Monday, December 26, 2016
"I think people focus so much on 'Can he provide?' more than they do the spiritual aspect of it." Yep. I'll say this. BIBLICALLY, provision *is* a part of the spiritual responsibility of a husband; however, I totally get where they are coming from. I deal with quite a few married couples who are like "Our marriage is in trouble" but when I'm like "Do you pray? Do you have devotional time together? DO YOU HAVE SEX?" ("Sex is as much a spiritual mystery as it is a physical fact"--I Corinthians 6:16--Message) they look at me like I'm crazy. MARRIAGE WAS NOT DESIGNED TO WORK WITHOUT GOD AND THAT MEANS HAVING A STRONG SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION AND BEING ON A DAILY WALK WITH HIM (2 CORINTHIANS 5:7, I THESSALONIANS 5:17, MATTHEW 6:11, EPHESIANS 5).
As people are preparing to go into the calendar new year, this is something to really and truly ponder (Proverbs 4:26). Why date someone who is not striving for spiritual growth? Why even contemplate marriage if your spirituality is not the top priority and a daily practice of your life?
I like how this wife says "I love your headship." HIGH PRAISE. It really is.
Food for thought...
I'm leading off with this quote because...
When God picks, you get a man who stands on conviction.
That said, on the topic of kissing, if you're wondering what my personal stand is...
I think that each couple is different. Kissing is not a sin and the Bible doesn't say not to do it. I know some couples who kissed and stopped until marriage. Even a few who didn't kiss until marriage. They seem to be quite adamant that others shouldn't do it. Yeah...well. Boaz and Ruth probably wouldn't have married if she "followed tradition", Esther wouldn't have saved her people if she didn't step out in boldness, some people God is expecting to love their spouse like Hosea loved Gomer. And I'm pretty sure those same couples wouldn't taken issue with those couples' journies.
So, I'm the kind of person who is like, "What the Bible says not to do, DON'T. What it doesn't mention, take the prayer. God reveals what's in his will for us all."
All of that said, there is something to be said for, at least considering, not kissing until your wedding day. Kissing triggers oxytocin, just like orgasms do. Kissing (if you're *really* into it) is about one of your body parts being in another (hmm...). Kissing can make it REALLY HARD to not take it to the point of ignoring the boundaries the Word does set.
At least consider where they're coming from. There is something very special loving someone enough to set such firm boundaries in the relationship. I'll definitely give them that.
"In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, when they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him---to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].
Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] [b]interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; but let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.
For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them].
It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you]."---I Peter 3:1-6(AMPC)
I'm rocking a flat top and one of my friend describes my style as "classy grundge". They are probably right because I am as much of a fan of wedge sneakers and graphic tees as I am jewelry, lip gloss and smell goods.
So, some people might be surprised to hear me say---and yes, I'm about to yell it---that I AM ABSOLUTELY NOT A FEMINIST. I could get into all of the reasons why, but personally, I think these two women pretty much summed it up. I am astonished by the amount of women who have *no* homemaking skills, who buck *the biblical instruction* of submission and want to challenge Proverbs 31 at seemingly every turn. And that's the women *in the Church* that I'm talking about.
If any of y'all have seen the movie *Think Like a Man*, you probably remember one of the characters telling her girlfriend, "You don't need a man. You ARE a man." Something to think about as you check out this video. God designed for ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN to get married (Genesis 2:24-25, I Corinthians 7:1-5). Not a woman who acts like a man---even spiritually---to marry a man. Anyway, here ya go:
Good GOD stuff. Remember, we're not supposed to be like the world...we're to be quite peculiar (I Peter 2:9-10). Including when it comes to our femininity!
Saturday, December 17, 2016
It's simple and can't be repeated enough...
I always like wedding videos that are God-focused, Christ-centered and Holy Spirit-led. AND ones where there appears to be so much joy and happiness. This couple's video encompasses that so well.
At the end, the groom says this to his beloved:
I vow on this day that it will always take three
And that the world will have to end before you separate from me
I vow to go to the Bible in times of need
And vow to rely on God to help us succeed
I vow to make our lives the adventure you always dreamt of
While being the hands and feet of our Father up above
I vow to love you in a way this world will not comprehend
So that we can glorify God in ways that only he can understand
So, I declare our love in front of our families and friends
That God will be the center of our relationship ‘til the very end
Wait for a man who can stand firm in his commitment to God first *and then* to you:
Beautiful. Absolutely so.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
"'Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,' says your God. "---Isaiah 54:4-6(NKJV)
I've never been big on "Jesus is my boyfriend" talk...
To me, it trivializes him, the role that he serves (our boyfriend nor husband is our Savior) and comes off a bit flippant (i.e., disrespectful). At the same time, that doesn't mean that I don't get the parallels that are made in the Word about God being our husband in the lead Scripture here and in Psalm 45. In the New Kings James Version, the title of that chapter is "The Glories of the Messiah and His Bride".
And, as I was praying for the women participating in the future husband prayer project last night, a thought came to me. I've already done some research on why God would call him "our husband" and why the Church is the "bride of Christ" (Matthew 25 is a great parable about this). The Godhead are not to do for us what a human man---a flawed human man, at that---is to do. However, they do provide, protect, nourish and cherish us. AND, they set the standard of what a covenant is to look like so that when our time comes to be joined to our earthly mate, we have a clearer understanding of what the Godhead expects of us and from us.
MARRIAGE IS TO MODEL THE GODHEAD'S COVENANT.
THEY AGREE AS ONE (I JOHN 5:8).
A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE TO BECOME ONE (GENESIS 2:24-25).
When I was taking all of this into account, I saw some videos of men crying (or being flat-out thrilled!) as their bride was coming towards them in a whole new light (Psalm 18:28). And then, another verse in Scripture revealed itself in another fashion:
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and [refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls."---Matthew 11:28-29(NKJV)
Take 6 does an awesome vocal arrangement of these verses:
I can only imagine how much *less anxious* (Philippians 4:6-7) and *less worried* (Matthew 6:25-34) we would be, about marriage and everything else, if we stopped going to the Lord so much about a man (or whatever else we're desiring), and simply came to him and allowed him to put our souls to rest. In rest, burdens are lifted (keeping his commandments makes life less burdensome too, by the way---I John 5:3), and he is able to speak to us about our purpose, worth and value. We can trust that as we spend more time with the Lord and learn to *really and truly and divinely trust him*, we can REST in being a bride. Either way.
AND THAT caused me to look at these men crying (or being full of joy) at the sight of their wives-to-be in such a profound way. When a woman *chooses* to marry a godly man, she should be seeing Christ-like characteristics in him. Shouldn't we all believe that when we *choose* to come to the Lord with all that concerns us (I Peter 5:6-7) that he too is moved? That he also finds us to be precious and beautiful in his sight? That he also sees us as extremely valuable?
I encourage you to think about this as you watch these videos below. Until the time comes, if God so chooses it's best, for you to be joined to your beloved (Genesis 2:22), *walk towards the Lord*. He's ALWAYS going to love you better than ANY MAN can. And the Word assures that he will provide rest unto your souls...until.
Friday, December 9, 2016
An Ounce of Prevention: '9 Reasons (You May Not Know) Why Christian Single Ladies Can't Find Their Boaz, David or Joseph'
"It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it."---Ecclesiastes 7:18(Message)
We all need them from time to time. While doing some research for the prayer project I'm doing with some ladies, I found an article that brings up all kinds of practical points. It's called "9 Reasons (You May Not Know) Why Christian Single Ladies Can't Find Their Boaz, David or Joseph". Here are some excerpts:
Many Christian ladies want a man that “knows where he is going”… but God’s men usually don’t have a clue: Think about that for a moment. Think through the Bible…all the great men that had relationships with God and who he used and blessed….they usually didn’t have a clue about where they were going and (here is the even crazier part) even if they had a clue, their lives for a long time did not reflect that great place God said he was taking them. Just think about it. All the way from Abraham …going to a land he did not know; Joseph having a dream that people would bow down to him but became a slave and then a prisoner; David who was anointed to be King and then lived the next 15 years in the wilderness as a fugitive; Peter the great fisher of men who was barely able to catch fish.
These men would have had a rough time finding a wife today. Could you imagine?
Many ladies forget that good Christian men look for women who share similar non-romantic, non-spiritual values: Sure he should be romantic and sure he must share those spiritual values but eerrmmm ladies…these Christian brothers are looking for those other character traits as well that speak to the OPERATION of your possible lives together. Dependability, thriftiness, work ethic, time management, hard work, follow-through and so on.
One of the first things we learn about Ruth for example, was her work ethic. ( Ruth chapter 2). She knew how to pull her hair back, forget about her nails, roll up her sleeves and get on the grind. She worked really hard and even when she got the attention of the “well established guy with the sensitive heart” she didn’t stop working. She took the break that he offered her and went back to work.
Good Christian men know their worth too and don’t want to settle either: Yeah ladies…men are understanding their worth a bit more too.Christian men are getting more and more comfortable attending relationship seminars and getting information about seeking God’s face for a wife. They are realizing how powerful of an impact a wife has on the outcome of their lives and ministry, and they are spending more time trying to see what is beneath the surface. They know that a woman can make or break everything. They realize that a woman’s desires can accelerate him towards purpose or derail him.
They are praying more and they are realizing that while you still remain a prize, they too are precious in God’s eyes and want to do right by him. They are realizing that a wife can make or break a man.
Yes they are praying for a Ruth but they are also praying against Delilah as well.
Yeah buddy. Good stuff. And that's only *a little bit* of the piece!
Make the time and pass it along.
Over and out.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
"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)
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.
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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:
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.
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)