Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"On Fire": The Picture That Truly Is Worth a Thousand Words



Unique Wedding Ideas - Unique Weddings | Wedding Planning, Ideas & Etiquette | Bridal Guide Magazine

via/m.bridalguide.com

Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands

"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 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
 

As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."---Ephesians 5:22-33(NLT)


Being that some of my clients require that I do wedding-related work...

I tend to come across *a lot* of wedding/bridal images. And while all of them are quite beautiful and precious in their own right, every now and then, I will come across one that will literally stop me in my tracks.

This week, it was the one that you see up top...

I really like it when a picture tells a story and to me, this one speaks volumes.

1) I like that they don't look super traditional. He's in a suit and I peeped the tat on the her arm. (Do you, y'all. *Please do you!*)

2) I like that they found it important to connect before the ceremony *and* that they found an..innovative way for him to not see her but still be with her. As someone who tends to think pretty hard, I can't help but to notice some symbolism in that. Even when couples cannot physically see one another or be together, they can still connect and engage one another. Not only *can they* but *they should*.

3) Although I don't attend a lot of weddings and I certainly don't concede to being in them (it's serious; it means that you are not only in agreement but are going to do *everything within your power* to support the union, to help hold the groom and the bride accountable to their vows and to do what you can to help keep them together), at one of the ones that I was a part of, something that I appreciated happened at both the rehearsal as well as during the ceremony. The officiant requested that rather than he pray over the couple that the groom/husband-to-be pray over his wife. I recall the officiant saying "She's not *my* wife, she's yours and you need to be ever-prepared to cover her in prayer." Amen! And that's what this picture takes me back to. Here's a man who not only is ready to make vows to his beloved (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) but he finds it important to cover her in prayer---even before the ceremony.

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about right there!

It reminds me of a few quotes that I recently read about men and prayer:

"There's power in a praying man. And even more power if he leads his woman in prayer as well."---Unknown

"A real man doesn't put his woman first. He puts God first. Only a man following Jesus knows how to properly lead a woman."---Unknown

"A praying man is as bold as lion. There is no demon in hell that will scare him."---David Wilkerson

Uh-huh, that last one? It might be inappropriate to some of you to hear me use "sexy" to describe it but sorry...*that's exactly what comes to mind*! There is something that is *very appealing* about a man who is not afraid of demons. A man who actually makes demons cower to him!

That said...

The more I spiritually grow and mature (Hebrews 5:12-14, Matthew 19:11-12-Message), the more I realize that a man who has a heart for God, in his words and especially in his actions, is so paramount to me. I recall being so stupid, silly and carnal that I used to say things like "I know one thing, I don't want a virgin when I get married. I want a man who knows what he's doing." Um...yeah about that (LOL). *Any man who is sexually experienced before marriage is a man who was spiritually disobedient* (once upon a time, I shared a video on this blog about the scientific effects of sex. It's *well worth your time* to visit or revisit it here). Should God bring me to a man (Genesis 2:22) who has been restored sexually (as am I), I will willingly embrace him. All I'm saying is to declare that I want a man who didn't understand or value sexual purity enough to wait until his wedding day is...ridiculous. A man who covered himself is a man who can be trusted to cover me.

And so yes, big time kudos to this couple because it's a picture that's simply a reminder of another way of covering. And that's why I like New Living Translation of Ephesians 5:22-23, from the title on down.

First of all, I appreciate/respect that it speaks to *how* couples are to submit. Far too often, I hear women say "I don't have to submit to a man any more than he has to submit to me. The Bible says it." Um, close but no cigar (LOL). You submit to him (Colossians 3:17) and he submits to God. And through a husband's submission to God, that is how he is able to serve you better.

*And that's why* it really should be a non-negotiable to marry someone who is a Christ *and Word* follower (2 Corinthians 6:11-18). There is simply no way that marriage is going to work, or last, in the way that God intended, any other way. I mean, how is a man even supposed to remotely grasp the concept of loving his wife as Christ loved the Church if he has no relationship with Christ to begin with? How's he supposed to cleanse her with the Word if he doesn't know/read/study (2 Timothy 2:15-AMP) it? How's he supposed to really love her, if he doesn't pay attention to the Love Chapter (I Corinthians 13:4-8)?

HE CAN'T. AND WON'T.

*A Spirit-Guided Relationship*...

That is what this blog is dedicated to: providing women with tips, tools and standards on how to be Spirit-led as singles so that they will be Spirit-led and driven in selecting their partners in preparation to make the transition into ultimately become a Spirit-led wife. *The wife of one man*. Until death. And being that the Word says that God's way is perfect and he makes a man's way perfect (2 Samuel 22:31&33), how could you not want a relationship/marriage *unless* God is leading it?

Yeah...that picture is amazingly bar setting...and/or bar raising.

Don't settle for less than a man who covers you...
In every way...
By following the Spirit.

Amen? Amen.


Adorn,

SRW

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"On Fire": MAINTAIN. YOUR. DIGNITY.



"Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!"---Proverbs 31:25(NKJV)


Last night...

While doing a bit of research, I read a quote on dignity that I found to be pretty cool:

“Dignity
/ˈdignitē/ noun

1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache.

2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes.

3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom.

4. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter.

5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself.

6. The moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it.

7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don't want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable.

8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission.

9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.

10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.”
 

― Shannon L. Alder 

That ancestors one cracks me up (Ecclesiastes 9:5). And I will say that when it comes to #10, there can be a real danger in assuming that when relationships don't work, it's always about someone else and not about you. However, overall, I feel where Shannon is coming from.

There really is no telling how many people are in jacked up relationships...
All due to a pure and simple lack of dignity.

In fact, I can't even remember the last time that I've even heard the word mentioned in casual conversation let alone in the media. And isn't *that* sad? Yet, at the same time, it actually makes a lot of sense being that I John 2:16 tells us that the world is filled with nothing but (NOTHING BUT) lust and pride and the Proverbs 31 woman is defined as being someone who is clothed with strength and dignity:

Dignity: bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation; nobility or elevation of character; worthiness; elevated rank, office, station, etc.; relative standing; rank; a sign or token of respect

Synonyms: decency, grace, greatness, poise, quality, respectability, status, virtue, courtliness, culture, distinction, etiquette, importance, regard, significance, splendor, worthiness

One of the reasons why I discern that we're instructed to "study to show ourselves approved" (2 Timothy 2:15-AMP) is because when we read Scripture simply at a glance, sometimes we end up missing the depth of what is truly being conveyed (Psalm 18:28).

For instance, knowing all of what dignity means/conveys, it speaks volumes that the Proverbs 31 woman was clothed in dignity, right? While the obvious definition of clothing is to be covered, another definition of the literal word "clothe" is "to endow or invest". I really like that because one definition of invest is "to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something".

What are you using or devoting towards the purpose of your personal decency?
What are you using or devoting towards the purpose of your personal greatness?
What are you using or devoting towards the purpose of your personal virtue?
What are you using or devoting towards the purpose of your personal distinction?
What are you using or devoting towards the purpose of your personal significance?

WHAT ARE YOU USING OR DEVOTING TOWARDS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR PERSONAL WORTHINESS?

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Sadly, there are a lot of women out here who want the men they're with to treat them in a way that they don't treat themselves: *with dignity*. As a single woman, this is such a special and sacred time because you're able to (further) *dignify yourself*. To tap into what makes you a woman who is truly worthy of respect, to spend time better understanding what it means to be a woman of grace and culture---shoot, to even learn the etiquette that comes with truly being a godly woman.

And the awesome thing about investing into yourself in this way is the more you do it, the more valuable you become *to yourself* and the less you want to involve yourself with any guy who is (ironically) going to prove to be a poor ROI (Return On Investment). In other words, if you're not seeing the *importance* and *significance* of the relationship, that makes it less than dignified and a woman of dignity simply cannot settle for any kind of relationship that lacks dignity. That lacks quality. That lacks courtliness.

Shoot, that lacks status too! I recently heard a comedian say "Yeah, we go together. I don't know where we're going but it's together." Uh-huh, a woman of dignity ain't gonna settle for that. If she's with someone, there is going to be an *established mutual intention*. Again because with dignity comes some sort of status!

Yep. That's all I got today. Just wanted to encourage you to not settle.
A woman of dignity deserves a man who knows it and will honor it.

Otherwise, what's the point?
Really...*what's the point?*

Be dignified today. And every day.


Adorn,

SRW

"On Fire": QUOTES OF THE DAY

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Watched Bachelor, its so sad that so many attractive, articulate women have such low self esteem that they would rather be with anybody, than the one that is their soul. Guess that explains why so many awesome women are with losers, far beneath them. Also explains divorce rate of the 40 plus who finally wake up and mature and realize they deserve more




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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"On Fire": Body PSA: Don't Change. IMPROVE.





"For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end] I would still be with You."---Psalm 139:13-18(AMP)


I believe that...

It was Oscar Wilde who once said "A man's face is his autobiography while a woman's face is her work of fiction." And while I am definitely a woman who has a slight lipstick/lip gloss and mascara obsession (so *obviously* I don't have a problem with make-up), I still get where he's coming from.

Back when I was in high school, I was literally amazed by 1) how many girls were allowed to wear a full face of make-up as early as their freshman year and 2) when we would take road trips and I would catch them without any make-up on that they would literally look like totally different people. (Contouring at 14 and 15 years of age?!? Wow.)

And looking back, although at the time it might've seemed like the "grown up thing to do", now I think it's pretty sad. Our teen years are such a fragile time when it comes to our self-esteem. It sends a pretty unfortunate message that in order to be beautiful, you need to cover your face up...put on a mask...create a work of fiction. (It also can cause people to do the same thing internally; perhaps without even realizing it.)

That's why I wanted to take a bit of a (work) writing break to share something with you...

Earlier this morning, someone reminded me of a quote that I put in my second book (Pure Heart). If you've never checked out the "So, How Did You Know?" blog, I recommend that you peruse it when you get a chance. I say that because, five years ago, I did a collection of love stories from various married couples across the country (world, actually). The husbands and wives each shared how they knew their spouse was "the one" for them, then they shared what they like most about their spouse's mind, body and spirit and close out with advice for singles (husbands offer up advice to single men, wives offer up advice to single women).

Anyway, in my book, I referenced a husband (his name is Melvin) who participated in the blog, saying something so cool about what he likes about his wife's body. He simply said "I love that when God created her, he had me in mind."

Nice. REALLY NICE.

I know Melvin's wife. She has a cute shape but she's not a Coke bottle and I'm sure there are things that she would like to change. But there is something that is so...especially special about what Melvin said.

For one thing, his comment is a reminder that God *is* the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). That if we would make the time to acknowledge him in ALL OF OUR WAYS (Proverbs 3:5-6), if we would seek God for wisdom IN ALL THINGS (James 1:5), if we would really trust in the fact that he has the power to make our way perfect (2 Samuel 22:31-33, Psalm 18:30-32), why wouldn't and shouldn't we believe that God has our mate in mind for us---from the very beginning?

And secondly, if we really do put our confidence in that very fact, what's all of the changing around and switching up about?!?

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Funny enough, it was around the time that I decided to try abstinence for real (like for real, for real-LOL) that my breasts went from a nice C-cup to...on up. Right now, a sistah is past an F and although I've put on some weight (healthy and much-needed weight, actually), most of my frame has remained the same. That means that my breasts are...a lot to take in.

Not too long ago, two of my friends asked me "Why are your breasts *still* growing?!?" (because it really does seem like they are!) I simply said "My husband must be praying for me to have them. Lucky him." My full lips. My big breasts. My wide hips. My butt that isn't huge but fits my shape quite well. My bow legs and pigeon-toed stance. My overbite. My six pack when I work out and little pooch when I don't. All of what makes me "me", I have no desire to change. Or to covet (which is a straight up sin--Exodus 20:17). Or to compare (which can make you sick--Proverbs 14:30).

Oh, now please trust that it wasn't always this way...

In fact, it was during my sexually active days, that I was probably the most insecure. Looking back, I discern that a big part of it was because I was sleeping with men who weren't mine. No vows were taken. No commitments were made. *I didn't have God's permission*. I wasn't *prayed for*. I was *preyed upon*. And vice versa. And so, one way or another, I was feeling like I had to compete.

God never wanted us to feel that way...
Mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally...even sexually.

It's biblical:

"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 2:24-25(AMP)

Did you catch it?

Naked and...
NOT EMBARRASSED OR ASHAMED...
In one another's presence.

Two people who know or are dating each other are not granted this instruction/blessing/consequence. *Married people* are. And the man who God has for me and the man who God has for you is going to want us---just as we are! (And yes, I am yelling that!)

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In fact, I've had the epiphany that because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-20) and also because we were formed in the womb *by God*, when we're consumed with wanting to look like anything or one other than ourselves, not only is it a slap in the Creator's face but it's also a demonic attack on our own psyche.

Your shape.
Your skin tone.
Your hair texture.
Your birthmark, freckles, scars.
Your full lips or thin lips.
Your big breasts or small breasts.
Your perfect teeth or crooked smile.
Your flat tummy or "fluffy" one (and I actually do know guys that would prefer "B").
Your muscular, thick or thin legs.
Your big butt or small one.

GOD MADE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
And he also made a man who will love you---every part of you---just the way you are.

So, why would you let Satan *tempt you* (I Corinthians 10:13) to change what makes you *especially* someone's wife? To "transform" into another individual? To "substitute" who you are now for something/someone else? To "to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone"?

Now, I'm not saying there's something wrong with *self-improvement*. However, that's not about changing yourself. That's about the literal definition of the word: "to bring into a more desirable or excellent condition". Working out. Dressing your body type. *Celebrating your individuality* (Psalm 33:15). These are all things that every woman (EVERY WOMAN) should do!

But that's just the point...

There's a big difference (BIG DIFFERENCE) between adorning your individuality and changing who you are. The first is about praising God and his handiwork. The second is about insulting him---and it.

Honey, I'm not about to up and change none of this!

I'm with Melvin. I believe that everything about my physicality, my husband is going to go gaga for and I would hate to disappoint him! I would hate for Satan to talk me out of keeping and maintaining the main things that God was like "When Shellie's husband sees this, he's gonna lose his mind!" It's not about what *all men* like/want. It's about what *my man* likes and wants. So, I have no desire to change.

Improve? Sure.
*Change*? Nope.

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Well, that's my PSA for the day.

The next time you're tempted to change who you are, remember what Melvin said...
God made you just the way he wanted you to be...
And as a bonus, he's had your husband in mind...*all along*!


Adorn,

SRW


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

An Ounce of Prevention: 'Dating Mistakes. And Hurdles.'

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This is a busy writing day...

But I did want to share some points from a couple of articles that I read this morning.

One is an article entitled "10 Worst Mistakes Christians Make While Dating". I'm going to mostly just share the list; other than a few exceptions (click on the link for all of it):

Being desperate for a relationship.
 

Being too picky.
 

Not developing healthy friendships with the opposite sex.
 

Letting other people control your relationship. Church friends usually mean well, but some people don't know how to stay out of other people's business. They will engage in what I call "prophetic meddling" by dropping hints, manipulating you to go out with someone or pushing you to marry someone you don't even want to be with. And while the gift of prophecy is valuable, you should never let personal prophecies steer your decisions about marriage. Let God personally guide you in this very personal area of life. 

Ignoring proper boundaries. 

Missionary dating. Never start a romantic relationship with a guy or girl who is not a believer. Christians who do this usually justify it with the old "I know I can change him/her" line. But the opposite happens: The unbeliever changes you—after he or she has broken your heart, compromised your morals or damaged your faith.

Lack of healthy confidence. 

Expecting the person you are dating to "fix" you. 

Spiritual stalking. I've met guys in church who drive by girls' houses regularly, monitor their moves and troll their Facebook pages. That's creepy. If you have to sneak around like a private detective to get a date, you need a new strategy. If a woman tells you she is not interested in going out with you, honor her request and move on. Don't develop an unhealthy obsession. And never, never, never tell a girl: "God told me you will be my wife." That's manipulative and could fall under the category of sexual harassment.

Not discerning a spiritual predator. One single female friend of mine said she went out with a man who did a financial seminar at her church. Because the guy was invited to speak from a pulpit she assumed he was a man of character, but he tried to get her into bed with him on the first date. It became quickly obvious he was an imposter. Beware of wolves. You must walk in the Spirit if you want to protect your purity and save yourself for the right person.

Good stuff. GOD. STUFF.



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Another article is entitled "4 Hurdles to Getting Married: And How to Leap over Them". It's from one of my favorite Jewish websites (Matthew 2:2, Mark 15:2) so as a heads up, there is a bit of Jewish references/Hebrew words in it.

Here are the hurdles (excerpts again):

Hurdle #1: The List [here the author refers to nixing the list and creating "a ladder" instead]:

Here are The Ladder Five Criteria:
 

*Good character traits: kind, considerate, honest, not stingy, not arrogant, and does not routinely put down individuals and groups
    

*Growth-oriented

*You enjoy spending time together
    

*Similar (but not identical) religious level

*The ability or plan to earn a living (which doesn’t have to be six figures)

Hurdle #2: The Objective Assessment

The most important life skill to acquire is: Focusing on the positive. In Hebrew, it’s called hakarat hatov, recognizing the good, which is usually translated as “gratitude.” In positive psychology, hundreds of studies have shown that gratitude is the key to happiness, a well-functioning immune system, and marital harmony.

Most people who go on dates assume the role of The Assessor. “She has this nice quality, but I don’t like that about her…” “He’s strong in A,B, and C, but he’s really weak in D, E, and F.”

D, E, and F become the hurdles to the chuppah [a canopy where a Jewish wedding ceremony takes place]. Although everyone understands that s/he will marry a flawed person, because all people are flawed, the more one focuses on the flaws, the more marriage recedes into the distance.

The way to jump over this hurdle is to learn the skill of focusing on the positive.


Hurdle #3: The Fantasy

Everyone over the age of 20 was raised on fantasies of, “They lived happily ever after.” No matter how sensible and realistic you are, the hope for a trouble-free life probably persists deep in your heart. So even if you really like the woman you are dating, her difficult parents, who are likely to create future problems, may scare you off. Even if the man you are dating is wonderful, his low earning potential, which is bound to make you strapped financially when you have children, may end the match. Why should you commit to a life likely to have problems?

The answer is: All lives have problems! God, who created the world, set it up this way because only by facing and overcoming challenges does a person grow spiritually and thus fulfill his/her purpose in this world.


Hurdle #4: The Goldilocks Self-Image Problem

A healthy self-image, one that Goldilocks would deem, “just right,” is indispensible to getting married – and staying married. True self-esteem has three components:
 

*To know that your essential identity is that you are a Divine soul, ever perfect and ever pure, connected to God and beloved by God.

*A daily examination of your actions where you validate yourself for the good that you do, and do teshuvah for your wrong actions, in a proportion of 4 to 1.

*The commitment to continually work on yourself (through a class in Mussar – Jewish self-improvement – or a self-help group), so although you are not perfect, you see yourself as a “work in progress,” or “an unfinished masterpiece.”

The daily examination of your deeds is particularly important for striking the balance between a self-image that is too big or too small. As Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller says: “If you want to know who you are, look at what you do.” 



A lot of us wonder why dating is not going as smoothly as we'd like...

Hopefully, these articles provide a bit of assistance on how to make things easier. And more productive.

You know what they say: To get what you've always had, do what you've always done...

Here's to DATING. DIFFERENTLY.


Adorn,

SRW

Monday, August 17, 2015

"On Fire": How MATURE Is 'He'?

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"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)


Recently...

While having a conversation with a few guys, something hit me. Hit me in a way I'm not sure I've paid much attention to before. Until now.

Although I have been a big (HUGE) fan of the Message Version of Matthew 19 (1-12) ever since I read it several years ago, and even though I theoretically got what it means that everyone is not mature enough for marriage, it wasn't until I was really listening to these fellas talk that I received my own "ah ha moment" of what Christ was (translated as) saying.

NOT EVERYONE IS MATURE ENOUGH TO LIVE A MARRIED LIFE.

The guys that I was hanging out with? They're good dudes. They really are. Smart. Funny. Ambitious. Yet as I was listening to them share their thoughts/theories on relationships, while I couldn't initially put my finger on it, the following day I did.

A GOOD MAN DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY EQUATE A MATURE MAN.

I liken it to a seed.
A seed is a beginning.
Amazing things can be in the seed.

Oh, but seeds need time to grow...
TO MATURE.

I think what happens to a lot of women is they will see a man and *assume* that because they see good things in him that automatically he is marriage-now potential. Then when he does something that disappoints them, they chalk him up to not being as...awesome as they thought when the reality is he can still be *good*. Just not yet *mature*:

Mature: complete in natural growth or development, as plant and animal forms; ripe, as fruit, or fully aged, as cheese or wine; fully developed in body or mind, as a person

To be mature is to be complete in growth and development.
To be mature is to be ripe or fully aged.
To be mature is to be fully developed in mind and body.

Now for the record, one of the reasons why I'm all for people waiting until they're closer to 30 before marriage is because 30 biblically symbolizes "maturity for ministry". *Marriage is definitely a ministry* and there are even statistics supporting the fact that getting married under the age of 25 isn't usually...the wisest move (click this link to read an article and this link to read some stats). Yes, there are exceptions. I even know a few and *even them* say they don't recommend people doing that they did (getting married super young).

And yes, I also get that the definitions of maturity sets a really high bar. Honestly, a lot more marriages would survive if bars were higher on the front end. Complete. Ripe. Fully developed. That doesn't mean *perfect*. It's actually *immature* to expect something from someone that you can't deliver (and none of us is perfect--I John 1:9-10). However, if there's one thing that complete (having all the required or customary characteristics, skills, or the like), ripe (advanced to the point of being in the best condition for use) and fully developed (to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of; bring to a more advanced or effective state) all have in common, is time.

James 1:4 tells us that completion requires patience.
Matthew 12:33 tells us that a tree is known by its fruit.
Ephesians 4:7-13(Message) speaks of the importance of being fully developed.
Acts 1:4(Message) tells us that timing is the Father's business.

And do you know what all of this has in common?
*It's all found in the Bible*.




Hebrews 5:12-14(AMP) tells us this:

"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(AMP)

When you're spiritually mature, you're intentionally about speaking out God's will. 
When it comes to your purpose, your thoughts and your actions.
(Yes, spiritual maturity is evident in someone's actions.)

When you're spiritually mature, you are able to distinguish between what is morally good---and not.
What is noble---and not.
What is contrary to divine and human law---and what is not.

And so yes, when Christ said that not everyone is *mature enough* for marriage, I discern that all of this was taken into account. Therefore, I am confident in saying that one of the biggest mistakes that women make is not looking for the kind of man who is *mature enough*, especially *spiritually mature enough* for marriage.

A man can have all kids of awesome qualities but if they are not complete, ripe and fully developed and/or he is not *spiritually* at a place where God's will is paramount in his life, where he is noble (of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence) in character (Colossians 3:12-17) and he lives in accordance with divine law while having the utmost respect for human law, guess what? *He's not mature enough for marriage*. And you know what? If you are not striving in these areas, neither are you.

Yep. That's what I've got this week, y'all.

As your running down your husband-to-be list and checking it twice...
Please (PLEASE) make being with a mature man a very top priority.

After all...

The spiritually immature "play house".
The spiritually mature "build a life under God's standards".

Amen? Amen.


Adorn,

SRW


"On Fire": QUOTES OF THE DAY

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