Passion Defined

My Story For His Glory

Mind date?!?! What in the world is a mind date??? Well guess what! You’re about to find out!

As you can see, I have decided to continue with my series for now. I have some other ideas in mind, so after this post, I will probably mix in other topics with an occasional continuation of the series, but I wanted to put up one more post before moving on. ;-) This is the idea that got me started on my whole series, but I had to have a solid foundation on which to build upon, hence my previous posts. From here on out, you will know where I’m coming from when you see a “part 4,” “part 5,” etc. in the subject line next to the title. So, let’s get going!

How many of you have ever had a crush? I know, I know, who wants to talk about those silly, premature infatuations with that person that just absolutely seemed to blow you away, but my guess is that most of you have experienced a “crush” at some point or another in your life. We’ve already talked about how courtship helps prevent premature heart attachments in a relationship, whereas dating seems to catalyze it into a careening obsession of infatuation, but what about those years before it’s time to think about marriage? Do you just sit around wishfully thinking about people that just might be the one God has for you? Here are a few thought about, well, what you’re doing with your thoughts!

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”(KJV) The context of this verse is talking about how a man may say one thing, but the intentions of his heart may be entirely different. The principle that we can draw from this is that we can talk about something all we want, but it is what’s in our hearts that is what we truly believe and what we truly are. I could say I believe something all I want, but if I really think something different in my heart, then that is who I truly am.

So we see that what we are in our hearts is what we truly are. So what does that say for crushes and infatuations? When you have a crush on someone, you’re thinking about them all the time and you give your heart away to that person. You think about that guy/girl constantly and can’t seem to get him/her out of you head! I’ve been there; I know what it’s like. I find that my focus and attention always seems to be on one thing: THAT GIRL!!! So let’s think about something: What are the characteristics of crushes? Well let’s see…You give your heart away, your're emotionally attached to that person, your thoughts and desires are always for that person…sound familiar? I hope so! Sounds kind of like dating, huh? When you think about someone too much, you begin to experience the results of a would-be dating relationship. You may never go so far as to physically date a person, and that other individual may not even seem to realize that you even exist, but the consequences are the same as dating! We’re doing it on the inside. As I’ve talked about before in previous posts, we need to guard our hearts with all vigilance, for out of it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23). Crushes and infatuations distract our hearts; we let our guard down. We need to be diligent to keep our hearts, thus saving ourselves from needless pain and frustration. Crushes are like mentally dating; we suffer some of the same consequences as dating. I’ve been on mind dates, and yeah they bring pleasure for the moment, but in the end when I have let my heart slip away, it’s all misery!

I know it’s hard. This doesn’t mean you can’t be attracted; it’s going to happen because that’s the way God made us, but here are some suggestions for what to do when you find yourself wanting to go out on a “mind date.” First of all, know that you may be thinking about someone else’s future spouse! That one always gets me. Also, would you want someone else to think about your future spouse the same way? Would you want your future spouse to think about someone else that way? What would your future spouse think if he/she knew you were infatuated with someone else instead of saving your heart for him/her? And last and ultimately, what does God think about the way you’re thinking about someone else? As single individuals, our focus should be on God and God alone. When we focus on others, we are in effect robbing God of His deserved devotion. We need to think about these questions!

Now I’m going to be honest with you all; personally, this is probably one of my greatest areas of struggle. I am 100% positive that I would never ask a girl out on a date, but when it comes to the way I think about girls sometimes, I have to fight! To all you guys and girls out there, fight to save your heart for that special man or woman that God has just for you! Don’t indulge yourself in “mind dates.” Save your heart for your future spouse!

25 comments:

Maiden of Purity said...

Hey, awesome post! The funny thing is that my friend and I were talking about this last night, and how dumb crushes are, and when you look back at them now, you just laugh, and really realize that you were SO immature! It's true at how crushes will occupy your mmind, even when you tell yourself, "Nuh uh, it's nothing!" But deep down it is. That's really blunt, and yet the thing which catches me is the fact of,"Hey Vanessa, you're thinking of some elses spouse!" :O

Ok, you probably already know that I'm gonna ask a question, it's just something that I DO!

What do you do when a guy has a crush on you? Like when you can really tell, and he never ever leaves you alone? And, are crushes TOTALLY wrong? But don't you think that when that right one comes you will have a crush on the person?

Thanks Joshua...Vanessa

P.S. We're still in TX! :)

Michelle said...

Another really great post, and something that often forgets to be addressed--emotional purity!

I just got finished reading a book called "Emotional Purity" by Heather Paulsen. (Which I would highly recommend everyone to read.) The Lord has really been showing me the importance of emotional purity this past week as I've been reading the book and seeing how important it is. I was actually going to do a whole post on it, but it looks as though you beat me to it! ;) But maybe I can still do one later. :)

Anyway, for any of you interested, here is the blogspot of the lady who wrote the book I mentioned above and you can also buy the book here: http://emotionalpurity.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Good stuff! I agree 100% I always felt that emotional purity was just as important as physical purity.

I found a good thing to get your mind off someone is to pray for them. Every time you think of them, just pray for them instead. It really works! That way, you're diverting your thoughts to something that would please the Lord, praying for them in their spiritual walk, etc. And eventually you will quit continuously thinking about them.

Southern Maiden said...

Joshua -

I totally agree on everything. I NEVER thought of it that way before!!! Mind dating... that takes some deep thinking!! I hope everyone took this to heart - some people are so shallow and just can't accept crushes for what they really are... infatuations. Plus - think of all the good we could work on bringing to the world instead of laying around sighing, thinking totally mushy thoughts about that crush! Think of all we may be missing out on, just moping around all day thinking about him/her!!! That's a great post - thnks. Ü

Southern Maiden said...

Vanessa -

I think if a guy has a crush on a girl, she should stay close to her dad. Or when the Dad ain't there, she should let him know what she thinks of him! Be blunt. Let him know you don't like him stalking you or flirting or whatever the crush is doing. Remind them of the verse about treating brothers and sisters in Christ with all PURITY. And if a crush persists, we are NOT to sit there and try to beat any sort of temptations that might arise. When the wife of Potiphar tried to seduce Joseph, he RAN from the temptation. He RAN AWAY!!!! Don't be afraid to run away if it gets hard to deal with that crush. ;) Guard your heart with all diligence, like Joshua was saying. And always... AAALLLWWWAAAYYYSSS ask the Lord for help - for by ourselves and without faith we CANNOT please Him.

Marc said...

Hey Joshua, great post. It really makes sense!!! But it's a difficult thing to do, I know that for sure.

Is there any difference between a crush and a attraction?? I mean, I know crushes are wrong and all, but what can you do if you just can't absolutly stop thinking about a girl/guy??? And I know we are to guard our hearts, but when that perfect one comes into your life, won't it be normal to be thinking about them a lot??

poetic_capture said...

Great post!
This is something I struggle with a lot. It's so easy to let yourself get caught up thinking about a certain guy/girl, when you should really be using that mental energy thinking on the things of Christ. Not dwelling on some person who is most likely someone else's wife/husband!

Thanks for posting about this! A lot is talked about physical purity, but not so much about emotional purity.
-Rebecca

Joshua said...

I figured you would have a question Vanessa but that's okay, because I was actually really hoping that someone would ask that question! So, what do you do when someone has a crush on you? There are a couple things you can do, and the first one I would echo Southern Maiden: Stick close to your dad, and/or mom. This goes for guys and girls alike. It makes it ackward for someone that likes a guy or girl to be around their parents if he/she has wrong motives. Also, make sure you aren't alone with that person...EVER!!! If it happens, try to get out of it as soon as you can. There are ways to aviod it politely, but if you can't, then just do what you need to do to get out! I would advocate not being with a guy/girl alone (whichever your case may be) just as a general rule anyway 'cause it avoids an appearance of evil. Also, don't go out of your way to talk to that person. You can be polite, but you don't have to encourage conversations or interaction. If you don't make an effort to carry on, usually someone will get the idea. If being polite doesn't work, then you may have to talk to the person and just honestly say that the way they're acting around you is making you feel uncomfortable. You may not have to outright say, "Hey you have a crush on me, I don't like it so get lost," but you can take him/her aside and say something like, "I've noticed that you seem to be hanging around me a lot, and sometimes the way you act makes me feel uncomfortable." It's an uncomfortable situation no matter the extent of it, so the best advice I can give is seek the Lord about what to say, and don't fail to seek the counsel of your parents. If it comes to a point when you need to confront the person, I wouldn't do it without talking to your parents. They may have wisdom or thoughts that you never considered. Last, I would say that it's never inappropriate to ask your parents to talk to the guy/girl. That's what they're there for! If they need to talk to the person, or even the parents if the behavior is getting out of control, then they will do it! I know my parents are willing to do whatever they need to do to protect me and my siblings form emotional hurt. So yeah, those are my initial thoughts...

Joshua said...

Ah, good questions Marc! Yes, there is a difference between attractions and crushes. First of all, I just want to make note of something: Attractions aren't just limited to the physical factor. You can be attracted to someone because of their looks, but you can also be attracted because of personality, common interests, or things like that. I may be "attracted" to people because of what we may have in common, and yes physical appearance may have a great deal to do with that, but it's what we DO with that attraction that makes it a crush or not. Attractions can lead to crushes if we are not careful. To sum it up, this is how I would describe the difference between an attraction and a crush: I would say attraction is when you see/know a person and like them for who or what they are. A crush is when you begin to desire something more out of the person than a pure, healthy, God-honoring relationship can bring. Does that make sense? I have attractions, but I have to make sure that I don't let them go further than they need to. I have to guard my heart when I find myself thinking more and more about a person. Like I've said before, we're going to have attractions because that's the way we're made, but we need to be careful and not let them turn into crushes.

Also, what to do to try and not think about someone too much...The advice that 'anonymous' gave is the best that I can give as well: Pray for that person! Also, pray for that person's future spouse. One thing that also really helps is telling your parents about it. I know, who wants to do that, but in the past when I have told my parents about a crush I have had, it gives such freedom and now they know and can be praying with you about it.

Oh, you will ABSOLUTELY be thinking about that person when he/she comes into your life, but think about the context. You will first be thinking about them as a possible future spouse. You will still have the mindset that this is still time to see if a marriage would work. In a God-honoring courtship, you will certainly have feelings for that person, but as with attractions vs. crushes, we need to be careful that our feelings don't dictate our actions. We still need to be thinking about the possibility that this could be someone else's spouse and go about it with all purity. As God works in a courtship and the individuals involved do see that this is indeed God's will, then the feelings are going to come naturally. I don't think that's going to be a problem! ;-) We just need to be careful with our feelings until the time for committment has come.

Leah said...

Joshua, I'm commenting on your blog. :)

Vanessa, I agree with what anonymous said in that praying for the person you have a crush on (or that has a crush on you) really does help. You can also, whenever you think of that person, pray for their future spouse as well as yours. Doing that gives you a whole new perspective! Another thing is, as well as staying close to your parents, is keeping close to your brother. Big brothers are a great help. Especially when you have the kind of relationship that you can say, "Hey, this person won't leave me alone! Can you keep him away from me please?!" (Actually, when someone asked if I had a boyfriend, a girl next to us said, No way! Joshua would beat up the first guy that tried to date Leah! :)

Guys, if can go the other way too. Sisters can be a great help. :) They can also notice things that you guys don't and can give a feminine perspective. So build good sibling relationsips! That's one thing I'm really working on right now!

~Leah

Daniel said...

Once again a really good post. Very good advice everyone though I will add to when you confront someone about a crush. I would say that pretty much in that sitaution NEVER confront them alone, ever. As I'm pretty sure has been said (I have been at camp and I talked about the same thing so I don't remember lol) when you have emotions swimming in your head, you are not thinking straight. So while you might get the message across, it might just make it worse because it might seem to be giving them specific attention. Take someone else with you, or probably even better get someone of the same sex as the other person to go and talk to them. It just helps to keep them from adding more wood to the fire.

One who is not guilty before the Lord,
Daniel

Moriah said...

Wonderful post, Josh! You're right. When you really look at it 'crushes' are very similar to dating!

Maiden of Purity said...

Hey, well, I have heard about praying for that 'crush', but doesn't that create more thoughts? I have had friends in the past think of a certain guy and they would plan the entire wedding to their desire, etc. I told them to pray about this, and for the Lord to take away those thoughts and also pray for this certain guy. Nevertheless, this one girl said she tried to pray for the guy, but everytime she did, her thoughts would go wild and she would think of him more. What then could I tell them? I know from others that the crush issue is one of the biggest strongholds for teens, sad isn't it?!

Allison said...

Vanessa,
From the way you worded your question it sounded like a past situation, but here are a few ideas that might be alternatives in such a case. Suggest that she pray for other people or quote Scripture. (Phil. 4:8 would be good!) But if she went so far as to "plan" a wedding, that's pretty extreme! I would suggest that she confess to her parents and allow them to pray with and for her. I know it wouldn't be easy, but they can certainly help!!

I would also suggest that if someone is struggling like that to limit the interaction with the person if it is encouraging wrong thoughts/feelings, which is seems like it would.

But above all, we must remember that we are not capable of guarding our hearts on our own. It is only possible by giving your heart to the Lord and asking Him to teach you how to actively guard and protect it.

Joshua said...

Here are a few suggestions that I have in addition to Allison's really good comments! First of all, here is a personal observation. From my own life, I know at times it's hard to pray for a person and not let that lead to more bad thoughts because of one main thing: I'm not truly willing to give that person up to God. My father always tells me, "We can help show you what is right, but the desire to change has to come from within." What he means by that is he can help guide me and direct me, but if I'm not truly willing to let the Lord work through me then nothing much is going to change. For me, I have to come to the point of release and truly give the situation to God before I can pray for that person with the right perspective. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! I would recommend that you examine your heart and make sure that you want to do what is right, no matter how good it may seem in the flesh. It ultimately has to come from a desire to do what is right, both for yourself, and the other person. From the description you gave, and based upon my own tendencies, it sounds like the individual may not have been ready to give up something that seemed to bring fulfillment. I could very well be wrong and there could have been other factors, but this it true in my own life. If we can't truly pray for someone that we may be struggling with, we may need to search our hearts and see if there's something we're still clinging onto.

Also, as Christians we are dead to the power of sin in our lives and we need to live in the power and strength of Christ. Since we have been given new life in God, we have to choose to sin; it's not something we can excuse as something we don't have any control over because Christ has given us the power and the victory in Himself to overcome all things. We have to willfully go against the Spirit in order to do what's wrong. So, when it comes to wrong thoughts, we DO have the power and victory to overcome them because sin no longer has dominion over us. My pastor has been going through Romans and lately we have been in chapter 6, which deals with being dead to sin and alive to Christ. I am by no means anywhere near having it all figured out myself, but I'm working on it, knowing that I now live in the power of Christ! So here's my suggestion after the "mini-sermon." ;-) Whenever you may be having a struggle with thoughts, just tell yourself, "I'm dead to that!!!" Those thoughts don't have any authority over us unless we let them. Remember that you are dead to sin and its reign, and you DO have the power in Christ Jesus to overcome it. I know that it's a real fight sometimes to say, "I'm dead to that," but it's true, and once we realize that we are dead to sin, we need to cry out to God for His strength to fill us and help us overcome!

Allison said...

Joshua, very good points! As you implied, it really is an issue of surrender. God wants our whole heart, and if we hold back because we desire the immediate gratifications then He's going to remind us that He can't give us His power over that area until we are willing to completely surrender it to Him. As long as we hold onto those selfish desires it creates a stronghold in our life and prohibits God from fully being able to work in us. So we need to surrender, and then by God's grace allow Him to teach us how to live in the Spirit and have victory in that area.

Maiden of Purity said...

Allison, lots of wisdom in both of your comments. Thanks for your input and for coming on in and giving your advice and knowledge on this.

Joshua, another long and wordy comment! ;p

Anyways, I know I often write and ask comments such as the one I did, the reason to that is because a lot of my friends are girls who are a tad younger than I am and they will ask me questions as such. Many times I will give them what I think, but overall to search the scriptures, talk to God first, and ask your parents for help and accountability. I hope y'all really don't mind, but there is one more thing that I'm quite confused about, and this young lady is waiting for my answer...
She simply asked me yesterday, "Vanessa, is it normal for me to have SO many thoughts of guys? Why am I so crazy about this?" I have a thought to give her, and yet I'd love to know what y'all think!

P.S. (Sorry Joshua for leaving SO many comments-again...I just HAVE so much to say on this topic(s)).

Joshua said...

Haha, I don't mind discussion or questions; I encourage it! These are really important issues and I love to hear what others are thinking or wondering.

As far as your question, I think I'm going to have to back off on this one. The reason why is because I'm a guy and I only understand to a limited extent a little about the thoughts, desires and tenencies of females. If there are any young ladies that would like to share their thoughts regarding this question, then that would be wonderful, but due to my ignorance, I think I'll have to leave it up to the women! ;-) I honestly don't know what is "...SO many thoughts..." in regard to girls' thoughts, so I don't feel adequate to respond. Please don't think I'm trying to be rude or anything; I just don't know! :)

There is one truth that I can think of that DOES apply to this situation, guy or girl. When someone (guy or girl) is having many, many thoughts about those of the opposite sex, it often indicates that they're searching for something that can't/shouldn't be fulfilled at that time. If someone is having uncontrollable thoughts about others, then they may be trying to fill a place in their hearts that only Christ is meant to fill. When we do that, it's called idolatry because we place our own desires ahead of Christ and we try to fill our wants with something other than the Lord. I struggle with this too. I think that's another aspect about crushes that we can ponder; it's idolatrous because we place a person above Christ. Anyway, I feel that is the only way I can sufficiently answer! Others, feel free to chime in!

Daniel said...

We like it when you ask questions, or at least I do :D I'm gonna go basically with what Josh said in that I am a guy and therefore don't understand how girls exactly work. But I will throw this out in conjunction with what he said. To a degree some thoughts are natural, we are sexual creatures, we're designed that way. Therefore we are attracted to the opposite sex, but it is just how far we take those thoughts. Just wanted to throw that out there.

Daniel

Michelle said...

Hi Vanessa,

I thought I would add a suggestion to your friend's question..... :)

Yes it's normal for girls to have thoughts like that! :) God made us more emotional and as Daniel said we are going to be attracted to the opposite sex. God wired us all that way! However,the thing we need to remember is to surrender EVERYTHING to the Lord including our thoughts, and tell the Lord when we are struggling with someone. There is really nothing we can do in and of ourselves, but it's only through the Lord's power that He can set us free from those thoughts if we surrender them to Him. Another good thing to help us, is to quote scripture about having pure thoughts.

But I did want to add to any guys reading this....as we girls strive to dress modestly, since y'all are more visual, us girls are more emotional. In the same way, guys really need to be careful that they treat all girls the same unless there is an expressed interest. If you treat one girl better than another, girls will analyze it more and think more than there is! (Especially if the girl already likes you!) So be careful in your words and actions that you won't be causing a young lady to stumble by your words and actions toward her!

Also, a very good point that Joshua made.....don't let someone become an idol in our heart! If we are letting someone else try to fill that void, then we are basically saying "Lord, you're not enough for me. I need someone else to make me happy besides you."

Anyway, I'm sure you all already knew all that, but just since you asked, those are my two cents. ;)

I'll be praying the Lord would give you the right words to tell this young lady, Vanessa. :)

Blessings!
~Michelle

Maiden of Purity said...

Joshua, I totally understand you, and don't think that you have come across as rude. I'd rather have someone be honest with me, than trying to cover up their answer with the best they can. You're not Mr. know it all! ;) I would be in the same shoes if something like this occurred on my blog, and I appreciate your honesty, and giving it out to anyone else!
However, what you mentioned concerning my question was already quite helpful. I've actually have asked God about this question and I'm going to begin searching the scriptures out. This girl is really eager to know what I think! Although, I hope at least one girl will comment her thoughts on your blog!?!

P.S. (I bet Leah and Rachel are counting my comments?!! lol)

Daniel, thanks for your input as well, y'all are trying the best you can-for being guys! I should of known that a question like that is an iffy one for y'all...

In Christ, Vanessa

Maiden of Purity said...

Hahaha, thanks Michelle. You posted your comment three minutes before mine! Thanks a lot for coming on in and giving your insight on this. Exactly, girls are more emotional and what you said is totally true to the fact of girls will notice if a guy treats this girl better than this one. However, the surrendering part is the truth, and giving it totally to Christ. It's a blessing to know that we can give it all to Christ, if only we would trust in him!

Allison said...

Vanessa,
I don't feel knowledgeable enough to answer your question, but here are a few things off the top of my head.

Yes, it is normal to have thoughts about guys, but we do need to be careful and make sure our intial thoughts don't lead us to sin.

But there are also ways to feed those thoughts, which I think could be reasons why it's so hard for your friend to not think about guys!

Romance movies, novels, music, magazines and such can feed impure thoughts and then make it harder to keep your thoughts pure. If something you're reading, listening to, etc., is feeding wrong thoughts, then you need to get rid of it! That's one reason why I think it's so important to be careful what we allow into our minds.

Maiden of Purity said...

Thanks Allison, Michelle, and Leah (who wrote me an email), for all of the answers, and options! I got back with the young lady yesterday, and it was funny because I added something what each of y'all said! She didn't say much in reply, only tried to state herself that she doesn't listen to bad music, and watching TV wasn't the option either. Well, at least I tried to help her out, and I really appreciate y'all for helping ME out! I'm more than positive that some of the stuff I mentioned will stick in her mind! :) Thanks again!

In Christ's Love, Vanessa

Lexi said...

This was such a timely post! Over the past month or two God has really convicted me of this area in my life. I've found that whenever the first thoughts enter my mind or whenever they crop back up again, praying for God's help and strength to take these thoughts captive is the first line of defense. Truly, praying for God's strength to defeat these tempting thoughts has been most helpful for me.

No one can see your thoughts (except God of course) so it can be very easy to fall into this cyclical trap and "get away with it". But there will be consequences one way or another.

"Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour." 1 Peter 5:8

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