Why LOVE Is Worth The Risk

Should you love?  One thing is for certain, whenever you choose to love it is a RISK.  It is actually one of the highest risk activities you can participate in.  There is a song I heard recently that said, “if love was a plane, nobody would get on.”  Unfortunately, choosing not to love hurts you more than anyone. The greatest commandments are clear, they demand everything from you, LOVE, but nevertheless, they are a risk.

Jesus commanded love, He first loved…You have #NOTHINGTOLOSE

love yield risk 4-17-15

“Love teaches us to YIELD, it’s worth the RISK”

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39

All love for a Christ follower is motivated out of the the reality that Jesus loved us first. “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8  Caught up in our own lives and our own selfishness and pursuit of things and idols, Jesus went to the cross and laid down his life for us as the ultimate act of love.”  Furthermore Jesus said, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  To call yourself a disciple of Jesus, love IS and love DOES.  Our love first starts with Jesus and it must extend to others.  This may be the hard part, but it’s worth the risk.  We are to love enemies, friends, people whom we don’t even know.  We love more fully when we realize, we really have #nothingtolose.

2 Things You Will Have To Overcome In Order To Fully Love People –

1. Fear of Rejection  – EVEN IF EVERYONE DISOWNS YOU, JESUS WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU.  This one is a hard one.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to care deeply about what others think about me.  Most of us want to be accepted and loved, but many times we withhold love because we don’t want to get hurt.  We have all been rejected at one time or another by a person, a parent, a brother, a spouse, or maybe a coworker.  Rejection is real and it can be scarring and devastating to our emotional health.  Especially if we were rejected by a parent at a young age, this is something that can lead to a developmental love disorder.  We manipulate words, use people, and make love a corrupted usury and we hedge our bets against the hurts that can come from rejection.  A failure to trust can create a character deficiency that never fully reconciles us being transformed by Jesus.  Because we are now purchased by Jesus, we are to identify with and resemble a life transformed with the very DNA and new identity of the Holiness of the resurrected Jesus.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18   You have #NOTHINGTOLOSE

2. Fear of Sacrifice EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING IN THE END, YOU FOLLOWED JESUS!  Fear of sacrifice makes love conditional, this was never God’s intent.  In order to fully love, it can’t be about you.  You don’t love based on what you can get out of it, you love because it is who you are and how you are defined.  Selfless love is perhaps the most significant sign of someone who is choosing to follow Jesus.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, “If you have not love you are a loud gong or a clanging symbol.”  This basically means you may be doing lots of stuff, a lot of activity but you are just making noise.  Fear of sacrifice means you are focusing more on your needs than the other persons.  Self preservation, self fulfillment and self centeredness are all driven by fear of losing something.  Control is an illusion and when you love sacrificially, you give control to God and others in order to manifest an evidence of a living God.   You have #NOTHINGTOLOSE

One simple question as I close… Who is God calling you to love today?  Go ahead, you have nothing to lose.



One simple act of obedience can cause a #rippleeffect



This Sunday at 217church:

April 19 – Go Plant Seeds – The parable of the seeds

April 26 – Go Do Good – The Good Samaritan

May 3 – Go Do Right – The Wise and the Foolish Builders


Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here


Unlock The Secret to 2014

Tonight, many of you will be out acting crazy, having more fun that you can handle as you ring in the new year!  I look back at my New Year’ Eve celebrations and I remember a few of them.  One year Summer and I went to New York City and ran a four mile race that kicked off at midnight, another year I remember going outside and yelling at the top of my lungs “Happy New Year!”  But here is where you can find me this year…

unlock combo

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth”  Psalm 86:11

AT – HOME.  There are 4 things I plan on doing at the stroke of midnight that are going to define my year.

My First 4 Actions of 2014…

#1  Kiss My Wife –  That is right, while millions of people will be kissing random idiots with meaningless expressions, I will be smooching the girl I plan to spend the rest of my life with.  I plan to love my wife deeper this year than I ever have.  Today I had the opportunity to take my bride on a lunch date and we talked about all the blessings of God in 2013.  I love this girl more than any other person and will do everything I can to make sure she knows it. Kiss the girl, then love her deeply the other 364 days.

#2 Pray With Her –  After the kiss I am going to sit on the couch, grab her hand and I am going to pray a prayer of blessing over her, our family and our year.  I am going to pray a prayer of provision, purpose, and protection.  God is faithful.  All I am doing is leaning into His promise of blessing.

#3 Do 25 Push Ups  –  Next the pushups…why?  because I still can.  God has given me a body to take care of and I plan on taking care of it.  25 push ups really won’t change much but I am drawing a line in the sand.  He gave it to me, I need to take care of it.

#4 Give a Gift – Finally, I am going online and making a financial gift to the church as a symbol.  I know where EVERYTHING comes from, Jesus!  The Lord gives and takes away.  I’m not sure what 2014 will bring and neither do you but it is His kingdom, His world, His 2014 and I exist to bring glory to Him.

You may think these are small things, but for me, these things will unlock how I define success in 2014.  Depend on God, love my wife, take care of my body, celebrate his provision.

Party on!



P.S.  In case you missed it here is a short video encouragement for 2014



Click Here to Watch the Video

Josh is the lead pastor of 217church, a multi-site church in Mercer County NJ planted in 2009.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater and Ethel Mcknight School in East Windsor, NJ.  Our new East Windsor Campus Launches Sunday January 12th, 2014  10:15 am at Ethel McKnight School.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services in Hamilton at 9:30 or 11 am! Visit www.217church.com.




The Benefits of Forgiving

In my marriage, I don’t think we could count the number of fights we have had.  It’s not like we don’t love each other, but we are two different people who are both sinful in nature.  No matter what the dispute, one thing is for sure, forgiving my wife is always worth it, even when it hurts.  But the most powerful words you can say are, “Will you forgive me?”

“…if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”  Colossians 3:13

Forgiving each other isn’t easy, as a matter of fact there are times when I don’t want to forgive, but in the end I am always thankful when I choose to forgive and ask forgiveness.


5 Benefits of Forgiving

1. Spiritual Clarity – Show me someone who claims to be close to Jesus, and by asking one simple question I can tell if it is true or not.  Here is that question:  “Is there anyone that you need to forgive?”  If the answer is “yes”, there is a spiritual block.  We see over and over in the New Testament Jesus telling his disciples that He is a God of grace.  When asked how many times one should forgive, Jesus blew the disciples minds and answered, seventy times seven.  (Matthew 18:22) This basically means you can’t stop forgiving.  Once you stop forgiving, stick a fork in your spiritual growth.  If you are willing to forgive, God will immediately excel your growth.  If you want to be on the fast track of God’s plan for your life, learn to forgive.

2. Deeper Intimacy – Whenever Summer and I fight, the intimacy comes when we forgive.  I joked last week as I was preaching that, those who learn how to “make-up” will probably end up “making-out”. It simply means the immediate benefit is depth of relationship.  I’m NOT suggesting you let someone abuse you, but I am reminding you that if you are unwilling to forgive your spouse, your intimacy will always suffer.  When people get married, they want to love and be loved.  Most people don’t get married to be hurt, but two sinners in a relationship will always hurt each other.  Forgiveness is not an option, but a mandate from scripture for marriage!

3. Eliminate Bitterness– Where there is authentic forgiveness, bitterness cannot take root.  I have counseled countless couples that just can’t forgive.  No matter what the offense, it seems the more you choose to withhold forgiveness, the deeper the bitterness penetrates.  Since we are holistic beings, a failure to learn to forgive will affect EVERY area of your life.  Not forgiving your spouse will affect your work, your leisure and worst of all your children.  Kids are perceptive and much smarter than you think.  Even my four-year-old daughter can perceive when mommy and daddy are not being nice to each other, even when we think we are hiding it.

4. A Worthy Example – Have you ever considered how many people are watching you and your marriage?  I’m not trying to stress you out or build the pressure, but if you claim to follow Jesus, your friends are watching to see if there is any substance to your faith.  If your religion is a punch line and a Sunday experience, you are harming the testimony of Jesus.  If there is no difference between you and your co-workers, you need to take a step back.  One of the most harmful things you can do at work is complain about your spouse.  Once you unleash the tongue to tear down your lover to others, they immediately will see through your phony facade of religion and reject your faith.  When you forgive your spouse, people around you benefit exponentially.

5. A Clear Conscience – Simply put, there is not much more satisfying than a clear conscience.   To know even though you did something wrong you asked forgiveness, is pure peace.  To know despite the hurt inflicted upon you, you forgave, IS PRICELESS!  When you forgive others it allows you to move forward with passion and integrity.  This means you have to STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!  When someone says to you, “I forgave”, and then they can’t stop talking about it, they didn’t forgive.  They are medicating with gossip.  If someone isn’t part of the problem or solution, leave them out of it.  Forgiving makes you a person of integrity and will kill your pride.

Dangerous Question: What do you need to forgive your spouse or a loved one for?  Isn’t it time you forgave?

This week at 217church, a Mercer County contemporary Christian church, we will learn from Song of Solomon how to ” Make-Up.” To read last weeks post on “Fighting Fair,” click here.

Mercer County Church Blog Home

Fighting Fair in Marriage – Part 2

If you are going to fight for your marriage, you have to learn to fight fair in marriage.  This is not an easy thing and takes years to master.  Married couples fight about money, sex, division of labor, communication and many other things.  But fighting fair is one of the keys to a lasting marriage.  Last week if you missed PART 1 of FIGHTING FAIR IN MARRIAGE, you can read it here.

“…The tongue of the wise brings healing.”  Proverbs 12:18

10 Ways To Fight Fair In Your Marriage – Part 2

6. Avoid Personal Attacks – Especially as you are younger in your marriage, you won’t know each other as well.  When you discover something about him that is, well, annoying, you have to determine not to attack his character.  One of the most hurtful things you can do is “label your spouse.”  Many of the labels our parents, teachers and friends gave us as children stick with us our whole lives.  These words and labels can control and damage our relationships. Your words should NEVER be a personal attack.  Instead, use phrases like, “Help me understand why…” and “When you do this, it’s hard for me…” Once you make it personal, there is no cool-headed conversation. An ounce of encouragement can go a long way.  Once you find yourself in a personal attack, back off and take a time-out.

7. Be Truthful, Then Trust – This sounds almost ridiculous but it is important to operate with correct information.  I have seen so many couples fight over jumping to assumptions that aren’t even true!  If you have a truth problem, your marriage can never grow in intimacy.  Among us there are those who have been jaded and betrayed, therefore it is harder for us to trust.  The foundation of marriage is built on trust.  I’m not saying being naive, but if your marriage is going to grow, you must learn to trust more.

8. Learn to Listen – I know, I know, this is comical right?  You expect me to listen when I am frustrated?  One thing that will grow your ability to disagree with civility is your ability to listen.  If you are always interrupting and always building your “case” while the other person is talking, you are acting like an emotional child.  When you listen it is important for your spouse to know you heard him or her.  PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING.  This is an exercise where one person talks at a time,  then the other person repeats back to make sure the message got delivered.  “What I heard you say was…”  If this is done, you both know you are communicating effectively.  It is important though that ONE PERSON TALKS at a time!  You can’t listen with your mouth flapping.  Then you switch roles and the other person listens and repeats back.

9. Don’t Win, Heal – You learn quickly in marriage “when you win, you lose.” You should not be about being right and being in control, but perfect love drives out fear.  Often times, people are afraid of losing, ANYTHING.  This includes arguments.  Look your spouse in the eye this week and say, I will never win another argument.  It might seem a bit extreme, but when the motives are wrong in fighting, there is NEVER a resolution, just a temporary break from the fight.  I have counseled more couples where it was evident two people wanted to win the argument.  Then when asked they had the audacity to accuse the other person of just wanting to win the argument.  If you happen to be married to someone who likes to fight, and enjoys confrontation, you will probably need to see a counselor ASAP!  

10. Pray Together Regularly – Want to fight less?  Then pray for and with one another.  Two people who pray together will find it harder to fight about stupid little things.  You learn to “let things go” and not be bitter and eventually grow in your spiritual intimacy with your spouse.  If you have never tried this, START!  You will be amazed at the level of intimacy that grows as Jesus becomes more the center of your marriage.

One last thought:  If you feel like you have tried everything to solve a problem, YOU MUST GET HELP from an outside source.  Maybe the most courageous thing you do this year is see a Christian counselor.  For help with resources in the Central New Jersey area, contact sandy@217church.com.

Mercer County Church Blog Home

This week at 217church, a Mercer County contemporary Christian church, we will learn from Song of Solomon the difficult art of fighting fair with our spouse. Do you fight fair?  Learn to fight fair and your marriage will grow in intimacy and strength.

Mercer County Church Blog Home

Fighting Fair in Marriage – Part 1

I have been married for over seventeen years and there is one thing I can promise you:  You will sin against your spouse.  Many engaged couples don’t like to hear this but once you exchange rings you know it is the truth!  Just because two people love Jesus it doesn’t mean they won’t sin against each other, and there is no such thing as happily ever after.  But there is hope as you learn to YIELD to your spouse and fight fair, NOT to win.  These next two weeks we will look at 10 ways to fight fair in your marriage.

 “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards.”  Song of Solomon 2:15

10 Ways To Fight Fair In Your Marriage

1. Confront with Respect – Are you afraid of confrontation?  Depending on your personality style and how you were raised, your home of origin, or difficult past experiences, you may perceive any conflict or confrontation as an emotionally crushing experience, and RUN at the first sight of confrontation.  You can change this pattern by choosing to confront with respect.  If you choose not to, this can lead to years and years of pain and eventually deep bitterness. Many of us first have to face our fear of confrontation and learn to respect.  People who don’t fight fair use words like, NEVER, ALWAYS and constantly threaten.  Cut down on the drama and show respect for your mate.  Lower your tone, use words of love and NEVER say words that devalue the character of your spouse.  After all, according to the bible, you are “one flesh.” Treat your body with respect.  According to 1 John 4:18, “perfect love casts out all fear.”  Love and respect enough and the fear of confrontation will subside.

2. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down – This sounds simple but is difficult to implement.  This means you have to communicate often.  This doesn’t mean you become religious about finding fault in your spouse, and become a constant complainer, but it does mean that you may actually learn to love the faults in your spouse.  Find time in the day to text, chat and communicate.  A little proactive communication can go a long way to stop the conflict from escalating.  If you put off the conversation too long, it will just explode later.

3. Right Time and The Right Place – Maybe you have heard the phrase, there is a time and place for everything.  This basically means, plan your times to communicate, this includes time to disagree and work things out.  Think ahead!  Many times we get in trouble because we have bad timing.  We fight hungry, we fight spontaneously, and we fight with limited time.  State exactly what is bothering you.  You have probably heard the saying, “time heals all wounds”.  This does not apply to conflicts in marriage.  Time actually can fester and open up old wounds. Remember, timing is everything.

4. Keep Short Accounts – Stick to the subject at hand. Keep it about today.  One of the common mistakes couples make is by eventually bringing up old wounds in a current conversation.  All of the sudden a disagreement about division of labor in the house turns into a one hour battle about a year ago when he said he would do something and dropped the ball.  If you can’t forgive your spouse, why should you expect Jesus to forgive you?  I didn’t say you should let someone take advantage of you, but you need to be willing to forgive.  You can tell how close you are in your relationship with Jesus by the amount of forgiveness you extend to your spouse.  When are you going to forgive her?

5. Your Spouse is Right – One of the hardest lessons to learn in marriage is perception is reality to my spouse.  Even when I don’t think I am being harsh or difficult, if my spouse perceives it, it’s true.  This is a point of humility in marriage.  Remember, you married her.  If you think he is being over-sensitive, you married him.  If you think he is difficult to talk to, you married him.  Marriage can make you more like Jesus than any other relationship I know of.  Learn to be wrong!  Swallow your pride and yield to you lover.  No matter what the argument is about–money, sex, time, work, if you want to grow in your marriage, you better start yielding.  If your spouse says you do, then it’s true. Believe your spouse.  They know you better than anyone.

This week at 217church we will learn from Song of Solomon the difficult art of negotiating and yielding to our spouse. Do you fight fair?  Learn to fight fair and your marriage will grow in intimacy and strength.  We will discover the next 5 next week.


My Prayer For You This Week

This morning, as I was thinking and praying through the first three weeks of our Song of Solomon Series my heart exploded for our 217church family. I know we are each experiencing this series on love, sex, and marriage from a different perspective and I know it isn’t easy.  As a matter of fact, for some of us, it is taking great courage to come and hear about these topics.  I know it hurts.  As much as I know it’s needed, I know it hurts.  I am humbled you are letting me walk through this series with you.  As I was praying this morning, I wanted to share some things I feel God is speaking to different groups of you and let you know how I am praying for all of you today.



How I Am Praying For You

#1 If You Are Divorced – My prayer is that you would sense the deep love and acceptance from Jesus, who in his last moments on the cross, chose a thief to be with him in eternity.  You are never beyond God’s grace and he forgives you.  You have asked forgiveness before in sincerity, and it is finished.  The guilt you feel is not from God.  May you rebuke the enemy as he accuses you and realize the power and confidence you have through Jesus.  “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26.   Although your spouse is not there, Jesus heals.  He heals!  If you are raising children, may you parent them with grace and understanding as you answer their difficult questions and have the joy of raising a Godly child parenting them well.

#2 If You Are Single – My prayer is you would know that Jesus is with you.  He knows what it is like to be lonely and ostracized.  He understands your pain of wanting something and having to wait.  May you never sell out and settle for second best.  Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Jesus understands your feelings and your body belongs to God.  May you raise the standard in your expectations of a future spouse who will love you like you deserve to be loved.  If you are living together with someone who is not your spouse, may you be awakened in your error and may you receive grace from God and move out because you are a person of principle and a child of God.

#3 If You Are Married – My prayer is where there is healing needed you would understand and receive it.  For you who have struggled in your physical intimacy, may you be restored in your marriage.  May your covenant be renewed and may you return to and embrace the wife or the husband of your youth.  Where there has been cheating, may there be restoration, where there has been resentment and bitterness, may you receive peace, forgiveness and oneness with your spouse.  God believes in your marriage. It’s worth it, NEVER GIVE UP! “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:6 

#4 If You Have Been Sexually Abused – The person who abused you stole from you and had no right to, but I pray you will forgive them.  There is healing and there is a pathway forward. Understand no one can ever steal the grace Jesus gives to you and He has the power to restore your mind and the way you think about your body. Know your body belongs to God, He values you and he loves you.

#5 If You Are In An Unhealthy Relationship – My prayer is you find your identity in Christ and not in another person.  May you stop trying to fill the gap in your life with other people and may you turn to Jesus.  May you be a person of courage and break up with that man, woman, boy or girl who is not God’s best for you.  May you be built up by those around you who would encourage you and pour into you more than they take from you.

#6 If You Are a High Schooler or Middle Schooler – Maybe you feel you have blown it and have already made a bad choice.  My prayer is you would know that no boy or girl defines your worth.  Jesus already defined your worth when he died on the cross and claimed everything about you as HIS!  This includes your body.  It belongs to God.  May everything you choose to do with it be a worship to God.  May you live Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

#7 You’ve Remained Pure Sexually – You have been given a gift.  May you remain steadfast in your commitment to your future spouse.  May you find the wife or husband that God has for you in his due time.  May you prepare for your wedding day by drawing close to God and learning to serve, sacrifice and live the Gospel everyday.  May you be blessed with a lifelong covenant help mate that you will serve and draw close to who will show you what it means to be like Jesus.

I love you all and want to remind you about our March 24th Vow Renewal Weekend.  We will be celebrating the marriage covenant and how God will remain faithful to us in our marriages.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

Ok, I have to admit, preaching through the Song of Solomon is not going to be easy.  There are some pretty hot and steamy passages that I’m sure you have never heard preached before.  But why is the church so afraid to talk about something that is ordained by God, planned for our benefit and given as a genuine expression of love between one man and one woman for a lifetime? I think the answer is simple.  We have chosen to let the culture say more about sex than the church does.  That is simply a shame.

After 3 years of ministry at 217church, we are ready to see marriages and families strengthened like never before! Starting January 27, we begin an eight-week series on one of the most overlooked books of the bible, Song of Solomon.  It is an ancient poetic book of the bible written by Solomon as an encouragement to us that sex, love and marriage are God ordained and he has a purpose for them.  We all know “when boy meets girl”, sparks fly and things happen!  But what does God’s think healthy sex, love and marriage should look like? I hope you choose to be in a small group during this season.

Our vision is that we would understand the Gospel of Jesus through this book of passionate affection and steamy love poems. We desire for God to heal us from our broken views of sex and marriage. We will see husbands and wives become more committed to each other and we will see our families strengthened because of a deep love and respect for one another!


How Will We Approach The Book?

 #1 The Stages of A Relationship Over the 8 weeks, we will be looking at the different stages of what happens “when boy meets girl.”  This amazing love story of Solomon and his young beautiful attractive bride will teach us much about how relationships work and don’t work.  Our culture has a broken view of how sex, love and marriage were meant to be. We will travel from the first date to the first kiss, from the wedding to negotiating the marriage, from handling conflict to getting away and taking a sabbath as couples. God is going to heal our past, meet us in the present and protect our future.

 #2 Appropriately with Modesty – Most of us get red in the face when the topic of sex and physical intimacy come up and the church has been silent for much too long on this beneficial, yet explicit book.  It is time for us to take a mature approach and see what God actually says about intimacy through Solomon.  We believe that All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) This means we won’t ignore what the bible says and we will teach it with great care.

#3 With Eyes Wide Open WARNING!  Mature Audiences only!  There will be three weeks specifically where we will ask for only a mature audience to be in the room.  This means the weekend message will not be appropriate for your elementary age student. This means teens and certain pre-teens will need to stay and learn about what the bible says about sex.  What your thirteen-year-old boy already knows about sex may surprise you.  We will do everything possible to use the appropriate amount of discretion but you will just have to trust me on this one as my 12-year-old daughter will be in the room!

The Sermon Schedule:

  • January 27th – The Date
  • February 3rd – The Wedding***
  • February 10th – The Marriage***
  • February 24th – The Negotiation
  • March 3rd – The Fight
  • March 10th – The Make Up
  • March 17th – The Getaway***
  • March 24th – The Family

 (***Indicates the material covered may not be appropriate for younger audiences)


Three Environments of Reinforcement

#1 Weekend Worship – You will not want to miss a weekend, as every Sunday at 9:30am and 11:00am we will worship collectively together.  The environment will be engaging, challenging and may take your marriage to a new height.

#2 Small Group Connection – We are asking each small group to meet for eight weeks.  Each group will get an 8 lesson DVD video curriculum and each person a small group field guide that will help guide them along the way.  We have some fun times planned for your small group with some great ideas for growth.  We want EVERYONE who calls 217church home to be in a small group.

#3 Individualized Application (Just For “teens/me/us” )-  At the end of the 8 weeks, no matter if you are a teenager, single, dating, shouldn’t be dating, married or divorced, you will have individualized action steps for your life.   Relationship are tough work, but the next generation of kids is depending on us to get this right, This is going to be a game changer!


Let’s see what happens when boy meets girl!




Day 31: If You Can Find Her…

Conclusion: This is it, the final day of the 31 days of wisdom.  I pray you have a new habit of reading, writing and praying your way through God’s word.  What’s next?  Now that you have gotten a feel for this discipline, we will be reading through the bible together.  Watch for the daily reading guide and the steps to follow. The first book of the bible we will be studying as 217church together is Nehemiah.  Our final Preview service is February 14 10 am at the AMC 24, yes, that is Valentines Day.  Our topic will be love and relationships.  Here is a teaser to that sermon…

Title: If You Can Find Her…

Scripture Read: Proverbs 31

Key Verse: A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.   Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  Proverbs 31:10-11


This passage of scripture has always intrigued me.  Why?  This woman who is explained seems unrealistic to me.  Not putting the ladies down, but honestly?  I have heard women who have read this and made jokes about this woman.  I have heard men complain to me about their wife saying, why isn’t my wife more like this woman?  In addition, this passage seems to break the traditional mode of the bare foot and pregnant wife that some people want to lock women into.  This woman seems to be business savvy, smart and able to make money buying and selling fields.  She is wise in the marketplace and ready to provide for her family.  She is tireless, giving, secure, strong, dignified and married well.  Seems a bit overwhelming huh ladies?  The attributes here are really quite amazing.  So in the below section there is something for the ladies and for the men.

Applications:  For the men / boys:

Man up – love your wife for who she is: Bottom line, you married her, you selected her out of the billions of women in the world.  She is your responsibility to love and respect.  Regardless of whether or not she can buy or sell a field, your job is to love her.  Treat her better than you treat your own self.

If you are single choose wisely: 31:30 resonates with me, “charm is deceptive and beauty is deceiving.” Look for a woman who is a hard worker and moreover, that doesn’t complain all the time.  Look for a woman who likes her work.  If she complains in the work place, she will saddle you with complaints in the home.  Believe me, raising kids is a lot of work.  She will burden you and you will be miserable.

Do your part, whatever it takes: If you are married, you carry an identity together.  You have to work together to solve your issues.  Men, ‘he’ was respected at the city gates, are you?  It is obvious that this woman married well.  Don’t think you will attract a wife of value if you act like a little boy and are irresponsible, especially with money. Lets talk about debt, if you have it, it’s your responsibility, no one else’s, don’t try and dump it on your spouse.  Don’t make excuses, you signed the bottom line, don’t blame your boss or the company.  No one owes you anything.

Applications For the women / girls:

Don’t compare and complain: As I said to the men, I say to the women.  You married him just the way he is.  Lets talk about finances and debt.  If you have debt, when you married, you knew what you were getting into.  Complain less and contribute and encourage more.  Stop spending money! Every man wants to know there is a wife who loves and believes in him.  Especially if you are just starting out, marriage is hard work, You can’t expect to have everything now.

If you are single choose wisely: YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE MARRIED TO A LAZY MAN!  Ok, I got that off my chest.  But seriously, look at his work ethic.  Look how he treats kids, is he good with them?  Look for someone who takes responsibility.  Does he always blame other people for his current circumstances?  In counseling couples early in their marriage one of the biggest issues of conflict is unmet expectations.

Do your part, whatever it takes: You get the feeling the woman was satisfied with her man and loved him for who he was.  She also did her part, not burdening him with foolish demands.  Words that do not come to mind here are ‘spoiled brat’.  You are God’s daughter, you deserve to be treated with respect, but no one said it would be easy, and no one said you could be lazy either.


Lord, thank you for my wife who is an amazing woman and mother to our children.  Give me the wisdom to love and provide for her to the best of my ability.

Burning Questions:

Married?  Will you make a conscious decision to love your spouse for who he / she is and not burden them with unrealistic expectations?

Single?  Have you made a list of the qualities of what you will and will not date?