3 Things I have learned from our 1st year of Marriage

This one deserves a post! It’s been a year since we got married, and time goes by very fast if you are in love, and happy with the person that you are married to.

The night before our anniversary we were watching our same-day-edit video. While watching it, each scene flashed backed in my mind. It was one of the most memorable and happiest moments of my life. The past year has been great, as I realize and experience the joy of being married to someone that God has gifted me with. Honestly, some say that the first year is hard because there are lots of adjustments, but in our case, it was really very smooth and easy. Here are 3 things I have learned from our one year of marriage.

#1 – IT IS REALLY A JOY TO BE MARRIED TO SOMEONE WHO LOVES THE LORD THE SAME WAY THAT YOU DO.

Ef Sorongon Speaking in CCF Sta RosaThis year opened a lot of speaking opportunities for me, and in those speaking engagements I really try partnering with my wife. I have asked her numerous times to share a testimony or story of how God worked in her life and in those moments, she has always said “yes!” This made me realize how crucial it is to marry someone who has the same faith and passion as you. Truly, there is wisdom with what God said in 2 Corinthians 6:14. She has also always supported my meetings with my small group and ministry team. There are even times, wherein she will wait for me in church until my small group and I would finish at 11:30pm in the evening. Plus, when we had our discipleship outing two weeks ago, she was there to serve and cook for us even though she was the only girl amongst seven boys. She never complained and always showed joy in her service to me. Being married to her is really such a blessing.

#2 – THE ROOT CAUSES OF OUR CONFLICTS IS ALWAYS MY SELFISHNESS

I can count the number of conflicts that we had for the past year with my fingers. We rarely fight, and when we do I normally know what caused it – it’s my selfishness.

Bag of Bean Tagaytay with my small group

Bag of Beans Tagaytay with my small group after our outing

I remember one time, we had a fight. It was my rest day and I just wanted to relax. I saw my wife stressed because of work and I asked her what was wrong. She didn’t respond. Deep within my mind, I thought that she was ok since maybe she was just stressed and she didn’t want to talk about it. So I left her and started playing with my tablet to unwind. Then after a couple of minutes she came to me, wanting my attention. That irritated me because I felt it was unfair for her to suddenly want my time when I was willing to give it before unwinding – so it led to a fight.

The root cause of all conflicts is selfishness. Think about it, what was the cause of the previous conflicts you had in your life? Was it because YOU did not get what YOU want? Was it because YOUR expectations were not met? Was it because YOU were hurt? Look at all of those reasons and you will see it’s because YOUR focus was on YOURSELF. But if we will all learn to be selfless and love like Jesus, this will help our relationships be more peaceful and Christ-like.

#3 – THERE WILL BE REAL JOY IN YOUR MARRIAGE IF GOD IS AT THE CENTER OF IT.

Sorongons in Bellevue Hotel BoholThis is the main reason why I believe our marriage had a wonderful first year. Without God, I know I will always allow my pride to get the best of me resulting to conflicts and arguments. Without those moments I spend with God, I know I won’t be able to draw strength to love my wife unconditionally. We love because He first loved us. We draw love from Him, to love others. And I know I won’t be faithful with my thoughts and actions if it was not for God. Every time I think about how good He has been and how much of a precious gift my wife is, it makes me really want to be loyal to her and be faith to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ

One year has passed and we are looking forward to more years ahead. Thank you for all those who prayed for us and has supported us. With God by our side, I know we’ll be able to finish the race set before us all for His glory and name! God bless everyone!

 

His Man and His Woman Q&A (Part 2)

It’s been two months since I posted the first of part of this series. I know some of you were anticipating the second entry. Again, there were so many panel questions we weren’t able to answer during our Biblical manhood and womanhood series. This entry is meant to continue that topic.

 ———————————————————–

 

Question #3:

Hi! It has been said men should step up. Could you expound more on what stepping up is and what it means?

Answer #4:

I have seen single men who are passive. It breaks my heart because I see so much potential in them, but they don’t want to step up. When I say “step up,” it means being more involved in the context of ministry. I want them not to be scared of volunteering, taking a leadership position, and preaching the Gospel if they have to. It also means doing what God wants them to do even if that might result in failure along the way.

For example a lot of men need to share the gospel and disciple other men, they need to obey God’s commission to make disciples and evangelize. They cannot allow their fear of failure to hinder them from building their own DGroup and spreading the Good News.

A lot of men don’t step up because they’re scared of failure. They have to accept the possibility that they might fail along the way. Not that they want to, but as imperfect human beings, we are prone to mistakes. It’s not about making mistakes or failing. It’s how you come back strong that will define your character and leadership.

So men, step up. Don’t be scared to lead, fail, and not know everything before doing so. Be scared of being passive and disobedient to God’s direction in your life.

 

Question #4:

How do you make sure that your single life is maximized for the Lord?

Answer #4:

Whenever I hear this question, I always think about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:34.

“…and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

So to maximizing your single life to the Lord is being undivided in your devotion to Him. This means while you’re a single individual, you will make the most out of your time to focus on Him and what He wants you to do. You have the luxury of time, so go and attend as many conferences, seminars, and Bible studies that you can. You are free from serious commitment, so serve God as well. Serve in a ministry. Build your discipleship group. Go to different mission trips. The insight here is: Spend your time on activities that have eternal value.

 

Question #5:

What if you see your preferences in a girl who goes to the same church (Connect)? How would you respond?

Answer #5:

Don’t be aggressive and carried away by your emotions. First pray, then observe. Observe how that girl serves the Lord, how that girl worships the Lord, how that girl studies God’s word, how that girl relate to other people, and that girl’s lifestyle. In time, combined with prayer and the blessing of your parents, DGroup leader, and other related mentors, look for opportunities to know her more in a group setting (refer to my answer in the first question about group settings).

Then when everything seems to be clear, and you sense this might be the person that God wants you to pursue, ask your mentors what the next steps are. Just ensure that you are covered with lots of prayer and accountability.

 

Question #6:

How should a godly man respond to a girl that made up a story about him?

Answer #6:

First of all, how did the news come to you? Did you have a friend that said this is happening in their DGroup? Or did you personally see and hear the girl gossiping to her DGroup about you? If you personally saw and heard that happening, you have to confront that individual. You should rebuke the individual in a loving way. You can politely butt in and say, “Pardon me, I overheard your discussion but that is not actually what happened…” Then you explain what actually happen or say the real story. Then ask the person who was telling the wrong story why she is sharing something untrue from what actually happened.

Your objective is not to embarrass her in front of her friends, but to understand her heart and what led her to do this.

But, if this is news you heard from a second- or third-hand source, it may not be wise to confront the individual.  One thing you can do is pray for that person. Another thing you can do is to respond in a godly way. Do not be affected by this gossip since they are sharing a wrong story about you. You know the truth. There’s no need to worry if you really know that you did nothing wrong. Allow your life and your actions to speak the truth. If you do that and you are above reproach, whatever people negatively say about you will not be accepted by others because they’ve seen the real you. Pray and surrender this to the Lord. Allow your godly actions to speak louder than ungodly, untruthful words.

 

———————————————————–

There are a couple of more questions to answer which will be tackled in the third and final entry. Thank you for your patience. Again, if you have anything that you want to share, just leave a comment below. I like hearing from you. God bless!

His Man and His Woman Q&A (Part 1)

Recently, we concluded our series entitled, “His Man and His Woman.” It was a series talking about Biblical manhood and womanhood. We concluded our series by separating the men from the women and having a Q&A per group.

HIs Man and His Woman

It was really fun to be a panelist and answer questions men have about contemporary relationship issues. We weren’t able to answer all the questions, so I decided to answer them in my blog. I hope everyone finds this information full of insight and wisdom.

 ———————————————————–

 

Question #1: 

Is it okay to invite a girl to go out? The invitation is to get to know her more.

Answer #1:

I normally advice singles to go out as a group if they want to know more about a specific person. Why? Because in a group setting, the person doesn’t put his or her best foot forward. If it’s an intimate date, of course a person would try to impress. But in a group setting you would most probably know who the person really is – what she likes, dislikes, her good side and bad side as well.

Then, when you get to know the person in a group setting, pray, seek advice from Godly leaders, and if you sense God is leading you to know the person even more, then that’s the time to ask her to go out. Not immediately inviting the person to go out will give you more time to pray and objectively seek what is in your heart. You don’t want to be overcome by your emotions or even let emotions cloud your judgement. For example, if you suddenly invited her out, then during the date you suddenly see something you don’t like. If you decide not to have another date, this might hurt the other party and you don’t want that to happen. You want to protect your sister in Christ.

In a group setting, the person is who she really is and most probably you will see something there you don’t like in the person. Then when you see that, you can now observe if you still want to get to know her beyond platonic friendship….

 

Question#2:

How do you identify that a person is a potential suitable helper to the calling that God want her to be?

Answer #2:

Let’s first discuss that word “calling” because there are callings that are applicable to everyone, and there is a calling specific to you.

For example, everyone is called to make disciples or everyone is called to serve God. Now, since you are called to make disciples, who would be a suitable helper for you? Most probably it is someone who believes and accepts that she or he is also called to make disciples, too, since it is the calling of every believer. That’s why the Bible tells us not to unequally yolk with unbelievers. So if you want to find a suitable helper or partner,  she should be someone of the same faith.

Now let’s talk about specific calling. This is unique with everyone. For example, let me use my personal situation: My specific calling is to lead the singles ministry of the CCF Alabang. That is unique to me. No one else has been assigned to that role. Now, I should think, based on my specific calling, who is the best partner for me? Most probably it is someone who is also passionate in serving the singles as well. This should be someone who is willing to accept that her family’s life will be open to the public and supports the ministry of her husband. That is why one absolute requirement for me is she should serve in the same ministry as I.

But this is using my situation as an example. That’s why you should pray for God to reveal what He specifically wants you to do in life whether it’s become a pastor,

corporate executive, business man, entrepreneur, philanthropist, etc..

My simple advice regarding the best helper or partner for you is to look for someone who not only loves and serves the Lord Jesus Christ, but also shows Christlikeness in her actions. You’ll never go wrong with a Godly woman.

 

———————————————————–

There are still other questions to be answered. I will tackle them in my next blog post. If you have anything that you want to share just leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you. God bless!