Life is not About Happiness

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Life, Liberty and yep you have it: the pursuit of happiness – is one of the most well-known phrases in America. This famous phrase in the Declaration of Independence represents the rights given to all humans by their Creator. An undeniable truth, but let’s not forget my title, Life Is NOT About Happiness. The term happiness has been perverted by our culture, redefined to mean: self-gratification. Thomas Jefferson’s words were entirely valid, and they were based on scripture. Yet when you look at the world and what they call “pursuing happiness” it’s not scriptural at all.

Happiness in today’s definition is a loaded term; it’s all about being led by our desires. We’ve all heard someone say, “Just do what makes you happy,” or I love this one, “Follow your heart.” Our culture basically tells us that if it doesn’t satisfy you, don’t do it. Or if you want it, well by golly, you’ve got to have it! This mindset has transferred into the undertones of today’s dating culture, and it’s not only dangerous, but it’s deceptive. The cultural expectation of pursuing “happiness” leads us into placing our fulfillment on being in a relationship. Not all the urges we have are things that we should pursue.

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Before I hear the rebuttal, we do deserve to be happy – it’s not wrong to have a desire for fulfillment. God gave us a holy desire to be united with a partner under marriage. However, happiness should be a product of a healthy relationship, not the basis of your foundation with that person. Anything standing on emotion alone is a foundation placed on sand, and you know what that means – Mathew 7:26. Marriage will be about service not self-fulfillment. Ask any successful married couple, and they’ll tell ya! Individuals who seek to find happiness in someone really aren’t seeking happiness at all; they’re trying to fill a void.

I’m going to interrupt this program and give the official disclaimer: This blog is NOT me saying that having an amazing man/woman won’t bring some happiness into our lives. God has RICHLY blessed me with a Godly  man. We look like one of those swirl ice cream cones, y’all know those? Yasssss Jesus, HE IS GOOD!! Relationships are a blessing, they are originated by God, but they are not the source of where our happiness comes from.

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Happiness in its original – un-perverted form – is joy. The possession of joy is not only a blessing but a choice. It’s given to us freely, but we must choose to develop it and walk in it (Galatians 5:22). This is the right we have: to choose joy in every circumstance. Understand something, choosing joy is hard, but it is available for us to have. I personally have only begun to taste the true joy God has given me during this season. And let me tell you, it is so sweet and rich I REFUSE to let a single crumb go to waste. I fully intend to get my feast on and grubbbb. #HolyTurnUp

This season of singleness (understanding that you’re single until you’re married) is not only a time of preparation to better ourselves, but it’s a time to establish who God has made you to be and discover who you are in Christ. In fact, it’s my goal to be completely whole in Christ and mature in character before I ever zip up my wedding dress. If I ever want to achieve this goal for myself, I must redefine singleness. And that is what Unescorted is all about.

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Join the conversation (**new vlog next week) and get involved with the Unescorted community so that we can all learn, experience and grow to maximum capacity TOGETHER. You think I say these things because I’ve got it all figured out? Don’t let the fancy blog fool you; I am living this out every single day just like you. Striving to learn to be a better person in my downfalls and seeking wisdom every step of the way. The purpose of this blog is all about community; we find strength and encouragement in numbers. So go! Quit seeking fulfillment and happiness in friends, boo thangs, or anyone else. Love God. Love yourself. Find contentment in God’s timing for your life and until marriage, be #Unescorted and proud!!

XOXO – Sonia Dee.

This Ain’t What I Pictured – Part 2

 

 

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Our guest blogger – John Donaldson – gave us such incredible NUGGETS in his last blog (here), that we had to give you guys a part 2!!! See what John suggests on how to solve the issue of unrealistic expectations!

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Okay, so like I said before I believe that unrealistic and unhealthy expectations that are formed before marriage are the reason why so many are getting divorced after they get married!

Let me say this again! Too often Singles are forming unhealthy and unrealistic expectations for their future spouse and that’s DANGEROUS!!!!

So… How do we stop this?

What defensive measures can we take to make sure that either we don’t end up in a tragic divorce? OR how do we not waste this beautiful season called Unescorted and stay balanced in our dreams for a future marriage? How can we as singles avoid being afraid of dreaming again (in a healthy way) of someone that we are to spend life with. And lastly, how do we lay down our expectations and trust God with our deepest desires of what we want our marriage to look like?

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I think there is more than one solution, but I want to highlight a few:

1. Deepen your relationship with God.

People often wrongly relate to God. He is mighty, Holy and perfect – but we don’t have to be that to hang out with him. He wants us to come as we are, and THEN he changes you to be more like him. I say that to say we have to view God as a friend who can relate to us. He loves us and understands us! When you get closer to God he can show you what you SHOULD expect and what you should NOT! When you reach depth in your relationship with God, you begin to develop healthy expectations of people and extend Grace to them like God does for you!

ALL people and ALL relationships have peaks and valleys.

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2. RESPECT marriage DON’T WORSHIP it as an idol.

This is a hard truth to swallow – the root of unhealthy and unrealistic expectations is idol worship. Too often out of loneliness and discontentment Singles will deceive themselves to think that once we get married, then we will be happy and content. You need to find your contentment in God, in any season – any person, place or thing that you go to for this satisfaction besides God is an idol.

Marriage is a beautiful concept crafted by God Almighty to reflect Himself to us – but it is not to be worshiped. Worshiping marriage also leads to that “this ain’t what I pictured” thought because whenever you do get married, like we previously discussed, you don’t have healthy and realistic expectations of marriage so it will never live up to your IDEA, and you will inevitably be left disappointed and confused.

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3. Trust God!

Scripture tells us that God gives us the desires of our hearts! Those deep desires you have to be married and find joy in a marriage – those are desires from Him! God gave Adam, Eve. He gave Abraham, Sarah. And He’s given millions of men their wives, why? Because nothing makes him happier than for godly men and women to come together in marriage. There is so many blessings in marriage! The problem is we’ve perverted and added to this desire he’s given us.

Just lay down your expectations and trust God to fulfill those desire HE PLACED IN YOUR HEART IN THE FIRST PLACE. He ain’t no tease.

Well yall thats all I got fo ya. Listen, let God evaluate your heart! By hanging out with God consistently he will show you how to take down any unrealistic and unhealthy expectations you have for marriage. Find a mentor, find other people who are in your same season!

I pray that you are Blessed beyond what you deserve, Godbleshyall! #mobn

John Donaldson

 

 

“This Ain’t What I Pictured”

We met John at Victory Bible College in Tulsa, OK. John is well known in our circle for his intellectualism, you can always count on him to give you food for thought. We love and appreciate his wisdom and are so excited you get to hear from such an amazing man who loves Jesus!  – UNESCORTED

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Hello to all the single folk, and the non-single folk that read this blog. My name is John Donaldson and it is both my pleasure and my privilege to be apart of what Jesus Christ is doing through UNESCORTED. I really believe in their mission to reach my sisters and brothers in the faith on this journey of singleness.

For anyone that doesn’t know me, I am not a guy that is easily excited about much at all. I often times feel like the odd one out in almost every crowd because of this fact.  There have been times that I’ve even have entertained the possibility that it’s a serious problem, I’ll let you be the judge.

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This last summer I got to go see the ocean for the first time in my life on a cruise ship. Now, anytime I would tell somebody I was going on said trip, they lit up like a Christmas tree and puked out the words “OH MY GOSH?! ARE YOU EXCITED?!”, to which I would respond something like, “I don’t know.. I guess..”. Weird right? Typically people would just be spinning and dancing around about it, but alas… that ain’t me. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of being on a huge ship going to Mexico with an all you can eat 24 hour buffet, pools, hot tubs, and a sandy beach was hecka appealing to my soul in a major way lol! But, for whatever reason I feel like I didn’t have the excitement I was supposed to.

The Point:

Being the reflective person I am, I began to ask myself some questions as to why I am that way not just about the cruise, but most things in life.  I finally narrowed it down to the source of a pivotal word called expectation. When asking other people why they were excited, I realized it was mostly because they had already imagined and mapped out emotionally, mentally, and physically, everything this trip was going to be. There expectations were high and mine were not. They knew how it would make them feel, and how intoxicating it would be to experience, conjuring up these soaring expectations that caused quite an excitement.

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Then the parallel hit me…

Most of us as singles do the exact same thing! Every one of us have our own perversions and proclivities that are unique to us, but for the most part we can all identify (if we are to be honest) we have ALL have conjured up a list of expectations for something. We all have an area in our life where we have worshiped at this altar of “expectations.” These unrealistic and unhealthy expectations start off by us thinking: how it should turn out for us, what it will look like, and fantasizing about how it will make us feel, . . . we do this especially with finding a mate.

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The culture of clichés in the Christian community unfortunately have made the list of unhealthy and unrealistic expectations drastically worse. I see men and women paint each other in these unrealistic and unhealthy expectations of how a “man of God” or a “woman of God” should be, and thats dangerous. I am under the belief that unhealthy and unrealistic expectations are precisely the reason why the divorce rate is higher in the Church than it is in the world. In the world the divorce rate is 50%, and yes you heard me correctly: the divorce rate in the church IS higher than that.

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What does unrealistic and unhealthy expectations look like practically in every day life John? I’m so glad you asked, UNESCORTED, allow me to elaborate.  I went to Bible school for a short time, and as you can imagine, it was an… interesting experience. But it provided me the opportunity to be surrounded by Christian young Adults. I commonly heard individuals – including myself – throw out well intended, innocent YET completely foolish statements like these:

“a TRUE man of God would never break a woman’s heart or ever disrespect her like that” or…

“a TRUE woman of God would never dress like this, or talk with you like that”,

“real Christians don’t even like sin, they don’t go to parties or struggle with sexual perversions”,

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AND THEN, when I see people who have these expectations start to date, it only festers!!!! We only show the best part of ourselves to our boyfriends and girlfriends – and you know what that does? Validates our unhealthy and unrealistic expectations – and that is dangerous! How many times have I heard someone say, “He..is..that..man…. that I have been waiting on MY WHOLE LIFE!!!” Unfortunately, once the limelight dissolves his flaws inevitably appear. AND since he no longer looks like that “man of God” her expectations conjured up; she becomes hurt and disappointed. Time and time again I see people get divorced in the Christian community because of this reality.

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We could continue on, but I think you get the point.  Some of you might be wondering How do we stop this? How to we find a healthy way to dream about the real blessings in marriage but keep unhealthy and unrealistic expectations at bay? Well, one of the dopest things about UNESCORTED is that they bring issues to the light, so we cant #jointheconversation. What do YOU think the solution is? What are YOUR thoughts on how the church cultivates our expectation for marriage?

Next week I too will #JoinTheConversation and share some solutions the Lord laid on my heart.

Until then, #GodBlesssshhhYall #Mobn

John Donaldson
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