Friday, August 15, 2008

Another (Unhealthy) Perspective on Dating and Marriage

This week I've been listening to a collection of sermons on being a husband and father. I hope to summarize some of them and post them as an encouragement for others to listen to those talks as well. It's been convicting and I pray fruitful thus far.

But in-between listening to sermons, I received what appears to be a circular email from a very popular word-of-faith, AME, prosperity "gospel" pastor in the States. He'll remain nameless to protect the guilty and since these things are sometimes hoaxes. But I post it, sorta the way the author of Hebrews gives stern warnings, so that we might persevere in the truth and in sound teaching. Like most bad teaching, there are some good things dabbled throughout... enough to make the bad things plausible to an unsuspecting audience. But even grape-flavored rat poison is still rat poison. See if you can spot the bits that kill....

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I often warn women who are contemplating marriage to marry someone who can take care of them. When a woman marries, it ought to be to someone who is capable of taking her to the next level. If she comes from poverty, there is no reason for her to get married and still be impoverished. The role of the man is to take her to another place.

When she gets married, she ought to dress better, drive better, live better, and eat better, not constantly be in a struggle over where her next meal is coming from. My grandmother used to say, "I can do bad all by myself".

For a woman desiring a mate, the objective, of course, would be to find a Christian man, who's settled, has goals, accomplishments and a job. But a goal-oriented and focused man can't just be approached any kind of way. So the woman who seeks this type of stability must make sure that he stands out above the crowd:

1. Make sure your relationship with the Lord is strong and growing.

2. Make sure that you are presentable. Working from the inside out, your presentation should be representative of both who you are and whom you seek. Appearance is a reflection of how you see yourself.

3. Have the ability to hold an intelligent conversation.

4. And most importantly, allow the Holy Ghost to take control. You don't need to go after him. He's going to come after you, because after he sees and smells you and knows that you're in his presence, he's going to want to know who you are!

I know there's somebody reading this who has been chasing after the "man of your dreams," but God says, "Just sit still and allow patience to have her perfect work through Me."

Furthermore, it's never a good idea to be too forward and too aggressive. Attempting to win a man's affection by jumping into bed with him will only backfire and cause him to lose interest in ever developing a lasting relationship. It causes him to lose respect for you and question your character.

However, if he sees that you are dressed with quality, that you smell like you are somebody, that you look like you're doing fine without him, then that will attract the right attention from him. He'll have no choice but to give you his attention. Stop looking so needy, climbing into bed, trying in vain to capture a man's heart.

God woke me up in the middle of the night and said, "The same thing that Naomi told Ruth to do is the same thing that I want them to do for me." God is so sick of saints coming to Him trying to get a quickie and never romancing Him for Who he is - going to church screaming, shouting and hollering, but hadn't been intimate with God all week long! Stop trying to treat God like a sugar daddy and start romancing Him with worship and praise: "I'm yours Lord...everything I've got...everything I'm not!"

The God we serve, which is the God of love, demands and requires of us foreplay before He gives us what we need. In the book of Ruth, the mother-in-law tells Ruth, "You have to wash." John 15:3 reminds us, Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. When you sit in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you are taking a shower. When you hear the unadulterated Word of God, then the dirt and grime that you've accumulated all week long begins to wash off of you.

Ask God to "create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit."

Stand in the word. Then wait upon the Lord to renew your strength. Pass this on to those who have found or are seeking Mr. Right. This message is not directed at the receiver, it is directed to women I know that touch other young women that can benefit from this information. We are to be Naomis of the world today. Our young women need to be informed of how to catch and keep a man that will respect them.

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Brothers, let's teach our people a biblical understanding of courtship and dating. In God's kindness the resources for this are multiplying. And He has not left himself without a witness for what He desires. See Proverbs 31; Eph. 5:22-24; 1 Peter 3:1-6; and Titus 2 for God's idea of what women should be and do as wives. Consider Ephesians 5:25-32 for what kind of husband a wife should look for. Those are more edifying passages to read.

7 comments:

Laura said...

Foreplay? With the Sovereign and perfectly holy God of the universe? EEEYUCK!

FellowElder said...

Laura,
Exactly! EEEYUCK!! And EEEWWWWEEE, too! Those are good theological terms for that kind of irreverent nonsense.
T-

Quincy A. Jones said...

this is so said and endemic of the kind of preaching our people (brothers in the flesh) hear all the time.

that's for the constant encouragement to be faithful to the Lord and His Word brother....

Laura said...

I like that kind of theological language, Pastor T.

Michele Helms said...

Oh...Thanks for all the great info!

Stephen Ley said...

Three things raised red flags. 1. Setting up a husband in place of Jesus, rather than someone who directs the wife to Christ and reflects Him. 2. The problem with jumping into bed is not that it isn't a good strategy it's that it is sin according to God's word. It would be sin even if it was a terrific strategy to land a "Christian husband." 3. "God woke me up in the night and told me..." yadayada.

You're right, truth mixed with error is still error...and deadly.

ThirstyDavid said...

Wow -- what a mix of biblical advice, good practical advice, and utterly horrible, unbiblical advice and theology. What's most disturbing is that I can see many -- maybe most -- people I know nodding and saying, "Amen!"