Having a Christian relationship

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My daughter is our Christian Education Superintendent and in January the young adults group she leads will resume. One of the topics I am suggesting they discuss: is "what does it mean to have a Christian relationship." Many of the members in our young adult group are single and dating, I think it is important for our church to discuss these issues. One of the highlights for my 24 year old daughter at the Pacific Northwest Conference in August, was when Bishop Bryant shared with us that Dr. C was the one who got him to go to church when they were first dating. It really struck a cord with my daughter. For here were two powerful role models, who have their love for each other based in God. What are your thoughts regarding having a Christian relationship. I am single and I know it took me a long time to realize that a "Man of God" is so much better than a "Pretty Boy" and guess what the man that has my heart is gorgeous and a man of God;-) Should the church be talking relationships?

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2001


Good morning everyone! I have to correct my previous post. Bishop Bryant just informed me that he was the pastor and he got Rev. Dr. C to attend church. See what happens when we are evenly yoked in a good Christian relationship. God Bless them both!!

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2001

It is imperative that our churches deal with the issue of relationships, boy-girl, boy-boy, girl-girl, mother-daughter, father-son, employer-employee, etc. When the issue of relationships comes up, we generally think of boy-girl relationships. But I believe, we need to look at relationships as a whole in all realms of life.

Subjects such as, self-esteem, how to handle peer pressure, friendships, dating, drugs, etc., and teaching all from a Biblical perspective. Rev. G. L. Champion authored a book that outlined these subjects and others for different age groups. In the book was also an outline on a ceremony called the "Rites of Passage". One of our many areas of negligence is with our children because we are failing in our duty to either reinforce or create Biblical principles in the home.

Many of our youth and young adults have made up their minds about many aspects of their lives. The problem now is to redirect their mind set to show them that they do not have to accept the first boy or girl who comes along talking the talk. But that there are Godly principles that they can use to measure whether this is Mr. or Ms. right or wrong. And that they should exhibit the characteristics that will let others know that they will not "bow down" or "settle" for just anyone.

I work with a few young adults who're "shacking up". One woman is 39 years old, the other is 24. The 24 year old is planning a wedding for next year. Right now, they live in the house with his parents. Can you imagine? Let me add they are not African-American. The 39 year old keeps talking about the man making an "honest" woman out of her. She has 2 children, the girl (17) went back to her father in Michigan. This woman was brought up in a Christian home, but has settled. The younger one doesn't have a clue about God. But to let her tell it, even with the family problems, she and this guy are on easy street and got it made boulevard.

When they come to me with their problems, I use stories that should make them take a look at themselves. (2 Samuel 12)

Should the church be talking relationships? By all means. Pray and Talk! Pray and Talk! Pray and Talk!

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2001

Rev. Wiggs thank you for your insightful comments. Where can I get Dr. Champion's book. It sounds like a wonderful resource tool for our church. One of the challenges that I have is with my young adult black men. For all of them are athletes at the university in my town. They daily face pressures from young women. Because they are Black and athletes. It is times like this that I wish there were more black men in my town to help with our athletes. But I will do the best that I can. You are also right when you say the church should be discussing God Centered relationships. The big problem in my state is alcoholism. We rank no. 2 in the country behind alaska for alcohol abuse. Alcoholism greatly impedes any type of healthy relationship. (there is a grocery store in my town across from the university that sells more liquor per capita than any other store in America) I would greatly appreciate any resources or suggestions that other's may have regarding building healthy Christian relationships.

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2001

My Sister,

I teach relationships from this point of view: If you are a true believer, then the Holy Spirit dwells in you. Therefore, any relationship with a believer and another person is a three-way relationship. Can you imagine the feelings a believer has when he/she realizes that they are "shacking up" or whatever the Holy Spirit is part of that relationship? This has been a big help to encourage believers to remain celibate while waiting for marriage.

Blessings, Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2001

Being in a potentially romantic relationship is complex enough with the help of the Holy Spirit, let alone without. That's why a Christian should not date, let alone marry anyone but another MATURE believer. Certainly being saved is a minimum prerequisite, but I'd never want to get into something like that unless we both had learned to hear the voice of the Spirit, which young Christians are still learning to do.

It's more than just the overarching question of whether to marry or not too. People should have their values on money, children, careers, churches, ministries, you name it, farely well developed BY THE LORD before doing anything permanent. Unless the Spirit has a steady guiding hand in every area of life first, a couple will likely grow apart over time. But when both are mature in the Lord, they'll grow closer to each other as they grow closer to God. That has been my wife and I's story. And before any young people moan that they will be too old by that time, we were married at ages 20 and 22. We knew God well even at that age...so get serious with God young people!

Interestingly, if both are mature in the Lord the courtship need not be a long one. They both just need to ensure that all values and preferences are what they should be, then confirm the Lord's will through prayer. It can happen very rapidly. I know a couple that were only casually acquainted when they heard God specifically tell them to marry. They obeyed in short order, and today have grandchildren.

Unfortunately, it's a rare couple that takes an approach. Too often it's the physical and/or the financial that's the driver.

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2001

Rev. Denise, your question regarding the church talking/teaching relationships is very timely. My resounding answer is "yes".

Because I live and worship in the inner city, I see so many of our young girls (8-12)developing the same social skills (low or no self- respect) of their older sisters or even their mothers and aunts,etc. The picture is not good. Self-respect and self-esteem is at an all time low. The young men are trying to emulate the get rich quick drug dealers,standing on the corners - the picture is not good. But I have hope! Looking at my own community, the Lord has shown me that at least here, our focus should begin with the children, who will take the message back home "and a little child shall lead them". I am probably a little old fashion, but that's what happened in my own home with my father. My mother was the one who took us to Sunday School and I can remember going home every Sunday with my picture card and telling my father the story and saying the Bible verse and telling all who would listen, what that verse or story meant to me. Eventually, my father gave his life to Christ. I just believe that if we get back to the basics, back to the Bible, lives will be changed. To me, evangelism begins in the Sunday (Church) School.

The basic lesson that I've learned is that we have to find our way back to doing God's work, God's way. When we begin to teach and reach from a Biblical approach about relationships, families will be restored and stregthened, and the cycle of doing my own thing will be broken.

The book that has some much useful information, written by Dr. G. L. Champion is "Christian Education for the African American Church". It begins with "Evangelizing through the Sunday School" It talks about Jesus' great commission, the pastor's attitude, lay leadership, etc. Then it focus' on the curriculum for youth through adults, by age groups, male and female, singles and families. There's a section on the catechisms, the Christian development of youth, boys into Christian manhood, singles and a seniors ministry, adult males, teaching young girls and boys lessons on respecting themselves and others, courtesy, dating, fidelity, courtship, the role of the father, husband, wife, mother, etc.

It's filled with news you can use. And then there's the "Rites of Passage" for girls and boys. Our District Sunday School used the Rites ceremony with accountability placed in the hands of each local church. The ceremony itself was done with parents, the pastor and/or a mentor for accountability. It was powerful and it's results oriented.

Let's get "back to the Bible", the more you know, the more you grow!

-- Anonymous, December 13, 2001

Wow! Thank you Rev. Wiggs, I always love hearing from you! During the Advent season our Church is doing the Prayer of Jabez as our advent Bible study. It is a powerful little book. For it focuses on a man named Jabez (which means born out of pain) and how he asked God for help because he wanted to serve God more. He wanted to do something extra for God. His prayer was answered. Last night we talked about the prayer in relationship to having a healthy Christian relationship. It was powerful, for one of our members said she did not know what to ask God for. But she was tired of being in a battering relationship. The last line of the prayer asks God's protection from evil. She started the prayer two weeks ago, and is seeing results, for she wanted us to find a space so that we could have a second service, and now we do. She is finding that by praying the prayer of Jabez, keeps her focused on wanting to serve God more. I also shared Rev. Paris powerful imagery of the "Holy spirit being in the midst of our romantic relationship" boy that is such a strong image. Thank you Pastor Paris for sharing it, for that image is a valuable tool for raising self-esteem. God has been telling me he wants our church "to be a refuge for the poor" and that is why he has raised this church in bozeman, so issues, of low-selfesteem, battering, alcoholism, have to be addressed through "having a right relationship with God" which is the translation of the word Salvation from the greek. Our church will be focusing on Parenting classes, and alcohol and drug abuse for the year 2002. We will be offering them at the food bank. One other area that needs spiritual attention, is how we feel about ourselves and our role in this world. In other words do we have a "personal relationship with God!"

-- Anonymous, December 13, 2001

Educating persons as regards to sound biblical relationships founded upon the biblical principles of God's Holy Word is commanded by the Lord Himself. We have a responsibility or a mandate from God to let the young people know that God's word says that we (adults) should train up a child in the way he should go so when he gets older, he will not depart from it. It is even more necessary to pay keen attention to the needs of young people as many a time we may be aware that they are crying out for help but we keep "missing the signals" every time we are somewhat caught up with our agendas of the day.

To answer your question on my thoughts on Christian relationships, I need to establish the fact that this relationship is the ultimate relationship that any man or woman can find. My thoughts on this type of relationship is based on biblical standards. Why? Because who better will know about the human being apart from the CREATOR ... No one!!! Only the Creator knows about us even when we can't seem to understand our very ownselves at times. This is why I establish everything (and I mean everthing) from His word. It will take me indepth with this topic so if you are indeed interested. We will get down to specifics and I'll see how best the Lord through me can assist your unique situations.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2003

it is important that the church talk about relationship because many christian don,t know the meaning of relationship rather they see relationship as having sex which is wrong relationship shuold be on holiness before marriage.

-- Anonymous, June 24, 2003

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