Four Marks of Date-Worthy Men (Or Women)

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There’s a new show on Netflix called Back With The Ex that has a unique premise. Four former couples – who dated and separated for various reasons – have a chance to re-unite and decide: Do we want to give this another go? Or should we stay apart, forever? It’s interesting to watch couples go through what is essentially an autopsy of their relationship. As a single woman, I’ve watched this series with a critical eye. For one couple in particular, I can’t help but think that the goal of marriage must be on one of the women’s minds – considering that she clearly wants it and he, well, has not proven himself to be a family man.

For Christian singles, there’s so much being said about dating, courting, and so on. Some of it is good and some of it is lacking. I believe that now more than ever one thing is for certain: if you are a true, deep in your heart Christian, it’s tough to be a “Christian single”. The path can be lonely so please know that if you’re a Christian single who desires to find a teammate that compliments you and your life, I understand where you’re sitting in life, because that’s exactly where I am. No matter where you’re sitting in your life – maybe you’re single again, had a broken engagement, or just getting into the whole dating world, please know that the Father loves you more than anyone in this world can.

I think it can be helpful for Christian singles to think about what their non-negotiables are when looking for someone to potentially share their lives with. Especially Christian women – because it can seem like eligible Christian women outnumber Christian men. If you feel like you’ve been waiting forever, you need to anchor yourself to what your are looking for in a partner. Remember, you are are NOT crazy if you’re asking for these things:

Care and Concern for Others – I’ve done my share of church hopping and I no longer attend a church. But I do remember one congregation that gave people the opportunity to pray out loud during the service (if they wanted to). One man in our group – who society might unfairly expect to be out of touch with things – would pray in great detail for so many people. His prayers included world events because he kept up with things. His compassion was evident. While he depended on others for certain things, he was clearly a man of prayer, compassion, care, and concern for others.

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As we go about our lives, whether it’s sizing up a potential mate or striving for our own character improvement, we can look at the traits of care and concern for others. These can manifest themselves in various forms. If we look at ourselves and see that these qualities are lacking, we can always ask God to give us more empathy (but beware, ask and you shall receive!) And if you’re looking at a relationship,  you can ask the Lord if this area is lacking in the person so much that it is a red flag or if it’s an area where he or she is growing (as we all grow and mature).

While not everyone will have the gift of deep prayer, your love interest could have another gift, like wanting to give to the needy, or being a great listener, or performing acts of service. Maybe she sings in the choir at church, or he does manual work for free or just speaking a kind word to someone without anyone else knowing it can be an expression of a caring heart. Having a caring, concerned heart for those in need is a wonderful trait when you consider the type of person you’ll choose to spend your time with. Having no concern, no empathy, no care is something to certainly think twice about. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you suspect this to be the case.

Fidelity/Faithfulness/Integrity – Ever seen the show Cheaters? The poor folks who ask the producers of the show to find out if their beloved is cheating on them… such a sad situation. Not having trust in a relationship really leaves nothing left; wouldn’t you be better off alone? It’s critical to know that the person you’ve chosen will be faithful to you. This is not about casting judgement towards other people, but this is about what we, as singles, want for our own lives.

Christian women (and men), if you want a partner who is loyal and faithful to you only, you might feel like you’re waiting forever, but you are not crazy. Want a guy who is dating you but doesn’t get an ego boost from flirting with other women? Yeah, you might feel like that’s a rare catch, too! The saying goes that how you catch them is how you keep them, so while you might feel lonely not trying to catch a man by wearing short skirts and low cut tops, you’re more likely to “catch” a man who is like-minded, morally speaking.

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Solid Work Ethic – Charm, looks, muscles and a good tan – sounds good, doesn’t it girls? But I have to tell you what my mom has always told me (and still feels the need to tell me) – it ain’t all about that. One of my favorite YouTubers says that we all get old and we all get ugly – that’s also another way to put it! The person you’re interested in – do they have a desire to work? (At least while their employer is paying them to?) Does she want to be a Proverbs 31 woman so she can create a warm, loving household or a successful business venture? Got your eyes on that man at the office, girls? Those TPS reports he has to do at work may seem stupid, but does he do his work as unto the Lord? Work comes in various forms, so look at the person you’re interested in and ask yourself (and God) if they have the character trait of a good work ethic. While we all like to rest and have fun (I certainly do), there’s a time for work too. A man (or woman) who abuses their employer’s time will probably find themselves without a job (or at the very least, on thin ice), which can cause a great amount of stress.

Good Steward of Resources – Does he blow all his money gambling? Does he spend more than he earns? Does she have to have the best of everything, getting all tied up in having a high status, top appearance, and making other people think she’s the best? Does he try to save a little bit, even if it means he can’t have the fanciest car? While there are many times in life that we can fall upon bad luck through no fault of our own, you can ask yourself if the person is, in general, a good steward of their resources. Do they think about the future in general terms of what they want? Or are they irresponsible, making huge, messed up choices, that could impact you or your children, in a big way? No one is perfect and we all do things we shouldn’t. No one is in perfect condition – we are all works in progress and will be until the day we die. But if you’re attracted to someone who has a major issue of irresponsible living, it will impact you. Especially when there is no desire to change, it’s probably best to just cut your losses and move on, and consider that you’ve dodged a bullet.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

EASY Last minute Christmas gifts

Today is December 17 – Christmas is roughly one week away! And believe me, I do enjoy my plotting and planning when it comes to gift giving for the holidays.

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Photo courtesy MBisanz via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

It’s all in good fun, of course, planning what to buy and what to give, and maybe even sneaking in a gag gift here or there.

But sometimes the days just sneak up on you and before you know it, you’re in a position where you’re trying to figure out what to buy at the last minute. Maybe you’re not even buying a last-minute Christmas gift – maybe you’re celebrating Hanukkah a week or so late – pushing out a get together after the actual celebration has passed, and you STILL haven’t bought your gifts!

So, if you’re in a pinch trying to figure out what to buy, check out these easy last minute Christmas gifts that could work for several people on your list.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

How to Study the Bible When You Don’t Have Time to Study the Bible

Do you study the Bible on your own? Maybe you’ve been told at church that you need to have Bible study as a family, or that you need to read the Bible on your own, or that it’s good to be able to read through the Bible in a year, but honestly, just between you and me, are you on a plan of studying the Bible?

I won’t lecture you here because I know how things are.  Some seasons of life are more challenging than others. As the Bible says to everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose. Some times are rougher and come with less ease. Maybe you are in one of those times – a season where you’re being a caregiver where you don’t have a lot of time for yourself. A time that is draining you to the max, full of doctor’s appointments, waiting, and worrying.

Or maybe your season is busy for some positive reasons – full of family commitments, schooling, work, and activities that you love, but with a jam-packed schedule, the only quiet time you have with God is when you’re tucking your child into bed or when you’re jumping into bed yourself.

Or perhaps it’s not so much a time constraint that’s keeping you from studying the Bible so much as a distance you might feel from God. It might feel like God is far from you, so it might feel hard to get into the Bible right now. Maybe this is a feeling you’ve felt before. Mature Christians know that this feeling of distance from God is not a sign of a lack of faith, and that feelings don’t mean an absence of faith, but it can make you not want to read your Bible.

So – how can you study the Bible when you don’t have the time, or the desire, to study the Bible? Here are some practical tips for getting a little bit closer to the Word when time and energy are in short supply:

Pick one verse that relates to your week

With a Google search, you can do a search of the Bible for any topic of your choosing. Dealing with discouragement? Fear? Want to know what the Bible says about happiness, money, or success? Pick just one verse to focus on for the whole week that you connect to. That might not sound like “Bible study” to you, but in my opinion, it’s better to understand and relate to one verse than to plan to study an entire chapter and never touch any of it. You can also search online for images with the verse to set as your computer’s wallpaper, cellphone screensaver, or if it relates to your kids, place it where they can see it too.

Bible Coloring Books

Adult coloring has become popular for a reason – it’s a great stress reliever that isn’t unhealthy. Bible coloring books for adults combine this trend with Scripture verses. This can help you unwind when you don’t have time for “quiet time” by reminding you of a Biblical truth that you already know. It’s also a nice activity to have on hand if you spend all or most of your day behind a computer screen.

Consider an e-mail subscription

Bible Gateway has an email service that works well for busy people. If you don’t want the constant stream of emails, you can visit their website to access the verse of the day. Bible Gateway also gives you the opportunity to access Scripture in the translation of your choice, and to opt to hear it read. You could open one window and read the Bible while another window has the Scripture being read by a narrator. Today’s verse of the day is Psalm 136:1, 26 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

Staying on Budget at Christmastime

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Did you go shopping on “Black Friday”? Do you plan to look for deals on “Cyber Monday”? Either way you look at it, it’s official: the Christmas shopping season has begun.

Each of us is different when it comes to how Christmas spending impacts our wallets. Maybe for you, Christmas is a time of great fun and you don’t mind going into debt for Christmas spending. Or, maybe you do mind – and you mind greatly – so much so that Christmas shopping stresses you out!

Regardless of where you stand on Christmas spending this year, my hope is to give you a tip or trick here or there that you can use not just at Christmas, but all year round. Take what you want, and leave out the rest. Because I remember all too well a Christmas working in retail – with a great employee discount – and before I could wrap up all the presents, I had to instead decide which I would take back. I had gone overboard. It was so much fun picking the presents, but I couldn’t afford them! I had to return many gifts, before they were given.

There can be so much pressure with Christmas. Pressure to show how much you care with how much you spend. So, in general, here’s the strategy I use to have fun, without going overboard:

  • Before spending on anyone, decide the dollar amount you’ll be spending on everyone. If you have one gathering for immediate family, and a different gathering for extended family, and your spending is very different for the two groups, that’s fine, just decide before you buy what you’re spending on everyone. Write it down if you have to. For example, you might decide that spending on your immediate family is $100 per person, or that spending on your extended family will be $200 for the entire group.
  • As you look at how many dollars each person “gets”, think about the number of packages. I’m not saying this counts, but I know some people that are really bothered if one child gets two gifts, and the other gets four… even if the monetary value for both people is the same. If this is you, think before you buy so you don’t stress yourself out.  The holidays are supposed to be fun, and they’re not supposed to make you feel guilty because of your gift-giving skills.
  • Write down a list as you make your purchases and next to each item, write down how much was paid, so you can keep track.
  • If you go overboard like I did my year working retail, it’s ok to take some items back before you give them.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.