6 Tips to Dating as a Christian

The definition of dating can be defined various ways which is dependent upon each individual. For most, it is enjoying the company of an individual that you are interested in knowing in a deeper level. That can include dinner dates, painting, visiting a nice museum or art gallery, but that list can go on and on.

However, when you are dating as a Christian, there are different standards that one should consider. Below you will find a list of tips for dating as a Christian.

1. Boundaries- As a devote Christian, the word teaches us to flee temptation. We all know that if you play with fire you will get burned. So as you are dating, it is important to put up strict boundaries so that you two will not fall into temptation. These limitations can consist of: inviting a third party along for your dates, hanging out in public vs. home, church hugs (side hugs).

2. Purpose- Dating as a Christian is intentional therefore, most call it courtship. When you are dating/courting you should have an end goal of marriage. If either party is not ready for marriage then it’s best to remain friends.

3. God- God is at the center of your relationship. You both should be pushing one another toward Christ and not away from Him.

4. Family & friends- Family and friends involvement is vital when dating because individuals act differently in certain environments. It is good to see how your significant other behaves around others. Also, it is important to gain insight about your partner from family and friends. Sometimes they can see something, from the outside looking in, that you may have overlooked (whether positive or negative)

5. Wise counsel- Seeking wise counsel like pre-marital counseling opens a level of communication and challenges your thought process on this journey towards marriage. Thought provoking questions and discussions can give insight into one another and can help your future marriage be successful.

6. Emotion control- As you’re dating it is important to keep your emotions under control and really understand your partner. At times, we can allow our vision to get cloudy but it is important to have a clear outlook on the individual that you’re dating. This also ties into number one, boundaries. When physical lines are crossed people typically begin to excuse or justify negative behaviors. Without physical contact (aside from hugs, holding hands) you are able to view the individuals actions sharply.

What are some dating tips that you may have?

Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,

Living Single: How to Deal with Singleness on Valentine’s Day

One of the most hated days for many singles across the nation is, Valentine’s Day. It is a day dedicated to love which reminds many individuals of the relationship status they lack. It is a painful reminder that one does not have significant other, to share “love day” with.

I’m single, however, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays (not a public holiday). I have always equated it to love but not solely for couples. Even though it’s a day most recognize for couples, my family and friends have always made it a collective celebration. I enjoy it just as I do Christmas. Everyone gives and receives cute gifts and just enjoy the occasion.

If you are single this year for Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage you that fulfillment of love does not stem from a man or woman, but it comes from within. YOU. Two of the greatest loves of all are, self love and the love from God. If your heart is hardened by this day of love, find rest in knowing that you receive the best love from our Heavenly Father. Below you will find a list of tips to help you through the Valentine’s season.

1. Girls night-Girl, enjoy this day by engaging in your favorite things. Self love is one of the best loves. Go to dinner with your gals and celebrate yourself. Cheers to not settling and being content with life. (Vice versa for the Fellas)

2. Favorite-Order take out from your favorite restaurant and catch up on your favorite tv shows or watch your top movie.

3. Family time-Most people do not like going out on Vday due to the crowds. If that’s in the case of your circle, the, spend time with your family. What better way to spend this day with people that love you most.

4. Gift giving-Send a gift to someone and help brighten their day. You never know what the next person is going through. Plus, it does the heart well by doing good for someone else. “It is always better to give than receive”.

5. Spa day/night- Give yourself a gift to the spa. Get a nice massage, hair/nails done and enjoy “Me time”.

6. Choices- “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. That is true in a lot of cases but in others you know how to make the right choices. Just like you choose a show to watch or what you will cook for dinner, you have to decide to be happy and not bitter. So what you’re single! So what “everyone is in a relationship”! Are you going to sit there and choose to wallow in pity and despise the plan God has for your life? Girl/Guy dust yourself off and fight for your mind! Better to be single and happy than married and unhappy. If you do not master contentment in your singleness it will follow you into your relationship. Talk to married individuals and they’ll tell you, at times they feel lonely, unloved, not valued, or stuck. “Marriage won’t fix you and being single won’t kill you”. Emotions do not change just because of your relationship status. Managing your emotional state, is an inside job that you have to work on constantly, until you reach eternity. You got this!

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Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,


The Single Woman’s Anthem

To the single woman, 

This is a message of encouragement to remind you of your worth. You deserve the same love and energy that you give. Although, people are raised differently and have varying perspective, that does not justify their inability to reciprocate the love you give. If a person cannot adhere to the requirements of your morals and values, then you do not have to settle for some half love.

You did not spend all of the days, months, or years, as a single woman, just to get into a relationship and feel single or like you are alone. We’ve all heard this before but relationships are a partnership similar to a friendships. Will there be times that you feel lonely or alone? Yes, because a human is not made to fill all of your voids. Happiness is an inside job. However, there has to be the same level of commitment when you are in a relationship. So the red flags that you see in men are necessary because it helps you to not settle into something that you would be miserable in, later. 

See, you yearn for adventure, love that is never ended, a family. You want weekly date nights, vacations and to try out that new restaurant that just opened. You want to go to that exhibit, even if it is out of state. You desire that life because you live it currently. You are full of life, a ray of sunshine. Yet, coupled with the wrong person, that shimmer will not be as bright. 

While you’re single, I encourage you to not sit around waiting on a man to wife you up. Find you a group a friends, live life, and chase after your purpose. GO! Go on that journey to finding the squad that brightens the light that you already shine. Do not dim your rays because it makes someone feel uncomfortable. That would be a disservice to you. If you have to be single for the rest of your life, so be it! Find contentment in that knowing it is better to be single and full of life, than, married and feeling like you are missing out on living life. 

So let this be the single woman’s anthem on not settling, keeping your standards set, and remembering, WHO YOU ARE! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)  and a child of a king.

Remember we are in the journey together,

Dos and Don’ts After a Breakup

Many of us have been in a relationship, which did not turn out as expected. You fantasized that your partner is “The ONE”, and you both will build a life together. Then one day, that dream comes crashing down and a break-up occurs. Both parties endure agony, however, the dumpee tends to feel more anguish. With most break-ups comes the sorrow and grief of letting go of that special person. Some of the greatest lessons I learned, happened during the grieving process of a past relationship. Below, I list FOUR top pointers you should not do after a breakup.

1. Keep your heart open to Christ

  • As the dumpee, whew I sure made the mistake of turning my back away from God! I was super upset that God allowed this to happen. I felt like he did not have my back but had my now ex’s side. Especially since the ex quickly moved on, into a new relationship, which seemed to be going great (yes I am guilty for social media stalking lol…you’ve done it before too). It wasn’t until I saw this quote on social media,  “Do not hold God responsible for what a person does to you.” Wow that spoke deeply to my soul during my heartache. I realized that my anger towards God actually kept me bound to the pain because it pushed me further away from Christ. Once I noticed my ill feelings towards Christ, I had to vent it to him. I simply prayed “God I am upset with you, I feel like you do not have my back” I went on and expressed all of the emotions on my heart. Afterwards, I felt a little lighter but I definitely was not healed. This was the first step to my heart being restored. 
  • “God is near the to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”- Psalm 34:18
  • “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”- Psalm 147:3
  • He will not leave you nor forsake you”- Hebrew 13:5

2. Protect yourself from the deception.

  • After the breakup, many questions resonated within my mind. What is wrong with me? Was I not pretty enough? Was she more saved than I? Maybe I was too much, too demanding, not caring enough, too caring, immature, if God cared he would not allow me to be heartbroken, how is God supposedly protecting me etc.. So many questions and statements circulated on a continual basis that, at times, I could not even process my thoughts. That mental battlefield sent me to a place of feeling inadequate. The rejection made me feel inferior and lowered my self esteem. Little did I know, I began to morph myself into a different woman because I thought if I dressed like her, changed my personality, I could be a good fit for him. I was right where the enemy wanted me to be, tangled in his cobweb of lies. During moments of vulnerability, that is when the enemy is most at lurk. You have to be on guard at all times protecting yourself from the deception and untruth. You have to fight back and cast down the negative thoughts.
  • “The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy”-John 10:10. 
  • “You are fearfully and wonderfully made”- Psalm 139:14
  • “Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”- 1 Peter 5:8
  • “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  -2 Corinthians 10:4-5

3. Focus on Yourself

  • I wasted numerous days, even months trying to determine the cause of the breakup or trying to figure out how to get that ex back. What a waste of time!  I became aware that I needed to shift gears and put that attention on myself.  When I did that, God began revealing places in my heart that needed to be fixed.  The focus went from him to me. I stopped caring about his life and more about mine. I wanted to progress and transform into the woman that God had created me to be. God opened my eyes regarding other areas like my career, purpose, friendships and more. When I stopped aiming my attention on my pain, I was able to heal and see the plans God had for me.
  • For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”- Jeremiah 29:11
  • The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”-Psalm 9:9
  • Set your mind on things above, not earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

4. Use Time Wisely

  • This point correlates with step three. During the moments of concentrating on the reasons “WHY”, I wasted so much time, that I will never get back. I truly, regretted all the valuable time I gave up, as I was grieving the heartbreak. Now don’t get me wrong, grief is natural, but mine was extended to the point it was, unhealthy. Those moments I spent sulking in pity could have been a time of true healing, which I delayed. I have forgiven myself for spending so many days engulfed in sadness. Experience is one of the best teachers and I am now grateful for this struggle. There is a blessing in every lesson. I learned to not wallow in the situation, if it does not turn out the way you intended.  The heartbreak happened, it hurts, but open your heart to healing immediately.
  • “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”- Mathew 6:27
  • Making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”- Ephesians 5:16-17 
  • Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”-James 4:7

Now, this is not a recipe that will immediately eliminate all pain. Everyone experiences healing at different stages and it depends on the individual.  I hope that you can take away a pointer or two from my past mistakes. One thing I know for sure is if God can heal me, he can do the same for you!

PS: What are some pointers you would give someone, post break up? Leave your advice in the comments below

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen

Single on Valentine’s Day

HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY

What does, Galentine, mean?

It is a new trend where ladies get together and celebrate, Valentines day. Hence the change from, “Val” to  “Gal”. Instead of being at home by yourself, it is a great way of celebrating your singlehood and exalt being content with life.  With Galentine’s day the focus adjusts from relationships to self love, happiness, and pursuing purpose.

As we all know, Valentine’s day, is primarily geared to couples celebrating their love for one another. Yet, it can cause dissatisfaction regarding one’s relationship status. Especially, for the single ladies (myself included). We tend to build this timeline in our mind about how our life should route. “I will be married by 25, have kids around 30, one boy and one girl named etc..” However, if your life is not going according to how you imagined, this beautiful “love day” highlights those inconsistencies. So cheers to whoever came up with the theme Galentine! It gives singles something to look forward to and puts the spotlight on self love.

At the end of 2017, it was placed on my heart to have a Galentine’s Dinner Party, which was amazing!!! I have pictures below for your viewing but first, I want to give words of comfort to a special individual reading this. If you are single and battling your status, I have been there and know that it can be extremely difficult. However, I want to encourage you with these few tips:

  1. Focus on the most important relationship

-The most important relationship is the one with Christ! I know it may sound cliché, and you may not want to hear it right now, but it is the ultimate truth. This is the best time to dig into your bible, Christian books, prayer, and get closer to Christ. By being near to Him, you will be able hear directions, heal, and pursue what he has for you. You’ll be so focused that you begin to enjoy life and your focal point will not be on your relationship status.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Mathew 6: 33

“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:2-5

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

“But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. Let those of us who are mature think this way” -Philippians 3:13-15

  1. Self love:

    “In order to love someone you must first, love thyself.” Figure out who you are and embrace your beauty, mind and soul.”

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 14

 

  1. What God has for you it is for you!

This pertains to any and everything in life. If that job, relationship, marriage, kids, car, is for you, IT WILL BE! All you have to do is trust God and his timing.

“The Lord will never withhold a good thing from you” Psalm 84:11.

Amen! Now let’s view the dinner party! Hope you enjoy!

Galentine’s Dinner Party

“The table set up”

Each lovely lady received a balloon, rose, personalized card, homemade chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered marshmallows, and a bag with more sweets.

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-The heart bag is filled with candy and a pen for one of the games.

-Clear heart bag, held the chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows

-personalized card for the ladies

IT’S GAME TIME!

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– Two out of the three games we played. The first was “What’s in your phone.” The person with the most points won! The scratch off game was pretty cool! Scratch off to see if you’re the winner!

– I like to call this game, Musical Gift. The gift is wrapped in newspaper like a million times (literally). The host plays music and when he/she pauses the song, the person that has the gift, unwraps only ONE layer of the newspaper. He gift keeps floating around until you get to the last layer which is actually, gift wrapping paper, and that person gets to keep the gift! Thanks mom for the idea! She also wrapped the gift so I had no clue who would win it or when the game would end lol. So much fun!

Testing out the Snapchat Geofilter, that I created for the night. If you have an event coming up, just go to Snapchat and make your own. This one I made only cost me 5.99. Prices will vary depending on style, area, and length of time you want it to run! Cool idea Snap!!!

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Personal shout out to my mother!!! She took time out, after a long day at work, to help me decorate and then off to celebrate this day with her man of 34 years (my dad lol)! She is the definition of a Proverbs 31 woman. She works hard and always tends to the needs of her family. Love you mom!

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Cheers to self love, contentment, and pursuing purpose!

Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen