"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."---Song of Solomon 4:7(NLT)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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..
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)
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!