Monday, October 17, 2016
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members (parts) of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]."---Ephesians 5:25-33(AMPC)
Something that's a pet peeve of mine...
Is something I was reminded of this morning as I was looking for a lead picture quote for today's post. I was looking for a quote about the importance of a man nourishing and cherishing his wife and I found quite a few about the importance of couples nourishing and cherishing *each other*.
*That's NOT what the Scripture says*...
Something similar seems to happen A LOT in marriage. Even as it relates to how people approach Scripture. For instance, wives will say "I am not supposed to submit to my husband. We are to submit to *each other*." Umm...no. I get where they get that from, but the very definition of submission makes that entire concept...confusing, at best and God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33).
Submission means "to give over or yield to the power or authority of another". Even after Adam and the Woman were led out of the Garden and consequences were given out, God himself said "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16--NKJV) Colossians 3:18(NKJV) says "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." In fact, nowhere in Scripture are husbands instructed to submit to their wives. God has given them the authoritative role in marriage from Day One. Wives---actually women, in general---are created to help. It's biblical: "And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'" (Genesis 2:18--NKJV)
So where do folks get that from? Here:
Walk in Wisdom
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God."---Ephesians 5:15-21(NKJV)
This isn't speaking specifically to husbands and wives, though. If you check out the New King James Version of Ephesians 5, it starts out with the title "Walk in Love"---that is something *we all* are supposed to do. The New Living Translation breaks down, responsibly so, how this applies specifically to the relationship between a husband and his wife:
"And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word."---Ephesians 5:21-26(NLT)
It might seem like semantics but trust me, I deal with a lot of couples who are in strife because they are not clear about their roles. Wives are trying to be the leaders. Husbands are not loving their wives as Christ loved the Church--nor trying to even learn how to do it. It's all a mess.
All because far too many people choose not to submit to GOD'S WORD about marriage...
A wife trying to lead the home or get her husband to submit to her is TOTALLY out of order...
So is a man who claims to love his wife yet does not nourish and cherish her.
Nourish: to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to strengthen, build up, or promote
Cherish: to hold or treat as dear; feel love for; to care for tenderly; nurture; to cling fondly or inveterately to
An article that breaks down what all of this means shares these great points:
Now, we think of nourishment in physical terms. We provide nourishment for someone when we give him healthy food to eat. The word ektrepho carries that same meaning. But Paul expands on the idea. A man should not only nourish his wife by being a provider who makes sure there is healthy food for her to eat, but he should also nourish her soul. For his children, he nourishes them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord. He knows that man does not live by bread alone...
Paul reminds husbands that we are quick to satisfy our own need for nourishment. We rarely neglect our own bodies. Our care for our wife's needs should be just as acute. We are to labor to provide nourishment for her body, and we are to strive to provide nourishment for her soul.
But a wife is not only to be nourished; she is also to be cherished. Once again Paul uses a unique word, thalpo. It shows up only one other time in the New Testament, in Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians. There, he reminds his readers that he and his fellow missionaries had "proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares (thalpo) for her own children" (1 Thessalonians 2:7).
A husband, then, is to tenderly care for his wife in the same way that a mother gently and tenderly cares for a new baby. As a father of five, I've had a lot of opportunity to observe the special bond that grows between a mother and her child. After each child was born, I would watch as Mary Ann spent hours caring for our new son or daughter. She could sit for what seemed like forever to me, stroking his hair with her hand, talking to him, reacting to every coo or every facial gesture the baby would make. Even in the middle of the night, when the child had awakened her from a few precious hours of rest, she would gently care for, nurse, and talk to her baby. Her regular routines were interrupted, but it didn't matter. Nothing would get in the way of caring for the new little life in our home.
That's what it looks like to cherish someone. The word literally means "to soften or warm with body heat." It means we make another person our priority relationship. We cherish our wives by providing them with a warm, safe, secure environment, where they will never doubt our love, our care, and our commitment.
Think of it this way. If I were to ask you to name your most cherished possession—the one you'd run into the house to save in a fire—you would begin to mentally sort through the things you own. You would quickly eliminate the things that are easily replaceable. If you can buy the same item at Walmart for under $10, it's not likely to appear on your cherished possession list.
You would slowly begin to narrow the list down to a few items. All of them would either be very expensive or even irreplaceable. There would also very likely be some kind of emotional attachment to the items on your list—something that tied them to a special time or a special person in your life. If you were finally able to narrow the list down to a single item, it would very likely be something you alone would find valuable. Your cherished possessions would be a unique part of your life.
That list of valued possessions gives us a taste of what it means to cherish our wife. She is highly valued. She is our priority. She is cared for. We ought to regularly reflect back to her how cherished she is.
The Word doesn't instruct *wives* to do this...
Wives are to submit to and respect their husbands.
So yeah, we'll get into submission and respecting another time but...
If you have trouble respecting authority...
DON'T GET MARRIED.
Another pet peeve of mine is *far too many single people act married in their relationships before they actually are*. Not just sexually (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:9-10 & 16-20--Message) but emotionally too. It's not a single man's job/responsibility to treat his girlfriend as his wife---to grant her the privileges that come with taking that role/position in his life. However, it *is* a single gal's responsibility to discern (Proverbs 2) if he has the character to be a nourisher and cherisher once they are married.
A few days ago, I was led (Luke 12:12) to an article that can help to serve as a guidepost...
The title? "Nine Attributes of a Real Man". I'm just going to share the list. Feel free to click on the link to read all of it:
A man commits to following a greater authority.
He commits to sacrifice all else in the shadow of discipleship.
He commits to determined, joyful obedience.
He commits to spiritual discipline.
He commits to abide in the word of truth.
He commits to growth and production, especially spiritual fruit.
He commits to carry out God’s mission.
He commits to love others faithfully.
A HUGE MISTAKE that *far too many single women* make is thinking it is their job to turn some man they are interested in into a man of God. NOPE. Of course, people have the power to influence one another; that's why we need to be ever-cautious of the company that we keep (I Corinthians 15:33--AMPC). However, when a couple declare their marital vows before God and one another (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7), when they have sex (Genesis 2:24-25) and God joins them as husband and wife (Matthew 19:6), *there is a grace that's bestowed upon them that they don't have prior to marriage*. Until two people are husband and wife, spiritually they are brother and sister (which makes sexual sin all the more disturbing)---brother and sister who should be focusing on pleasing God (I Corinthians 7:32-34) and spiritually maturing (Hebrews 5:12-14) as individuals.
As this is transpiring, should two people catch one another's attention, "character inspection" should be a huge part of the focus. Praying and fasting (Matthew 17:20-21) in the process should be too.
See that's another problem with sexual sin...
It'll have you so lust-focused that you can't be spiritually--centered...
You won't be looking to see if a man has what it takes in order to spiritually lead you...
To properly nourish and cherish you.
Did you peep how on that nine-point list, the word "commit" kept coming up? That a man of God is going to *commit* to the things of the Lord? More and more, I share with people that marriage is definitely not for the world---you have to honor God in order to respect the things he's made---and honestly, being simply a believer is not enough either. The Word tells us that it's DISCIPLES (John 8:31-32) who are Word-abiders. DISCIPLES are the ones who are self-deniers (Matthew 16:24). Ask any married couple who's been together for longer than 10 years and they'll tell you that a BIG part of what got them through the hard times was abiding in the Word and denying themselves. This season of singleness is a *great time* to learn more about what that means too!
No man is going to be ready on his wedding day to nourish and cherish you...
If he's not currently in the process of committing to God...
NOT YOU. GOD.
A man who submits to authority, obeys, shows fruit of spiritual growth (Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 12:33), is on a mission for God and has a heart for others? A man who loves God enough on the front end to not physically or emotionally partake in what doesn't belong to him until *after* God has brought he and his wife together? A man who is spiritually mature enough to know that helping you to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) means not violating your body? A man who encourages you to put---and keep---God before him and to become a whole single before thinking about being his wife? *This* is a man who is well on his way to being a beautiful nourisher and cherisher!
I have some wife friends whose husbands love them...
Yet the nourishing and cherishing leaves MUCH to be desired!
If you're in a relationship, *search the Scriptures*.
Pray about if you're seeing good signs or HUGE RED FLAGS.
You are a daughter of the Most High (Psalm 82:6)...
Nourishing and cherishing is something that you are *owed* in marriage.
Does "he" show signs of being this kind of man?
Please take heed.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
"But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person."---I Corinthians 5:11(NKJV)
While talking to a wife who's been married for about as long as I've been abstinent, she asked me what I thought about boyfriends and girlfriends. I told her what I've been saying more and more: "I dislike that about as much as fornication." Her response? "Girl, me too!"
No one was boyfriend and girlfriend in the Bible.
No one was called to give marriage a "practice" or "test run".
Acting married when you not leads to a huge chance of breaking up.
And that makes you more and more numb when it comes to divorce being an option in marriage.
You know what else?
In the Bible, no woman was expected to submit to a man *until after* he became her husband.
SUBMISSION IS A GIFT (Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22).
One that is given to a man, once he takes a woman on as his wife.
So no, I'm not looking for some man to "take the lead" in a relationship prior to marriage.
Sound counter-cultural? Even for the Church? I bet it does (LOL). Here's where I'm going with it, though. I penned a devo last Sabbath that spoke a lot about Boaz and Ruth (if you want to check it out, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll shoot it over to you). RUTH WAS THE INITIATOR. Gender roles in intimate relationships are laid out for individuals who are *husband and wife*; not man and woman or boyfriend and girlfriend.
While I'm single, it's up to me to be led by God and to discern (Proverbs 2) how a man is *leading his own life*, not mine. As a close male friend of mine recently said "It's not about who is pursuing or not. It's about being obedient. You can never go wrong if you're doing that." He's so right.
More and more, I'm coming to the peaceful and resolved place that acting super committed in a dating situation is NOT God's will for two people who are considering marriage. Becoming the best of friends (Ephesians 4:9-12) is. That's how you get to really know someone---without the pressure; unrealistic expectations; using words that, quite frankly, don't even apply to you (like monogamous and cheating); violating one another sexually (if you're not married to someone, sexual activity is a VIOLATION--Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:9-10 & 16-20--Message); not properly guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23); making compromises that compromise you (i.e., not taking certain jobs or leaving a city for the sake of a relationship, etc.)...basically not enjoying what the season of singleness is supposed to be about: focusing on YOU and your growth and development.
Too many people get married as a broken person...
Because they did not use the season of singleness to become whole (James 1:4).
Satan likes it that way...
Because when you're not whole as a single individual...
And then you "play married"...
You overlook things that you shouldn't...
All the while calling it "loyalty to the relationship"...
When really you're allowing that person to be a stumbling block in your life (Romans 14:13).
That's why I appreciated a video that I "came cross" (Proverbs 16:33-AMPC) on yesterday. I really dug the title: "BOTH CHRISTIANS BUT UNEQUALLY YOKED". She provides some real gems. Please make the time to check her out:
Did you peep the lead Scripture for this? Interesting how much that "conveniently" goes overlooked, isn't it? When someone claims to be a believer, there is a standard that comes with that. Yes, none of us are perfect, but that doesn't give us the reason or right to live in conscious and habitual sin. According to the Word, when there are people in our lives who say they are a Christian, are habitually doing things the Bible says not to do, and they don't show fruit of wanting to change (Matthew 12:33), *we are not even supposed to be eating with them*, let alone *dating/courting* them.
That's what's so cool about Ms. Madyara's video. She's encouraging us to use our time to be honest about if we're equally yoked/truly compatible with someone, whether they claim to be a Christian or not. Another way to look at that is "Do we share the same values? Even as we're growing closer as friends? Will we help one another to become more like Christ or less like him?"
When you're so busy being someone's girlfriend...
Which is more like a slick wife...
You will take the relationship on like it's "You can me against the world"...
Instead of "Are you the one God has brought me to?"
So, take a moment and think...
As a Christian, WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL VALUES?
As far as Christianity as a whole, I really like a list that one author provided:
RECOGNIZE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR TRUTH
RECOGNIZE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR LOVE
RECOGNIZE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR DISCIPLESHIP
RECOGNIZE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR HOLINESS
RECOGNIZE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR PRAYER
RECOGNIZE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR POWER
RECOGNIZE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR CHRIST
Marriage is not for the world...
Marriage is for two people who serve the Lord...
Because the standards for marriage are *biblically based*.
In order to have a marriage that is equally yoked...
You need to have a friendship where two people share the same core biblical values.
While you're single and spending time with others...
THIS SHOULD BE YOUR MAIN FOCUS.
If it's not...
Value yourself, your heart, our body and your time enough to set values and uphold them...
Focus on if your FRIENDSHIP is compatible...
That's whats singles are *supposed* to be doing.
It makes for a MUCH HEALTHIER present as a single person...
And future, once GOD DECIDES it's time for you to be married.
"O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.
As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty.”---2 Corinthians 6:11-18(NKJV)
By the way, Ms. Madyara has a YouTube channel. Another one that caught my eye is "OBSESSING OVER MARRIAGE BEFORE YOU'RE MARRIED" (eh hem):
Sunday, September 18, 2016
"...pray without ceasing..."---I Thessalonians 5:17(NKJV)
When's the last time you prayed for your future husband? Not prayed *about* him or that God would bring you to him (Genesis 2:22) but actually prayed FOR him?
With the days and times that we're living in, I don't know about you, but personally, I'm seeing people get further and further away from prayer---across the board. At least when it comes to one of the true purposes of it:
Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life. Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished. Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
“Ask, and you will receive…” (John 16:24). We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things. Yet a child exhibits a magnificent boldness to ask! Our Lord said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems— the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.
Women who spend a lot of time asking (or is it demanding?!) about a husband is not really *praying for him*. A part of the reason why, even when it comes to our future life partner, it's important to "pray without ceasing" is because not only does it prepare your mind/body/spirit for your beloved who is to come but it also prepares him. A part of the reason why coming to God about him in a state of spiritual (Psalm 51:10) and sexual purity (I Corinthians 6:16-20--Message) is because the Bible is God-inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17), God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and James 5:16(AMPC) tells us this: "The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]." I know believing this to be true is a part of what's held me on all this time!
So yes, it's EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to:
1) Pray about if being married is a part of God's will for your life.
2) If it is, pray that God prepares you to be a BIBLICAL wife.
(Proverbs 31:10-30, I Peter 3:1-4, Ephesians 5:22-24, Proverbs 14:1, I Corinthians 7:1-5)
3) Pray that your husband strives to become a BIBLICAL husband.
(Ephesians 5:25-33, I Peter 3:7, I Corinthians 7:1-5)
4) Pray that you will guard your heart (mind/body) from the men who *aren't* your husband.
5) Pray that you will trust more in GOD'S TIMING more than your own (or the pressure of others).
(Acts 1:7--Message, Ecclesiastes 3:1& 11, James 1:17)
If you've never really thought about doing it, you're not sure how or you're discouraged right now, here's a cool video to inspire you:
Once you're in the groove of praying, maybe you'll be ready to do some writing...or some *more* writing...
An "On Fire" sistah (thanks Christina!) sent me a cool write-up last week entitled "Dear Future Husband..."
It starts off like this:
We kissed on the couch while watching a movie in his parents basement. He asked if I wanted to go further and I froze at the question.
How much further? Should I be cool and roll with it? Should I say no?
Questions raced through my mind and in a panic, I excused myself to the bathroom before I could answer. After an awkward conversation, I drove home feeling like a super uncool loser who just lost the cool guy's interest. I felt like the only girl in high school who couldn't keep a guy's interest long.
I encountered a similar situation early on in college. With slumped shoulders, I shuffled back to my dorm room after a disappointing evening, and mumbled under my breath, DANG IT. THIS IS SO HARD!
When I got home, I knew exactly what to do though. I went to my room, opened my closet door, and searched for that secret little box I kept tucked in the back shelf for days like these. I tore out a piece of notebook paper and began writing another letter to him.
It started just like all the others:
Dear Future Husband...
The author has been writing them for YEARS. What I'm going to share is her final one; for the reason she expressed in the piece:
Dear Future Husband,
It’s hard to believe that this is the last time I’ll ever write a Dear Future Husband letter to you because in just a few short hours you will no longer be my future husband but instead will become my forever husband. It’s hard to believe that the day we’ve dreamed of since we met is finally here. It’s hard to believe that our forever starts today. It’s hard to believe that I have the privilege of marrying a man like you – a man who loves like Jesus does, a man who serves with His whole heart, a man who is strong and brave, and a man who lets God lead His life no matter the cost.
But on the other hand, it’s not that hard to believe because that’s just the kind of the God we serve – a God who is faithful to work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
When I was 13, my dad gave me a purity ring. Engraved inside of the band are the words: true love waits. In that moment, I promised to wait for my future husband and even signed a purity pact without hesitation (although I had no idea just how difficult that road could be). Nonetheless, I’ve worn that ring since the day it was given to me and done my best to be true to the promise my little middle school heart made to my earthly father, my Heavenly Father, and you, my Future Husband.
It wasn’t always easy waiting for you. It wasn’t always easy when boys would lose interest when I said no. It wasn’t always easy to explain to people all the reasons why I believed you were worth waiting for without even knowing your name yet. All I knew was that God’s design is more beautiful than anything this world could dream up – and that was worth waiting for even when it was hard.
When I felt like giving up, I’d think of you and then I would write to you. I dreamed of one day giving all those letters to the man I married so that he would see how truly important he was long before I ever met him. Today, you are that man. And although some have since been misplaced, I pray you treasure these letters I’ve written to you over the years.
As I step out of my single life and into the mystery of marriage with you in Jesus name, I’m giving to you the purity ring my daddy placed on my hand when I was a young 13 year-old girl. In it’s place, I’ll wear the wedding band that you’ll place on my finger today as your bride.
Because you are and always have been the future husband that God designed for me, the one I’ve prayed for, hoped for, and waited for all these years.
Although it’s been a long road of waiting, God has walked with me through the steps of lonely seasons, heartbreaks, loss, frustration, and so much more to prepare me to become a wife worthy of your love. Looking back, every single one of those steps that brought us here were so beyond worth it. And I know without a doubt that you are worth it and I’d do it all over again if I had to.
So as I walk down that aisle toward you today, I want you to know that I believe that walk is so much more than a ceremonial motion or formality. Each step represents the steps that God has walked with me through to bring me to this moment as I take this big step in becoming your wife.
Today we give Him everything. Today, we give each other everything.
I can’t express to you how overwhelmed I am by the faithfulness and goodness of God in His blessing of me with you as my husband and I joyfully give you my hand, my heart, and my life from now until the end of time.
Your Forever Bride
Beautiful that she calls him her "forever husband".
Beautiful that she maintained her purity.
Beautiful that she expressed that her faith walk was not *easy* but oh so *worth it*.
I really do like, and appreciate, this line:
Because you are and always have been the future husband that God designed for me, the one I’ve prayed for, hoped for, and waited for all these years.
Last time I had a boyfriend was around 32.
I get that the wait can be hard.
Yet the more that you pray, the more that you "write the vision", the more that you "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7), the more that you don't settle and trust that God will make your way perfect (Psalm 18:30-32) because his work and way is (Deuteronomy 32:4, 2 Samuel 22:31), the stronger you'll be come. And trust me, I do enough marriage counseling to know that *good help* (Genesis 2:18) requires a *spiritually strong* woman/wife!
So don't be discouraged.
Take out some time this week to pray for and write to your future husband!
It's not time wasted---present and future!
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones."---Proverbs 12:4(NKJV)
It's not the norm for me to reference Jay Z and Beyonce' (or many celebrities at all) when it comes to these posts. However, as I was doing some praying for the "On Fire" women, a particular throwback from Beyonce' came to mind. Over and over:
I'm posting "Upgrade U" for one main reason. I actually like the part where she mimics her husband's mannerisms.It reminds me that when two people are married, they take on the "become one" (Genesis 2:24-25) process, even physically.
Anyway, many of you are probably familiar with the song. Here are some of the lyrics:
I can do for you what Martin did for the people
Ran by the men but the women keep the tempo
It's very seldom that you're blessed to find your equal
Still play my part and let you take the lead role
I'll follow this could be easy
I'll be the help whenever you need me
I see you hustle wit my hustle
I can keep you
Focused on your focus I can feed you
You need a real woman in your life
That's a good look
Home is still fly
That's a good look
I'm gonna help you build up your account
That's a good look
Better yet a hood look
Ladies that's a good look
When you're in the big meetings for the mills
That's a good look
It take me just to compliment the deal
That's a good look
Anything you cop I'll split the bill
That's a good look
Better yet a hood look
Ladies that's a good look
Partner let me upgrade you
Genesis 2:18(AMPC) says "Now the Lord God said, 'It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.'"
God brought Adam a woman in the form of a wife who was suitable for him.
God brought Adam a woman in the form of a wife who was adapted to him.
God brought Adam a woman in the form of a wife who was complementary to him.
And all of these qualities put together?
It made the Woman, Adam's wife, good help.
Another way to look at that?
It made her an UPGRADE for him and his world.
Upgrade: an incline going up in the direction of movement; an increase or improvement; a new version, improved model, etc.; an increase or improvement in one's service, accommodations, privileges, or the like; something, as a piece of equipment, that serves to improve or enhance
It's kinda amazing that Adam was in the state of perfection, both personally and as the result of his environment, and still God, in his infinite understanding (Psalm 147:5), determined that it was not good for Adam to be alone; that he would need some help.
A WIFE IS TO HELP HER HUSBAND.
She's to provide assistance is to help him to go higher.
She's to increase and improve his way of life.
Her presence should also increase and improve his service and privileges.
She should enhance him.
Enhance: to raise to a higher degree; intensify; magnify;
Sunday, August 21, 2016
"[He said] I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field [which are free to follow their own instincts] that you not try to stir up or awaken [my] love until it pleases."---Song of Solomon 2:7(AMPC)
That Scripture right there...
That's one of the most RESPONSIBLE THINGS any woman has said in Scripture concerning romantic love. An article that expounds on it speaks volumes all on its own. I'll share an excerpt. Please make the time to check it out in its entirety:
The way in which the Song persuades us to wait for marriage to have sex is striking, however. Often Christians focus on the various rules that the Bible gives us about our sexuality — the “Thou shalt not’s.” There is certainly biblical wisdom behind those rules. Yet what the Song adds to the rules are reasons. Rules are like walls and fences: They can mark out where proper boundaries exist. Yet walls and fences are of only limited help in keeping people in their proper place: They can easily be tunneled under, climbed over, or broken down. It is much more likely that we will stay on the proper side of the wall until marriage if we have a reason rather than simply a rule.
Intriguingly, the Song compares waiting for marriage to guarding a vineyard. In the springtime of the year, when flowers are in bloom and all nature is telling you to go forth, be fruitful and multiply, the woman warns us of the little foxes that can damage the fragile blossoms of the vineyard, with serious long-term consequences for its fruitfulness (2:15). She reminds us that the farmer who invests his energy in protecting the integrity of the vineyard will not regret it later, even though the benefits of this painful perseverance won’t be reaped until the time is fully ripe.
Vineyard tending is a long, patient process of waiting and watching in which one failure doesn’t bring the whole endeavor to nothing. The farmer who fails doesn’t have to give up the vineyard as damaged goods. He can repent and rebuild the broken wall and start again to watch and wait. Equally, while keeping the walls is important in vineyard tending, it is not the only thing. It’s about taking care of tender blossoms. Tending your sexual vineyard is therefore not simply about actual physical sexual intercourse; it is about protecting your mind from habitual lust, romantic fantasy, and pornography, all of which can have long-term damaging effects. You can have a vineyard whose walls are still intact but whose blossoms have been trampled into the muddy dirt in other ways.
Nor is watching over the vineyard an end in itself. Rather, its wonderful purpose is to be able at the end of the process to present your vineyard to your lover in full bloom, so that you can both enjoy its fruit without regret or remorse. The intensity of the waiting makes the final consummation all the more glorious. Failure should not lead us simply to guilt but to repentance, while God enabled purity should not result in pride but profound thankfulness to God for his grace that protected us against ourselves.
*The intensity of the waiting makes the final consummation all the more glorious.*
I'm a marriage life coach.
People try to get me to date/meet someone all of the time.
Life has taught me to say similar to what the Shulamite woman did...
Abstinence doesn't make sexuality dead. Just dormant.
A season of waiting to receive *God's definition* of satisfaction and pleasure. Not man's.
(Psalm 16:11 & 145:16)
And God can do exceedingly abundantly above our estimation of ALL THINGS!
Patience leads us to perfection with no sense of lack (James 1:4)...
Don't pressure yourself or allow others to pressure you to move ahead of God's timing.
Allow God to awaken love...
Are really and truly READY!
AND ONLY GOD KNOWS WHEN THAT IS.