For those of you who work out or go running, you know how important it is to have good shoes. You can’t work out or run while wearing dress shoes. Women know how painful it is to wear high heels for an extended period of time. There are shoes that are intended to make you look good and then there are shoes that are meant for wearing on long distance walks. Good shoes not only help you conquer the distance but also make the journey enjoyable. When the Prodigal Son returned home, one of the first things his father gave him was a new pair of shoes. During that time, only sons were able to wear shoes; slaves had to walk barefooted. Shoes were a sign of sonship. In Ephesians, it says that good shoes are part of our spiritual armor. The type of shoes you wear matters if you are planning to walk for a long distance without pain.God calls us to walk in love, not just fall in love. The journey of love is pretty long – “till death do us part” as the vow says. Marriage is not a sprint but a marathon. Click To Tweet
God calls us to walk in love, not just fall in love. The journey of love is pretty long – “till death do us part” as the vow says. Marriage is not a sprint but a marathon. You need good shoes. Some people’s love journey does not last because they don’t have good shoes. What do I mean? They stop their relationship because their feet (the heart) hurts so badly they can’t continue on. I want you to learn how to find the right kind of shoes for the journey of love. Finding a spouse is kind of like finding good shoes. If you find a good pair, your journey will be enjoyable. Let’s look at a few comparisons between shoes and spouses.
1. They both have to be good quality. It is not enough just to look good. You need more than good looking shoes if you are planning to go for a long distance. If you don’t want your feet to hurt after the long journey, then your shoes need to be comfortable, not just look good. In terms of our spouse, inner substance is more important than the outer appearance. “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart” (Matthew 12:35, NLT). A person’s heart is what defines them. They bring out into life the things their heart is filled with. Appearance is not enough to sustain someone for a long distance. That’s why God looked for a king with a good heart, which he found in David. Therefore, his kingdom lasted. Saul’s kingdom did not last very long because of the quality of his heart. In the beginning, dating may seem to be all about looks and feelings, but it’s the heart that makes a difference in the long haul.A person’s heart is what defines them. They bring out into life the things their heart is filled with. Click To Tweet
2. They have to match – meaning one shoe for the left foot and one shoe for the right foot. Every person needs a right and left shoe. This speaks of gender compatibility. A man needs a woman and a woman needs a man, the same way a right shoe needs a left shoe. Two left shoes or two right shoes make it very difficult to walk. It’s not how God designed our feet. The same applies to the area of relationships. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Homosexuality is like wearing two left shoes – try to wear both left shoes for the next 7 days and tell me how it felt? It’s common sense to wear a left and right shoe, because that is what naturally fits. Sadly, common sense is no longer common in our culture. If you struggle with homosexual tendencies, there is help for you in Jesus. Don’t let your issue become your identity.
3. They have to fit. Shoes not only have to match but also fit. One size does not fit all. You can have someone who matches you, but they don’t fit you. I don’t believe that there is only one person in the world for you, the same way I don’t believe there is only one pair of shoes in the whole universe that can fit you. Anyone of the opposite sex, who is a follower of Jesus, is your potential. The real question is do they fit your life and assignment. How do you know if someone fits or not? We will discuss this topic more in detail later in this chapter. One thing I want to underline is that relating to a person as a friend helps you to get to know them a whole lot more than dating them right away. Most people put on the best version of themselves when they know someone likes them. Once you start dating, usually you start seeing that person through your feelings and not so much through the facts. However, people are more real with their friends; they don’t put on masks.God doesn't play romantic lottery by making only one person in the world for you to marry Click To Tweet
4. Take them to the cashier. If you find shoes that are good quality that match and also fit, then typically you would put them back in the box and make your way to the cashier to pay for them? Right? You would not put them on and walk out of the store. That’s called stealing. True love leads to the altar, not the back of a Honda. What our generation calls love, God sees as stealing. It’s taking something from another person that’s not yours. At times, guys may tell a girl, “If you love me, you would have sex with me.” I encourage ladies to tell that gentleman, “If you love me, you would get a job, buy a nice ring, get on your knee and bring me to church in front of God and family to get married.” Lust puts on a condom; love puts on a ring. Let that sink in. Sex before marriage is as wrong as walking out of a store with new shoes on, without paying for them first. Put that relationship back in the box! That means propose and start moving toward the wedding day. Once you get married, then you can open that box and wear those shoes for the glory of God!True love leads to the altar, not the back of a car. What our generation calls love, God sees as stealing. Having sex doesn't make it love. Click To Tweet Lust puts on a condom; love puts on a ring. Sex before marriage is as wrong as walking out of a store with new shoes on, without paying for them first. Click To Tweet
Here’s another funny statement I hear from a lot of people; “What difference would it make if I have sex with my fiancé since he/she will be my spouse and we are getting married soon anyway?” Well, you’re not married! That’s the difference. Imagine this: you have a fireplace in your house, you place wood in the fire and it keeps the house warm. Take the same wood out of the fireplace, place it in the living room ten feet away from the fireplace and light it up. It will heat up the house indeed. In fact, it will get so hot and out of control that the fire department will come. You would never do that, right? Why? Even though it’s only ten feet away from the fireplace? It may be close to the fireplace, but it’s not a protected fire and will burn the house down. Think about it. It’s the same fire, the same house, but in the living room it destroys the house, but in the fireplace it warms the house. Sex inside of marriage is like fire burning in the fireplace, it keeps the marriage warm. Sex outside of marriage brings condemnation and guilt. It breaks intimacy with God, can bring heart break, even sickness and demons. Simply put, sex before marriage is sin.Sex inside of marriage is like fire burning in the fireplace, it keeps the marriage warm. Sex outside of marriage brings condemnation and guilt. It breaks intimacy with God, can bring heart break, even sickness and demons. Click To Tweet
5. Repair, not return. Now you have the right pair of shoes that have been paid for and you are enjoying them. One day you notice that the soles of the shoes begin to tear or even get ripped out. Most of us would throw those shoes out and go get new ones. But there are shoes that are so valuable that you can’t just throw them out. You look for a person who specializes in restoring shoes and you take them there. That’s how godly relationships work. As a Christian, when your relationship begins to struggle, you don’t go to a courtroom but to the throne room of God. We seek help, not look for a newer model to upgrade. You can always have a new marriage with the same spouse. You don’t need a new spouse to have a new marriage; you just need a new attitude and some help. Divorce is rarely the solution, even in cases where it’s permitted biblically. If a light bulb goes out in the bathroom of your house, you don’t sell the house; you replace the light bulb. When your marriage starts to have issues, seek for deliverance, not divorce. Seek help and counseling. Take your relationship into the marital repair shop, don’t just run to divorce court.You can always have a new marriage with the same spouse. You don’t need a new spouse to have a new marriage; you just need a new attitude and some help. Click To Tweet
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