Wife Curriculum Bullet Point “Soul Safety” List (10/3/09)

My friends know I’m not the biggest reality television fan. As of late, I actually don’t watch that much television, period. I recently read an article on Queen Latifah and the questions surrounding her, um, sexuality and her response jarred me: “You can do the reading, I’ll do the living.” Touche’…TOUCHE’. More and more, I am seeking to use my time wisely and to live MY life. It’s so fleeting (James 4:14) and rarely is what we see on television realistic anyway; at least the kind of realism that I think God wants me to experience. (Ecclesiastes 7:18)

No, I don’t think watching television or even reality television is a “sin”, but I do want to encourage all of us to keep what Paul said in mind: “’I am allowed to do all things,’ but not all things are good for me to do. ‘I am allowed to do all things,’ but I will not let anything make me its slave.” (I Corinthians 6:12-NCV) You pray to the same God that I do. He will lead you to where you need to be. I just encourage you to listen when he speaks---or at least turn the volume on the television down. He’s not always a loud---or predictable---communicator
(I Kings 19:12). (LOL)

Anyway, this is so not a message about television consumption. This is a message about the disturbing news that I read right when I was about to cut my PC off for the evening last night. I have only caught a few episodes and even then, rarely in their entirety, but when I read that the “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member, Kandi Burruss’s fiance’ was killed last night in an altercation outside of an Atlanta strip club, my heart, for her, sank. Aside from the fact that October 6 will mark that 35th birthday of my own late fiance’ (who died under much different circumstances), I was familiar enough with the season (mostly thanks to some of y’all and Dimewars.com) to know who Ashley Jewell (aka AJ) was, and I have somewhat followed Kandi’s music career since the days of Xscape. I was also aware that she battled between pleasing her mother (who disapproved of her fiance’) and marrying AJ. It wasn’t too long ago that I actually saw her in an interview stating that she was no longer with him, but she was taking care of a couple of his children (he has, well *had* six).

WHEW! That’s a lot…for any person. And then when I read one of her Twitter messages from last night (“im bout 2 giv my swollen eyes sum rest now. i just wanted to say thanks 2 every1 for their prayers. i gotta get up & go 2 my uncle's funeral”), I knew this had to be done. I guess if there is one benefit to this kind of media, it’s that you come to “meet” people in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise, therefore being afforded the opportunity to have compassion for them in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise. When I thought about what small contribution I could make to this cause, I thought about the Wife Curriculum class and the journey so many of us are on towards the joining of our future princes. It was then that, again, my mother’s quote came to mind: “Discernment prevents experience from being your teacher.”

I won’t even begin to speculate on Kandi’s journey and the lessons that God has for her. But I will speak to what God has said to me…what I can learn/discern from the fragments of this story that I do know:

1) “Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead weight.” (Jeremiah 17:5-Message)
The world advises us to follow our hearts. That may be the worst piece of advice *ever* when it comes to the “being brought to our mates” (Genesis 2:22) journey. The Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitful and no man can know it (Jeremiah 17:9). However, God tells us that if we acknowledge him IN ALL OF OUR WAYS, he will direct us (Proverbs 3:5-6). If you have some feelings for a guy but you are not certain what to do with them, while God does advise wise counsel (Proverbs 20:8), do not make other people’s opinions your idol. God must come first in all things. He knows you and that person better than anyone. He will lead you to the right persons, places, things…and ideas.

2) “Women of Jerusalem, promise not to awaken or excite my feelings of love until it is ready.” (Song of Solomon 8:4-NCV)
Be careful about the company that you keep. The Message Version of Proverbs 26:28 tells us that flatterers (to try to please by complimentary remarks or attention; to praise or compliment insincerely, effusively, or excessively; gratify by falsification) sabotage trust and the same version in Proverbs 29:5 tells us, “A flattering neighbor is up to no good; he's probably planning to take advantage of you.” The Enemy knows the lies (John 8:44) that your flesh wants to hear to divert you from where your spirit wants you to go. I have a male friend who is about to get married. When I spoke with him a couple of months ago about his, what appeared to be impatience, he said, “I’m sick of waking up with an erection every morning.” I feel him. I’m sick of a few things myself, but that is no reason to rush into marriage. Galatians 5:16-17 promises us that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. One of the lusts of our flesh is to be flattered…to be told what we want to hear…to surround ourselves with cheerleaders for our causes. Ask God to bring you prayer warriors not flesh groupies. Marriage is a very serious thing. Despite what people may be doing, according to God’s Word, you cannot “check out” as easily as you “check in” (I Corinthians 7:10-11).

3) “Marriage should be honored by everyone, and husband and wife should keep their marriage pure. God will judge as guilty those who take part in sexual sins.” (Hebrews 13:4-NCV)
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it…more than once. In the wise words of my friend, Thurman Webb, “Sex will make you love people you don’t even like.” There is an order in which God does things (I Corinthians 14:40). There is a reason why he prefers a covenant to be in place before sexual activity transpires. We cannot allow the Enemy to tempt us (I Corinthians 10:13) to abuse sex in a way that steals our common sense, kills our peace of mind and destroys what could be a blessed union…should we wait on God’s timing (Acts 1:7-Message). When it comes to sex, God’s timing is *always* after marriage: “There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one.’ Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never ‘become one.’ There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for ‘becoming one’ with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (I Corinthians 6:16-20)

4) “’For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.’” (Luke 6:42-44-NKJV)
Another reason to remain sexually pure? Premarital sexual activity (and emotional whoredom, which is the preoccupation with having a man all of the time) clouds good judgment (John 7:24). Look at the character of the man you desire. When it comes to what God finds to be “good fruit” spend some time in Galatians 5:22-23. How loving is he? How peaceful is he? Is he patient with you? Does he use self-control in your presence? The Bible doesn’t tell us that a tree is known by its *seed*. All of God’s children have the *potential* to become what he purposed them to be, but if you are contemplating a long-term relationship with someone…LOOK AT THE FRUIT…who they are *now* and if there is no fruit yet, ask God what role, if any, you are to play in the planting season. God will never put your soul salvation in jeopardy to help another. Salvation is a private matter. Do only what he asks you to do in someone else’s life.

5) “Love is patient.” (I Corinthians 13:4)
One thing I feel fairly confident enough to give Kandi props in is that at least she decided to slow things down. Many reality shows are taped 6-12 months before we see them and I was just telling a girlfriend of mine that being his ex-fiancee’ is *very different* than being his widow. Can you imagine what this would have been like had she married him? Whatever chapter you are in your “marriage preparation life book”, hold on for dear life to the promise that just because you *want* it now, that doesn’t mean you *need* it now (or at all, depending on what it is and God's will for your life). Being patient with love means waiting on God just as much as being patient with yourself and others. Love him enough to trust in his timing…his methods…his yes *and* his no. God, in his infinite wisdom knew what last night had in store, for both Kandi and AJ, in ways they never could or would because God’s ways are not like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Trust in him. He knows what he’s doing. He’s the beginning and the end…of all life (Revelation 22:13).

Well, that’s all I’ve been led to say, other than prayers definitely go forth to Kandi, AJ's family and all of the lives they intimately touched. I’m going to go and enjoy this blessed day that God has made and find a way to honor him by being sensitive to his voice and obedient to his Word. Life is so fragile and we are so blessed to have it, ain’t we? Yes...we truly are.

Love y’all.


Interesting---and fairly recent---interview with Kandi re: her relationship: