How To Pick A Spouse by Dan Chun
With increasing global culture, there's a push to assume that - what we need most is an exclusive relationship. We share in our lessons at True Love Waits Philippines that "There is ONE THING that we need most"....."Let's Begin That Search!"
Many search for Captivation, Acceptance, Love, Faithfulness and Forgiveness. It's common and you might be asking yourself when everything is quiet and you are alone "Who Can Satisfy My Emptiness?" That's not "a great question", it's THE QUESTION.
In September 2015 I had the opportunity to speak to the college students at FPCH in beautiful Hawaii where Pastor Dan Chun is leading a great community of people to Love God, Love people and reach the world for Jesus Christ. My question for his students was not "Do you want to love and be loved?" But I did ask them "Who Loved You First?" Answer: God. The reason for my question is like the view of author Dan Chun, at True Love Waits we are helping people find their destiny in Jesus Christ.
And honestly, if it's true that God loved you first, then our number one pursuit of a life-long partner must be filtered by finding someone who's goal is also helping people find their destiny in Christ.
Dan Chun's book is filled with practical wisdom on choosing the right spouse. In thirteen years working with Filipino young people True Love Waits Philippines has encountered hundreds of thousands of single young adults on campuses across the Philippines and millions of Filipinos through print media, TV and Radio. While visiting Hawaii at lunch with Dan he handed me a copy of this book that you will read. Over the next three days I read the entire book almost without putting it down, I immediately asked Dan "How can we get this in the Philippines?" This is the story of why you are reading this blog today and Dan's book getting in your hands soon. There are many realities to relationships and the breakup is an important issue.
"You either break up or you get married. Its a reality, but once you start dating, those are generally your only two options." Dan Chun
We are writing this blog and promoting Dan's book to ask for your help in getting the word out through social media and friends. It's not enough if we only reach you. There's a quote "The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time" which is a catchy phrase but not completely true. The gospel is good news - period. On the other hand advice on how to pick a spouse is good news if it gets there in time - period.
Yesterday, I picked up one hundred copies of the book by Dan Chun - How To Pick A Spouse. I was taking them to the True Love Waits office in Ortigas. I had to make a trip to a store along the way and before getting out of the vehicle, I picked up one copy and took it with me. I thought maybe I might encounter someone who needs this good news. I was doing some shopping and had layed the book down to look while shopping. The sales associate's head was turned sideways reading the book title on the spine. With surprise, the associate said "Wow, nice book!" I responded and then we entered into a conversation about TLW, what we do and why I had the book. As other sales associates were gathering around my impromptu "Love Revolution Talk", I asked the question "Do you have a special someone in your life?" to which I heard the heart breaking response. "I'm separated." My heart broke at that point. And then she said "I wish I had this book 6 years ago before I got married, it would have saved me so much pain" Long story short, I gave the book to the associate, challenged this person to share with co-workers and gave an information on our next TLW event.
This heart of True Love Waits Philippines - to Connect Filipino Youth with God and His Plan for Absolute Purity. But not simply to bring someone to our office or to be a part of our events but to equip Filipino Youth to know solutions to life's problems and provide encouragement that there is hope for growing closer to God's plan for those people that you encounter daily.
This week I watched a video by Software Developer Jeff Lawson founder of Twilio where they are known for Platform Evangelism. You might be thinking right now.... "What is Twilio?" Good question. Twilio is a company that builds apps to communicate with everyone in the world. The company is only 8 years old and worth 2 billion USD. In a June presentation Founder Jeff Lawson said that a goal was to fuel the future of communications. Jeff said "We want to be the fuel to your fire -that's our mission". When I heard Jeff say that was his mission, it sounded familiar. He went on to use phrases like - Change the World, Be a Doer. And that Twilio is by developers and for developers and that there were 1,000,000 developers in the Twilio community. At this point, even though I know nothing about software or apps and even though I am a tech-dummy, I was getting excited.
I know this sounds like a blog about Twilio. But stay with me. It's about How To Pick A Spouse. But it is also our goal to use our platform to communicate with everyone in our world by fueling your fire so that you can be a doer and change the world around you!
Each of these points by Jeff are points that will help you help True Love Waits, because True Love Waits is by Filipino Youth for Filipino Youth! Jeff said that agility or always making improvements despite mistakes was one of the keys to their growth. And then Jeff dropped the bomb. He said that they way they improve was by listening and building and that the way that they do that was IN SMALL GROUPS!
I was like - YES!
Small Groups is one of the Big Ideas in How To Pick A Spouse, True Love Waits and in the bible -
"You need to give your friends permission to speak into your life. We need to give permission to our friends to tell us the brutal facts about what they think of our date/boyfriend/girlfriend, because it takes a community to choose a spouse."
One thought that Dan teaches us in his book How To Pick A Spouse is that as you begin your relationship with the opposite sex in an exclusive dating type relationship, it is extremely important that you continue hanging out with your usual friends. Often the scenario is you have close fellowship with your friends and once you are captivated by your handsome prince, then all of your friends turn into frogs. Don't forget, you need a Colony of Frogs to help you know if the guy that you are pursuing is prince material. Dan calls these people designated truth tellers.
Like the Twilio vision, you need a small group to empower you because you will encounter problems that need to be solved. If an application fails on your smart phone, its a sad day and you you need to re-load it. But if your marriage fails, it's more like your smart phone was run over by a jeep. How To Pick A Spouse will help you avoid getting smashed by a jeep in regards to your love life.
THE WEIRD ZONE
In How To Pick A Spouse, Dan talks about being in the Weird Zone. You might know the friend zone, that's another zone. So what is the Weird Zone? Dan writes "What happens when you enter The Weird Zone? You can become infatuated, which means you start to lose touch with reality. Here are some signs that you are in the Weird Zone:
- You no longer see any faults in the person
- You want to spend every free moment with that person
- You start trying to cut corners at work to be with that person
- You stop listening to your friends' warnings about that person
If you notice this in yourself or others, be careful, for you hare entering into The Weird Zone of infatuation. Infatuation blinds us from seeing the practicality of what's true. The Weird Zone might lead you into a disastrous relationship.
At True Love Waits we have some friends who own an event company that plans weddings. Our friend shared with us some statistics on the amount of time that people invest in choosing flowers, including traveling to numerous shops and looking at displays, selecting a cake, the time spent trying on dresses, choosing a photographer, and a videographer, and writing your own vows. Adding up all of those hours, and the money invested into the wedding day it looks like the time invested in starting a 2 billion dollar technology startup. It's a lot.
But if you ask couples how much time was invested and the importance of pre-marital counseling, the room is silent.... How To Pick A Spouse reasons that pre-marital counseling will help couples see -
- If they are infatuated
- If they have a realistic view of one another
- If there are things in character or background that would be too hard to overcome
STATISTICS ON FILIPINO MARRIAGES
How To Pick A Spouse will help guide you in avoiding the relationship that I mentioned of the sales associate. And if you don't think it can happen to you or maybe that's the kind of marriage problems in the west, sad to say we also have lots of challenges here in the Philippines.
From the National Statistics Office and the Office of Solicitor, there are lots of numbers and if you google Filipino Separation or Annulment, you'll find a variety of articles in the media. Below are just a few of those numbers. There are many ways to bend the numbers to the point that you want to make and it's a lot to explain but at the end of all of your research you will discover that we also have problems in the Philippines.
Approximately one half of one million people get married every year. Most are civil marriages making up a little more than 40% of all marriages. Lots of those married were married in February and the second most popular is May. The average number of people who filed for annulments in the last three years in the Philippines is approximately 10,000 annually, another statistic reports 2.4 million Filipinos in a live-in relationship and not married. A report also shows an average age for those filing for annulment is 21-25 years of age and the length of those marriages being 1-5 years. A report also showed that 82% of those had children.
Government statistics and other research data also show that cohabitation or live-in relationships before marriage actually increases the likelihood of divorce or separation. Contrary to the thought that if you have sex before marriage or live-in first that that will help you know if he or she is the one.
At the end of all of the fact searching we are missing much. In TLW we encounter a greater number of people who come from broken families. Even the day that I was shopping, I looked around the room and I said to the sales associate "Look at the 10 men in this area, most probably 5 of them come from broken families." It's only a guess but if you work in True Love Waits for 13 years and encounter hundreds of thousands of youth, you don't need to read the paper or google to know that the problems for a great number of our Filipino families is deep and heart breaking.
SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE
In Chapter 3, there is a story of Jenny who was actually participated in a True Love Waits event but somehow had been misguided in the purpose of what True Love Waits is all about. Her focus was on getting the participants to sign a commitment card, rather than understanding that purity is more than virginity. When God's word speaks about purity, it is not necessarily always about sexuality. Biblical purity is heart, emotions actions and speech as well as your body.
One quote is "Purity is an all encompassing life-style, not simply the absence of sex." But even that quote falls short of what God wants for all of us.
Purity is connecting with God's plan for Absolute Purity and that can only happen when we acknowledge that in all of our efforts we can never be pure. Even the greatest speakers, authors and yes, even Dan Chun or Derek Ross can never be pure on our own. Maybe you are reading this now and you are very pure in comparison to your friends. We have True Love Waits volunteers that might be described this way. But you might also have made some choices in the distant past or even as recent as the time you are reading this blog. Both categories of people are still in one category when we are compared to the purity of Christ.
Here are two statements that describe the heart of True Love Waits.
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" 2 Cor 5:21
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit" 1 Peter 3:18
If you've made mistakes in past relationships, there may have been many causes. In Dan's book he shares about THE 7 Cs exercise. He writes that people get married for a variety of reasons including looks, loyalty, sense of humor, wealth, fun, spiritual depth, character, hormones and sex appeal.
The 7 Cs are - Character, Chemistry, Competency, Culture, Commitment, Communication and Core Values.
How To Pick A Spouse will help you think like we think at True Love Waits that many singles make a list of what they want in a spouse which is not a bad thing by itself. Remember, the ten commandments is a list of do's and don'ts and so it has to be an okay system. But rather than your list for them, what if you work on being the person that someone might want to marry! We should all be on a progressive pattern of growth and change for hopefully the better.
BUGS AND THE OPERATING SYSTEM
Dan also writes about antivirus software, that our relationship pursuits should have warning signs. Including things to look for in the person that should to an extreme, not be there including - Stinginess, Anger, Codependency, Blame Game, Deception, Possessiveness, Additions, Spiritual Incompatibility, Self-centeredness, and Lack of Social Awareness.
Making lists of warning signs is important but we can also turn those into mirrors. Do you exhibit some of these signs. Like we mentioned above, rather than making lists for your perfect future mate, maybe you can also work on some of these areas of your life.
And then, of course the good list. What are the traits that you look for in a future mate? You may have heard these ideas in our Love Revo Talk. In How To Pick A Spouse, Chapter 8 is The Good OS (Operating System) Calm in the Heat of Battle, Easily Able to Apologize, A True Listener, Demonstrates Humility, Values Your Opinions, Willing To Compromise, Exhibits Parent Potential, Displays a Forgiving Attitude, Good at Resolving Conflict, Trustworthy, Shows Financial Responsibility, Speaks and Acts with Kindness, and is a Church Attender.
If you've been to a Love Revo Talk in a school or heard our talks in your church, you'll see why we are partnering with Pastor Dan. His book is so great that you might think that we wrote it! Oh... wait, "#4 Demonstrates Humility", well, no one is righteous... not even the Director of True Love Waits.... Note to self, practice what you preach!
Dan covers in the last three chapters Online Dating, What The bible Says About Marriage and Remarriage.
THE THREE M's
At True Love Waits Philippines we agree with Author/Pastor Dan Chun that three of the most important decisions in life are Mission, Mate and Master.
- Mate: Who will be my spouse?
- Mission: What is my purpose or passion in life?
- Master: To whom will I dedicate my life? To Jesus Christ or to someone (or something) else?
This book if filled with wisdom. I cannot say enough about how great a job Pastor Dan did in laying out a practical guide to finding a lifelong partner. Stay tuned to our social media for more information about Dan and his next trip to Manila. And join us by forming a small group in your area to promote this new book. We will be posting on www.facebook.com/truelovewaitsph, www.twitter.com/truelovewaitsph and https://www.instagram.com/truelovewaitsph/
How To Pick A Spouse is available for sale now and we have P220 copies at the True Love Waits office near DepEd, Meralco, Shaw Blvd. We will also be giving some copies of the book away for various online competitions so, stay tuned tuned to our social media and our website.
If you want to invite the True Love Waits Staff and volunteers to your community, school, business, radio show, TV show, or ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet, please contact us!
True Love Waits Philippines