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Real Dating - Part 3

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"Becoming a Great Lead-her"

Real Dating - Part 3 Transcription

 Recap on Last week

Okay, if you’re just tuning in today, we are continuing our look at the topic of dating and relationships leading up to marriage ofcourse, but we’re looking at it from a Godly perspective and what we’re trying to do is review the principles that God has established for us to have healthy marriages.  What we agreed upon was that to have a healthy marriage, it begins much before the whole “I do” thing.  Having a health marriage is something that needs to be built upon a foundation that hopefully started way way way before and specifically, during the time of dating.

Week 1 was all about finding that one person.  And we said that till you find “The One,” you’ll never have fulfillment in life.  Then I pulled the fast one on you and said that “the One” is…God.  And it’s true that until you find Him, and you have that satisfaction in that relationship with him, all the other stuff isn’t going to make much of a difference.

Week 2 we looked at the next step which is “Finding the Two.”  We talked about the principles, that higher standard that God has called us to in terms of finding the Two in the whole dating world.  And we said that the reason why we have so many problems in marriages is because we were doing married people’s stuff before we were married.  And we agreed that just as it’s wrong for me to out there and do married people’s stuff with someone who’s not my wife, it’s wrong for you if you’re single to also do married people’s stuff with someone who’s not your wife or your husband.  So being single or married makes no difference.  Any of that stuff outside of marriage is going to lead to problems in marriage because you are practicing how to be married and you’re also practicing divorce.  The whole process of together and break up and together and breakup, we’ve trained ourselves that when we’re in a relationship and we’re in love and things don’t go the way that we like it, just break up and start looking for another person.  So God has a higher standard.

 

The Beginning of creation

Today, we’re going to get even more specific into that higher standard and I have invited a guest speaker to be with us today.  What we’re going to be looking at over the next two weeks is the different roles, the higher standard for the different roles, the gentlemen and the ladies.  We’re going to go back even before Dr. Phil was around, to the beginning of time.

Watch a little video clip right here that’s going to give you the foundation of this.

[[[[ Video about the story of creation, verses from Genesis chapter 2 ]]]]]

Those verses that he just read there are all coming from Genesis chapter 2, the story of creation and they formed the foundation of all discussions on the topic of relationships.  You have to go back to the very beginning because the first relationship was created by God. It wasn’t created by “Boy likes Girl” or anything like that.  God is the one who created the man, created him in a certain way and then he saw that something wasn’t right and then he created the woman and brought him to her.

What we’re going to look at today is…because God ordained relationships in a certain way, he didn’t in a way that men and women have different roles in the relationship.  That they’re not the same.  Not saying that they’re unequal, but they’re clearing not the same.  And if they were the same, God would have created them at the same time and in the same way, but he did things differently to show that there is a difference.

Men are great leaders

And men, our topic for today as you can see from your handout, is we are going to learn how to become great LEADERS!!  Okay, very very good. 

What you’re going to see is that men, we are equipped and we are programmed and hard wired and given all the tools necessary to be great leaders, regardless of how incapable we thing we are, incompetent we think we are or our spouse thinks we are at this point of time in our life.  We have been given the DNA of a good…or should I say…a GREAT leader and a leader in a relationship.  It’s inside of us and we’re going to see from this passage that we just read how God programmed that inside of us.

4 foundational thoughts:

1.        God made man first.  I’m not saying higher or anything else, just straight facts.  The fact that men and women were not created the exact same way and in the exact same time is to signify that they don’t have the exact same role.  Again, I didn’t say better or worse, so don’t try to trip me up.  I’m just saying different” and we must establish the fact that God had a different role for men than he had for women in relationships.

 

2.       Man ordered his world with God first before God brought woman to man.  Before God brought Eve to Adam, he made him go through this exercise of doing what?  Of seeing every animal, and calling them, this one is a dog and this one is a rhinoceros and this one is a hippopotamus, etc.  He made him order the entire world and all the world was created and everything was taken care of and ordered properly with God before he brought woman to him.  Hmm..what does that mean?  Gentlemen, if your world is not ordered with God and if you are rebelling against God, and you haven’t taken care of business with god, then why would you expect him to bring a woman to you?  First, I must get myself straight with God and have my world ordered.  This goes both ways, with men and women.  This is the whole idea of getting “the One.”

 

The other things that we see right there is not only did man have to order his world first, but after he ordered this world, what happened?  God brought the woman TO him.  How do you feel about that?  Man didn’t have to go out and find, the woman didn’t have to go out and impress.  When the world was ordered, God did all the work.  What the bible is trying to show us is that God is the author of all relationships, God is the one who does the bringing.  God wants man not to be alone and woman not to be alone, he wants us to be in that relationship.  But we have to get things in order first, and if your life is in chaos especially with your priorities then he can’t  bring Eve to Adam until everything gets calm and settled first.  But God is the one who brings the relationship to us when we’re ready.

 

If you watch an orthodox wedding ceremony (which I’m sure most of you have) and you compare it to like American wedding ceremonies you’ll see that there are certain things that are very very different.  But unfortunately sometimes we get rid of the good stuff in the orthodox because we want to copy the stuff from the American. 

In an American wedding, every bride looks forward to that dad walks her down the aisle and the gives and the veil and all this kinda stuff and “daddy gives me away.”

But it’s not how it happens in the orthodox services.  In the orthodox wedding, what happens?  Does the father walk the bride down?  No, the bride and the groom walk down together, arm in arm. Why?  Again, gentlemen, you’re not receiving your bride from the hand of the father.  If you study the concept of the orthodox wedding, it says, when he’s talking to the bride and groom, “receive  unto your bride, groom Jesus Christ has given her to you.” And at the hand of the priest he has given her to you.  Gentlemen…..when we get married in a Godly relationship, it’s not my choosing or your choosing, it’s God’s choosing. God is the one who brings Even to Adam and says, “this is what I’ve prepared for you.”  That’s why the procession in the orthodox service, who brings the bride down?  It’s first the deacons (symbolizing the angels) and then the priest symbolizing God are bringing both the people down because God is the one who’s making the match, not the parents or anything funny like that.

 

3.       The man was out of it when relationships began.  Man ordered his world with God first and then God brought woman to man.  But before God brought woman to man, man ordered his world, saw that it wasn’t good, so he put man in a deep sleep and the he brought forth woman.  That leads us to our 3rd principle, which is very important.  The man was out of it when relationships began. 

Wives…this explains it all!  This explains why we are relationally challenged sometimes as a male race.  It’s not our fault, we were absent when relationships started.  We were sick in the hospital, or we were in a coma, we were clueless back then and a lot of us are still clueless today.  Give us a break a little bit right here!  No, but seriously, it does show from this principle even though it’s funny that women are definitely the more relational of the two.  Women are the ones who are intuitive in relationships than guys are.  Adam was out of it, what can we expect from the guy?  Guy’s dead asleep, he wakes up all of a sudden it was just rhinoceroses  and giraffes and dogs and cats and all of a sudden there’s a new creature and this one looks much nicer than the other ones and she’s not wearing her wedding dress she’s wearing her…birthday suit….  So adam all of a sudden is very very excited  and this is great and he’s ecstatic as to what God has given him.  But…..after that man took initiatve.  After Adam had named all the other animals, giraffe, dog, cat, etc looked at this one and said, “this isn’t like a rhinoceroses, this isn’t like a giraffe, this isn’t even like a man, this is WOW-Man …and he made her WOMAN! 

What he did is that he immediately as soon as he saw her incorporated her into himself.  He immediately, without being told by God, incorporated her into himself.  How did he know this was not like all the other animals that are just going to frolic around and eat the grass?  Why?  Because God put inside him and you gentlemen, and me, all of us that DNA of a leader.  Of someone who takes charge of the family situation.  It’s in our DNA.  Look at this verse:

 

“The husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church and he is the savior of the body.”  (Ephesians 5:23)

 

God created it.  I’m not talking about what exists now, I’m talking about the idea, what it should be as the man to be the head of the wife, to be the leader.  He put it inside of us, I’m not going to teach you guys how to be great leaders because I believe that God has already put it inside of us and I believe that what we need to do is not learn techniques as much as tap into God’s plan and design for me and order my world with God.  I’m not saying you can’t work on your leadership skills, ofcourse you can improve upon them, but the basis is already there.  The nature of a leader is already inside every single man.  It’s in there, just like:

A fish, you don’t need to teach it how to swim, it just swims.

A bird, you don’t need to teach it how to fly, it just flies.

A lion, you don’t need to teach it how to hunt, it just hunts.

A wife, you don’t need to teach it how to nag it just….oh no, wait a minute…

 

Wanted to see if you were paying attention….just joking

 

If you back to the beginning, when man first sinned, Adam now (forget about Eve for now), what was man’s first sin?  What was Adam’s first sin?  Obviously we know he ate the fruit.  But that’s a more specific manifestation of a more general problem that he had.  The first sin, I believe, of mankind was passivity.  Lack of leadership.  He did not take control of the situation when the situation presented itself.  Serpent messed with Eve’s mind, convinced her the fruit looks nice and this and that, she brought it to Adam, she ate it infront of Adam, she gave Adam tp have a swipe himself and Adam just sat there the whole time.  Why is this Adam’s fault, not Eve’s?  I’m telling you that the sin here of the passiveness (I’m not saying that Eve didn’t do bad stuff, but that’s a different sin), but why was Adam responsible for Eve?  Her sin is on him.  He should have taken charge of her, even if he never ate the apple, let’s say that only she ate the apple, it would still be his fault.  Why?  Because the verse right here:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  (Genesis 2:16&17)

 

God gave the command not to eat the fruit to Adam, not to Eve.  Eve wasn’t created until verse 22.   So it was man’s responsibility, God gave man the leadership and the authority and the responsibility, not just too look out for himself but also take care of Eve.  Ultimately if the ship sinks, it’s the captain’s fault, regardless of who on board did what, if the ship goes down, it’s the captain’s fault for not leading the guys in the right way.  If the team loses, it’s the coach’s fault.  Even if he didn’t mess up, the players messed up, it’s his job to make sure the players don’t mess up.  And the same thing in marriage.  It’s the guys’ responsibility to be the leader.

 

What should Adam have done?  Adam should have stepped in…he should have said, “look here Eve, that kind of business doesn’t fly around here.  This is the way we do it, we don’t eat that fruit , we don’t eat any other fruit.  Even if we don’t eat, we don’t eat.”  But Adam instead, went for what?  The path of least resisitance.  What’s going to get Eve to stop giving me a headache as soon as possible?  He knew it was wrong, he just thought whatever whatever…

 

Adam should have stepped up and have been the leader.  Now I know what some of you are thinking right now…I know exactly what some of you are thinking right now, I can read your minds!  Some of you are thinking, “okay abouna Anthony, this may fly with you, you got lucky with MaryAnn, she buys all this nonsense but we’re living in the year 2006! We’re not in the stone ages anymore, we got a little thing called feminism going on today and we have women’s rights and all that kinda stuff and no modern girl is going to go for this kinda leadership business.  They’re not going to accept that kinda stuff in today’s world.”

This is true for some, I have no doubt about that.  But….gentlemen, if you find yourself a Godly woman (hopefully that’s what you’re looking for), I promise you that inside every Godly woman is a craving and a yearning and a desire for strong leadership.  It’s inside them if they’re submitting to what God has put inside them.  Some like I said, don’t want that. I know some of you may be thinking, “I’m Godly, I don’t have that,” if you’re not in that intimate relationship you may not understand what I’m talking about.  But I promise you, if you get in that intimate relationship and you have the Godly principles inside you, every Godly woman is yearning for a man to be a strong leader, even the most strong-willed women.  Some I would say, “man! Good luck with this one!”  somehow, inside, they have this yearning to be lead.  To be taken care of. 

 

So gentlemen, that’s not an excuse. 

 

3 areas where men are called to lead in

 

What we want to see today is 3 areas where we can become great leaders in.  there are many areas that gentlemen are called to lead in.  it’s not an all-inclusive list here, but when I look at relationships today, this applies to everyone in the room in one of 3 ways. 

Single guys, this is what you need to work on to be prepared for marriage.  If you’re not able to do this, then you’re not ready to get married. 

Married guys, this is what you need to check yourself on to make myself a more Godly leader.

Females, you need to make sure that when you’re out there looking and when the many many proposals start coming your way, that you know what you’re looking for.  I guarantee you that the stuff that I’m going to be talking about may not have made Vogue’s top 10 list of things to look for in a spouse  or whatever it may be, but this is stuff that’s really important.

 

3 areas where men are called to lead in when it comes to relationships:

 

1.        We are called to lead her to emotional security.

When you talk about love, you must talk about 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter in the bible that talks all above love and describes what a true loving relationship should look like.

[Love] “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  (1 Corinthians 13:7)

This is the definition, this is just part of the definition but this is the one that speaks most of the emotional side of relationships.  Gentlemen, the goal that we need to get to is that we look at our wives and they “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.”  This is not the case with most women.  It’s an unfortunate situation but because of a variety of circumstances.  Guys, you may see a girl who on the outside seems to have it all together because every one of us is a professional actor. It’s our profession, it’s my job to stand up here, perfect infront of you.  And guys, you’ll find the same thing, you’ll find a girl who seems like she’s got it all together, she’s secure, she’s stable, trusting, but what you’ll discover is that that may not be the case inside.  You may discover that the person who looks so secure and so strong is very vulnerable inside, is very insecure, is very hurt by something that has happened to her in the past, or maybe she feels she can’t trust men in general or you in specific.  Whatever.  there could be some stuff going on inside that you may not be able to see on the outside.  And like I said, it’s unfortunate, but it’s a fact that a lot of women of women today (at least those who I come into contact with) have been mistreated by a male person at some point in time in their life that has caused damage.  Whether it was the father who was just a loser and was always yelling and screaming or who beat her mother and she had a very bad image of men from that; or whether it’s a relationship that she was involved in where the guy was abusive verbally or emotionally or something like that.  Or whether she’s just changed her life, but in her old life she was in one bad relationship after bad relationship where the guys really only had one thing on their mind.  The bottom line is that the girl that you one day begin a dating relationship with most likely has been mistreated (or treated in  a way that was not pleasing to God) in some manner, shape or form.  Regardless of how they look on the outside, the inside may be hesitant or scared.  

Guys, it’s your responsibility to fix it.  It’s your responsibility to lead her to emotional security.  It’s your responsibility to not allow her to get caught up in emotions until you are ready to meet those emotions.

How do I do that?  It’s your job to control the pace. 

What do I mean by “control the pace?”  Girls are more emotional than boys, that’s a no brainer.  I’m not saying emotional in a bad way, it’s just that it’s hard wired inside of them like stuff inside us.  Emotions make us go quickly, emotions make us race ahead and for a girl (especially one who has been hurt in the past) if the potential is there, and the good stuff is there, then she can race ahead in that relationship before you even know what’s going on.  You’re thinking to yourself, “man, this girl’s really nice I wanna get to know her,”   and on her side,  she’s got the first child name down, knows where you’re going to live and all this kinda stuff.  What happened?  That’s the way females are.  The emotions start going and it can get out of hand.  Guys, it’s your job to control the pace because you are not as emotional so it’s your job to be more logical here (which hopefully you are) and say, “Look, sweetheart, because I care about your emotional security will guard your heart.  I will make sure that we don’t go faster.  I will not say I love you and all these great fancy words which mean not much to me but I know they’re doing stuff for you and if doesn’t work out it’s going to make you go crashing down.  I will not race faster than we need to go, I will not be stuck in the sand and move at snail’s pace either, okay?  But I won’t get faster than we need to go.”

I know that’s kind of vague, and maybe you don’t understand what I’m talking about.  Somehow God gave me (luckily) even though I wasn’t that smart (I’m still not that smart) but somehow, when me and Mary Ann got together, we realized afterwards that we had done things in a pretty good way.  I’m not saying it’s the only way, but I’ll use myself as an example and our relationship as an example of the pace that I think most relationships should move at. 

Think of it as a car, 5 speed.  You wanna start off with the first gear.  First gear is Friendship, but not just friendship like all of us is friendship, friendship like you know, hang out in groups and I kinda see this and maybe there’s some stuff, so we spend time together in groups, we talk here and there, we get to know each other maybe, stuff like that.  And it’s very much like friendship, but just slightly more invested in it.  Just to see….it’s not even investing as much as interest and pursuing the possibility or something like that, just kinda seeing if it might even work.

Now, as you guys are hanging out in groups  (I haven’t got to the individual stuff) God may develop some feelings there, some emotions and some kind of attractiveness and stuff like that.  So then, at the advice of your father of confession, maybe time to shift to second gear. 

Second gear is what I would call courtship.  Which is the intentional pursuit of the possibility of marriage.  I didn’t say it was time to start planning the wedding.  It is the intentional pursuit of the possibility of marriage.  There are still many clauses, don’t get faster than you need to, we’re only in second gear.   It’s basically, I like you and I see that you obviously like me, so let’s invest some time together and see if it might potentially work out as marriage.  Maybe we talk a little bit on the phone, maybe we start to hang out individually, like one on one.  We start to go from just superficial level of discussion to getting to know each other better.  So like asking questions, discovering what the person likes and dislikes and what makes them happy, what makes them sad, who’s their favourite player on the redskins , important things like that!

As you’re in second gear and getting to know things more deeply, as long as God is continuing to push things forward, then it’s time to go to third gear, but he’s the thing between second and third….big step because 3rd gear is like engagement.  When you’re in second gear, here’s what I did at the time, and everyone thought I was an idiot but I later discovered it’s actually a really good thing and I always encourage other couples to do it.  And actually one of the people who thought I was an idiot was my brother in law, who’s sitting right there.  What I did was that me and Mary Ann used to pray that God would break us up if it wasn’t his will.  Like I said, John thought I was an idiot, my brother Steve thought I was an idiot, “why are you guys praying to be broken up?”  somehow, this made sense to us that we would stand up in prayer and pray, “God, if this wasn’t your will, make this car to be bad.  Make it to be fighting, make there to be trouble, I don’t want to go to third gear unless you want me to go to third gear.”  And everytime we would pray that, God would push the car forward, and push the car forward. 

You see what I’m saying, we’re going intentionally at a pace, third gear:  proposal.  Engagement and love and ring and all this kinds of funny stuff, gets you on to 4th gear which is marriage then you hit 5th gear and you’re cruising with kids all that kinds of stuff.  But anyway, we’re not too concerned about the 4th and 5th gear right now.

The point is, I like this way because it’s clear, it’s intentional, it’s not random.  It’s not just being tossed by the wind to and fro.  It’s “I have a plan and I will go in a Godly, prayerful way from 1st base to 2nd base; from 2nd base to 3rd base in that kind of a manner.  That’s much better.”  A lot of relationships today have no pace, no intentional whatever, it’s “I love you and you love me and we have feelings so let’s get married.”  That’s not the way God designed it to be. 

So guys, it’s your responsibility to drive and it’s your job to not go faster than you need to. 

And..an added benefit for you gentlemen, when you do so, when you make sure that your spouse or the person that your courting, that you are making sure that you are guarding your wife’s emotions, and you are making her feel secure and you are making sure that she is bearing and believing and hoping and enduring as opposed to scared and not trusting and always worried, “is he going to make fun of me?  Where’s his eyes looking?  Where’s his mind thinking?”  When your wife is emotionally secure, you will find that she will love you in a way that you didn’t even think was possible.  When you do things in God’s way and your wife is emotionally secure, you will find something that you didn’t even think could exist in terms of a loving relationship with your wife. 

Everyone of us needs to ask ourselves, “is my wife emotionally secure?  Is she confident in my love for her?  Is she confident or is she hesistant?  Is she scared?”  Same thing in a relationships.  Guys, if they are scared, it’s your fault because your wife will be where you lead her.  Common sense.  You’re the leader, she will only go to the places that you take her and that you lead her to. 

I read something nice which I never heard before and not sure 100% but I like it, it’s a nice concept:  You can tell the quality and depth of a man by looking into his wife’s eyes.  I like that because it puts your wife’s emotional state as the responsibility of the husband, not just the wife, okay?

 

2.  We lead her to purity.

This is very important.  Why?

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Look here, we all know that we have an enemy named Devil who is trying to get us off-track and the fastest way to get a couple, a young Godly couple who is in love with God and in love with each other and doing everything right.  The best way to throw both of them down the toilet is purity, is messing with their purity.    So if I can affect the purity of a relationship, boom, I can knock two birds with one stone.  I can destroy this future marriage and future church and this future family.    So, men must always be on guard to lead our wives to purity or lead them in purity.  How do we lead them in purity?  We lead to purity by first ourselves living a life of purity.  There’s a verse in the bible that says, “blessed are the pure for they shall see God.”  Why is it so important?  This idea of purity, everyone of us know that it’s wrong to do bad stuff when we’re not married, but I bet if I asked you to give me a biblical basis for why it’s wrong, most people can’t say. 

Why is it wrong? 

Because God said so.

Ok, because God said so, why?

Why is it so wrong to do a little (ok, forget about sex, sex is bad) a little fun stuff beforehand.  Why’s that so bad?  Why’s God so against that?  Just because we’re archaic and we’re old and we’re idiots? and we’re police and we don’t like anyone to have fun in life?  Why? 

Well….it’s very simple….“blessed are the pure for they shall see God.”  I promise you, if there’s physical stuff in your relationship before marriage (I’m not talking about after marriage, after marriage I hope there’s physical stuff) I promise you, you will not be able to see God’s will clearly.  It will cloud you, especially guys on the physical and girls on the emotional side.  Guys, when there’s physical stuff involved, somehow we go brain-dead.  Our brains just go numb and we can’t think clearly, we can’t make decisions clearly and we’d be very likely to walk through a wall if we thought there may be some physical stuff on the other side of that wall.  We can’t make a proper decision on what God wants from me when I’m clouding it with the physical stuff and the harm is that if there’s the physical stuff, emotions are going to be there as well more on her side and then she can’t think clearly and then you have two people walking through walls because they can’t see clearly.  It clouds your judgment  is what I’m trying to say.  We must fight the temptation to get involved physically before it’s time. 

I’m not even just talking about that, guys….we have to call ourselves to a higher standard of purity.  Our eyes, our minds,  what we say, what we listen to.  We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard because now you’re responsible for more than one person.    You think that “impurity is a victimless crime, what I look at at home is not anyone’s business.  When my eyes wander here and there when I’m on the beach, that doesn’t hurt anyone.  The stuff that I think, the stuff that I say doesn’t cause any problems.”  It doesn’t cause much problems when you’re by yourself and you’re single, but I promise you that when you’re in a relationship or getting into one, this is going to cause big problems.  You may not even see it and she might not even see it, but I promise you as soon as you allow this lust stuff to get in there, you can no longer love your wife the way you’re supposed to.   You can’t.  because this stuff messes you up and this stuff makes you look at women as object not as people, and you can’t love objects.  If there’s impurity you will not be capable of loving your wife as she deserves, so men, it’s your job to give them purity. 

How do I do it?

That’s an easy question, do whatever it takes.  You figure it out, this is not rocket science here. 

How do keep the relationship pure?

Don’t hang out together alone at night.  Don’t pray together lying down on the bed together.  Keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times!  Everything remains to yourself, it’s not hard.  I’m not telling you something that’s rocket science here.  Do whatever it takes okay?  Avoid those long night’s phone calls and I love and this and that and let’s meet and all this kinds of mess.  You know the stuff that leads you to the bad stuff….avoid it.  It’s your job not hers, why? Because again, when a girl’s emotions start getting carried away, her body will start to follow.  Okay, and when a girl’s emotions start to run away, it’s natural for her body to come right behind it.  It’s our job as the non-emotional ones here to control the pace, to lead her to purity and do whatever it takes to make sure that we don’t lose the purity. 

If you’re looking for one added motivation, let me draw you a picture.  There are two options for your wedding night: 

1st option is that you get married and you have a great ceremony and it’s reception and all this kinda stuff and everyone goes’ away and you get to your hotel room  and then all of a sudden you guys because you love God, he’s number one, maybe you bow down at the foot of the bed and say a prayer together, maybe you guys have a nice discussion, do something romantic, whatever it is that you guys do. And then, you unwrap the gift that God gave you. And you enjoy and it’s a beautiful thing and you look up at God and say, “it’s is good.”  And God says, “it is very good” and everyone’s smiling and everyone’s happy and everything’s great.

OR

Option # 2, get to your wedding night, and it’s just business as usual, it’s just another night.  And you just do what you’ve been doing before, maybe add a little bit of cherry on top or something like that and it’s just business as usual.

You tell me which one of the two you want for your wedding night.

 

So final point is:

3.  We lead her to Christ.

Men, you are the priest of the House.  In the same way, I have a responsibility over this congregation and I’m a priest here and I have a responsibility to the members of the congregation, to bring them closer to God than they started, you have the same responsibility with your wife and eventually with your child, and it begins in courtship.  The process begins in courtship that you should be leading her to God:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”  (Ephsians 5:25-27)

This is your responsibility, this is your duty.  I’m not only talking about marriage, in dating as well.  To edify, to sanctify, to make your bride-to-be not having a spot or a wrinkle or any such thing, holy and without blemish. 

Is this easy?  This isn’t easy and believe me no-one knows this more than me.  Here I am, I have a spiritual responsibility over many many many many people, the hardest place for me to do my spiritual responsibility without a doubt is at home.  It’s much easier to do it outside.  Why?  Because when I get home, there are tons of excuses: “ahh….i just did a bible study, I’m not going to read the bible again.”  Or “ahh….i just attended a prayer meeting” or “ahh….i just did all kinds of stuff, now I’m at home and I wanna relax.”  It’s very easy to make excuses and take breaks for ourselves, but the bottom line is that a good leader doesn’t make excuses.  A good leader goes with what he knows he should do regardless of how he feels like he wants to do.  Again, you see, that’s why God made men the leaders because a lot of us don’t have emotions and don’t have feelings so we’re not to go with what we feel, we’re to go with what we know we should do. 

How?  How do I become a spiritual leader?  How do I do that abouna Anthony?   My own spiritual life is a mess, I don’t know how to read the bible myself how am I going to lead someone else to? 

Well…again…figure it out!  It’s not hard!  Start anywhere, start by saying….before we have dinner together, let’s bow our heads and pray together.  Or before we go out and go to a concert or a movie, why don’t we spend 10 minutes together open up God’s word and share it?  Why don’t we attend “Light and Life” meeting together and discuss it on the way home?  Something like that.  You have to find ways to increase the spiritual inside the relationship.  Because I said before that all women deep inside are hungering for leadership, no areas are more evident than this spiritual area.  Every Godly woman is craving for a spiritual leader and yearning for it and the good news is:  Guys, you have been given the tools and gifts necessary to be that leader and to meet that need, even if you’ve never done it before. 

The devil will come to you and say “You can’t…how could you you hypocrite…and you’re not qualified…” and all this kinda stuff.  You say, “Shut up and get behind me satan!”  because God has given you all that it takes to be a strong leader even if you’ve never been a leader in your entire life.  You have what’s inside you to be able to do it. 

When Adam and Eve, when they were doing it the Godly way, when Adam was doing things in the strong leadership way and living according to God’s principles, read it out here with me:

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25)

Hahaha…I just got you to say “naked” in church!  Someone said “Naked” in church, who was it?  Someone said it!  That’s wrong man, that’s wrong. Haahahaha.

Ok, all joking aside….

They were naked, the man and his wife and they were not ashamed.  That’s very different than the way we live our lives today.  A lot of the times today, we may be fully clothed, yet full of shame.  Why were they naked but had no shame?  The principle here is because they were pure before God, and pure before each other, because they were completely vulnerable with each other and because there was nothing hidden, they were naked and there was no shame.  There was no fear. 

Guys…in your relationship, can a girl say that she is emotionally secure enough?  I’m not talking about physically naked right now, be mature here okay?  I’m talking about emotionally…can she be emotionally naked?  Can she bear her emotions in front of you and not be worried about ridicule and laughing and joking and all that kinda stuff?  Can she open up to you?  Have you created an environment that is emotionally secure?

And impurity…have you created a way where there’s no shame?  That we can stand together naked before God and we’re not ashamed of what we’ve done or anything like that.  This is the goal of marriage.  That they’re both naked, the man and the wife and God was present there in the garden with them and man and woman were completely invulnerable with each other, or exposed to each other and there was no shame.  That’s a stretch, a far stretch, from a lot of marriages today that we have because in a lot of marriages today there may be stuff that we’re hiding.

Guys, it’s our job to be the leaders in this effort. 

Next week, because we are equal opportunities here, we’re going to look at the females and see what their role in this whole dating thing is.  But today I hope that the message that the guys got (and the girls got too) is that the guys are the ones who are gifted and given the tools to be the leaders.  Hopefully that helps you guys out.

Let’s stand up for a prayer:

In the name of the Father, and the son and the Holy Spirit, one God Amen.  We thank you our dear heavenly father, we thank you Lord because you are the creator and the author of all relationships and you know our needs and you know the things that we desire more than anything else and you have put inside of us the tools necessary to be able to fulfill that perfect will that you have for us.  Thank you dear Lord because you have thought of  me and my relationship before I was even born.  Thank you because you planned stuff around me to prepare me and make me ready for that day before I even knew what was going on in this world.  Help each one of us to leave here today with a goal of making sure that our world is ordered with You and that we’re straight with You so we can be the Godly men and women that you have called us to be.  Thank you dear lord for your word which is always inspiring us, teaching us, helps us Oh Lord to go deeper and deeper inside Your word, to learn more and more about the way that You want me to live my life.  I pray dear Lord for our gathering here, for our church, for our father abouna Bishoy, tasony Ireeny and all those who asked us to remember them in our prayers, through our Lord Jesus Christ, the intersession of our Holy mother Saint Mary, through the prayers of Saint Mark and all your saints, here’s as we pray Our father who art in heaven…..