Tag: Pre Engagement Questions

Why Married Sex is the Best

[Guest Post by Aurora Vilchis – I love my friend’s heart. Not only has she has experienced both kinds of sex, but she knows which one is best and shares why. *This post was originally featured on Girls Using Their Strengths blog here).] I like 

New eBook Loves Me Not

I wrote a new eBook entitled Loves Me Not: Heartbreak & Healing God’s Way that released on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords on May 6th for only 2.99! If you’ve read Not Another Dating Book, you’ll notice I don’t talk about my story. 

Living By Myself

Living By Myself

living by myself

[Guest Post by Jessica Baumgardner. Jessica and I connected on Facebook and I asked her to write a piece on living together by herself. She thought I was crazy, but I’m so glad she did! She has a big heart and has been through a lot. I think we could all learn a lot from her, actually!]

I have always believed in God my entire life, but I never had a relationship with Him or even knew what that meant.

I was forced to go to church when I was younger and I did not understand anything about it. My parents finally stopped making us go once I got to high school and I never went back to church until I was 21 years old.

When I was in college, I was very far away from God and my lifestyle reflected that.

I actually started dating someone who was in the military when I was 18 years old and we were engaged within 6 months of dating.

I got married at 19 years old and divorced by the time I was 20 years old.

Once we got married and moved in together, it completely tore us apart.

We did not know each other well enough and we rushed in to something that should be taken very seriously. I was in to partying back then, and my ex husband had a drinking problem. We tried to go to marriage counseling to mend our relationship because we continuously argued.

The counseling did not help us and I could not handle the emotional abuse anymore.

I consulted with my mom because I knew that God was against divorce. But, there were times when my ex husband and I got in to arguments and it almost turned in to physical abuse. With the help of my parents, I decided that it would be best to go through with the divorce.

After my divorce was finalized, I started dating someone quickly after.

We met in college. Dating this person helped me become more confident in myself because he treated me completely different than my ex husband. That confidence helped me to quit smoking cigarettes (I smoked a pack a day) and made me want to take care of my body. I lost 60 lbs by starting to eat healthier and exercising.

This was the first stage of becoming a Proverbs 31 woman.

Things started to become very serious with my boyfriend. I moved to another state after graduating college, but we decided to stay together. We only saw each other on the weekends, but we grew closer and closer.

We talked about getting engaged and married some day.

However, our relationship didn’t really seem to be moving forward. We were living in two different cities and that caused us to argue because we were so unhappy with not being able to see each other often.

My unhealthy relationship affected every other area of my life.

I couldn’t see my life without him, so I decided to keep trying for a while. One day I decided that after three and a half years together, I could not go on being so unhappy. I loved him a lot and didn’t think I could survive by myself being single because I had never really done that before. We had many differences and I had recently started going to church again and wanted to get more involved, but we didn’t see eye to eye on that.

I decided to end things with him, which was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done emotionally, even harder than my divorce.

We continued talking back and forth for a few months after the break up, which wasn’t helping me move on. But, I had started going to church more often after our break up. Then I ended up recommitting my life to Christ again and got baptized.  Once I made this decision, God literally helped me change everything about my life.

This is when the other stages of becoming a Proverbs 31 came to fruition.

I did have more confidence from losing weight and leading a healthier lifestyle.

But, I was not mentally or spiritually healthy. God gave me the strength and courage to join a Bible study with a group of women I didn’t know. He also gave me the courage to start volunteering at church and in the community. This is where God truly transformed me mentally and spiritually.

I began to read the Bible, pray, and learned what having a relationship with God really meant.

I stopped being so afraid to go outside of my comfort zone and meet new people. I started coming out of the depression from my break up. I met so many amazing people who impacted my life and helped me grow to where I am now healthy mentally and spiritually.

A divorce and break up from a long-term boyfriend were extremely hard situations to go through.

But, I would not be who I am now if it weren’t for these situations. I never thought I would be able to say that I ran a half marathon, got my Master’s degree, went on a mission trip to Poland, and become a health and fitness coach to help others achieve their goals.

I am now living by myself with my two kitties, and enjoy being single.

I am healthy spiritually, mentally, and physically, and I am working on becoming the best woman I can for God and His kingdom.

Jessica BaumgardnerI’m a 25-year-old girlie girl from the South who is truly destined for the big city. I love my family more than life itself and have a knack for fashion. God transformed my entire life by taking me from an overweight, depressed, disrespectful, and dark place in my life to a positive, uplifting, faith-driven fitness coach. I have an absolute passion for helping others achieve their goals and God has given me a vision to start a faith, fitness, and fashion ministry to help women struggling for change and desiring happiness.

[Photo: Mrs Suzie Cue, Creative Commons

Quarter Life Conference LIVE today

Quarter Life Conference LIVE today

Quarter Life Conference +Watch Party Click here to watch Quarter Life Conference starting at 8 PM EST. If you’re busy on March 21st (which is totally understandable), you can still bookmark the link to watch later. +Event Guide I have created a FREE .PDF to 

Should We Live Together Before Marriage?

Should We Live Together Before Marriage?

[Guest Blog by Pam and Bill Farrel. Pam is my mentor and has gone above and beyond to help me publish my first three books. They are also one of my upcoming speakers at Quarter Life Conference. Don’t forget to register here.] Should we live 

Infatuation Makes Us Very Vulnerable

Infatuation Makes Us Very Vulnerable

infatuation is vulnerable and stupid

[Guest Post by Gary Thomas. I’m very excited for him to share on the blog today as he is one of my heroes (he doesn’t know that yet). My husband Marc and I went through Sacred Marriage in our pre engagement counseling and believe in his message. He is also one of my upcoming speakers at Quarter Life Conference, a free online conference for the 20/30-somethings on Thursday. Register here for free.]

Not only are you stupid when you’re infatuated, but you also become extremely vulnerable.

I’m speaking as a pastor who has witnessed the tremendous pain that romanticism has led so many people into. Psychologically, “hearts broken from lost love rate among the most stressful life events a person can experience, exceeded in psychological pain only by horrific events such as a child dying.”

If you dive in and let yourself go emotionally, without even knowing whether the person you are falling for is worthy of your trust, and that person then cheats on you or rejects you, the fact that they are of low character won’t remove your pain. You’ll feel tremendous loss.

Can I be honest with you?

There isn’t a person alive who can keep you enthralled for the next five or six decades. If they’re really funny, really attractive, and you’re really infatuated, you can be enthralled for a few years, but selfish people–even wealthy selfish people, or beautiful selfish people, or famous selfish people–eventually get bored with each other, and the very relationship that once gave them security and life feels like prison and death. No matter how intensely you feel in love now, the same thing will happen to you if you get married without a shared mission.

Just because you’re ‘in love’ with someone doesn’t mean you should seriously consider marrying them.

An insecure person with low self-esteem…from a broken home who has a high fear or abandonment often wants to rush things to ‘lock in” the relationship, pushing for an early engagement. [They’re] more concerned about avoiding another relational loss than [they] are about finding the best possible match. Two relatively secure individuals can respect and love each other without obsessive thinking, euphoric mood swings, or desperate clinginess.

Here’s the danger of letting these powerful feelings dictate whether you begin, stay in, or end a relationship: when the relationship hits a tough spot (as it inevitably will), most people who have overwhelming feelings will ignore the issues raised by the conflict and try to make the relationship work because they have strong feelings. Wisdom says we should try to make a relationship work not because we have strong feelings but because it’s a good match.

All of this, I hope is an argument for not getting married too hastily.

Wisdom waits.

Wisdom is patient.

Blurting out or acting on your feelings in the bloom of their creation is tempting but foolish thing to do: “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Prov. 29:20 ESV).

SmallfileGary Thomas’ writing and speaking focuses on bringing people closer to Christ and closer to others. Gary is the author of 15 books that have been translated into a dozen languages. These books include Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?, The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who We Marry, but Why?, Sacred Pathways, and the Gold Medallion award winner Authentic Faith. Gary holds a Master of Christian studies degree from Regent College, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Western Seminary. He serves on the teaching team at Second Baptist Church, Houston, and is an adjunct faculty member at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

[Excerpts taken from The Sacred Search, (c) David C Cook Publishers]

 

On Moving In Together

On Moving In Together

[Guest Post by Arleen Spenceley] – If, or when is it appropriate for a committed dating couple to try moving in together? A young woman stood behind my seat, combed my damp curls and lifted her shears to cut my hair. “Do you have a 

Living Together Before Marriage

Living Together Before Marriage

[Guest Post by Ruth Rutherford] – Picture this, ladies: You’ve been dating an amazing guy for a while now and things are going perfectly. He is sweet, funny, smart and driven. When he looks at you, his eyes sparkle. When he smiles at you, your 

On Anxiety: Why I'm Not Ready For Kids

On Anxiety: Why I'm Not Ready For Kids

im not ready for kids

I’m not ready for kids because I have anxiety.

I never thought I’d share this information publicly, but I never thought I’d be married and dealing with this problem privately.

As some of you already may know, I was single for 12 years, 10 months, and 24 days. That’s a long time to forget about having children. Also long enough to realize I probably won’t have more than one or two kids when I do get married. I’m 30, so it’s not like I don’t time to figure out this kid business.

I never realized my doctor would tell me I shouldn’t have kids.

It’s not enough to know that my husband and I aren’t ready to make that decision yet (we’re newlyweds), but the medication I take specifically says do not take while pregnant or nursing.

My doctor says I have to be off anxiety medication for at least 4 months before I even think about getting pregnant.

This makes me feel broken.

Unsettled.

Ashamed and embarrassed.

I feel like a prisoner in my own body.

I never thought I’d be taking anxiety medication for this long.

I also never thought I’d have to deal with the fact that getting pregnant would be a bad thing. I waited for marriage and so did my husband–shouldn’t this also mean our pursuit towards having kids and raising a family be a good thing?

I recently read a comforting yet challenging article called The False Promise of Abstinence by Alece Ronzino. She said just because you save sex for marriage doesn’t equal perfect sex. I’d like to take that one step further and say it also doesn’t equal the perfect kid.

I’m not ready for kids for a number of reasons.

It just feels like my fault when it’s me that can’t (yet). Sure Obama Health Care doesn’t help (our out of pocket premiums will double with kids). Sure the sucky economy doesn’t help either.

One thing that’s brought me comfort during the first year and four months of marriage is the hope of adoption. Before we got married, Marc and I knew adoption held a special place in our hearts. I honestly thought it would be the easy way out–that is, until one of the adoption agencies said that I couldn’t adopt because I take anxiety medication.

Once again I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

I love this quote by my author friend Ava Pennington. In talking about the pain children can cause she says,

“Zealousness indicates an eager or fervent desire for something. Even if we are eager to restore a broken relationship, however, it is doubtful any of us would be willing to sacrifice one of our children. God, in all His omniscience, knew exactly what it would cost to redeem His people. Still, He was Zealous–eager, fervent–to make it happen, not because He wished pain on His Son, but because it was the only way to restore us to Him. That is how much He loves us” (One Year Alone With God).

Through the process I’ve come into a deeper understanding of God’s heart for children.

His love endured the most incredible pain any parent could endure–sacrificing His own child for the sake of all children.

If I ever have a child of my own someday or not–I know the kind of religion that is acceptable to God is the kind that looks after orphans and widows (James 1:27).

And this is not something to be anxious about.

[Photo: osiatynska, Creative Commons]

On Dating: Should We Talk About Sex?

On Dating: Should We Talk About Sex?

[Guest Post by Lisa Velthouse] – Should we talk about sex? If so, when? And how? And what is OK to say, and what isn’t? And what, oh what, would our youth pastors think if they heard us now? Christians in a dating and marrying