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Summary: We are divided into "Have Knots" and "Have Nots". Knot-tied or single, there are relationship principles we must know.

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Knots

Pt. 3 - Knot Candidates

We talked about how our relationship status is the number 1 way of categorizing people in our society. We are either a "have knot" or "have no knot". Relationships can either be one of the greatest blessings in your life or they can produce more pain than drugs, bankruptcy or sickness combined. In order for us to survive relationships we must learn to navigate knots. So in week 1 we talked those with no knots:

1. Get God involved early in the selection process. Otherwise you will then have to ask Him to perfect what He didn't select.

2. If you want to have a garden experience, then you can't bring someone into your garden from the swamp. Good seed doesn't turn bad soil into good soil. Soil usually influences seed not vice versa.

3. You need to know who you are and you shouldn't mess with anyone who doesn't know who they are. They will suck the purpose out of you if they don't know who they are!

In week 2, I talked to those with knots. We talked about

1. What wins . . . keeps. We work hard to win someone and then seem to quit doing what we did to win so we don’t keep. Marriage is work . . . period. Perfect marriages are the product of work.

2. Work for the prescribed time frame! We want a quick fix or a change in 1 week. The prescribed time is until death. It will take time.

3. Work early. Make preemptive strikes to protect us instead of just taking measures to protect you. There are few mountain climbers left only mountain viewers that see a mountain and then leave. Therefore, you must deal with your molehills before they become mountains!

So today I want to shift back to those who have no knots or who are working on tying the knot. I want to talk to you about “Knot Candidates!” What are some of the principles you should apply in dating that will help you find out if someone is knotty?

There is the standard, trusty, fall back passage of Scripture that every preacher loves to pull out on single folks to help them decide who they should date. I am going to pull it on you this morning but maybe with a little different perspective.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 14-18 Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.”

Preachers focus on connecting with an unbeliever aspect to try, and rightfully so, to convince you that it is literally spiritual suicide and a

relational risk for you to give your heart to someone who doesn’t hold to the belief system you have embraced. We have all seen this happen and understand that it seldom, if ever, works out very well. However, I think we must go back to this passage and see an equally import truth regarding unequally yoking. You can both be totally saved and still be totally unequally yoked! The writer not only deals with salvation status but he also addresses compromise and confronts the truth that some people can pollute you and distract you from your Father.

It is too simplistic to say the dating candidates you should avoid are those that are unsaved. If they are saved then they must be good for you! Really? Have you met any Christians that weren’t good for one another? Ever seen Christians, even though their souls were saved, still ended up crushing one another’s hearts?

Paul is trying to get us to understand that dating/relationship is more than just intimate candlelight dinners and flowers. There is a yoking, a connection, and a soul exchange that takes place and therefore it is absolutely essential to make sure your souls are compatible.

So let me talk to you about a two very simple things that I believe will assist you in making sure that you are not unequally yoked not only with unbelievers but with other believers as well.

1. Date for Data!

Too many of us did in dating what we should have been doing in marriage. So now that we are married we are bored. The intimacy that should have experienced in marriage we already experienced in dating. Then we want to say there is no fire in our marriage. Nope we used all the logs on our dates! Then we do what we should have done in dating in marriage. Now that we are married we gather data about what we like and especially about what we dislike about them. Then you want to punish them after you married for your failure to get data while dating.

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