    • It may not be the right one if:
      • They are not saved (2 Corinthians 6:14).
      • They verbally, emotionally, or physically abuses you.
      • They are being a stumbling block to you, making themselves out to be an idol, or are causing you to compromise in your faith and relationship with God (Luke 17:1-2).
      • They are in a relationship with someone else, and thinks that other person is their spouse (John 4:16-18).

6. KNOW how to set up boundaries within courtship/engagement.

  • Don’t be on the phone for long or late hours talking about unfruitful things.
  • Don’t go over to each others’ house late at night.
  • Don’t visit each other’s bedrooms. Stay in the living room or meet in a public place.
  • Try to go out on double dates or with a chaperon if you need to.
  • Don’t sit on each others’ laps. No french kissing or cuddling. Save the physical contact for marriage.

7. KNOW the cost of marriage.

  • What God joins together, let no man separate. (Mark 10:9)
  • Count the cost to build a marriage. (Luke 14:28-33)
    • Marriage costs unconditional love, sacrifice, patience, self-control, grace (giving them what they don’t deserve), mercy (not giving them what they do deserve), forgiveness, maturity. Are you sufficient in these areas? Don’t build your house/marriage if you can’t afford it!

Questions. Comments. Concerns.

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