Thursday, April 30, 2009

Explicit Lyrics Week 2

Requests and Dedications: Falling in Love

It may seem that I'm a little belated in writing up my thoughts on this past week's message. I was in the nursery on Sunday and have just now listened to it from our
website. It really isn't quite the same as hearing it in person, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to hear it all the same.

This Sunday the theme was dating/courting. Jeff asked everyone to discuss with their neighbor one of three dating experiences: their first date, their most embarrassing date, or their most memorable date (cautioning that the most memorable probably should be one they experienced with their spouse). I honestly don't remember when or what my first date was. It's hard to classify dating when you're in high school and neither person can drive. :-) Since I didn't know I was supposed to swap dating stories with Alex in the nursery, I'll share with you here.

I think my most memorable date was my first Valentine's Day with Adam. During the day he brought me six red roses, each with a little paper heart attached to them. Five of the hearts listed his favorite memories with me in the five months we'd been dating and the sixth was for our future memories (swoon!). He also gave me a note inviting me to his apartment that evening for dinner. When I arrived, he had prepared London broil, broccoli casserole, and chocolate fondue. Yummy! After dinner, he started telling me all of the things he liked about me, but about the third one in he started saying, "I love..." which was a big deal because we had not said "I love you" to one another and Adam had said that he only wanted to say it to the woman he was going to marry. So, I was freaking out in my head (in a good way) and not listening at all to what he was saying (which I have learned was going to be a habit for all of Adam's great romantic speeches, unfortunately). Finally he said that he loves me and I said it back because I do. Such an awesome day!

Thinking about the paper hearts made me want to read them again, so I stopped in the middle of my typing and found them in a little scrapbook I had started when we were dating. I found them along with two poems I had written that Valentine's day before the awesome evening. They're kind of silly and sophomoric, but I'll share one anyway and then get back to the sermon (long sidetrack, huh?).

Questions of Love
I looked into your eyes
Those gorgeous brown eyes
That penetrate deep inside
That see exactly who I am
That reveal so much
I can read your thoughts
Your emotions
Your desires
With every part of me
With Christ's example
My thoughts
My actions
My smile
Because of Christ in you?
Because I see you?
Because you see me?
Because of the way you make me feel?
Just because?
Does it really matter why?
I only know that I do
And that makes all the difference.
So after all of that, back to task. The sermon went through Song of Songs 1:15-3:5. Adam said that Jeff read SoS 2:16 which is the verse inscribed inside his wedding ring. Jeff talked about how you should never stop dating your spouse and even issued a challenge to the men to take their spouse on a date this week and to be creative. The women were to email Jeff at with the details for the chance to win a free dinner for two. I wonder how that'll go.
In the message Jeff talked about how time and separation should kindle (not dwindle) love if you are courting the right person. Just before he said this I had been thinking about how awesome it was that Adam was willing to endure unusual circumstances in order to date me. I mentioned in my post about week 1 of this series that I was concerned about starting a relationship when I was going to be on another continent for a semester. You often hear about the perils of long distance relationships and it seems kind of odd to START dating someone you can only contact via email and telephone and won't physically see for the rest of the year. While we didn't officially term ourselves dating when I headed out, we communicated A LOT via the avenues available to us. In fact, it wasn't until one of my fellow study abroaders asked about our relationship that everything was defined. She asked, "Do you have a boyfriend?" I said, "I don't know, maybe." I then spoke to Adam about what he told people on our next phone call and he said that he said we were dating, which was fine with me. When I reported back, she asked, "Are you exclusive?" Um...*shrug* So you know what the subject of our next conversation was. I said I didn't want to date anyone else and Adam said he didn't either and so we were officially in an exclusive dating relationship. Nice and simple. :-P Anyway, I think our circumstances really allowed us to learn a lot about the other person without the distraction of physical temptation. Of course, when we finally did see each other the airport...with my mom...and two friends, it was a little awkward. Good ole' mom, though, made me walk Adam out after he'd dropped us off at our hotel so that we could have a little one-on-one time. Wow, way sidetracked.
I LOVE our story, can you tell? It's so crazy and awesome and always makes me smile.
Jeff also said that we should feel more alive and our faith should grow when we are with that person. Courting is about emotional discovery and airing out our past. If we aren't comfortable sharing our past with our boy/girlfriend, we should not give them our future. During this time we should also talk about our future plans and hopes to make sure the relationship is on the right track.
His final thought was that God can do incredible things in our lives, but only if we obey him. I think he was referring to being obedient in our relationships, specifically in regards to purity within them.
Obedience to God has kind of been a theme for me recently. Jill and I talked about it on Tuesday. I mentioned it in the last message response post. Jeff talked about it in this message. I guess that continues to be my application until I get it down. Not that I am necessarily being purposefully obedient. It is more of recognizing God's will for me and acting on it. Doing what is necessary regardless of how I feel. Sacrificing selfish desires and personal needs to show God's love through my life.
P.S. - Somehow the paragraph spacing stopped after the poem and I don't know how to fix it again. Anyone who knows what may have happened, please let me know. It looks fine in compose mode, but when I hit "Preview" it all squeezed together. Thanks!

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