Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Making your Relationship WORK 101: God's Way"



Soo, you finally met your "Adam"-- your boo! And you looooove him so much! So much.. sometimes, you want to EXPRESS it physically by kissing, rubbing, cuddling.. or maybe even sex. YOU want to feel close to him ...BUT deep down, YOU want your relationship to glorify God. YOU don't want your relationships to mirror your past relationships but you can't quite figure out how to "court" or date .. God's way. You KEEP taking your past ways of thinking from the world.. into your courting relationship and you find yourself having to choose between GOD and your man, often. So you both have sex, repent and give that area to God.. OVER & OVER again. You're TIRED. You WANT to live for GOD for real but you aren't convinced that you should break up with your boo. YOU want to make things work but you just cannot figure out how to turn off that switch. You could be engaged and SO close to the wedding day-- HOW do you abstain?!?

Well, this post may be for you if any of the above applied to you. And trust me sisters, I have BEEN there & DONE all that. I dated as a Christian but was STILL all up in the world & I courted God's way-- where my husband and I didn't kiss until our wedding day. We courted for 1 year and 8 months and kissed for the first time on 8/14/2010. I blogged about it here. SO, let's first quickly break down the difference between courting & dating.

Dating vs. Courting 101
Before we even get into that-- let's just make sure that we're ALL on the same page. YOU don't get into a relationship with an unbeliever. (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). SOOO, if he says he's a Christian, but he wants to be a drug-dealing, thug rapper that curses every 5 minutes-- he aint the one. OR to bring it closer to home.. if he goes to "church" but tries to screw you every 5 minutes, HE aint the one. A tree is identified by it's FRUIT. FRUIT of your salvation is a changed life. You can't just "say" you're a Christian cuz you go to church. Demons can do that.

Courtship:
  • Takes the position that the two people have no physical contact at all (no touching, no hand-holding, no kissing) until marriage. 
  • Many in a courtship relationship will not spend any time together unless family members, preferably parents, are present at all times.
  •  Courting couples state up front that their intentions are to see if the other person is a suitable potential marriage partner. 
  • Courtship allows for the two people to truly get to know each other in a more platonic setting without the pressures of physical intimacy or emotions clouding their view.
Dating:
  • Spends a ton of time alone which presents a ton of temptations
  • Family isn't as involved
  • Foreplay, not going all the way, going all the way, "test driving each other"
  • No clear purpose-- just a lot of conditional dating & confusion on "where is this relationship going??!)
  • Plays house. Calls each other wifey & hubby & does husband & wife like things but has no commitment
  • There's still a option to date others, ya'll aren't totally sold & still "trying each other out"
My husband and I courted ALL day. We STAYED out in groups with people and family & we were rarely alone in our almost 2 year courting process. It was great for him and I to see how each other interacted with others in large groups. Was it hard?! UM, YES. It wasn't EASY but if it was EASY, everybody would do it. But as a wife, I see the FRUIT of it. It's pretty amazing. Beyond amazing. Mind-blowing amazing.
Ok, let's get to the nitty griddy! 

HOW to make sure your relationship GLORIFIES God 

1. STOP having sex. If you're having sex & ya'll aint married. JUST STOP IT! HAVING sex is SEPARATING you from GOD! God may be trying to speak to you concerning that guy.. but you can't hear because your vision is all clouded because you're in "love"-- you aint in love, you're in lust. LOVE waits until marriage. So first step-- go to God-- MAKE sure that God is ok with you even staying with that person. Real talk. HE is JEALOUS for you. If God is cool with you staying with him (and BOTH sides have repented and made a decision to honor God) then start this journey on the same PAGE (amos 3:3). Meaning you SET up some boundaries. STOP cuddling, rubbing, putting yourself in 1:1 situations and if it's late, you shouldn't be at each others house! My now husband and I didn't hang out LATE at each others house! There was NONE of that. We were never at each others home late at night PERIOD. And let's clear this up-- if you cannot STOP having sex-- lasciviousness has crept into your relationship. NOW you cannot find the breaks or STOP having sex. BUT you can. YOU will desire whatever you put in front of you & give your attention to.. so tell your little flesh to shut up & be determined to obey GOD. Remember, that man didn't PAY the price for you. Christ did. So he should keep his paws off your body that doesn't belong to either one of you until you get MARRIED.
And for those of you who are smiling as you read this & thinking.. "we haven't had sex.. we have messed around but haven't gone the whole way"-- well, babygirl, I'm talking to YOU as well. Do you think that God doesn't look at ya'll playing around with the SAME destest?! It's a MINDSET. .. "BE HOLY as HE is HOLY"- 1 Peter 1:16

And if you don't believe me that it's wrong to have sex outside of marriage, it's clear here: "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." - 1 Corinthians 6:18

2. Guard your heart. (Proverbs 4:23) STOP watching stupid reality TV songs, going to clubs, love-sex songs, pornography or blogs. DO you know that those things plant seeds in  your heart. Then, you wonder why you want to live it out & be sexual with  your guy! SO stop being all sexual as you sing & dance a beyonce song to your guy. Even IF you're joking. Men are visual & their APPLIANCES work. WHY test it out?

3. Actions. Are you super sexual? Do you dance in front of him a ton? Do you change in front of him or wear low-cut shirts? Do you wear bikinis around him at the pool? JUST STOP. My now husband didn't see me in a bikini until the HONEYMOON. I didn't wear low-cut things, showing my goodies. I VALUE myself, thus, I cover up. Plus, Cornelius didn't pay the price for me yet called marriage, so he didn't get to see my body. Period. I mean.. why by the milk if you're getting to see EVERY part of the cow for free.. 

4. Tell your emotions to shut up. So of COURSE you want to lay up, kiss, cuddle and do all of those things but at SOME point, you just have to tell your emotions to calm DOWN. When you finally take a stand & obey GOD in your relationship-- the flesh won't have a foothold in your heart-- THEN you'll be able to pass some tests. WHEN you honor God-- he will OVERWHELM you with honor. I'm watching the Lord do that in our life. It was HARD not to kiss as we grew in love with each other but we developed emotionally & I'm seeing the fruit as a wife. SO, take ya tail home at night. Tell each other NO. LOVE God more than you love each other. 

5. GOD has to be first. This is so cliche. But it's the truth & this will never change. the above 4 reasons won't happen unless GOD is really first in  your heart. Spend DAILY time with Him, apply what you learned, serve in your local church, walk in love, pray earnestly for your guy, forgive whoever hurt you-- DO your part. When TWO believers come together with their hearts committed to Christ.. YOU both turn into a POWER COUPLE.

6. Spend time with God. THIS will be included in EVERY blog that I do. THIS will never change. When you stay connected with God.. you won't WANT to sin. YOU will WANT to please GOD. YOU WANT what you put IN front of your face. I blogged about the Journal Challenge. Get on board. Like now.

If you wonder why jealousy, envy, and being controlling is involved in a relationship, it's evident of WHO you let into your relationship. When you have sex outside of marriage it introduces feelings & unhealthy emotions. WHY even open yourself UP to statan? YOU belong to whoever you obey. Sounds kinda harsh right? ... Well, I didn't say it-- Titus 1:16 "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good." & John 8:44: "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire"

I'm not saying this to beat you down-- I'm trying to CHALLENGE you to change your LIFE & chose GOD over a piece of non-committed meat.A relationship can either be a distraction that leaves you stuck in a ditch-- hurt, confused or frustrated-- or it can be a bridge that PUSHES you towards Christ. If you've messed up in your relationships.. make a decision to start new! Don't think.. oh, we messed up & God can't use us and we won't have the story that "we waited"-- DO what GOD is instructing YOU to do.

In my own personal life, I knew if I had sex with my little boyfriends (when I was single)-- I KNEW I wasn't going to marry them. I remember thinking one time afterwards.. well, another one bits the dust. Aint it homie. That may sound weird to you, but I KNEW that I was going to wait with my one-day husband. Of course, I clearly played a role in the above but I KNEW that my one day spouse would have the standard of honoring my body until we got married. I KNEW that the Holy Spirit wasn't pleased with my yo-yo Christianity life while I was at church on Sunday and staying the night with my little boo on Monday. Like, did I NOT hear what the preacher was saying??! HOW many days was I going to SIT up & IGNORE what I know to be true?!! WE know what to do in our relationships, we just won't DO it. So today, I challenge YOU to make it RIGHT. I challenge you to take ya tail home at night and to STOP putting yourself in situations where you're not honoring God. It's time for us to stop going to God every 5 minutes and begging him for our purpose and direction when we have a pair of thighs up in our bed that didn't pay the price for us. Step 1: Obey God Step 2: You'll get the next instructions.

Oh yeah, and God just placed this on my heart before I posted this. I'm not saying this to make you feel you guilty but I gotta write it. WE all can see if you & the guy had sex. Your affection & chemistry & lusty spirit is CLEAR & it's ALL on you. DO you not know that what you PUT in YOU illuminates OUTSIDE of you?!? Put in God's word, study, prayer--we can see your heart.. filled with purity and a "glow" about you. If you're sleeping with your guy.. we can see it in  your eyes. So change. Not for people. But for YOU & GOD. You're so valuable. So beautiful. Start living, thinking& acting like  it.

Let's do this right.

God loves you like crazy,

Heather Lindsey
(hubby & I in San Juan, PR this past week)

100 comments:

  1. So this is right on time. I had a conversation with one of the women I met at our Pinky Promise group in reference to my struggle in this area of my relationship. God definitely just spoke to me through you. I'm setting boundaries and getting on my face to seek God's direction with this relationship. Thanks! Love you sister!

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  2. You all make a beautiful couple. Bless you for who are you and what you stand for.

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  3. Wow Mrs. Heather,
    This blog has truly touched me. I am in a situation right now where I am "dating" BUT am making the conscious decision to COURT. My pastor was JUST speaking on "The Rules of Engagement" from Gen. 29 where Jacob met Rachel. It is nothing but God, that I heard that word and am now reading this. Thank you for inconveniencing yourself in God so that others like myself can learn. God bless you! ;)

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  4. Wow...I needed to read this. We are still in the early courting stage where we don't even have a title, we have a platonic friendship. He is literally my new best friend and I am his. We decided that the relationship begins when we are married, but now is where we will be test by the very things God wants us to flee from. We've been doing great so far. Everytine we go out we have an accountability partner with us. WE know nothing will happen, but the Devil is a sneaky one...lol...We fast together, we pray together, we study our word together...everything is everything...:)

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  5. Help us Heather!!! Great article. Teach it.

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  6. Thank you Heather and may the Lord continue to use you in accordance to his will.
    I am not in a relationship and I thank God because I am focused on my spiritual growth within my Heavenly Father. He is preparing me for a revival and I am hungry for this generation to turn from its worldly ways and seek God.~~Eve N.

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  7. Hey girl hey!! I am SO in love with your blogs, and journal-ing now too. Growth is a very interesting thing... I've been celibate for over 2 years, and there is no Adam in my life (just tumbleweeds and memories) lol but I'm okay with that too. Have a question that clearly stems from memories of the flesh, like, in the event I do meet someone eventually, and continue to wait until marriage, what about the very real possibility that we won't be sexually compatible? I think about that as I remember sex to be past enjoyable (I'm being honest) and would love to have it quite often with my husband. What about sexual compatibility? Is that left up to God as well? Trusting him to pair you with the "right" man even in sex? Thank you for all that you share and preach. :)

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    1. I know you're asking Heather, but I just had to reply, because I've always wondered the same thing! I found out that there's NO SUCH THING as sexual "compatibility", only HABITS that you pick up along the way. You and your husband will learn how to please each other over time. That's the beauty of sex within marriage; you have all the time in the world to get it right. :)

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    2. Danielle-- YOU are SO right. You answered perfectly! <3

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    3. When we look at couples of the past, when waiting until marriage was expected and socially acceptable, they figured out a way to make their sexual marital lives fulfilling. If they could do it, so can we. I am optimistic! If this is the man whom God made you for, it can be nothing but wonderful.

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    4. Hi am a Christian and so is he and I live with my boyfriend we decide to give God r all and not to have sex tel marriage I had no were else to live so we move in together .if we stay rite b4 God will he still honor are relationship

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  8. I LOVE THIS BLOG POST!

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  9. I LOVE THIS!!!

    I so wish I had listened to God about relationships long ago and chose to love HIS way. I really wish I could go back and honor HIM for all of those years instead of longing for a false love. I had to learn this the hard way: "A relationship can either be a distraction that leaves you stuck in a ditch-- hurt, confused or frustrated-- or it can be a bridge that PUSHES you towards Christ." But I'm grateful that I finally learned how to chase God with my whole heart instead. <3 ONLY HE can bring the pure desires of my heart. Only He can heal the wounds caused by rebellion. AND He makes beautiful stories out of our messes when we give it all to Him... all for HIS GLORY. thank you for being such a sweet example of THAT!!

    YOU, lovely one, are anointed and I thank God for your bold message of truth and for the beautiful example of healing, redemption and love you bring with such compassion.

    Keep rockin' the WORD sister..
    I'm lovin it!!

    Dr. J

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    1. You're so encouraging. I appreciate YOU.

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  10. I LOVE your blogs! I have just been introduced to the via many retweets on twitter BUT the last two you have written have touched my spirit to the very core. What is amazing is that you atesaying stuff that we should already know but you put it in a way that pulls your audience into God's message. He clearly meant for you to be a voice to your generation and I'm delighted that you are fulfilling your purpose and blessing others. I'm glad that "Tony" found you and I in turn found your words.

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  11. Awesome post! I love it! All points I agree with and work on and you're the only blogger I know that can write a long post and I'll actually read the whole thing lol! I look forward to reading more:)

    XO Kelley
    http://www.keepsittingpretty.blogspot.com

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  12. AWESOME!!! I was once a yo-yo Christian until a series of fortunate events...all led by God...led me to Cornelius and Heather's ministry! Thank You Father!!!

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  13. Thanks for what you posted,it really made me think,try and change to be a better person,God have always been my guide through difficult times. Why not praise Him?well its a question i usually ask myself

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  14. This is some real stuff, not easy but for the better. Love it !!

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  15. I can just read yours blogposts all day! The way you write you make it so easy to understand and it doesn't come off as condescending. You are truly an inspiration! Thank you!

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  16. Heather,

    You have been such an inspiration to my relationship with my Adam and also with God. I am so blessed to have found you through blogging. If you only knew how pure you were and how real you are. I am a part of Lambda Omicron Chi Christian Sorority INC and I tell the Queens of my organization about your blogs all the time. Thank you for allowing God to use you. My Adam and I have really enjoyed your experience with your Husband and your walk with God. It is good to know that someone actually did it the pure and holy way! We are forever blessed!

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    1. I have struggled in this area..I did meet a Christian brother but we messed up over and over constantly praying..but still messing up. I am afraid this has messed up our relationship. I read your blog and dedicated to STOP and glorify the Lord. I will be praying asking the Lord about my guy and if he should be a part of my life..thank you tremendously!!

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  17. Great post Heather...came at the RIGHT time...thank you for being willing to listen and share what God reveals to you. Your testimony has CHALLENGED me and one thing I can say is that your blog is an answer to prayer and a blessing. Keep up the good work.

    - Keshia

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  18. Thank you so much I was clueless when it came to the whole dating scene especially since ive only had worldly relationships and am new in Christ i have wondered how it works. I have shared it with my friends and it has especially touched one of them and her current situation so thank you I pray that God may continue to use you and bless you and your family abundantly. In Jesus name.

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  19. You are becoming a phenomenal writer, you know how to speak the truth in love. You made a lot of valid points, that I believe many people need to hear. Yes everyone has a past, but God has used ur pasts to become a wonderful testimony to so many people. You're the Esther(Bible)of today's generation, keep living your life everyday to please God, and he will reward you tremendously. I have never been deeply touched by a person's life the way I have you, and that has caused me to want some of the same things that you have, & also live my life to please God and draw other people to Christ in the process. One thing I wish for so bad, is that I wish I knew u personally,and you were my friend (you're everything I always wanted in a friend and a sister) remain blessed, and keep up the good work.

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    1. WOW! Praise God! Thanks for your encouragement! And just pray that God surrounds you with sisters that have HIS heart! <3

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  20. Hello Heather, My name is Sarah and I am currently married. My husband and I are having multiple problems. His way of helping us fix our problems was to move out and live with one of his friends. I was against that, but he felt it was the best way for us to work things out. We still haven't worked things out and I am becoming extremely frustrated with the situation. We have talked and talked and we seem to be getting nowhere fast. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions that you could give to us.

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    1. Hi Sarah,
      Have you all gotten counseling from a church or a christian couple? I honestly don't think it's best for a couple to move out to work things out as it leaves the door for more temptations. I encourage you to pray earnestly & be willing to work through things-- regardless of what happen. Learn to accept him daily and don't focus on the things he did in the past. Encourage him daily and focus on his strengths & dont' highlight his weaknesses. Find out what his love language is.. and love him that way.

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  21. Hi Heather!

    Great blog! Its alot to take in, but I do like it. Can you anwser a few questions please?

    First, where did you both learn the principles of courting at? book? website? ect...

    Second, Can you tell us about the fruit of it now that you are married? you mentioned it but didnt give detail?

    Third, maybe you and your husband can do a joint blog one day. I would love to hear from you both, to give hope that there still are men out there who are willing to go through this process. Maybe we could hear from both of you about the courting that God took you through. That would be a great help to those of us who are wanting to do things the right way!

    Thanks for your time and input! I really am excited to find your blog!

    Lisa Ranieri
    Cleveland Ohio

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    1. Hi Lisa,
      The principles are throughout the bible. Most men worked for 7 years for their wife & never touched them! That plus living the courting process.

      The fruit of it is being developed emotionally. Our marriage is strong and it's able to withstand attacks. We also deal with conflict very well. God has opened MANY doors for us very early in our marriage because we took a stand and honored Him. It's pretty amazing.

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  22. I wish a single woman would take a stand and represent victory in her singliness. Your ministry and testimony is beautiful, but I really need to see a single woman with no Adam, no anything, reflecting victory and contentment in Jesus Christ. Looking at your story it's hard not to think "as I seek God then I'll receive my Adam like Heather did." Not necessarily the best thought when I need to be totally focused on Christ a lone.

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  23. wow i am truely touched by this blog i am currently in a lustful relaionship and i found it hard to put God first because of the state of my relationship just after i spent the night with him i heard God telling me to end this relationship and i am gladly going to just to put God first and the time i spent with him i will spend reparing the relationship i damaged with God, i realised no relationship is ever hard to leave if God wants us to leave it, we make things hard for ourselves by making our partner everyhing in our lives, and i fonicated because intimacy had no meaning to me it took one night with him to see that intimacy creates a bond that keeps us in lustful relationships so i am letting go and letting God and i will wait for my adam in God's presence.thank you so much for this blog

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  24. Thank you for this post and everything else. My last relationship was with a Christian man, who was very active in his church. We end up living together because we were so in love and no one knew because we were hiding that we live together because deep down we knew it was wrong. My spiritual sister had a dream that my now ex boyfriend said she, (me) is not holding me accountable anymore. All this time she never knew we move in with each other. Anyway to make a long story short, we play husband and wife because that was our intentions to get married. He said I was the one and I was his wife, well 6 months in and living with each other, I really saw his true side. It was a nightmare. I had no peace. But I was at fault too because it all started with him coming over and staying over at my place, and sometimes I will stay over his place and boom we started having sex. He eventually told me that he wants to see what is out there and date other woman . He wanted to call the quits. As soon as troubles came our way he flee because at the end of the day I wasn’t his wife and he didn’t have to take responsibility for nothing because he was not committed to me, so he was free to leave. What I learn in this ordeal is that if it is ungodly, God will not glorify mess. If I had stayed on my face and not be cloud with so much emotions because he said he love me. I would have seen his intentions long time ago or God would have reveal it to me. It hurted me so bad because he was Christian and seem like the real thing , but I went about it the wrong way, laying with a man that didn’t paid the price. I cried and told God I will do it his way, because I’m tired of this cycle and I am not allowing NO RANDOMS in to my heart, and that is a pinky promise  Its hard but I want God to bless my marriage not frown upon it! Also my biggest mistake was accepting the girlfriend title. When we discuss marriage. I set my standards low because I was like I am his girlfriend now and will eventually be his wife one day. Now I realize I don’t want to be no one girlfriend. I am a wife and preparing myself when that time comes.

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    1. Wow! Sounds like you went through alot! I'm PROUD of you. Stay encouraged & STRONG. xo

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  25. wow, I got sent this by email today and couldn't help but be blown away by the advice you've so lovingly given. Thank God for the burden he has placed on your heart to share your story and help those of us needing to hear this word. I was so moved, I read through all your archives and have been blessed by your words. I pray God continues to use you to affect change and turn around in lives in need of your ministry.

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  26. Amazing! I didn't really know what courting was until I joined my current church. I love the idea of it. And, I know people in courtships who seem very happy. That's definitely what I want. I want to please God in this aspect of my life!

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  27. I'm very curious if your husband was a virgin when your married or not. I know you have discuss how you were not and you were in the world doing things until you decided that was not what you wanted or what God wanted for you.

    I am currently less than 6 months away from my wedding, with the man I have been DATING for 5 years (only 2 short break-ups during our relationship, one longer and much more serious than the other)

    We got engaged very shortly after getting back together last year. We decided together to try to be chaste until our wedding night, after we got back together. We haven't succeeded 100%, but we try really hard.

    We do not and never have lived together, we both own separate homes, but we spend 90% of our time together, and at each others homes.

    We pray together all the time now, we are in pre-marital council through church. Our dynamic has truly changed over the past 7 months and I have no doubts or fears that he is who I am to spend the rest of my life with.

    I believe our union and our marriage is blessed by God. I don't think we need to "Court" after having been together since I was 19 years old. We do think that having God at the center of our relationship and as our foundation is how we will make it.

    My question is, what advice do you have for a couple in my situation? He is NOT a random or a play thing and I don't think we are "playing" house. He will pay the price in a few short months by making me his WIFE and I am blessed and happy to take his name and take on my new role and life. We will live together after the marriage.

    How do you expect someone to suddenly "court" someone they have known and been in a relationship for 5 years? I don't see it being possible. Does this make sense?

    Just curious about your take on it. I do not have discontentment in my heart about our relationship. I feel it is blessed by God and I pray about it all the time.

    I sometimes feel like you think your relationship is better than others because you all didn't "know" each other until your wedding day. I don't think that makes or breaks a marriage, even sanctified. I would love insight.

    Thanks for your time.

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    1. Really love this post, totally agree!
      Especially as Heather has suggested in her posts that she slept with more than one guy, her boyfriends as she says.

      With me and my boyfriend, we have been together for 6 years now, since I was 16. We plan to get engaged and married soon after I graduate this year from university as he graduated last year. We waited 1 year into our relationship before we both lost our virginity to each other. We've never even had a break, we've just grown together for so long now. It's hard when you've been together for so long, and you know each other so deeply, and both are God-fearing and want to glorify God in our marriage, because we know and believe he is the head of our relationship and we want to look to him in everything we do. We have made decisions to start encouraging each other through God more, and attend pre-marital counselling.

      I think for Heather to suggest clandestinely that these relationships like ours are not holy stem from the way in which her previous relationships were of many and not serious, unlike ours.

      I would be interested to know what advice she uses to give to people in situations like this. But apart from that, my advice to you is keep doing what your doing and praying for your relationship, because I think the main point Heather misses is that God KNOWS YOUR HEART, and that is the place where you will be judged from. Our intentions is what he judges, because our actions all make mistakes from time to time.

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    2. Hello Anonymous!
      My advice remains the same-- we must live holy as GOD is Holy. Just because you accepted the lie that it's ok to have sex and whatever else outside of marriage; doesn't mean that GOD agrees with it sis! God is clear, He says to FLEE fornication & the appearance of sin. And you're right- God KNOWS your heart and the bible says that your heart is WICKED amongst all things and we must go to Christ & let Him renew our hearts & mindset. So, since you asked-- I'm sorry sis-- your relationship is not honoring God; no matter how you flip it. And like 1 John says.. if you honor God you will keep His commandments. He commands you to flee from these things outside of marriage.

      And I'll be honest with you (the first comment)-- I don't think that I'm better than anyone. I compare myself to Christ alone-- and you should too. I WILL say this-- God honors THOSE who honor Him and my husband and I honored God with our relationship. We just did. And now, we are seeing the fruit of it. You can make a decision to honor God at any point when two believers come together, repent, stop having sex & start living for Him. SIN separates you from Christ & it's so much bigger than what you think. God can use anybody who is willing. My advice to someone who is still having sex.. I would say; that you are showing who your god is. Your body, your flesh & the father of the flesh.

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    3. Hello Anonymous,

      I just would like to encourage you that you really can decide to honor God after repenting. I know of a couple who have kids but got divorced, then became Christians later (in their separate ways). They met again after many years and when they rekindled, they decided to honor God and not have sex until after they got married again. Even some of their friends "okayed" that they can just do it since they used to be married anyway. But they were already a new creation in Christ, so they went through a courtship process, during their renewed lives. The temptation is even stronger for them, considering that they "knew" each other during their first marriage. It was a Before Christ and After Christ story, really, God's love story. Everyone cried during their second wedding.

      So yes, I agree with Heather. By God's grace, you can honor Him, it's never too late.

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  28. While I was reading my time line on twitter, I seen your website and seen it very interesting! When I seen all that you posted made me think that's very true I should be pure and stop having sex with my Adam, well he doesn't know I seen this yet but tomorrow im going to tell him im going to wait from now on til I get married! If he truly loves me he'll understand! We are both believers of christ! Pray for us! Thanks for this post!

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  29. Writing this with tears in my eyes. It's crazy because it feels like you were speaking directly to me. I know that this was a word from God. Thank you so much for obeying the Holy Spirit and writing this. You don't know how much this touched me. I've been so encouraged by your ministry. God bless you and your marriage :)

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  30. I absolutely love this! I can't get over this. Will be reading it again. Thanks!

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  31. Wow! Your dating rules are quite intense like u cannot even hold hands with your partner. I must say sexual emotions and feelings are very natural and part of all humans and you cannot just ignore them to develop a healthy relationship. :)

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    1. Hey! I didn't say you couldn't hold hands! You can hold hands-- or kiss if you want too-- it's UP to the both of you. I'm not saying ignore those things but I am saying to tell your flesh to shut up & develop emotionally. If you do what you "feel" all day you may be married one day & not "feel" like it & "feel" like sleeping with your co-worker, then you "FEEL" like getting a divorce. At some point-- you have to tell your feelings what to do. Who is runnin' your life? Your emotions or Christ?

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  32. Hi Heather first of all I'd like to say thankyou thankyou thankyou for helping me to want to become a better woman for Christ although right now I'm struggling & need some Godly advice you see as a girl brought up in an abusive home I vowed at a young age that I would never submit to any man cause I was never gonna let them treat me any kind of way well my dad bailed on my mom when I was 11 & let me tell you my mama is a God fearing woman & a good woman to her husband so I thought to myself if a good woman could be treated bad then I will not be a good woman cause no one is gonna treat me that way well time went by & well I became a young lady graduated high school & decided to lose my virginity well little did I know I would find myself in the bed of write quite a few men cause it felt so good to be loved however after having 7 pregnancies & 3 living boys who I love with all my heart I still feel something missing I still have my needs & I just don't know how to take that away me & my younger boys father have been playing house back & forth for 6 years he's cheated & so have I he wants me back & life is so much easier with him around I'm sorry for rambling Heather but could you please just help me out with some kind of direction?!

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  33. Hey lovebug!! Thanks for always being an inspiration. You propel young women like me towards Christ and being Christ-minded. You're amazing! I've given you an award. Please stop by my blog to pick it up.

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  34. I AM IN LOVE WITH YOUR BLOG! Omg, I can't even begin to tell you how much of a blessing you are. I thank God for you, & I thank God for your life! You are such an inspiration to young girls as well as adults. Thank you so much!! :)

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  35. This is great, sis! Definitely not easy, but great! I "soo" needed this :) We (I) beat ourselves (myself) up repeatedly and forget that it "ain't ova"...His grace brings messages like this one to edify and build up. Our accuser wants us (me) to wallow in our (my) sin and guilt....but neva that! The devil is a lie! We are more than overcomers! Soo...I submit myself under God's mighty hand that He may exalt me in due time. Seinfield fan's have heard of "SERENITY NOW!" but I say "OBEDIENCE NOW!" Love ya!

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  36. Wow, this was a such a blessing. May I absorb and receive each word that God has intended for me to soak in. May I live it out, and not forget or postpone it. May God bless you Mrs. Lindsey for putting yourself out there for Christ, I hope to one day be this transparent, and am looking to start a blog too. Hugs to my sister in Christ

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  37. I love reading your blogs!
    I just have one question (something I have been struggling with for a while): how does the bible define marriage? Where does it say that the girl has to wear a white dress with bridesmaids/maid of honor, the couple should have a priest/pastor to bless the wedding before becoming husband and wife? Why cant two people just pray about it themselves and go honestly in front of God (with no intermediate or 56443 guests) and be married? Are current ceremonies for marriage just traditions the church has established, or it's something that was really set by God, aka said in the bible?

    Thank you for your reply in advance :)

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    1. Hey love,

      It's clear in the bible that we should obey the laws of the land. One of them, is that you're not legally married until you do it in front of a judge or a minister. There ARE some traditions established-- it's up to you to research & see what works for you but the primary difference between a Christian wedding and non-Christian wedding is Christ. Christians who marry are making a commitment to Christ, as well as to each other, and that commitment should be obvious to everyone who attends the wedding. In a non-Christian wedding, the couple—particularly the bride—is usually the focal point. In a Christian wedding, Christ is the focal point.

      A Christian couple who truly want to glorify Christ through their wedding can start with the early preparations, beginning with biblical premarital counseling with their pastor. Premarital counseling based upon sound biblical principles outlines the roles of the husband and wife as they relate to each other and to their prospective children (Ephesians 5:22–6:4; Colossians 3:18-21). The wedding affirms before God and friends and family that the couple’s desire is to live according to God’s plan for the family.

      The wedding ceremony should also be a reflection of the couple’s dedication to the glory of Jesus Christ. Every part of the service, from the music to the vows to the message delivered by the officiator, should reflect that commitment. Music should be reverent and Christ-honoring, not worldly or flippant. Vows should be taken with the couple’s full understanding that the words they speak to one another constitute a lifetime commitment and with the knowledge that what they promise to one another, they are promising to God. The message delivered by the pastor should reflect these truths and commitment.

      A Christian couple should choose their attendants carefully and with their commitment to Christ in mind. Bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t simply there to dress up the ceremony. Their presence testifies to their agreement with, and their promise to support, the commitment of the couple to honor Christ in their marriage. Along that line, the bridal gown and bridesmaids' dresses should be modest and appropriate for standing before God. There is no room for low-cut, revealing clothing in a Christ-honoring ceremony.

      If there is a reception, it should be equally Christ-honoring. Although non-Christian family members are often present at Christian weddings and receptions, serving alcohol at a Christian reception sends the wrong message to the unbelievers, a message that says there really is very little difference between those who profess Christ as Lord and those who do not. Even if the believers who plan the wedding see nothing wrong with alcohol and partake of it with a clear conscience, other Christians may be offended by the presence of alcohol, and we are not to use our liberty to cause anyone to stumble.

      A couple whose wedding is Christ-honoring will remember the beauty and seriousness of the wedding for a lifetime and will find it a wonderful way to begin their life together.

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  38. Thank you so much for the testimonies!! I love you and I love what you represent !!:-)

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  39. Hello Heather,
    Currently I am at a very interesting time in my life and I've been kind of scouring the internet for something that resonated with what I needed to hear in respect to the whole dating scene and recommitting myself to retaining my purity before marriage. I was brought up in a Christian home...sort of. My family used to go to church all the time when I was younger until I went to college. I went to a Christian private university and knew it was where God wanted me to be. I didn't date until my second year there when I was 19, this was my first boyfriend, first kiss, etc. I was walking with God at this point and was trying to figure all these things out, we exchanged I love you's, he broke my heart, the usual story of two kids thinking they know what love is. I was seeking after God until about a year ago. My faith failed, I was weak, and I look back now still not knowing what happened, but I "quit God" (I know this isn't possible, but in my mind I removed myself from Him). I lived in the world, drank, danced, partied, looked at pornography, masturbated frequently,you name it. About March of this year I started talking to a guy I went to school with previously. He was about in the same spiritual place I was, we believed in God but weren't following him. Our physical relationship progressed quickly, I didn't care, I had stopped valuing my purity, and I loved him (and still might). Even though I stopped valuing my purity, God didn't. Fortunately/unfortunately, the guy's mom walked in on us one night (we weren't having sex technically). His mother is an amazing woman of God and I regret the whole situation, but it was this that finally broke me. It was this moment when my sins were brought to light that I saw how detestable my soul had become. That because I wasn't letting God be my master, I was serving another. I prayed for the first time in a year that day and cried out to God and repented. This was a week ago. My boyfriend and I are still technically together but on "a break"...I have no idea what that means. He and I both chose to stop seeing each other for a while so that we can work on our relationships individually with God. Since then I have contacted all of my Christian friends and have been asking them to pray for me, I went to church with one, attended a college group at the church, and asked a woman who I know to be an amazing follower of God if she is willing to mentor me. I am replacing all that was rotten in my life with things that will draw me nearer to God. I know what I need to do with regard to my own spiritual health, but I don't know what to do with my boyfriend, especially since his family caught us doing terrible things. I am glad we are both seeking God and I have been praying about it but I'm not sure if we should fight together or alone here. I'm just looking for advise. Any would help here.

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    1. Hey love,
      I can only tell you what the bible says here-- just get quiet before God & let Him lead your relationship. At times, it IS good to pull apart & get quiet before God.. away from the clutter so God can show you things you may not be able to see.

      Praying for you.
      xo

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  40. Hey Heather I just wanna say thank you for your blog . I wanted to know how would this work me and my boyfriend are living together and we have a child together but he is really a good dude god fearing and commited. But we are not married yet how should this work????

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    1. Hey love,
      You should move out asap. If he is really God-fearing-- he will stop sleeping in the same bed as you & will marry you. Until he marries you-- you should move out. God's presence cannot dwell in that place if you're living in sin. The bible is clear-- it says to flee fornication. It says to honor God with your body & your life. Praying for you. xo

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  41. Heather,
    I think it is pretty bold for you to assume that just because I (or anyone) have sex with my boyfriend then that means I'm not in love with him.
    He's a man that has stood by my side since the moment I met him (coming up on 3 years). He takes care of me when I'm sick, he respects me enough to disagree with me, he has my back when someone is mean to me, and so much more. I know, through prayer, that god looks down and smiles on our relationship. My thoughts are not "clouded" and I'm not "in lust". My relationship works god's way. Trust me, courtship is not the only way.
    I love some of your other articles, but this one has bothered me a lot. I would suggest this site to you. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4202&t=KJV . Hopefully this might give you some insight.
    Thanks,
    Julia

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    1. Julia,
      sadly, you've accepted that pretty much shaking up is ok for you in your mind. Because you've decided to ignore what the bible calls as truth-- what I said above would cause you to defend your relationship. I have to tell you the truth sis. YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS NOT HONORING GOD. No matter how you flip it, turn it, or convince yourself-- it brings no glory to Him when you're sleeping with him and you're married. But this is bigger then sex-- it's a heart issue. God wants your heart sis. He is NOT smiling down on you because you're "nice." in 1 John.. it says if you belong to me you will STAY in the light & refuse to LIVE in SIN. Praying for you.

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  42. I have a question. Not really a big deal, just a detail question. Me and my boyfriend are on a fast from each other until Aug 1st. We were having a hard time battling lust so we feel a some time apart to re-center ourselves and our relationship with Christ was necessary. So now I'm trying to list my boundaries physically for when we do get together (Aug 1st) and I just wanted to know, if holding hands is the most you want to do physically, then is it "wrong" in courting? I'm on track with the no-kissing, no heavy petting aspect, but is hand holding that bad?

    Oh and what boundaries emotionally should I set? That's always been a hard thing for me to determine.

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  43. What about masturbation? No where in the bible does it specifically say no masturbation. Is it wrong to masturbate? Most times i'm not even thing of a particular guy I just want to get rid of the urge.

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    1. Think of it this way, masturbation is basically having sex with oneself. So in that case its a big issue that should be worked through and overcome.

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  44. Hi Heather,

    Thank you for this post. Just a quick question: How do I know if God wants me to be with this person? You mentioned God being a jealous God. I'm really struggling because sometimes I feel like God is saying No but at other times I feel like all my past relationships which ended up arye make me say No to myself. I really love this person and I see the potential for us to have a great relationship. We kiss and cuddle sometimes which I KNOW needs to just stop because it clouds things. But we both love God and want to do the right thing. I think it all starts with a decision! I am very fearful of making a mistake the way I have in the past. When I think about courting it feels so serious to me and so scary! But with ALL my heart I desire to be in a relationship! I also want to glorify God through my relationship (although sometimes I feel like I desire a relationship so much that I put that before God. ) I do love God and I just want to get it right! I'm so tired of fear and doubts. It clouds my judgment so much. Part of me wants to run from this person but a part of me wants to take a chance, tough it out and trust God through the process. Do you have any insight for me?

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  45. Thank you for this post! I did just want to ask a question:

    You said if two people have had sex, people can tell. Well my boyfriend and I have not, but I get asked/that assumption is made all the time about our relationship. What do you think may be causing that? I find PDA inappropriate and don't really dress provocatively. I think perhaps because we've been together a long time?

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  46. Ms.Lindsay,
    Is there a email address I can reach you with? I have a big problem with my boyfriend and I feel like the only person I can talk to might be you.
    I just really need your help because I'm feeling confused.

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  47. Thank you. This has helped me a great deal

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  48. I''m ashamed to say that me and my boyfriend of almost two years have kinda been off and on. And it usually happens when we are alone. We said in the beginning that we wanted to wait but we failed epically lol. I use to just say oh we're young(21&22) God will understand, but deep down I knew we had to stop. Its really difficult since we already started but you know what we should challenge ourselves and stop slacking. We're going to pray on it more and I'll show him your blog too! :)

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  49. Everyday I come to your blog, I am grateful to Good people like you still exist. Thank you! My best-friend and I are setting boundaries for our relationships from today.

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  50. Hello, ive been friends with a girl for a very long time. Its been about 4 years and we just started dating this past summer. In the beginning I was a really helpful to her. She really began to grow spiritually. But with in the past year we began to have sexual relations. She recently went to school far away and we began a long distance relationship. I think it was really good for us because she really grew a lot spiritually while she was out there. We recently decided to break up because we where still putting each other over God at times. We were each others comfort zone and felt like that was unfair to God. Some of my bad habits brushed off onto her. We both really love each other but came to the conclusion that God loves us both more than we love each other. i just read your blog on how to make it work and I feel like if I apply that to our relationship that it could work. I think the time apart is very good because i see fruits on both ends already but I was wondering if we could try to get back together some time, applying everything written above so that we can make it work and glorify God.??

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  51. Thank You for being obedient and writing posts like this as God leads. Through many of your posts you have answered so many questions that I have been ashamed to ask. I always thought this is stuff that I should know at 29, but I don't, I didn't and I feel like God is using these blogs to further prepare me to be found by my Adam! Amen

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  52. I love the blog but what's up with the half-naked woman in the ad to the top left?

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    1. Hello!
      Those are ads based on the sites that you visit. I cannot control what shows up! Your computer pulls ads based on the sites you visit.

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  53. hai.ur blog has touched me so much im in tears.im only 18 and i have messed up so bad am finding it hard to forgive myself but i know i will,i feel like delilah and that i have lost my integrity but i know just you were a hot mess il have a hot testimony.thank you so much and God bless you so much

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  54. Hi Heather!
    I really hope you read this haha! Last night my boyfriend and I were fighting and I started looking up stuff online on like how to know if God is just putting you through trials or if He doesn't like you with this boy, and anyways your blog really helped me out and I will definitely keep reading it as a way of keeping me accountable in my relationship! I love how obsessed you are with Jesus and I have faith that God will use you and your husband (and your baby!) to bring glory to Him!
    P.S. I also enjoy blogging and I find that it helps to unpack what God is teaching me, because sometimes it can get jumbled up in my head! You can follow along at http://readbyclaire.tumblr.com/ to see what God is teaching me :)

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    1. Aww! Praise God! :) Thanks for visiting my blog lovely! I'm praying for you & that your relationship glorifies God alone! xoxo

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  55. I love your blog. It really encourages me. But I have a question: How do you talk about your past before you get married if your family members are present at all times?

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  56. I saw this blog at the right time! i think its speaking directly to me! THANKYOU, it is really encouraging. i want to live a life that glorifies God and him alone! i know i have so much potential but i feel a bit trapped. this ministered to me and once more thanks. :) God bless you!

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  57. This is overly intriguing I love this so much our Christian church need this teaching for our young men and women.

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  58. I understand ur rules and respect them, but do you really mean we can't even hold hands and hug each other? Are the rules this intense? I mean I hug people that I don't have feelings for then how much more some1 I'm in love with?.... I'm willing to make my relationship work God's way, but you need to answer this question pls!!!!

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  59. Hello Heather, I trust God that all He has started and would work through you for lives to be changed will be actualised in Jesus name. Amen. Heather I did read through your blog and had a change of heart but I don't plan getting married anytime soon. My fiancee and I decided to keep ourselves through the help of God without doing the big one (sex) and we have not compromised for 2years now. However we never said anything about romance and cuddling.... You know I strongly feel we can do better but the challenge is we don't plan getting married until four good years from now due to some reasons best known to us. Heather how on earth I'm I suppose to stay without touching my lady for four straight years. Please pardon my act of unbelieve but I just must tell you what is on my mind. Please I would appreciate it if you reply this request for advice... God bless dear and more grace.

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  60. We need more honesty indeed, keep up the good work. Fabulous.

    Procreation Please

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  61. I absolutely love this blog, and I love your boldness, and your steadfastness. Oh my goodness, I can tell you are emotionally mature, like you were saying on a few post before about the fruit in courting. This is amazing, and beautiful. I have always had weird questions though... like, when you say put God first, I am talking about AFTER marriage actually... when you wake up in the mornings, and your spouse is there, how do you put God first? Do you usually go to different rooms, don't say good morning, no good morning kiss? I think we have all been tainted by the world's view of love in movies, we need our minds to be renewed, but I'm genuinely curious how it works.
    I am so inspired by this, and it also breaths hope in cases where you have messed up. It makes so much sense that it would make your marriage stronger. My spirit was saying "yes!" when I saw you say it made you so strong against spiritual attacks, and conflict became easy... not your exact words, but just beautiful!

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  62. This blog was right on time. I am in situation at this point I have to remove all titles if there were ever any. I chose to have a child with a man and now we live together unmarried. I have been committed and faithful to him for six years but he has not done the same. His behavior has pushed me closer to God. Now that I have decided to stop all sexual activity it has caused issues of trust for him. I am putting God first not lust. I wish men could understand that. I know a man of God could understand that. Your blog co-signed what steps I already knew I needed to take. Thank you and may God continue to bless you and use you.

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  63. Hello, i i really like this thanks for sharing. My bf and i have only been going out for five months And we have kissed. We have just decided to make God the center of our relationship and i wantef to ask if it was too late to set boundaries?
    Thanks x

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  64. Well, I ran across this by "accident"... But we all know that's not true. This was meant for me to see. Thank you for being so open and transparent. I loved the article and will take it to heart.

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  65. I ran across this by accident as well. I have really been struggling with sex in my relationships for years. Even when I don't want to have sex I agree to do it in order to please the man. This blog entry was reallly helpful to me and I want to be in a relationship without sex. But in today's time it's hard because a lot of guys won't even give you the time of day if you say that you're not going to have sex with them until marriage.

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  66. God spoke to me here. As painful as it can be, it is the truth:(. Exactly everything you mentioned is what happens to me. Do you think that if we try. We have possibilities. For example like staying at eachothers houses and focusing on college and just seeing each other when we have a get together with the family? Im glad to see you did the right thing and glad too see god is using you to give us wise messages.

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  67. I absolutely loved reading this. I was led here from your youtube channel and I am so blessed. I kept thinking, I wish I found something like this while I was single lol... it would have saved me alot of heart ache, but I thank God that He has a way of making ALL things beautiful once you turn your heart to him. I am committed to God now and I am determined to have God heal me, change and transform me into the woman He has called me to be and I know that He has began a good work in my husband as well. He are both committed to attending church with our son now which is a great step because there was a time that wasn't even happening :) I thank God that he is taking our baby steps and making them great. I am focusing on my relationship with God so that I can grow, develop and and mature. I trust him to reach my husband as well, but I dont want that to be my focus now otherwise, I will become cosumed with him changing instead of me changing.

    It will be lovely to hear you speak to married women/couples as well. I will definitely be going back to the start of your blog now lol...God bless you soooo much!

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  68. All I can say is I love you,thank you and God bless!

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  69. Dear Heather ,

    Your ministry it's help me . I feeling your love and blessing me and I hope every one feeling same

    love in Christ

    Nui

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  70. God bless you Heather. Have you noticed what God is doing? He brings ladies who are sick and tired of living wrong to your blog so they can be encouraged, same as He did for me. I was in an immoral 'courtship' with a christian man, till he called off the wedding giving flimsy excuses. I can't blame him though, much as I will like to, but when it began to blow up in my face, I remembered a vow I made when I was little, I also knew that if I slept with him, I wouldn't marry him. But I ignored and disobeyed. In my broken state, I went back to God (not without 1st going back to an ex and trying to hook up with a non-christian), and He showed me the real problem, I was getting my self worth from male attention instead of His word. You see, I am born-again and filled with the Holyspirit, but in this area, I disobeyed. So I promised to stay off men and relationships for a year and tagged it '1 year with Jesus alone', no exchange of numbers, no dates, no hanging out, no group dating, no men period. After 1 year, I can make myself available for my Adam to find me (even if he thinks he has seen me before the year is over, he will have to wait and without any encouragement from me). I have purposed to use this time to know God more intimately, not necessarily so that He will send me a man, I just want to know and have real christianity and know Jesus for who He really is. I know this will be very challenging, but thank God I have found you and your blog and all these wonderful ladies, I can draw some encouragement from here. Your words cut right into my heart. And when God finally brings my Adam, we will court each other the right way, I won't have to fend off sexual advances because he won't make any. Your testimony has shown me that it's possible to court the christian way and with God's help, I will. I know God doesn't just want me to get married, He wants to have the glory in it and He wants me to enjoy it too, so I will wait, I will wait the right way and I will wait on God. God bless you Heather.

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  71. Just started reading your blogs and they have totally changed my life. I am one who has been waiting for her husband of God and it's hard. But in reading your blogs I realized I need to start digging deeper in my walk with God and be content with only Him until He sends me my husband. Thank you so much. I have been dying to attend the pinky promise conference, but I have no money to go, I am saving up for next year!

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  72. Yeah thankyou so much for this I really needed it God is amazing isnt he PRAISE GOD. GOD BLESS YOU

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