Bridging the Gap between Friendship and Marriage- Purity 544
Purity 544 10/08/2021 Purity 544 Podcast
Today’s photo of the entrance and exit to the Buskirks Bridge in Buskirk NY was taken by yours truly as yesterday’s journey caused me to take a new step on to an uncertain path that is undertaken with the assurance of love and the hope of faith.
Did you know, if you fake the g out of the word Bridge, you get the word Bride? How about that!
Well when I took this photo yesterday on this side of the Buskirk Bridge, I had no idea that I was going to ask TammyLyn Seguin to be my bride before the day’s end.
Oh don’t get me wrong, we have known each other since the spring and have grown in our relationship as fellow travelers on the path of Christian Discipleship, and then as close friends, and have recently revealed to one another the depths of our love for one another and the desire to be joined together in marriage and not be parted until the Lord calls one of us home. Through our discussions we decided that we were more than friends and because we wanted to follow the Lord’s will for our lives we both agreed that the next steps beyond friendship would be a quick transition marriage that may cause the casual observer a case of whiplash from the rapid transitions of our relationship.
Living together or having a relationship of casual or not so casual sex wasn’t an option for us and is not an option for those who truly wish to follow the Lord’s plan for relationships between men and women. Y’all better watch out because I’m pretty sure we will have some victims of collateral damage from all the shots fired from that statement.
Our society has compromised so much on sexual ethics and relationships that a man and a woman agreeing to marry before having sex or living together seems like a radical idea these days but is actually what the Lord would encourage us to do: to value ourselves and one another by making a covenant of love and commitment before giving away what is supposed to be reserved for husband and wife.
So TammyLyn and I had already decided that this period of “boyfriend and girlfriend” would be brief and had even decided on a tentative wedding date before yesterday. I had only to get an engagement ring and decide upon when and where I would propose.
I had even discussed with a secret co-conspirator in TammyLyn’s family a tentative plan to propose to TammyLyn at a family outing at Whiteface Mountain this weekend. In fact that was the plan. I expected to receive the engagement ring today, Friday, and then pop the question on Saturday.
Which brings us to yesterday and today’s photo. On this side of the Buskirks Bridge, I was proposing on Saturday. On the other side of the bridge, I contacted the jewelry company that was making the ring to find out when I could expect delivery and discovered that I had mistyped my email address into the order and that I was to receive the ring by 4:30pm on Thursday instead, a day early.
As anyone who has read this far probably knows, I teach a discipleship class on Thursdays at Rock Solid Church. It was through my podcast and teaching these classes that I met TammyLyn. TammyLyn has been the most faithful of all the students who has been in my classes, driving an hour to attend and sometimes being the only person to attend the class in person! So yeah, we could have been officially “in a relationship” for a much longer time but we both had some soul searching and growth to do in the months since we met to realize that we both wanted the same things and that our love for one another was great enough to be committed to overcome the challenges of bringing our two lives together with marriage.
So yesterday, when I got the news that I would have the ring in hand and that I would be seeing TammyLyn at class, I felt a heavy conviction in my spirit that “today was the day” that I was going to ask TammyLyn to be my wife.
I considered the date. The date was 10/7. And if we look at those numbers we see:
a 1 which is the number for God the Father.
a 7 which is the number of perfection, and the number for the Holy Spirt
a 0 which is like a ring, a circle that has no beginning or end.
If we add these together we get an 8 which is the number for Christ the Redeemer and just so happens to look like an infinity symbol when you put it on its side.
These considerations further convinced me that “today was the day”. So I prepared myself and on the way home, I got the feeling to stop for gas at a gas station that charges a little more for gasoline and one I normally wouldn’t stop at. But I was low on gas and didn’t want to risk running out and breaking down on the way to my marriage proposal. So I filled up.
As I pulled out of the gas station, all the doubts that “today was the day” disappeared as I just so happened to pull into traffic behind a red pick-up truck that had a large “jewel’ decal on its back window that looked a lot like an engagement ring. If I needed a final sign, God in His sovereign timing provided it. As I drove most of the way down Route 9J, a symbol that represented marriage was placed right before me.
When we “walk in the Spirit” God reveals Himself and His will for our lives in all kinds of ways. Sometimes He gives us a conviction to change. Sometimes we just feel overcome by peace, joy, or love when we worship Him. And other times the Holy Spirit will give us an intuition or a compulsion to do something good that will bless someone else and usually blesses us too.
So, yesterday, even though I had a bunch of ideas about how things were “supposed to” play out with my engagement with TammyLyn, when I felt my heart and spirit lead me to take a more immediate, more sudden, and more spontaneous route to our betrothal I felt compelled to follow it.
In further consideration, this new “sudden” plan would actually be appropriate in that I would be proposing to the woman I loved in the place and context with which we first met and as it turns out it would also just happen to be the place where we first kissed.
So what are you going to do? Do you do what your spirit is telling you to do or do you do what has been planned or is more traditional or expected?
Well, since I have been trying to follow the Lord’s will for my life with increasing progress and dedication since 2010, I have learned that while we may not fully understand what will happen from “following the Spirit” and know all the possible implications and consequences for doing so, the Spirit of God hasn’t led me astray yet.
I value the relationship that God has with me and I have seen the fruits for faithfulness in the past. So yesterday, when I felt that familiar leading of the Spirit, I decided I not only felt compelled to follow the call, but I wanted to make TammyLyn my fiancé with all my heart and soul. In this instance, doing the will of the Lord was also going to give me the desires of my heart.
So last night just before class was to begin, I told TammyLyn about the significance of the day with my numerical ponderings and then, on bended knee, presented her with the engagement ring I had just received an hour or so before, and asked her to marry me. She speechlessly nodded her ascent to the question and when prompted verbally said “Yes” to being my wife.
So brothers and sisters, walking in the Spirit down the path of Christian Discipleship is not an easy road to follow but I can tell you that it’s a journey that is paved with peace, joy, and love and when you keep walking and talking with God and follow His leadings you will find that He is indeed working all things together for your good.
The Lord will never leave us or forsake us and through the fellowship of the saints and forming other godly relationships He will provide you with company for your life’s journey. So keep going with God and see what He has for you on the other side of the bridge from today to tomorrow and from here to eternity.
If you can believe it I ran out of index cards for Bible verses! So I will be drawing verses from a gift I received from my beloved TammyLyn, although we were “just friends” at the time she gave it tom me. The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men is the resource and:
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Psalm 147:10-11 (NLT2)
10 He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
11 No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Today’s verse tells that the Lord isn’t really delighted by the strength of human might but is delighted by those who fear Him and put their faith in His unfailing love.
The idea that God helps those who help themselves is not really drawn from scripture. While God does have a cooperative relationship with us in which He expects us to be responsible for “our part”, ultimately our acceptance by the Lord is not something that we earn through our efforts or the strength of human might.
By faith we are saved, and if we understand what “walking in the Spirit” really means we also understand that our victories, our overcoming, and our progressive sanctification are also brought to us by faith. When we believe we are set free, suddenly the shackles come off and if we “keep on believing”, we keep on receiving an abundant life of freedom that is defined by the fruit of the spirit.
To fear God is to recognize His power and to respect it, to recognize His truth and to believe it, and understand His will and to perform it. But it also involves recognizing God’s love for us and to accept it and share it.
So stop trying so hard to “do something” and start fearing the Lord and put your hope in His unfailing love that has the power to heal and transform your life. Our walk with God is a love relationship so show your love for Him by respecting who He says we are and by doing what He calls us to do. We are not to be afraid of the Lord. We are to have a deep reverence and love for Him that takes what He says very seriously and causes us to obey what He calls us to do and just so happens to lead to a life of peace, joy, and purpose.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we conclude sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:
B. What Is Contemporary Courtship?
Emily's friends sometimes wonder if Andrew is for real. When she first tells her friends about him, they ask if he is crazy...or if Emily is the one who has lost her mind. They think one—or both—live in the past and has no sense of the reality of today!
The cause for concern is because Emily and Andrew have committed to court instead of date. But this is no nineteenth or twentieth century form of courtship...this is contemporary courtship.
Andrew has asked her parents for the privilege of courting their daughter, assuring them that his intentions are sincere and honorable. And they have agreed, knowing their daughter is fond of Andrew. Likewise, they, too, admire Andrew, having spent considerable time with him to ascertain his beliefs, his aspirations, and the strength of his character and belief in God.
During this time of courtship, Andrew and Emily will spend time together, but they agree to remain accountable to both sets of parents. Surely God will bless them for honoring this significant commandment...
"Honor your father and your mother." (Exodus 20:12)
Since emotions come and go, passionate love may be here today and gone tomorrow. Divorce courts are full of statistics verifying the impermanence of romantic love. However, the pleasures and promises of a lasting marriage are built on more than passing passions. Common ground, such as having the same spiritual and cultural foundations, is a basis for more permanence in marriage. For this reason, courting is on the increase with teenagers and young adults in many places of the world.
- Courting is a term used when a man seeks to gain the attention and favor of a woman with the ultimate intent of engagement and marriage.
- Courting puts a strong emphasis on spending time in group settings to see whether there are multiple areas of common ground.
- Courting provides the opportunity to publicly practice and display...
- —Moral values and spiritual foundations
- —Personal likes and dislikes
- —Social and relational skills
- —Maturity and experience
- —Physical/sexual restraint
The Bible asks this rhetorical question...
"Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship