Four Temptations Single People Deal With

One of the most important decisions a person will ever make in their life is the decision about whom we will marry. In marriage, hopefully, we grow in our ability to love each other and in our ability to face the challenges in life. Dr. Neil Clark Warren, Author and Founder of eHarmony, has said that the quality of the person you choose can account for up to 85% of whether the marriage will work or not.

Starting your marriage with a person who is a good fit for you and has similar values as you do is huge. This decision of selecting your life teammate can impact so many other areas of life. It has an impact on your faith, your career, your friendships and your happiness.

A few years ago Pastor Perry Noble wrote a blog about temptations of single people and I liked the way that he addressed some of the thoughts about this important selection process. He presented them as ‘temptations’’ temptations that he called a distraction to God’s best.  His thoughts inspired me so I decided to write about the topic.  

Four “Relationship Temptations” To Avoid

1.  Compromise

This one is perhaps the biggest temptations singles face. There is a fear that we cannot get the best person for us while keeping high standards, so we begin to compromise on what we once thought was important. Watching single people we know and love make concessions on their faith, their values or their life standards is disturbing.

Women, if you are looking for “Mr. Right” don’t settle for “Mr. Right Now.” Sometimes, women in particular, think that if all of her friends are getting married and she is not, then she should lower her standards. Men are often tempted to dismiss important values when he is attracted to a beautiful, attractive, sexy young woman. Her character becomes secondary. But believe me, her character will be what makes or breaks the relationship.

Remember this, Jesus never asked His followers to compromise their faith or integrity, but he does ask us to be willing to endure criticism for speaking and walking in His truth.

People, if you are constantly defending the person you are dating, then you are probably compromising on something.

“Ladies…if he is not pursuing you in a godly manner (which means he is not constantly trying to stick his hands down your pants) then drop him!”  Perry Noble 

The saddest thing a woman can do is to dumb herself down for a guy. The dumbest thing a guy can do is to think through his zipper and not his brain.

2.  Thinking Marriage Will Solve Relationship Problems  

I have issues; you have issues.  All God’s people have issues. 

Marriage is a magnifier. Most problems you face now, you will continue to face in your marriage, sometimes even more. If the issue is a small thing when you are dating, then please know that it will become a significant issue in your marriage.

Don’t disregard the problems in each other’s attitude or actions. Since we all have issues, pay attention to their level of humility and willingness to change. Remember, the Bible says, “you will know them by their fruit”, not their promises. When dating, it’s best to deal in reality, not potential.  

3.  Going Too Fast. 

“When you know, you just know,” said a celebrity who was in route to their fourth marriage.  She looked so sincere and believable when she said this.  It’s what we all want to believe.  But obviously her track record raises some questions about what she “knows and doesn’t know.”

Anyone can fool anyone for a short period of time!  You need to date someone “until the new wears off!” If two people are in a hurry to get married, then it often involves trying to hide something from the other person…or maybe just because they want to have ‘God-endorsed sex!”

The best decision you can make is to date for at least one year before deciding to get married and probably two years total before the wedding.

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with a slow Internet so you can see who they really are.”  Will Ferrell 

4.  Asking for Advice from the Wrong People!

Why in the world would you ask a single person for marriage advice? Why would you ask someone who has been through relationship disaster after disaster, how to have a relationship?  

When you want marriage or dating advice, go to people who are actually married, happy, and have been for ten years or more! Don’t rely on the advice from people because they read a book or because they know some Bible verses. If you want to know how to have a successful relationship, ask people who have one. Books are still good though, if you’re the one reading them. My friend Dr. Jim Burns and Doug Fields have written a great book, Getting Ready for Marriage that is one of the best books to read in preparation for marriage.

What other temptations do you think single people face? What have you personally gone through that has felt like a distraction? How can I be praying for you?

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Choosing the Right Grocery Line and Other Important Decisions

In our society we have to wait in lines a lot. You just gotta to get used to it! Lines are plentiful, whether we are in traffic, store checkout lines and waiting to get into a special event.

I’m not very good at choosing the right lines.  The “right lines” of course, are the quickest and smoothest lines.

It does not matter if I’m at the grocery store, Target, the line to get hot dogs at The Dodger game, or the line to get in or out of a parking lot; I pick the wrong line.  

There is an art and a science to this. The science of ‘line-oligy” has, to this point in my life, eluded me.

If I pick the shortest line and get in it, then immediately something happens.  A guy wants to pay with a check but doesn’t have his ID. A woman wants to pay the entire $7.38 in coins, while talking on their cell phone and trying to find a coupon in her purse.

It’s a shift change and the employee has to change out the cash drawer with the new checker.

My line goes into ‘slo-mo’, as the longer line begins to zip along like they were on a moving sidewalk. Even if I use the reverse logic and get into one of the longer lines, then of course it remains the longest line. 

“Why would you choose this line??” I think to myself. “It’s the longest one.”

I begin to rub my temples like I’m trying to solve an algebra equation. 

“I think I’m gonna need to shave again soon.”

Some choices we make in life are trivial. Other choices are crucial to living the purpose for which we were created. There are monumental decisions like whom you will marry, where you will live and what you will pursue in life. But, I’ve noticed too, that it’s the little decisions in life that lead to a biggest impact.

This is our one and only life. This one is the only one we get. What we do with our life matters. It matters to you, to those closest to you, and it matters to God.

Five Decisions I Have to Make Everyday

1.  Find something to be grateful for and express it. 

I do this several times a day. Gratitude, when it’s genuine and expressed outwardly, changes my perspective on most situations. 

2.  Look for someone you can encourage.

There is no person who does not need encouragement. I need it often. Those who I think probably don’t need it, need it more than I realized. If the gift I leave with others is regular authentic encouragement, I suspect I’ll be leaving one of the most useful gifts I could.

3. Forgive someone.

Is there someone I need to forgive?  It’s amazing how my unspoken expectations can cause unrealistic disappointment.  We can often develop an attitude about someone because of something we have “expected” of him or her, whether they know about it or not.

Also, there are those “flagrant fouls” that people contribute to us in life. Even if I’m not over the hurt, I can still attempt to keep my heart focused in the right direction.  Sometimes when I think about a situation too intensely that occurred in the past, it feels like the violation has reoccurred.  The decision to forgive must reoccur also. 

4.  Remember to say, “I love you” as often you can.

My son and my daughter are in their twenties, and when we talk on the phone or in person they regularly end the conversation with, “Ok, I love you Dad.” I always notice. I don’t take it for granted. 

It reminds me to say, “I love you more often.” I don’t want people I care about to wonder if I love them. I don’t want people I love to have to try hard to remember the last time I told them.  

5.  What am I writing in today’s chapter of my story?

Our life is a story. Our history has written a part of our story. But our history does not determine the whole story. The decisions I make today both write my present and author my future.

So I ask myself, “What decision do I need to make, to write the next chapter in my story?

Is there a decision that will build my faith or my strength, and in doing so write a better life story?”

What daily decisions do you make that you have found to be powerful? Please let me know what decisions you value by writing in the comment section below. 

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