Going Steady

Perhaps I’m dating myself here, but when I last dated, I considered Ms. Diane to be my “steady girl.” She was the lady that I focused all my attention on, I desired to be around, and grew to become the one I had designs on. In reading on this subject, such an exclusive form of dating has been removed from today’s vernacular, finding its demise in the 80s. Today, it seems we have replaced the concept of going steady with hooking up. Yet, going steady was exactly what came to mind as I watched Mavric, my herd bull, and Uno interact during breeding.

Uno, as some of y’all may recall, is my six-year-old mama cow who was the first calf born at our Cross-Dubya ranch. She’s proven to be a wonderful mama, having raised four strong, healthy, profitable calves to date. It seems this past week was time to work on calf number five. In a cow-calf operation, I do my best to make a note of who Mavric is spending time with each week. This helps me predict when the calves are due and in what order to expect calving to happen.

When a cow is in estrus (time to make a calf), Mavric is always ready to oblige. I won’t explain how he knows which of his girls to go steady with, but it’s foolproof. His nose knows. When the time is right, and the female agrees, the courtship begins. My bull is predictable, if nothing else.

He separates the female of interest from his herd and focuses his attention on her until he completes his task. As pictured here, the two spend most of their time together. They clean one another, do a courtship dance, and go for leisurely walks, focusing only on one another. Once breeding has occurred, normally a day or two, Mavric walks her back to the herd and begins searching for his next breeding partner. Perhaps young people today have reverted to animal instincts more than the monogamous relationships God created us for?

Thinking about “going steady”, the words of Psalm 63:1 came to mind.

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)

I thought about how when Ms. Diane and I were dating, nothing or no one could hold my attention and fulfill my desire to be around more than her. Unlike my buddy Mavric, she continues to be my steady girl over twenty-five years later. I also pondered if I was going steady with God. Was my relationship with God the primary focus of my life or do I let the world get more of my attention than Him?

Are you going steady with God or the world? #GoingSteadyWithGod #GodFocusedLife Click To Tweet

I realized how all my other relationships stem from my relationship with God. When I am closer to Him, I’m a better spouse, friend, and person. When Satan distracts me from my relationship with God (i.e., the world gets in the way), all my relationships suffer.

Your relationship with God is the bellwether for all other relationships. #GoingSteadyWithGod #SourceOfRelationship Click To Tweet

At that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the words of James 4:8.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse
your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you
  (James 4:8 NKJV)

Considering these words, I asked myself to define what it meant to draw nearer to God and how I could do that. Like when I was dating Ms. Diane, if I wanted to get to know her better, I had to actively seek to know her. I can remember how we would sit and talk for hours on end. How many nights ended with, “You have to go home now.” It seemed the more time we spent together, the more time we wanted to spend together. It’s the same way with God. As for how I can draw nearer to God, the answer was right there in that verse of Scripture.

  1. I must be cleansed. That means I must confess my sin and seek His forgiveness. I recognize Christ’s sacrifice has already forgiven my sin, but the act of confessing my sin allows me to come into agreement with God by acknowledging my sin to Him. This enables me to restore a right relationship with Him.
  2. I must invite Him to gaze upon my heart. The Holy Spirit does this anyway, but I must ask Him to search my heart and show me where sin exists. Sometimes it’s sin I cannot see or don’t want to acknowledge. In either case, bringing it to light allows Him to purify me in His eyes.
  3. I must make Him the focus of my life. Jesus’ brother (James) calls all mankind double-minded. This means that as much as we may try, the world so interferes with our faith life that we become distracted by what’s going on in the world. Being double-minded is like my looking at another pretty girl while walking down the street with Ms. Diane. Nothing good can come of this.

While we might understand what things we must do to “go steady with God”, how do we achieve that? God’s Word, again, holds the answer. We must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), study His Word (Psalm 119:105), and gather often with fellow Believers (Hebrews 10:25).

As with Mavric and Uno, going steady with God brings me even greater benefit than when my herd bull goes steady with his bevy of bovine beauties. The benefits of drawing nearer to God, besides His drawing nearer to us, include:

  • We are refreshed from being in His presence. When we focus our attention on God, we take our eyes and mind off the problems we face in this world. Doing so doesn’t always make the problems go away, but it puts them into perspective. (Psalm 23:3)
  • We find His mercy and grace as we seek His help in our times of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
  • Our cup is refilled with His joy and hope. (Romans 15:13)
  • We find rest in Him. (Matthew 11:28)
  • We are protected and safe in His arms. (Psalm 91)

I hope during this week, you too seek opportunities to go steady with God.

God’s blessings,

64 thoughts on “Going Steady”

    1. How about that Ms. Vera?! I love to see how God works. We call these instances where He gives us a word or a thought to share with others and it aligns with or validates what He’s led another to, “Jesus thangs”. Today’s post is most certainly a “Jesus thang” my friend. Thank you and God’s blessings.

  1. J.D.,
    It’s been awhile since I visited and you certainly don’t disappoint. There’s a truth you speak (write) as old as God. Love from the depths of our soul makes us closer to God’s image.

    Thank you.


    1. It has been a while since we got to see you and your lovely wife Ms. Barbara my friend. Still, knowing we have eternity together to discuss, ponder, and praise is a great treasure we’ll open soon sir. God’s blessings.

  2. I LOVE this J.D. When my kids were younger there were certain days I would just set aside and I told them I had a “date with Jesus.” Some of the best days of my life.

    1. Oh, I love that Ms. Ann. “I have a date with Jesus.” I pray we all remember that thought as we approach His throne in prayer each day. Thank you for sharing a ray of “sonshine” upon my day ma’am.

    1. Yes ma’am, Ms. Martha. Our relationship with God is the ONLY thing that’s going to give us the strength and endurance to withstand the coming days sweet sister. Let us lock arms with Jesus and stand strong against the coming wave of Christian persecution that is threatening the church in America. May God bless us with favor as we stand strong for the kingdom ma’am.

  3. What a beautiful message this morning, my friend. Love the love story you share of your courtship with your beautiful bride. What a blessing you both have received. As a farm girl, you know I appreciate how Mavric and Uno inspired your message. It never ceases to amaze me how our Father uses ordinary events from His Creation to send us informative and inspiring lessons. Thank you, J.D., and may God continue to bless you and Diane and the Cross-Dubya family.

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Katherine. I wish I could tell you that ours (Ms. Diane and I) have had a Hallmark love affair from the very beginning, but like our sanctification journey itself, it’s had its valleys and its mountaintops. Our strength as a couple come from supporting and celebrating with each other through the journey. I suspect you understand all of that my friend. And yes, the Cross-Dubya is much like your little slice of “God’s Country” in that we view it as “God’s Classroom” because He uses it all to teach us so much about Him. And like you, I’m just blessed beyond measure to be able to share it with so many great folks here. God’s blessings precious sister-in-Christ.

  4. My first thought when I read your title was anchor- tightly holding on for stability and keeping my head above water in challenging times- those which I cannot practically fix or resolve. He is my anchor. Thanks again for a great early morning read.

    1. Love, love, love that thought Ms. Marilyn. God is most certainly our anchor and our firm foundation ma’am. I think often when I’m facing unbearable heat or drought-burned pastures that God has a purpose in all of this. I had to laugh just a few minutes ago as I saw a dreaded armyworm on my patio. That’s always been one of the first signs of a coming invasion. While I would normally be getting my insecticides and spray equipment ready, there’s no sense as my Bermuda grass pastures have already browned due to the drought. I will have to send a note to my neighbor though to let him know. He’s still got a little grass left in his hayfield. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and encouraging insights with us.

    1. Yes ma’am; it sure does Ms. Diana. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be an unsaved/non-believing farmer or rancher ma’am. The challenges we face almost daily. The faith we must have to take on the next task, the next planting, or while waiting for the next harvest. My “going steady” with God makes all the difference for me. God’s blessing my Kentucky friend.

    1. Yes ma’am. I am praying daily that next spring’s crop includes several bull calves to choose his successor from. Thank you so much for joining in the conversation sweet friend. And please give “Chaps” my best.

  5. J.D., I enjoy learning about your farm animals’ habits. I didn’t know the went steady. What you said here is so true, “I realized how all my other relationships stem from my relationship with God. When I am closer to Him, I’m a better spouse, friend, and person.”

    1. I can’t tell you with certainty that every bull behaves like my Mavric, but I’ve seen enough to know it’s not just him. He has his “harem” as I call them, and is most protective of them. I love to watch of a morning when one of the mama cows, not yet ready to breed, will love on their bull. After feeding, Mavric steps away from the feeder and one of the cows (females) comes over and begins to groom his face, head, neck, and ears with her tongue. He in turn rubs their side as they stroll together to a shady spot. He’s one debonair old bully bull. 😀

  6. Your blog this morning has me singing, “Cleanse my heart oh God. Make it ever true. Cleanse my heart oh God. Make me more like You.”

    Butch and I have been going steady since high school in the late fifties. Our 64th wedding anniversary is Sept 3. Your blog is poignant and inspiring as always.

    1. Oh my Mrs. Linda Joy Burns; once again you’ve proven that God sure led your sainted mama to name you correctly. Joy is exactly what you brought into my heart this morning. I’ve been softly singing this chorus to myself all morning ma’am and expect I’ll be doing so for the rest of this day at least.

      Happy 64th Anniversary to you and brother Butch. Y’all are something special indeed. A treasure to our community and to our family of faith. So blessed to know you both. God’s blessings ma’am.

  7. Beautiful! Both the love story and truth conveyed through this post. This statement is just downright profound: “When I am closer to Him, I’m a better spouse, friend, and person.” It resonates so much with me because I’ve found this to be true. It reminds me to spend more time seeking God. When I draw close to Him, the Holy Spirit is more alive in me.

    1. Aww shucks. Thank you Ms. Candyce. Praying your safe at the beach this week, what rotten timing for that hurricane. Am so pleased you enjoyed the post and thank you for validating what I’ve long observed in my life. When I’m closer to God, I find myself with more peace, patience, and love. It’s because He is there with me, and through me. God’s blessings sweet sister.

  8. So insightful! You’ve given a new layer to what both Moses and Jesus said: “love the Lord your God, “ with all you’ve got and then “love your neighbor.” Right alignment for right relationships. And that’s no bull!

  9. My kids tell me I am dating myself when I talk about “going steady.” 🙂 I don’t know what they say now, but for a while they talked about “dating” or “seeing” someone when the couple was dating regularly and exclusively.

    I wonder if so many young (and older) people fall into “hooking up” because they’ve been taught that they are evolved animals–so they act like them.

    It’s such a good point that getting to know someone, whether God or another person, requires intention and time. Getting to know God is worth everything.

    1. Thanks Ms. Barb. I don’t feel so bad, or so old, my friend. At least we’re not alone ma’am. You bring up a great point. Without God, in whose image man was made, we are more aligned with the animal kingdom we were given domain over. Without God’s moral absolutes and a belief and values-based system to guide our lives, we act on instinct.

  10. I still remember the beginning season of dating my husband of 33 years. I feared my heart would forget my first love, Jesus. It wasn’t until the Lord assured me during our “going steady” months that the relationship was HIS gift to me. But since then, I’ve had to work with intention to remember the Giver who first pursed me years before my husband came along. Your love for Ms. Diane is precious!

    1. I see you could’ve written a poem entitled “God’s Gift” too Ms. Mary. While it took me twice to find God’s intended will and soulmate for my life, He did lead me to where she was when it was time, when I had learned enough to know I needed to let Him lead. And yes, unless we put God first in our lives and include Him in our marriage, it isn’t going to work ma’am. Great thoughts.

  11. Sorry to be late to the party again, J.D. I was up early enough to be higher up on this list of appreciative followers, but I was hijacked by the “tyranny of the urgent” earlier than usual. But enough whining and excuse making. I so enjoyed this creative and fascinating “Bull Session on Improving Spiritual Relationships.” (Sorry, Brother–couldn’t help myself) It was an unexpected trigger that allowed me to get lost for a few minutes in the flood of priceless memories about my Diane and how glad I am that we’ve been “going steady” for pushing 40 years. But obviously, the greater joy and the more important reminders focused on the relationship we have with the One who blessed us with the capacity to love one another and who loved us first.
    Your analogy about “going steady” with God brought a couple of Scriptures to mind that highlighted the fact that although God will never take His love from us, we have some responsibilities when it comes to maintaining that closeness. For instance, Jesus reprimanded the Church in Ephesus because they had “left [their] first love” (Rev. 2:4). Then Jude adds this admonition, “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). The guidelines you gave us offer powerful spiritual reinforcement and provide very helpful practical direction. But there’s another element that I found so relevant in this hookup culture. Without climbing on my ever present soapbox and going off on the devastating impact that the war against traditional marriage and the nuclear families they lead to, the younger generations are losing the powerful relational bond and the compelling, inexpressible joy that courtship can bring. We have so many whose hearts are wrung out from chasing the devil’s counterfeits, that they turn to every kind of artificial mechanism they can find in a quest for some way to experience what God designed all of us to enjoy every day.
    So please forgive me for being late, and thank you once again for a heartwarming, spirit lifting time at the Cross-Dubya. ‘Course, from now on it’ll be hard thinking about you and Mrs. Diane and not picture Mavric cutting his chosen one out of the herd. 🙂

    1. Oh, “the tyranny of the urgent.” How well I have come to understand that these past few weeks my friend. My apologies in the tardiness of my delays. I keep telling myself, “I’ll get caught up today”, but as each day passes it seems I’m falling farther behind. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed my attempt to bring a spiritual lesson from an everyday example of God’s presence here at the Cross-Dubya. I long for the day when we can sit together and share in the many lessons He provides in our lives my friend. Whether this side of heaven or the next, I look forward to the fellowship of faith we’ll share for eternity. God’s blessings sir, and you be sure to court your Ms. Diane with the same fervor and energy I try and apply to my Ms. Diane.

    1. Aww shucks. Thanks Ms. Kathy. I don’t think of myself as “inspirational”, but am grateful for the kind words ma’am. Like you, my goal is to bring God glory using the gifts He has blessed my life with.

    1. Thank you Ms. Tammy. As I was watching my buddy “Mavric”, honestly for signs of any return of his ailment, the thought about how well those two are interacting with one another overwhelmed me. The question that wouldn’t let me go a few weeks ago is whether or not my relationship with God is as steady and sure, with the focus of single-mindedness as these two cows. Oh, how God moves in our lives. So glad you enjoyed sweet sister.

    1. Such kindness. Thank you Ms. Edwina. I’m ever grateful that God allows me to share some of the thoughts and lessons He shares with me here in “God’s classroom.” Praying you have a restful and peace-filled week sweet sister-in-Christ. I continue lifting you up in prayer each day ma’am.

  12. Going steady implies an intentional commitment. Back when, there was a commemoration of that commitment like with a class ring or a promise ring. With God, the heart is involved. Time is another factor.
    I enjoyed your post as always. I learn stuff ‘coz you write good stuff!
    “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!” (Ps. 57:7)

    1. Thank you Ms. Sylvia. I don’t think of “insight” and “wisdom” when I think of myself my friend, but rather as those attributes belonging to God who uses me as His vessel. I pray His filling each day ma’am. God’s blessings.

  13. There was so much fun for Bill and I went steady. I think the younger generation is missing out on the joys of this kind of relationship. And I think that also impacts their relationship with God. They run to the thing that makes them happy in the moment. Great message JD and thanks for your insight

    1. I agree Ms. Yvonne. My Ms. Diane once described love as, “What’s left when the lust is gone.” While I can agree wholeheartedly with that statement because I’ve found that as the years have gone by, my love for my Ms. Diane has only grown in intensity, I also think that it important that we “lust” after God. We must pursue His presence in our lives every bit as we continue to pursue time with our soulmate. God is, after all, a soulmate with us. Praying you a great and blessed week sweet friend. Have ordered “Gypsy for God” and can’t wait to get into it and write a review. I know it’s going to be a blessing.

  14. I enjoyed this post, J.D. and the reminder that I need to be focused on God in every part of my life! So glad Mavric is able to get back out there and take care of his ladies!

    1. Me too (on the Mavric front) Ms. Kathy. This will be his last year at the Cross-Dubya and I’m already saddened by the fact that I’ll be looking out at the herd without its leader. I hope you’ll join me in praying that God gives me several bulls next year so I may select his progeny for the next crop. I want Mavric’s legacy to always be a part of our Cross-Dubya. God’s blessings ma’am.

        1. Thank you Ms. Kathy. As difficult as it will be to say goodbye to my bullish-friend, I’ll take solace in the knowledge that his legacy will be carried on through his progeny. God’s blessings ma’am.

  15. Great post J.D. You can find spiritual wisdom in the most delicate of subjects. I love it. And I love your ranching stories. I remember going steady, exchanging ID bracelets, hours and hours on the phone. I love the idea of going steady with God – or at least showing Him more attention than I currently do. You’re right. All relationships get better when I do.

    1. Am right there with you Ms. Cathy. I remember how much attention I used to shower on Ms. Diane. While our relationship has changed through these many years, I see the effort to give her attention replaced by the deepening love we have for each other. Our love is expressed not so much in the hours we spend together but in the things we do for one another. I wonder if our relationship with God is the same way? Do I need to spend less time in His presence because His presence is growing more and more within me as I take on the characteristics of His Son, Jesus Christ. Has my vessel been molded and the beauty revealed through His fiery trials? Am I becoming more of Him than I once was of me? Wonderful thoughts to ponder upon. Especially on those days when I feel I’ve so far yet to go. God’s blessings sweet sister-in-Christ.

  16. I love your post, JD! For some reason, this hymn kept playing through my mind. Here are the lyrics:
    “I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
    And it told Thy love to me;
    But I long to rise in the arms of faith
    And be closer drawn to Thee.
    Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
    To the cross where Thou hast died;
    Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
    To Thy precious, bleeding side.
    Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
    By the pow’r of grace divine;
    Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
    And my will be lost in Thine.
    Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
    That before Thy throne I spend,
    When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
    I commune as friend with friend!
    There are depths of love that I cannot know
    Till I cross the narrow sea;
    There are heights of joy that I may not reach
    Till I rest in peace with Thee.”
    Have a blessed holiday weekend!

    1. Oh, what sweet memories your comments brought Ms. Karen. Thank you ma’am. I can appreciate the spirit of today’s worship and praise songs, but there’s something I’ll always hold dear in the words of the old hymns. Rather than invoke a spirit of praise, they taught us lessons of faith. Hope that makes sense ma’am. Thank you again for reviving memories that I’ve long held dear.

    1. Thank you Ms. Nancy. How true you are ma’am. I firmly believe that Satan designed the big cities and all their lights, activities, and opportunities to help keep people distracted. There’s not question that folks can still find God in the big cities if they seek Him, but it sure was harder for me when we lived near Chicago to walk with Him each day. Certainly not “distraction-free” here at the Cross-Dubya, but His presence is all around me here, and not drowned out by lights, sirens, and shouts. I can walk freely and feel I’m in “Defense Mode” all the time. Oh, I still have to be aware of my surroundings, but with the exception of the occasional snake, skunk, or pile of manure, it’s a pretty peaceful place to be. 🙂 God’s blessings sweet ma’am.

  17. Thank you for this post, my friend. Your message and words are so needed in today’s culture and even in the church. I’ve seen it time and time again when someone thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. And the odds are that it won’t last on down the road. Your words ring true for all of us in going steady with God. I want to love Him more than anyone or anything and keep falling in love with Him every day–staying in love with Him. He was always meant to be my number one.

    1. Amen Ms. Karen. I’m sure in agreement ma’am. Since God is love, He is the source of our love, both for our soulmates here on earth and for those around us. The closer we are to Him, the more of His love can be shown through our lives. Great point ma’am. We must “go steady” with God so we have a “steady” flow of His love through our lives. Thank you ma’am.

  18. Who knew you’d find such a powerful lesson from the example of your bull, J.D.?!? I was really touched by your words and am determined to take stock daily of who I’m “going steady” with. Thank you!

    1. Yes! Amen Ms. Jackie. In the turmoil of today’s world, we must draw ever nearer to our source of peace, joy, and hope. Remember, “the greatest of these is love” sweet lady. God’s blessings and I’ve been praying for all these “dental adventures” you’ve been experiencing. Praying that they’re over for you soon my friend.

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