Yesterday was the release of Pastor Michael Todd’s first book, “Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex.” A couple of years ago, I listened to his 8-part sermon series with the same title and loved it! I especially liked the sermon in the series, where he invited people at different stages of relationships, to share their experiences.
Well, after Pastor Michael Todd (or Pastor MT for short) officially released his book, he did a 1.5+ hour virtual release party. He and his wife, Natalie, shared stories about their relationship and invited their friends to share some things they have learned. Some of the individuals and couples who we heard from were: Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin (they wrote, “The Wait“); Jonathan McReynolds (writer/Gospel singer); Sadie Robertson (from Duck Dynasty) and husband Christian Huff (actor); Kirk Franklin and Tammie Collins (revolutionary Gospel writer/singer); Bishop T.D. Jakes and Serita Jamison (church: The Potter’s House); Joel & Victoria Osteen (church: Lakewood Church); Rich and DawnChere Wilkerson (church: Vous Church); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors point guard) and Ayesha Curry (amazing cook and entrepreneur); and Bianca and Matt Olthoff (church: The Father’s House). They dropped some great lessons that I wrote down before I forgot. Here they are:
Follow God’s Purpose for Your Life
Meagan Good and Bianca Olthoff both talked about understanding and following God’s will for your life before getting married. And it’s not like you won’t be able to do that after you get married, but it will be a lot easier to do it before marriage. Navigating your purpose as a single person, limits distractions or the temptation to merge your purpose/identity to your spouse’s purpose and identity. Meagan also said that you shouldn’t have to abandon or slow down your purpose, or dim your light to find your bae. Then Devon gave this analogy about planes. He said, a plane has to keep a certain velocity in order for it to take flight. If it slows down to “pick up” a passenger (aka a mate), it won’t have enough speed to take flight. Basically, keep living out the promises for your life, and you’ll look up one day and see your bae running alongside you.
Enjoy Your Singleness
Jonathan McReynolds represented all the single people. #TeamSingle #WaitingForMyBoaz He talked about the struggle of having the desire to be married and share his day/life with his wife, but also enjoying the freedom of being single. This season is not a punishment from God, but a time for grooming…not just for your future spouse but more importantly, for your purpose. I am starting to realize that the desires I have (ex: marriage, house, etc.) are not guaranteed. So I don’t want to spend however long I have on this Earth, focusing solely on those things when God is trying to use me right now for His glory.
Throw Away Your List
Some of the couples, including Sadie Robertson and Christian Huff, talked about how their spouse didn’t check off all the boxes on their spouse list. Yet, their spouse was much more than they could imagine they’d want or need. Hearing this was encouraging and discouraging, because I just created a new husband list in December. In my future husband list, I divided it into three categories: non-negotiables, desires, and wants. I tried to focus less on physical characteristics and more on qualities, such as a being a Christian and (hopefully) foodie like me. I think the couples wanted us single folks to be aware that our spouse may not look exactly as we imagined (ex: ethnicity, physical build, height); therefore, we should look for the good characteristics in our future spouse, because charm is deceptive and beauty fades (Proverbs 31:30). One person at the party challenged us to take a look at the type of person we desire, because sometimes our desires come out of a place of brokenness.
Continue to be Intentional in Marriage
What is something that can happen when you’ve been married for a while? You can get complacent…you don’t behave like you did when you were dating. It’s like, now that you got the lady or man, you don’t have to try anymore. However, many of the couples talked about being intentional with keeping the romance alive by having date nights. You may not be able to have date nights like you did pre-Corona, but you can still have a dinner and movie date at home. DeVon and Meagan shared that knowing how their spouse likes to receive love (ex: quality time, acts of service) can help them feel loved. And then Steph Curry talked about being conscious to the times when your marriage starts to feel like a roommate situation, and to do something to bring back the fire. All of this, I thought, was great advice for when/if I get married.
While this book talks about winning at romantic relationships, his sermon series talks about winning at all types of relationships. In our society, we tend to place priority in relationships with others. Yet, we don’t talk too much about our relationship with ourselves or with God. In order to have healthy relationships with others, we must first, love ourselves and God. And that’s what I really loved about his sermon series.
We weren’t created to do life alone. And with physical distancing all around the world, I don’t want you to feel alone. So, comment below and I would love to pray for you and see how to get you connected to a community that will walk with you. If you liked this post, please like it and share it with everyone you know. And even more, go out and buy Pastor MT’s book and watch his sermon series.
Peace and Blessings,