The 5-C's of Finding Mr/Mrs Right (Part 2)

In today’s post, I will be covering characteristic #2 – Christ-Centeredness

In my first post I stated that the first characteristic was Chemistry. Because without that, you probably aren’t spending any more meaningful time out of your busy schedule investigating the possibilities with someone further.

If you are a Jesus follower, then the second characteristic needs to be that the person you are interested in also Christ-centric. This is such an important principle that Paul states it very plainly by saying “Don’t be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever.” 2 Corinthians 6:14

I’m not saying that there aren’t some great people out there that don’t follow Christ. Sure there are. But a personal relationship with J.C. should be so transformative in one’s life that there is going to be a very clear distinction between the things that motivate and inspire the two of you. Your relationship with Jesus will influence your world view, how you spend or invest your money, how you raise your children, how you view and process the struggles (as well as the successes) that you experience in life, how you view the future and even your understanding of why you exist on this planet.

And the relationship with Christ that I’m speaking of must be dynamic! A lot of people think that they are Christian and call themselves such because they go to church or went to Sunday School when they were young. That’s not good enough!! Listen to me, That’s not good enough!

Do they have a prayer life? Do they make church a priority? Do they really worship during the services or just mumble the words or stand there with their hands in their pockets? Do they go deeper than just the Sunday sermon? Do they do their own Bible studies; belong to their own small group of people who are mining the word of God? Do they serve in some capacity?

Don’t take this as my insinuation that the person needs to be some super-saint or called into full time ministry, not at all. In fact, I think that there is nothing more wonderful than fully committed believers discovering their God-given calling into science or education or medicine or business or the arts, etc., I’m only saying that their relationship with Jesus needs to be real and that they demonstrate a real level of serious commitment to it.

Otherwise, you will find yourself very alone in one of the most important realms of life, your spiritual life. And, you will quite possibly also find yourself in a struggle with your spouse in decisions needing to be made about how your children should be raised. Should we make them go to church? Should we put them in a Christian based school? What kind of friends should we allow them to have? How should we discipline them? What do we discipline them for? If dad and mom aren’t on the same page in these matters then the kids rule the house and the person with the lowest standards wins the disagreement.

Listen to Paul, find someone who loves Jesus with all of his heart, soul mind and strength and thereby set yourself up for a much greater chance at success, happiness and oneness in marriage.

Characteristic #1 - Chemistry
Characteristic #2 - Christ-Centered
Characteristic #3 - ???
Characteristic #4 - ???
Characteristic #5 - ???

Keep checking back in for the remaining 3!

The 5-C's of Finding Mr/Mrs Right (Part 1)

There are few decisions in life as important as the one you make about who you are going to marry! That one decision has the potential of bringing you great joy and happiness or tremendous grief and pain. It's completely pervasive and significantly impacts every part of your life. It's critically important to get this decision "right".

I've given this quite a bit of thought over the years (as I've worked with people) and believe that I can list the 5 most important characteristics that one should look for to really nail this decision. So, I've decided to do a 5-part series of short blogs here over the next couple of weeks to help any of you who are still needing to find that right person. Or maybe you know someone else who is and can share this with them.

As it turns out, they all begin with the letter "C". Now won't that make them easy to remember! Ok, here we go with #1.

1. Chemistry - You may be surprised to see me listing this one first but if there isn't any chemistry then after you've gone out on one date with someone, you won't ever go out on a second one. Chemistry is that "intangible something" that makes that person intriguing to you. It draws you back and makes you want to have more interaction with them, to see what they are thinking, what they are like and what they are interested in. Chemistry also includes some arousal of your emotions. You'll know that you have chemistry when you find yourself thinking about that person (maybe even daydreaming) even when you aren't around them. And you can't wait till you see them again.

While Chemistry is vital at the first, it turns out to be the least important in the long run. In fact, Chemistry can deceive you in a BIG way so don't put much trust in it. The big challenge will be to not allow yourself to be blinded by Chemistry. It can make you throw wisdom right out of the window. Nevertheless, it's real and it's vital at the beginning.

Be sure to check back every day or two for the other 4! I promise that we will get more meaty and practical!

WISDOM SERIES 03 Build your whole life with Wisdom

Have you ever made a recipe and were missing a key ingredient?  Did you ever take on a DYI project and didn’t really follow the directions?  Have you ever gone bowling with your golf cleats?  OK, you get it, there is a right way of doing things and following the right plan will take you in the right direction and lead you to success.   When it comes to living your life, letting God’s wisdom be your guide will be a game changer and you can live with that wisdom every. single. day.   

WISDOM can be defined as: “Doing today what I won’t regret tomorrow.”

Jesus reveals his most in-depth collection of teachings on wisdom for life in Matthew 5,6,7.

This is most often called the Sermon on the Mount and is truly THE signature message of Jesus.  He probably shared it more than once so that more people could hear it.  It really is His life message.  Living life with the right attitude and following the right directions with the right processes will bring fulfillment and no regrets.

Jesus shares a story in Matt 7 about a wise man and a foolish man who were both building a house….

Matthew 7:24-29 The Passion Translation (TPT)

24 “Everyone who hears my teaching and applies it to his life can be compared to a wise man who built his house on an unshakable foundation. 25 When the rains fell and the flood[acame, with fierce winds beating upon his house, it stood firm because of its strong foundation. 26 “But everyone who hears my teaching and does not apply it to his life can be compared to a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 When it rained and rained and the flood came, with wind and waves beating upon his house, it collapsed and was swept away.”[b]28 By the time Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were dazed and overwhelmed[c]by his teaching, 29 because his words carried such great authority, quite unlike their religious scholars

Building your house on the rock is building your life with Jesus being at the center.  He is the rock and the foundation of all truth.

Sand is like little bits of truth, but there is really nothing holding it all together.  You got a little truth from your parents, read a good book or two about a particular subject, and then you’ve got your own life experiences.  You add them all up and you’ve got a lot of little bits of truth.   But the ONLY person that can bring all that truth together and make it all mean something cohesively so you can understand it and make it all mean something is Jesus.  We should all be seekers of truth but the only thing that can make all that truth really count is Jesus! 

“It’s not the NEW things that make a difference in life, it is the TRUE things”   JoAnne Ramos

This week, let’s really focus on building our lives with wisdom; it lasts a lifetime and leads to a more fulfilling and enriching life.  So much truth (and wisdom) can so easily be found in the bible. This truth has been helping to restore people cracked and crumbly foundations for thousands of years.  Did you notice is verse 29 that the people right there with Jesus were amazed.  Little bits of sand will not hold your life together when tough times come.

There is truth found in the bible for every question you may be asking.  

Get the “YouVersion” bible app.   Locate the Search section and find “What does the bible say about _______.”  You can type in the word you need ( Hope Peace, Wisdom, etc.).    Read it, meditate on it, practice these verses, talk to friends about these words and you will find that your life will start getting headed in the right direction just by doing these things.

It is like putting a piece of furniture together from IKEA, laying the project out, following the directions and tightening every bolt and screw and then Wow!, that bookshelf, table or bed is so much more stable, usable and will last a lot longer!

Wisdom Series 02

WE ALL NEED WISDOM, SO WHERE CAN I GET IT?

Do you need to make an important decision?  Are you unsure about the options that are in front of you?  Anytime that we have been at one of those intersections in life wondering which way to proceed, and there have been many, we have needed wisdom. 

Wisdom can be defined as:

1.       Wisdom is Doing today what I won’t regret tomorrow

2.       Wisdom is the most beneficial use of knowledge 

3.       Wisdom is Seeing and responding to life’s situations from God’s frame of reference 

 

Where do I get wisdom?

“The starting point for acquiring wisdom is to be consumed with awe as you worship Jehovah-God. To receive the revelation of the Holy One,[a] you must come to the one who has living-understanding”.  Proverbs 9:10 The Passion Translation

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom   all those who practice it have a good understanding.  His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111:10 ESV

The fear of the Lord is simply:  Be aware of Jesus, in awe of His presence.  Jesus is with you all the time, everywhere. 

 

Read this passage from the Bible, that talks about wisdom and where we find it.   Focus on the highlighted verses, then answer the 3 questions below.

Proverbs 8 The Message (MSG)

8:1-11 Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling?  Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She’s taken her stand at First and Main, at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
“You—I’m talking to all of you, everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense! You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,  I’m telling you how to live at your best.
My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—  I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth; not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds; truth-ready minds will see it at once.
Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,  and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.

8:12-21 “I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity; Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
The Fear-of-God means hating Evil,  whose ways I hate with a passion— pride and arrogance and crooked talk.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;   I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.
With my help, leaders rule, and lawmakers legislate fairly; With my help, governors govern, along with all in legitimate authority. I love those who love me; those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—also substantial Honor and a Good Name.
My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary; the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk— at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me , filling their arms with life—armloads of life.”

1.        What is your intersection?  What decision do you need to make?  What are your options?  Write them down.

2.        Are you hearing wisdom?  What is the noise that is blocking you from clearly hearing?   Can you silence the noise, so you can hear wisdom?  Often the noise is the negative internal narrative that we keep rehearsing.  Maybe it is other people’s opinion that is creating noise and blocking the door that God wants to open for you.  Write down what is preventing you from hearing the voice of wisdom calling to you.

3.       What are you in “awe” of?   Are you aware of God’s love and His great plan that He has for your life?  Moments of awareness can become a lifetime of wisdom. So many stories in the New Testament where people had a momentary encounter with Jesus as they became aware that He was nearby and it turned their lives right-side-up!

 

Grow in wisdom by becoming a better listener. Get rid of the noise (which only serves to distract and confuse), and be aware and in touch with Jesus in your life. 

I have many times found Jesus speaking to me through the Bible, or leading me through the peace that I feel about a certain decision, or through the words of wise friends and counselors or through opportunities that are opening up for me that I know only He could have made happen.  He is always speaking, I am just not always listening. 

     

 Did you know that the same letters that are in the word listen are also in the word silent?  Yeah that got me too!

Wisdom Series 01

 I live in Seattle and we are blessed with some of the worst traffic in America.  Maybe it’s not as bad as Mexico City or Rome but believe me, traffic is bad here.   

It’s F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G to be stopped or slowed down.!

Let’s face it, nobody likes being stuck, whether in traffic, on a hot airplane that’s not taking off or in life challenges.  And yet a lot of different circumstances come our way which can leave us feeling like we are STUCK and helpless.  Know this… you never get yourself unstuck by just sitting there and doing nothing.

If, as you read this, you are finding yourself emotionally identifying with my description, then it may be the time to Take Action!  The sooner that you act the sooner you may find yourself rolling down the highway of life again to your envisioned destination.

Ask yourselves these 3 questions:

1.       Am I clear with the directions to my destination?  Intentions don’t get us anywhere; do I know where I am going?

2.       Am I looking in the rearview mirror of my life?  Looking back at failures or even reveling in my past victories can run me off the road of life so fast.  Look forward, focus toward your destiny.

3.       Do I need a lane change?  Look around, are there options?  Who can you ask to get in your car, so you can be in the HOV lane? 

If you answered “That’s me” to any or all of these questions, then it’s time to call the tow truck (metaphorically) to get yourself moving again.  

Here are my recommendations:

1.       Talk to Jesus about it.  I can’t guarantee that he will talk back but you will immediately begin to feel the weight you are under lifting and hope will begin to fill you once again.  In Psalm 142:2 we are told that King David poured out his complaint to God.  One cool thing about the Psalms is that we frequently see David start off by complaining about something and then, by the time the Psalm is done, his whole outlook and perspective seems to have shifted.  That can happen to you too! That’s empowering!

 

2.       Talk to 2 or 3 close and wise friends.  Your community can be remarkable at such times. Ask for their help and for their honesty.  Don’t complain to your friends, they won’t really want to hear that and it’s a waste of everybody’s time.   For complaining, go back to point 1.  Tell them, though, what you are experiencing and how you are feeling and ask them for their honest advice and perspective.  Sometimes we are blind to things that are limiting us but our friends may see those things more clearly.  Do you remember the story in the gospels about the 4 guys who picked up their lame friend and tore open the thatched roof of a home to lower their friend down into Jesus midst when they couldn’t get him through the large crowd that had assembled outside?  That’s how powerful friends can be!!  That’s transformational!

3.       Talk to a good Coach or Counselor.  These professionals can help you discover what the best way is of getting into a different lane altogether or improving your personal performance or people skills so that you can achieve a needed breakthrough.   Our good friend Carla says…  ”Don’t skimp on your shoes or your therapist.”  That’s wise advice!