Drums rolling, horns blowing! I am excited about what God has put in my spirit. It’s not so shimmery and glossy, yet it has to be spoken out loud, for the healing of our souls. You and I need the Holy Spirit’s admonition and rebuke seasoned by His sea of grace. Not just sweet pampering, pious platitudes, and cuddly strokes when in error.
This is what the Bible says in Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.
TRUE, HONORABLE, RIGHT, PURE, LOVELY, ADMIRABLE, EXCELLENT or PRAISEWORTHY – we should strive to make these our métier.
We need to grow. We cannot grow if our hearts are hardened to the unending and timeless truths of the Lord’s Word.
To begin with, I would like to answer a question that has been running in my inbox for the longest time. So many people keep asking me how long people should date.
I think its relative but the question is as simple as answering these ones, “Are you both growing towards your vision?” If you are, I have seen people commit to each other after 6 months and their marriage has worked. Though I wouldn’t recommend that short span amount of time, I would say it’s an exception not a rule.
What we recommend is from 2 years on-wards; it would be a comfortable time to settle. You will have at least seen glimpses and hues that are not as pretty as you first saw when you laid your eyes on each other. But there is another caveat to the time factor. Are you stringing each other along? What are you gaining from prolonging your courtship? Are you sorting out an issue(s) and is there evidence of change or growth.
If there isn’t any growth, even after 5 years, the marriage might fail as soon as you jump in. It matters what you are gleaning in the wait.
Instead of wasting each other’s time, pack up, doff your hat and say, “It’s been real, but we seem not to be in the same path.” It’s alright to hold your head up high with your dignity intact, than stay, and later leave with a scarred and wounded heart –simply because you gave and the investment was not worth it -yet you could see.
I believe if there is commitment and intentionality, then there is growth. If there is growth, then there is no need of stringing each other past 5,6,7 years with nothing to show.
Dating and courtship should be done with all due diligence. Do not rush it and do not string each other along. Do not be so focused on having a wedding that you forget there is a whole lifetime called marriage waiting for both of you. The voyage will start as soon as you say “I do” and it matters what you will have on board when your marriage ship begins to take its course.
Do not be so fixated on getting married that the euphoria of the young love blinds you to the imminent dangers and the red flags that flash right across your face.
Do not also be so comfortable with simply “dating each other” that you forget its purpose- are you growing? Are you gaining clarity? or are you stringing each other emotionally?
That said, one of the biggest red flag we have at the moment, that this facing this current generation indiscriminately, is from the social media. Its danger was imminent then in our courtship, and the fire is only blazing wildly now.
It affects the young, the middle aged, the old, the .com generation, the Y generation, the millennials. Social media has become our new god.
We are addicted to social media. We live, breathe and have our being through social media. It is our new pathology and we need urgent cure.
It has replaced how we raise our children. It has replaced our interpersonal relationships, it has replaced our talks, it has replaced how we read the word. Virtually everything revolves around social media. Couples vent and settle scores with each other via Facebook and Twitter. It has intruded every space of our lives. Children are taught by the “social media” more than being instructed by their parents.
Isn’t it the reason why we are highly impatient with each? Highly dysfunctional in our relationships. Glued to the ‘high’ of social media, impervious to instructions and cannot trust ourselves to grow through the seasons?
Our instant genuflection of not getting ‘now’ is simple – “dispose” or “move on.”
We cannot ignore its effects, especially those of us who are constantly online, whether due to ministry, business or simply out of personal pleasure. Social media is both a blessing and a ‘curse’. A good and a bad. A strength and a weakness. A gift and a yoke. It wears two faces.
We cannot act pretentious to its poisonous sting.
We cannot dismiss its effects on us, and consequently, on our marriages and families. We cannot assume that we are “strong” enough or proofed enough from its negative effects. If it’s here, it’s worth noting.
If you are married or not, then you should know that social media has become our number one red-flag. Its waving hard. We need to address its dangers of social media. You may be tempted to dismiss this altogether, but it’s worth it — especially if you’re serious about protecting and enhancing your relationship.
Never underestimate the power of social media to morph you into a robot, and turn your relationship into a mere convenience.