The true purpose of mating and relating
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The first chapter of is that was John Piper's This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence is titled (p. 13) "Staying Married Is Not Primarily about Staying in Love." After reading this statement and the chapter that goes with it, the Holy Spirit has impressed upon my heart that getting married is not about falling in love—even if the connection is based on some spiritual knowledge of the other person.
I'll admit it. The first time I ever felt some sort of spiritual connection with a Christian man. I thought I was finally getting it right. I didn't think I was going to marry him, but at least the attraction was for the right reasons. I have always believed that an attraction based on shared faith in Jesus has to be of God. Only the Holy Spirit can use a chapter title (and its contents) to cause such a change of mind.
What do I mean? I now realize that emotional stirrings even if a shared faith causes them aren't good building blocks courtship. What should the consideration of courtship be based on? The glory of God. What does this mean in practical terms? I believe the Holy Spirit has given me the following concepts.
· Does the Holy Spirit use the relationship to lead to more intimacy with the Father?
· Does the interaction within the relationship fill each person with Christ?
· Is God's Holy Spirit cultivating the character of Christ in each person called to through this relationship?
· Does God such a relationship to lead to marriage? It's not God's perfect will for someone who's called to be single to marry even if the answer to the first three questions is yes. If one person feels called to singleness, he or she needs to be honest with sister or brother in Christ.
By approaching relationships in this manner, the Holy Spirit can relate to brothers in Christ through me without strong emotions getting in the way ‘cause the good news is it works for evaluating potential Christian (I can't hold unbelievers to the same standards) friendships too. The Holy Spirit has revealed to me that friendships are for God’s glory as well. If I am not even the kind of friend that glorifies God, I'm not ready to be a wife, even if a man is interested. Even though I believe I have the gift of singleness, I know God is giving me wisdom and discernment to be this type friend. As I pray, the answers will come. And if I am to marry a brother in Christ, so will the confirmation from God. And the feeling. The Holy Spirit showed me. Single or married. It's all about God.
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Such wisdom you are speaking here - they taught us in YWAM back in the mid 80s if we were attracted to someone of the opposite sex to pray and see what God had in mind - it might be for ministry together and not necessarily marriage at all. AND just because you both knew the Lord, were attracted and had even the same calling didn't mean that you were necessarily to marry either. The enemy gets relational carts before horses placing attraction first. The friendship foundation is SO very important and God does indeed bless with giving the whole package!