When I asked Jerrell to share I was a little scared. Scared because of my favorite thing about Jerrell: he will always shoot it to you straight. I have sat under some really great teachers in my life, but Jerrell still remains my favorite teacher. What I respect most about Jerrell and his wife Kay are how they really do live out what they teach. They aren't the kind of church staff people that teach what is right because they should. Each week Jerrell shared real stories from his personal life (not googled stories borrowed from someone else). When it came to wanting someone to really charge singles, to share and shake up in a way I wish more would've with me, I didn't even hesitate to ask Jerrell. I wish he and Kay would've been a part of my life before my last year of being single. And I'm thankful that even though I'm now married, I was still charged to live this life with more intention.
One more thing before you start reading: As he shares lots of scriptures with you, read them. Don't skip it. Read it all. Let the Word, not just man's thoughts, change you. OK, now we are ready.
As I reflect on Kay & I’s journey of dating (3 years long distant) and marriage (will be 10 years on June 1) my mind is flooded with all kinds of memories, conversations, destinations, divine appointments, Holy Spirit encounters and teachable moments. I started along time ago reading one chapter of the book of Proverbs every day that coincided with the date of the month. My last few Bibles have proved this to be true because of the marking, worn pages, & water spills in this part of my Bible. I began asking the Lord to pour down his wisdom and strengthen me for the days ahead when I was in high school and into college and now several years later see the fruit of this discipline. It has been the backbone of my marriage and ministry. So as I reflect on what advice I might pass along I humbly submit to you some of my favorite scriptures found in the Proverbs.
Singles: Ask God to give you favor.
Married: Ask Jesus to let you relish in this favor he has provided.
Fight your pride (See 1 Peter 5:8). You aren’t all you think you are in the flesh but you are all you should be according to the Word of God.
Learn how to give a good gift to your loved on.
There is a lot of fear all around us. We must lay aside all fear and be willing to live out the life God grants us.
If you are shady confess your sins and run to Jesus. (See Prov. 28:13)
Following Jesus, loving your spouse, living out your singleness is all about loyalty but it doesn’t come easy. Satan is into taking loyalty for himself.
Live your life in such a manner that you are easy to be around, live with, and enjoy. Be normal and if you aren’t normal figure out why and learn from your past.
I have a duty everyday to grant and bestow goodness on my family and the world. Live your life outward and not inward. Give, serve, and bless others.
The path of wickedness is a fast moving conveyor belt. You will be sucked in before you notice. Steer clear and walk in this straight paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)
I have no further comment on this passage. It’s says enough.
Yes making love with your spouse is more than a temporary moment of love but a path of pleasure that empowers one another to fight the battle of faith and walk in the deepest unity known on Earth.
See Romans 12:10 (Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.) I have seen my fair share of women de-masculate their men through embarrassment, verbal attack, and a controlling spirit yet wonder why their man is passive and lacking in leadership. Ladies I remind you that men do not fight with women. They will shut down, remove themselves, and get quite (most do that…some fight and yell). Honor must become a value that you own, model and promote before each other. See also Prov. 21:9 & Prov. 21:19 (Ladies let this not be your anthem).
One reason (of many) there is forced labor in America is the laziness and consumption of American men and women. Men work hard but work towards the wrong goal. Women want things but often the wrong things. Let’s keep this in balance.
Let people be apart of your dreams as well as you be apart of others dreams. This includes your love story. If you aren’t equipped or feel inadequate let someone coach you. I know many who have healthy marriages that would love to coach and cheer you on.
Any married person will give this scripture a hardy amen! See also Prov. 20:3.
Keep yourself in the game if you are single and let your present circumstances make you stronger not weaker. See Hebrews 12:12.
We as Christians let’s live bold! As we serve, love, date, marry, parent, and die. Let’s live with a lot of courage. We need an uprising in courage.
These scriptures are just a few that have inspired, corrected, challenged and empowered Kay & I.
I am more convinced than ever that marriage is not the goal of life. Jesus is the goal. Some need singleness their entire lives to best honor and worship Jesus. Some are destined to marry so they can become more like Jesus. The goal and prize is Jesus. And he is honored in our lives when our faith grows.
If your singleness is not allowing your faith to grow then it’s time to reevaluate and ask him to grow you all over again.
If your dating/courting life isn’t causing your faith to grow then talk it through with your significant other (don’t break up just talk it through and give God time to work).
If you marriage isn’t causing you to grow in your faith…then look inward and make the change yourself. If you want your spouse to change then start with your own heart and life…ask Jesus to wreck you and consume you. We want our faith to grow and Jesus to be honored more and more. The power of your marriage is for the consummation of the Kingdom of God to be planted in and around you.
Measure the value of your marriage and singleness not in time but in value. What value are we bringing to the Kingdom…what value is happening to my life or others for how we/I are living at this present time…
PS. For extra credit let me give you a few hard and fast thoughts from my mind that didn’t make the above cut:
*Texting is not the new form of letter writing. If you want to ask a girl out don’t text her or tweet her. Man up and call her. Girls—answer the phone and be open to going on a date.
*Beauty—it’s all going to fade, sag, wrinkle, and the like. I actually got healthier after I got married. Your faith will grow and your expectations of beauty will grow too inside of marriage. So hold beauty loosely as you are pursing the one God has for you. Men remember it’s usually easier for you to burn fat, calories, and get your body where you want. It’s harder for ladies. Plus ladies bodies are made different to carry children.
*Deliverance--In you have a history of habitual/grievous sin, a history of generational sin, or demonic activity/presence that is upon you…I am suggesting a time of deliverance prayer over you that would break the bondages that have been set up against you by the enemy. I can assist in this.
*Take a look at your Bible. Does it look like something you want to show your future kids or grandkids? Read it, absorb it, and consume it. Fight for knowing Jesus and this comes in part by reading the word, praying the word, listening to him and letting your heart be consumed.
A little more about Jerrell Altic: Jerrell Altic is the Minister of Mobilazation at Houston's First Baptist Church. He is involved in mobilizing people all over the city and world. As well as field training college students through semester and summer internships, hosting and training mission teams that embark to Houston on mission, embodying missional change through speaking, connecting Christians in authentic community, and much more. Jerrell has been on staff for over 10 years and has been married 10 years to Kay and has 2 boys: Jayk & Judah. Learn more about his family on their blog, friend him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.
Tammie Head (An challenge to single ladies)