Honey Bunny – By Their Fruits

“You will know them by their fruit. Grapes aren’t gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they?” Matthew 7: 16.

People do not only judge a tree by its leaves, or bark, or flowers, but by the fruit which it bears. The flowers may be beautiful and fragrant, the foliage thick and green; but these are merely ornamental. It is the “fruit” that is determines what the tree is.

While dating many individuals show their true fruits in every interaction. People show who they are all the time and in time.

I encourage you to pay close attention the fruits your interest is bearing. Are they Christ centered? Are they upright, pure and full of dignity? Do they complement your personality, values, dreams? Are they what God requires of a man or woman? Can you live with the fruits of this person? Are the fruits leading you closer to Christ and making you a better person? Are these fruits building you up or slowly breaking you down?

Stay vigilant while you date. An apple tree will never bear grapes.

– Dee

(c) 2014, Dentrecia Blanchette

“Be about it”

Regardless of our best intentions, sometimes our actions don’t align with our words. We make empty promises, often to gain the trust and affection of another and in a second of disappointment or shifting tides or emotions within the relationship, our words die a slow death.

Love demands consistent positive actions; love demands more than words or a declaration. It’s not an announcement, it is a commitment to doing the necessary things needed to sustain and foster growth within the relationship. True love requires personal action and if we are in love with our partners, we will demonstrate our love in ways that they can understand and appreciate.

Jesus loved with his actions. In John 21: 16 he says, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” John 14: 15, “If you love me keep my commandments.” Romans 5:8  says that: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God not only spoke a word but He fulfilled the promises made. God spoke but he also fulfilled the promises that were spoken. We too, are to look to this Great Love Model and exemplify that habit in our relationships. We ought to be about it more than we speak about it.

I believe words become unnecessary at times in a relationship because your actions will scream I LOVE YOU to your partner. This is in keeping with those whose primary love language is Words of Affirmation…even when you appreciate this language the most, the actions of your partner must coincide with those words; otherwise they will be empty words.

There are many opportunities for us to show love for God and each other in our relationships. The opportunities are unending. It takes time to SHOW our love but declarations of love that are backed up by performance always work for our good and in our favor. And sometimes, nothing says I love you more than being forgiving and kind to your partner especially when they have disappointed us. So demonstrate your love to your partner, start off small, we all know that it’s the small things that win us over and make the world of a difference. Choose to spend time together, give them a call, plan a date, choose to exercise together, choose to assist with some house chores or cook a meal for them, send them a “I am thinking about you” text…everyone wants to know that through actions, their spouse is thinking about them, even when their shift or workload is demanding. Through thoughtful actions, we can demonstrate our love to our partners. Be creative but in small, steady ways, show your partner that you are “more about it than speaking about it.”

– Dee

(c) 2013, Dentrecia Blanchette

 I don’t trust you

When human relationships fail and we are left bruised and disappointed; we unconsciously and sometimes consciously close our hearts to any future pain because to be void of emotions is easier than dealing with a broken hurt. But the truth is when we close our hearts to pain and hurt, we also close our hearts to love and hope and we die a little everyday until we are unable to recognize ourselves.

Most of us turn to God because, He is our last resort, but our fear of pain manifests itself in our spiritual relationship with God as well. We find it difficult to trust God because of our past hurt. How can we trust a God whom we cannot see after the persons we can see have hurt us? Our pain leaves no room for faith to be experienced by our hearts. It takes too much energy to have faith.

But God is not like man. He doesn’t hurt, harm or hate. For many of us that is a difficult fact to accept much less digest because EVERY single individual whom we trusted betrayed and hurt us. Does God accept my unbelief? No. But He accepts your genuine desire to prove Him and be filled by Him and experience His lasting glory.

I am encouraging you to take a chance with God with an open mind and heart. Chronicle your walk with Him. Be upfront with Him about your fear of being hurt by Him and allow Him to dispel your fears and doubts, one loving act at a time.

Your distrust may be seen by others or it may be covered up perfectly, but I assure you, it wearies the soul and leaves you withered and unhappy. We were made to love and to love, we must first trust and to trust, we must give a chance. Why not give God your distrust, your heart ache and prove Him to be the God who is nothing like mankind.

– Dee

(c) 2013, Dentrecia Blanchette

Unequally Yoked. Spiritual Incompatibility.

When we consider biblical references of characters who were unaligned spiritually in their relationships, we are given enough evidence to steer away from relationships with partners who do not share the same spiritual/biblical foundation or values that govern our own lives.

In the scripture, 2 Corinthians 6:14, God in His infinite wisdom clearly warns us of joining ourselves with unbelievers – “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (NIV).

God gives us this command for our own protection, happiness and growth. God knows that our relations affect our spiritual life and our relationship with Him. God also knows that when we are committed to someone who isn’t on the same spiritual level as we are, we will eventually be drawn further away from Him, we will disobey His commands and compromise our values at the cost of our salvation.

Apart from the examples in history that tell of the rotten fruits that are borne from spiritually unequal unions, the story of Samson and Delilah is the most popular unequally yoked relationship discussed. The relationship Samson had with Delilah cost Samson everything. Set apart from birth after his consecration to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines, his relationship with the Dangerous D thwarted his God given purpose, cost him his dignity, eye sight and ultimately his life.

Will our relationship with someone who possesses no love for the true God, our God, cost us our life, dignity and distract us from our God given purpose? Is it worth it?

There are many believers who continue to date the unbeliever because they believe that the individual will change. No doubt the Spirit of God can change the heart of an individual because it is that powerful but should we continue in a relationship that leaves us spiritually hungry, dissatisfied and stunted? No. We can minister to that individual, pray for the individual because we care for them but we must steer away from committing our precious hearts to such individuals who have little regard for the God we serve. And in all our ministering and praying, let us remember that only God can change the heart of any individual.

And Ill just interject here that someone can call themselves a follower of Christ but deny the power of Christ in their very lives. There are many in the church who are not spiritually minded and who profess their faith but do not live their faith or in faith. Not everyone who walks in the same Christian circles as you do has a heart that is entirely for Christ – Judas walked with Christ for years and still was not a true follower. Spiritually unequally yoked relationships exist in Christian communities and the church as well! Be vigilant.

How long will we make the excuses, “our love is more powerful that our spiritual incompatibility” …. “he is a great guy, a good guy but he just isn’t that spiritual or into God” …. “he goes to church but I do not see Christ in his life” …. “I can change him/her” …How long will we compromise and comfort ourselves with the excuses that cause us to disobey Christ’s command? How long?

I encourage you to ensure that your relationships:

1) Lead your attention to God – many partners bask in relationships where all the affection and attention is given to them. Is your partner leading your attention and affections to him or herself or are they leading your affections and attentions to Christ where it truly belongs? When we love Christ more than anything, we reflect a love that is unconditional in our human relationship. The spiritually mature partner knows that a deeper relationship with Christ translates into a deeper relationship with each other.

2) Give God glory through spiritual practices that come from the heart – initiate spiritual practices in the relationship to make Christ the foundation of the relationship – does your partner initiate prayer, bible study, devotions, witnessing? Are spiritual practices only left for one day in the week? Be creative in how your grow spiritually together.

3) Improve your walk with God and improve areas of struggle in your life – our relationships should impact every area of our lives for the better, it should not only draw us closer to Christ but we should see the manifestation of having the Spirit of God in our relationships in the different aspects of our own lives. Are you growing as a person because of your association with this persons?

If you are in a relationship where your relationship is not giving God glory, drawing you closer to Christ through service or spiritual habits, strengthening your spiritual life or making your life more wholesome, then maybe it is time to have a simple conversation with your partner about the spiritual incompatibility. Maybe it is time to speak with God and listen to what He has to say about the relationship and do what He says.

Whatever the Lord instructs you to do about moving forward with your life and the relationship, do it.

Spiritual compatibility is a priority for the Christian because the main purpose of the relationship is to make you holy and draw you closer to Christ as a Christian and as a couple. Don’t compromise your spirituality.

We must not compromise because God will provide the right individual who will lead us higher toward Him, drive us to live out our life’s purpose and contribute to the overall spiritual wellbeing of our lives.

God values relationships, especially for us who are dating and He is more than able to assist us in making wise choices in the process of finding our future spouse. Trust Him.

– Dee

(c) 2013, Dentrecia Blanchette