Want to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage?

https://tfoministries.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Copy-of-TFO-Table-for-One-Ministries-Ministry-for-Singles-and-Leaders-to-Singles-Want-to-Divorce-Proof-Your-Marriage-.jpg

Singles you may or may not be married some day. At Table for One Ministries, we often include in our blogs the idea of being Complete in Christ for singles. But being Complete in Christ is not just for singles. It is for all adults. If you one day are called to marriage, remember this tip to help divorce proof your marriage:

Be Complete in Christ!

That’s right. Being Complete in Christ and not in a relationship with another person is a big key to helping your potential marriage be affair-proof for a few reasons:

Christ will be the head of your marriage

 

  • So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Col 2:10) (NIV)

 

  • Having Christ in the driver’s seat for major decisions and day-to-day tasks means your marriage will always have the right driver.

Communication will be better

 

  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov 10:1)(NIV)

 

  • Following God’s plan for you life will include things like prayer and devotion. You can and will apply those habits to your relationship with your spouse, resulting in conversation that is open, honest, and transparent.

Priorities will be clearer

 

  • …and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. (Mark 10:8) (NIV)

 

  • Shared priorities in a joint marriage means everyone is going the same direction as far as finances, relationships, and life goals.

You will be drawn close together

 

  • Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Heb. 13:4) (NIV)

 

  • Keeping your completeness in Christ will keep you away from the sinful desires this world has to offer. Chase after Christ rather than finding completeness in sin.

All of these are easier said than done, however when both people enter into a union where they are a whole person prior to marriage, they are complete in the one who made them not the one who married them.

Singles, we have all seen couples who marry and still lack happiness and chase other things of the world. It is our belief that you should be Complete; no, not because it will help you be married, but because it is God’s plan for your life.

I Fell in Love with an Atheist

table-for-one-ministries-ministry-for-singles-and-leaders-to-singles-blog-i-fell-in-love-with-an-atheist

There is no way to dice it or dance around it. I loved an atheist. I loved him with every fiber of my being. Had it not ended, I might have loved him more than I love God.

In total transparency, my ex still has a small piece of my heart, that tiny shoebox in the corner of a heart where first loves and tacos live. Our “relationship” was a roller coaster of poor judgment, horrible communication, brilliant times full of laughter, sweet sincerity, highs, and lows. Conversation rarely revolved around God but, when the topic arose, it was like a round of tug-o-war.

I didn’t know he was atheist when we first started dating. I thought he was simply jaded and wayward. He was a music director at a church, his family was deeply rooted and involved. Having been raised in the church, he knew the political childishness that can happen within church walls filled with sinful humans. It never crossed my mind that he didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t share the same heartbeat for Jesus that I did.

When the truth came to light, the hopeless romantic in me believed he would return to God. I was in his life to help him see the light. It was all God’s divine appointment. I believed God put me in his life to help him. Deep down inside he had to believe, right?. He HAD to. Feeling we were meant to be together, I fervently prayed for his salvation. He opened a part of my heart that had been closed for a long period. I thought we couldn’t NOT be together.

After the last round of relationship lows, I realized what was happening. I had created a false god out of this man and our “relationship” (Exodus 20:3). I had put my desires, my heart, my treasures for this man over my desire for God. I was trying to serve two masters but failing the most important one (Matthew 6:19-24). I was delivering loaded selfish prayers to God and ignoring every conviction and warning sign He laid in front of me. It became clear. I knew what I had to do.

My prayers shifted to a focus on God. I prayed for God’s will and for God to either change his heart or knowing it would break my heart, take him out of my life. And it happened. My heart shattered.

I spiraled to a lonely place, feeling worthless, and angry at God. He had put all this love and excitement in my life only to rip it away. My conversations with God consisted solely of prayers for loved ones. None for me, not for my anger and broken heart. But He was there, waiting for me to be done with my temper tantrum.

I made the choice to trust and give my heart back to God. He handled the rest. My heart softened, I grasped two important truths:

1. God shows me countless amounts of infinite selfless love every single day. Every morning I open my eyes, I’m reminded of God’s eternal love.

2. My heart will mend because it belongs to the most trusted Physician.

When my ex moved on, I reflected on God’s protection from mistakes that could have had life long consequences. With God’s love, I made it through the heartbreak stronger and wiser. I thank my ex for the good times and being the one God used to show me I have the capacity to love at a high level. It’s the reason my ex holds a small place in my heart shoebox.

Now, I focus on building my relationship with God. Like any relationship we’ve had our ups and downs, but He’s always right there, always. He loves and guides me through every low and celebrates with me at every high. My relationship with Christ is the most important I have. Grounded in His truth, I know it is the foundation for all other relationships (Matthew 22:37-38).

-Crystal

A Broken Engagement = Broken Dreams

table-for-one-ministries-ministry-for-singles-and-leaders-to-singles-blog-a-broken-engagement-broken-dreams

According to leading wedding industry averages, nearly one-third of engagements end before the wedding day. That means when the right one says “I do,” there is more work to be done besides the wedding details. Engagement is not a time to stop focusing on your relationship, but rather the time to dig deeper into the reality of a lifelong commitment before God.

 

Don’t make a lifelong commitment on a short-term relationship

  • Maybe you are reading this and are not engaged. Regardless of where you are (or aren’t) in a relationship, time is meaningful. Spend time with the person and see a future that cannot be replaced by bursts of conversations or non-personal communication. This is the person you should see yourself building a family with, to whom you need to stay committed through good and bad times. How do you know this person is the one if you have not been around them long enough to see their values demonstrated by life actions, not just talk?

 

While your dreams are broken, you are not

  • Cue the song lyrics “Love Hurts.” You had your future, or at least a piece of it, planned out, and you were excited about the adventures ahead. It’s not just the broken relationship with your spouse-once-to-be, but there friends and family to notify too – not to mention social media. What appeared to be a dream became a nightmare. Let yourself process these feelings and emotions, but remember the Truth is found in God’s Word. As a Christ follower, you are a child of the One True King, and He knows the number of hairs on your head. You are eternally loved, never alone, and complete regardless of a called-off wedding day.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. – Luke 12:7

 

Trust His plan not your plan

  • The wedding spiral can be brutal. Once the question is asked and a ring is placed on the finger, the rabbit hole of planning, bridal shows, and pinterest boards begins. The tidal wave of budgeting and opinions can be brutal, even when it’s about the happiest day of your life. But when the engagement is called off, the reversal of all those emotions and decisions must happen, including notifying everyone involved. Your plans are derailed, but His plans never were. Regardless of the reason, God’s got this. Turn to wise counsel in this time of shifting plans, and keep your eyes focused on Christ.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

 

Many singles have experienced an engagement that did not end in marriage. It is actually more common than expected. When stories are shared of past relationships, many can recount a very serious breakup or an ended engagement. Learn from the experiences in your life that may wound you, but never let them leave you broken. With Christ, you are never broken — you are complete in Him.

A Profile of Singles: Engaged Singles

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - A Profile of Singles- Engaged Singles

A Deeper look at Engaged Singles

At Table for One Ministries we are passionate about reaching singles of all ages and backgrounds. In this series of blogs we are looking at the “profile” of each type of single adult. While these are not all encompassing, they are meant to help singles and those who lead singles understand each type of single adult better or in a different light. We WELCOME feedback and additions to these profiles as we grow our ministry!

Characteristics of this Group

Engaged singles are single. Many times once a couple gets engaged, singles are quick to move on and let the married adult world deal with their needs. Statistics show most couples on their wedding day have known each other for more than three years and were engaged on average for 15 months. Eighty-eight percent of engaged couples end up married with an average attendance at their wedding of 155 people. For those who are engaged, it’s sometimes hard to find a place to fit in. Married adults are in their future, but some may live alone or separately leading up to the wedding, while other couples may live together through their engagement.

Ministry Needs in this Group

Often engaged singles feel as if they do not fit in anywhere. They are in this state of limbo until they are married. Single friends may have parted ways with them, but married adults are still waiting for it to be official to have the engaged couple participate in class events. Engaged singles need counselors available to do premarital sessions in preparation for their marriage. More importantly, a support network is needed for those who decide to break off an engagement and return back to the singles group. This event is always hard on both engaged persons, so the church needs to be ready to respond.

Communication Strategies for this Group

Engaged singles want to know where to find support. It could be support through counseling or support through social interaction. The challenge for Christian organizations is when couples are living together prior to marriage. Often the church will turn away people due to their sinful actions, but the church should not turn away couples in need of direction. Turning them away will only communicate to them that the State should fix their problem instead of the church. Communicating to this group that the Gospel will provide a foundation hopefully moves them to take action to draw closer to God.

Strategy for Reaching this Group

Each engaged couple is different, but they can decide together if moving to a newlywed class is right for them before the wedding day. Our ministry simply encourages them to not be so eager to start a new life together that they forget the people currently in their lives. Engaged singles should stay involved with their current peer groups through their engagement and after their marriage. Singles are very supportive of their engaged friends because most of them desire the same for themselves. To reach this group an organization must have a plan in place for singles to move into married adult groups. This could be a newly married class or a premarital counseling group that meets during the week. The focus is on connecting people to the church and realizing that they are single and some of them may not end up married. Singles ministry needs to be there for single adults through all their life stages, including being engaged.

Resources

Eggerichs, Emerson. Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004.

Harvey, David. When sinners say “I Do”: Discovering the power of the Gospel for marriage. Wapwallopen: Shepherd Press, 2007.

Wright, H, Norman. 101 Questions to ask before you get engaged. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2004.

What do you think?

Do you agree with this profile of single adults who have never been married? What resources or information would you add?

Could You Marry in 90 Days?

https://tfoministries.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Copy-of-TFO-Table-for-One-Ministries-Ministry-for-Singles-and-Leaders-to-Singles-Could-You-Marry-in-90-Days-.jpg

TLC has launched a show where people meet online, are together for 90 days, and in the end they have to get married or break up. Check out the show here: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/90-day-fiance. So the question arises, could you meet someone and marry them in 90 days?

Marriage is a big deal! But also a big deal for some singles is the need/desire to be married…and soon. Some singles are facing a biological clock to start a family, while others are just tired of being alone. But, most of the people on the show are missing one key relationship in their life. A relationship with Christ.

A relationship with Christ makes us whole. It puts together the broken pieces of our lives.

God gives His only Son as a payment for our sins. It is sacrificial love we don’t deserve but is freely given to us to accept and have a relationship with our Creator. So, the question then is why do you “have to get married in 90 days?” Why is there such a rush to fill a void in life when Christ has already done that for those who have accepted him.

Single adult Christ-follower, hear us. Do not make a life-long decision based on a short-term relationship.

It is not the 90 days being engaged on the show that’s the problem, it is the years behind it that make a marriage. Be Complete in Christ. Let marriage be the icing on the top of the cake instead of the whole cake. When you approach dating with this mindset, then you will make good decisions empowered by prayer that will lead to a life that honors Christ.

Can you find a spouse in 90 days? Sure, but is that what God wants you to do?