Over the weekend I had the pleasure of sitting with two awesome people of God. Their names are Martin Jones (20) and Martneshia Kirkland (24). I sat with this couple who have been courting since September of 2017. I wanted them to share their story to encourage others who may be single or in relationships and are trying to stay on track or may be struggling. There are so many others who are courting and doing things the right way. We all attend church together at Forward Christian Center and I have personally been able to witness Martin and Martneshia's moments together from time to time and they are winning at proving you can be in a godly relationship successfully.
While so many people in the world find satisfaction in dating, Martneshia and Martin take pride in being different. They like to describe their relationship as a courtship. When asked what is the difference between dating and courting, they responded by saying they try to be intentional in their relationship. Dating is more casual, just getting to know people. While courting is more of really being with someone and fully persuing them. Martin stated he may tell people he is dating but he just knows he is in a relationship. They have a goal of where they want thier relationship to go and are aiming toward marriage.
I think this is awesome for people to know as so many are going out on dates but not many are dating intentionally or courting one another. This makes a difference in where the relationship goes.
At the beginning of their relationship, they both made the decision to keep their relationship private. It was so funny, they said they came up with a certain hug to do in church so no one would start getting suspicous and asking questions. Its always good to have some kind of privacy in your relationship, especially when it first starts and you dont exactly know the outcome. It also just keeps people out of your business. They started out as friends and have been taking time to court each other and build from there.
If you are a christian or believer in God and working on building a relationship with him, it is very important to be with someone who is doing the same. This way both parties will be in agreement with putting God in the center. I asked them, what does it mean to you to date intentionally?
Martneshia's take was keeping God in the center and being each other's supporter. She feels dating intentionally means supporting the other person's goals and aspirations, encouraging him to fulfill his purpose. She called it being each other's purpose pusher.
Martin's take was doing what the word says and just being intentional. He made a point of saying we should put into the relationship what we want out of it. Our actions should line up with what we want in the relationship. He says it is important to keep God first and going to God in every day to day life. Not just in their courtship but also personally. I agree fully. Especially when you are in a relationship, we should continously seek God on our own so we can grow in the relationship.
While You Are Waiting
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get weary, they will walk and not faint.
They talked about what their single life was like before they met each other. They both had some challenges in singleness before but came to the conclusion that they wanted to do things the right way. Martin expounded, saying its important to wait for the moment when you meet that special person. He feels having that time with God and not focusing on the waiting time will help and when the right person comes along, you will know. He talked about being single and allowing God to help you fix what needs to be fixed in your singleness so that unwanted baggage is not taken into the relationship.
So many people step into relationships and even marriage with baggage thinking the relationship will fix it or heal them. When in actuality, it magnifies the baggage.
Some may know Martneshia was married before she met Martin. She went through a time where she looked to her husband (at the time) to fix things that happened to her that she brought into the marriage. Things happened that caused divorce and she went through a time of depression. she says she lost herself. Her self esteem and who she was. She dated other guys afterwards, but her baggage from the marriage was carried into that. So she dated out of hurt and anger. She made the decision to move forward with her life and finally decided to give everything to God and make HIM the center of her life. Then she met Martin.
Sex Before Marriage
1 Thessalonians 4:3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in pasionate lust like the pagans,who do not know God
verse 7 for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
Martin and Martneshia met at church and began persuing each other after being in a home bible study together. They both made the decision to abstain from sex while dating each other. Even though they have people watching as examples, they are making it a choice to do this for God alone. Abstaining from sex before marriage is very benefical.
1. Good Communication
2. Friendship growth
3. No blind fold of wheather to continue in the relationship
4.Encourages generosity instead of selfishness
5.less risk of verbal or physical abuse
6.increases way to show affection
7. More likely to succeed in marriage
8. less emotional turmoil if the relationship ends
They both say often, dont think they are perfect. Trying to stay abstinent is not always easy. There are challenges.
But I love that they have made up minds to live a holy lifestyle before God. They understand their relationship is not about them, Its bigger than them. Martineshia gives advice to die to your flesh daily. Martins advice is to stay away from things that you know will trigger you and tempt you. Stay in God's word.
Keeping It About God
This couple does not just look to God but have also incorporated seeking God together by reading and studying their bible together. They pray with one another and they are both involved in ministry. I can see first hand how this is helping their relationship and keeping them strong. Because they keep God involved, they are both so full of wisdom. You can feel the love when they are around. It is a real God kind of love.
Advice to Singles and Unmarried Couples
Martin: Allow God to work on you first. Keep God at the center.
Martneshia: Keep God at the center. Dont focus on what others are doing. Have a good prayer life. Dont settle for the world's standard of a successful relationship, study what the word says.
I asked Martin and Martneshia what scripture they feel best describes their relationship. I thought they would both give me a separate scripture but after thinking for a moment, martin says, "Jeremiah 29:11." At the same time Martneshia says she was thinking the same one.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plan I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
They have mutual people in their lives where they feel they probably could have met a long time ago. Martin says they were probably at once in the same room and didnt notice. Even though they could have met, God brought them together at just the right time. He knew/knows the plans for them and their relationship. This is a dynamic duo who are growing and on their way to being a power couple. It is all because of the way they have offered themselves and their relationship to God, keeping their focus on pleasing HIM and not people.
So ladies I want to encourage you. Wait on God. He has that special someone just for you. Or maybe you are in a relationship, let this article be motivation on giving your relationship to God and putting him in the center. Line it up with his word. Everything else will fall in place.