I’m backkkkkkk! I just returned from Ghana 3 weeks ago and had the time of my life! I want to share what I learned and all of what I experienced however, it won’t be in a blog post today. I do want to share an experience that was a real lesson learned for me through someone else’s experience there. To my surprise, it happened to be about being equally yoked, and the points of decision leading up to that. I’ve briefly shared about my life in the blog #CelebrateSingleness. Then, we also talked about healthy boundaries last fall in the post ‘Riding In Cars With Boys’, right? But what about the in between. The interest stage? What about the times when you are ready to date, you are keeping your boundaries, but the interest out there are “kinda right”? They aren’t exactly meeting the right standards but they’re attractive. The part where you have to practice what you read and preach, before it leads to something you regret. That’s it. That part. Here it is, Daughters of Jerusalem:
“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Solomon 8:4
We don't really discuss the reality of the flesh and the spirit in these situations. I think it leaves us a little vulnerable so we kind of don’t want to admit it. It’s when you are in the midst of being focused and holding a standard, and your eyes see something that is physically your type. You know, what Paul discovered. That “evil is right with me” type of moment (Romans 7:21). The struggle right before the conquer. The in the valley of decision, I need to practice what I read type moments. That's what I want to talk about today. That's what the charge to the daughters of Jerusalem is. To not awaken love before it's time.
So what does this look like for me in my modern, everyday life? Well Think about famous celebrities for example. Like Michael B. Jordan, Channing Tatum or Denzel Washington, those that many deem as attractive and would appeal to the flesh. But what happens when we see a Michael or a Denzel in real life. What happens when they walk in our jobs, visit our churches or randomly meet out in the city and they’re interested in you. Men who are appealing to the flesh but sound an alarm of discernment to our spirit that this would be a bad idea. That's the tug of war I'm talking about. That's when what we read, what we know and what we discern from God has to rise up in wise decision.
“Sometimes we learn through the seat of observance or by the seat of experience”
One day while I was in Ghana we went into the village to evangelize. I didn't speak the language so I just planned to go along, listen and watch how my brothers reached out to the community. By my surprise the people we encountered spoke little English so I did get to speak with them. It was the second encounter that left me with a sober mindset. Not just because it was a new experience for me in a new country, but because it was like God was teaching me through her situation.
She informed us that she was a Christian but the man she was with, was not. He worshiped spirits, (what I assumed to be in association with a fetish priest) and is not in support of her Christian faith. She has been in a relationship with him but they aren’t married yet. He said when they do marry, he wants her to convert to his beliefs. When she wants to attend church on Sunday mornings, he makes her and the children busy with other housework to do. When she gets up early to pray he complains about the noise. She obviously loves him, which has led her to be between a rock and a hard place and she doesn’t know what to do. It was then when God made it very clear to me that this was not a game
You may think to yourself “how in the world did she end up like that. She’s a Christian!” The truth is it can happen to you if you have a void to fill and it comes at an opportune time. She probably thought that because of her circumstances, that this was her best bet; or, that he might change after while so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Either way, she bit the bait.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Many times I’ve seen women who are on the right track and all of the sudden they start dating someone who is “Kinda’ right”. Someone who loves God but doesn’t like the church. Someone who is “spiritual but not religious” or just plain doesn’t really care about the God she serves at all. But they look good, they’re charming and they have the whole “young, established and going places” package that’s attractive. Before we know it, her ending is far worse than the beginning. Its stories like these that make it clear to me that my decisions in my thought-life and actions matter; and to listen to the Holy Spirit on the matter.
Though this was something I knew, it wasn’t real to me until this happened. I couldn’t put a face to a name to it until now. It doesn’t matter how attractive they are, how much I like them, how they much they “look the part” or how much it would look good if we’re together. If he’s not spirit-led and in a relationship with Christ, he’s not for me. Period. By the grace of God I’m going to keep that as a staple in my entire time as a single woman. So, Daughters of Jerusalem, no more:
People who are morally good, has great ambitions in life and has vision but they aren’t believers.
People who do believe but they don’t really think its necessary to put effort into any of the things of God, they kind of serve Him on their terms.
People who say they serve God but their fruit says otherwise.
Or the blunt, he’s “not a believer, but I support you” type of guy
If you have to, flee like Joseph! (Genesis 39) It’s more than just a date, or a bending of the rules. It’s not a game, and it has emotional and spiritual repercussions. Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3)
Until next time,