Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year. When you go to the mall, watch television or check out social media, you know that the love month is upon us.

But with barrage of images, love songs and videos, one can either fall into an enjoyment of the season of hearts or despise it. It can bring pressure for both the singles and married alike.

According to CNN
224 million roses are grown in time for Valentines Day
$18.6B is going to be the total spending
Another source tells us that 15% of women send themselves flowers on that day.

Recently, people have started celebrating S.A.D. (Singles Awareness Day) which is a complement to Valentine’s Day for people who are not in a romantic relationship.

When did it all start anyway?
Here’s a good article of when Valentine’s Day started.

But for the singles, here are a few things that might help…

– Go out for dinner with friends and do something fun.
– Get together with some people and host a Valentine dinner for someone who recently lost a loved one.
– Do something for people who would appreciate it at this time like those who are sick, the elderly, children who don’t have parents, etc.

But whatever you do, remember that it’s not one person that can complete you. The famous line “you complete me” is just not true. There’s only One that can complete us – Jesus.

Remember, no two broken people can complete each other. If you’re not complete before you get married, you can’t expect to become complete because of the relationship you are currently in. Two needy people will only end up devouring each other if they’re in it to simply get their needs met.

Only Christ can truly satisfy.

Blaise Pascal said that there is a God-shaped void inside of us that only God can fill. People try to fill it with career, achievements and relationships. But in the end, they fall short.

The Bible is filled with promises of satisfaction for the discontent.

    • In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
    • The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever! (Psalm 22:26)
    • Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
    • For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

Don’t let circumstances or holidays dictate how you feel. Let God’s Word fill your heart and determine how amazing your Valentine’s Day will be. Have a great one.

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Someone approached me last Saturday at our Every Nation Building Phase 2 Event. I wasn’t sure at first why she wanted to speak to me but after listening to her, I was so delighted to have spoken to her.

Arlene attended Victory Fort years ago but moved to Singapore to work for Yahoo for about 6 years. She is now back in Manila on route to Canada.

She related her story regarding how she struggled with smoking. She knew she needed to quit. She understood the physiological and spiritual ramifications of her habit but couldn’t seem to shake it off.

She’s asked her small group leader, Joyce, to stand with her all this time to believe God for freedom from this habit. She appreciated her small group leader for not only praying with her but also for accepting her without condemnation.

Arlene said she came across my blog entitled “How About Smoking or Drinking” a few months ago that helped her build convictions to finally get rid of smoking. She’s been off it 4 months now and praises God for the victory.

Paul the apostle addresses the issue of those that are weak in the faith in Romans 14 and 15. He says that there are those who are weak in the faith that abstains from eating food sacrificed to idols. On the other hand, there are those who’s faith allows them to eat without guilt. The church was divided over this issue and Paul expressed that in the essentials, we are to be solidly united. But in the non-essentials, we can have liberty over certain issues.

  1. ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER.

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” (Romans 14:1)

We have a tendency to major in the minors – from worship style to clothing to what type of instruments we can use in church.

“One person believes he may eat anything while the weak person eats only vegetables.” (Romans 14:2)

While we may have different preferences, opinions and styles, we can move forward as the church of Jesus but being solid on the non-negotiables – salvation by faith, the Triune God and the cross.

  1. BUILD ONE ANOTHER.

“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:19)

We are called to build and not tear down. Paul warns the church to not cause anyone to stumble. Furthermore, he warns the believers to not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. It is not good to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. (Romans 14:20-21)

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “What is the greater value?”

Our comfort or God’s kingdom?

Coolness factor or a soul saved for Christ?

Relevance or our relationship with Jesus?

Is Jesus our greatest value?

Romans 14:8 says that if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we died, we are the Lord’s.

Paul establishes the fact that we are no longer our own. Because we are not our own, our decisions are now determined by the One who does. We have been bought with a price. Our life is no longer ours alone.

  1. CELEBRATE WITH ONE ANOTHER

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” (Romans 15:10)

The goal is not uniformity but unity. We can have unity in the midst of diversity. We are called to appreciate it and even celebrate it.

Unity in diversity is a possibility as we aim to give God the glory.

If this is our goal – God’s glory – then we can move towards the same finish lines as long as He is our finish line.

 

Money has the potential to destroy both human and divine relationships.

I read an article last week about a research that says nearly 80% of couples in their 20’s divorce primarily because of money.

A few days after that, I read another article talking about a poll that was made that 1 out of 5 guys would rather have an iPhone 6 than a girlfriend.

Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) We don’t literally bow down before our resources, money and possessions but they do have the power to take the place of god in our lives.

Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24). It is interesting to note that He didn’t say “both God and the devil” or “both God and your boyfriend/girlfriend”. Somehow there’s an invisible string that connects our hearts to our wallets.

Right before entering the promised land, Moses reminds the people of God about 3 important things. Because we have a propensity to forget, reminders are critical especially before a major task.

1. REMEMBER HIS WORKS.

God fed His people with manna, protected them from their enemies, delivered them from the Egyptians, took care of their physical needs like clothing among many other things.

Provision is a non-issue to God. What is more of an issue is our faith. The Israelites could’ve arrived at the promised land in 2 weeks coming from Egypt. But because of unbelief and disobedience, it took them 40 years to get to the promised land.

God is faithful. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He provided then. And if that is so, He can surely provide today.

2. REMEMBER HIS WORDS.

God reminds His people through Moses to obey His commands. Obedience comes as a response to what God has done. It was clear that His love for His people was expressed through their deliverance from Egypt. As a result of this covenant of love, the people of God are called to respond in obedience.

We don’t obey to receive favor from God. We obey His commands because we already have been shown favor. Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf and because of that, we are empowered to respond in love by obeying His commands.

3. REMEMBER HIS WORTH.

Moses reminded that people to only worship the Lord their God and not other gods. Worship is Worth-ship. It is ascribing worth and honor to God. He is worthy to be worshipped, not just for what He has done but more so for who He is.

Attached below is a video to explain in length the 3 reminders Moses gave to the people of God… and to us as well.

The object of your faith is greater than the reason for your fear.

I had lunch with a young man recently who wanted to pursue someone.

I asked him what was keeping him from laying down his intentions. They’ve been friends for sometime. They seem to get along well. They both have jobs. And most of all, they both love Jesus.

Was there an assurance that she will say yes to courtship? NONE.
I couldn’t give him one and he definitely had no idea if she was going to say yes or no.

But he was decided to go for it.

He said he’s prayed for it and believes that this is what God wants him to do. He is attracted to her physically, but more so spiritually because of her heart for God.

I gave him a firm handshake. I told him that I realize that he’s taking a risk but that’s all part of the adventure. I was actually proud of him.

Even in pursuing, faith is involved.

Fear can paralyze. But faith can galvanize.
Fear can debilitate. But faith can activate.
Fear desists. But faith persists.

Remember, the object of your faith (God) is greater than the reason for your fear.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1, NLT)

“Why do singles push marriage at a later age or push it away altogether?”

This was one of the questions of our volunteer leaders asked recently.

It can be one of three things: many are UNEASY, UNCERTAIN or UNCLEAR. (this list is by no means exhaustive)

Probably uneasy because of the many horror stories we’ve heard or even the bad experiences we personally have gone through. Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that there has been a 40% increase in annulments in the Philippines.

Uncertain because of what might the future hold. After all, financial stability is a major consideration for anyone who is going to get married.

Unclear would refer to the purpose of marriage.  It is possible that a wrong understanding of marriage can make a person terrified at making that big leap.

TEST DRIVE

Because of these reasons, some have chosen cohabitation.  They move in together to ‘test-drive’ the relationship. (previous blog post here)

Now, test driving the relationship is not a good idea.

Number 1, your partner is not a car.

Number 2, the other person feels devalued and depreciated, particularly the ladies, if the relationship doesn’t work out because we all know that as soon as we drive a car out of the dealership, there’s an automatic 20% mark down it’s original price. Depreciation happens.

Number 3, it doesn’t work. How come? Research tells us that couples who cohabit before marriage have a higher rate of divorce than those who don’t.

MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING.

The Bible says that “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22)

Marriage is a good thing.

The Bible doesn’t just state that, but even health science supports it. (article here)

Here’s a short summary of the article:

* Men alive at 48 years old have a 90 percent chance of reaching 65 if they are married, but only a 60 to 70 percent chance if they are single.

*A married man with heart disease can expect to live, on average, nearly four years longer than an unmarried man with a healthy heart

*Unmarried people spend 2x as much time in hospitals as married people.

*Rates of major depression are 9x higher in unmarried men.

*Depression, and in particular dysphoria – a feeling of anxiety, depression, and unease – is higher in single women compared to married women.

MARRIAGE IS FROM GOD.

It’s not just a good thing but also a God thing.

He invented marriage. He instituted it. It was His idea.

Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher was married for 86 years which was why they made it to Guinness World Records. They were asked what their secret was.

His answer? “No secrets. There isn’t any secret. It was only God that kept us together.”

Her answer? “We are both Christians and believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with and for each other every day.”

Since marriage is God’s idea, it is He who will give grace to keep the 2 together.

PS. I like what Louise commented below. There are those who have been called to be single so that they can serve Jesus in this lifetime which I believe is a high calling.

Because it’s Valentine season, the pressure is on.

You don’t have to be a love guru to notice. Just check the twitter feeds of people and you’ll understand what I mean.

If you’re not on twitter, just go to family reunions this month and listen to what the titos and titas ask. Besides “how are you” I’m sure you’ll get “o, hijo/hija, may boyfriend/girlfriend ka na ba?” (do you already have a boyfriend/girlfriend?)

I’m sure they’re well meaning and desire to start conversations with their nephews and nieces. But it truly becomes a pressure.

SEASONS OF LOVE

God works with seasons and timing.

People end up frustrated or forced if they don’t understand the seasons God’s allowed them to enjoy at the moment.

If you’re season is to focus on what God has put on your plate at the moment (school, career, spending time with family, starting a business), then have a blast! Be secure in the season God’s put you in and you’ll notice a change in perspective.

Being both single and married are gifts from God. And each gift comes with its own set of wonderful blessings.

In the meantime, continue to build godly friendships.

As what my friend Christian Flores says,
“Christ-centered friendship is the best foundation of a meaningful relationship.”

MR. RIGHT vs. MR. RIGHT NOW

The right thing at the wrong time becomes the wrong thing.

Because of the pressure, emotions can become overwhelming. When this happens, we tend to make decisions on a whim without thinking of the consequences.

“Mr. Right” becomes a mere “Mr. Right Now.”

“Ms. Right” is replaced by “Ms. Right Now.”

Because you don’t have a significant other at the moment doesn’t make you incomplete.

If you have given your life to Christ and He is Master and Savior, then know that He alone is truly able to bring fulfillment and significance.

Remember, the 3 most important decisions you’ll make in your life:

  •  Who you will serve? (Master)
  •  How you will serve? (mission)
  •  With whom will you serve? (mate)

If you are looking for fulfillment and security in a romantic relationship, I can tell you now that you might end up disappointed.

Only One can fill all your needs – physical, spiritual and emotional… JESUS!