Love

5 Ways to Put God First in your Relationships

Navigating dating and relationships can be a chore for Christian singles. Well, newsflash, the struggle doesn’t stop when you’re married either. We hear all the time, “Put God First” but what does that really look like in romantic relationships?

Like everything else amazing that has happened in my life, I needed to start with God, and so should you. Just this morning, I wrestled with my dissertation idea, looking at a floor covered in articles and books, and I found myself calling out…

“Good Lord, where do I start???”  Then I heard a still small voice say “Start with ME!” 

When I put Him first, literally everything else falls into place PERFECTLY. Does it seem perfect at the time, of course not. Oh, but when I look back on the goodness of the Lord…”perfect” is an understatement. With that said, I am going to start with every article that intersects religion and relationships. I am putting God FIRST while reviewing the literature for my dissertation topic.  Problem solved.

Being that I am still your relationship coach, I wanted to take a moment and send you a few suggestions on how YOU can put God first in your single season, relationship and/or marriage! Here we go…

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1) Start your day off with God.  Read your bible and journal FIRST thing in the AM. Put your phone down, no peaking at social media, but open and read your bible FIRST. Finish with prayer and then start your daily routine.

2) Start every encounter (with a potential partner) with God.  Upon meeting them (or shortly after), say a quick prayer.  Ask God to remove any anxiety or haste, and pray for wisdom to discern the reason this person has entered your life. Every person is not your spouse (say that again so that it will resonate). You know the saying, “a reason, season or a lifetime”. A person may be sent just to remind you of what you’re looking for, and what you are not. Ask God to show you the difference, their purpose and to do so quickly!

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3) Start every date off with GOD and end with God.  Ultimately, He is your relationship coach. You want Him there.  Remember, our goal is forever and we need God’s stamp of approval. For me, this meant, starting each date off in prayer, sometimes in the middle of the date like “this man is fine, God please control my loins!”, or at the end “thank you Lord, I had a great time, but please remind me that this was JUST a date”. Or “thank you Lord for the opportunity of male companionship, but most of all showing me this guy was NOT the one (whew chile) and that I made it home safely”.

4) Take God with you at all times. God is omnipresent (Proverbs 15:3).  Therefore, pretend like he’s right there with you, during every act, decision or thought (considering that He is). This literally works wonders for me.  The thought of God sitting right on my shoulder as I think of doing something ungodly.  I find myself saying out loud sometimes “You right, Lord… I know I shouldn’t eat that 2nd brownie… or I know I shouldn’t spend that money that’s outside our budget”. 90% of the time, I listen.  That other 10%, I regret that I didn’t. Let’s try to increase those odds and listen to God’s voice more often.  If you “take Him with you”, this becomes easier.

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5) During conflict and hard times (which will happen), pray to God asking for HIS advice on how to handle, before you go to your friends or family, or even yourself at times.  God is all knowing (Daniel 2:20-22).  Sure, outside forces can be helpful (even therapy) but there’s nothing like sitting still, and waiting on God to give us the answers.  It’s OK to tell your loved one, “I need a little space to really take this to God before making a decision. Please give me that time.”  If they agree, then take the time and get in His word and lay at God’s feet.  You can’t worry about what that other person is doing during that time. Let God handle that.  Get in your prayer closet until you come out with the answers and the confidence that you need to see this difficult time through.

As always, I hope this helps.  As I pray for you, please keep me in your prayers as well through this difficult Ph.D. process. Meanwhile let’s stay connected on IG: @_emilymcknight and FB: @TakeitfromEm.

 XOXO,

 Future Dr. Em

5 Ways to Celebrate Love on Vday (without a man)

5 Ways to Celebrate Love on Vday (without a man)

So the big day is approaching, Valentine's day, which is by far the most single awareness day out there.  Well, instead of pondering on your singleness, why not celebrate love with the rest of the world.  Isn't that what Valentine's day is all about?  Here's a few things you can do to celebrate love on 2/14.

Ways to increase your chances of meeting your Black King

Some time ago, I informed single black women that there is in fact a shortage of “marriageable” black men in the dating market.  Considering most black women prefer to date black men, you will need a strategy to increase your chances of meeting men who actually meet your criteria for dating.  

Review and prioritize your “list”: 

The first thing we should tackle is what is your criteria?  Are you being too picky?  Ok, I will give you the preference of dating and/or marrying a black man. I get it, I was that girl. I married a black man. I love his Mandingo behind. However, being married 2 ½ years now, I do know enough to say that you will NOT get ALL of what you have on your list.  Ideally, if you got 80% of that list, then you are winning.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to settle, I am asking you to re-evaluate your list and prioritize!

For instance, physical characteristics (age range, over 6 ft., complexion, type of hair cut), or even monetary characteristics (over 6 figures, drive a luxury vehicle, owns a home) should never go before spiritual and emotional characteristics (Relationship with God, prays, attend church regularly, wants a relationship, wants children, etc.)

Some items on your list should be re-evaluated and possibly removed completely.  Has to have pearly white teeth vs. well groomed. Or “must make more money than me” vs. “gainfully employed”.  “Master’s degree or above” (vs. some formal education/or values education”). 

As a Christian relationship coach, and a promotor of Godly dating, I advise singles to have “Relationship with God vs. Goes to Church or “Spiritual” as #1 on their list. Any man who has a heart after God, has an active prayer life, church home, studies the word, etc. has a higher chances of holding himself to a standard ordained by God himself. He will love you like God will love you. With that, better treatment towards his woman, period (commitment, loyalty, respect, unconditional love to name a few).

Pick the top 5 requirements as most important, deal breakers, and consider the rest as “wants”.  If you get them, great. If not, at the core, you have a guy that you could grow to love.


Understand that dating is a numbers game

now that you have a more reasonable list, let me remind you that there are 4 marriageable black men to every 10 black women.  Therefore, dating will be a numbers game for you.  Simply put, out of 10 dates you go on, only about 4 men will meet your top requirements.  Therefore, DATE.  Date, date, date. Once that person has shown you who they really are (usually after 3 dates or so), and it doesn’t align with what you want. MOVE ON, expeditiously.  Dating with purpose, you aren’t having one night stands, or sleeping with men early, so your judgment should not be clouded at this point.  You should have a clear idea if you want to spend more time with this guy.  Develop a “not him, so there’s someone better” mentality.  Always remember you just need ONE.


 

Keep the faith, there are ‘good’ men out there.  You just have to go where they go: 

Want a Godly man, go to church events.  Want a man with a certain income level, go take a golfing class, mixers/happy hours in a upscale neighborhoods.  Want a man who is educated, go to fraternity events, business mixers, etc.  Go where they are.  Increase your chances of meeting them. Don’t just rely on the universe to send him down your aisle at your neighborhood grocery story.  Be intentional.


Consider going to the other side: 

I’ve mentioned before that black women would rather date down than out.  (Down – lower education and/or income level vs. Out – someone outside of their race with equal to or higher education and/or income level).  Interracial dating is at an all-time high amongst all racial groups.  Although I am passionate about black families, black love, etc., I am even more passionate about single black women having satisfying dating relationships that will lead to marriage.  This is the foundation for change, for our children and for future generations.  Now if establishing that family unit means recruiting a man of a different race, then so be it.  Get on board, our black men are doing it.  Kings come in various shades. I’m just saying.  Want to increase the number of eligible men…consider being down with the swirl.