Steps from friendship to MARRIAGE

Moving on……..

  1. Relationship
    There are also FOUR progressive stages of RELATIONSHIP.
    A) ALONE Time
    When we are in a CLOSE friendship there needs to be a time of ME-to-ME relationship. It is important to spend some time alone. What issues do I have that I need to work on alone that would create havoc, if we pursued a more intimate friendship?

B) GROUP Time
Nobody is really pairing at this point in time, we are close friends. I am really interested in this person, but let’s get out and do some group activities, and see how the friend reacts and how I react in the group. For EXAMPLE, social skills, jealousy, and so forth.

C) Group with a PRIMARY
This is where we pair within the group. This is a safe way to COURT; it has no pressure and yet we are starting the pairing process.

D) Exclusive ONE-to-ONE RELATIONSHIP
We officially COURT and get to know each other more CLOSELY. To understand what LOVE is, one must ask…….. Do I want to INVEST myself in this person?
At this stage, the WOMAN is starting to feel SAFE, and there is EMOTIONAL bonding.

4. LOVE
The couple needs to DEFINE LOVE. Love is giving EVERYTHING, expecting NOTHING in return, and being SATISFIED that there is a JOY in GIVING rather than receiving UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. BOTH give 100% of each other. This will lead to a WONDERFUL loving and CARING relationship for a LONG LIFE together.

Love means:
NO EXPECTATIONS,
✅Being flexible;  CARING enough to not OVERRIDE and control each other,
✅Not expecting anything in RETURN,
✅Overall GIVING, like the example of our MESSIAH.
Jesus gave, even though He knew we would REJECT HIM. What He gave was FREELY given with NO CONDITIONS.

When two people come TOGETHER and they have built the building blocks of relationship and understand what TRUE LOVE really is, they will be founded on THE ROCK for a future life together.

The CLEAREST definition of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE is in 1st Corinthians 13.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
8 All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.

After understanding what LOVE is, the couple will then make a DECISION if they will continue with their relationship and go towards MARRIAGE.

If both AGREE then the NEXT step is … More intimate courtship.
This is the time to begin to build your EMOTIONAL and SPIRITUAL intimacy while still saving your physical intimacy for AFTER Covenant. It’s a time to get to KNOW each other and to get to KNOW each other’s family and friends at a more INTIMATE level.

If you make the decision NOT to date because of its dangers, and to instead COURT, it will be one of the BEST decisions that you will ever make  You will PROTECT yourself and save yourself physically, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually for your COVENANT mate. So get a GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM of friends and people who will PRAY for you and ENCOURAGE you in your decision.

Also, know that because this is GOD’s Way and not the world’s way, He will SUPPORT you with His Grace and Love. If you get tempted, call upon the POWER of His Holy Spirit and He WILL answer you.

5. ENGAGEMENT
From the time of the proposal, up to the date of the wedding, is the time for the couple to develop the relationship more DEEPLY, and to discuss important relationship guidelines like:
❇️How are we going to handle ANGER?
❇️Our MONEY?
❇️Raising CHILDREN?

During engagement, communication is VERY OPEN. INTENSE emotional bonding develops during this stage, where the man is to learn to bond EMOTIONALLY with the young lady and be NON-SEXUAL. This is where she finds her VALUE in how HE values her.

The man is to show how much he thinks of her, to value her in a NON-SEXUAL way, so that when they are INTIMATE in marriage, she is READY and will be COMFORTABLE in making love, because she will know it is not about how she LOOKS … its about who she IS.

The ENGAGEMENT period should be no longer than a year is an ideal period.

Credits – Amanda Buys

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STEPS of friendship to MARRIAGE.

“With dating being a root of several divorces, how do I find my future mate,” you may wonder. Here is how…….

1. Gift of ATTRACTION
This is GOD‘s GIFT, for a PURPOSE. It is HIS Way of DRAWING human beings together for a PAIRING PROCESS.

It is to develop FRIENDSHIP, where they must make a CHOICE to pursue a LONG TERM relationship.
The ENEMY has MESSED with this GIFT. We are told …’ if it feels GOOD, just do it. Giving into these LIES and our LUST will cause such DAMAGE.
The couple will start feeling insecure, and wonder what could possibly be wrong! One feels they want the power over the other person and this goes back and forth, and the couple can’t figure out what is wrong. Why isn’t this working? Why am I so intensely possessive over the other person?

If there is intimacy before marriage, and the couple goes from GIFT of ATTRACTION to sexuality, they have BYPASSED every step in their subconscious COMPUTER that is needed to be laid down for a LIFE-GIVING long term relationship. And they will HAVE to go BACK and follow GOD’s way.

2. Friendship
We develop Godly friendships in FOUR progressive stages. We suggest you make a list of all your friends and place them in the category of where they should be.
A) Acquaintance
You learn their names and you recognize them  give them respect and dignity and move on. You are not looking towards a long-term relationship. Youre alert to each new person around you, and have a CHEERFUL countenance and smile. You ask appropriate questions, which reflect interest and acceptance, and you’re a good LISTENER.

B) Casual
You run across each other and from there you get enough information about them to find out if they need to stay in the casual group, or move to the close friends group. You discover their strong points, and learn about their hopes and desires for their lives.
At this point, you develop and ask appropriate specific questions. You show interest and concern, and let them share problems with you. Be honest about yourself without digging up the past. Reflect interest and trustworthiness in being their friend.

C) Close
You could have quite a number of close friends. You see potential for achievement in their lives, and discover and discuss the specific goals they have. You serve an interest in the development of their goals. You’re aware of conflicts which may hinder the development of these goals, but are creative and encourage them to develop and achieve.

D) Intimate
This is where you should not have more than FIVE intimate friends at any one given time. These are friends, that if you tell something to them, it does not come back and bite you in future. Before sharing our intimate secrets and pain you need to know which of your friends are true friends and support systems. We talk too much to too many people, too many times and then we feel betrayed and unworthy and start hating ourselves for not having the right judgment in picking friends.
As intimate friends, you are sensitive to traits and attitudes in each other, that need improvement  and you are committed to:
– Give comfort through trials and sorrows.
– Assume a personal concern for their reputation.
– Faithfulness, loyalty, and availability.

There is more to this in the next post……..

Credits- Amanda Buys

Adultery, masturbation and sexual PERVERSION 5

Pornography: The New Narcotic By John Piper
Neurological research has revealed that the effect of internet pornography on the human brain is just as potent — if not more so — than addictive chemical substances such as cocaine or heroin.

To make matters worse, there are 1.9 million cocaine users, and 2 million heroin users, in the United States compared to 40 million regular users of online pornography. Here’s why the addictive power of pornography can be worse:

❇️Cocaine is considered a stimulant that increases dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter that most addictive substances release, as it causes a “high” and a subsequent craving for a repetition of the high, rather than a subsequent feeling of satisfaction by way of endorphins.

❇️Heroin, on the other hand, is an opiate, which has a relaxing effect. Both drugs trigger chemical tolerance, which requires higher quantities of the drug to be used each time to achieve the same intensity of effect.

❇️Pornography, by both being arousing (the “high” effect via dopamine) and causing an orgasm (the “release” effect via opiates), is a type of polydrug that triggers both types of addictive brain chemicals in one punch, enhancing its addictive propensity.

But, Bennett says, “internet pornography does more than just spike the level of dopamine in the brain for a pleasure sensation. It literally changes the physical matter within the brain so that new neurological pathways require pornographic material in order to trigger the desired reward sensation.”

Think of the brain as a forest where trails are worn down by hikers who walk along the same path over and over again, day after day. The exposure to pornographic images creates similar neural pathways that, over time, become more and more “well-paved” as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. Those neurological pathways eventually become the trail in the brain’s forest by which sexual interactions are routed.

Thus, a pornography user has “unknowingly created a neurological circuit” that makes his or her default perspective toward sexual matters ruled by the norms and expectations of pornography.

Not only do these addictive pathways cause us to filter all sexual stimulation through the pornographic filter; they awaken craving for “more novel pornographic content like more taboo sexual acts, child pornography, or sadomasochistic pornography.” And it gets worse:

Another aspect of pornography addiction that surpasses the addictive and harmful characteristics of chemical substance abuse is its permanence. While substances can be metabolized out of the body, pornographic images cannot be metabolized out of the brain because pornographic images are stored in the brain’s memory.

“In sum,” Bennett writes, “brain research confirms the critical fact that pornography is a drug delivery system that has a distinct and powerful effect upon the human brain and nervous system.”

None of this takes GOD by surprise. He designed the interplay between the brain and the soul. Discoveries of physical dimensions to spiritual reality do not nullify spiritual reality.

When Jesus said, “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28), He saw with crystal clarity — the way a designer sees his invention — that the physical eye had profound effects on the spiritual “heart.”

And when the Old Testament wise man said in Proverbs 23:7, literally, “As he thinks in his soul, so is he,” he saw with similar clarity that soul acts create being. Thinking in the soul corresponds to “is”. And this “is” includes the body.

In other words, it goes both ways. Physical reality affects the heart. And the heart affects physical reality (the brain). Therefore, this horrific news from brain research about the enslaving power of pornography is not the last word. GOD has the last word. The Holy Spirit has the greatest power. We are not mere victims of our eyes and our brains, as evidenced from both Scripture and experience.

We are blessed to have a Father that knew the craftiness of the enemy before He created us, Hallelujah

Credits – Amanda Buys

Adultery, ponography and sexual PERVERSION 4

Impaired Judgment
According to neuropsychologist Dr. Tim Jennings, “When you have premarital sex, your reward circuitry is bonded to them now, and it will be much deeper and hurtful.”

“Oftentimes, in breakups of people who’ve been sexually active, they can’t tolerate the sense of emptiness, so they rush into another relationship. The neuro circuits did not have time to reset, and so they’re impaired in their ability to bond with the next person, and they may become sexually active with them. This is just a repetitive cycle, and there are real impairments in bonding going on.”

Becoming Bonded With Porn
These same neurochemicals are present when viewing pornography. A man will become bonded with whatever he is engaged in during the moment these chemicals are released. When your relationship is being carried on with an image, you become bonded to whatever you’re viewing.

Dr. Doug Weiss, a marriage counselor, advises men to have eye contact with their wives during sex because they become bonded with that person. By doing this, he explains that, over time, individuals will decrease the “neural pathway to pornography and sexually inappropriate thoughts and beliefs and glue to healthy sexuality to [their] wife. When your brain thinks sex, it thinks, ‘Where’s my wife?’ And that is a great way to fight this battle.”

Discovering how our minds were designed to operate by a magnificent Creator reveals truth in the way we are to live.

Cycle of Sexual Sin
For someone viewing porn, one of the functions of oxytocin is to separate the experience and the excitement from the intensity of the shame. According to neuropsychologist Dr. Jes Montgomery, “Usually by the time they turn the computer off, they are already sinking into a sense of failure and shame, and the function of oxytocin is to tell the brain, ‘Wait a minute. You don’t want to remember that. You want to hold on to this excitement and this amazing magic that you just experienced.’”

Knowing how these neurochemicals interact and change the brain help us understand why sex is meant to be kept within the boundaries of marriage.

You see the overtones here about GOD’s Design for His Pure Temple. This is another reason why the devil attacks our sexuality so much — because in attacking human sexuality, it actually interferes with human bonding.

So, for those practicing sex outside of marriage, they are creating a bond with their partner, thus inhibiting their discernment of whether they should remain in that relationship. GOD wired and designed our brains for a specific purpose: to bond ourselves with the person we marry.

It’s never too late to re-wire yourself if you know you’ve erred. It’s the best gift you’ll give to your spouse and family. We can onl6 re-wire ourselves by understanding who we are in Christ; through His Word.

Credits – Amanda Buys

Adultery, masturbation, and sexual PERVERSIONS.

A word on ADULTERY.
If you open un-Godly sexual doors, the enemy will be sure to send you just the right “DELILAH”. If you start to FANTASIZE about her, the mind will start to ANIMATE situations with her. After SEVEN times of masturbating with her image in mind, the SUBCONSCIOUS will start believing there is a RELATIONSHIP, and you will become SEXUALLY DEPENDENT upon her image.

As you FLIRT with her and meeting times become more and more INTENSE, a day will come when you WILL go over into the REAL act of sexual intimacy.

The SUBCONSCIOUS has ALREADY believed you have a RELATIONSHIP with her, and there will be NO stopping this act of ADULTERY. No matter how much you know it is SIN, in your MIND you have already done the deed …

Premarital sex.
Heavy petting means we have overstepped GOD’s Boundaries in the dating/courting stage, and for the rest of your married life with that same woman, she will make you prove to show her you love her for who she is and not for what she does. Couples think that if they have not had physical intercourse but just mutual masturbation, it means they have not sinned — “We will try to justify anything to fulfill the desires of the flesh.”

A word on masturbation within MARRIAGE.
Fantasizing even about your WIFE will LOCK you in. It is another QUICK FIX without the COMMITMENT of BONDING. When you do try to have intimacy with your wife, because of the TIME it takes for her to BUILD UP to the sexual act, you will become DISSATISFIED and FRUSTRATED, causing DAMAGE to the intimacy within MARRIAGE.

It is a fantasy that begins to make your body respond, and then you get angry at your partner and start making demands of her, because you want the fulfillment of what you have been fantasizing about — she is there, but you don’t want to take the time and effort a real relationship takes to build up to the sexual act. A wife needs to be wooed and loved to build up to intimacy, where masturbation is a selfish, quick release.

Credits – Amanda Buys

RESTORING YOUR SEXUALITY 47 – Protecting Our Children

No doubt, any type of abuse is terrible, but sexual abuse is one of the most destructive. I [Amanda Buys] am thankful, my children were older before I began to do as much ministry as I have in this area.

From what I have heard, it would have been hard to let them out of my sight. So many children have been abused by trusted family members, neighbors or members of the community. Who do you trust? We must protect and educate our children.

My answer is the Lord! In this society, you must trust your God given discernment. If you sense anything or anyone makes you uncomfortable. Explore it. Watch your children. Ask them questions.

If adults or teenagers seem unnaturally interested in your children, be careful. They may begin buying them gifts or wanting to take them places a lot of times.

It takes discernment to know when someone is just reaching out to a child and if they are just luring them in to a relationship in order to molest them. I would rather error by protecting the child in these circumstances. Again, ask them questions.

Because of the condition of our society, we must begin to teach our children at a very young age that there are certain parts of their bodies that other people should not touch. We need to encourage them to tell us if anyone is touching them in those areas.

Empower their “no” let them know that it is their body and if someone touches them and they don’t like it to tell them to stop.

 Example 1:
A little 2 year old girl is asked for a hug. It is totally innocent but she says “No” and pulls away. They try to pull her towards them for a hug.

⛰As parents, we must immediately step in and say “Please respect her ‘No'” – even if it wasn’t meant to be sexual or harmful. We empower our children when we respect them.

⛰We need to watch for symptoms; a change in personality or disposition, crying when they are left in someone’s care (sometimes it is just separation anxiety). However, if their behaviour changes, be alert.

Example 2
They used to love going to grandpa’s house and now they don’t want to go. They flinch when grandpa hugs them.

🌋Watch for the signs and then ask questions. Has anybody touched them wrong? Has anybody done anything that made them feel bad or uncomfortable? Suddenly they are quieter than normal, why?

Most people I have ministered to tried to let someone know that something was happening to them. They just couldn’t do it by talking. Most of the times, they have been sworn to silence and secrecy.

Example 3
They couldn’t figure out how come Mom didn’t see or why their teachers couldn’t tell what was happening.

🌋Sometimes we don’t want to see, we are in denial or sometimes we don’t even know what to look for.

Other symptoms may be:
🎈bed wetting,
🎈physical symptoms like urinary tract infections,
🎈bleeding from the rectum,
🎈unusual rashes on their legs.

🎀If there seems to be a regression in their emotional development, ask questions.

🎀All of a sudden they have started sucking their thumb again or biting their nails. Why?

So many times parents just get caught up in trying to stop the behaviour, they don’t take time to find out why it’s there. It’s the same thing with children, get to the root and you will change the fruit.

🎀Give your children healthy, Godly physical affection so they will not have to find it in illegitimate ways. There are more promiscuous girls simply because Daddy never took the time to hug them and make them feel good about themselves. It left a hole that they keep trying to fill.

We need touch as human beings. Studies have shown that even animals left untouched do not thrive, they can even die. I have seen a lot of incest in homes where affection was not expressed. The children turn to each other for physical touch and it gets out of hand.

🎀Protect your children by monitoring what they watch on television and movies. Access to the Internet is extremely dangerous without some sort of protection programs.

Many elementary age children and teenagers are looking at pornography in the privacy of their homes. If you do not have a protection program, check the computer history or disable the computer until you are home to monitor their activity.

🎀Talk to your children about sexual issues at age appropriate times. Don’t wait for the school or their friends to do it for you.

Again because of our society, what used to be talked about at ages 14 and 15 probably needs to be discussed at age 12 and 13. You have to judge the maturity level of your child. Just don’t underestimate it.

They will find out about sex one way or another. You can control wrong messages with proper information.

🎀If you work with children in any capacity, as a teacher, youth leader, coach, etc. and see any signs of sexual abuse, ask questions. Often they are just waiting for someone to open the door. Follow proper channels as laid out by the authorities in the institution where you are working and contact the appropriate people.

IF A CHILD HAS REPORTED SEXUAL ABUSE, UNDER LAW IT MUST BE REPORTED IMMEDIATELY.

🎀We also protect our children through practicing modesty in our homes and keeping them free from pornography. I can’t tell you how many adults I have ministered to who knew exactly where their parents’ stash of pornography was.

Don’t look the other way. We have looked the other way too long. Let’s start protecting our children!

Credits – Amanda Buys

RESTORING YOUR SEXUALITY 46

DEAR MINISTER, COUNSELLOR, WHATEVER YOUR DESIGNATION, YOU ALSO NEED MINISTRY!

Always continue growing. Keep reading, studying, and exploring. You never know when you will come across that perfect nugget that can be a key to someone’s healing. I have seen the Lord so faithful in that area.

I have had people give me a book and say, “I felt the Lord said I was to share this with you.” The next person that came for ministry had the very problem the book addressed. The Lord equipped me before they got there. He truly does go before us. HE IS FAITHFUL!

And above all else, press in to your own healing and deliverance. I have found it to be a never ending process in my own life. The more you sow in to the lives of others the more healing and deliverance you will reap. It should be a way of life. We never arrive. WE HAVE TO POSSESS BEFORE WE CAN IMPART.

🏝We can minister freedom from addictions, once we have possessed freedom.
🏝We can minister deliverance from shame, when we have been delivered.
🏝We can expose control, when our own control has been identified.
🏝We can minister the Lord’s healing power, when it has already touched our own pain.

⛺️Write down your strengths as a counselor or minister.
⛺️Write down your weaknesses.
⛺️Ask the Lord to show you how to strengthen your weaknesses.
⛺️Next, ask the Lord to show you any areas in your own life where you have felt wounded,rejected or betrayed as a result of counseling or ministering to others.
⛺️Forgive the people He shows you, pour out your complaint and then ask the Lord to touch and heal those situations.

⛺️Ask Him to reveal Himself in those memories.
Many times we can become wounded without even realizing it.
It’s always best to allow the Lord to be the One who examines you. We can become hard and calloused or oversensitive as a result of our wounding.

⛺️We have to be honest with ourselves. Sometimes, it is the very people we try to help the most, who wound us the deepest.
Just check in with the Lord every once in awhile and ask Him to show you your true condition.

⛺️Don’t ever get so spiritual that you can’t admit your pain. Spirituality doesn’t cause us not be affected by anything (that’s just numbness). It is knowing that you have a Healer and a Comforter always ready to minister to you.

⛺️Be careful that you do not minister out of your unresolved pain, rejection and anger. Go for regular “check-ups” to Dr. Jesus! Because of unresolved issues, we can come across as hard, unsympathetic and judgmental.

Ministry is not a walk in the park, but once you yield to Him, He will use you and also work on you. 

Credits – Amanda Buys