Mulan knew there was something up with Edward. He had yet to say the gender of his new “friend” but from the dumb smile he wore during video calls that it was a girl that he thought of as a little more than cute. She knew not to pry, but he wished he could watch him lose his ability to act normal around this girl. Whomever she was, Mulan hoped that she knew to carefully handle his delicate heart.
It was true that Edward and I weren’t normal around each other. We made many mistakes, but there was thing that this we had down; communication.
When emotions are flaring up it, talking can be hard. Here are some tips.
- Talk about each other’s interests
- Give your full attention.
- Be complimentary but not excessively.
- Be willing to laugh at yourself.
- Talk about Christ-honouring things.
- Talk about blessings you have recently received.
- Talk about Bible truths you have recently learned.
- Talk about answers to prayer or prayer requests.
- Share soulwinning experiences.
- As impossible as it might seem, try to be yourself.
There is a difference between the way the world dresses and the way a believer should dress. When we clothe ourselves, we should consider modesty, message and functionality of our outfits. There is a more detailed list.
- To please the Lord Jesus Christ and honor Him above all.
I think this is the most missed point in today’s fashion. Culture tells us that want we wear is about our style and showing off who we are on the inside. However what we are on the inside are sinners. By submitting our attire to God, just as we should do with our lives, we apply the principle of less of us and more of him.
- To submit to the biblical principle of modesty.
- To submit to the biblical principle of appropriateness and to identify with godliness.
- To promote an environment of purity and spiritual growth.
- To honor the convictions of our parents or pastor.
I need to keep this in mind when I get to Bible college. (post will be coming about that)
- To give an account to the Lord with joy.
- To promote a spirit of maturity.
- To exemplify a distinct lifestyle not conformed to the world.
- To protect the thoughts and innocence of peers.
If it shows your body in a fashion that could cause someone to struggle with lust then don’t wear it.
- To be a clear witness of the Gospel.
This chapter just has long lists of etiquette to follow so I’m not spending much time on it. Most of this stuff would get me killed in my city anyway.
But there was one rule I found odd. Woman should be the one to offer the hand first for a hand shake. So men start everything else but women get hand shakes? I thought I was being so stinkin’ rebellious when I started in politics and initiated hand shakes.
Who should do the shaking then? Because I did that part too.
Since the majority of this book has been spent on the negative, here is a whole chapter one the positives of staying just friends.
- You have more time for spiritual things.
- You can see other couples’ mistakes more clearly.
And learn from it.
- You can spend time with others without pressure.
- You have more money to fill people’s needs with.
- You have less gossip spread about you.
- You do not have to go through the heartbreak of “break up.”
- You can focus on more important relationships.
- You grow more because your heart is focused on Christ.
- You avoid a ton of temptation.
- You enjoy your life more because you have fewer relational burdens.
How often have you seen a relationship become bound in unspoken obligations? How do these obligations come about and why do we do nothing with them? Because we do not talk about it when it arises.
It is something that can indicate that a innocent relationship is becoming too much emotionally. Talk to the person with at lest one set of authorities or parents so that you can figure out how to pace the relationship with the wisdom of those closer to God.
What type of boundaries might they consider?
- Limit face-to-face time.
- Limit verbal communication.
- Limit non-verbal communication.
- Sit with family in church.
- Stay “group friendly.”
- Keep communication accountable.
When I heard that the last part of this book was about forming healthy relationship, I thought it might have a born again friendship algorithm.
But we know that we follow the Spirit, not algorithms.
We are to spend our time now becoming more like God would want us to be. They have the list for ladies and men.
- Learn to be a virtuous woman.
I did a series of posts on the virtuous woman. I have tried embracing the things I learned then and I do believe it is changing me.
- Learn to keep a nice home.
Guys need to learn this too.
- Learn to prepare nice meals.
I won’t starve and so far that is an improvement for me.
- Learn to be thrifty with money.
Once again I’m thinking both genders should learn this.
- Learn to work with children.
- Learn to read good books.
Books that help you grow in the faith, not just Jane Austen.
- Learn to be organized.
Both genders should learn this.
Now for ya dudes
- Learn to be a godly man.
- Learn how to handle finances.
Didn’t we just say that for the girls too?
- Learn how to protect others.
This does not mean that women should not learn to protect themselves.
- Learn to work with children.
Same as on the woman’s list.
- Learn to be a leader
Once again ;)
- Learn to read good books.
I just I should not force Austen on the guys…
- Learn to be organized.
Yup, thought this was for everyone.
Then they follow this with a list for everyone…
Ok I’m going to just point out that having repeats in the above lists then give a list for both genders seems like bad formatting.
- Learn to be spiritual.
- Learn to develop godly character.
- Learn to be loyal.
Weak point on me I admit…
- Learn to treat your family well.
- Learn stability.
Even if the idea of it seems boring…
- Learn to develop convictions.
- Learn to look sharp.
Look like children of a king.
- Learn to set and pursue goals.
- Learn to be unselfish and submissive.
- Learn to be respectful and attentive.
- Learn to make good decisions biblically.
- Learn to control your temper.
- Learn to have a great testimony.
- Learn to work hard.
- Learn to take care of your body.
- Learn to tithe and to trust God.
- Learn to be real and sincere.
- Learn to be understanding and accepting of others.
- Learn to get along with others.
- Learn to have discernment and discretion.
So now we’ve pointed out the major dangers of the infatuation, and since this book is aimed at teens that are not ready to marry, the risks for them are even greater. Even at my age though I find that to get to know a man I cannot just race to romance with a man before getting to know him as a friend first. Remember that romance can fade but a great friendship wrapped in God’s blessing is part of what makes a marriage strong.
So how can you tell if someone is a good friend? Que the list.
- A friend is kind.
- A friend is faithful.
- A friend makes you a better person.
- A friend is knit to your heart.
- A friend can share friends.
- A friend expresses love.
This is showing appreciation without violating boundaries that have been put in place. There is more to love than just the fuzzy emotional stuff.
- A friend is willing to wound.
Proverbs 27:6 or as I like to say, people willing to tell you when that dress makes you look fat when you ask them about that.
- A friend strengthens others in God.
- A friend is willing to be second.
God, school, family and hobbies shared with your family should come before friends and they should understand that.
- A friend rejoices in blessings.
- A friend praises his friends.
My friends can skip this step if they just keep me out on guilt trips. Those trips can be expensive and they do not go anywhere.
- A friend doesn’t overstay his welcome.
- A friend gives biblical counsel.
- A friend sharpens.
- A friend is sensitive.
- A friend helps through trials.
I admit that these types of people are hard to find. But as Proverbs says to get friends show yourself friendly. The rest of the book is about that.
We need to be able to see the difference between love and lust. There is the couple that we see on TV deeply enthralled in touching or kissing that is called love. But the Bible points to a cross with bloody flesh of what was once Jesus Christ and calls that love.
Surely it would be helpful to have a list to help tell the difference. I am ready for a list again.
Yup there is a list.
- Lust is physical while love is spiritual.
Lust is feed by the wanting the other person physically and love is feed by God.
- Lust is temporal while love is eternal.
That’s why you cannot base a marriage on it.
- Lust is selfish while love cares for others.
- Lust brings guilt while live protects a clear conscience.
- Lust says “hurry up” while love says “wait on God.”
- Lust sees no fault; love forgives fault.
From what most of Edward’s tell me, my lust is blind and tone deaf…
- Lust thrives on fantasy; love is based upon truth.
- Lust fades over time, and love grows over time.
- Lust always destroys, but love builds.
Daddy was ready to snap at the slightest irritant in those days. Even though mommy and I were taking care of his mother he had no lenience for anything not perfect.
Mommy and I could not talk much beyond grandma’s illness at times and even appointments with her were heard to keep.
My sister was away at school.
Grandma was at the edge of life and death so my family’s reaction is normal. But they were out of reach so often and Edward was not.
Family is meant to love us and help us keep from needing love from other sources outside of God’s will.
Bible characters did not have ideal homes. I know it is not an excuse for my over attachment to Edward. But I admit that it is hard to feel loved by an abusive father (I need to devote a post to that).
They say how I treat my parents is how I will treat my husband one day. I think this is a point in my favour. I love both of my parents and will do anything for them. I am submissive too with exception of things daddy wants to maintain his abuse or hinder my walk with God.
My weakness is in sibling relationships. Belle, my sister, and I have a relationship that I have no idea what is happening with it. She is letting me go to her college though.
If you come from a hurtful home, cling onto Jesus like the perfect father that you need.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
If there is something I learned while writing a soap opera for a few months is that a simple touch can be so tempting. I based it on my experience and what so many people have told me about their relationships. One touch would leave the two wanting more even if was innocent.
But what is that longing for more other than lust tempting
I am ashamed to say that writing those character’s hearts torn with lust did not teach me that.
Just Friends had the best description of the effect that physical contact has on a relationship. It is a two way dead end street; you can either do as the flesh wants and finish it or stop it.
Stopping is hard and still feeds the temptation. Fleeing youthful lusts is easier to manage if it is starved.
No lists this chapter.
Why does God allow our longing for a physical relationship before we can act on it?
God would not plan something without a reason. When we get married we are going to be tempted by others. How will we know what to do?
A person that has not practiced saying no to the call of lust in the past will have a harder time say no now.
As spoken of before, every action sows a seed that we will one day reap the benefits or damage from. Lose of purity is no different. There is a list and I’m going to see how many of these I have.
- It robs you of your peace with God.
- It leaves you filled with guilt.
- It breaks your fellow with God.
- It hinders your usefulness for God.
I wouldn’t know because I don’t know what could have been and try not to think about it.
- It prevents the blessing of God.
It would be nice to have some innocence back.
- It destroys you emotionally.
- It destroys the relationship.
- It robs your marital intimacy.
I hope to find out.
- It risks disease.
I ain’t telling you.
- It breaks trust.
Edward does not trust me around other men.
- It leads others astray.
- It risks pregnancy.
Nothin’ been backing in my oven.
- It leaves you disappointed and regretful.
Been there done that.
- It destroys the first experiences of your future marriage.
I know too much for sure.
Ok so we get the point that this something to avoid. But it does not take a the brightest bulb in the chandler to see that this is not easy. But there is a list of things to avoid that lead to problems.
I think this book might over use lists…
Every moment reach out to God and make sure He is your closest friend.
If your spiritual leaders give you a guideline to follow then there is a reason.
- Sexual imagery.
I can walk down a street in my city and see a picture posted of a half naked person. The problem is not the picture being in my face. It is when I don’t look away and chose to enjoy what is before my eyes.
- Physical contact.
- Emotional dependency.
- Clothing styles.
How you dress effects how you dress how you act and how people see you. Modest outfits gets respect from others. Trust me.
- Time alone with a guy/girl.
- Lack of accountability.
- Impure imagination.
You thunk it before you ever did it.
- Corrupt communication.
Hearing people graphically talk about impure acts is not helpful.
- Peer pressure.
This is likely the hardest to avoid if you are in most schools. Pray.
- Desire to prove something.
I was trying to prove I could handle myself as an adult…
- Misunderstanding of love.
Only God can show you how that should be done.
If a virgin is not wondering about sex, they have super low drive or abiding in God.
I almost think that black sliding covers the rest of the list but the full list is good to have.
We are being lied to about sex.
How often have we been told about safe sex? Protect against the physical risks and all is ok? I can say from my own experience that every time a person has sex, does it with an unprotected soul. That is touched, and impacted, every time.
Outside of God’s use, sex can cause our hearts to be burden with guilt, depression, emptiness and frustration. It is pleasant and fun but only for a season…
Where do we go to find truth?
- Go to God’s Word
There ain’t no lie in there. Examples that Ray and Schmidt give are Philippians 4:8, I Timothy 5:22, Titus 1:15 and I Timothy 4:12. I like them and highly recommended them.
- Go to parents or godly authorities.
Make sure they follow God’s Word.
The main point is that we need to see sex outside of marriage as a sin that displeases God and hurts our relationship with Him.
I Corinthians 6:18
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
They jump right in to the 17 signs of emotional dependency. Let’s count to see many of this Edward and I had.
- Thinking about a person too much.
- Getting jealous easily.
I have no idea. I’ve become more jealous of other men but not really Edward. I just was jealous of the me he would imagine. She could do whatever he wanted her to do for him. I could not compete with her.
I have know idea about his jealousy level. He did give me a list of males that seemed to have an interest in me, one declared his love for me, and there others I was able to do do basic favours for me.
- Subconsciously expecting someone to be obligated to you.
- Needing to be in constant contact.
If he was talking to me he could not indulge his addiction.
- Not having other friends.
I still had friends. But Edward had none in real life or online.
- Having to be alone with another person.
This drove me crazy in Edward. Why did he not join the group chats with me?
- Being easily offended at each other.
- Saying I love you.
We were both guilt but he started it. (no excuse I know)
- Starting to touch.
Sorta why I’m here, right?
- Distancing from family.
Edward had moved out of state from his and I was separated from mine because of grandma’s cancer.
- Being irritable when apart.
I can only speak for me. I don’t remember…
- Working out problems often.
"When are you going to get the issues between you and your parents/father dealt with?"
- Fear of losing that person.
Me:”What if his father kills him?” Him: “What if my father kills her?”
- Loss of interest in spiritual things.
I don’t think so.
- Having to always be together.
- Giving your heart to another person.
- Extreme despair during a breakup.
Not as much as when I was in the relationship…
So Edward and I were/are normal love sick people. Yay!
We can control our emotions by realizing we can’t handle them alone. The first person we can reach out to is the Holy Spirit. Every day, every moment we need to submit to Him with our emotions. Submit to the guidelines given by authorities and talk to them about your feelings. But, most importantly, do what is right no matter how your heart patters inside of you. Follow your heart and it will find a good cliff for you to walk off of.
What should be done when if the emotional bindings need to be weakened? Edward and I just separated. We have not spoken or exchanged any form of writing for 8 months. Ray and Schmidt had there own ideas. Their way includes talking to the person so that they know why you might be a little cold. The other person might not understand but that’s normal.
- Spend less time together.
And let other friends hang around you. They don’t bite.
- Give less attention to the friendship.
The rules given are already seem dated. But far more liberal than I was thinking of having Edward and I follow when we speak again.
- Be willing to take a break.
This is where I am. Not an easy place.
I do not believe either of these work without God being a part of it.
Controlled not suppressed like a Vulcan. This is about letting God control our emotions. I can tell you from personal experience that the Vulcan method does not work.
Emotions are fires that burn inside us. Fire can be used to keep us warm and cook food, but when control of it is lost, it can destroy miles of land. Time and attention fuel a dangerous emotional connection with another person causing emotional dependency or infatuation.
How can you spot this happening to you? That’s in the next chapter.