How to Ask a Girl Out

While attempting to navigate through the dating process, I’ve found that I’m not alone in my ignorance of how this process is supposed to go down. Many men need courage and many men just need language and a healthy example to follow. This is the goal, a quick example and some language to help you out when you see a girl you want to get to know better in three steps: The Approach, The Question, and The Follow Through.

 

THE APPROACH: YOU GOT THIS.

Take a deep breath. Don’t overthink this. Your entire future does NOT hinge on this moment. You’re just asking her for coffee or dinner to get to know her better. It’s going to be alright. You can do this. You’re a good-looking guy, and you’re going to make her laugh and smile and bring value to her life.

Remember, relationships are about what you can give to the other person, not what you can get from them. If you’re not ready to add value to someone else’s life, then you’re not ready to date. Assuming, you’re ready to give to someone, then go for it and show her a great evening/afternoon. Get out of your head. If she says yes, then you show her how a gentleman should treat a lady. If she says no, you were brave, kicked fear in the face, and broke off passivity. Keep rolling, she just didn’t see you with those eyes.

 

THE QUESTION: SHORT, SWEET, THEN SILENCE

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve seen “Friends,” I know how it’s supposed to work. You confidently walk up to a woman you think is attractive and would like to know better and then drop the Joey Tribbiani line: “How you doin’?”

I’m joking. While this does show that you’ve got a good sense of humor and are familiar with 90s pop culture, it’s actually never worked for me. At best, I’ve gotten a good laugh then a period of silence which left me realizing I didn’t have a plan for what to say next #awkward. I needed language. So here’s what you’re going to say, tailor it as needed, but this will give you a start:

 

IF YOU DON’T KNOW HER:

Find something that you admire about her, besides “she’s hot.” Notice her smile, her laugh, the way she interacts with others, her shoes, something you like. Approach.

“Hi. I’m sorry, to interrupt, but I just wanted to let you know I really like…(insert honest genuine compliment).”

(She’ll say thank you.) Hold out your hand to shake hers and introduce yourself. (She’ll tell you her name.)

“I know this may seem a little forward since we just met, but could I take you out for coffee/dinner sometime? I’d love to get to know you better.” Easy.

 

IF YOU ALREADY KNOW HER:

Approach.

“Hey, how’s your day/week/month going?”

(Listen to her answer. Respond accordingly. Keep it light and short when she returns the question to you. Don’t talk for thirty minutes while awkwardly building up to the question.)

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and I was wondering if I could take you out for coffee [or dinner?]”  Boss. Nailed it.

Here’s an important note: if you’re nervous after you ask, don’t keep talking and explain yourself. Be okay with some silence. This may be a surprise to her and she’s running through a lot of thoughts in her head. Just breathe and let her think. Don’t feel the need to over-explain yourself. If she’s confused, she’ll ask. Let her speak. 

If you have her phone number, call her. Please don’t send her a text asking her out! She wants a man to show up. It’s good for us, as men, to be bold and cross that chicken line. I really don’t like talking on the phone period, but I want to show women they are worth the phone call. You can use the language given above.  Rehearse as much as needed, no shame in that. Just pick up the phone and go for it.

 

IF YOU GET HER VOICEMAIL:

Don’t ask her out over her voicemail. One time, I was so nervous and had rehearsed my words so many times that when her voicemail came on (the shortest voicemail message in the history of the world), I blanked and launched into my speech on her voicemail. Don’t do that. It doesn’t work. If her voicemail kicks on, keep it short and sweet:

Hey __________,  This is _________. I hope you’re doing well. I had something I’d love to run past you. Give me a call when you get a chance. My number is ____________.

 

THE FOLLOW-UP: WHAT TO SAY NEXT

IF SHE SAYS “YES”:

Have two or three ideas and dates in your head. Women like to know you’ve got a plan and intentions and most of us don’t think fast enough to plan when we’re nervous. Have two ideas so if the first option is a no-go, you have a back-up plan. P.S. Don’t forget to breathe.

Great. How does Monday Night/Thursday Morning/Saturday sound to you?  How about the coffee shop on Lincoln Street? Do you like Italian? Mexican? How about Los Tacos on 5th Street?

If it’s coffee, set a time you’ll meet her. If it’s dinner, ask if you can pick her up. Remember, be a gentleman. If she says yes, give her your number and ask her to text you her address, then go clean out your car.

 

IF SHE SAYS “NO”

Respect the no. Hopefully, she’s nice about it. Don’t take it personally. It could be that she just got out of a relationship, her grandpa just died, her world is spinning right now, or a hundred other reasons that have nothing to do with you. Don’t take it personally and don’t beat yourself up. I usually smile and say:

Fair enough. Well, it was a pleasure to meet you. I’m glad we got to talk briefly. I hope you have a wonderful day and it would be great to see you around.

or 

That’s okay. I really just enjoy getting to know you. If something changes, feel free to let me know. I’d still love to take you out sometime.

 

HEAR ME ON THIS:

No matter what she says, celebrate yourself. You were bold. You went for it. You gave it a chance and put yourself out there. So much of being a man is showing up, taking a risk, and going for it. You just killed passivity and were courageous. Celebrate yourself for that. After that, enjoy your date or shake it off and find another lovely lady you’d love to get to know better. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but going for it and living in the present is always better than living in your head wondering what would have happened.

P.S. If you’re a lady reading this, feel free to pass it on to any guys you know or would like to know ;). Guys, if she tagged you in it, go for it. It’s going to go well for you.

 

ABRAM GOFF HAS BEEN PART OF THE MORAL REVOLUTION TEAM SINCE 2014 CREATING GRAPHICS AND DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEDIA. HE HAS SERVED THROUGH GRAPHIC DESIGN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH FOR OVER A DECADE. HIS PASSION IS TO SEE PEOPLE ACROSS THE NATIONS EXTRAVAGANTLY FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS AND WALK IN PASSION, PURITY, AND PURPOSE. HE BELIEVES EACH PERSON IS MADE TO BE FULLY ALIVE AND FULLY BEAUTIFUL IN THEIR ORIGINAL DESIGN DISCOVERED THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST ROOTS AND AS A GRADUATE OF BSSM, HE HAS A PASSION TO SEE THE WHOLE CHURCH DISCOVER AND WALK IN ALL OF WHO SHE REALLY IS. 
WEBSITE: ABRAMGOFF.COM 
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/ABRAMGOFF
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/ABRAMGOFF

 

 


Four Tips for Being the Woman Men Want

A few weeks ago I shared 4 Tips for Being the Man Women Want. Some of you asked for tips from the other side of the coin – what do men look for in a woman? You asked, and I listened. I surveyed some men and asked what stands out to them in the woman they are looking for, and here’s what they said (once again, even if you’re dating or married, I encourage you to keep reading as these may be a good refresher):

 

1. Confidence.

This overlaps with what we told the guys, and that’s because confidence in general, is just plain attractive. Men love a woman who knows who she is and has done the hard work in life that grows fruit of self-awareness and self-assurance. Confident women know their value, and they don’t have to overtly prove it to anyone but also don’t try to hide it away. They know what they want and don’t hesitate in being clear with their “yes” and “no” (Matthew 5:37). So ladies; when you stand strong in your identity and spend time getting to know yourself, it empowers the men who are pursuing you to get to know you too.

 

2. Beauty and Self Love.

Another important thing to look for in a life partner is self-love. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as [you love] yourself” (Mark 12:31). In other words, the standard with which you love yourself becomes the measure with which you will love others. A woman who loves herself well knows how to get her needs met in a healthy way. It’s also attractive to men when a woman takes time to care for herself, including her body, because they’re visually driven. I want you to hear me here that I’m not saying you have to starve yourself to try and look like a supermodel. Not at all! But taking the time to dress in clothes that make you feel beautiful and expressing your creativity in the way you do your makeup goes a long way. Men love a woman who encompasses beauty in every aspect of life: in the way she treats people with kindness, the way she carries herself with grace, and in the beauty of her spirit.

 

3. Passion.

The point of dating and marriage is not that you arrive at a destination, but rather that you’re adding to the life you’ve already started to build. Men are looking for a woman who has a purpose in life and isn’t just waiting around for Mr. Right to come along before her life is kickstarted into greatness. What are you building and contributing to? What makes you come alive? Ladies; having hobbies and unique interests speak to the special way you’re created! Lighting up when you talk about your passions is very attractive.

 

4. Encouragement.

I liked being around Kathy because she believed in me and made me feel comfortable, and I see this as a common need among men. Guys appreciate a woman who encourages them so they feel free to be themselves without feeling judged. Ladies, real men are attracted to women who take an honest interest in them and encourage them along the way. The truth is that most men are pretty insecure in the presence of a strong woman. They need some reassurance that you see something valuable in them and believe in them. It’s really not that hard to make a man feel this way. Just taking a sincere interest in someone and asking the right questions to discover his true passion goes a long way toward breaking down the walls of fear and insecurity. You can be inviting and friendly without being overtly sexy.

Dating Is a Two-Way Street

Bottom line, ladies, is that being powerful and intentional is something you can do regardless of your season! I want to encourage you today to be empowered, whether you’re single or dating, to know that you too play a role in pursuit and dating too. Do you agree with these four attributes? What would you add to the list? And give a shout it in the comments below to someone you know who encompasses these traits!

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

Why Gay Pride Isn’t the Problem

A Once-Gay Person’s Thoughts on Gay Pride

I passionately disagree that homosexuality is normal sexual behavior, but I honor everyone’s right to have a different opinion. I don’t hate anyone and I have spent my life loving people I completely disagree with. To me, agreement isn’t necessary for relationship. I’m not the kind of guy who beats people with the Bible and I think it’s hard to punish people into true purity. At the same time, I also think it’s wrong to remain quiet and allow only the homosexual voice to be heard in society. Given that a few weekends ago was the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade, the largest gathering of the LGBT community in the Unites States, I wanted to allow Ken Williams to share a part of his story with you.

Ken Williams is on staff with Moral Revolution—an organization I founded years ago to help define healthy sexuality. A few weeks ago, he wrote a blog post out of his own personal journey into freedom. I wanted my readers to hear from someone who struggled with homosexuality and came out of it. Whether you know someone struggling with same-sex attraction, are struggling with it yourself, or have no grid for the lifestyle, I hope this story will encourage and inspire you towards greater levels of freedom! I have so much hope in my heart for anyone struggling in this area and Ken’s story is an incredible testimony of true freedom, not the false freedom that the LGBTQ+ community covers itself in. Check it out:


Here we are at the time of the San Francisco gay pride parade,  LGBTQ+ people will be proudly demonstrating and asking society to celebrate their gay and transgendered lifestyles.  I know that the church will have mixed reactions to this display of pride.  Some will turn their noses up at the idea that anyone could possibly be proud of such an abhorrent lifestyle.  Others will be glad that their homosexual friends are finally able to find some peace and acceptance. They may even wonder if being gay isn’t as bad as the Bible seems to suggest.

But as for me, I was that boy who grew up having only sexual desires for males and none for females, being made fun of and called “faggot” on the playground, going through life feeling there was something deeply wrong with me at my uttermost core.  So it makes sense to me that  if, one day, I had decided I couldn’t take it anymore and I came out of the closet—the most vulnerable, dangerous, and potentially isolating thing I could possibly do—but was then welcomed with open arms by a community who loved me enthusiastically (something that no one in my life had done up ’til that point), I tell you what, I would rally around that cause. I would link arms with those people and carry their torch. I would paint a giant rainbow on my chest and proudly walk in the gay rights parade.

Gay pride isn’t the enemy here. Imagine the freedom you’d feel if you found a group of people who celebrated the most reviled, hated, and despised area of your life? Wouldn’t you celebrate too?  The real problem is that gay pride pushes people further into a lifestyle that God does not condone and, therefore, cannot be what’s best for that person.  That actually won’t take away the pain from a lifetime of rejection and self-hatred.  That covers over brokenness with sex acts.  That miserably fails to meet the deep needs within a person. God cares deeply about our fulfillment and joy.  So much that He had his only Son die in our places for it.  Many marching in the gay rights parade believe that they were born gay and cannot change.  But that just can’t be true.  My sexual desires did change.  For decades, my only sexual desires were for other males (I had none for women). But, that is not the case today.  I have been happily married to a woman for 11 years.  And, I know quite a few other people who have had the same experience of transformation.

Take, for example, my friend Elizabeth. A seminary degree-toting, lesbian feminist with a long-standing conviction that homosexuality was a God-approved lifestyle, who wholeheartedly embraced her gay identity and lived within the gay community.  A change in her sexual desires was nowhere on her radar.  She had so embraced a lesbian identity that when she discovered that she was having sexual desires for a man, she actually felt humiliated, at first.  But, changes happened nonetheless.  And, Elizabeth credits encounters with a living and knowable God for this.  Today, she has been married to the man of her newfound desires for 12 years.  You should hear her speak of him as though he were one of the knights of the roundtable.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing if not transformational. Dramatic change is possible when closely following Him. 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that anyone who is “in Christ is a new creation.”  That the “old things have passed away” and that “all things have become new.”  Jesus is in the business of setting people free to live their deepest and most fulfilling lives…physically, emotionally, sexually…in every way.  And, there are people out there, including myself, who have experienced a radical transformation in their own understanding of themselves and in their sexual desires.  They’ve gone from gay to straight and remained that way.

With God all things are possible.  So, we who follow Him ought to humble ourselves and pray and demonstrate an extravagant love to every person around us, regardless of their ethnicity, gender identity, height, weight, occupation, or any other measurement.  But, we also need to be mindful of God’s righteous standard for sexuality…one male and one female committed for life to each other within the bonds of marriage…and to pull on Heaven, expecting God to manifest Himself to the men and women who struggle with same-sex desires and other perversions, and to transform their sexual desires.  He certainly has done so for me.

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KEN WILLIAMS IS A PASTOR AT BETHEL CHURCH IN REDDING, CA WHO HELPS OTHERS FIND AND LIVE OUT THEIR TRUE IDENTITIES. HE IS A WRITER, TEACHER, AND MINISTER. HIS PASSION FOR SEEING THE ONE WHO FEELS DETESTABLE BECOME A FREEDOM FIGHTER LED HIM TO CO-FOUND EQUIPPED TO LOVE- A MINISTRY TO THOSE IMPACTED BY HOMOSEXUALITY. KEN ALSO SERVES BETHEL’S MANALIVE MEN’S PURITY GROUP AND MORAL REVOLUTION AS A LECTURER, WRITER, AND MINISTER. HIS GREATEST JOYS ARE HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE AND THEIR FOUR INCREDIBLE CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KENWILLIAMSMINISTRIES 
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/EQUIPPEDTOLOVE 

 


Responsibility Looks Like Something

TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS REQUIRED

Have you ever wondered why Moses had to be raised in the palace? Why could he not be raised with his own family? I asked God this question one day and His response hit me when He said, “A man who is in slavery internally cannot free people who are in slavery externally. It was necessary for Moses to be raised as a prince so that he could free My people.” Growing up in the palace gave Moses the character traits he needed to lead a movement. For example, when he saw his brothers being mistreated, he immediately jumped to action. Because of this royal upbringing, he responded to injustice as if it was his own responsibility. He knew that the things that occurred in the Kingdom had a direct pull on his influence and responsibility.

I think we can learn a lot from Moses’ story. When we live close to the palace we begin to perceive injustice differently than if we lived removed from royalty. When we are raised up in our royal identities, we move to action when we see injustice. As sons and daughters of God, we must take up the responsibility of our royalty and start responding to the injustices we see in our world today. This is not only our call, but it is our nature. A few injustices that come to mind are the ISIS crisis, racial tensions and the need for the #blacklivesmatter movement, and a current hot topic, abortion. While all of these are important, let’s take a look at abortion.

According to the World Health Organization, during 2010–2014, an estimated 56 million abortions occurred each year worldwide. In the United States alone, 1.06 million abortions were performed in 2011. The greatest holocaust in the history of the world is happening on our shift. It needs to matter to us. Do you understand how we got permission to kill our young in the womb? We took the word “fetus,” which is the Latin word “offspring,” and redefined it to dehumanize our unborn babies. And because we dehumanized them, we took away their constitutional protection. This is what the Nazis did to justify their extermination of the Jews, and what Americans did to Africans to validate treating them like animals. Any time you dehumanize a person, you give permission to treat them as something “less than,” and in the worst circumstances, take their lives.

The law plays a big role in this crisis. In general, laws support our societal core values. Women only received the right to vote in the 1920s because until then, our society didn’t have a high value for women’s voices. We redefined the way we thought about women and gave them the right to vote. In doing so, the American mindset changed. Thankfully, women no longer need to worry about their rights being revoked because we live in a country that has changed its value system to highly regard their equality. The law also supports our societal core values when it comes to abortion. So abortion is not just about bad laws, it’s about bad thinking. If we want to change the laws we must change the way our society thinks about our unborn babies.

I often hear the argument that our current abortion laws in the United States protect women’s rights. The problem is that being for women’s rights gets twisted when we forget that every woman was once a baby. Abortion laws should protect two women, the mother and the child, one of whom does not have a voice.

 

OUR ROYAL RESPONSIBILITY

Abortion is an issue of war in the spirit realm. When Moses, who would be the deliverer of the Israelites, was born, the Pharaoh issued a decree to kill the first born babies. And when Jesus, who would be the deliverer of humanity, was born, Herod killed all of the first-borns. When there’s about to be a movement for God, the enemy tries to destroy the generation that will carry it through and change the world. It’s time we take up our royal responsibility to see an end to this injustice!

If everybody did one thing, we could shift this. Here’s a list of things to do, but I want you to ask Holy Spirit what your role is and commit to action to what He puts on your heart.

1. We need work to change public opinion and the conscience of the nations. Talk to your friends, your family and your children about saving the lives of our unborn babies.

2. Scientists – we need you to step up and redefine when life begins.

3. Politicians – the laws need to change to protect the unborn.

4. Media – create media that gives voice to the voiceless and sheds light on how we’ve dehumanized an entire people group.

5. Doctors – hold yourselves to the oath you took to protect life.

6. We need to create a safe place for unwed mothers to be fathered and mothered.

7. Men – we were created to protect women and children. We must step into our God-given role and protect the unborn.

8. Women who’ve had abortions – there is so much grace and forgiveness for you. You must take a stand against the lie that abortion has no negative side effects. Your stories are powerful, and the world wants to hear them.

As royalty, it matters to us what happens in our kingdom. So I urge you to take a moment now, close your eyes, and ask Holy Spirit how you can play a part in seeing change in our world on this subject. Once He speaks, write down what you hear and commit yourself to action. I’d love to hear what you’ll be doing to play a part in saving the lives of God’s precious children!

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

Sex After Divorce

I remember talking to a friend right before I moved from my hometown and away from my marriage. “If there’s one piece of advice I can give you,” she said, “it would be to not rush into another relationship.” I assured her this was the furthest thing from my mind, but she insisted. She had thought the same thing when her previous relationship had ended, she explained, but she had surprised herself with becoming sexually free very quickly. At the time, I thought her advice was unnecessary. But looking back now, I’m wishing I had taken her comments to heart.

My husband and I were in our early 20’s when we married. We both came from Christian families and had both, miraculously, saved ourselves for marriage. Divorce was the furthest thing from our minds, let alone sleeping with anyone else, but within a few short years this became a reality and let me tell you, it was not pretty.

I’ve come up with all the excuses in the book for why our marriage ended. We were too busy, I was depressed, we were stressed financially, he was controlling. But really, it all boils down to the fact that neither of us was truly maintaining our relationship with the Lord. Our faith walks were religious, not personal. If God had been our focus and our passion, the worldly definitions of success wouldn’t have widdled us down and exhausted us. If God had been our center it would have been easier to fight through the dark valley we were struggling in.

To separate myself from my husband, I moved to a new city and started my life. I thought the new, carefree world I had created for myself was where I was supposed to be. My focus remained on the worldly definitions of success and happiness which quickly influenced my new relational status. Three months later, I found myself in bed with someone I should not have been with. This was the first of many casual relationships that I would enter into in the following two years of rebellion, none of which were satisfying or long lasting.

I’m surprised, looking back, how easy it was for me to jump into the lifestyle of promiscuity. I had never been that girl and it went completely against my morals and even my desires. I pretended for a while that this part of my life was fun and exciting, but deep down I knew something was wrong. Even though these encounters lead to fun girl-talk with my friends, I would cry myself to sleep at night, my heart aching for something more meaningful. I had never felt more alone, empty or directionless.

Finally, my hardened heart became soft for the Lord, and I listened to the instructions I knew He had been giving me all along. God grabbed me back with a vengeance, and I am so grateful for His unconditional grace and love.

Sex after divorce is such a difficult subject. Even if we had saved ourselves for marriage, our bodies are now awakened to the sexual world, and it’s hard to turn that tap off once it’s been opened. Even though your sex drive is a very powerful part of you, I’ve realized the drive I’ve felt after divorce goes even further than that. Sex is attractive, yes, but intimacy is even more attractive.


“Sex is attractive, yes, but intimacy is even more attractive.”


I had realized it was the search for intimacy that was driving me to get involved in casual relationships so quickly. I was craving that closeness, to be known and appreciated by someone like I had been with my husband, for my heart to be felt by someone else’s heart. It was a long and painful, even damaging, learning curve to see that these relationships wouldn’t bring anything close to the true intimacy I was actually searching for.

In coming to this realization, I knew that I had to withhold myself from sexual relationships outside of marriage. Not only was God asking me to do this, but I knew that logically it was what I had to do if I wanted to find a truly intimate relationship. God was asking me to abstain, not to enforce a rule, but because He knew how destructive non-intimate relationships were on my heart and how they weren’t where I would find what I was looking for and what I truly needed.

The world defines intimacy as a sexual encounter, to be ‘intimate’ with someone. But really, casual sex encounters have no intimacy in them, and I would argue that any sexual encounters outside of a marriage hold very little intimacy, if any. I’ve had sexual interactions within marriage and outside of marriage both in casual relationships and committed relationships. From first-hand experience, I stand firm on the opinion that sexual intimacy outside of marriage in any form cannot be compared to what it is within the boundaries of marriage.

It’s unfortunate that I had to experience this first hand in order to learn the importance of waiting for sex within the boundaries of marriage. Yet I do know that I am forgiven, and grace has been poured over me. My past sin has been erased, and I am clothed in pure white before God.

I still struggle with being a sexual creature, I am still tempted, and I will admit that I have fallen to that temptation even after God has shown me the truth of my actions. I share that honestly with you because there are so many of us who are now divorced and trying to navigate this new world of relationships. It is a difficult path but with God’s strength helping us, it’s not impossible.

-Katie Smith, 33, British Columbia, CA


4 Keys to Healthy Dating

Have you ever been in a new relationship and found yourself making choices that you wouldn’t normally make? Maybe you’re staying out at night way past what’s healthy, or maybe you’re finding yourself completely lost in the emotions of the newness and forgetting to follow through on everyday responsibilities? I’m sure we’ve all been there. Dating is fun and exciting, but one of the biggest dangers to any new relationship is the quick release of euphoric emotions that turn wise men into drunken poets at a moment’s notice. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen innocent, headstrong couples end up in a world of pain because they underestimated the driving force of unbridled emotions.

 

HOW TO WIN AT DATING

Our feelings are a very vital and powerful part of any love relationship. However, they are very poor decision makers. When starting a new relationship, here are four healthy guidelines that will help you keep your cool in the midst of emotional euphoria:

 

1) Start apart and slowly work your way in.

Our crazy feelings have a way of pushing the pace way beyond what each person can realistically handle. It’s really important that each person manages his or her need for speed by starting apart and slowly working closer as trust is built. Trust and commitment level should always dictate the amount of intimacy that each of you gives in the relationship. By respecting this guideline, over time you will slowly become more intimate as trust and commitment build.

All too often we use our intimacy to build connection and relationship instead of allowing the foundation of trust to build our intimacy. If I am going to give you the most sacred and vulnerable piece of me, I better be sure that you know how to handle it before I offer it to you. The beautiful thing about slowly moving together is that the risk of becoming completely heartbroken is dramatically lessened because we are allowing commitment and trust to dictate the pace of our passion.

 

2) Communicate before acting.

Communication is one of the vital organs of any relationship. When you are just starting out, make sure that you don’t take any major steps without first talking through them with your partner. A major step is any decision that is going to involve the other person, from how often you hang out together, to holding hands and kissing or anything else that could possibly violate the needs of the other person. By talking through each step and sharing your needs and desires, you are creating an environment of trust where intimacy can flourish.

Another major aspect that communication brings to the table is the ability to set and meet expectations for the relationship. Anytime there is more than one person involved in something, you can be sure that there are expectations that need to be met. Having the right expectations is crucial for the health of both people because any expectation that goes unmet leads to pain. However, an expectation fulfilled builds trust and connection. Throughout your relationship, the expectation that each of you have for one another is going to change as the relationship matures. So it’s vital that both people talk through the expectations they have of each other, so that the needs of the relationship get met as they go deeper.

 

3) Never make a decision of commitment while “under the influence.”

When you are deciding to hold a girl’s hand or use a word like “love,” make sure that the relationship is ready for that type of intimacy. Because our emotions are so powerful, oftentimes the decisions that we make while we are “under the influence” are much different from the decisions that we would have made while being “sober.” Making decisions of commitment with a sober mind keeps the relationship from being an emotional rollercoaster and it also drastically lessens the amount of remorse and regret we experience from making rash choices.

A really safe way to ensure that your decisions are coming from a sound mind is to sleep on the choices that you are making. When I first started dating, if I was out on a date with a girl, regardless of how much I wanted to hold her hand or kiss her, I would wait until I had gone home and slept on it. When I woke up the next day, if I still felt the same way, then I would move forward as long as she was good with it too. I can’t tell you how many times that principle has saved me from complete catastrophe, not just in my love life, but in every area of life. Making decisions with a sober mind is the only safe way to live life.

 

4) Don’t leave home without your peace.

Many times throughout my life I have found myself in epic battles, fighting for possession of my own peace. The opponents that we fight in our minds manifest themselves in the form of insecurity, anger, loneliness, rejection, self-pity and frustration. Though these feelings are not evil, if left unattended, they will become as destructive as the devil himself. One of the most important things to know about these feelings is that they need immediate attention because they can have so much influence over us. I refer to these feelings as “red flags.” Every red flag, whether it is loneliness or insecurity, leaves you extremely vulnerable.

For example, a teenager in a dating relationship who feels insecure and doesn’t deal with it before he or she leaves the house, runs a huge risk of trying to fill that need for security with some type of sexual encounter. So the goal here is to recognize red flags and deal with them quickly by meeting the need in a healthy way before you leave the house.

 

SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

I want to encourage you to commit yourself to proactively put emotional health at the forefront of any relationship. In dating, specifically, it’s important to think through what success looks like to you before your emotions get the best of you. Enjoy the butterflies and chemistry that come with the excitement of new love, but always keep that in balance with taking care of your heart well. Which of these four keys really stands out to you today? And how do you stay emotionally healthy when dating? I’d love to hear in the comments section!

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

What Porn Stole From My Masculinity

It is no secret that a porn addiction is destructive and unhealthy. There has been study after study to scientifically prove it to be true, celebrities like Russell Brand have come out and talked about it, and organizations like Fight The New Drug have openly communicated the reality of it. I’m not going to build a case against porn because it’s already been done. This post is intended to help men open their understanding to the lasting effects porn has on their masculinity and how it slowly erodes away at their soul. How do I know this to be true? Unfortunately, it comes from personal experience.

My story isn’t unique. Unfortunately, it’s far more common than most people are willing to admit.  I was born in the early eighties, and my first introduction to porn was when I was a young teenager. I found a “dirty magazine” next to a dumpster. It’s scary to think of how easily kids can access porn today compared to when I was growing up. That magazine led to a struggle which lasted into my late twenties. The problem with porn is the damage lasts much longer than the struggle. There’s a lasting effect of its deceitful attraction even though you get free from the addiction. So what did porn steal from me over that 15-year period? The short answer is a lot, but let’s dig into the long answer.

 

1. Clarity about my calling in life

One of the many problems with porn is the timing of its introduction into our lives. Most kids can find porn anywhere from 9 – 12 years old, and often even younger. When this happened for me, it clouded my ability to identify my God-given calling. I was drawn into the fatal attraction it presented, and it slowly pulled me away from God’s original plans. That said, God is the Master of working all things together for our good. I don’t think for a second my struggles with porn would have lead to me missing my calling, but it did make finding my calling longer and more painful than it needed to be.

 

2. My sense of self-worth

I would say this is something I still struggle with at times. Maybe we all do to a degree, but it was always hard for me to see the value in myself when I was doing something that made me question my worth. I would say things like “If they only knew the reality of my life they’d never…..” or “I can’t even stop looking at porn, so there’s no way I have much to offer.” I would constantly doubt my self-worth primarily because I felt powerless to my addiction. It caused me to question the validity of my voice into someone’s life, building something for fun, making a decision small or large, and the list goes on.

 

3. The shame…Oh, the shame

It’s impossible to look at porn and not feel shame, especially when you understand that shame is the thing which separates us from God. Porn is nothing more than one of the mechanisms used to introduce shame into our lives. I would often look at porn, masturbate, immediately feel shame, swear I’d never do it again, and repeat. It would lead to me hating this part of myself, which then caused even more shame. Shame heaped upon shame is a great recipe for creating hopelessness and isolation. I felt all alone and powerless to my cycle. I didn’t want anyone to know what was really going on, especially when I was in the midst of doing ministry. Instead of being present and connected to the moment, I was internally feeling sorry for myself and feeling like a fraud.

 

4. My connection to God

This ties into shame, but needs its own point. To be clear, there was a time I wasn’t pursuing God and struggled with porn. During those years I wanted nothing to do with God…. but I had praying parents and a lot of guardian angels that helped keep me alive and eventually helped turn me back to Him. The problem was when I re-committed my life to Christ, the porn addiction didn’t just go away. I know it does for some, but it didn’t for me. I still struggled for years. Each time I would “mess up” and feel shame, it felt impossible to spend time with God. It was as if I wasn’t worthy because of my actions. Not only this, but I felt no connection when I tried to worship. It was like I was singing empty songs that were meant for passionate people who were pure, which wasn’t me. I would often feel a conviction to repent, but the longer I struggled as a Christian, the more it felt like I was repenting knowing I would screw up in the next few days. Since I felt like this, I didn’t want to repent, which in turn made me feel distant.

 

5. Insecurity about my body

If you read my post on sex, or any one of my other posts, then you will know I tend to be somewhat direct. Well, I’m staying true to this by sharing this point. Here’s another deception porn creates: the guys in the videos… um… well… they are often not average by any means. I didn’t know this and always felt embarrassed about the size of my penis. Little did I know that the average size was nothing like what I was seeing in porn.

All I knew as a teenager, and into my twenties, was I didn’t have what they had and it led to me feeling I was less of a man and physically insecure. It wasn’t until my wife would say things like “it’s the perfect size for me” that I began to be okay with how God made me. My wife’s influence along with learning about the reality of men in porn were two factors of many that made me okay with that part of my body.

The same can be said about the physical attributes of a woman in porn (or even modeling in most cases). When women use the women in porn as their standard, it only leads to feeling ashamed of their body instead of loving it.

 

6. Feeling like a failure in bed

This ties into my point above, but it goes a layer deeper than just the size of my penis. I’m referring to my ability to please her. I had put a lot of pressure on myself directly due to the fact I had looked at so much porn. By the time we got married, I felt like I had to be a rockstar every time we had sex. I quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen.

There were times in our first few years of marriage when sex was awkward, or I did something that didn’t feel good to her. Instead of seeing it for what it was, which was two people  learning about each other’s bodies, I felt like I was a complete failure. It caused me to shut down and disconnect. Even though I wasn’t looking at porn the moment we were having sex, the shame caused distance from my wife in the very area that God designed to create the deepest level of intimacy. Each time this happened, my masculinity would take a hit. It led to me feeling  I couldn’t adequately please the woman I loved. Sex made me feel like a failure.

 

7. Distorted sexual expectations with my wife

In the same way I had the expectation I needed to be a rockstar in bed, I also had the expectation that sex was going to be this amazingly orgasmic experience (pun intended). I would want her to recreate scenes  I had watched without her knowing. Unsurprisingly, she either felt violated or didn’t want to do what I wanted. She would say no, which left me feeling disappointed and caused distance instead of intimacy. This didn’t happen every time, but it stood out when it did. The problem was she wanted to love me and connect, but not in the way I wanted to. Also, she didn’t know I was struggling with a porn addiction at the time.

Not only did I want something she should never give, but I was the only one who knew why I wanted it in the first place. You can only imagine the amount of shame I felt. In short, porn robbed a lot of connection that was intended during our first few years of marriage. It wasn’t until I confessed my struggle that it began to change. It took time, but I now have appropriate expectations. Ones that are based on our intimacy and history, not ones that are built on something a perverted movie set has to offer.

 

8. Connection with all women

I would see women more as objects than who they actually were. I had been conditioned to look at their physical beauty first and use it as a measuring stick for who they were as a person. My relationships were often shallow and superficial, much like porn is. Porn is like a drug. The cravings only increase over time and you need more of it in order to “get high.”  When I saw a girl that was showing her cleavage, wearing a tight skirt, yoga pants, etc. I would visually take from her. I didn’t care that I was essentially cheating on my wife. Much like a drug addict, I needed a fix, and I was getting it.


Looking at porn when no one was watching caused me to find safety in isolation and shut people out from seeing the real me.


I was afraid to let any woman get to know me because I felt sure they would learn about my addiction and end our friendship. This also tied into my personal fear of rejection, but we’re only addressing the damage of porn for now.

There is Hope. God loves to turn our stories of pain into stories of strength and reconciliation. For me, it has been a hard-fought battle, but I have learned a lot in the process. I have met lifelong friends when I was willing to face the pain I was feverishly trying to numb. I embraced a journey of healing and learned how to become self-aware, not only regarding porn but in several areas of my life. I have become a life consultant and help people navigate through the very things I’ve struggled with. I have found one of my passions, which is to talk about the things I wish I knew years ago and equip people to be proactive in life. I have an amazing sexual relationship with my wife. I have spiritual daughters and healthy relationships with several women who know me, the real me.

I don’t exclusively blame porn for my insecurities, fears, or struggles I have in life. That said, it has been a large contributing factor of my journey in masculinity and made it significantly harder than if I had never found it in the first place.

 

JOSH CEARBAUGH IS A LIFE CONSULTANT WITH A UNIQUE ABILITY TO LEAD PEOPLE THROUGH TRANSFORMATION. THROUGH A COMBINATION OF CONSULTING TECHNIQUES, HE HELPS INDIVIDUALS TO IDENTIFY, AND THEN DISMANTLE, THE CRIPPLING CYCLES WHERE THE MAJORITY OF US FIND OURSELVES STUCK. HE HAS A PASSION FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE TO THEIR HEART AND HELPING THEM CREATE PRACTICAL STRATEGIES TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES. MOST RECENTLY, JOSH’S CONSULTING PRACTICE HAS BEEN LOCATED IN REDDING, CA
HE MET DANIELLE, HIS WIFE OF EIGHT YEARS, IN MOZAMBIQUE WHILE ATTENDING IRIS HARVEST SCHOOL. THEY CURRENTLY HAVE TWO BOYS AND ONE BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL. 
WEBSITE: JOSHCEARBAUGH.COM 
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/JOSHCEARBAUGH
ECOURSE: JUMPSTARTYOURLIFE.COM 

Four Tips for Being the Man Women Want

I’ve had love and relationships on my mind the last few weeks, specifically how to build successful relationships. Let’s take a look at this from the beginning; finding a partner.

 

4 THINGS WOMEN LOOK FOR IN A MAN

A true princess is not going to be attracted to a snob or a slob. They are looking for someone who shows them honor and respect, a man who pursues them like a valued jewel, not like a dog in heat. I surveyed several single women and asked them what qualities they want most in a guy. Here are their answers in the order they listed them. Now if you’re already married or in a relationship, I encourage you to keep reading on. I believe that relationships take constant intentionality and these principles can apply in any stage of your relationship:

1) Integrity

Women would like to have a deep relationship with a man who has integrity; someone who shows up in the way they say they will, which means they don’t make promises that they cannot keep. Men, metaphorically speaking, it is vital that you are not “writing checks” physically, emotionally and spiritually without the money in the bank to cash them.

2) Honesty

They need a man who is honest, transparent and vulnerable—first with himself, then with the lady in their life. It is painful when men are dishonest and keep things in the shadows. The fruit of an honest man is that you make the woman you’re pursuing feel emotionally safe.

3) Confidence

Confidence coupled with humility is a beautiful thing, but pride sucks. Women mentioned that they don’t need a man to have it all together, they just need someone who trusts the Lord, doesn’t live in fear and are therefore are able to lead the relationship well. Men, when you pursue a woman’s heart with confidence and a plan to bring strength to the relationship, their confidence grows as well.

4) Self-Sacrifice and Love

Women want a man who is sacrificial and knows how to love in a way that makes them feel valued. Men, women want you to help meet their needs even when it is difficult so they know they’re unconditionally loved throughout all of the circumstances of life.

 

A MAN WITH A PLAN

I’d like to talk to all the men out there today; it’s important to pursue your love interest with a plan. If you’re not at a place in your life where you’re ready to be married, then do everyone a favor (yourself included) and take a break from dating. I’m not saying you have to know that you’re going to marry every girl you take on a coffee date, but if you’re not serious about finding your life partner then it’s likely you’ll treat dating as something casual, as having fun with a cool chick, and “maybe she’ll end up being the one” attitude. Women are looking for men to be purposeful as you pursue their heart. Being honest with where you stand in your pursuit, even if that means you’re not ready to pursue at all, will set women up to only give of themselves to the degree of the commitment level you’re at. The bottom line is, make sure you know what commitment level you’re ready for, intentionally stay at that level of commitment, and make sure your words and actions line up along the way.

 

HAVING A MENTOR

Being connected to a role model or mentor is imperative for success in these areas. Inviting someone into your life who you are real and raw with, someone who can crack your heart wide open in all areas is invaluable. Many people hide their weaknesses hoping that no one will ever truly see the “real” them. But hiding your flaws only allows your dysfunctional cycle to continue. It is only when you are real with God, with yourself and with others that you begin to become healthy and find freedom and wholeness in your life. So if you don’t have a mentor, seek one out and begin to open your life to their feedback.

What kind of attributes do you look for in a partner? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

5 Red Flags to Consider Before Marriage

Have you ever looked at a couple that’s about to get engaged or married and thought, “Oh please, no! Don’t do that!” as the glaring red flags of their unhealthiness slap you in the face every time you look at them? How is it that it’s so clear for an outsider to see the warning signs of a road to an unhealthy marriage, and yet sometimes the couple themselves have no idea? Unconscious ignorance, and sometimes straight-up stupidity, often get in the way of couples seeing their relationships clearly, and in the worst situations, committing to a marriage that is setting them up for a journey of pain.

We’ve been chatting a lot on the blog about relationships, what to look for in a guy or girl, and how to date well. Today I want to share some fatherly advice with you when it comes to taking the big leap into marriage. Here are some red flags to look out for and seriously stop and pay attention to before saying “I do.”

 


1) If someone says they love you but they refuse to respect you, they are lying. An example of this if they say, “If you love me, then you’ll have sex with me.” The truth is, if they loved you they would protect your virtues! If they disrespect you in this way they are most likely thinking and speaking from their raging hormones, not their heart!

2) Never marry someone to fix or change them; it never works! If they have serious issues to work through; porn, drinking, drugs, cheating, lying, etc., the reality is that’s what you are marrying. It may be hard but if this is where you’re at, it’s time to face the facts. Marrying someone to be their savior is a bad plan and will lead to heartache! Also, serious addictions and unhealthiness aren’t fixed by marriage. I’m not saying that someone with a rough past is disqualified from marriage. I’m simply saying that if they aren’t willing to look at these issues and work through them, then you’re setting your marriage up for pain. Rather, choose someone who has put in the hard work to get healthy, just as you do the same.

3) They say love is blind but the truth is love is stupid blind! Therefore, it’s imperative that you have wise people around you that you give a place to speak into your romantic relationships. If your significant other is not open to the feedback and counsel of wise people around you, that is a red flag. Think about it; if you’re about to make the most important decision in your life, not listening to wise people is stupid blind and dangerous.

4) Ladies, however this guy treats his mother, is probably how he will treat you when you marry him. Men, however this girl treats her dad, is probably how she will treat you when you marry her. There are exceptions to this concept, but this is truer than most would admit. If your partner treats their mother or father with disrespect, they’ll likely treat you the same way. This is warning sign to consider, as respect is necessary for a relationship that will bear the fruit of freedom and love.

5) Ladies, getting pregnant so a guy will stay with you never works! Neither does having children to fix a marriage. It’s a really bad idea to use a child as a band-aid and in the end do you really want to be in a marriage that you had to manipulate someone to be in? You’re worth being chosen for who you are and don’t need to control someone into a relationship. Ever.


 

I want you to hear my heart today. Some of this may sound harsh, but it’s because I want to share wisdom that will protect you from heartache in the long run. If you’re in a relationship that has some of these red flags, I encourage you to seek wise counsel from some mentors around you. Process through this in the context of safe community. If you need to make a hard decision to end an unhealthy relationship, I pray grace, strength and courage over you today. It may hurt in the short run but I promise you that it’s worth it to wait for a healthy marriage than to jump into one prematurely simply because it feels good now.

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

One Date

“Don’t. Freak. Out.” My best friend was coaching me on the other side of our Skype call. “You know how you get when a guy starts pursuing you. You freak out. I did too before I got married. Don’t do it.”

She was right. I had the track record to prove it. Great guy friends whom I had so much fun with would ask me on a date, and I would freak out. What is he doing?! Why does he want to ruin our friendship?! What if we can’t come back from this?! What if I hurt him?

“Just go on one date. And if you don’t hate that one, go on another one.”

“What if I lead him on? What if I never figure out if I like him or not?”

“You’ll figure it out.”

“Okay. One date.”


Sometimes in church culture, we think we need to be almost ready to marry someone in order to say “yes” to a date. I’ve felt like this before. The problem with this is it narrowed my choices and made me dismiss some great guys who actually deserved a chance.

I decided to try something new and calm things down instead of freaking out.

I started to ask myself, “Can I say yes to one date?” Not two dates, not a relationship, not walking down the aisle, but one date? 

Here’s the thing ladies, when a man asks a woman on a date, he’s taking a risk. He might be nervous or trying to find the right words, and you might not see the best version of him right there. Sometimes, we have to give a man a chance to bring his best. We have to give him a chance to pick us up, open doors for us, buy us dinner, and start to feel comfortable enough to be himself and have fun. If you get to the end of the first date and feel sure it’s a no-go, then you can end it graciously. If you have fun on the first date but still aren’t sure if you’re going to walk down the aisle, no problem. Go on another one or two or three and find out.

It’s okay to give people a chance and figure things out at each step. Sometimes our brain tries to shoot ahead to ten years down the road, when we really just need to take things one day at a time. It’s true that there are beautiful stories about love at first sight and knowing someone is the one right away, but there are also stories about attraction growing over time and things working out that people don’t expect. It’s okay to be open and see how things develop.

Now you may get the questions. “You went on a date? How did it go? Are you dating? How do you feel? Do you like him? Are you going to keep going on dates? Is he your boyfriend?” People may be asking, but you don’t have to answer anything you’re not ready to answer. Your friends and family just want the best for you, but it’s unfair to require yourself to know everything when you’re in the process of discovering. Just keep the lines of communication open with the person you’re going on dates with. As long as they know where you’re at, you don’t have to worry about having all the answers.

So as we close things, I want to give you permission. Permission to figure it out along the way. Permission to explore a possibility, and then change your mind if it turns out differently than you thought. Permission to not have a five-year, one-year, or even one-week plan of how things are going to go. Permission to get to know people and figure out what you like and don’t like. Permission to enjoy the adventure of not always knowing what’s around the corner. Try being open to something you don’t expect. You never know where it may lead.

 

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT BETHEL AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE WRITING TEAM FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SEEING THE CHURCH CARRY JOYFUL HOPE AND EXPECTATION IN EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIVES. SHE LONGS TO SEE THE UPCOMING GENERATION EQUIPPED AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. 
WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM