Where Is Your Name Stuck?

Proverbs talks about “the way of a man with a maiden.”  I love how Tim Keller of Redeemer Church teaches on this and on biblical sexuality. He paints a beautiful picture of a pursuing lover, romancing and wooing his woman, providing a safe and loving place for them to truly be naked and unashamed. Known and knowing. A place where a woman freely and willingly offers herself and receives this ardent lover. Wow…what a vision of love. What a great idea from God.

But — this is not always the reality or goal of many men, or women. My husband and I have young daughters, so we are often showing them real life ways to evaluate character and to recognize selfish motives. In themselves and in others. We want them to have a healthy respect for themselves so they will know how to test a guy’s heart. (You know by the time they are in high school they are gonna be sick of us…)

Anyway, Chuck was driving the girls to school and they came upon a truck.  It had one of those painted beach scenes and stuck on the beach scene were two of the classic silver silhouettes of a woman. You know the ones, the truckers’ equivalent to the Playboy bunny. I hate  what both represent. What it reduces a woman to, what it reduces a man to.

So Chuck proceeds to tell the girls, “If you ever meet a guy that wants to date you and he has this on his truck, your answer is ‘No.’ This guy has a wrong view of women. He is just a consumer of beauty, and doesn’t value you for who you are.” (Preach it, brother!)

Of course, Charis quips, “Well what if you are dating him and you didn’t know he drove a truck like that?”  To which Dad says, “Dump him.”

And then, Chuck proceeds to tell one of his favorite stories about one of his sisters. She was going on the first date with a guy. On the side of his truck were decals. It read:  Jeff and …. The other name had been removed and you could see the sticky residue. 

In all seriousness, Jeff looked at Chuck’s sister, smiled and nodded toward the blank spot on his door. “You know, your name could be here,” he said.

WHAT???  If it wasn’t so funny, it would be tragic…And here is our problem.  We as women tolerate that. Why?  Because we settle. We hope to have our names of the side of a guy’s truck, when in reality our names have been engraved on the Palm of God’s hand.

Our desire for beauty, our need for affirmation, our hope for romance and fulfillment is best met in our Bridegroom God. He is our definition and satisfaction. And then with our hearts full of living water, and real love, we are able to enter into relationship with a man. Sisters, let’s not talk about “them.”  Let’s talk about us. Let’s start with the right Man, before we cast our pearls before swine.

Digging Up Bones on FB

So I thought it was just me. But then I do a couple of retreats and I hear the same thing over and over. I ask women or men, “How did this crazy thing start anyway?”

“Well they asked me to be their friend on Facebook.”

Sometimes there is a reason that seasons pass and doors are closed.  Sometimes there are very good reasons that they should stay closed.

Connecting with old lovers while you’re married: not a good idea.

Talking more to your ex boyfriend on FB than you do to your husband, or he does his wife: not a good idea.

Friending ex husbands or wives?  Uhm, wasn’t the point of the divorce to NOT be in relationship?

And what if you aren’t married?  Aren’t rules different then?  I don’t know; what are you looking for?  Facebook is great for connecting people but it is also great for inserting people that have no place in your life.

I mean seriously…why on earth do I want to be “Friends” with a person with whom my only connection is sexual stupidity in high school? What is he supposed to say to me?  “Gee remember when we ——–? And now I see you have two kids? How great. And how is your husband?”

I know this is all under the blood of Christ. I have forgiven myself and them. Maybe you have too. But is it healthy to renew these relationships? I would say after talking to several men and women who are losing their hearts to phantom relationships, this breach in boundaries is just one more attack on marriage, or the hope of a healthy relationship. People can be toxic for us, even from afar.

Perhaps there is no sexual contact. But isn’t the mind and its ability to rewrite history strong enough to distract from the now? I am talking to people who just like “to watch what is happening in this person’s life.”  What do you think fosters fantasy anyway?  Watching from afar with no reality of relationship.

Brothers and sisters, beware.   Corinthians says “just because something is technically legal doesn’t make it spiritually beneficial.” (The Message) I encourage you to guard your hearts in Christ Jesus.  Guard your homes.

Don’t allow the enemy to entice your hearts away, especially when your heart is dissatisfied or hurting in your marriage or relationship status already. Don’t believe the lie that it is harmless. It is not.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10  Run to the Lord, and “defriend” the obstacles to your real relationships.

100% Responsible

Do you ever have those relational upheavals that make you tired? Whether it is your mate,  your family or friends, do you hit one of those emotional oil slicks where everyone goes crashing into each other, and all the parties end up in the relationship hospital?

Sounds likes a lot of drama doesn’t it? But it happens, it really does. You can’t say the right thing, he/she can’t say the right thing, and before you know it, it’s emotional ICU, either Chaos or Ice City. Not pretty.

I am assuming you can connect the dots about why this is my chosen topic. But I am finding out (again!) that the Lord does this for several reasons.

Temperature Check

The Lord lets us bump into each other to see what spills out. It is a temperature check to see how our hearts are really doing. If I blow a gasket over something small, it could be there is a deeper issue.  Just like fever indicates infection, our reactions indicate lack of forgiveness, unresolved hurt, need for grace. Sunday morning, Rick Dunn made this great comment, “When you have a need, it shows that you are not a god, but you need one. Which God will you turn to?”  When I sense I have a relationship fever, what medicine will I seek?  Coping and denial? Or humility and restoration?


Relationship crashes make us better relational drivers. It only takes a couple of fender benders, or a major accident, to make you a more conscious driver. I see in my relationships that I sometimes act like a drunk driver, all over the road, ignoring signs, crashing into guardrails. I am DUI, driving under the influence of something other than the Holy Spirit. Being selfish, hard hearted, determined to be right, lacking boundaries, all of these are sure to deter my (and your) ability to properly handle a relationship. Just like the road, our relationships need yellow lines, no passing zones, and concrete dividers.  For our good and the good of others. God uses these moments to teach us how to define and defend boundaries.


Finally, these pile ups help to tenderize our hearts, drawing them back to God.  When we see the messes we have made, we go back to the Relationship Expert. We tap into His love, His mercy, His DESIRE for us to walk in health. He stirs a desire that we be rightly connected to Him and to others. He does that. And then He begins to create change by revealing truth, again and again. Truth: I can only change ME, rather than trying to change another person. It is in this posture before His unfailing love, that He tells me I am 100% responsible for me. Truth: I am 100% responsible for my behavior, attitudes and heart. I can’t change or fix another person. They can’t change or fix me.  But the flip side is, I can change with the Holy Spirit’s help, how I react and relate, even how I love someone else.  Even in this, loving someone, God is the source. Truth: He is 100% responsible to transform you and I into the ways of Christ. He will complete the good work He began in us.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7