Saturday, March 21, 2015

Standards too high?

One of the reasons why I keep on writing is because I know I am not alone in the pursuit of a better story, or rather, the best possible story. And I salute all you young men and women who are not willing to settle for anything less than what you have hoped for and and less than what you know you are worth. Congrats for not being offended with remarks like "Masyadong mataas standards mo!" or "Tatanda ka nang dalaga nyan, hija!". Thank you for keeping the faith and fighting a good fight!

Although I don’t really keep a checklist of what I want for in a man and in courtship, I do have standards. Some are negotiable (e.g., appearance, race, talents, hobbies, sum of bank savings, food preference, nature of occupation/business, and the likes), but there are those that are strongly NOT (faith, values, morals, purpose). I also personally have set more practical guiding principles for dealing with the opposite sex.

We set standards so that (a) we would have a measure for evaluating and making choices, (b) so we would not be misled, (c) so we would have a mark ensuring we don’t cross lines nor shortchange ourselves, and (d) so we could identify what’s bad, good, and the best (go for the “best”, sweetheart!).

Not everybody would agree and appreciate the standards you set. Some would regard them as too old-fashioned, too conservative, too outdated, or too radical. Some might even criticize them as to prideful of you (in fairness, they shouldn’t really be out of arrogance but out of self-worth). But regardless of what other people might think, refuse to lower your standards and your expectations. No, never— not to please and attract a man; not to conform to society; not to keep up with your friends. I want to assure you: It is okay to have high standards… It is okay to be extra cautious… You never have to apologize for wanting to guard the purity of your heart, the honor of your self, and the glory of your Maker.

not a 1D fan, but I like this! :)
Never fear that because of the principles that you hold high, that cute guy in your class or office would not like you, would stop pursuing you, or would be interested in someone else— someone “easier” to woo, someone unguarded and willing to settle.

Darling, if they cannot recognize your worth, let them move and let them go. Someone out there would be willing to rise up to meet your high standards. Someone out there is looking and praying for exactly what you’ve got and what you stand for, and will never try to bargain your value or doubt your worth.

And oh, next time someone comments that your standards are too high, don’t feel sorry. Tell them, “Thank you” :)       *wink, wink*
Ate Jez
COPY this link:   and PASTE on Facebook

Friday, February 13, 2015

Afraid for love to fade? (In love ka ba talaga, o takot ka lang?)

"Kung mahal mo, ano pa'ng hihintay mo?"
This is cliché advice#1 that I have NEVER given to anyone over the past few years of teaching on Purity and God-honoring romance.
It's wonderful having someone who suddenly makes you feel alive, loved, and cared for. You may think no one has made you feel this way, and you can't help but to be dazzled at the strong feelings that are there. But the reality is that this feeling of urgency and intensity or strong affection toward another person is not necessarily a reliable indicator of true love and the right time.

"Kung kayo, kayo."
This is cliché advice#2 that I NEVER give to those who I encourage to wait. Why? Because while I  do believe in Biblical destiny, I also believe that putting romance on hold by waiting on God is NOT simply a matter of trusting in "fate". In other words, hindi ka "maghihintay" dahil lang passive ka at naniniwala ka na gagawa ang tadhana ng paraan para sa inyo. Babaw 'nun. It is MORE THAN that. When you wait, it is a matter of Godly obedience, trust, patience, and truth.

It makes me sad that many are jumping into romance even if it's clear to them that it's not yet the right time— not mainly because they are terribly, terribly in love,  but because if you open their hearts and minds, you'll see that  they are terribly, terribly afraid that the passion, excitement, and urgency that comes with their strong emotions would die away if not expressed immediately.
"There is no fear in love..." (1 John 4:18).
Here's my prayerful plea: Never hop on a relationship mainly because you are afraid for the feelings to fade if you wait. A Christian author once said, “One of the most powerful evidences of [genuine love] is its ability to overcome the limitations of time.” True, divine, sincere love is patient, and can stand the test of time. It does not diminish during the period of waiting; rather, it deepens and sweetens all the more when its time has come.

Do not let the waiting scare you into jumping to romance prematurely. Ladies (and gentlemen too), until the time is right, do not give your heart to someone just because you fear he might soon lose interest in you. If in the waiting process the feelings and passion grow cold and diminish, do not regret; be grateful... for time has revealed truth ('buti nalang!).

After all, what you and I really, really desire is TRUE LOVE, not some cheaper version of it, don't we? Then I recommend the time of waiting as a dependable test for true, sincere love. Don't follow your feelings and passion until they've been tested.
"Waiting for romance can be guided by wisdom. Then we can experience the season of courtship at the right time and the right pace with a clear purpose and a clear head. This is romance at it's best.” Joshua Harris
Considering romance? Give it time. Give it space. Do not fear. Trust. Wait. Hope. Obey.
"So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days."
(‭Genesis‬ ‭29‬:‭20‬)
Jez Manugue

COPY this link: and PASTE on Facebook

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Para sa Hopeless Romantic

Hopeless Romantic
/ˈhōplis - rōˈmantik/
• taong in love sa love 

Some signs that you are a hopeless romantic:
  • You are a sentimental dreamer of true love and perfectly-written love stories. For you, it’s not just about love, exchange of “I Do’s”, and a happily ever after; it is also about a beautifully-written and thoughtfully-staged love story
  • Your love for love is regularly fuelled by romantic comedies and chick flicks — ranging from One More Chance to Starting Over Again to The Notebook to Harry Met Sally; and you are always on the watch for the next big rom-com showing in cinemas
  • You are a sucker for YouTube videos of wedding proposals and wedding SDE's, as you creatively imagine what yours would and should look like 
  • You loudly say “awwwww” at the strangest and most ordinary gestures of thoughtfulness
  • You have made it your life mission to look for “The One” and finally love him/her forever
  • You constantly dream and envision of when, where, and how fate will put you and Mr.Destiny together in a fairy-tale-like, slow-mo-ish setup

In Christian circles, young men and women are encouraged to prioritize purity, wait on romance, and believe that if they fully trust and obey, God would lead us to the right person at the right time. I have nothing against these teachings — in fact, I have also been teaching these to the youth over the past five years (hence this blog).
But I also have observed that as young people entrust the area of the love life to God in faith, believing for their God-designed destiny, many slowly slip into the hopeless romantic categoryin love na in love sa love story fantasies nila, patay na patay sa romantic experience that could be, over-romanticizing their relationships-to-be.

Here are some dangers of being a hopeless romantic:

1. The danger of rushing into a relationship
When someone new comes along, you begin to immediately recall your favorite scenes from that movie, all the hugot songs on your playlist, all your fanciful notions of how happy you can be when you finally are with someone; you’d begin to imagine of how cute you’d look together, how he would pull-off a fairy-tale-like surprise engagement, how charming your wedding photos would look, and how you’d grow old together. And you therefore conclude this is love. You need to be in a relationship with that person. Now.

(How hopeless, how desperate, right? :-D)

2. The danger of making an idol out of romance and marriage
And "idol" is something we worship... we put our hope in... something/one which/whom we are desiring above God... anything that we put in God’s place in our hearts.
Because we hear too much about waiting for the "right one" and about how beautiful it will be at the right time, and we always talk about how we should be into preparing ourselves for marriage, it is possible to want it too much that it already becomes an idol in our hearts.
We might be too mesmerized by the idea of it that we fall into the temptation of thinking that romance and marriage is the ultimate gift, that it is God’s ultimate gift for women… when the truth is it is not (with hope of not sounding too churchy, Jesus is God’s ultimate gift!).

3. The danger of unrealistic expectations
I love Disney movies,
but this one's too funny to ignore :-D
There is that kind of sentimental linking to romance. Oftentimes one reads a story or sees a movie, and one feels as if the story is really a woman's dream of what a perfect hero in her life would be. It's a kind of noble Christian fantasy of the place, the perfect man, the sense of destiny. And while I feel that God is very understanding of all this, I also believe that He doesn't want us to lose ourselves in vain imaginations.

Our culture tends to over-romanticize everything and as a result many young girls are fed with inaccurate preconceptions about what relationships and marriage will look like. Some, before entering into a marriage covenant think purely romance, sunset walks holding hands, cuddling together on the couch — basically thinking that marriage is going to be something like a fifty-year date! It is dangerous to have an overly romanticised view of marriage because marriage, while it involves romance, is not all romance. And when one has this over-romanticized view of relationships and marriage there sure will be disappointment for the hopeless romantic.

I will always be a believer of love (teehee!).. will always believe that romance is beautiful, and that finding a suitable mate would be a wonderful, wonderful blessing from the Lord. I will never stop encouraging young men and women to wait on God (and prepare!) and hope for the future He has prepared for us. I will always be leaning in and looking forward to the awe-inspiring love story that God is yet to unfold in my life…
But it is my plea, my friends, that we may know by heart that in as much as it would surely add joy in our lives, romance and marriage are NOT the end-all and be-all of life — its joy, fulfillment, and beauty. Hope for it, yes, but don't be desperate and count on it as the ultimate gift in life! :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Three reasons why you must Guard your heart

Guard your heart (Part 1): Three reasons why you must guard your heart

There’s a well-known verse in Proverbs that gets quoted often, especially to younger girls who are entering the age of dating and relationships.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
This is a piece of advice from King Solomon dating centuries ago, yet it still speaks a powerful truth to us today-- that it is imperative to guard our hearts. Here’s why:

1. Because the heart is extremely precious

Hindi mo kailangang ingatan at bantayan ang mga bagay na wala namang value. Tuwing Biyernes ng gabi, inilalabas ng kasambahay namin ang mga basura sa bahay, at iniiwan lang niya na totally unguarded sa tabing-daan ang mga ito. Bakit? Dahil wala naman itong halaga; it’s junk!

Not so with your heart. Ito ang kaibuturan ng kung sino ka. It is your authentic self ---the core of your beng. It is where all your dreams, your desires, and your passions live. Ito ang bahagi ng iyong pagkatao na umuugnay sayo sa Diyos at sa ibang tao.

Kaya nga ang sabi ni King Solomon (na mas matalino at marunong pa kay Tata Lino), bantayan mo ang puso mo “above all else”. Hindi suggestion ito eh, kundi sinasabi niya na gawin mo itong priority.  
Bantayan mo. Ingatan mo. Huwag mo basta-basta ipamimigay. Huwag mong basta-basta ipapakuha. Guwardyahan mo rin na tama ang kalagayan nito.

2. Because your heart is the root of everything you do

King Solomon says, “it is the wellspring of life”. In other words, it is the root and source of everything you do. Mula sa iyong puso dumadaloy ang lahat ng iniisip, sinasabi, at ginagawa mo.Kung nakatira ka sa isang are na may mga springs o “batis / bukal”, ma-ge-gets mo agad na naka-depende ang lahat sa agos ng sibol. Kung haharangan mo ang bukal, haharangan mo rin ang pag-daloy ng tubig na kinakailangan ng mga tao sa paligid; kung i-po-pollute mo naman ang tubig mula sa sibol, ang aagos ay nakalalasong tubig.

Likewise, if your heart is unhealthy and not right, it affects everything else--- your relationships, your career, your emotional stability, your discrimination and judgement, your ministry, your entire state. It is therefore crucial to guard it. 

3. Because the heart is deceitful

“The heart is deceitful above all things...” we read in Jeremiah 17:9. Ang puso, mapandaya? Oo, Bible na mismo nagsabi niyan.
While everyone advices people to “follow your heart”, the Bible actually tells us to GUARD IT. Why? Because the human heart can lead you in wrong, even deadly directions. Our heart and feelings can lie and can mislead us, if left unguarded. Pwedeng ang isang bagay o decisyon would “feel right”, and yet be completely wrong. Pwedeng tumibok sa ‘di pa tamang panahon.

Kung maayos ang pag-aaral, trabaho, ministry, finances, friendships, at family life mo, pero mali ang kalagayan ng puso mo, sabi nga ng Tatay ko, yung hindi maayos ang sisira doon sa maayos. Kaya it’s wise na bantayan at ingatan mo ang puso mo.

Do you agree that at times the heart can be deceitful / misleading
Can you share additional reasons why we must guard our hearts?

Direct link:
(COPY link/ url above to share on Facebook)