Sunday, August 21, 2016
"[He said] I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field [which are free to follow their own instincts] that you not try to stir up or awaken [my] love until it pleases."---Song of Solomon 2:7(AMPC)
That Scripture right there...
That's one of the most RESPONSIBLE THINGS any woman has said in Scripture concerning romantic love. An article that expounds on it speaks volumes all on its own. I'll share an excerpt. Please make the time to check it out in its entirety:
The way in which the Song persuades us to wait for marriage to have sex is striking, however. Often Christians focus on the various rules that the Bible gives us about our sexuality — the “Thou shalt not’s.” There is certainly biblical wisdom behind those rules. Yet what the Song adds to the rules are reasons. Rules are like walls and fences: They can mark out where proper boundaries exist. Yet walls and fences are of only limited help in keeping people in their proper place: They can easily be tunneled under, climbed over, or broken down. It is much more likely that we will stay on the proper side of the wall until marriage if we have a reason rather than simply a rule.
Intriguingly, the Song compares waiting for marriage to guarding a vineyard. In the springtime of the year, when flowers are in bloom and all nature is telling you to go forth, be fruitful and multiply, the woman warns us of the little foxes that can damage the fragile blossoms of the vineyard, with serious long-term consequences for its fruitfulness (2:15). She reminds us that the farmer who invests his energy in protecting the integrity of the vineyard will not regret it later, even though the benefits of this painful perseverance won’t be reaped until the time is fully ripe.
Vineyard tending is a long, patient process of waiting and watching in which one failure doesn’t bring the whole endeavor to nothing. The farmer who fails doesn’t have to give up the vineyard as damaged goods. He can repent and rebuild the broken wall and start again to watch and wait. Equally, while keeping the walls is important in vineyard tending, it is not the only thing. It’s about taking care of tender blossoms. Tending your sexual vineyard is therefore not simply about actual physical sexual intercourse; it is about protecting your mind from habitual lust, romantic fantasy, and pornography, all of which can have long-term damaging effects. You can have a vineyard whose walls are still intact but whose blossoms have been trampled into the muddy dirt in other ways.
Nor is watching over the vineyard an end in itself. Rather, its wonderful purpose is to be able at the end of the process to present your vineyard to your lover in full bloom, so that you can both enjoy its fruit without regret or remorse. The intensity of the waiting makes the final consummation all the more glorious. Failure should not lead us simply to guilt but to repentance, while God enabled purity should not result in pride but profound thankfulness to God for his grace that protected us against ourselves.
*The intensity of the waiting makes the final consummation all the more glorious.*
I'm a marriage life coach.
People try to get me to date/meet someone all of the time.
Life has taught me to say similar to what the Shulamite woman did...
Abstinence doesn't make sexuality dead. Just dormant.
A season of waiting to receive *God's definition* of satisfaction and pleasure. Not man's.
(Psalm 16:11 & 145:16)
And God can do exceedingly abundantly above our estimation of ALL THINGS!
Patience leads us to perfection with no sense of lack (James 1:4)...
Don't pressure yourself or allow others to pressure you to move ahead of God's timing.
Allow God to awaken love...
Are really and truly READY!
AND ONLY GOD KNOWS WHEN THAT IS.
Last week I read an article with this title: "One Peculiar Reason Modern Men Avoid Marriage and How to Address It". Before getting into the reason that was actually shared, I'll provide my own theory. FAR TOO MANY WOMEN ARE OFFERING A BENEFIT OF MARRIAGE WITHOUT REQUIRING A MAN TO MARRY THEM: *SEX*.
Amazing, ain't it, that the same men who say they aren't ready/don't want to get married are (oftentimes) the same ones doing what God *only* created for marriage (Hebrews 13:4)? I've been there and done that, *trust me*. From the past 14 men I've fornicated with, I'll say this: "You're not doing a man or yourself ANY FAVORS by having sex with him outside of marriage." You're not "loving him"; you're actually *spiritually and emotionally emasculating him* because he's receiving something he has not earned (or received God's permission to have). Sex, outside of marriage, doesn't make ANYONE stronger in the Lord; only weaker. And sometimes, grave consequences follow:
"Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.' Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."---I Corinthians 10:6-13(NKJV)
Sexual sin being popular and common makes it no more right.
*It will always be wrong* (I Corinthians 6:16-20---Message).
I've shared several before a video that depicts why (click here).
Besides, you're worth so much more than that.
Your a child of the Most High (Psalm 82:6).
Your own standards should reflect that.
Your mind, body and spirit *deserve* marriage.
Back to the article, though...
So, the author referenced another article with this title: "Young men giving up on marriage: ‘Women aren’t women anymore'". (Ouch and amen!) Here's an excerpt:
Fewer young men in the US want to get married than ever, while the desire for marriage is rising among young women, according to the Pew Research Center...
“When I ask them why, the answer is always the same: women aren’t women anymore.” Feminism, which teaches women to think of men as the enemy, has made women “angry” and “defensive, though often unknowingly.”
“Now the men have nowhere to go. It is precisely this dynamic – women good/men bad – that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry.”
“Men are tired,” Venker wrote. “Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.”
Feminism and the sexual revolution have simply made marriage “obsolete” for women as a social and economic refuge, but this is a situation that should not be celebrated by feminists, Venker says.
“It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek."
It's funny (not really) how some of the people I already shared this with acted like it was *the men's fault* that this is there reality. Here's my take. I'm a woman. A woman who desires to be married one day. And you know what? I wasn't offended by the article one bit.
Personally, on many levels and for many reasons, I agree with it. Even as a woman, I'm amazed by how many women I see who *look* like women, but man...Proverbs 31? The Word wasn't playing when it said that she's hard to find and is of high value. So many women act like there's something wrong with being domesticated, staying at home to raise their own children, cooking and cleaning (?!) and not having the desire to compete in "a man's world".
A woman is created by God to prove that she can be better than a man.
A woman is created by God to complement a man.
So, if you check out the article and it get under your skin, ask yourself why...
If anything, what it did for me, was remind myself...
How important it is to be a WOMAN first and a WIFE second.
The Word tells us what a woman looks and lives like:
"A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it]. She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country]. She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]. She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet. She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]. Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service]. 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]! She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat. Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], 'Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.' Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!"---Proverbs 31:10-30(AMPC)
"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] 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)
A lot of us aren't waiting on our man...
God is waiting on us to become the kind of woman he can entrust one of his sons too.
Marriage is one of God's greatest gifts...
Made ONLY for a man and a woman.
Before trying to be someone's wife...
Let's seek the Father on how to be---and remain---a godly woman first!
"Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife."---I Corinthians 7:10-11(NKJV)
I'm always amazed...
How so many pastors will preach about things like not drinking alcohol as a sign of being "saved" (the Word doesn't say not to drink; it says not to be drunk--Ephesians 5:18, Revelation 21:8, I Timothy 5:23, Ecclesiastes 9:7, Proverbs 3:10, Proverbs 31:6, etc.) and then will turn around and marry divorced people (whose spouses are still alive) to other people, when the Word clearly says not to. The Word says that teachers are held to a higher form of judgment (James 3:1). I continue to pray more will become convicted in this area.
If you know a pastor who cosigns on this kind of behavior, Galatians 6:6(NCV) says "Anyone who is learning the teaching of God should share all the good things he has with his teacher." *No teacher is above learning more, even pastors*. Feel free to forward this along. A church here in Nashville? They had CHURCH on the Sabbath day yesterday!
It is a live-and-in-living-color example of this part of Ephesians 5:
"As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 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."---Ephesians 5:24-31(AMPC)
*So many people in Christ's day and even now had/have a hard time receiving Christ's gift of salvation. You can read Luke 23:37 to see an example of this very fact when Christ was being jeered and teased *while he was sacrificing his life for souls*!
This is just one example that *nowhere in the Word* are we told that love is easy. The I Corinthians 13 definition of love begins with LONGSUFFERING (I Corinthians 13:4). That means "enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently" and "long and patient endurance of injury, trouble, or provocation".
THIS IS LOVE...
AND IF YOU CAN'T SAY THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED TO THIS FOREVER...
DON'T GET MARRIED!
What's so beautiful about this video is it's such a depiction of how Christ loves the Church...how husbands are to love their wives...how spouses are to love one another, *period*.
No one is perfect. Deeper than that, a lot of people are not aware of all of what the Word says concerning marriage, divorce and remarriage. I so dig what one author said about marriage/marriage vows:
If anything but death is an option for ending a marriage, then don’t say “until death” in your wedding vows. Tell the truth. Promise what is meant. Say something like “until adultery, abandonment, or abuse.” Say what you mean. God never lies (Titus 1:2) and delights in truth-telling and oath-keeping.
Whether speaking of marriage or any other subject, it comes as no surprise that God expects people to say what they mean. The immediate context of Jesus’s teaching about adultery includes his clarification that going back on your word (marital vow) is evil. Matthew 5:37: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” In other words, if you say “until death,” you should mean “until death.”---"Until Death Do Us Part---For Real"
Yes. And amen.
A lot of us want to be married and *praise God* that his infinite understanding (Psalm 147:5) says "Child, you don't quite get what I expect of you and I expect of the man who is MY WILL for you." NO RELATIONSHIP IS WORTH PUTTING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IN JEOPARDY. Don't let let this world over-influence you (Romans 12:2, James 4:4). God has strict standards for marriage (Malachi 2:14), and how to conduct oneself if you end your marriage. God does not change (Malachi 3:6).
Watch this. Pray for a man who has a heart for God as this man does. Do research on what adultery *actually is* (it's not sexual infidelity; it's getting married after you've been divorced--Romans 7:2-3, Matthew 19:1-12) and ask God to (continue to) mature your character to a point and place where if you're not disciplined enough (Matthew 19:11-12--Message) to say forever, you're content (Hebrews 13:5) remaining single.
And if you do get married someday and you or yours does end your marriage...
You'll do what the Lord himself instructed.
You'll remain unmarried or reconcile with your spouse...
No matter how long it takes to make that happen. Even if it's unto death!
If you can't sign up for that...
DON'T DO IT!
(Scroll up to 41:00 and let it rip!)
Sunday, August 14, 2016
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end...I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him."---Ecclesiastes 3:11&14(NKJV)
The Classic Amplified Version of Proverbs 16:33 says "The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]." It's a favorite Proverb of mine, partly because it reminds me of the quote "People see God every day. They just don't recognize him." It reminds me to embrace and enjoy being the "signs and wonders girl" (Daniel 4:2-3) that my mama calls me.
I paid attention to one sign, in particular, this week. As I was doing some researching and writing, a video kept popping up in the suggestions section of YouTube. So, I took it as a sign, sent the link to myself and just now watched it.
A lot of y'all know I don't have social media accounts and it has a fair amount of hits, so some of you might have already seen it. But whether it's your first or umpteenth time checking it out, personally, I think it's worth it.
For me, I smiled at a few things...
1) How THOROUGH a man is when he really loves a woman
2) How a personal favorite throwback song of mine popped up (I've always thought about slow dragging with my future husband to it and *rarely* do I hear it played...a nice sign)
3) How we can trust that God truly will do exceedingly abundantly all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
4) How in traditional Jewish culture, a betrothed women doesn't know when her future husband will come for her after he proposes; usually it requires a year of preparation; she just always needs to be ready because when he does arrive, it's time. (That's where the parable of the Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins/Bridesmaids come from!--Matthew 25)
5) How her beloved covered EVERYTHING in this proposal (And I mean, *everything*)
6) How when a man loves you like Christ loved the Church and gave his all, you'll see "fruit" (Matthew 12:33) of that prior to marriage
7) How the groom-to-be kept saying "Follow the ones who are leading you."
Acts 1:7(Message) says this: He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit." John 14:26(AMPC) tells us what the Holy Spirit does in our lives: "Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby)".
Christ is not here. The Word tells us where he is. He's preparing a place for us (John 14:1-6). In the meantime, the Holy Spirit is who helps us along the way. And since the Word defines wives as "helpers" (Genesis 2:18) and the Holy Spirit is the Ultimate Helper, who better to lead us to our future husbands than he? Who better to bring us to so much peace, joy and satisfaction in the process than he? Who better works with God the Father to make everything happen, just at the right place and time, than he?
Every time that the man in this video said "Follow the ones who are leading you", he had an even greater surprise in store for his bride-to-be. And for me, I got more excited for/with her because it felt like that was what the Holy Spirit was saying to me and wanted me to share with you:
FOLLOW ME. I WILL LEAD YOU TO THE BEST MAN FOR YOU.
Following the Holy Spirit requires faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and obedience (Mark 12:30-31).
We're not following him if we're sleeping around (I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message).
We're not following him if we're not honoring biblical boundaries and standards (Matthew 19:1-12).
We're not following him if we're impatient (Philippians 4:6-7).
We're only following him when we're Word-abiding (John 8:31-32) and self-denying (Matthew 16:24). When we're trusting that everything has a time, season and purpose and we don't always get to know the timing for things. What we do know is the Godhead know what they are doing. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (I John 5:8) have our back! What is truly (TRULY) good for us, God will not withhold. That's a biblical promise (Psalm 84:11).
I pray you will keep this in mind as you watch this video. It's close to 18 minutes but honestly doesn't feel like it and is truly worth every moment.
God never intended for any of his daughters to.
Are you *letting* God lead *you* to your future husband?
Saturday, August 6, 2016
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."---Ephesians 5:25-33(NKJV)
So many want "somebody" rather than *God's best*...
And because of that, for so many single women, it's the million dollar question, is it not?
Will God tell me who my husband is?
I thought about this quite a bit as I was praying for the "On Fire" women last night and today. The Holy Spirit led (Luke 12:12) me to a few points.
First, from the article "Does God Tell Us Who We’re Supposed to Marry?", I dig the bottom line resolve of the author:
First, is God capable of telling us who we’ll marry?
I believe that God can do anything. He’s spoken through donkeys, and angels, and out of burning bushes. He could write a name in the sky without paying a dollar for a cheesy skywriter. It is possible.
And in some cases, yes, he does tell us their name.
And I know why we’re asking for one. We want to do this right. We want God’s will over our own. We want a Godly relationship. And we think that by praying for a name—asking about God’s will for our future relationships—we’re acting out of faith.
But I think we need to take another look at faith.
Faith is walking forward when you don’t know what the destination looks like. It’s stepping into the river not knowing if it’s going to stop or wash you away.
In insisting on an answer, we’re not stepping out in faith. We’re stepping out only when we know we have a Godly insurance policy that our greatest dreams will come true...
We want an answer, a name, that moment of reassurance, and we want it right now.
I met the Lord and, I kid you not, weeks later I was already looking up at him expectantly—“God, I’m ready, where is my husband?” God was kind not to audibly laugh from heaven, because not for a second was I ready to get married.
In all of this, the question is not “Can God tell you who you’re going to marry,” or even “will he?”
I think the question is something more like this: What are you focusing on?
Are you listening for who God is telling you to love that day—the person on the street, the guy in your class, your mom—or are you listening for the name of someone who you may be YEARS away from being good for?
Are you spending your time listening for this insurance that you will not be alone? Or are you diving into friendships, family, and your relationship with the Lord and finding out that you never were alone in the first place?
Amen. A lot of women don't realize (or maybe the better word is "accept") that God gives us no one to worship, to make our savior or to preoccupy us to the point that they end up taking his place. I was just penning a devotional on secrets from the Lord and one thing that you can be sure of is he doesn't give us things that will tempt us (James 1:13-14). If a husband is going to be an idol for us (Exodus 20:3), it's not something we're ready to have. *God must be our all and all*. Period.
Another article brings up another stellar point that far too many of my counseling sessions prove to be true:
First, we should make sure that we are ready to marry. We must have enough maturity to look beyond the here and now and be able to commit ourselves to joining with this one person for the rest of our lives. We must also recognize that marriage requires sacrifice and selflessness. Before marrying, a couple should study the roles and duties of a husband and wife (Ephesians 5:22-31; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Colossians 3:18-19; Titus 2:1-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
It is UNBELIEVABLY ARROGANT to think you are ready and simply waiting on someone else. Marriage is serious and no matter how many people treat it like a dating situation, it's for life (Romans 7:2-3, Matthew 19:1-12)! God knows when you're in the position, especially spiritually, to help someone else (Genesis 2:18). When you're spiritually mature enough to surrender to submission rather than fight it (Ephesians 5:22-24). When you're going to say vows and *actually keep them* (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7). The Message Version of Acts 1:7 tells us "Timing is the Father's business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit." Until you're ready to be joined to your husband, God's provides a very special gift and teacher. Genesis 2:18 defines women as helpers. John 14:26(AMPC) calls the Holy Spirit one. Wanna know how to be a wife? How to get ready for the position? Spend quality time with the Holy Spirit!
Then I saw another interesting article...
Click here to read the source of this infographic...
To a certain extent, the article is correct. It's not a Word-based one, so we shouldn't be surprised that a critical point---one that so many people both in and out of the Church choose to overlook---is missing. The *spiritual* component.
You know what they say...
If you wanna get closer to what you do want...
X out what you DON'T WANT.
And if you want God's best for you...
That means listening to God's Word, will and way.
God will not tell you to marry an unbeliever. I have said many times before that there are several instances in Scripture where folks were "unequally yoked". Moses and Zipporah. Boaz and Ruth. King Xerses and Esther, etc. One, we have to always keep in mind that just because things are in the Bible, that doesn't automatically make it right or God's will. Secondly, in most instances, the man was in relationship with God and the Word tells us that a wife is to submit to her husband (Colossians 3:18). Zipporah had she and Moses's son circumcised so that he could be in covenant (submission). Ruth became a Hebrew follower (submission). Esther? The only book of the Bible that doesn't mention God once (interesting, right?). Extreme sacrifices were made on her part to save her people. The point? One, God never put it in his Word (which means it's not in his will) for a man to submit to a woman. I Peter 3:1-6 says that a woman can influence a man by his conduct, but that's a lot easier to do when he already has some sort of foundational relationship with the Lord. It really is best to do what God says and he says to not unequally yoke oneself with an unbeliever. The Word compares it to Christ not being in association with Belial or light not being in association with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:11-18). *That's how extreme God sees it to be*. A man is to be a spiritual leader for you. To cover you in the Word. To love you as Christ loves the Church. An unbeliever can't even fathom what all of that means. Bottom line? Don't do marry one.
God will not tell you to marry someone else's husband. The Word says that divorced people are to remain unmarried or to reconcile with the person that they divorced (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Just because people don't do it doesn't mean God has relaxed his command. The road is narrow and difficult. Few will find the true way to life. The Bible tells us so (Matthew 7:13-14). Read this, this and this if you're dating a divorced person right now. "Do not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14) does not mean "Do not commit sexual infidelity". It goes *so much deeper* than that.
God will not tell you to marry someone who is sexually violating you. Fornication is a form of sexual violation. I am floored by how many people act like sex outside of marriage is "no big deal" or a "passable sin". If you read I Corinthians 6:9-10, it says that those who do it will not inherit the kingdom of God and if you read Revelation 21:8, it lists sexually immoral people as some of the ones who will be a part of the second fire. Does God forgive sin? OF COURSE. Truly repentant sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) and the people who fall into that category are people who "go and sin no more" once they realize the magnitude of what they've done (John 8:11). Besides that, of the married couples who've engaged in sexual sin (you don't "make love" dating. There's no love in it because God is love and he's not a part of sexual sin--Hebrews 13:4) that I've talked to, *ALL OF THEM REGRET DOING IT*. It tends to affect trust and it's hard for many wives to believe a man will cover her in marriage when he *uncovered her* while dating. Sexual sin is making a mockery of such a beautiful thing that God has created. No, God is not going to tell you to marry someone who is helping you to make a mockery out of something he created. And if it is meant to be by God, there will be repentance *and* a season of abstinence on the front end of marriage.
God will not tell you to marry someone who has no relationship with God and no sense of purpose. This one? Short and sweet. The Garden of Eden is God's blueprint for mankind (Genesis 1-2). We should be doing all that we can to live that way. And in the Garden, Adam had a relationship with God and a purpose *before* the woman. Missionary dating is unhealthy. So is trying to rush a man into a relationship when he's not sure what he's on this planet to do. Plus, a wife is to *complement* (Genesis 2:18-25--AMPC) her husband. You can't really know how you fit if "he's" not clear on where you do.
God will not tell you to marry someone who doesn't encourage you to put God first. ALWAYS. Some women who write me? The guy they're all into doesn't pray for them, let alone with them. Again, reference to Ephesians 5 to see WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS a husband is to do in his wife's life. If you're considering a man who shows no evidence of making your stronger in God, bringing you closer to Christ and encourages you to honor the Holy Spirit, he's not God's best for you. Not by a long shot! Remember that marriage is to model the covenant of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. They agree as one (I John 5:8). Just as a husband and wife get married and then beginning the becoming one process (Genesis 2:24-25). The only way to know how to do that is by the leading of the Godhead.
I am trusting that this already provides some of you with the answers you've been looking for, even if they are uncomfortable ones. *Better to be uncomfortable alone than in a counterproductive relationship with someone else*. Right?
And what should you do while you're waiting on more answers?
Funny you should ask that.
I also checked out an article that I like that consists of how to cultivate a life plan. Don't let your world only consist of looking for/waiting on a husband. The more planning you do, the more God assists you in those plans (Proverbs 3:5-6), the more things will be made clear about why you are single in this season and what God desires for you. In his time. *Everything is made beautiful in its time* (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Well, that's what I got this week...
As always, if there are prayer requests, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You deserve more than "just some dude".
God knows that. He's got your best interest in mind.
Satan knows that. He's going to do his best to distract you.
The key to receiving God's will is YOU KNOWING THAT.
I pray that you do!