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.


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.


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.


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!


Gentleman’s Club

What is a gentleman? I tried searching for this in the internet and the results are outstanding.

Why is it outstanding? It’s just funny to realize that we need to educate ourselves how to be a gentleman because society has embrace a different view on how men should act towards women.

This message is specifically geared to men but there is also something to be learned for women. Most especially what you should look for in a man.

In today’s society, women are viewed, presented, talked about, and sung about like a commodity. One famous boxer said:

When it comes to females … even though you can’t drive 10 cars at one time, but … you got people that got 10 cars. So, you’re able to keep maintenance up on 10 cars. So, I feel that, as far as when it comes to females, that same thing should apply. If you’re able to take care of 20, then you should have 20.


That statement is just so twisted and far from the truth. If we would look at the biblical view of women before in the Old Testament, the primary position of the woman was within the context of family life. The father/husband exercised primary responsibility for the female members of the family which included slaves. The most important function of women in primitive society was childbearing. Childlessness was looked upon as a curse from God and a diminishing of a woman’s station in life. This was their primary role that why women were often uneducated and untrained. Women relied on their fathers, brothers, and husbands for provision and protection.

Those who were unmarried were often subjected to prostitution and slavery. Because of significant difference between the number of men and women, many women can be left in an undesirable situation. That’s why during that time people were polygamous. Polygamous meaning having more than one wife. A man would take multiple wives and serve as the provider and protector of all of them. This was not the ideal situation but living in a polygamist household was far better than for women to be in prostitution, slavery, or starvation. Aside from the protection/provision factor, polygamy enabled a much faster expansion of humanity, fulfilling God’s command to “be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth”

In the new testament, Jesus gives a new commandment: Love one another.

1 Peter 3:7 – You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.


Jesus gave no exceptions. We are commanded to love all: man, woman, & child. Paul also commanded men to love their wives as Jesus loved the church and gave himself for her. Plus we would also see in the New Testament that it is commanded that a husband is to be a head of the wife not the head of different wives.

Ephesians 5:23 – For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.


This seemed like a shift of perspective in terms of marriage but actually nothing has changed as all. Even in the beginning of time, the design of God is for one man and one woman to be joined together. God permitting pologamy in the Old Testament because of cultural implications haven’t really changed how God wanted it in the beginning. So the New Testaments was just hammering and realigning the design of marriage to how it really should be.

That’s why men should learn to love their wives and be faithful to one alone. Even if we are not yet married, we should practice faithfulness in our relationships. This is a character that we want to bring to our future marriage someday if we are single. If men really want to learn how to act appropriate among women and how to treat them with respect, here are 2 practical things for guys to do:

1) Renew your mind to think differently.

It starts with the mind. You will act according to what you know. Your behaviour will be affected according to what you put in your mind. If you know about gravity then you will not jumping off a building, right? That’s why is important for us to guard our minds and heart and renew your thinking not to conform to the pattern of this world.

Romans 12:1-2 – Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


This is saying that because of what God has done for you, offering your body to him. He has justified you. He has made you righteousness because of Jesus Christ. He has freedom you from sin and He has given you ife in the Power of the Holy Spirit. He has shown you mercy. And because of these things offering your bodies. Your “bodies” does not mean just your hands, or just your eyes or just your feet. It is reffering to everything you are. Everything includes your heart and mind. When you offer yourself, you become that living sacrifice – something that is seen in action and something that people can relate to. You are being the light of the world.

Do not be conformed, but be transformed in the renewing of your mind, which is not a single event but a process. It is daily renewing of your mind. It is daily pondering of God’s truth

So stop filling your mind with dirt. If your playlist has songs that calls women “bitches or whores” it needs to be deleted immediately. It’s offensive to women and treats them as a commodity. Women should be mad if their man is listening to this type of music.

If you are filling your mind with pornography, slowly your mind is being taught that a real body isn’t good enough or one body isn’t good enough. Eventually it will lead you to be convince that your wife’s body isn’t good enough. Pornography deadens a man’s appetite for a real woman.

Renew your mind to think different. Renew it through spending time in God’s word.

2) Make up your mind to behave differently.

This is now where you decide that you want to make up your mind to think differently. You need to be the person you are looking, for is looking for. What does that mean? If you have qualities that you want in a certain partner, ensure that is you as well. That you would mean, rather than looking for a partner, prepare to be the best partner someday. Show love to people close to you. Do random acts of kindness. Treat your family members right and practice unconditional love to them. Learn how to develop the right kind of people through them

Make up your mind to think different. Decide right now to develop yourself to be the ideal partner for someone someday and fill your mind with the word of God

Again, this is not just an message for men but there are also two practical things woman can do to help men treat them well and not a commodity.

1) Dress moderately

Women, men needs your help on this. If you do not want to be treated as a commodity then show yourself as someone that should be treated with love and respect.

1 Timothy 2:9 – Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,


2) Find contentment in God

Don’t go looking for a relationship by luring men. If you have develop yourself as someone who is attractive inside and out, naturally the opposite sex will notice you. But do not make it a pursuit of your life. Find your all in God first.

In the End, you don’t have to search the world or the internet to know who to act towards the opposite sex. All you need to know is what God is saying in his world. You cannot do what you do not know. If we want to remove all those wrong ideas, belief and thinking which leads to wrong actions, we need to continuously meditate and read God’s word. If we constantly read and meditate on God’s word, eventually our mind will clear-up just like this dirty water which eventually turned clear, as water continuously was poured into it.

Note from the author: This message was adopted from Northpoint Community Church, which is the church Pastored by Andy Stanley. Most of the content is from Andy Stanley’s material.

Parable of the Prodigal Son – The Father’s Love

Let me ask you this question, “what is true love?” Or let me rephrase the question: have you experienced true love?” Singles love to talk about this four-letter word but on a serious note – there is more to life than a relationship. I want you to know and experience what True Life is. A life that experiences True Love only through one person.

There is someone tugging in your heart, telling you – “are you looking for true love? Look at me.” Perfect love can only be known and experienced through one person. Satisfaction and completeness can only be found in the Lord.

In Luke 15:11-32, we’ll find the parable called “the parable of the prodigal son.”  But what is a parable? Based on Wiki – a parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as characters, whereas parables have human characters.

A parable is a type of analogy. Or simply put, a parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.

Jesus frequently used parables as a means of illustrating a lesson. Such stories help provide rich symbolism to the lessons he wanted to teach. And in this parable we would see three characters. Let’s start with verse 11.

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

Here we would see three characters:

  • The youngest son
  • The oldest son
  • The Father

This is really a shocking request. Because even though it was perfectly legal for the youngest son to ask for his estate, it was as though he was saying to his father – “my inheritance is much more important than your life” or “I just wish you were dead” when he said “Father, give me my share of the estate”.

But you would see the father graciously fulfil his son’s request. During that time, the eldest son receives twice as much as the other sons. So when the youngest son asked his father for his inheritance he was asking for 1/3 of his share.

If I was in Father’s shoes, I think would be a hard question to swallow. First, thoughts would be raging in my head as to what would happen if I gave his inheritance now.

  • Will he be wise in spending it?
  • Does he want to leave his house and try to be independent?
  • Why would he want it now?
  • Does he desire this so much that he has no regard for my life?

And you can see clearly in verse 13 why the Prodigal son wanted his inheritance immediately and what he did with it.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 

No time to think. No time to ponder if what he was doing was correct. He just wanted to do what he wanted to do. He just took everything he had and left.

He wanted to enjoy his freedom from his father and brother.He wanted to have his own way. He refused any association or relationship with his Father since he choose a life of sinful indulgence.

When read “squandered his wealth in wild living:” this was living in pure immorality and living a debauched lifestyle. Being unwise in how you handle money is not a bad thing, but where you spend your money is completely different.

So the youngest son was spending all of his money and he was spending it satisfy his sensual pleasures. And after he has spent so much to experience his so called “freedom” – he then hit a wall.

14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.

His problem was that, not only had he already spent everything, but there was a severe famine in the land. So what was he left to do?

He took a job to feed the pigs, and we all know that pigs during that time were considered unclean animals. This shows pure desperation. More so with what he was thinking in verse 16.

16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

He was already thinking and considering eating the pods that pigs were eating.

I know when we’re hungry we can eat just about anything. Sometimes we don’t even know if the food we’re eating is really good or if it just seems that way because we’re so hungry that it tasted good.

But this is entirely a different thing since the pods may be edible for pigs but not for humans. No one gave him anything. Even begging was not an option for him.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 

We can see here that the youngest son’s family is really well off. They have servants. They have food. Which brings us back again to that desire the youngest son had. He just really wanted to have his own way despite what he already has.

Normally, you will never be able to appreciate what you have unless it was taken away from you. And so, the youngest son came back to his senses.

18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 

Repentance starts with acknowledgement.

He understood the gravity of his sin that he said he has sinned against his father but also against God (against heaven). He even practiced what he would say to his father.

Therefore, he carefully took the time to really think about what he has done which led him to assess his worth.  – to be servant rather than a son.

True repentance does not mean just acknowledgement but action has to follow. If he had stopped with acknowledgement that is only regret or remorse. Verse 20.

20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

He did something and came to his sense and just like a man, took responsibility for his actions.

“But while he was still a long way off” signifies that the Father had been waiting. The Father had been hoping.

I can imagine it as the Father works on his field every afternoon, at exactly 4pm he would always look beyond his field in hopes of seeing his son coming back home. He was still full of hope and just waiting for his son to come back to his senses. And when the actual moment happened, he ran to his son. The Father felt only one thing – compassion. There was no:

  • “Disappointment on what the son has done”
  • “Regret for giving him his inheritance”
  • “I know you will come back because what you did was right”

The Father only felt, again, one thing – compassion.

He did not wait anymore for the son to reach him, but with much love and compassion for his son, he was the one who ran to him. He ran to him, threw his arms and kissed him.

The word kissed here in Greek really means kissed him earnestly. He was so happy and overwhelmed with joy that his son was back. The son spoke the line he had been practicing and personally the son acknowledged his sin to his Father

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

But look how the Father responded to the son’s word in verse 22.

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’…

The Father didn’t even comment about what the son had done. What is important for the Father is that the son has come back to him. He did not even ask what happened and what the lesson to be learned was.

If that was me, I would have asked those questions. But that was not the important thing at that moment for him. The most important thing is that the son has come back – what was lost is now found.

  • He gave the ring as a sign of sonship
  • The “best robe” as proof of his acceptance back into the family.
  • Servants did not wear, rings, shoes, or expensive garments.

The son said “I am not worthy to be your son” the Father responded “You are my son – that’s all that matters – and your back.” The feast was the father’s way of showing his joy and sharing it with others.

Friends, this is the main focus of the lesson. Again a Parable is the simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. The lesson is in the response to the Father. The Father represents God, eager to forgive and joyful when one comes into repentance. Look at how the Father represented God:

  • Waiting for you
  • Waiting to show His Compassion for you
  • Waiting to Restore You

He is constantly waiting for you and has nothing but compassion for you. The Lord right now is tugging at your heart. Wherever you are in your walk with the Lord, He is just right there willing to welcome you back. The father did not point out the mistakes that the son did. He just wanted to celebrate. For the Lord, there is great joy when we come to him and come back to our senses because of our sin. He longs for us. He desires us. He wants to have a relationship with us and He is willing to forgive whatever we have done. Because at one point, we have become like the prodigal son.

The prodigal son represents a sinner who repents. Just like the prodigal son, haven’t we gone our own separate ways? We want to be free – free to do whatever we want and indulge in our own sensual pleasures. The Prodigal son wanted to enjoy his freedom from his father. He refused any association or relationship with his Father. Have we or are we acting the same?

  • Wanted his inheritance now
  • Wanted to be away from his Father
  • Wanted to go his own way

I remember a time in my life where I can be considered that Prodigal son. I didn’t want to have any association with Lord. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. I did not want to feel supressed. I wanted to feel that this is my life, that I was in control. I was not carefully thinking about what I was doing. Just like the Prodigal Son, what I have was never realized. I never thought that I was already in the right place when I was with the Lord. So in that time, I decided to backslide – turn away from God and just do what I wanted to do. I revolved my life around my girlfriend. I went on drinking sprees and lived a life of pleasure. I remember, whenever my family would go to church I would deliberately miss the service. I’ll join them in the car to go to church just so they won’t notice me missing church and once we arrived at church I will just separate from them and just wait outside or be in another place. I never wanted to be inside the service. Do you know why? Because I knew my father is waiting for me. I knew God will call me again with his love. I knew he will tug at my heart again and whisper to me – “It’s ok, just come back to me. I miss you.” So I tried avoiding it at all cost. But just like the Prodigal Son, I hit a wall. A severe famine or problem came into my life. My so call “true love” ended.  It may seem like one of the usual break-ups that I had with my girlfriend, but this time it was different because somehow she told me we needed to break up because God was telling her to let go of me. I didn’t want to because like I said I revolved my life around her. So when that happened, my whole world crumbled. I felt lost and I even felt like getting angry at God. It took me days, trying not deal with the pain that I was experiencing. One night, my family and I were watching Adam Sandler’s movie entitled “The Longest yard.” Has anyone watched that movie? It’s an American sport comedy film. Everyone was enjoying the movie and laughing while I was giving all effort trying to seem happy but I just couldn’t contain what I was feeling. So I said to myself “I needed to face this.” I went to my room, locked the door, went to my bed and bowed as low as I can on top of my bed and cried to the Lord.

That was my turning point. I never cried so hard in my life – while asking for forgiveness for going my own way and just wanting to indulge in my own sin. And until now, every time I remember that moment I am always at awe at how God can easily forgive a sinner me.

That was the start of my journey. As I came back to my senses and asked for forgiveness for him. In his own way I know he was rejoicing because he knows that life is nowhere else but him with.

  • That True love can be found only in him.
  • That true love is willing to forgive whatever sin.
  • That true love never runs out.
  • The true love that restores.

And because of that true love I am where I am right now. I’m not perfect, I still make mistakes but his grace and love is always there to pick me up. His love is always there telling me – “I love you. You made a mistake. You’ve asked for forgiveness. I forgive you. I love you just because I love you.”

Now that’s true love. Again, let me ask you a question:  “Where is true love”? Satisfaction, completeness and true love can only be found in the Lord.

Note from the author: This is an excerpt from my message during the B1G South True Life Retreat entitled “True Love”. If you want to read my experiences during the retreat you can read it here: Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.