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Proverbs 5

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“For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.” Proverbs 5:3-4

I stared at the screen in shock and horror. The man with whom I had been flirting for months at work – who had been flirting with me – already had a girlfriend.  He had never mentioned her to me, had given no indications.  I had only found out through some good old-fashioned Internet stalking.  And here I was, an adulteress.

The flirtation had started out innocently enough.  Just some traded jokes, the kind of sarcastic witticisms that were just the type to hook my interest.  It hadn’t felt like anything wrong.

But the comments had turned into phone calls and inside jokes and at some point, a light switched on inside me.  My breathing became shaky when I talked to him, and my heart pounded to the point I could barely pick up the phone.  Our communication was all under the veil of work, but to me it had taken on a greater significance.

What’s more, he knew and encouraged it.  I tried several times to break it off, even telling him that I didn’t think it was right to flirt at work.  And yet every time that I seemed to successfully halt the communication, he would email me with one of our inside jokes and back I would fall.

Finally, I simply told him that if he was interested in me, he should ask me out.  And he didn’t.  Crushed, I turned to the only tool at my disposal, trying to figure out answers – Facebook.  And there the real truth was.  Another woman.  More, I was the “other woman” in this triangle!

I never confronted him.  I doubt he saw what he did was wrong.  To him, they were just words. But I learned an important lesson: to not fall into the trap of flirtation without substance and truth behind it.

Men and women of Christ will not lead you astray but will pursue a real relationship.  Do not be distracted by others’ honeyed words and smooth speech.

Join the conversation!  Have you had a similar experience or what struck you from Proverbs 5?

Following the Lord’s Direction

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Are you following the Lord’s direction or just turning down whatever path appears?

In the Book of Numbers, the Scripture describes how the Israelites followed the Lord when they were in the desert: when the cloud of the Lord settled over the tabernacle, the people remained in camp and when it lifted, they moved to follow it.

Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.  (Numbers 9:22-23 NIV)

I think about how hard that must have been, when they were just waiting for the cloud to lift.  I am sure they had times when they wanted nothing more than to move on, but the cloud had not moved – or when they were content in the place they were, but the Lord kept moving them.  They did not have a choice; they had to follow the Lord.

As with so many things in the Bible, what happens physically in the Old Testament becomes metaphorical in the New Testament.  Our choices may not be geographical, but we have plenty of other choices that confront us. Do I stay in this job or change jobs?  Do I date this person or that person?  Should I be focusing on getting married, or spending more time in volunteering?  I’ve often wished that I had such a clear sign from the Lord.

The reality, though, is that we do have clear signs from the Lord, if we wish to heed them.  We have the Scripture, the Church, and the Holy Spirit to direct us.  When those three things combine, we can know that we are moving in the right direction.

Next month, we are starting our study of Proverbs.  This is a book of wisdom, teachings from King Solomon to his people to instruct them in the right way to go.  As Scripture, it is God-breathed and meaningful for us today.  Being familiar with God’s word gives us a firm foundation so that we can confidently move in the way that he has already determined for us to go.

Are you facing a decision or a choice in your life?  Then I encourage you to come join us next month for our daily reading of Proverbs!  Trust me: I can guarantee that you will be the better for being more familiar with these teachings!

 

 

 

Limitless

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I’m a Tri-State Area girl. My memories and experiences are geotagged with cities dotted along the Eastern Seaboard. I was born here. I was raised here. And I love it here.  So while praying to the Lord and waiting for my husband, geographical location was absent from my list of concerns. It was my firm belief that a future life beyond perhaps western Pennsylvania needn’t be considered.

God must have heard my prayer and chuckled.

I fell in love with my husband…who lived in Phoenix. A place where mountain ranges replace glittering skylines. Instead of cherry blossoms, thorny cacti adorn lawns. It is perpetual flip-flop weather. Oh, and it’s over 2,000 miles away on the West Coast.

I had always pictured meeting my husband in my city somewhere or at the most, a bordering state. Never in a million years did I expect to be in a long distance relationship and handle all the struggles that can come with it. I wanted God to answer but in a neater, tidier, easier way.

But God doesn’t do restrictions.

“Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven— what can you do? Deeper than Sheol— what can you know?” (Job 11:7-8 NKJV)

I wonder how often in our love lives, we box God into certain specifications for what we want and how we want it and how often we refuse to consider anything outside of that.  Online dating versus meeting in real life. Location. Race. Height. Weight. Occupation. But there are no limits for how God chooses to answer our prayer.

My sister describes it like this: We desire a blessing of 7 so we anticipate and focus on a 3 + 4. But God can send a 5 + 2. He can answer by way of a 3 x 2 + 1. Or He can deliver a 10 – 3.  The equations are all different but the sum remains the same.

Do you think you’ve placed any limitations on dating methods or prospective dates?

Photo credit to Death to the Stock Photo.

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Jennifer Jennifer Richardson

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 31 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms:-)In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!

With Confidence

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I wrote in my last post that my strong opinion is that dating many people is far better than staying home, at least when it comes to likely success in getting married.  It’s simply a matter of numbers.

But dating comes with difficulties.  I know from experience that the more that you date and don’t meet the right one, the easier it is to become discouraged and to doubt God’s love for you and good plans for your life.  Each failed relationship is also another opportunity to doubt yourself.

Dating many people also brings greater opportunity to fall into sin.  With each relationship that you think will last, there is the temptation to demonstrate your affection and commitment to that person. And each time the relationship ends, regret.  For those of us who are single into our thirties (and forties and fifties) who have dated, it is almost impossible to make it to marriage without having some regrets about past actions in past relationships.  If I had known it wasn’t going to work out from the beginning, we think, I would not have gone so far.

As time goes on, we can feel ashamed, dirty, and sinful.  We already feel bad about ourselves for not having found the right one, and now we feel doubly bad for our past.  Not only can these negative feelings be a further barrier to a new relationship, they can cause a separation in our relationship with God.  I have gone too far this time, God cannot forgive me.

But God understands who we are and what we have done.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  (Hebrews 4:15-15 ESV)

No matter where you are, or what you have done in those relationships, you can still draw near to the throne of grace with confidence.  God loves you and is always ready to receive you back.

Rejecting I Kissed Dating Goodbye

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I don’t know where I’ve been but apparently Joshua Harris has been openly discussing that, shocker, he might not have been completely right in his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  Check out this article on Slate.

Like many evangelical Christians, I read and loved this book.  My girlfriends and I loved the concept of “courting” rather than dating (sounds so much more romantic, doesn’t it??).  We longed for a guy who had not dated every girl on the block but who had reserved his heart completely for us, just as we were reserving our hearts for him.

Only guess what – life doesn’t really work like that.  Maybe back in the day it worked when options were limited and everyone just paired up with people in their village to be married by their late teens.  These days, though, people have a lot more expectations for marriage and they want to marry someone who’s not just convenient but who’s actually right with mutual interests, shared values, common goals, a strong work ethic, etc.  And my opinion is that you only get to know some of those things by dating them!

And of course, it assumes you will just run into the person you are meant to be with.  As you know from my story, this would not have happened for me.  After college, the number of people who asked me out after meeting me in the regular world could be counted on two hands.  None of them were right.  If I hadn’t actively pursued online dating, I would still be single now!

As you can probably guess from reading any of my posts, I’m much more of a fan of Henry Cloud’s How To Get a Date Worth Keeping, which instead prescribes going on many dates and getting to know as many people as possible.  It may not be as romantic as Joshua Harris’ book, but it is far more realistic.

But that’s just my opinion!  How about you?  Any of you have a different take on the book?