Do you love fish? For a large majority of people, the answer is probably yes. If you are a guy, there is a chance you probably enjoy fishing as well.
As for me, I love fish.
However, I want to set something straight about this. To get a fish, one must deceive the fish by throwing out a line and hooking it, pull it out of the water, suffocate it, and throw it in an ice box. Then, one must bring the fish home, fry it, and proceed to eat it. Even after this entire ordeal, many people still have the audacity to say, ‚ÄúI LOVE FISH.‚Äù
The fact of the matter is that we don‚Äôt actually love fish, we love ourselves. What do I mean? I simply mean that we are looking for satisfaction and fish tastes good, therefore satisfying our need. If we truly loved fish and cared about its well-being, we wouldn‚Äôt deceive it, suffocate it, freeze it, gut it, fry it, and eat it, all for our own pleasure. In reality, the love we have for ourselves actually kills the fish, but we still say, ‚ÄúI love fish.‚Äù
The way humans love each other is often the same – ‚Äúfish love.‚Äù A person may think they love someone, but they do not actually love the other person, they love how the other person ‚Äútastes‚Äù to them. In other words, how the other person makes them feel. When those feelings stop, we say, ‚ÄúI fell out of love.‚Äù
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Falling in Love
For a person to say they fell out of love means that they had to fall into love first. I know it‚Äôs cute to say, ‚ÄúI fell in love,‚Äù but do you remember the last time you fell? Let me be the first to say that it‚Äôs not cute, nor is it fun. Falling is always accidental and people get hurt when they fall. I don‚Äôt know about you, but I only fall when I get distracted. That‚Äôs how most falling in love happens; people get distracted from God and they trip into love. After they lay there for a while, they realize they made a mistakeand get up from that fall. That‚Äôs what we call ‚Äòfalling out of love.‚ÄôLove is not a valley you fall into, it‚Äôs a path you walk on. Click To Tweet
Falling is easy; walking is another matter. In order to walk, you have to be conscious, focused, disciplined, and moving forward. Everyone who falls gets up. That means everyone who falls into the ditch they call love will fall out of it. You may be asking, ‚ÄúBut, Pastor, how can that be?‚Äù What the world calls love, many times is nothing but lust and infatuation. It requires no work, no sacrifice and self-denial. It‚Äôs fish love ‚Äì all about me. God‚Äôs Word does not present love as something you fall into. It‚Äôs not about how someone makes you feel; it‚Äôs more than a feeling.The Word tells us to walk in love. The world tells us to fall into love. Click To Tweet
‚ÄúLove is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails‚Äù 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
That‚Äôs God‚Äôs definition of love. You can‚Äôt fall into that. You can‚Äôt trip into it accidentally. It‚Äôs more than a feeling, it‚Äôs a willing. Have you found someone with these characteristics on their resume? Kind, patient, not self-seeking, not easily angered, always hopes, and never fails? I can think of only one Person who fits all of this, and that‚Äôs not your boyfriend or your girlfriend. It‚Äôs God. God is love.
Now, let‚Äôs replace the word ‚Äòlove‚Äô in this verse with the word ‚ÄòGod.‚Äô
‚ÄúGod is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. God never fails‚Äù 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
We are all looking for this type of love, desperately. We were created for this sort of love. The devil knows it. He does not have it, so he cannot offer it. The only thing he has is something that looks like love from a distance ‚Äì lust.
As alcohol looks like water, so also lust looks like love. Love, when you taste it, heals. After tasting lust, you are left broken, just like that poor fish who was deceived, frozen, and then fried.
Nobody goes into dating and romantic relationships to find heartbreak. Everyone is hoping to find love. Sadly, many are like Jacob who went to bed with Rachel, but woke up with Leah. They go into a relationship looking for love, but end up finding something else that leaves them disappointed, broken, and shattered.Marriage is not where love should be found, it‚Äôs where love should be given. Click To Tweet
I don‚Äôt think God created dating to be a source of love. If love would be found in marriage, the Scriptures would say, ‚ÄòMarriage is love.‚Äô Instead it says that God is love. Marriage is a place to share love, it‚Äôs not the source of love. Not having love to start with is the problem. Ladies, when you find love before you find a boyfriend, you will be surprised how it will change the kind of suitors you will attract. The same goes for men, when you find love before you find a girlfriend, you will be surprised at the kind of prospects you will be attracted to.
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Swimming with Sharks
I meet people all the time who say that only weirdos are always attracted to them. They seem unable to find decent people. One time, a desperate single girl told me that Christian boys are like spaces in a parking lot, all the good ones are taken and the only ones left are handicapped. Ouch! I responded, ‚ÄúThat problem only happens to those who come late to church.‚Äù
Could it be that the problem is not with whois attracted to you but with whatyou are attracting? The dating world is like a deep sea full of sharks. If you are bleeding, don‚Äôt go swimming or you will get attacked and bitten. Sharks smell blood from afar. If you‚Äôre not filled with love, you will attract lust. You will fall for it thinking it‚Äôs love.
What‚Äôs the solution? Glad you asked!
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Maker Before Mate
Before God brought Adam into the presence of a woman, the Creator brought the man into His presence first.Before Adam met a mate, Adam knew his Master. Before there was Eve, there was the garden of Eden. Click To Tweet
Make no mistake, God could have made Eve at the same time He made Adam. He is Almighty God, He could have created Adam and Eve at the same time. Why did God wait before He created Eve? Why did God create a season of singleness for Adam?
Have you noticed that Adam was single before sin came into the world? That tells me that singleness is not sin or some sickness. It‚Äôs a season planned by God for a purpose. I believe God did not bring Adam a wife right away in order to show the generations to come God‚Äôs plan for relationships.
Relationship with God comes first. Living in His presence is the foundation for every other relationship. You must be comfortable while being single with God, or you will never be at peace with someone else.
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Relationship with God
Nothing will make you whole like God‚Äôs presence. If you think that the person you have a crush on will make you whole, you are already in trouble. That means that you are broken and not whole. Wait 12 months after marriage and you will realize there are issues you want your spouse to fix and they will push your buttons like crazy.Only a relationship with God makes you whole; romantic relationships will reveal your holes. Click To Tweet
The presence of the Holy Spirit truly makes us whole and changes us from the inside. Out of that transformation, we can love another person in a way that is supernatural. When you are on the journey to wholeness through God‚Äôs presence, you will not have unrealistic expectations of your future partner. You will not be disappointed when they don‚Äôt act like the Messiah.The presence of God truly satisfies, all other relationships magnify. Click To Tweet
A marriage relationship is like a magnifying glass; it only makes what you already are even bigger. If you are miserable right now, when you get married, you will be more miserable. If you are confident now, most likely the person you decide to be with will boost your confidence. Don‚Äôt think marriage will become a miracle that will solve all of your problems and fix all of your issues. Marriage will only magnify what you already have. If you have a porn addiction, or you‚Äôre addicted to playing video games, marriage will not deliver you from that. Porn addictions do not get defeated because you get access to sex in marriage. In fact, when you get married, you realize that sex is not as easy as it is to get porn. You don‚Äôt get it when you want, and sex is not about you, but the other person. Jesus is the only one who heals our hurts, delivers us from demons, and fixes our soul issues – dating, relating, and mating can‚Äôt do that. It can help, but it‚Äôs powerless to heal. The purpose of marriage is to magnify; the purpose of the Messiah is to truly satisfy. Don‚Äôt forget that.
If we don‚Äôt discover God deeply and love God‚Äôs presence passionately while we are singles, we will have an ache in our heart looking desperately for love. The sad part is that we will look for a savior in the opposite sex. We will view marriage as a miracle pill that will cause all our hurts, abuse, addictions to be gone. When we don‚Äôt have a strong relationship with God, we begin to look for God in the person we are dating or get married to. Soon we get disappointed because no one can be God. It‚Äôs like the story of a wife who complained that her husband called her ‚Äúgoddess‚Äù before they got married, and then, after they were married, he became an atheist. Only God can make you whole. No wonder He created a season of singleness before marriage for Adam. No wonder God placed Adam in the Garden before He placed a woman in his presence.
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You Are Ready to Date
In fact, Adam was so lost in God‚Äôs presence that he did not know that he was alone. Think about this, God comes to Adam and says, ‚ÄòYou are alone, Adam. You need someone.‚Äô It was not Adam who came crying to God saying, ‚ÄòLord, please, if you love Me, send someone to be with me.‚ÄôYou are ready to date when you don‚Äôt need to. Click To Tweet
If you are desperate for a date, perhaps you have not discovered God‚Äôs presence yet. Adam did not tell God he was lonely ‚Äì in fact, he didn‚Äôt even know he was alone! God had to remind Adam. You need to be so lost in the Holy Spirit that He has to remind you that you are alone.
Some people are afraid to pursue God wholeheartedly in their single years. Maybe you think that if you give yourself to the Holy Spirit, He will never let you get married. Perhaps you view God as some jealous boyfriend who is lonely and a control freak. God is not like that. Holy Spirit is not like that. He is good. Spending time with Him is the best thing you can do for your life. He has your best interests in mind. God created you as a social being. He is also the One who gave you sexuality.Delight in God before you start dating. Get so lost in God that the other person has to look for God to find you. Click To Tweet
I used to fear that if I put God first and put the idea of marriage in His hands, that He would keep me all to Himself and not want me to get near anyone. I feared that he would ask me to die in Siberia, or be like Pope Francis and live celibate. The story about Adam being encouraged by God to look for a suitable partner broke all my fears when I was single.
People ask me all the time, ‚ÄúWhen will I be ready to date?‚Äù My answer always is, ‚ÄúWhen you don‚Äôt need to!‚Äù You are ready to date when you don‚Äôt need to. As long as you NEED to date to fill a hole in your heart, fix a broken heart, run from daddy issues, or overcome an addiction, then you are not ready to date. What you really need is the Holy Spirit.
When you seek Him, He makes you whole. Then the issue of dating will become a matter of WANT, not NEED.
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Walking and Talking with God
Let‚Äôs look at Adam and his relationship with God before God brought Him Eve. He had no church, no pastor, and no Bible, but he knew God‚Äôs presence and God‚Äôs voice. Going to church, reading the Bible, attending small groups, praying, fasting, and all the things that we do are a means to a goal – that goal is to know God. Many people get water baptized, speak in tongues 300 miles per hour, have the YouVersion Bible app on their phone, yet don‚Äôt know God‚Äôs presence and don‚Äôt know God‚Äôs voice. God‚Äôs presence and God‚Äôs voice change you. Going to church and not drinking, smoking, or going to clubs are very good, but it‚Äôs in the presence of the Holy Spirit where love and power are found.
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As Fish Need Water and Trees Need Soil
I believe that God gave us an example of what kind of relationship He wants us to have with Him. It‚Äôs revealed in the first chapter of Genesis.
Then God said, ‚ÄúLet the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth‚Äù; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass‚Ä¶‚Ä®Genesis 1:11-12
This means that God told the earth to produce herbs and trees. The earth created the trees. The trees need the earth. They can‚Äôt live without the earth‚Äôs soil because they came from the soil. Without it, they die. Soil is not an option for plants and trees.
Then God said, ‚ÄúLet the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.‚ÄùGenesis 1:20
Then God told the water to abound with living creatures. The waters produced fish and living creatures. Fish can‚Äôt live without the water because they came from the water. Water is where these creatures live and move and what they rely on for their existence. Just as trees came from the ground and they need the ground to live, fish came from the water and they need the water to live.
Then God said, ‚ÄúLet Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.‚Äù Genesis 1:26The way fish need water, trees need soil, man needs God. Click To Tweet
There is still 1,394 words in this chapter about the difference between devotion and devotions and how to have a relationship with God.
Here is little teaser of the book:
Table of Contents (Single Ready to Mingle)
- Fish Love (Chapter on Intimacy with God)
- Born Identity (Chapter on Identity)
- No Money, No Honey (Chapter on Money Management)
- Dating Donkeys (Chapter on Dating Non-Believers)
- Find Your Shoes (Chapter on 6 Red Flags of Dating Wrong Person)
- Sexual Sleep (Chapter for the Teenagers)
- God Presents, We Choose (Chapter on Biggest Myth of Dating)
- Best Marriage Advice (Chapter on What You Need to Know About Marriage Before You Get Married)