A few weeks ago, my wife and I were asked to speak to some young professionals in Victory Pioneer. Unfortunately, we couldn’t answer all of their questions at the end so we decided to blog about it. We also got the help of our wise and funny friend, Jek. This is a three part blog that can also be found in Carla’s and Jek’s blogs.
Q: Is it okay to consider someone even though he didn’t lay down any intention to you?
Joe: If by consider you mean, you wonder how you’d respond if he actually told you he liked you, then I don’t see why that’s wrong. Like I wonder all the time what I would do if terrorists broke into the restaurant I’m in. But to act on these imaginations isn’t wise. You want to wait for something more concrete and sure. That’s why I stopped reading Combat and Survival books. And that’s why you’ll wanna wait until you two have a more definite relationship status.
Carla:I wonder what you mean by consider? But if it means to think about that person as a potential someone for courtship and marriage, I don’t think there is anything wrong. Even to pray to God about that person is not wrong for me.
But it is important that the stature of the heart should always be, “His Will be done.” That at all times, she would let God move for her and not manipulate the guy’s process of falling in love, and ultimately, to not be consumed by something that really isn’t there yet or be truthful to oneself that it won’t be there ever.
I also looked around and considered some men before I married Joseph, and tried to see if any of them could be the Lord’s best for me. Yet I never made the first move and always waited on God and God alone.
Jek: Aba! Pwedeng pwede. Consider lang pala eh, wag ka lang mag papahalata na considering mo sya. At kung mejo na turn off ka, pwede pa din reconsideration. Here’s how : To file a motion for reconsideration (A motion for reconsideration is a legal document in which the filer is asking the court to reconsider the decision made during the trial) one must provide documentation showing where the judge erred, and then sign and submit this documentation to the court where the case was first heard.
Q: You have non-negotiables. Do you tell these to the man during courtship? How do you know he isn’t just showing his best foot forward?
Joe: Great question. I think honesty in a relationship is always great. So telling him your non-negotiables could be helpful. Now, regarding your question on putting the best foot forward, this is why you want to date purposefully. Be sweet and romantic, but also be wise. Have piercing conversations, be honest about what he does that bothers you, and find a wise, godly, older couple you can be accountable to.
Carla: Why not? When Joe and I were still in the early part of courtship/dating, we already talked about a lot of the serious stuff. Example: out take on raising children. But that is because our intention was to ready ourselves for marriage if indeed that is where the Lord will eventually lead us.
I don’t think that communicating your innermost thoughts and desires to a man who is seriously pursuing you is a bad idea. I think that the more you are open, the more you are able to communicate, the better your relationship will be. So question is, is this man serious about you?
Now regarding the best foot forward…to a certain extent all men are putting their best foot forward in courtship. It is good when a man does it to show you the best that he could be or would always want to be when you guys are already married. It is bad when he is only doing it to get you for the moment. I say use the time God has given you both to go into courtship to see which of the 2 types he falls under. Ask God to enlighten you, and surround yourself with godly people who are wiser than you and ask them what they think.
You may also observe a guy not only in the way he treats you but generally in the way he treats others and conducts his life. Believe me, you will be able to tell so much just by looking at those 2 things.
But above all, ask yourself if this guy is really changed and touched by the love of Christ. Because if he is, then you can trust that even when he isn’t able to fulfill all of his promises in the relationship, he still has hope for change because he is capable of repentance and relies not on his own strength but that of Christ’s love, wisdom, power, leadership, and ultimately great act of love on the cross.
Jek: For me hinde mo malalaman kung best foot forward, that’s why may dating, spend time together, get to know each other well. Or you plan an activity, kunware out of the blue foot spa party kayo, doon malalaman mo na kung anu ang best foot nya!
Q: What if the other guy/girl is non-Christian…what would be the best attitude/approach?
Joe: To love them with the love of Jesus so that they will come to know Him as well. Until then, I wouldn’t even consider them for a romantic relationship.
Carla: Personally, when I was still single, the moment I found out the guy isn’t a believer, out of the question na yun. Because I was resolved that if I were to date or be in courtship with anyone, He should believe in Christ and not just be a so-so kind of believer but one who is strong in the faith and stands with firm convictions. Aba dapat lang, if the Word asks me to submit to him in marriage, I better make sure he can lead me excellently not only in the area of finances and romance but also in our faith in Jesus Christ!
Jek: There are a many diferrent approaches/techniques for this, like Sandwich, Kage bunshin, budol dudol approach.
For me if Non-Christian, I will not even get to a point where i will like her, or romantically involve with her.
Q:Sino ba ang unang dapat ligawan, si God, family, or the person itself?
Joe: I’ve never heard of “nililigawan si God.” In my understanding of the Bible, ako yung niligawan ni God. I don’t date my family or the girl’s family also. So, by process of elimination, I guess the person herself?
Carla: Unang-una, hindi nililigawan si God. It is God who continues to pursue us as we continue to imperfectly return the love He has shown us. What we must have with God, whether may nililigawan ka or wala, is a relationship with Him. That stands alone and apart from all other relationships in our life. It shouldn’t be dependent on your situation in life.
Pangalawa, isa lang naman talaga ang ligawan which is the person you really like or love. But in the process of courting or loving her, you must also learn to love the people she loves and make her happy by pursuing them as well.
Jek: Sino ba gusto mo maging girlfriend?
Q: Is it right to ask for a sign from God that he is the “right one”?
Joe: Instead of asking for a sign, ask Him to speak to you. Signs can be mystical, coincidental, and accidental. So it’s hard to trust them. But God speaks frequently and clearly. If this is the person for you, God will speak to you through His word, through godly counsel, through open doors, and through His Spirit.
Carla: I personally don’t like asking signs from God because I can easily manipulate them or interpret some things in favor of my desires. In that case, ako lang din ang gumawa ng sarili kong sign or affirmation.
On the other hand what I do is seek the wisdom of God. I ask Him to help me talk to the right people, hear and see the right things that will please Him even in the area of romance and relationships.
Here is how I think God wants us to read “His Signs,”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
What this means for me is that the only sign that you should be looking for is that when things are from the Lord, it will be unstoppable, it will happen, and when they do, you will be worshipping Him “at the peak of that mountain.” Apply this to “the right one” then it’ll be, “How do I know? After taking our vows and sealing the covenant of marriage on our wedding ceremony. Then he surely is the right one, no matter what. Even when I don’t feel like loving him on other days, he still should be the right one, till death do us part.”
Jek: the problem kasi with signs eh , minsan hinde na updated eh, and malabo, katulad nung nasa C5 flyover sabe meron pa daw U turn papuntang Lanuza, eh sarado na yun, so most often than not eh lalo ka pang maliligaw at mapapahamak sa signs na yan. Hinde ka sure. So turn na lang sa SureBol ka , ask kay God.
Q: In one of Munroe’s books I’ve read na wala daw right man na nilaan si Lord sa atin, na we have the free will to choose the one for us. How can we know if it’s God’s will? Is our choice part of God’s will?
Joe: Yes, your choice is part of God’s will. So choose wisely, knowing that your choices have significant impact. But you can also have peace knowing that He controls everything.
Carla: Good questions. Theological in nature, but with practical implications.
First things first, the Bible says that God is completely, totally, absolutely, sovereign, and that we are also free. How those two things work simultaneously, I don’t know. I’ve heard of possible explanations but they’re not from the Bible so I would rather not mention it. All I know is that this is what the Bible says and so I work with what God has revealed to me so far with His Word.
So to apply it in considering “the right one,” I think that we are both free to choose and God is sovereign over that choice we made. I don’t think this means though that we always make the right choices which for me means the “God choices.” I think, why God can allow (but He doesn’t want that for us, of course) even our mistakes is because His power is so great it can overcome anything that we do.
Given my answer above, God’s Will then is something that is aligned with His Spirit and His Word. And because we are not always obedient and willing to be aligned with His Way, our choices don’t always mean they are His Will. Nevertheless, He is sovereign and our mistakes doesn’t diminish His power. In fact it enhances it in that it shows how unafraid He is of human imperfections and how powerful is His redemption.
Jek: Ahh si Myles, kamusta sya?! Good question. Pass muna ko may errand.