Youth Conference 2015 Q&A - Part 3

Q1

Yo I like this feme. But she got a man.

By and far my favorite wording on any question so far haha. Well, assuming that you're ready for marriage I'll say that there is no direct Biblical identification on what to do in this scenario. At least none that I feel lead to. I've always been of the opinion that if a couple are happy together you should celebrate them, cheer them on and not interfere. If you were in a relationship with a girl would you want another guy to interfere? (Matthew 7:12) I know what the pull is - we often think that "if i just had THAT girl then all would be right with the world. I'll never find one like her again." or something along those lines. I'd advise you to take your focus off of the girl and put it on Christ. Honestly, you will know great fulfillment and joy by simply growing in relationship with Him. Also, there is an allure to be after what you can't readily have. I'd advise you to learn more about what drives you after a girl that's already in a relationship. There's a great book by John Eldridge titled "Wild at Heart." I've read it several times and even lead a group of guys through it. It's a great book on discovering God and your wild heart as a man. Check it out, listen to the audio version if you'd prefer and enjoy. I think it'll help you discover what's at the heart of your drive.

Q2

How does a guy guard his heart when he's interested in a girl?

Assuming that you're ready for marriage, Proverbs 4:23 says "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." It's important to understand that the role your heart plays is crucial to your course in life. Many times people can be careless and end up getting hurt - I'm glad to see that you're interested in guarding it. Wise approach. One of the biggest places I see young people make in relationships is thinking that the other person is going to be the solution to their hearts longing. That with this other person they're going to solve all of their problems, a complete fix. Because of this, they end up investing much of themselves in the other person with very little caution. The problem here is that most young people don't have stability in their relationship with Christ and this creates a vacuum in the heart. This kind of relationship can make you become dependent on the other person to fill that void. Healthy relationships come from healthy people, and healthy people come from a healthy relationship with God. Imagine being stable in Christ and engaging in a relationship that isn't influenced by this vacuum. It would be a stable place with much less pressure. So one of the greatest things you can do is make sure you're stable in a relationship with Jesus, so those empty longing areas of the heart don't end up influencing your decisions and leading you to regret. You can also be watchful of your heart in a practical sense - if you're thinking of that other person all day and all night, stop yourself. Easiest way to stop yourself is to do something else, read the next section below I'll explain that further. Don't let your heart run wild with thoughts and feelings - it'll come with a cost. Your emotions should bring life to your decisions, but your decisions shouldn't be made by emotion, that's where prayer, logic, and rational come in. Make your decisions prayerfully and logically based on scripture. If you walk carefully and prayerfully talking to Jesus the whole way, making sure He's your stability, I'm more than confident that He'll walk with you and guide you.

If you're not ready for marriage, I have a different response. Lets try an experiment my buddy Mike Hurduc always shares. I'm going to tell you what not to think of, ok? So to be clear - what I'm going to write next, I want you to NOT think of. DO NOT think of a cup. A light blue mug to be specific - one that has red polka dots on the outside with a yellow inside. Ok, what are you doing right now? You're thinking of the cup aren't you? When we make an effort to walk away from something, we have to replace that item with another. It's not enough to say no to temptation, you have to say yes to holiness. The Bible takes youthful lust very seriously, it tells you to FLEE! Read this verse carefully from 2 Timothy 2:22 "Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." You see the command there isn't to just run away from youthful lusts, it's to run away from "anything that stimulates youthful lusts." So if you're interested in her and you're always around her, or you're always thinking about her, you should definately stop that. Realize though, that getting away from temptation is just half the battle. The other half is to replace the temptation with Godly things. Look at the second half of the verse "Instead or in place of, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." 2 Timothy 2:22 italics mine. Place all your energy and focus in pursuing righteous living. Are there any areas in your life that you need to grow in? Focus on that. Work on faithfulness, love and peace. How are you in being faithful to the Lord? How about your responsibilities in the church, at work or at home? How is loving people going for you? Is God putting it on your heart to show more love to those in your life? Do you have peace with others around you, how about in your heart? These can all be things to focus on instead of her. Spend time enjoying "the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." Most of all, pray. Pray through all of this, God will lead you, He wants to walk with you. Realize that Jesus Christ's desire is to help you overcome this and grow! So ask Him for help. How? Just ask. He's able to hear you right where you are, right now.

Q3

Do you have to speak in tongues to have the holy spirit/ be saved?

Do you have to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues to be saved? No. Here's scripture to support it. Several verses identify what is needed for salvation - like Mark 16:16 "Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned." The baptism he's referring to hear is in water since the Baptism of the Holy Spirit hasn't been made available yet. In John 11:25 Jesus states "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying." and in John 6:47 "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life." (Also John 3:16 among others) You can see that what's necessary is believing in Jesus. This ultimately leads to repentance and public testimony through baptism in water. (Acts 2:37-38) We also see in Acts 8:12-17 that some believers who were saved didn't receive that Baptism of the Holy Spirit until later, although Pentecost had already come. Here is the text:

"12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. (Baptized here is referring to baptism in water, keep reading and you'll see the other Baptism in the Holy Spirit) 13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit." (italics mine)

They received the Holy Spirit Baptism after they believed and were baptized in water. The Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of us when we believe and accept Jesus as our savior. The Baptism comes after, it's only for those already saved. In 1 John 4:13-15 it says "13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God." If the standard for salvation would be Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues it would have listed it here. However, I do want to mention this to you, every Christian should be striving for it. Our purpose on earth is to glorify God and witness Him to the lost, the Baptism is an equipping of authority to do just that. Be blessed! 

Q4

Why do guys only focus on pretty girls instead of focusing on personality?

Depends on the guy. Lets give this question some context: lets assume that you're of an age that's ready for marriage (you may be, I just don't know) and so are the guys we're talking about. Lets also assume that you're both Christians. Within this context we can come to some simple conclusions. I think we can all agree that everyone should be attracted to their future spouse physically. All guys and girls value physical looks, but as guys mature they typically start to value more than just looks in a girl. This however, also really depends on the intentions of the guy we're talking about. There are guys out there that are mature, wise, and Godly. To these guys personality and character matter most, although looks are still important to them. Then there are guys that only focus on looks and not personality or character. These guys are looking for something, but it isn't a long term commitment. What they're after is a way to satisfy their desire and meet their own needs. So if the guys you're talking to are only interested in looks and not personality, then simply move on. If you have your heart set on a specific guy who cares more for looks than personality, you won't be happy with him. And in case you're thinking it, no you won't be able to change him. Guys focus on looks when that's all they want. If you want a guy who'll marry you and be a Godly selfless, sacrificial man - then you need to look past the guys who value only looks and at guys who value Godly character and personality.

Q5

What does it mean if I have a dream about a woman that I have never met?

It could mean many things. It could mean that it's the love of your life and when you meet her then you'll know! Or it could mean you ate too many burritos that evening. Honestly it could be something supernatural or nothing at all. Our society has romanticized this idea of a "soul mate" to a very harmful degree. This "soul mate" - the perfect spouse that will magically fit perfectly with you - doesn't exist. Unless Jesus spoke to you and revealed this woman as something special, then I wouldn't put too much focus on it. Honestly, think about it. What if it's just a dream you had that doesn't mean anything but because you romanticize this idea that "she's the one" you pass up on an amazing girl right in front of you. If God is speaking to you clearly then I would listen, but I don't believe that's the case. How do you know if Gods speaking to you? He's not cruel. He doesn't leave a vague trail and then makes you agonize trying to hear Him leaving you in confusion, fear and despair. That sounds more like the enemy. God is able to speak to you in a way you understand. So when He does, you'll know. Focus instead on growing in Jesus and being the kind of guy that a Godly girl can love.

Q6

What should you look for in a girl?

How hard, would you say, is it to fall in love with a perfect person? Really though, think about it. Imagine you met a girl and she's the very definition of beauty. Her character is perfect. She treats you better than you deserve, when you drop the ball she's always forgiving, she's always encouraging, always building you up, patient with your shortcomings, gentle with your hurts, always sacrificing for you, always talking you up, all your friends want to be around her, and the list goes on and on. How hard would it be for you to fall in love with this person? What would you have to do to fall in love with them? Would you have to force yourself to spend time with her, to call her, to get to know her? Or would it happen automatically as you spend time together? Would you just fall in love as you see her perfect character? Understand that Jesus has the perfect character, he is the very core of all things good, the essence of beauty. The best thing you can find in a girl or guy? It's Jesus' character. I fell in love with my wife because she has Godly character. She has those things I listed above and I'm a blessed man! Now she didn't look like that on day one, and neither did I look like I do - but that's the key. One of the greatest qualities to find in a person is the desire to continually grow. Isn't perfect but is continually growing? Now that's a girl to keep an eye on. There's also is another area you can look. Growing up I was always on the look out for a  "P-31." A P-31 is a Proverbs 31 girl. Check out Proverbs 31:10-31 to see an outline of a Godly girl. Also, I would say that in finding the Godly girl there's one item in you that is more important than knowing what to look for - it's being a Godly guy yourself. Instead of spending your energy looking for Mrs. Right, focus on being Mr. Right. People are attracted to what they strive for. So lets say you spend all your time searching for the perfect partner, what will you do when you find them? Start to work only then on being the kind of person you think they want? That's a setup for disaster because it won't be who you really are. If you focus on growing in Christ, growing in Godly character, then when you meet the right gal you'll be ready to reveal who you are and how can she not fall in love with the Character of Christ if she's a P-31? Prepare for that day!

Q7

I was wondering if you can explain the difference between courting and dating?

They're two very different approaches to relationships complete with different motives, different goals, and different outcomes. I did a series on Dating vs. Courting which can give you a fairly thorough look at the differences. Check it out on our YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/user/alivemaranatha or see below.

Dating vs. Courting - Part 1
Dating vs. Courting - Part 2
Dating vs. Courting - Part 3 (Q&A with the wife)

Q8

What's the best way to intrigue a guy with out all the makeup and clothes?

Depends on the guy. If a guy is young in his thinking and not looking for marriage or a long term commitment, then he typically won't be looking for characteristics of a Godly wife. He'll just be looking for something that can be fun for him, which is only looks, clothes, makeup, etc. and if he can be made happy in that relationship for the current time. This runs both ways for guys and girls. Understand though, if you're crushing on a guy for any reason other than the goal of marriage, or if you're not even ready for marriage yet, you're in for a hard time if you keep going down this path. Trying to win a guys attention in a young ladies heart has more to do with yourself than it does with him. Often times it has to do with your self-esteem, a sense of self worth, of identity and several other items that stem from here. I would STRONGLY urge you and all young ladies to draw near to God and find your self worth & identity in Him if you haven't already. When you know what you're worth and you're stable in Jesus you won't need to find your beauty and acceptance and value in any other person. You'll have that stability to bring to the table in marriage, instead of looking for someone that can give you stability - which no one ultimately can other than Jesus. Now, if you are ready for marriage and you're interested in a guy who's only focus is the outward appearance - then you shouldn't waste your time trying to impress that guy. If his focus is almost only outward looks, than he's not the right kind of guy for marriage. If his focus is on Godly character, personality, looks, etc. but you don't know how to get his attention, then know this: A Godly guy looks for a Godly girl. If you're both ready for marriage and you want to catch his attention, then here's what I would advise. Make yourself seen. A good friend of mine thought me that people are like tea bags, you never know what they're made of until they're in hot water. Does this guy you're interested in serve at church with homeless ministry? or in Sunday School? Or at youth? Serve there as well. Don't make yourself out to be something your not, but let him see who you are and if you're the kind of person that he's looking for he'll be interested, if you're not, then maybe he's not the kind of person you thought he was and shouldn't be interested either. In all things pray - God's interested in being involved in your journey. 

Q9

Hi my name is Eddy as well #twinzies

Best. Day. Ever. lol

Q10

How do you react to rejection?

Jesus says to cast all your cares on Him. Before my wife and I courted and were married, there was another girl that I was courting. After being in a relationship with her for 2 years (I had no one to teach me that this was a horrible idea, or even how to court) she broke up with me for another boy. I remember that I felt numb and like I was in a horrid pain all at once. We were at a youth camp when this happened and at the camp there is a chapel that is open 24/7 so I went there for prayer. I knelt and said "God you see what's in my heart and how hard I'm hurting. Lord I'm going to be really messed up for the next 2-3 months and I'm going to go through a lot of pain. I don't want to be useless to you, as well as a bad testimony to those around me. Lord you said I could give you my burdens. If you'll take them I'd rather spend the next few months growing in you instead of hurting." It was a simple prayer and an honest one - In that moment I felt peace. The next morning I forgot that my now ex-girlfriend had broken up with me and it took me several hours until I remembered what happened. I never hurt about it since then. Were I in your shoes today I would pray and surrender it to God. Now, surrender means that you give it ALL to Him. You don't get to think about it anymore and how things could have gotten better, or how you can still solve it. It's Gods issue now. Your focus from here is to draw near to Him and surrender the hurt and the past as you look to the future with hope.