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!

 

Learning to lead with Permission

Leadership is hard. It’s not easy to be a leader. People can sometimes expect so many things from you. When you fail, you are judged. When you succeed, not everyone will celebrate with you. But as a leader, when you are able to develop others to be the leader that God has called them to be, there is that great fulfillment that outweighs the downside of leadership.

osition, permission, production, people development and personhoodI am just started to read John Maxwell’s book, developing the leader within you and I have learned so many things already. According to John Maxwell, there are five stages in leadership – position, permission, production, people development, and personhood. I started to think what stage I am in. I wanted to convince myself that I am already in the 4th level (people development), but as I assess the characteristics per level, I realized that I have so much to learn. I might still be in the permission stage.

The permission stage is the stage where from being given a title or position you don’t lead through authority but authenticity. In short, you lead by building a relationship with your people. I must admit I need to develop that. I am the type of leader that wants action and results. I want to immediately develop leaders. The downside of this personality is the lack of relationship with your leaders – all work.

I prayed and asked God to show me where in his word tells us to love first rather than focusing on the tasks and results. By God’s grace, I remembered 1 Corinthians 13.

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance

It’s amazing how God speaks through his word. How I pray that I’ll be able to really apply this passage in my life. How I really pray that I’ll be an authentic and loving leader first to everyone. How I pray that I’ll learn to love through:

  • Being patient with the growth curve of people that I lead (Love is patient)
  • Rejoicing in the success of our cluster teams (Love is not jealous)
  • Not being demanding and forcing what I want (Love does not demand)
  • Forgiving others (Love does not keep a wrong record)
  • Always believing the best in people (Love is always hopeful)

It’s not easy to be a leader, but through God’s love and grace, you can lead well.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Leadership begins with the heart, not the head. – John Maxwell

I can’t believe what the Lord gave me

It’s been a while since I wrote anything in my blog. I have been so busy every since I went full time. For those who are thinking to go full time in the ministry and you’re thinking that this will give you more time for other things – you’re wrong. Well, for me that’s the case.

Ever since I went full time I have been so engaged in the work that the Lord has entrusted to me. This week alone I lead a bible study last Thursday, spoke in a company on Friday, then the following morning I spoke in our fellowship for BPO employees and then another speaking engagement in the evening. It’s been an amazing journey for me. There are ups and downs but I’m just thanking God that He has given me the grace and strength to continue to move forward.

And there’s one thing that I’m really very grateful to God for right now. Despite my busy schedule, He gave me the strength and provision to finish the renovation and furnishing of my condo unit.

Condo Modern Zen Design

When I went full time, I surrendered all of my dreams. There was a big dip in my salary. I surrendered getting married at an early age. I surrendered my dream of being able to buy my own home and a lot of other things. I never really knew what to expect, but there is one thing that I know. I know that the Lord will provide and He will take care of me.

I remember there was a time where I only had Php150 pesos. I even wrote that in my diary. After leading a bible study suddenly a love gift was handed over to me. I didn’t expect that. I’m ok even if they don’t give me one. I’m not doing this for that. I’m doing this because this is what the Lord has tasked me to do and in that moment, I really understood that I do not have to worry. He will provide for me.

The completion of my condo unit is another testimony of God’s goodness in my life. It is a testimony of God’s faithfulness in my family and towards me. I don’t have a big unit, but it’s enough to live on my own and even start a family someday.

I’m writing this to let you know, that if you walk in the path that the Lord has called for you and you have a relationship with Him, He will take care of you. If we know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more our heavenly father?

Do not worry about what tomorrow may bring. Trust in Him. God provides. Learn to walk in obedience. The psalmist was right.

Psalm 34:10

The lions may grow weak and hungry,

but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

I hope this short post, brought encouragement to your life. I hope to be able to write more in the future. If you have any comment, just write in the box below and I would love to hear from you. May God’s blessing be upon your life!