Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"On Fire": (VIDEO) WAIT for Your Bashert, Your 'Rib Mate' and Yes...Your Soul Mate

God has someone special for each of us at the right time. The key is to be patient and wait for the right one. Dating is not about the hook up its about really getting to know a person. This applies to both men and women.  ~Me   #God   #Love   #datingadvice

"Take me away with you! Let’s run off together! An elopement with my King-Lover! We’ll celebrate, we’ll sing, we’ll make great music. Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine. Everyone loves you—of course! And why not?"---Song of Solomon 1:4(Message)


So...

Early this morning, I read an article that included signs that you have met the one *God* sent (not *you* chose on your own---Psalm 106:15). Click here to read the entire article. For now, just the list itself:

He speaks the words of God.
He practices what he speaks.
He doesn’t lie.
He doesn’t corrupt your good character.
He honors and respects you.
He is just and merciful. 
He makes sacrifices.
He forgives you.
He gives you grace 

He possesses the Fruit of the Spirit:

Love: He loves you.
Joy: He has a cheerful heart.
Peace: He is a man of peace.
Longsuffering: He is patient.
Gentleness: He is a true gentleman.
Goodness: He is a good man.
Faith: He is faithful.
Meekness: He can humble himself.
Temperance: He has self-control.

I mean, if a lot of women were "seriously intentional" about being brought (Genesis 2:22) to God's best for them, based on this list, they'd have to admit that they need to cut the guy they are seeing loose...at least for now. 

'Cause here's the deal. Although a single woman should be *wife material* (and showing fruit of being that---Matthew 12:33) *prior* to marriage (Proverbs 18:22), a single man should be *husband material* too! This list reveals what some of that looks---and lives---like.

However, those are qualities that should apply to ALL RELATIONSHIPS....

What are some *specific* things that you should look for in your *specific* man?

BASHERT

Image result for bashert quotes

If y'all spend enough time reading these, you know I am HUGE on Hebrew culture. It's for a lot of reasons.

One of them is because (although somehow far too many Christians seem to "forget" this fact) Christ was not a westernized European man. He was a Jew from the eastern side of the world (his parents rode to SYRIA for the census right before he was born--Luke 2:1-3). We shouldn't forget that Yehoshua the Christ said himself that he was "King of the Jews" (Mark 15:2).

Another reason is because *many Scripture* scholars believe that Hebrew was the "creation language" being that we are introduced to Hebrew words from the very beginning. Adonai (and the rest of the Godhead---I John 5:6-8) created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1) and Adonai is Hebrew for "Lord, Lord, Lord, master or owner". So yeah, I have *no problem* with the Hebrew word "bashert" which means "destiny".

In fact, I discern (Proverbs 2) that it could spare tons of women loads of heartache if they heeded this warning in Scripture: "Her uncleanness is in her skirts; she did not consider her destiny; therefore her collapse was awesome; she had no comforter." (Lamentations 1:9--NKJV) This is speaking of Jerusalem basically showing out. Yet it's also a reminder that when we don't keep our destiny (one definition of destiny is "the power or agency that determines the course of events", so in the case of believers, our destiny should be God himself) in mind, things can go waaaaaaay left and get reeeeeeeeeeally strange (Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:23). Even when it comes to choosing our life partner.

And when you look at the picture quote of what a bashert is, that's biblical anyway:

"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.'"---Genesis 2:18(AMPC)

I'm actually gonna get a bit more into the word "bashert" towards the end of this because it correlates well with soul mate (something that yes, I do believe in...just not in the chick flick kind of way). For now, though, one way to know if you met *the one* God has *for you* is if *you both* complement one another:

Complement: something that completes or makes perfect; either of two parts or things needed to complete the whole; counterpart

Counterpart: a person or thing closely resembling another, especially in function

OK, *by no means* do I discern that "two halves make a whole" in the popular sense (that's called a "dysfunctional relationship" or a codependent one at best!). A lot of us are in the season (Ecclesiastes 3) that we're in now because God, in his infinite understanding (Psalm 147:5), knows that *we* need to be made whole *first*---IN HIM (James 1:4).

What I am totally sold on is that since in perfection (the Garden of Eden), there was a husband and wife union, more times than not, God wants to use married couples to represent what his covenant (of him, Christ and the Holy Spirit) is to look like here on earth! Yes, Adam had a "season of singleness" and for the Woman to be *brought* to him, she very well may have too. Yet ultimately marriage was "bashert"---it was meant to be. This Scripture is a co-sign:

"But Jesus said, 'Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.'"---Matthew 19:11-12(Message)

(Yeah, everyone *isn't* mature enough, especially *spiritually mature* enough for marriage!---Hebrews 5:2-14---check out "Marry a Partner, Not a Child")

Yet for a marriage to *truly* be of the Lord, two individuals need to complement one another in the desire to serve the Lord, in their value system, in their ability to help one another fulfill their individual (Psalm 33:15), God-ordained purposes (Psalm 20:4) in truly extraordinary ways.

The one God has for you will complement you *as you* complement them...
In very specific, significant and CLEAR ways.

This is a great segue into the next thing to look for...


RIB MATE

Image result for adam's rib quotes  

Yeah, that quote is hilarious. And accurate: "But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband." (I Corinthians 7:2---NIV) That's *until death* by the way.

Anyway, on the rib tip, something I used to say often is "Have you ever tried to get around with one of your ribs missing? No wonder so many single men are uncomfortable!" It's the truth. And what's really cool about Genesis 2:21, is Scripture doesn't specify *which rib* the Woman was taken from: "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place."

Our rib cages serve a specific purpose: *protection*---of the heart and lungs and they are connected to the spine. This is kind of a message all unto itself because ribs are also *curvy* (wink). I am a *firm believer* that if a woman wants to learn how to become a wife and then be the best wife for her husband (Proverbs 31:10-11, I Peter 3:1-6), since a woman is *first* described as being a "helper" (if you don't want to help a man, DAILY, stay single---Genesis 2:18) and the Holy Spirit is also defined as being a helper, he is who can best equip her in how to be the "best rib" possible: 

"But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you."---John 14:26(AMPC)

Wanna protect your future husband's heart?
Wanna give him room to breathe (lungs) and grow?
Wanna help support him (that's what the spine does) in powerful ways?
Consult the Holy Spirit on how to do that!

Don't wait until marriage either...
Start preparing...*now*.

OK, but I didn't come up with the term "rib mate". 
I heard a spiritual sistah say it on a video this morning.





"God has something to say about everything; especially who you marry."
Indeed.

"Eve had a part of Adam in her."
Indeed.

"God is very specific."
Indeed.

"Your spouse is going to identify a part of them in you."
Indeed.

"It will be a 'spiritual covenant identification'."
Indeed.

Good stuff! I really like her phrase "spiritual covenant identification". Dope.

The one God has for you will be someone who recognizes you---who spiritually discerns you (I Corinthians 2:14)---as being a part of themselves.

OK, but Allyson said she doesn't believe in soul mates...
I do...

Here's why. And how.



SOUL MATE

Image result for soul mate quotes

Why do I believe in soul mates? This:

"Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul...Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul."---I Samuel 18:1&3(NKJV)

By no means do I think that Jonathan and David had a...biblically-inappropriate relationship (Romans 1, I Corinthians 6:9-10). What I do discern is that Jonathan and David did set the bar for the fact that ALL MARRIAGES should be rooted and grounded in a *pure friendship* (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

Jonathan loved David as his own soul. A covenant came from that. Ultimately, Jonathan played a role in saving David's life (I Samuel 20!) Yes...this is what a soul mate relationship looks and lives like!

And so, to me, soul mates aren't *only* about husbands and wives; it's about joining with those who have your soul's *best* interest at heart. People who take that sooooooo seriously that they are willing to make great sacrifices if need be: "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." (John 15:13)

THIS IS A SOUL MATE.
NO ONE SHOULD SETTLE FOR LESS THAN THIS IN CHOOSING A SPOUSE.

And this brings up back to bashert...
One author says this about it in direct connection to soul mates (excerpts):

Bashert is a Yiddish word that means "destiny". It is often used in the context of one's divinely predestined spouse or soulmate. It can also be used to express the seeming destiny of an auspicious or important event, friendship, or happening. In modern usage, Jewish singles will say that they are looking for their bashert, meaning they are looking for that person who will complement them perfectly, and whom they will complement perfectly.

According to the Talmud [the body of Jewish civil and ceremonial law and legend comprising the Mishnah and the Gemara] in Sotah, Rav Yehudah taught that 40 days before a male child is formed, a voice from heaven announces whose daughter he is going to marry - literally a match made in heaven!

I should point out that finding your bashert – your true soulmate - doesn't necessarily mean that your marriage will be trouble-free. Marriage, like everything worthwhile in life, requires dedication, effort and energy. Even when two people are meant for each other, it is possible for them to ruin their marriage.

Interestingly, one of the Scriptural sources for the concept of bashert can be found in this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Chayei Sarah, where the story is told of Abraham’s faithful servant Eliezer and the shidduch (match) he made between his master’s son Isaac and a special girl named Rebecca...

In the beginning of the Torah [the Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and/or the Old Testament], when G-d is about to create woman, He says, “I shall make for him [Adam] a helper against him” (see Genesis 2:18). The Talmud in Yevamos interprets this verse as follows: If the man is worthy, the woman will be a helper; if he is unworthy, she will be against him. The Dubno Maggid explains that the ideal marriage according to Torah tradition is not meant to be without any tension or disagreement. Certainly, when the husband is doing as he should, then his wife will complement him and there will be smooth sailing. However, it is often the wife’s responsibility to oppose her husband in order to get him to act properly, even challenging and criticizing him as necessary to help him achieve a common course.

In fact, our Sages teach us that one of the main purposes of marriage and a big part of G-d’s plan in putting these two ‘half-souls’ together – in addition to having children and raising a good Jewish family - is for the couple to grow together through the various spiritual and other challenges (bad character traits, annoying habits, etc.) that they were meant to present to each other, and to learn to deal with those challenges.

In other words, it might very well be bashert for a person to end up marrying someone who is not “perfect” at all – but who, because of his/her imperfections, is “perfectly” suited to foster maximum growth in the relationship. One could even say that the most powerful vehicle for a person’s spiritual growth is marriage! (Who knew?) As a wise rabbi told me when I first got married, “Treat your wife well – she’s your ticket to the World to Come!”

Selah and amen!

Oh, and for those who have a problem with "predestination", this:

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."---Romans 8:29-30(NKJV)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."---Ephesians 1:3-6(NKJV)

"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory."---Ephesians 1:11-12(NKJV)

Why wouldn't predestination be biblical?
God knows the end from the beginning after all (Revelation 1:8).

One of my favorite YouTube videos, ever, on marriage is here:




Are there a lot of people who choose their spouse instead of allowing YHVH, the God of Covenant, to do it? 100 percent! Do even more divorce (Malachi 2:14-16), all the while ignoring that marriage is to make us more like Christ than anything else? YES. A million times YES!

Your bashert isn't someone who coddles the ego...
Your bashert is the one who will spiritual grow and mature you like no other!

The one will bring you closer to God by challenging and rallying your spiritual growth...
They *will not* be a stumbling block of it (Romans 14:13, I Corinthians 8:9).

Stumbling block: an obstacle or hindrance to progress, belief, or understanding

If you're seeing someone or even considering someone who already is an obstacle or hindrance to your personal progress, your biblical beliefs or your understanding of how those two things go together, they are *not* the one! (By the way, someone who wants you to or has you violating yourself sexually, they are also considered to be a stumbling block---I Corinthians 6:16-20--Message).

Although I can't even begin to cover all of the bases of how to know who the one is (God can, though---James 1:5), prayerfully, this provides more clarity.

Psalm 27:14(NKJV) says "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"

Wait: to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often followed by for, till, or until); (of things) to be available or in readiness; to remain neglected for a time; to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed; to look forward to eagerly

Waiting can be hard...
It's all about waiting ON God not FOR a husband!

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope."---Psalm 130:5(NKJV)

If you do that...

Your Bashert.
Your Rib Mate.
Your Soul Mate.

Will arrive---*and truly blow your mind!*---in God's time!
(Ecclesiastes 3:11, Acts 1:7--Message, Psalm 84:11)


His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...

SRW


Sunday, November 26, 2017

"On Fire": (VIDEOS) If You Can't Say 'Yes' to this Same Question...BREAK UP

Image result for submit to your husband quotes

"If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [for being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]."---James 1:5-8(AMPC)


Well...

Y'all know me. Experience, observation and time in the Word (John 1:1-3, 2 Timothy 3:16-17) have brought me to the firm conclusion that having a boyfriend usually does more harm than good. They aren't in the Bible, they tend to teach us how to divorce (Malachi 2:14-16) more than remain faithful to our marriage vows (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Job 22:27, Matthew 19:1-12, I Corinthians 7:10-11), they significantly increase the chances of sexual compromise (I Corinthians 6:16-20--Message) and they are sho 'nuf not the best or most effective way to guard your heart; something the Word instructs us all to do: "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." (Proverbs 4:23--AMPC)

The foundation of a healthy and purpose-filled marriage are two people who are devoted to God, understand discipleship (Matthew 16:24, John 8:31-32) and are FRIENDS (Ephesians 4:9-12).

Do you know how many boyfriend/girlfriend dynamics are more focused on "acting married" than establishing a *true friendship*? Who think they are not single when...*everyone is single until their tax status says otherwise*? Having a boyfriend doesn't make you "not single". Don't rob yourself of the time to get to know God and yourself better during your season of not being married (James 1:4).

Have *guy friends* in the meantime...
It's wiser, safer and healthier that way.

That said, I did watch two videos last night from a woman who said God sent her a sign that her boyfriend *was not* the one. Not because he wasn't a good guy or didn't have a relationship with the Lord. She said that the Holy Spirit asked her a specific question that she couldn't give anything but a "no" to. And yes, I co-sign that it's a question we all should pray about---whether you have a boyfriend or there's a friend whom you have an attraction to (and has some sort of interest in you).

Watch the video to see the question:




And this one as her follow-up:




After you watch the videos, check out "Six Things Submission Is Not". Just because the world doesn't promote submission---and a lot of Christian wives don't model it was well as they should (Ephesians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:18)---doesn't mean it's not still what God expects of wives in their marriage. He does not change (Malachi 3:6).

Definitely something else to pray about/over...
For real, for real.


His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...

SRW


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"On Fire": If You're Afraid of Being Single, You're Not Ready for Marriage

 

"There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]."---I John 4:18(AMPC)


Honestly?

I've been meaning to sit down and pen this for a while. The title has been sitting in the drafts section of this blog for a hot minute. But as I continue to get so many emails from the "Will God Flat-out Tell You Who Your Husband Is?", I honestly wanted to make sure that it was the right time. I wanted to see how many women were simply looking for insights on their journey vs. the ones who were flat-out anxious...maybe even desperate. The anxiety wins out. By a long shot.

It really is a trip that I am 43, never-been-married and at least 30-40 percent of how my time is spent is dealing with people who A) want to get married; B) are married or C) reconciling folks who are on the verge of divorce or are in a broken covenant (which is really all divorce is; not "single again"...in a broken covenant).

What some of you may not know is that I also pay out of pocket to send married couples to hotel rooms and bed and breakfasts in order to reignite the passion in their relationship. I do it because just as much as sex IS NOT for us singles, it is TOTALLY FOR married folks (I Corinthians 7:1-5)! I'm all about supporting them in "gettin' theirs" in any way that I can (LOL)!

And yet, it's something. The more that I serve married people, the more that I seek (Matthew 7:7-8) and study (2 Timothy 2:15--AMPC) about marital covenant and what YHVH, the God of Covenant, requires in order for a marriage to work and last, the *less anxious* I am about getting married. 

Partly due to this:

"He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit."---Proverbs 17:27(AMPC)

The more I come to understand about the point, purpose and responsibility that comes with marriage, the calmer/cooler I am concerning it.

Partly due to this:

"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."---Philippians 4:6-7(AMPC)

This Scripture is not a mere request. What I have learned in my own faith walk (2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11, Mark 11:22) is that it's a command; that we are being *disobedient* when we're anxious about ANYTHING---including the desire to be married or...even have it confirmed who our "the one" even is.

For one thing---and I know this is hard for a lot of people to hear---God does not *owe* us a husband. In fact, I venture to say half of the anxiety a lot of women feel could be settled, just with this revelation alone! Marriage, like anything else from the Lord, is a gift for the sake of his purposes most of all. In other words, marriage is FAR MORE about him and his plan than our personal wants and agendas. Once you accept this reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18--Message), there's calm.

Also, what I have learned is that in the moments when I am anxious, I need to double-check my prayer life. Titus 1:2 tells us that God cannot lie and Philippians 4 tells us that prayer results in peace---of, as the Classic Amplified Version puts it "of being content" (Hebrews 13:5--AMPC). If you're not feeling anywhere close to this...it's time to focus more on praying than worrying (another thing we're not supposed to do--Matthew 6:25-34) about when you're gonna get married.

Related image 

There's more though...

Since I am a marriage life coach, I deal with all sorts of issues that married couples have. And let me tell you, Proverbs 21:9(AMPC) is alive and not-so-well in *many* homes: "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman.

What kind of woman tends to be like this? Frankly, one with a Jezebel spirit is what first comes to mind. The second is a woman with all sorts of anxiety---a woman who expects her *husband* to do more for her than *God* should (which is a slick form of idolatry---Exodus 20:3) OR a woman who is more caught up in *her* timing than the Father's (Acts 1:7--Message, Ecclesiastes 3:11).

And so, if you're not someone who hasn't gotten a hold of how to handle anxiety while you're single, I don't know how in the world you're going to be able to pull off dealing with the ups and downs (and there are PLENTY of 'em!) of marriage after saying "I do". 

Psalm 7:9 tells us that God tests our hearts. 
Could the season you're in right now be a test?
Are you passing?

And then, there's fear...

Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid; concern or anxiety; solicitude

That word in the picture quote? 
It speaks of people who have a phobia about remaining single

Phobia: a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it

While I don't suffer from anuptaphobia, I do struggle with acrophobia---the fear of heights (I even joined the "acros" team in high school so that I could work on overcoming it!). And did you peep how a phobia is defined? It's a persistent fear; not only that, it's an IRRATIONAL FEAR.

And here's the thing about fear...

2 Timothy 1:7(AMPC) tells us "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control." Since God didn't give fear to us, that basically leaves us with one other source: SATAN. Why do you want to hold on to ANYTHING that comes from *that* dude?! And here's the thing. He's usually only planting a *seed* of fear; one that we can refuse if we only choose to (I Corinthians 10:13). We're the ones who feed into fear by obsessing over *irrational thoughts*.

Because unless God said, flat-out, that you're *not* getting married, why trip?
And if that *is* what he said, trust that he has a better plan.
(Ephesians 3:20-21, I Corinthians 2:9-10)

Either way, you're gonna be fine...
No fear need---if you REALLY trust the Maker of you *and* of marriage.

And still there's more...

Image result for quotes on god meeting our needs 

The lead Scripture for this tells us that THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE. So, if you have a fear of being single, there is some love lacking somewhere. Love for God, love for self or love for trusting that God's will is best (which is basically a "hybrid" of the other two). Besides, if fear is what motivates you now, you'll be unable to get to the point and place of *spiritually maturing* (Hebrews 5:12-14) to where you can love someone else. 

Real talk? That might be why a lot of single women are not married (yet). If they can't get a handle on how to be perfected in self-love and loving God with their all (reverse the order, actually---Mark 12:30-31), how can they *possibly* handle the kind of love and responsibility that marital covenant requires?! Because a fearful woman? She's not the kind of lady who fits this bill:

"A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her."---Proverbs 31:10-12(AMPC)

Do YOU trust anxious and fear-filled folks?
I know I don't.
So, why should we expect GOD to give a man a woman who lives that way?

It might be a hard thing to hear yet the truth sets us free (John 8:31-32) and the free-setting truth is that if you're afraid of being single, thank the Lord for his wisdom of knowing that you're not yet ready for marriage. Wives are to be helpers (Genesis 2:18) to their husbands. If single women can't settle into trusting the Perfect One (Deuteronomy 32:4) while in their single state, there is no way they can be trusted to be of *good help* to their man---a flawed being.

James 5:16 instructs us to "confess and be healed"...
If you know you have a bout of anuptaphobia, the remedy isn't marriage...
The cure is going to the Father about howto get that phobia handled.

If a husband is what God indeed has for you...
You need to learn how to become FEARLESS *before* he arrives.
(Proverbs 18:21)

No time like the present...right?
Selah. And amen. 


His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...

SRW


Thursday, November 9, 2017

"On Fire": (VIDEO) A Faith-Based Union Needs a Faith-Walking Woman (even While She's Single)

I wrote this in my journal before I met my husband and prayed that he would be this type of man... now praying the same for my girls!

"To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity."---Psalm 18:25(NLT)


First of all...

I really dig that picture quote because it's what Billy Graham's wife, Ruth Bell, said she wanted in a husband. Death and life really are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). SPEAK. LIFE!

Anyway, as I continue to get emails from women who believe that God has told them who their husband is, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33--AMPC) a video today that captured my attention. One reason was because I dig the name of the series: FAITHSTRUT (2 Corinthians 5:7). Another reason is because of the topic. It's about a single woman who believes with everything in her that God has shown her who her husband is...even though she has not met him yet.

There are two cool things that are standouts to me about her story. Actually, three.

1) She shares a lot of other faith twists-and-turns; she's a woman of faith, period. (Psalm 7:9)

2) She is PREACHING when she talks about the power of prayer, the importance of interceding for your husband before ever knowing him and how there is a spiritual connection that happens well before a physical one. How *intimate* praying for another person---especially the one the Lord has for you---is.

3) She hasn't met him yet. She's currently *still* on her faith journey just as much as some of you are.

It all makes me think of something that I discovered about faith a few years ago...

The Hebrew word for love is "ahavah" which basically breaks down into "I give".

The Hebrew word for faith is very similar. It's "amanah". It means "support" and "agreement".

Faith walks are not easy. Just ask all of the people in the "Faith Hall of Fame" in the Bible (Hebrews 11). But if you don't allow this time of singleness to be when you learn how to hear from God and trust him completely (Proverbs 3:5-6), how will you get into position for helping (Genesis 2:18) and submitting (Colossians 3:18) to the man that he brings you to (Genesis 2:22)? 

A good man's---and woman's---steps are ordered (Psalm 37:23). We have to be ready and willing to take things one step at a time. We have to "walk in AGREEMENT" (Amos 3:3) with God before *ever* attempting to do it with our spouse. We need *trust him* as he *supports us*.

Just a reminder for anyone who may be hanging on by a thread today...



I'm rooting for this woman, I really am!

STAY. FAITHFUL. AND. FAITH-FILLED.

It ALWAYS pleases God (Mark 11:22, Hebrews 11:6)


His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...

SRW

Sunday, November 5, 2017

"On Fire": God Wants to CUSTOMIZE You for Your Future Husband

Image result for song of solomon 4:7


Hey Ladies...

This isn't going to be as long as usual because I'm going to provide the link to the devotional that I penned on the topic yesterday. For those who desire the cliff notes, the bottom lines are these.

1) Something that's been coming up a lot lately are women and self-image. Women wanting to know why they don't attract men. Not *their man*. Men, in general. Something that I said in the devotional yesterday is *prostitutes* attract lots of men; it's how they make their money. A godly wife really shouldn't care what multiple men think. JUST. THEIR. HUSBAND.

2) I believe I've shared some form of this video before, but it's relevant to the point. Pastor John Gray confirms where I'm coming from here:



3) BEFORE SIN, Adam gave Eve (Genesis 3:20) a different name. It was "Woman": "And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" (Genesis 2:23--NKJV) Ah! Something that I'm just now getting is because Adam saw Woman, his wife, as a part of him, that's why the Word says this: "So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church."(Ephesians 4:28-29--NKJV) Anyway, that's why I find it endearing when a husband refers to his wife as "my woman". It's *just* what Adam said and a part of the reason why he said it was because he discerned (Proverbs 2) that God made someone who was *just* for him.

4) God is the Ultimate Matchmaker---at least, we should allow him to be (Proverbs 3:5-6 & 16:3). This means that since he is Spirit (John 4:24), he is FAR MORE CONCERNED with *the spiritual connection* of two people than how they look. It doesn't stop there, though. Since God formed all of us in the womb (Psalm 139:13) and satisfies the hand of *every* living thing (Psalm 145:16), he also knows what will attract/please each of us---*far more than we do*. And, since he dwells in the spirit realm, he can provide each and every one of us with wisdom on what the spouse *he* has in mind for us desires in a mate---physically, emotionally, mentally and everything in between. In other words, our Creator can *customize* (to modify or build according to individual or personal specifications or preference) us to their liking. That way, rather than being out here falling for the okie doke of what society says is beautiful (I Peter 3:1-6) or coveting other women's looks/body types, etc. (Proverbs 20:17), we can simply ask God (James 1:5) "Will you reveal to me what *my future husband* desires in a wife and customize me to become that?" I've been doing it for a while now. Trust me, it works!

5) Here's the link: "Allow God to Do the 'CUSTOMIZING'". As always, if you have any questions, comments or prayer requests, hit me up at missnosipho@gmail.com.

In the meantime...

Rather than wanting to be the "quintessential beauty"...
Ask God how to *customize you for one man*...
YOUR. HUSBAND.


His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...

SRW

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"On Fire": (VIDEO) Don't Rely on 'Signs' so Much as God's DIRECTIVES

Image result for the man god has for you quotes

"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones."---Proverbs 3:1-8(NLT)


Yeah...

I don't think I *ever* anticipated that my post "Will God Flat-out Tell You Who Your Husband Is?" would get so much traction. But almost two years later, the emails keep rolling in!

As I've been praying for the women who've been writing me, there are two things that I feel led (Luke 12:12) to share on a corporate level; especially after watching a video on signs that a married couple received about them knowing they were "the one" for each other:





I always adore when two virgins are joined! I also really like that the husband said his wife was his first kiss too. Beautiful.

And listen, as far as the wife sharing signs that her husband was the one? First, *every love story is unique* because, as Psalm 33:15 tells us, "He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works." Personally, my mother calls me her "signs and wonders child" because I know *for a fact* that God speaks in signs (Daniel 4:2-3)!

Yet there are two things I want to say as it relates to looking for signs and being...overly-dependent on them.

I remember once reading a very interesting piece that Andrew Wommack wrote on miracles. I know a lot of people who pray for those and something he said in particular about them had me be like "Whoa":

There are three important reasons for receiving from God through blessings rather than miracles. First, blessings prevent crises, while miracles deliver from crises. Second, a blessing is always a more abundant supply than a miracle. And third, miracles are a temporary fix, while blessings are permanent solutions. Therefore, if you’re living from miracle to miracle, it probably means you’re living from crisis to crisis.

Hmm...definitely something to consider next time you ask God to perform a miracle in your life!

Along these same lines, think about why we look for signs from God. It's usually to confirm something, right? Here's the thing, though. If we trusted God as much as we should, would we rely on signs so much?

I remember one of the last times I asked God for a sign concerning something that he had honestly already provided me *years worth* of signs about. He clearly said to me "Shellie, this is it" meaning, "We're basically done with the signs portion of the program. Walk by faith not by sight." "Sight" in the form of always looking for signs on this particular topic (2 Corinthians 5:7). I'll keep what went down to myself (it's OK to have some secrets between you and the Lord; that's how intimacy is cultivated--Psalm 139); however, I will say that the sign was pretty...indisputable.

Nothing earth-shattering has happened since, yet that's kind of the point. It's important to get to a place where taking God at his Word/word is enough. The Classic Amplified Version of Proverbs 3 tells us to seek God's will in all that we do. The New King James Version tells us to trust him with all of our heart.

When we do both of these things, he is able to *direct* us.

Direct: to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, instruction, etc.; to regulate the course of; control; to administer; manage; supervise; to give authoritative instructions to; command; order or ordain; to guide, tell, or show (a person) the way to a place; to point, aim, or send toward a place or object

Walking by faith isn't about moving if you get a sign...
Walking by faith is trusting in the One who provides signs---even if you *don't* get one.

Because signs or not? Here's what you can be certain about with the Lord:

"As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect."---Psalm 18:30-32(NKJV)

If you know that God will make your way perfect...
If you really and truly believe that (do you?)...
Why do you need a *sign*?

Just trust his *Word*.
AND FOLLOW HIS DIRECTIVES; HIS COMMANDS (Psalm 37:23).

Because here's the thing...

Whether we realize it---or want to admit it---when we become too reliant on signs, we're basically asking God to *prove himself* to us. That's...a bit much. God doesn't *owe* us anything; *especially* a mate! If he has one for us, it is a gift (James 1:17) and gift givers can bless others...whenever they want to.

Again, there's nothing wrong with signs...
God used/uses them often...
Just focus on doing what he says, as he says it, more than anything else.

Obedience requires faith more than signs (Mark 11:22)...
And it's placing faith in God that pleases him (Hebrews 11:6, Luke 11:11-13)!

The Bible calls it help mate • NOT sex mate. Room -mate, play -mate.

One more thing about signs...

It's important to ALWAYS keep this Scripture close and in its proper perspective:

"But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."---James 1:14-15(NKJV)

This one too:

"But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated."---I Corinthians 2:14(AMPC)

Another thing to keep in mind about signs is not to *lust* them...

What I mean by that is there are signs from God and then there are things that cause us to create "phantom pregnancy signs" because our desires have turned into idols. We want something *so badly* that we *make* things seem real when they...aren't.

That's basically what a phantom (false) pregnancy is:

False pregnancy, clinically termed pseudocyesis, is the belief that you are expecting a baby when you are not really carrying a child. People with pseudocyesis have many, if not all, symptoms of pregnancy -- with the exception of an actual fetus. Some men experience a related phenomenon known as couvade, or sympathetic pregnancy. They will develop many of the same symptoms as their pregnant partners, including weight gain, nausea, and backache.

Only recently have doctors begun to understand the psychological and physical issues that are at the root of pseudocyesis. Although the exact causes still aren't known, doctors suspect that psychological factors may trick the body into "thinking" that it's pregnant.

When a woman feels an intense desire to get pregnant, which may be because of infertility, repeat miscarriages, impending menopause, or a desire to get married, her body may produce some pregnancy signs (such as a swollen belly, enlarged breasts, and even the sensation of fetal movement). The woman's brain then misinterprets those signals as pregnancy, and triggers the release of hormones (such as estrogen and prolactin) that lead to actual pregnancy symptoms.

You think this only happens with pregnancies? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Yes, we serve a God who can do the impossible...*as it relates to things that are in accordance with his will* (I John 5:14-15). Yet when all we care about is what *we* want, that can cause us to throw common sense (something that God is a wealth of---Proverbs 2---Message) and reality (something that God deals in---Ecclesiastes 7:18--Message) totally out of the window! We'll want something to happen *so badly* that we will conjure up signs in our minds that aren't God; they're *all* us  and remember, Jeremiah 17:9-10 tells us that our hearts---the center of our emotions---tend to be deceptive (maybe a little Satan too; he does like to lie and deceive, after all!---John 8:44, 2 Corinthians 11:14).

How can you know the difference?

That's a blog-that's-more-like-a-book all on its own! I will say this for starters, though. Romans 14:17(AMPC) tells us that the kingdom of God is "...righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." This means that *when something is of the Lord, it will not compromise moral living, it will bring you peace and yes, even some joy*! 

When it's you? Usually there is anxiety that sets in; that's not good:

"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."---Philippians 4:6-7(AMPC)

If you've been asking for signs concerning your future husband, I pray this gives you some clarity. I also hope that the focus will start to shift a bit from "Lord, show me a sign" to "Lord, help me to do just what you say. Sign or no sign."

Psalm 84:11 tells us that God withholds *no* good thing...


If something or one is in line with God's will for our lives...
Look to God for instructions/commands/orders---*then obey them*.

If you do that, there'll be less of a need for...signs.
I promise you that.


His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...

SRW


Sunday, October 15, 2017

"On Fire": Hop on the 'Marital Covenant Thursdays' Mailing List

35 Marriage Quotes #marriage #quotes

"Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace. In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name."---Esther 2:12-14(NKJV)



Yeah...

I've always adored these verses in Scripture. So much in fact that the first (adult) poem that I wrote ("I'm Single and That's Alright with Me") has a line in it that says "Esther 2:14 states that I am to wait on my king and when he's delighted in me, he will call me by my name. My Mama didn't name me Needy or Desperate."

There are layers of takeaways from Esther's journey---one that is faaaaaaaar more about making extreme sacrifices for her people than a love story of an orphan who married to king. As it relates to this blog and today's post:

1) Preparing for God's man for you requires preparation *on your part*. Proverbs 22:4(NKJV) says "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." Trust me, I learned the *humilty's way* that it's *very arrogant* to think you are so ready for marriage that you're waiting on some man to get his stuff together. If God thought we were ready for marriage---especially the kind of marriage that hopefully this blog inspires you to desire---*we'd be married*. In other words, use this time to seek out what you need to be doing to become a good wife *as* you pray for your future husband to recognize and then receive you when you arrive. As they say, Proverbs 18:22(NKJV) reminds us that we must be wives *before* our husband comes: "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord."

2) Esther prepared. Esther was ready. She wasn't chasing up under the king, though. She wasn't finding ways to emotionally manipulate him or monopolize his time either. When "he called her by name", she went to him. Kind of like how, yes, the Lord *brought* the Woman to Adam (Genesis 2:22); however, God nor the Woman told Adam who she was. ADAM DID: "Then Adam said, 'This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man.'" (Genesis 2:23--AMPC)

With all of that said...

Prepare for Marriage, Not Just Your Wedding

I know posting on here is...erratic these days. Something that is constant, though, is the devotionals that I pen every Thursday though Mail Chimp.

Long story short, a friend of mine who is divorced inspired them...

A few months from remarrying, he accepted what the Word says about those (which is NOT to do it so long as your original spouse is alive *whether they are remarried or not*; I Corinthians 7:10-11 says so. Read more here and here) and broke the engagement off. He's currently praying for reconciliation with his wife (AMEN!). For a while, we fasted together on Thursdays about the restoration of their marriage.

He still does fast. Meanwhile, I've used that day to devote the devotionals that I pen (three times a week) to write solely about all things marriage. It's called "Marital Covenant Thursdays".

This past week, I penned one on monogamy that I *almost* posted here but...these devos aren't your five-minute reads (NOT. AT. ALL). Yeah, it's too long to post on here, so I had an idea.

If you want to read some consistent content that you know will (basically) come every Thursday, shoot me an email (missnosipho@gmail.com). I'll create a mailing list just for y'all so that the Thursday emails will automatically come to your inbox.

I get quite a few emails with questions about marriage, relationships, standards, etc. and those devos may bring some clarity---or inspire you to seek (Matthew 7:7-8) and study (2 Timothy 2:15--AMPC).

So...

If you want to get last week's (along with one that I penned on single men needing to see the value in having a wife) and the Thursday content that's to follow, hit me up.

In the meantime, as always, if there are prayer requests, shoot 'em my way.
YHVH, the God of Covenant, *loves* it when his daughters take marital covenant seriously.
And literally.


His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...

SRW