Building a Godly Lifestyle isn't as easy as it sounds...
Here are the 5 steps that Josh Harris suggests to buiding a Godly Lifestyle:
1. Start With a Clean Slate
2. Make Your Parents Your Teammates
3. Estabish Clear Guidelines
4. Check to See Who's Whispering In Your Ear (Influences, who and what you listen to/watch etc.)
5. Season Your Conviction With Humility
Of course, none of the above can truly transform to your life until you ask Jesus to help you. Only HE can wipe our slates clean. Talk with your parents, be honest and open with them...they have much wisdom to share with us! Make sure that your guidlines are very clear, and hold on to your convictions!! Be careful who your friends are and how they influence you, what you listen to, watch and meditate on...this helps form your convictions. You want them to be strong and focused on God. Last but not least, make sure that you're not proud of your convictions, but humble!
A relationship that is focused on Jesus Christ is one that will prosper.
"When the time comes to share why you don't date, what should you say? Whatever words you use, remember that the goal of your communication is not winning a debate or convincing your hearers of your view. If your friends agree, great! But your main goal is to humbly communicate what you feel God has shown you, to encourage your friends, and to contribute to their growth."
"Be humble and honest about how you're trying to be obedient. If you maintain this humble spirit, you'll often find your listener wiling to share his or her own struggles and questions." Pg. 119
It seems like I get the question more and more often - "Do you have a boyfriend" or "Why don't you date?". The quote above helps me to share my thoughts humbly and honestly...it's not always easy to communicate that you want to save your whole self for your future husband/wife. Somebody asked my brother Josh last week if he wasn't going to get married because he wasn't dating? Their mindset was that you have to date in order to know someone and then possibly get married. Josh tried to explain a little, and then he let the subject slide...he wasn't trying to win and argument, but instead humbly explain what the Lord has taught him~
I think there is a really good point that Mr. Harris makes in this chapter. When you are breaking up an ungodly relationship, don't forget to apologize. This is so important, and will set a wonderful example to individual in the relationship and to others around you.
"Whether you're haven't to break up to refocus a relationship, approach the other person humbly, stressing your desire to please God. If you've wronged that person, confess your guilt and ask for forgiveness. Don't rationalize or make excuses. Just apologize." Pg. 114
As far as starting with a clean slate, I really appreciated the story of Emily and how she wasn't actually convicted of her sin, but rather, didn't like the consequences of losing her virginity, or having guys break up with her. It is important to be truly sorry and broken over something you've done, come to the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to forgive you and make you clean. If you only wish you didn't have the consequences that come from bad desisions, you will never truly change, but instead, resort to old habits...
"Worldly sorrow is self-centered and leads to shame, but not to change. Godly sorrow recognizes sin as an offense against God, turns to Christ for forgiveness, and leads to a transformed life. This is what it means to truly 'clean the slate' and start afresh." Pg. 113