Saturday, December 3, 2016

"On Fire": (PRAYER PROJECT) Would You Like Intercession for You & Your Future Husband?

Sounds like a quote from my mom. :):

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."---I Timothy 6:6(NKJV)


I mentioned in a recent post that...
 
I was going to be doing more interceding for single women who desire marital covenant in this season (Ecclesiastes 3). I received confirmation that now was time when I checked out two pieces.

First "How Can You Know If You Are Ready to Be a Godly Wife?" It's basically a (relatively long yet thorough) list of questions. I'm going to include 15 here. Click on the link to check 'em all out:

Are you able to be content whether you are in a relationship with a man or not – depending totally on Christ for your fulfillment, purpose, strength, and security?
 

Are you able to deeply and sincerely forgive when you are sinned against?
 

Are you willing to not take over or try to be in control – allowing your man to make mistakes as he leads and grows as a leader?
 

Are you willing to live frugally, if necessary, when there are hard financial times – without resentment?
 

Are you willing to do housework and to keep a decent home, creating a haven and place of peace, rest, and joy for your husband?
 

Have you worked through any trust issues and healed from childhood wounds? To some degree, you can’t completely know ahead of time how marriage may bring these up even more, but have you addressed these things and are you seeking Christ and His healing and His truth in these areas?
 

Are you truly finding all of your contentment in Christ alone, or are you expecting your man or marriage or children or romance to make you happy? What will you do when your husband fails you – as all husbands do to some degree?
 

Are you ready to realize that marriage is much more about Jesus and about your faith in Him than it is about you and your husband? Are you able to see that you are playing a part that God has assigned for you to bring people to Christ? That marriage is about the gospel and about drawing many to Jesus much more than it is about you?
 

Are you able to take responsibility for your own emotions, your own spiritual growth and happiness?
 

Will you be flexible if his calling changes?
 

What are your expectations of marriage? Once you get married, are you willing to lay down your expectations?
 

Is there anything your man could do that would make you want to divorce him? If so – you may not be ready for marriage. For a believing wife, divorce really should not be an option.
 

Are you able to respond gently when someone is harsh with you (Prov. 15:1)?

What is it that you need to be happy in life? If you believe you need anything other than Christ alone – you may be dealing with idolatry. It would be good to look at your motives and priorities and to allow God to help you examine them carefully. We can easily deceive ourselves to think we are serving Christ but put other things above Him in our hearts. 

Are you prepared to 1. love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength no matter what. 2. love this man with God’s love?

As you can tell through the phrasing of some of these questions, this was basically written for someone who is already in a serious relationship. However, whether you're in one or not, a lot of this certainly applies to all women who desire marriage. I dig the list because it gets us out of fantasy land and into reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18--Message).

And did you notice that there was a particular word that came up more than once? CONTENT.

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"---Hebrews 13:5(NKJV)

"Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]"---Hebrews 13:5(AMPC)

BE CONTENT.
BE SATISFIED.

These are not mere suggestions.
These are biblical commands.

Content: satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else; British. agreeing; assenting; Archaic. willing

Satisfied: to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); give full contentment to; to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision

Anyone who is constantly preoccupied with wanting to have a man/being in a relationship/get married, they are already showing signs of not being content or satisfied. Whether we realize it or not, it's a sign of disobedience...and to a certain extent, distrust (Proverbs 3:4-6). Matthew 6:8(NKJV) tells us "For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."

Translation: IF YOU *NEEDED* a husband right now, you would *HAVE* one.

How content are *you* with your present circumstances?
If you're not, that might be the first thing to pray about.

Quote from IS GOD SAYING HE'S THE ONE?: Hearing from Heaven about That Man in Your Life ~ For a free sample of this Christian book, click this link: www.amazon.com/... ~ #single:

However, if you are content (again, that's something to pray about, not simply assume that you are) and you have a desire to be married or, even better, having received a confirmation from God himself that you are called to it (Matthew 19:1-12--Message), one of the first things to keep in mind is the title of I Corinthians 7:17 (NKJV). It says "Live as You Are Called".

A godly wife in preparation doesn't date around (she guards her heart--Proverbs 4:23).

A godly wife in preparation is not sexually active (I Corinthians 6:16-20--Message).

A godly wife in preparation studies *the Word's standards* for being a helpmate (Ephesians 5, I Peter 3).

A godly wife in preparation cares more about God's timing than her own (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

A godly wife in preparation doesn't settle for someone who does not honor God's Word and boundaries (2 Corinthians 6:11-18).

And, a wife in preparation knows that prayer is profound and powerful!

It brings wholeness (James 1:4).
It brings wisdom (James 1:5).
It brings peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
It brings power (James 5:16).
It brings "the avoidance of temptation" (I Corinthians 10:13).

It brings you all the more into the will of God (I John 5:14-15)!
And shouldn't that be what we ALL want?

God's will...
WHATEVER HE THINKS IS BEST!!!

So, in the honor of this very thing, I want to share a project entitled "Prayers for My Future Husband: 2 Week Prayer Journey". Starting Wednesday, December 7 thru Wednesday, December 21 if you want to partake in this prayer project, shoot an email to missnosipho@gmail.com, share your requests and as you're praying for "him", I'll intercede for you.

I really do adore how these women broke the project down:

Step 1.There are 14 prayers for you to pray for your future husband for 14 days.

Step 2.We want you as the reader, to read it,

Step 3.Pray it and

Step 4. Write/or pray it in your own words.

Step 5. Save all your written prayers for your honeymoon! Give your husband one prayer a day on your special honeymoon, it will make it even more special.

But after the 14th prayer it doesn’t have to end there. This 2 week journey is just a jump-start for you! After Prayers for our Future Husbands ends, you can continue to pray in your daily devotions, before you go to bed, when your sitting in the living room, when your doing dishes, etc. Whenever you remember to, just pray!
 

We hope you will join us in our 2 week prayer journey. Your future husbands need it ladies!

I agree! The first prayer is this:

Day 1

Lord, I don’t know who my future husband will be but you do. So I willingly trust you with my life and his. I want to lift my future husband up to you this weekend Lord. Please give him a great weekend! Help him to enjoy his friends and family. Give him peace and rest from the hard work week. Help him to keep his eyes on you and to encounter your presence in a whole new way! I pray that he would be able to make the right choices and decisions when it comes to his plans this weekend. Help him to be a light and shining example to his friends this weekend. Lord, whatever he does let it be a reflection of his love for you and may he bring you glory. Please help him know you love him and are looking out for him. Thank you Jesus. I love you and want to bring You and my future husband honor.
 

Amen.

As far as the purpose of prayer itself, Oswald Chambers breaks it down well:

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. 

*PRAYER CHANGES THE WAY WE LOOK AT THINGS*. AMEN.

So, in preparation for the calendar New Year, God's timing is awesome (Acts 1:7--Message)!

Shoot me an email, at the completion of this project, I'll send you something in return...
And let's see what God does (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Oh, feel free to do this at any time, but to get in on the intercession and seed, I'll need emails *no later than 6pm(CST) on Tuesday* so that I can get things organized on my end.

Here's to a divine connection!
"I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me." (Psalm 57:2--NKJV)


Proverbs 12:4,

SRW



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"On Fire": QUOTES OF THE DAY

You are a grown woman and you should take on that role with purpose and determination.:

Christian dating:

#Soulmate #Godly #relationship:

100 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of All Time! (38):

Thank you Lord for shutting that door and giving me peace. I finally see why I had to let that go. The light cannot shine in darkness! I am not going to go back to a life of confusion and sin. It's perfectly clear to me now..I have a better understanding of how you take care of your children. Thank you Jesus.:

Marry someone who makes you fall in love with God every single day:

Great one by my buddy @wealthy_vibes. It's these days that define us! Follow…:

How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God for the rain? -Dieter F. Uchtdorf:


God Sends the Storm to Show He Is the Only Shelter - Inspirations:

Surround yourself with likeminded believers. Read how on today’s daily devotional for women ==> godlywoodgirl.com Motivation Quote:

@quitewomenco:

I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn't sorry, and accept an apology I never received.:

Come on young girls! Believe this! GODLY | Proverbs 31 Woman:

Pray Big Chalkboard Printable & Prayer Request Page - Hymns and Verses:

Heute würde ich einfach so gerne mit Dir den Abend verbringen - mich einfach nur übers Leben unterhalten - als wäre das ganz normal und alltäglich.:

If I date you, my goal is to marry you, build with you, grow with you, I'm not dating you to pass time, I see potential in you.:

Just because she has high standards doesn't mean she’s high maintenance. Don’t confuse the two. - Steve Maraboli:

Dreams and Ambition | @maryavenue7:

Totally LOVE this quote! #Truth #Quotes:

ριntєrєѕt: @αlrєadуtαkєnxσ♡:

Pinny@Kadri'Dray✨ Follow for more ʙᴀʙʏɢɪʀʟs:

I don’t do well with hints. You’re an adult. Speak your mind.

** curiano.com ** Visit Now! Collection of #Quotes, #Love Quotes, Life #Quote:

#Success #Quotes Chase Your Dreams @styleestate:

Love Notes To My Future Husband:

Nope I don't but I u on the other hand can't stop and all u can say is I'm fat Bitch please I still look better than u on my worst day....funny how u can't stop posting about me.....lmfao oh but I'm the one who needs to grow up bahahaha crazy how ur so delusional:

This Pin was discovered by Maria Paula Helmick. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest.:

Strong women don't play the victim, don't make themselves look pitiful, and don't point fingers. They stand and they deal. ~Mandy Hale.:

Have the highest standard for your future husbands relationship with God.:

It's difficult to follow your dream. It's a tragedy not to.:

An Ounce of Prevention: Mad Wisdom from Jill Scott and Brandy in a Minute

Learn it bitch, a real woman can keep a great man and not make him hate you and still stay with you because you tell him if he leaves you he wont see his son. Hahah you are so stupid.:

"For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law."---Hebrews 5:12-14(AMPC)


So...

I was checking out some footage from Brandy's performance over the weekend and "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33--AMPC) this video. WISDOM. Minute wisdom. It's basically this verse remixed: "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (I Timothy 4:12--NKJV)



And since this blog is covenant-marriage-centered, you might wanna check out a few pieces:

"7 Signs You're Not Mature Enough to Get Married" (gonna just include the list, click on the link to read it all):

You Tell Porkers 
You’re Selfish 
You Put Your Girls Before Your Guy 
You’re Jealous 
You’re Not Independent 
You Don’t Know What 
You Want You’re Lazy 

"'Run to the Altar' Syndrome: 10 Signs You’re Not Ready for Marriage" (excerpts):

If you’ve been to a grocery store check-out line, turned on the television, or even connected with friends on social media sites, chances are you’ve been inundated by the magazines, commercials, reality shows, advertisements, etc. portraying a fantasy-driven story line pertaining to marriage.

The entire objective of this media is to get you to buy in to the idea of marriage—that marriage is the epitome of a successful life, of being happy—and the only legitimate relationship status. And (oh, by the way) to buy the product they’re selling related to making your Big Day super-duper special. 

Chances are you’ve bought in---at least partially---to the romantic idea of an over-sized diamond ring, expensive wedding and that all will be good and golden once you are safely married. You’ll be blissfully happy, secure and together forever.

I don’t want to burst your marriage bubble, but lately it seems like people are rushing into marriage all too quickly, without thoughtfully considering what marriage is—and is not.

Marriages can be as different as the people who are in them, and many of them, of course, are both wonderful and enduring. However, when you do what I do for a living—work with people who experience heartache, financial duress, frustration and disappointment due to separation and divorce—you start to recognize the common denominators of those who were ready and those who should have taken more time to make this “forever” decision.


“Run-to-the-Altar Syndrome” Checklist

Wedding Day Fantasy
Better Than Nothing
Attention From Others
Know Thyself
Five Key Areas (That You Need to Discuss with 'Him')
Trust
Families
Communication Style
Life-long Playmate
Annoying Little Things


"8 Signs You Might Not Be Ready to Get Married" (just the list, click to read it all---a Jewish guy penned it):

If you’re serious about getting married and find that your dating experiences aren’t taking you to Chuppahland, perhaps it’s a good idea to pause, reflect, and correct course as needed. I dated a very long time before I finally met my bashert. Looking back, (hindsight is always 20/20) I can see that I wasn’t ready to receive the gift of my wife for a combination of the following reasons (see if any of these apply to you):

If you’re serious about getting married and find that your dating experiences aren’t taking you to Chuppahland, perhaps it’s a good idea to pause, reflect, and correct course as needed. I dated a very long time before I finally met my bashert. Looking back, (hindsight is always 20/20) I can see that I wasn’t ready to receive the gift of my wife for a combination of the following reasons (see if any of these apply to you):

I had several different jobs over the years and couldn’t find a career that was a “right fit”
My career was the most important thing to me.
I kept attracting the same type of person.
I didn’t want a “shadchan” or “middle person” involved. I wanted to “go it alone.”
I was too busy doing other things to arrange dates.
I was in the middle of a major life transition.
 Was I prepared to commit and pop the question?


And this next one is a winner because if God is not the center of your DATING relationship, then you are DEFINITELY not ready for marriage. As a relationships writer by the name of  Jenifer Fair recently said, "Dating is an interview process. Literally. Interview wisely because you can't fire them after marriage." YES!

When you raise your standards, only the boys will disappear. The men will step up to meet them.:

"7 Ways to Tell if You Are in a God-Ordained Relationship" (excerpts):

You Are Equally Yoked Christians
 

The operative word here is Equally yoked.  By this I mean you are both Christians for starters and are both in a similar place in your walk with Jesus.  If one of you walks closely with Him and the other barely knows Him, you are not Equally Yoked.  You must have a strong Spiritual connection with one another.  You must view and worship God in a similar fashion. You can talk openly about God and can spur each other on in your faith and walk with Christ.  You should be able to pray together as a couple and pray for one another when you are apart. This prayer should come naturally and without hesitation. I cannot emphasize enough how critical this point is. It’s not enough that both of you believe in Jesus Christ. If you are not equally yoked spiritually, your relationship will unravel quickly.

You Are Both Marriage Minded
 

You both share similar goals about marriage; you are both ready for it. The time frame should be within one to two years at the most. If neither of you are ready for marriage, why are you dating? Recreational Dating is not advisable for Born Again Bible Believing Christians; it only leads to sin, which dishonors God, then God doesn’t bless the union. This ends up causing long term issues in the marriage by blurring the lines between lust and love.

Once lust and the physical aspect has already been introduced in the relationship, the waters are muddied and both parties cannot see or think clearly. This is also a warning sign that the relationship is not God-ordained.


You Are Both Marriage Minded
 

You both share similar goals about marriage; you are both ready for it. The time frame should be within one to two years at the most. If neither of you are ready for marriage, why are you dating? Recreational Dating is not advisable for Born Again Bible Believing Christians; it only leads to sin, which dishonors God, then God doesn’t bless the union. This ends up causing long term issues in the marriage by blurring the lines between lust and love.

Once lust and the physical aspect has already been introduced in the relationship, the waters are muddied and both parties cannot see or think clearly. This is also a warning sign that the relationship is not God ordained.

If only one of you is ready to get married, then you are incompatible and shouldn’t date.  This also turns into recreational dating for the one who isn’t ready to marry and a big waste of time for the one who is ready to marry. When an individual is ready for marriage after spending quality time with God in worship, sanctification, and service, nothing pleases Him more than to bring a suitable mate for that individual in the covenant of Marriage.

In Genesis 24:1-23, Abraham sent his servant to seek a wife for his son Isaac.  He was very choosy by sending his servant back to his country to find a suitable mate for his one and only son. Before meeting Rebekah, the servant said a prayer to God asking for wisdom.  Rebekah proved herself worthy when she served water to this servant and his camels. She unknowingly showed her diligence and work ethic which was the sign he was looking for in finding “The One.”
 

You Have Complete Peace
 

When your relationship is God ordained, it will be simple, uncomplicated, and should run smoothly. It won’t be perfect, but will seem effortless. Your schedules don’t collide. You both have time to go to church, serve God, and enjoy time together. Your lives converge easily without too much effort. Both your friends and families approve. There is no drama, fighting, or constant bickering. Peace will permeate your spirit when God ordains your relationship.   When you think about that person, you smile and thank God for bringing you a perfect and wonderful gift. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father…”  (James 1:17)

You Enjoy Being with That Person
 

Take away the iPhone, Facebook, Cable TV, games, and all media. If you were stranded on a deserted island with this person with only a bible, would you have the adventure of a lifetime or does getting a root canal seem more appealing?  This is the true test of compatibility. When you can sit with this person without distractions and physical intimacy and can laugh, communicate, connect, and enjoy yourself, you are on the right track, because you have the foundation of a Godly Friendship in place.

The thought of this person gets you excited spiritually and emotionally. Out of all the people you know, this person is the first person you want to share your victories and trials with. Their presence and their input is what you look forward to at the end of your day. You see Jesus in their countenance and demeanor.


Communication, Communication, Communication!
 

When it comes to Real Estate it’s Location, Location, Location!  But in a relationship, it’s Communication to the third power! You must be able to speak freely both ways.  The best communicators are active listeners. They are also great at articulating their thoughts and feelings through speaking and writing. It’s best to find someone who can communicate at your level and listens intently to your every word. After all, we have two ears and one mouth. The bible tells us it’s better to listen before speaking. 

Majority Approves
 

Most if not all your friends and family must approve of your mate. These are people who know you, love you, and want what’s best for you. Sometimes we can get emotionally and physically caught up in someone and not see the “Big Picture.” This is where our friends and family come in. Their opinions and insights count. Obviously, be cautious of those who are not basing their opinions on Biblical virtues. But otherwise, trust them! If a majority of them disapprove of your choice, God is trying to tell you something. Don’t ignore their opinions. They are God’s messengers for your protection. Your relationship will not thrive in a bubble or a vacuum. God did not intend that for any marriage. If anything, your relationship is meant to be an illustration to the world of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love.


God Gives You a Supernatural Love for this Person
 

When God ordains a relationship, He gives you Supernatural examples to confirm His approval of your union. It won’t take years or months. Sometimes it’s a matter of hours or weeks to know you are in the presence of “The One.”  Now granted, if you met in high school, then it will take years, but when you are at an appropriate age, it doesn’t take long to figure it out if God is in the center of your relationship. A man will be overcome with the desire to see the woman more often, while the woman won’t have time to fret over his intentions or feelings. 

Ladies, if you are sitting around fretting over some guy who isn’t calling you or wanting to spend more time with you, give it to God. You could be wasting your precious time and energy on the wrong guy. Instead of being fixated on Mr. Wrong, focus on what you should be doing, which is serving God. 


The Takeaways:
 

1 – A Spiritual Connection centered on Christ and set apart by His precepts is a requirement in a God Ordained Relationship.
 

2 – Physical attraction and emotional connection doesn’t last and is not God’s main criteria in selecting a mate for you.
 

3 – God wants to bless you with a mate who will bring you closer to Him, not farther from Him. He will present the person who will bring you to a more intimate relationship with Him so He will be glorified through your union.
 

4 – Recreational Dating: leads to sin, doesn’t honor God, and prepares you more for divorce, than marriage.
 

5 – Communication either flows freely or it just doesn’t.  A communication blockage is a Red Flag!
 

6 – Majority Approval is a must! God reveals His truth through our family and friends when we no longer listen to Him.
 

7 – Wait on God’s choice for you! When God ordains it, it will be exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ask or think!  


My first book was about the very point that Miss Jill Scott made about the 20s, but being spiritually mature isn't about age. It's about your relationship with God, your respect for his Word and your willingness to embrace HIS TRUTHS about relationships, marriage and sex.

Please take heed and please choose wisely!

Proverbs 12:4,

SRW


An Ounce of Prevention: 'Headship & Submission: Is it an issue of competence or calling?'

Submitting to our husbands in marriage can be tough! It's not something that is widely talked about, and it takes some practice to get it right. If you've ever wondered how in the world you'll be able to give into submission in marriage as God intended, this post is for you! Click through to read some of the basics I have been learning on how to submit to my husband!:

Yeah...

I've been fond of Jackie Perry-Hill for a while. It's been amazing to watch her transformation. It reminds me so much of "A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!" (Jeremiah 31:22(Message).

Anyway, she and her husband did a Periscope video and posted it yesterday on the topic of leadership and submission. I like this point that was brought up: "submission is a calling, feminism is culture". It reminds me of what William Wilberforce once said. He said that the problem with Christianity is that people follow faith and not culture and culture always changes. We're not to do what's popular. We're to do what's true...what's rooted in biblical truth (Luke 6:26--Message)---and submission is biblical truth:

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."---Colossians 3:18(NKJV)

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."---Ephesians 5:22-24(NKJV)

Anyway, check it out. Some real gems in here...





Proverbs 12:4,

SRW


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"On Fire": Did 'He' Reject You? Or Did God Protect You from Him?

Displaying rejection.jpg

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."---Song of Solomon 4:7(NLT)

Hey Ladies,

Whew! I can't BELIEVE how this year is soaring by! So, before getting into the message, let's do some housekeeping first.

1) If you've been rocking with the blog for a while, you probably notice that I haven't been posting as much as I used to. I write (and marriage counsel) more than ever, so time is not like what it used to be. I'm not sure if I'll be doing weekly posts or not (although I'll still be putting *at least* a couple of things up each month). Some weeks there might be several things and some weeks none. I will say this: I pen devotionals three times a week. That's consistent. If you want to get on the list, shoot me an email at missnosipho@gmail.com. I also devote Thursdays to marriage content with the devos. It's called "Marital Covenant Thursdays". If you'd like to receive those only, also send me an email. I will *try* and remember to just send you those each week (although that's an extra step on my part, so I might forget from time to time).

2) Speaking of devotionals, yesterday I penned one on midwives. Long story short, I know God has called me to covenant teaching and praying for people as it relates to covenant-keeping. If you'd like prayer for your situation, send me an email. Let me know what's going on, what you're desiring and how you'd like me to touch and agree. Going to be doing more interceding on this issue in 2017.

3) My inboxes are INSANE. So, if you're someone who was a part of a giveaway in 2016 and you never received "it", please let me know. Please charge it to the keep-up and nothing more, but do let me know. Definitely want to get the books squared up before this calendar year comes to a close.

Now to today's message..

Message me if you want to talk about the Bible :) Looking for a bible study…:


There is an author and relationship coach who both shared something that I discern is relevant---pertinent even---to today's message:

"Just because you do something in the name of love doesn't mean it's biblical. I did a lot of things my past in the name of love that were actually done in the name of selfish desire."---Jarrid Wilson

"Some women say, 'I'm waiting on God' when in reality, it's 'I've been doing things MY way and that's why I haven't attracted the right man.'"---Cheyenne Bostock

Amen, 50 times over, to both of these guys!!!

Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine who's a relationship coach. I was telling him that a blast from my past (pun intended and not intended) has recently made it known that he wants to reconnect. It appears that he may be getting a divorce and at one point, we loved each other deeply.

Roy Disney once said "It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are." Pretty sure everyone knows that a divorced individual is not an option for me because A) the Word says that divorced people should remain unmarried or be reconciled to the person they already made promises/vows to (which includes not just their spouse but God himself---I Corinthians 7:10-11, Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) and B) I'm not big on "regifting"; that's what I call returning to the scene of the crime of sexual sin, and sexual sin is indeed a spiritual crime and transgression...among other things (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 21:8). Not that I don't think that two people who have had sex with each before can't repent (I Corinthians 7:9-10), be restored and move forward. For me personally, I want my wedding night to be a surprise and not a rerun is all. Plus, I've witnessed firsthand in counseling how sex before marriage comes back to bite couples in ways they did not predict. Sowing and reaping are a spiritual science (Galatians 6:9). Be careful what you plant.

For these reasons, Yeah, I'm good on dude. Don't get me wrong. I've seen pics of him. He's still fine. I also know his family. He still seems to be a good guy. Lately, I thought about the fact that there were a few years following our...ending when I felt rejected (bookmark that) by both him and God. That's how much I wanted to be with him. It seemed pretty painful that we could be so close, "in love" and yet it couldn't work out.

Jarrid is right...
LOVE IS NOT TRUE LOVE IF THE BIBLICAL STANDARD IS BEING IGNORED.

Cheyenne is right...
THE RIGHT MAN COMES BY DOING THINGS THE RIGHT WAY---GOD'S WAY.

See, Satan lusts ('cause he doesn't "love" anything) for us to set out and doing things our way, it not work out and then we either blame God, distance ourselves from God or assume we are being rejected because we're not good enough. Hmph. The reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18--Message) is usually more along the lines of a quote by a person by the name of L.E. Kinzie that I read this just this morning: "Sin is having our loves out of order."

SIN. IS. HAVING. YOUR. LOVES. OUT. OF. ORDER.

Christ told us what our main love focus should be:

"'And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength.' This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."---Mark 12:30-31(AMPC)

quotes about having the strength to move on - Google Search:

There are so many wives (I mean, like of epidemic proportion!) who did not get this down as single women. As a result, they are making their husbands completely miserable because they have made them---along with their unrealistic ideals and expectations about marriage---a god (Exodus 20:3). Because God was not the most important being and relationship to them on the front end of marriage, they are looking to a flawed human being to be their all and all now. That's too much pressure for ANY one human being to bear.

And when our loves are "out of order" as a single person, oftentimes the relationship we are in or the person that we want will not work out. Why? *Because God is not going to give us someone to worship*, and if we try and "force his hand" by exerting our free will over his divine one, oftentimes this is the result: "And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul." (Psalm 106:15--NKJV) Far too many people want a relationship at the expense of their soul *or* soul salvation. IT'S. NOT. WORTH. IT.

THE RIGHT RELATIONSHIP ENCOURAGES YOU TO GROW IN GOD...
NOT TEMPTS YOU TO DO WHAT WILL INFECT YOUR INTIMACY WITH HIM.

And so, sometimes, no matter how hard we try to make a relationship work or get a guy to notice or want us...things don't go as we plan. Satan wants us to think we're being *rejected* when really what we're being is *protected*.

Satan is a liar. The Ultimate One (John 8:44).
He wants us to to see relationships not working out as us being rejected:

Reject: to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.; to discard as useless or unsatisfactory

God is our Heavenly Father and Possessor of all (Genesis 14:19).
He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and is the Creator of marriage (Genesis 2:18-25). He wants us to be with someone who will love us as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5) so that our marriage can model to the world how love is to *truly* be (I Corinthians 13:4-8). Marriage, after all, is about HIM waaaaaay before it's about US.

And so, when things don't work out, go as planned, or happen in the time that we want (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Acts 1:7--Message), it's important to, yes, *reject the idea of you being rejected* and, instead spend time in prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17) about if what's *really happening* is you are being protected:

Protect: to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger

YOU ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE (PSALM 139:14) BY THE MAKER OF YOU AND OF MARRIAGE! THERE'S NO WAY THAT GOD SEES YOU AS USELESS OR UNSATISFACTORY!

I will say this: There *are* some relationships that God may see that way in the sense that they are not purpose-filled. We have to remember that *everything* God does has purpose in it (Ecclesiastes 3), so if who you're wanting is not going to help you to fulfill your purpose and/or you're not going to help them to fulfill theirs (Psalm 20:4), because God's ways are not our own (Isaiah 55:8-11), sometimes he will put barriers up. To guard us, to cover us and to shield us. Until it's time for us to be BROUGHT/PRESENTED (Genesis 2:22) to the man who will see us, spiritually first as truly beautiful:

Beautiful: having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind; excellent of its kind; wonderful; fantastic; extraordinary; incredible

Marriage needs to be BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of God...
We should want to desire this *more than* being seen as DESIRABLE by any man.

We need to strive to work with God to guard our heart (Proverbs 4:23)...
Until the RIGHT man comes along.

Whatever you may be going through right now...
If you're tempted to feel rejected, hopefully this is your "way of escape" (I Corinthians 10:13).

You deserve more than *just* a relationship...
You deserve something that GOD FIRST finds to be truly beautiful.

You are precious to him...
Let him *protect you* until *he decides* that time is right!



Proverbs 12:4,

SRW


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

An Ounce of Prevention: (SAY THAT!!!) 'Reject the Dangerous Notion That Men Are Hunters And Women Are Their Prey'

We are in God's hands:

"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.' And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name. And Adam gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the air and to every [wild] beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 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.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence."---Genesis 2:18-25(AMPC)


I'm SO GLAD that I read this article below...

If you've been reading these for a while, you know that I have been *so over* men needing to be pursuers for a long time now. There are biblical examples of God-involved unions where the woman was actually the initiator (Ruth, Esther, for example) and even in God's blueprint for mankind, Adam did not pursue the Woman. AT ALL.

God decided Adam needed a woman.
God put Adam to sleep while he made his woman.
God awakened Adam and brought his Woman to him.

There's no telling how many people would avoid divorce court if they totally let God do the matchmaking instead of themselves...

Yet this article brings up another great point. It mentions that Adam was a *gardener* not a *hunter*. A garden is "a fertile and delightful spot or region" and isn't it fascinating that God first cultivated a relationship with Adam, gave him the position of caring for a fertile and delightful spot *and then* brought him a wife? Another *fertile and delightful spot*!

It reminds me a lot of the revelation I got about manna...

"And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey."---Exodus 16:31(NKJV)

This was the diet that *God provided* for the Israelites prior to the Promised Land. Remember when they were slaves and they ate meat? Check it:

"And the children of Israel said to them, 'Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'"---Exodus 16:3(NKJV)

Yeah, at another time, we'll have to get into how when it's time for us to prepare for what lies ahead, there are some people, places, things and ideas we *must* leave behind. No matter how much you might miss certain things, they're not good for you; they're counterproductive to God's plans for your future.

Anyway, so manna tasted like honey and the Promised Land was this:

"So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites."---Exodus 3:8(NKJV)

In order for a husband to "cherish and nourish" his wife (Ephesians 5:22-33), doesn't it make sense that he should have a "gardener mentality" rather than a *hunter one*:

Hunt: to chase or search for (game or other wild animals) for the purpose of catching or killing; to pursue with force, hostility, etc., in order to capture (often followed by down); to search for; seek; endeavor to obtain or find (often followed by up or out)

Who wants to be treated like that?!

A part of the reason why I like "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men" (I Corinthians 7:23--NKJV) is because it's a reminder that there are certain things that men are NOT deserving of UNTIL God blesses them with a man.

And a man and woman who let God lead?
NO HUNTING IS NECESSARY.

Now to the article...

godly dating 101 - Google Search:



I am so tired of people pushing the whole “men are hunters” crap when it comes to relationships. It’s just not true. Even worse, this widely promoted belief is unhealthy for both men and women.

For my more religious brothers and sisters, please allow me to point out that Adam’s original job assignment was gardener, not hunter. He was assigned stewardship of the garden (not the hunting grounds) of Eden. So the idea that men do not have the capacity to nurture, and that creating and maintaining a caring, peaceful and healthy environment for others is the exclusive domain of women, is nonsense. Beyond that, to the degree that Eve is believed to be the original ancestor and prototype of all women, she was created to be a companion for Adam. Unlike the animals that populated the garden perhaps, she was not created to be hunted and captured by him. Eve was a gift from God, not a conquest of Adam.

On the other hand, being a hunter is practically synonymous with being a predator. This sets up a sinister premise: If the natural disposition of males is to be predators, that means that the natural role of females is to be prey. When predators (including sexual, emotional and financial predators) capture their prey, they are only focused on one thing: sating their appetite. Believe me, that does not mean treating the hunted with tender loving care and seeing to their health and well-being. It means devouring the prey, and once satisfied, abandoning the remains. Neither the desires nor the consent of the prey are priorities.

This is the underlying premise of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, infidelity, reckless promiscuity and other unhealthy, destructive and even deadly choices and behaviors. By rule, hunters may use any means at their disposal, ranging from deceit and subterfuge to traps and violence, to capture their prey. This is the kind of thinking that makes penis-led adult males (the polar opposite of Grown men as described in Loving In The Grown Zone, my book with co-author Zara Green) an ever-present danger to themselves and others.

The hunter/prey gender-role model is a dangerously unhealthy one for relationships. Moreover, it is a horrible way to frame how intimate relationships should be pursued and established, especially for young men and women (and yes, boys and girls) who are extremely vulnerable to images, messages and gender models of intimate romantic and sexual behavior. It reinforces and affirms that it is natural for men to view and treat women as conquests, trophies, objects to be toyed with until soiled and broken, and then discarded—and to measure their manhood accordingly.


Amen. And amen! Awesome soul food for thought...


Proverbs 12:4,

SRW

Monday, October 17, 2016

"On Fire": Signs That You'll Be NOURISHED and CHERISHED (on the Front End)

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"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.

Image result for nourish and cherish your wife quotes

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.

That said...

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.

Image result for nourish and cherish your wife quotes

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.


Proverbs 12:4,

SRW