Building your Singles Ministry/Personal Growth by Other Authors
So You Think You Should Date? | 5 Signs That Shows You Are Ready For a Relationship By Damien K. H. Nash
“I trust you!” I heard these exact words as I laid in bed one day while struggling with my singleness. I felt elated because I knew God was about to do something special in my life. I just didn’t know exactly what. I called my accountability and told him what I believed the Lord impressed upon my heart. And guess what? A few months later, I entered into courtship with my now wife Kenady (Pitts) Nash.
Now, I know what you want to ask me. “Damien, what does ‘I trust you’ mean?” Well, I believe God was informing me that He could trust me to pursue a relationship again. You see, in the previous season, I could not be trusted. I was literally living contrary to what I wrote in my newly released relationship book, #CompletelySingle. I was a hypocrite to put it bluntly. I didn’t follow my own advice (which was really His), and I put myself and other women in compromising situations. However, after releasing myself from those relationships and taking time off, I recommitted that strong desire to be married back to God and focused on my relationship with Him. This led to Him confirming to me that I was now ready to be trusted with one of His daughters again.
Thinking back on this season, I saw several areas in my life that the Holy Spirit helped me mature in before I started a relationship with Kenady. These questions are meant to help us honestly look within before seriously thinking about entering into a romantic relationship. Now, here’s my disclaimer: I don’t think it’s healthy to compare and/or measure yourself against the “questions” listed below. However, I do think it’s fair and safe to say all believers, whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, need to mature in these areas to start developing a servant's heart if/when you do enter into a relationship. Lastly, God might highlight several more things that He wants you to focus on along with these. I would love to hear them, so please reach out or comment below.
Am I committed to God and His Word? I know, most individuals think this is a no brainer; however, what I realized was that I had hidden idols that I did not fully submit to God. A prime example was my perfectionism. I thought I needed everything right and all my finances in order before I got in a relationship. I wanted to be in a solid career and have lots of money in the bank. When I surrendered those things to God and became committed to His leading, that was when I heard His small whisper to reassure me that my wife was on her way. This was despite not having everything I thought I needed completely in order, financially.
Have I securely found my identity/purpose in Christ? You have an identity outside of your career, culture, and relationship status. Your identity is found in Christ alone, but do you really believe that? I knew this in my mind but did not let it sink deep into my heart until after college. When I was in college, I thought basketball was my life and my ticket to success. When I didn’t get the playing time I thought I deserved, I seriously thought about taking my life. However, one day my late father called and told me he loved me. That one call ended up saving my life. What I realized is that besides my earthly father, I had a Heavenly Father who cared for me and had a purpose for me. I stopped playing ball and found that I had other gifts God wanted me to use to reconcile people back to Him through His Son.
Am I maturely handling my platonic relationships with grace? Take some time right now and review your friendships. Look at how you treat these individuals God has strategically placed in your life. Are you mean and rude to your friends? Do you get overly upset if someone doesn’t call/text you back within 10 minutes? How do you handle offenses? Do you cut people off and play the victim role when someone offends you? These questions are critical as you will need to learn how to let things go and/or learn how to maturely communicate your feelings in your romantic relationships without trying to tear your mate down.
Do I have accountability? This subject is tough for both men and women. To have friends of the same sex check on the areas we are weak in can be humbling and very uncomfortable. This is why you have to be transparent and intentional, allowing people into your life to help you mature in areas that you might have fallen into sin or you have created unhealthy habits. Remember, accountability is deeper than friendship. It’s a purposeful relationship that has a set vision and goals to help both individuals reach a desired end.
How have I handled breakups in the past? Maybe you haven’t been in a relationship or maybe you have. However, if you have, you must realize that a breakup is not the end of the world. This goes for being rejected by the opposite sex as well. These events should not destroy you. I knew I was maturing when I wasn’t distraught after being rejected by several women before Kenady. Yeah it hurt a little, but I got back up and got in the game. One of my friends really encouraged me and said, “Damien you have to realize that you are a catch as well. You are a good guy, and you are a gift.” This encouragement helped me not downplay who God made me to be.
I hope you really take these questions to heart as you prepare for that special someone. I am praying for every single person who lays their eyes on this post. I pray that God does exceedingly and abundantly above what you ask, think, or imagine in your relationships, first with Him and then with your significant other.
Damien is an Award-Winning Certified Growth Coach and the author of #CompletelySingle. He recently married Kenady (Pitts) in September 2019. Kenady is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in the state of Georgia. Damien and Kenady believe their purpose is to help people become healthy individuals and cultivate healthy relationships. Their YouTube Channel: “Damien and Kenady” is used to deliver content that supports this passion. Together, they enjoy traveling and speaking, and are currently working on their first book together.
Vacancy by Holly Crain
It was the most unhealthy option but ice cream always helped...at least temporarily. Eventually though the sugar crash came and the devastating loneliness returned. The sound of no one in the house after the kids went to bed was crushing. The silent phone drove a deep pain straight into my depths of my fragile heart.
I had to come to terms with reality of my current situation and not base it on my past or what was my future. I had a new normal and had to know how to navigate. Though I didn't feel prepared and had many desperately low times, here's what got me through:
Prayerfully going to God daily and being right with Him helped me to be able to walk through each day. I praised Him even at my lowest, I confessed my sin and brought everything to Him. He heard and responded.
Decisions. I now had the ability to make decisions to change the course of our lives. I had to decide how we were going to move forward. By far the best decision was to commit to be in community with believers. It was the support and encouragement I needed. When I was at a low point they spurred me on towards what was right and good and I in turn did the same for them.
Scriptures were memorized and hidden in my heart. When I woke up troubled, the scripture was there to be quoted. When I came to a critical moment, I had the resource of God's Word in my hip pocket ready to use at a moments notice. There is nothing as powerful as scripture and I now had what I needed.
Accepting reality. Coming to terms with the new reality was a hard pill to swallow but one that I believe God was asking of me. I wanted more than anything to follow God. So with that came His glory not mine. Life was going to look different and it was going to be His way. I was going to have to hear His voice above all the other noise in my life and faithfully walk with Him.
Allow yourself take in one or all of these things today. Read, re-read and memorize the scriptures that mean the most to you in Hebrews 10.
Hebrews 10 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
If we have not met, I want you to know that I walked into this church 25 years ago with a 5 year old daughter and a 2 month old son in tow. This church embraced me but bigger than that the gospel and what God did in my life changed this ordinary girl forever! And I know He will do the same for you! He will! Enjoy church, the SPF ministry and this SPF newsletter. Allow yourself to get excited about what God has in store for you and your children.