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Real Dating - Part 5

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"Questions & Answers about Dating "

Real Dating - Part 5 Transcription

 Thank you very much.  It’s so good to have you all join us for another episode of Relationship Expert Doctor AA, I am the relationship expert for today.  And as Eddy told you, from my resume you can see I’m clearly an expert in relational matters and the goal today is to solve all of your relationship problems.

 

Now for those of you who are just joining us today and thinking what in the world is wrong with us?  We are wrapping up a series we’ve been talking about for the past several weeks about dating and relationships.  The most important one being the marriage relationship and how to prepare for it.  As we’ve been going through this series, lot of people had lots of questions.  I received lots of them over email, people slip me little notes under the table and stuff like that so what we’re going to do today is hopefully answer all the questions that you had and it’s going to be an interactive time where you can ask questions straight from your seat right there, we’ll do it Oprah style okay?  So, I’ll run to you and you can ask the question and hopefully you leave today with all your questions answered. 

 

I see a lot of new faces joining us today, don’t worry, we’re usually not crazy like this.  This is just a one-time thing, usually we’re much more normal. 

 

Okay, with that said, let’s jump right into the questions.  What you can see is that there are some questions I have compiled from the emails and questions but I kinda planted in the audience.  You guys will see.  But in-between there, if there are other questions that pop up, don’t hesitate to raise your hand and make some noise or something like that and we’ll get to you. 

 

So…..does anyone have any questions??  Mark, do you have any questions you would like to ask? 

 

Question:  There’s a popular theory that states “Right Girl + Wrong time = Wrong girl.”  Is this statement true, if so could it actually become

 

True or False?  Okay, both of your are kinda right.  Let me ask the question in a different way, basically this question is saying, “if I meet the right person, but it’s just not the right time, if I hold on to the relationship is there a chance it eventually becomes the right thing?  It could become the right thing later on down the road.”  The popular theory out there is Yes.  That maybe it’s just the wrong timing, maybe it’s not the person’s problem, maybe it’s just the timing problem, so therefore if I held onto it the timing may be there down the road. 

 

It’s a good question, it’s a common question.  And the answer is that it’s FALSE.

 

But it’s false not for the reason that you think it’s false.  I don’t like the way this is worded, “Right Girl + Wrong time = Wrong girl,”  that’s usually what we think of.  I look at it from this perspective, “Right Girl + wrong time = Wrong Situation.”  It’s not a matter if the girl’s wrong or the girl is right or the boy is right or the boy is wrong.  Either it’s right or it’s wrong.  Either I should be in the relationship or I shouldn’t, but what we try to do is try to kinda keep myself really close by so that when the right time comes I’m not that far away.  I don’t buy that. 

 

If any part of the equation is wrong, then the whole thing is wrong.  Just like if I have a nice cake made up of 15 different ingredients, if any one of the ingredients is spoilt, the whole thing is gone.  I have to start over from scratch, I can’t just hold on to the 14 that are okay and try to mix in one element.  That’s what we try to do.  So if the timing is wrong, meaning, you’re at a point in your spiritual life where you shouldn’t be in a relationship, you’re at a point in your life where you’re not ready to be involved, it doesn’t matter who the other person is or how good the other person is, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong, end of story, no two ways about it.

 

This is a good principle for many things in life, but you see it very clearly with relationships, our problem is that we like to work out later.  But God doesn’t care about later, God cares about now. 

 

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  (Matthew 6:33-34)

 

Meaning….should I be in this relationship?  If the answer is yes, then it’s yes, if it’s no, doesn’t matter what the reason, I shouldn’t be into it.

 

Another way you can think about this.. this applies for all of God’s will.  Is it possible to ruin something good that God has for me later by being involved in it right now?  Let me say that again in a better way, if God has something planned for me next year and I want it right now, is it possible for me to ruin it?  Absolutely!

 

Can anyone think of a biblical example or any other example?  Okay, how about this one….

I know a boy who was supposed to get his license when he was 16 years old.  He decided at age 15 he would take his parent’s car keys and go for a joy ride.  And at 16 he was supposed to get his own set of keys and he was supposed to get his own car, but because at 15 he ruined it, what happened when he was 16?  Well….he’s now 16 and a half and still waiting. 

 

He didn’t have any keys because he ruined it by taking it too early.  Same thing with relationships, sometimes you meet the right person and you think it’s going to work and this and that.  The worst thing you can do is start dating a person and the worst thing you can do is get involved in a relationship with that person because you’ll most likely screw it up if it’s not God’s timing. 

 

So forget about this Right Girl, Wrong timing means I’m just going to be patient and wait on God.  Being patient, waiting on God, what we’re really saying is, “ I want what I want and I’m not going to let go regardless of what God says.”  So that’s no good.  Makes sense?

 

 

 

 

Question:  Does God change his mind about relationships?

 

Someone asked this question and then went on to tell me a story about how she was involved in a relationship that was a good relationship, a very Godly relationship.  She was serving in the church and he was a deacon and he was a good guy and she was a good girl and they were the right age and their parents knew and their parents loved it.  And their father of confession knew and the father of confession approved it and everything just seemed to be walking down that right path.  And if would’ve asked her or you would’ve asked him or anyone around them, “Is God leading you towards this,” the answer would have been 100% vote of confidence.  And God was opening doors, then they hit a rough spot, a lot of arguments, a lot of fights, everything wasn’t working, as if someone threw a wrench right in the wheel right there.  And it lead to a breakup, pain, heartache, crying, tears, “why?” etc and it lead the person to ask this question, “does God change his mind?  Because it kinda seems like he did.  It seems like he was saying yes and he was opening door and all of a sudden it seems like he closed them just as quickly as he opened them.” 

 

Does God change his mind?  Is it possible that God says Yes for a relationship now but just to break you up later on?  Or did she misread the signs?  She clearly could have misread the signs and none of us know, but let’s assume that she didn’t misread the signs.  How did it work like that?  God said yes, but now it’s clear that it wasn’t meant to be.  He’s happily married, she’s happy that she’s not married to him, and everyone is very very happy and everything is fine but at the time every single person would have said yes.  How?  Is that possible?

 

Lady in audience speaks:  I would say that sometimes God gives us situations to learn from.  For one, I think that the woman and the man are so much better off having had that experience.  The second thing is that sometimes we look for signs that we think are coming from God, not because your mum really likes him does that mean that this is the one that God picked for you.  I think that God gives us a sense of peace and things going very easily when it’s coming from God.  Uhm, I think that everyone in a relationship has to always say,  “Lord if this is from you?”  and pursue it and if not, end it quickly.

 

Very good!  Give her a big hand…I didn’t plant that answer right there okay, but Mimi hit the nail right on the head.  She talked about two points, I’ll do them backwards order.  She said that sometimes we misread the signs, we’re looking to make it happen so we’re saying because of this and that.  Absolutely.  But let’s assume that the signs really were there and God was opening the door.  It’s exactly like Mimi said, let me tell it to you in another way right here.  I believe that as this person is asking, it could be 100% from God and then also be 100% not from God, both. 

 

How can something be from God and not from God?  How can God want me to do something and not want me to do something?  Well, very simple, He wanted me to do it for a certain time and then later on He wanted me not to do it.  That seems like it’s backwards, it seems like God should just make up his mind and not be difficult about things because I end up getting hurt in the process and it seems more painful for me.  Anyone that has ever been hurt knows that some of the greatest lift lessons come out of pain.  And some of the greatest things you learn come out of most trying and painful experiences.  So with that, I’m going to reiterate exactly what Mimi said. 

 

I’ll say it in another way right here, realize that for God the shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line.  So God may want me to get from here to there and the logical thing is from point A to point B to point C…not for God.  That’s not how God works.  Sometimes for God, , it’s point A to point B to point D to point G, circle around, do some donuts around X and Y over here, end up back at A and then maybe not get to C for another 10 -20 years.  How?  Why?  That seems like a big waste time.  Well, it’s not a waste of time because I’m not the same person I was at the beginning.  I wasn’t ready to go to B and I certainly wasn’t ready to go to C, I need to learn certain lessons and like Mimi said, and like I’m saying for you, is that some of our greatest lessons come out of some of our greatest pains.  So it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on the wrong path, this person I believe were on the right path and I believe sometimes God opens doors just to close them just to open a bigger door and a better door. 

 

Another way that you can look at it, here’s a verse from Genesis that I always think of about how God can use pain in a good way.  When Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold and slaved and all this kinda stuff:

 

“You But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”  (Genesis 50:20)

 

Again, forget about tomorrow, that’s the key thing.  Forget about what’s God’s plan for tomorrow, you only have one duty in life when it comes to relationships or anything :  where does God want me today?

And if today puts me here, and then tomorrow puts me there and then tomorrow puts me here, it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is today and today I’m supposed to be here, I blindly obey.  And if tomorrow he takes me there, I say, “yes sir.”  Our problem is that we say, “God show me the whole map.”  If I’m going to get into the car, I’m going to google it with Google Maps and see where I’m going and the directions, I wanna know in advance exactly where I’m going to go.  God is not like the Google Maps, God is like more like the GPS, He tells you only one turn at a time and one step at a time and he says, “now I want you here, and if I decide to take you there or take you there, what’s it to you?  I’m incharge and I know what’s best for you so you gotta trust Me.”

 

So is God changing his mind?  Not really, but with God just like I said, sometimes the shortest distance is not always a straight line.

 

 

Question:  Is it possible that the person changed and they blame it on God?  And it’s not that his plan changed, it’s that the other person changed?

 

Hmm…that’s a really good question….is it possible that the other person changed?  You know what, that relates to one of our next questions, let’s see which one it is…let’s skip down to number 3.  Who did I give # 3 to? 

 

Question:  Is there only one person out there for me?

 

Ok, I’ll tie in this question to that question, but I’ll answer this one first and then get to yours.  So, is there only one person out there for me?  Just like in the movies and just like in the songs that there’s one person somewhere out there under the stars….is there one person?

 

I’m going to answer this question as it relates to everyone else except me!  The answer is No.  Except me!!  Don’t tell my wife that I said that!!  My wife, sweetheart you’re the only one for me wherever you are out there, you’re the only one for me and no one could make me happy and that’s 100%.

But for everyone else…..you’re going to hate me for this one, I know you’re going to hate me but I have to speak the truth.  You’re going to hate me, you’re going to hate me, you’re going to hate me.  Is there someone out there who’s zodiac sign matches my zodiac sign and who is, you know, all this kinds of nonsense, this romantic stuff….

 

Let me tell you logically why there can’t be only one person out there.  Let’s say (I won’t use myself coz I don’t want to get in trouble)…..let’s say (I don’t want to use anyone else and get introuble)….let’s say Mickey and Minnie….or better still…Homer and Marg…that’s an easy one.

Let’s say Homer wasn’t supposed to marry Marg, that was not from God.  God aligned it for Homer to marry the Flanders’ wife, Homer made a mistake, Homer married Marg and Homer is outside the will of God.  God wanted Marg to get married, right?  God wanted a Mrs. Flanders’ to get married too, right?  Well, if Homer was the only one for the Flanders person then whoever she marries is going to be wrong and whoever that person was supposed to marry is going to be wrong and whoever that person was supposed to marry…..if this was supposed to marry this and that one married this well this one’s automatically just hosed in life and he can never be happy because a mistake that these two made.  It doesn’t sound logical and doesn’t sound fair.  Especially if you multiplied it over generations…what if one guy back like ten thousand years ago made a mistake, then all of us are doomed for the rest of eternity?   My parents are the wrong parents, etc?  It can’t make sense that way that there’s only one person out there. 

 

When it comes to your spouse, and everything else….like your job, etc.  Like, there’s isn’t one job out there for me, there isn’t one woman out there for me. I don’t believe in that mess and I’ll tell you why.  I believe that God cares much more about who I am as a person than He cares about who I marry.  Another way of saying it, and you’re not going to like this, this is the most unromantic thing in the world but it’s the truth:  is marriage is not the end goal, marriage is a means to the end.

 

You know what, I made a mistake marriage is the end, but not this marriage.  The end is the point in time where I’m one with Christ and that is the goal for every one of us.  And if I’m right here, the path goes this way, but let’s say I’m disobedient to God’s will, I’m straying from God’s will and now I’m over there.  Is the path the same?  Let’s say I’ve really really strayed and now I’m all the way over there, am I hosed?  Can I get back to God’s will?  Ofcourse I can get back but is the path going to be the same?  No. 

So the path to get to the goal is different depending on where I am. 

 

So with that said, when I am getting ready to get married, does God have a will?  Absolutely.  Does God have someone that he wants me to get married to?  Absolutely.  But is it someone that was ordained from the beginning of time that he put the start and this and that and there’s no way around it and stuff like that?  No!  Absolutely not! 

 

A real life example that matches what Ehab was saying, I know a girl who’s great, who’s wonderful, who’s the best and she got together with a boy who was (my personal opinion) good but sub-her.  He was lucky to have what he had in my personal editorial right here.  He was foolish and got hung up on something very very trivial, on something very foolish and I believe the will of God which should be attained right, what was great for this girl and great for this boy to be attained….he called it off.  And he’s struggling, he’s hurting right now.  What happened to the girl?  She’s doomed?  That’s it?  That boy made a wrong decision, this boy was an idiot and she’s doomed?  No, God sent her someone better.  Easy.  Would it have been God’s will and would God have made this the best?  Yeah, but the boy said no.  For him, that’s a different story, he’s gotta make some repairs because he messed up himself.  But for her, she was an innocent bystander so to speak, she was accepting the will of God (assuming it’s the will of God ofcourse none of us knows) but he said no, is she hosed?  Is she done?  Can she never be happy in life?  and her kids are doomed and her kid’s kids are doomed and everyone’s doomed? No, God gave her someone even better.

 

So your spouse is not the end, your spouse is a means to the end.  So like I said, when I’m here and I have all these choices around me, God wants me to chose this girl because she’s going to get me right here, but I stray and I ignore God and I end up over there, all those girls may be gone, but I’m not done in life.  I have another one that can bring me right here [closer to God].  So I’m not saying that God doesn’t have a particular will at every single moment in time, he does.  And at this moment in time, he does have a job that he wants you to take and he does have a will for you in terms of dating and he does have a decision that he wants you to take and all these things but it is not something that is a one shot and if you miss it, pssht gone.  Sorry.

 

Question:  What if you’re not seeking God’s will when you do decide to marry someone and then what happens after that?

Ah…are you saying like, people who have gotten married and they weren’t really seeking God’s will, what do they do right now?  Well, that’s the thing about that verse that I showed you guys, is that God is able to bring good out of even the bad.  God wants me here and God is persistent, and God is stubborn and God can get me there regardless of where I am.  So the further I’ve strayed, obviously the more it may take me to get back.  There’s never a time when you can’t get back to God’s will.  You can see so many examples of people who have changed their lives and repented, they were completely outside of God’s will at one point in time but they were able to make it back in and that’s what repentance does for us. 

 

I made a sin when I was in second grade.  I flicked Matthew Summerfield in the ear when Mrs. Butler was looking and I got in trouble that day and I’ll never forget that I got in trouble that day.  That was a sin.  Does that mean that for the rest of my life I’m outside of the will of God?  Because of what I did to Matthew Summerfield in second grade?  No.  It means….you know….that I may have to go to anger management or something if I had a problem with that…..but it means I can always get back on.  You’re never doomed with God.

 

Question:  What if one person thinks it’s the will of God and the other person doesn’t?

 

That’s very similar to that example that I was talking about…I’m assuming in my example that it was the will of God and like I said, I don’t know.  But if it’s not the will of God then it’s easy.  God will not allow your mistake to destroy my life, so if I believe this is the will of God and you believe it’s not the will of God and it doesn’t happen, it’s okay.  Ofcourse it may cause pain, but God can provide something better and God WILL provide something better.  And maybe it wasn’t his will to begin with either way.  The point is that I look up to God in the morning and I say, “God, here I am, what do you want me to do today?”  I don’t say, (which is what we usually say), “God, here I am today make this happen, and don’t let this person say this, and don’t let….” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question:  You were saying that if something’s the will of God then God opens doors and it goes smoothly.  But isn’t it unrealistic to expect relationships to always go smoothly?

 

Very good question.  Yes, it’s completely unrealistic to expect a relationship to always go smoothly, but the most important criteria in a relationship is “God wants it or God doesn’t want it.”  If I know for certain that God wants this relationship to work then I’ll fight through the ‘un-smoothness.’  I’ll fight through the stumbling and the obstacles and this and that.

 

Like right now I’m married and there may be obstacles in my marriage, I know I’m very happily married, the best in the whole wide world and I know it’s God’s will 100%, but also I don’t have a choice (not that I want a choice) so I will fight through those obstacles. However, before I’m married I do have a choice.  So the critical point in time is getting to that, “is this from God or is it not from God?”  and that’s not an easy thing that I can answer right now.  If there’s one stumbling block, does that mean it’s not from God?  No, if I see 500 obstacles and stumbling blocks that’s a sign that maybe it’s not from God.  I need to be in tune with God, under the guidance of my father of confession.  Like I said in the beginning, if you don’t have a relationship with God, you’re really in trouble. 

 

Like the person who comes to me and says, “I met this girl and I met this girl, which one do I marry?  I wanna open the bible and let God tell me.”  Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute!  Slow down!!  Or they would say, “I wanna put the two names on the altar, pray the liturgy (first time I prayed in my life) and have God choose the right one.”  Slow down!  You have no relationship with God.  You don’t know what God’s voice sounds like.  You’re going to have a real tough time in this situation.  I hope that the first time you call upon God is not for something like “Who am I supposed to marry?”  I hope I’ve learnt how to hear his voice in little things and I hope to have that relationship so that when it comes time and I’m trying to pick who to marry I know what his voice sounds like and it’s familiar to me.  And I’ll see him either through the stumbling blocks or I’ll see his will through the stumbling blocks or the open doors or whatever. 

 

Now, how to hear God’s voice, that’s a bigger thing. 

 

In our first topic in this series we talked about building your foundation on “The One,” and if you don’t have that strong relationship with God all the other fancy shmancy and the books and the techniques, throw it out the window.  You’re basically closing your eyes and hoping to hit a bull’s-eye.  And you may, you probably won’t though.   So if you don’t have that foundation of a relationship with God you’re really really really going to be in trouble and that’s what I tell the desperate pick-a-name-for-me guy , is that it doesn’t work this way, you need to establish that relationship with God. 

 

Member of Audience (Mina) comments:

 

 

Basically I was trying to get more info about what you said earlier about what’s the intention of marriage.  Marriage is not the end in itself, but it’s being in a relationship with Christ, being one with Christ.  And if we look at the word “Salvation,” it implies healing, spiritual healing, and that’s the purpose of marriage.  To help us be healed, you know many individuals have this conception of salvation as a one-time thing but actually it’s a healing process.  I’m not an expert by any means abouna I leave that up to you and all those who have many years of experience in marriage, but everything comes up in marriage, how you have been raised as a child, all of the impulses and those weaknesses and desires and passions, everything has to come out. But God promises that he will heal us and that is the process of salvation and the sanctification process.  That’s why God took his time in choosing a person like St. Mary because that genealogy where she came from, it took a long process of healing that perfect person for Christ to come and be born from this woman because of her background.

 

Very cool, thank you very much Mina.

 

So, we’re all clear?  So for the rest of you people, there’s not one…for me….this is one!

 

 

Question:  You talked a lot about dating and how you shouldn’t get emotionally attached, but how are you supposed to get to know someone without getting emotionally attached?

 

Very good, thank you very much Katy, it’s a good question and I’m glad you asked.  So, as we’ve been discussing this series we talked about how you shouldn’t rush to get emotionally attached to a person and that can cause lots of problems.  We talked about the emotional attachment.  Obviously we talked about the physical attachment and why that’s bad, but the emotional stuff…..hmm…that’s a good question….How do I get to know someone so deeply that I’m ready to marry them and be with them for the rest of my life and yet not be emotionally attached to the person?

 

There’s no easy answer for this one.  It’s not possible to get to know someone without being emotionally involved with the person, however, there’s a difference between slowly, gradually, easing into emotional attachment and belly flopping right in, which is what a lot of us do.  We’re emotional belly floppers, emotional vomitters.  First date and it all comes out.  Those who are emotionally attached from the very very start, that’s not the right system, there has to be something in between from no emotional attachment to the belly-flop method.  And what I believe is there should be emotional involvement but it should be deliberate and it should be prayerful and it should be all under the guidance of my father of confession.  I shouldn’t run, but also guys I shouldn’t drag my feet.  I should move at a nice, comfortable, prayerful, deliberate pace.  That pace is different for everyone and everyone wants to know what’s the right pace?  It’s different, everyone’s different.  There’s no right standard formula.

 

“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.”  (Song of Solomon 3:5)

 

“do do not stir up not awaken love until it pleases” this should be like your model.  That there’s a lot of stuff that’s going to be awakened and aroused on the wedding night when the union is complete.  Don’t awaken it too early until it’s the right time. 

 

I talked about the 5 speed model during the series, this is not doctrinal but it worked for me and I see it working for others so I’ll share my experience.  I believe that your emotional moving should be like a 5-speed car, start in first, when it’s time to move to second you go to second and then third, fourth and fifth.  The speeds of the car are as follows: 

 

FIRST GEAR = FRIENDSHIP.  It starts off with friendship, a lot of you guys may be in that first speed right now with others, you’re just getting to know, you’re hanging out in groups, you spend time together, maybe not one on one but in groups, etc.  then, there comes a point in time when boy likes girl and girl likes boy, boy tells girl how much he likes her, girl tells boy how much she likes him, that’s when you start pursuing second gear. 

 

SECOND GEAR = COURTSHIP.  Courtship is another word for dating.  It’s deliberately getting to know the other person to see if they’re ready for marriage.  So, friendship is all of us hanging out and then we zero in on the one, and I say, “hey there, hey, I’ve been noticing you, you’ve been noticing me” and stuff like that….hahaaa….no, I’m just joking.  I say, “there seems to be a good chemistry here, and there seems to be good potential, why don’t we invest to see if this will work or not.”  And then you do, you shift into second you begin to get more emotionally involved, you hang out one-on-one, you start to talk about more subjects, you deliberately try to find out information about the other person by asking them questions.

 

When all’s good you shift into third gear which is engagement; then engagement leads to marriage (fourth gear) then you hit fifth gear when you have kids and your life is pretty much over at that point in time. Hahaha

 

Let me give you my true sense on the subject when it comes to the five speeds…

 

First thing is that all of this must be under the guidance of my father of confession because I do not know how to drive a car and neither do you.  So what we need to do is go to someone who has driven a car, who has helped other people drive their cars, who has fixed transmissions in the past and makes a habit out of seeing bad transmissions which have destroyed lives.  He can help guide you and say, “ you know what? Stay in first,” or he can tell you, “pick up the pace here a little bit,” but you need the guidance of someone like that. 

 

Second piece of advice I’ll give you, my personal preference, spend more time in second gear  and less time in third gear.  Spend more time figuring out if this is the one or not the one.  Spend more time figuring out if this is going to work or not going to work and spend less time during engagement.  Engagement is not as fun as it sounds, it is hard work and engagement also creates temptations and stresses and stuff that is not easy to deal with.  So my advice is, do not rush into engagement, please.  If you have to spend more time in courtship, do it. 

 

The other thing is (I hope I’m not touching anyone’s sensitive point right here), no one wants to go backwards.  I don’t want to go into third, get engaged and then go back to first.  It’s a painful shift.  The less back I have to shift, like the shift from second to first is not as big a deal, but the shift from third is difficult.  Fourth, it’s impossible.  Once you hit fourth, you’re locked in for life, there’s no such thing as shifting out of fourth.  It’s kinda like when you cross the street, you wait, you make sure there are no cars and you make sure there are no cars and then you go, and once you start to go you still have to be weary but I hope at this point in time when you’re in the middle of the street you’ve done a very thorough job of assessing the cars that are around and making sure that none will smack you.  Don’t rush in the street and try to play like “frogger,”  that’s what some of us try to do.  Be careful, look both ways, look 3 times, look 10 times for all you want, I don’t care, spend a year looking to make sure.  But when you see it’s clear and the little walk sign says “walk,” go for it and don’t hesitate.

 

Member from audience:  I agree about the engagement because I hated our engagement, it was the worst time.  The problem with spending more time in courtship and engagement.  There’s parents too.  Like, when you’re dating you get rushed to get engaged so sometimes you don’t get a chance to enjoy your courtship or dating long enough, but engagement is miserable.  There’s so much stress and there’s so much pressure and you’ve got mum over here saying “yalla yalla yalla” [meaning come on, come on, come on].  So how can you really stay in courtship when everyone’s pushing you to get engaged?

 

That’s a very good question and with all due respect to your mother and your father.  Now, this is 100% off the record…I will deny deny deny infront of your parents, you can say what you want, I will deny it and everyone will back me up, I’m the priest you’re not, I have more credibility than you do, hahaha.

 

Sometimes parents (forgive me) don’t know everything about everything.  Now with that said, I’m not saying your parents are not a good tool for you, I am not saying they don’t give good advice, they do give good advice and God speaks through our parents. But especially when it comes to marriage….if you’re the oldest and is the first one to leave the nest, they’re going to be excited, etc and if you’re the only child and the only one to leave the nest, there will be added pressure there but you can’t let that dictate what you do.  This is where your father of confession becomes your backbone and you seek his guidance.  The best thing is that you take your assessment, your parent’s assessment and everyone’s assessment, you bring it to your father of confession.  I’m not joking, I still do that to this day, I say “abouna Bishoy, this is what I think, you tell me what to do?”  So that way if it’s wrong, it’s your fault (hahaha) and it’s not mine.  I’m not joking, I do this all the time with him when I can’t figure out what to do I bring it to him and ask him to tell me what to do and I just obey.  Guys, if you learn how to do this with your father of confession you’ll be a very good husband!  Whatever you say, here are all the facts and criteria and you tell me what you want.

Parents pressuring me does not mean I have to move forward. 

 

Also, (don’t take this the wrong way) our parents have a different model than we have.  I’m not saying their model is bad, infact if you look at the results, their model yield very very good marriages and not so good ones too, but it’s a different style.  Their model, going from engagement back to friendship is not that big a deal.  If you go back to Egypt and our parents’ generation, it’s very easy for them to get engaged and break and engaged and break and it wasn’t like a stigma or anything.  The model was that you meet someone, he’s not that bad, you get enaged and you see how it works.  If you’re in that culture and that society then it may work out for you.  But again, this is just my personal preference.

 

That’s right Sherry, in their model, engagement came before courtship.  It was friendship, leads to engagement, then courtship and then marriage. 

 

Question:  How am I supposed to go from “I don’t need a guy” to in marriage “being completely submissive and one with a guy?” 

 

Now a similar question which is kinda related to that one, this is one that a female asked.  WE said that a female is supposed to be independent of guys in the dating phase, we talked about that last week, sometimes the devil makes us think “I need a guy, I need a guy.”  And we said we want to rebel against that lie and say that the truth is that I really need God, I don’t need a guy.  I don’t need a guy to make me happy.   How am I supposed to go from “I don’t need a guy” to in marriage “being completely submissive and one with a guy?” 

 

Well again, it’s a gradual process that takes place over time.  It’s not belly flop, it’s the kind of thing that you should slowly become more and more attached to as you go through.  And the other thing that I’ll add because even with this model the biggest jump is between 3rd and 4th gear.  If 1st to 2nd is huge and 2nd to 3rd is really really big then 4th gear is on the other side of those doors.  Because it’s a chasm that cannot be crossed, it can only be crossed one time.  And it’s something that you cannot even cross yourself, it’s God picks you up and puts you over there.  You can do stage 1, 2 and 3 by yourself, hey boy hey girl, I like you and you like me, you can do that fine.  But becoming one flesh, you can’t do that business.  It’s a sacrament and a power and a grace there which we so often underestimate.  So don’t worry about how you’ll be able to be completely submissive in marriage.  Don’t worry about how you’re able to go from here to all the way over there, that’s God’s part.  There’s a sacrament and a mystery and a grace there that can’t be described but God does the unity.

 

Me, personally, before I was married ofcourse I loved to speak to Mary-ann and she’s the best and all kinds of stuff.  I am not the most social person, I didn’t like to speak to people.  I can do it and I can get by in some social settings and this and that but if you ask me….I would sit with the TV and we’re cool.  If I had to talk to you on the phone, it was like “Uh!”  and painful and pulling teeth and I’d dial phone numbers and pray, “come on voice mail, come on voice mail, come on com on.”  I still do that to this day!  But not with Mary Ann.  With Mary-Ann it was the opposite, with Mary-Ann somehow we can sit and talk forever.  I can’t talk to anyone else but I can talk to her, it’s a holy spirit thing which can’t be put into words.

 

That’s the part where you’re supposed to say “awww”!! hahaha

 

Cool on that one?  Ok, there’s one last question that I want to get to..

 

Question:  What’s the best way for me to find “the Two?”  Shall I go out a lot?  Shall I go to conventions?  Shall I go to copticmatch.com?

 

This is easy, copticmatch.com baby!!  $10 for the first month, $5 dollars for a year’s subscription, this is the way to go!!  Hahahaaa

 

So, what is the best way to meet the two?  What should I do?  Should I go out a lot?  This is very practical…and I’m being very honest right now.  Here I am, I’m committed to God, I wanna do the right thing, how do I meet “the two?”  Will coming to Light & Life to meet “The Two?”  Will coming in to church and praying all day make me meet “The Two?”  do I go out?  Or go to conventions?  Or should I go to internet sites?  Do I have my friends set me up?  Do I have my parents set me up?  Do I go desperate and do I go to my father of confession to set me up?  What do I do?

 

This one’s easy.  This is easy.  What you need to do is get to know “The One” and he will lead you to “The Two.”  Let me put it to you this way, your spouse is not something to be found, it is something to be revealed.  What’s the difference?  Your spouse is not someone that you should go out and find, if it was something to find, then I’d be the first one to tell you, get out there man!  Get out there to the CYC, get out there to the convention, get out there and meet some people.  But it’s not something you can find, it’s something that will be revealed.   It’s a magic treasure that is hidden somewhere on this earth and only I [God] know the answer to.  Let’s say the Key that unlocks the happiness to your life and I’m the only one who knows where it is, I told you I hid it somewhere in America, somewhere under a rock in America.  Are you going to go under ever single rock in the United States of American and search?  You can, you’re an idiot!  What’s a better way?  Spend time with me!  I have the key in my pocket.  Maybe it’s under the shoe in my house?   It’s not a scavenger hunt is what I’m trying to tell you, it’s something that can only be revealed by God. 

 

There are two ways to go about a relationship:

1.       Me pushing God – come on God, bless this, make this work!

Vs.

2.       God pulling me.  Come on man, why are you so slow?  I got someone for you.

 

Which is the better model? 

 

Question from audience:  Doesn’t that sound like there’s only one person from God though?

 

Hmm….again, back to my model.  When I’m right here, God has a place that he wants me to go, has a job that he wants me to take, has a person he wants me to marry, etc.  God has a plan and he will reveal it to me.  If I don’t listen, and I don’t listen, and I don’t listen, and I don’t listen, and I don’t listen…..

Does God still have a will for me?  Yes. 

Is it the same as before?  The destination is the same, but the journey to get there is different. And the spouse is part of the journey, not the destination. 

 

Question from audience:  Does that mean that God has a backup plan?

 

No, it’s not that God has a backup plan, God has a plan and sometimes we screw it up.  But God fixes it and makes it better.  It’s not that he has a backup plan, God has “a plan,”  and his plan was for me from day 1 never to ever ever ever do a sin.  I screwed that up.  He fixes it.  I screw up again.  He fixes it.  Sometimes I really screwed up, he’s going to make a workaround to get me back to where I want to.  And like I said, maybe God wants me to go from here to there but he knows I’m not smart enough right now.  I need to go to here, learn some lessons, go here and learn a painful lesson, and then go here.  So God has a will right here. 

 

Let’s say when I was 18, I knew God wanted me to marry Mary-Ann, let’s say He somehow revealed it to me. But God didn’t want me to marry Mary-Ann at the time, God wanted me to be here, and do this mistake and learn this lesson so that by the time I got over here,  I wasn’t an idiot and I knew what I was doing.  So He wanted me to go through those steps and it could be the same with you.  But the most important thing is being in tune with Him.  Be in tune with him because if he wants you to go from here to there in that kind of a circular way that’s the only way that you’re going to have the perfect plan.  So God’s will is not something to be discovered, God’s will is something to be revealed. 

 

Remember when Christ was born in a manger, how did the wisemen know where he was?  The star told them.  It’s not that they went out and did research, and it’s not that they asked around.  It was very simple, where the star is, go where the star is.  If the star’s there, go there.  It’s easy, simple, all you have to do is know what the star looks like, be very keen at knowing the star and wherever the star is you just go.  An idiot can do it.  That’s the same thing with your spouse, just learn to follow the star and wherever the star stops, go there.  The star moves, go there.  And if the star comes back and if the star does donuts in the grass, do donuts in the grass!  Go where the star goes. 

 

Theme verse of this series has been:

 

“Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

 

 

I promise you, if you trust in God and you put your hope in God, not in your guns, not in your witty personality, not in your skills or your conventions or your $10 subscription.  If you put your trust in God, you delight yourself in the Lord and him alone, is there any chance that he is going to leave you?  Is there any chance he’s going to say, “tough luck”?  is there any chance that if my son comes to me and says, “Dad, I will do whatever you tell me to do,” and I say “ha! Gotcha!  now, you’re in for it sucker!”  Any chance of that?  NO Chance God will do the same thing.  If I go to my father in heaven and say,”God, I am yours 100%, I’ll do whatever it is you tell me, ofcourse he’s going to give me the best.”  Even if I don’t understand it, He’s always working out good for me. 

 

Makes sense?  Alright, with that we’ll conclude our dating series, I hope you guys enjoyed it.  If anyone does have any more questions you can feel free to ask me afterwards.

 

Okay, let’s stand up for a prayer now.

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God, amen.  We thank you our dear heavenly father because you are not a distant God but because you are a God who’s alive and active in our lives and I know dear Lord that you have a perfect plan for each and every single one of us.  A plan to make us like you, a plan to give us joy.  Help us dear lord to really delight ourselves in you, to trust that you’ll take care of us, we don’t need to take care of ourselves, that you’ll provide for us, we don’t need to provide for ourselves.  It’s so hard to trust you with things that hit us close to home Lord, but I know that when your children are trusting in you I know you’ll never leave them.  I know there’s many people who come today, sad or maybe hurting or lonely or whatever, and I know dear lord that you in your heart hurt more than they do but I know that you’ll take care of them and provide them the best.  Bless the relationships that are taking place here, bless the marriages, bless the family unit inside every single one of the homes, bless the members of this church, let us to always be glorifying and pleasing to you in everything that we do and just be seeking you above all else.  Thank you again for your love, thank you for your mercy and for your grace and your kindness that fixes my mistakes even when don’t want them to be fixed.  Praying that you would accept this prayer in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, special prayer for his Holiness Pope Shenouda and his health and his surgery tomorrow, praying that you will grant him health and healing and safety and bring him out of this in a stronger and better way.  Pray for our church here and Abouna Bishoy and tasony Irene and all of those who asked us to remember them in our prayers through our Lord Jesus Christ and the intercessions and prayers of all your saints here as we pray thankfully, our father who art in heaven……