Submissive Women?

submissive women

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘submit’?

In the 21st century, are headship and submission antiquated ideas? Is there no longer a need for gender roles? Has our progressiveness led as to a place where manhood and womanhood are merging, and living out old-fashioned masculinity and femininity is unneeded?

Some would answer with an emphatic “yes”.

And not just those in the culture, but this is trending in the general church as well.

Wives don’t need to submit. We’re not living in medieval times.

Husband and wife lead together.

Holding the door open for women is outdated chivalry. Girls need to be taught that everyone holds open doors for everyone. We must not treat women any differently than men.

Pastors needn’t preach on verses concerning submission and headship, because those subjects are irrelevant in our day.

Whichever way you lean, I want to pose a question that I believe is crucial:

At what point does God’s Word become irrelevant?

Seriously. We must ponder this, and what we believe to be true about the Bible if we are to have any type of foundation.

As Christians, we believe that the entire Bible is God’s Truth. And if you don’t believe this, I would ask yourself if you sincerely are a Christ-follower. (Read my post: His Word is Truth.)

Now, as we read the Bible, we have to be careful not to cherry-pick verses. And we have to take into account God’s unchangeable character, plus the history, culture, and social situations of the time these books were written. The Word of God must be intently studied … and tough sections read in the right context.

I want to present to you the idea that the Bible supports headship and submission throughout its entirety.

Women submitting was not just something God allowed because of mankind’s hardened hearts (such as was the case with polygamy and divorce.)

Matthew 19:8-9

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Rather, it was His perfect design from the beginning. And thus, it is by no means outdated or irrelevant, and we are living outside of God’s will when we treat ‘submission’ and ‘headship’ as bad words.

Now, before you click out of this post, let’s go back to our God’s character.

Does God support demeaning or oppressing women? Does God view women as less valuable than men? Did God create women to be not as intelligent and not worth as much as men?

I am reading through the entire Bible for the second time, and I can wholeheartedly say that when studying God’s Word, I have found nothing that gives me the idea that God wants to demean, oppress, or hurt women.

Rather, the opposite.

God cherishes His daughters, and highly values womanhood.

Therefore, we must conclude that submission is not bad or oppressive because God ordained it and God is for women.

It is a good, beautiful, freeing, complementary, perfect design.

Proverbs 31:25-29

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”

Satan, of course, wants to steal our abundant life and our freedom. He works viciously through the culture, which has completely distorted submission, marriage, and gender roles. Manhood and womanhood.

You can see everywhere the disaster, chaos, and destruction that moving out of God’s perfect design has caused.

  • Passive Men.
  • Oppression & Objectification of Women.
  • Bitter Women.
  • Scorn of Men.
  • The Demeaning of Motherhood.
  • The Disappearing of Fatherhood.
  • Divorce.
  • Fornication.
  • Adultery.
  • Pornography Addiction.
  • The Crumbling of the Family.
  • Mass Murder of Babies.
  • Gender Confusion.
  • Homosexuality.
  • Abuse.

Fear, confusion, division, hurt, bitterness, cruelty, impurity, and brokenness. And every form of sexual depravity and distortion.

I believe that throwing aside God’s design for manhood and womanhood is one of the worst things we could have done as the Church.

So, how do we get back to a Biblical understanding of submission? Of God’s unique design for gender?

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 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. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 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.

Titus 2:1-5

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their childrento be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Women, press into Jesus Christ, the Lover of your soul!

Why would you believe something the world offers is better than what your Creator ordained from the beginning? The One who formed you in your mother’s womb. The One who created your complex brain, your feminine body, and fashioned passions, desires, gifts, and purpose within you?

The design of headship and submission is not to oppress you.

Men were not created to be harsh dictators, but servant leaders under God. Biblical headship involves incredible responsibility and sacrifice, not selfishness and bullying. For a husband to love as Christ loves the Church is to love sacrificially – to give of himself daily, to give up his desires to serve you, to lead with boldness and courage for God’s glory and your good.

1 Peter 3:7

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wifeas to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Colossians 3:18-21

18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

The fact is, the role of husband is not one a man should go into with arrogant boasting, but with a humble heart, seriousness, wise counsel, and prayer. This is not where he becomes boss, but rather where he becomes answerable to God for how he lives out headship – because the husband is the head whether he wants to be or not.

Ephesians 5:23

23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

1 Corinthians 11:3

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Dear wives, God set up headship and submission in the beginning when He created man first, gave him authority and a task, and then created woman to be his helper.

And, from what I understand from various different pastors, the same word used for ‘helper’ there is also used to describe the Holy Spirit being our helper in other verses.

Is that demeaning to the Holy Spirit? By no means! The Holy Spirit is God! Yet He is our helper.

Being a helper does not make you a doormat or a nameless servant (though all of us, both men and women, are called to serve). Rather, it is a noble and esteemed calling. To support your husband in the kingdom work that God has given him. He needs you. You are to function as a team – him leading and you supporting.

This does not make one gender better than the other, though their roles are quite different.

Genesis 2:7 & 15-25

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

This is not about competition. God did not create man and woman to compete with each other, but to complement each other … to create a beautiful picture.

This picture unfolds as the husband takes his place as the leader, fearlessly leading his wife forth into their work in God’s kingdom. He cherishes his wife, and loves her. He is tender with her; gentle and kind. He honors her. And takes responsibility for his family and what direction they’re going in.

And the wife willingly submits to his leadership and supports him as the head of the household. She encourages him, respects him, honors him, and esteems his leadership. She ministers alongside him, humbly following under his headship.

Now, I know some of you are cringing right now. Follow? Humble? Why can’t we just be equal??

You are equal. Equal in value and worth. Equal in dignity. Equal in Christ.

Galatians 3:26-28

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

But there must be a leader and head, and God calls men to that weighty task.

Author, pastor, and speaker, David Platt, delved into this subject with such grace, gentleness, and authority in one of his sermon series. (David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – Part 1 & Part 2. Highly recommend!!). God is head of Christ, does that make God better than Christ? Christ less worthy than God? No! Jesus Christ was equally God, yet He submitted! Obeyed. Humbled Himself. Served.

Jesus submitted to God.

Will you, women, balk in what your Savior Himself walked out?

Jesus Christ was obedient. God is the head of Him, as husband is the head of wife. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

That we would refuse to do what our Lord did … calling it too demeaning and humble … that’s pretty arrogant of us.

There is nothing demeaning, demanding, oppressive, or ugly about Biblical submission. It is beautiful, and when we are tempted to think otherwise, we must immediately look to our Lord Himself and follow His example.

Philippians 2:5-8

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of menAnd being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

John 6:38

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

1 Corinthians 15:28

28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Submission and headship were God’s design from the beginning. They are every bit as relevant today as they were in Genesis. And Christ Himself led the way in submission.

Women, I know, I know, that a lot of men do not make being a wife easy. And this hurts me so much. Whether they are passive, domineering, harsh, or all three, it is hard. And my heart bleeds for you.

But, I promise you, ditching God’s design is not going to make it better.

Women trying to rule over men. Scoffing at feminine inclinations and roles. Trampling men and God-given masculinity. Forsaking motherhood. Flaunting themselves in a twisted appeal for validation … This all hurts my heart as well.

Even if your husband (or father … whoever is head of your house) is not living out headship Biblically, you can find powerful purpose in living out your womanhood and femininity according to God’s design.

1 Peter 3:1-6

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of GodFor in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

Your design as a woman reflects the Almighty God’s character! Don’t toss aside this precious purpose for the lies the world is feeding you.

Being a helper. Submitting. Nurturing. Supporting. Encouraging. Esteeming. Living compassionately. Complementing. Giving life. This will reflect your Lord, and glorify and please Him. Let Him gently smile upon you and powerfully protect you, even if the men in your life are oppressive. They will answer to God, as will you. So you just need to live out your womanhood according to God’s design and leave the rest up to God.

Imagine if we could bring passionately Biblical manhood, womanhood, and marriage back into the church? The examples that I have seen of radically living out God’s design are RADIANT.

Don’t be deceived. These agendas of feminism, toxic masculinity, “equality”, and no more submission and gender roles are bringing us nowhere but down. Further into destruction.

Proverbs 14:1

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

I am vastly encouraged when I hear pastors and brothers preach to us on submission and headship. They are radical about God’s Truth, not male domination. These are the kind of men I rally behind – and am strengthened in my faith by. Bold, strong, masculine, compassionate, protective, gentle, truth-seeking, passionate men of God.

Let’s start looking to the wisest of all. And He, our good and perfect Father, calls men and women to embrace their distinct roles with purpose and joy, in submission to God, for the glory of God.

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Book Review: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

My Personal Review ~ 4 stars ~

Reforming Marriage was a very interesting and thought-provoking book. I must say, I’ve not read many books on this subject that are as straightforward, non-apologetic, and radical in its views. Some of the points that Douglas Wilson presents in this book (and some his other books) seem a little rigid and maybe even coming from an unconsciously legalistic heart? But I’ve learned that Douglas Wilson is a writer for John Piper’s ministry (https://www.desiringgod.org/authors/d…) which makes me more comfortable reading his work because I really respect John Piper and his theology (all that I’ve heard so far). And these books were written quite awhile ago – in the 1990s.

So, while I don’t strictly agree with everything in this book, it was rather relieving and refreshing to hear a firm Christian voice on the topics of MARRIAGE // HEADSHIP // SUBMISSION // RESPECTING A HUSBAND // CHERISHING A WIFE // MASCULINITY // LEADERSHIP // MEN & WOMEN’S ROLES // BEING A HOMEMAKER // CHILDREN // BIRTH CONTROL // DIVORCE // and so forth.

I mentioned above that Douglas Wilson almost appeared to have a legalistic view in certain areas. But I also noticed, in more areas than not probably, that he expounded on grace, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

“But what about those who, by the time they read this book, have already done everything wrong? They are now on their third marriage and are troubled by guilt. The good news is that God picks us up where we are, not where we should have been. There is always forgiveness in Christ. Those in such a situation should confess the sin, accept God’s forgiveness by faith, and begin to live in submission to the Word of God.” [Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

Some things he said about the woman’s role and such made me squirm a little inside. But in the same breath, his overall presentation of marriage is much more attractive than the modern marriages I see all around me! Small errors in judgement or not, Douglas Wilson’s view of marriage seems to be much more Biblical than most of the views on marriage in the general church today. All in all, Reforming Marriage made the passion for God’s design burn brighter in me! Let’s start really digging into the Word and seeing and living out God’s original design for womanhood, manhood, marriage, sexuality, parenting, and life in general!

The home is such a central part of life. We can see in our world today that with the tearing down of the family comes the eventual destruction of everything good, peaceful, and pure. And, from God’s original design, man was created as the head of the household. So he is responsible for the home, and for the beauty or for the darkness that comes from it.
Reforming Marriage really hit hard on the man’s responsibility as head of the home and spiritual leader. And it was very intriguing and eye-opening. The husband has a massive responsibility, and so I wouldn’t take marriage lightly! Whether he likes it or not, he is the head. And whether women want to admit it or not, we want our men to lead! Women don’t generally respect a man who doesn’t lead, protect, and provide … because that is what he was designed for! And she was designed to respond and to support.

“A woman should marry a man she respects, and a man should marry a woman he is willing to love and lead with a servant’s heart.” [Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

I really love the idea of God giving man a task, and then bringing a woman to him to help him complete that task (Genesis 2). I pray that I can be a supporting, encouraging, joyfully Biblical wife someday! What a unique and beautiful design! The idea of a godly man who joyfully and firmly leads, protects, and provides for his wife … who regularly studies Scripture and pursues God individually and with his wife … who answers her theology questions and points her to Christ … who cherishes her and takes his job of raising their children seriously … That is incredible! We need men to rise up and be masculine, hard-working, gentle, godly, assertive, kind, strong, Christ-like men.

“The husband must make a conscious decision to utilize his strength for her protection and benefit, and not for his own. He can only do that in imitation of Christ. In the Christian family, the way to an understanding of true authority is through service.” [Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

To wrap it up, on a whole, I really enjoyed reading Reforming Marriage. Some parts were definitely better than others, and I have my questions and doubts concerning some of the views. But still, I gleaned a lot of helpful information and incredible insight, and like the idea of reading this book with my husband should I marry someday.

I recommend you read with an open mind, and always lining up what’s said against what the Bible says! As with all Christian Living books, don’t take everything as gospel-truth. The Bible alone is the Holy Word of God. But we can definitely gain some wisdom from books from fellow believers.

The Danger of Shame

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Dear sisters in Christ, today I want to talk to you about the dangers of shame.

Shame is something that a lot of you may carry. And it’s something that needs to be dealt with, lest it destroy you.

I think shame is oftentimes, if not always, Satan’s tool. Not God’s.

Shame says: You are wrong. Not: You’ve done wrong.

Shame is an identity.

An identity that suffocates you and leads you into darkness and confusion.

You  might feel shame because of “really bad” sins in your past.

You might feel shame because of something done to you.

You might feel shame because of emotional or verbal abuse.

You might feel shame simply because your personality, perspective, or circumstances make you more vulnerable to it than others.

But the truth is, as a daughter of God, shame should not be an identity you claim. Yes, there are times of guilt, remorse, conviction, and repentance.

Psalm 51:17

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

But when you can hardly look at or think about yourself without being drenched in shame, then you are embracing a  lie straight from the mouth of the Evil One.

Because, if you are a daughter of God, you are redeemed. Made pure. And as a human being, you are made in the image of God!

Yes, mankind chose sin and perverted perfection. But if you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, then when God looks at you, He sees Jesus. As He accepts Jesus, He accepts you in Jesus. As He loves Jesus, He loves you in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 1:3-6

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Don’t hold onto shame.

It will pollute you, your relationships, and your life.

Particularly when it comes to romantic relationships, shame can be very dangerous.

A girl might accept all kinds of nonsense from a man because she doesn’t believe that she, personally, could get any better treatment.

She might participate in sin because her boyfriend communicates that she’s worth no more, and she accepts that because of her identity of shame.

She might settle for a guy who abuses her. Emotionally. Verbally. Even physically.

She might stay with a guy who is unstable or self-absorbed because, well, at least he wants her and doesn’t seem to care that she’s this, this, and this.

I mean, who could want a messed-up, stupid, failure of a woman like herself? If this guy will actually take her, she better make this relationship work.

A Christian girl might imagine herself unworthy of a godly man, for whatever reason. Therefore, instead of waiting for a man who will lovingly lead her toward Christ, pursue God with her, and truly strive to live out marriage as the Bible commands, she will run headlong into the first relationship that, unbelievably, comes her way.

But, my precious sisters, that is not how you follow Christ.

God is not pleased when your boyfriend (or any person) treats you badly, carelessly, or with selfish intent. God calls people to love you as He loves you.

John 13:34

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

God is not pleased when you make ungodly, unBiblical, insensible, foolish, harmful, careless, or hasty decisions based on your self-claimed identity of shame and your idea that you couldn’t possibly have a good and beautiful marriage like godly people get.

God makes people godly.

Romans 8:1-4

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Breathe in His grace. Sit at His feet. See yourself as He sees you to be. Breathe out His love. And accept every good and undeserved gift He gives. Rejoice and glorify Him through that gift.

No, none of us deserve an awesome spouse – because we aren’t awesome.

But God is awesome.

And He chose you. He wants you. He loves you.

He has a specific plan for your life. Things like love. Joy. Peace. Purpose. Ministries. Relationships. Fellowship. Marriage. Children. Jobs. Mission Work. Education. Passions and hobbies …

He works through any and all these things to glorify Himself in and through your life, and draw you and others ever closer to Himself.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

You may not feel you should get a godly spouse. That a godly man would want you. But if God wants to give you marriage, then by all means, accept that amazingly godly man and shout praises to your Father in heaven. He is awesome!

Let Him wash away the shame.

When you are His, washed clean by the powerful blood of Christ Jesus, you are CLEAN. All clean. No more shame, sweet girl. Bask in God’s love and let God’s love sanctify and change you.

You may have some more growing to do before you are ready to partner with and serve alongside a godly man.

But rest assured, if God is leading your heart toward marriage, He would have you choose a godly man.

Don’t settle for a man who will pull you away from Christ, or even sit back and watch as you strive for faith. Wait for a man who will push you toward God. Who will run the race with you. Who will worship God wholeheartedly with you.

2 Corinthians 6:14-16

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.

Wait for a man who will see you as God sees you.

Beloved.

Hey, Singles …

Ah, that dreaded word.

Singles.

Actually, it’s not all that bad. 😉 When I stop thinking about “single” as a label that defines me completely, I began to stop worrying, fussing about, and dreading hearing it.

Now, I still do sometimes have a problem with how some people treat unmarried people … “When are you going to get a boyfriend?” “Why aren’t you married yet?” “You’re being too fussy.” “Aw, you poor, lonely thing!” “You’re not making yourself available enough!” Like, how about encouraging us to thrive where God has us instead of making us feel incomplete, behind, or lacking (as we already tend to struggle with feeling like!)?

But that’s a whole different post.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been doing much better with accepting my place in life right now and learning to blossom. Last year around this time I was feeling really down and just wishing I could be married and having children like (almost) all of my friends and cousins were.

I feel like God has done a lot of work on my heart since then.

I still have a deep heart’s desire to be married one day.

But, I’m finding joy in other things that God has given me and actively pursuing life right now as an unmarried woman.

Today, I want to present a few points – things that are helping me get to this place of excitement and passion and contentment. I’m still a work-in-progress! But God is ever teaching me. Oh, how faithful He is. We just have to stay humble and pressing into Him and His goodness.

1) Don’t be Single, be in a Relationship with Jesus Christ

Friends, I know the loneliness can feel excruciating. Numbing. Depressing. Especially in some seasons of life where other negative things are going on as well. I can’t give a perfect solution to take the loneliness away. So here’s my advice:

Let your lonely heart drive you to Jesus.

Your loneliness, your broken heart, your confusion, your hopelessness, your unmet desires, your fear, your shattered dreams … instead of letting them crush you, let them push you toward God.

I know it’s hard. But open your hands. And surrender. Again, and again, and again.

As you grow closer to Christ, you’ll begin to realize that this is what you need. Him. A closeness with God. A dependency on Him. Hope and joy and peace in Him. Because this is the lasting stuff! These are the things that will never let you down or let you go. Because our God is faithful.

And He is love.

On those days when being single feels very hard and very solitary, guess what? God can meet you there. And He will, if you allow Him.

If you’re too busy surfing the web, checking Facebook for the hundredth time and stalking cute boys, watching movie after movie … anything to fill your loneliness … (anything but God, that is), then you’re going to miss His gentle, awesome Presence.

But if you aren’t desperately scrambling to fill the void of a boyfriend/husband, you’ll start to realize that God is always there beside you. Waiting to hear your voice. Your whisper. Your cry.

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He walks with you. And in the moments when you feel rejected or lonely or sad or just down, you can talk to Him and share your whole heart.

I love the idea that I can go to God with my feelings at any moment. Anywhere. I love that I am His and He is mine. I love that my life is one exciting, beautiful love story with Him.

Yes, sometimes the ache for a human companion and best friend is nearly tangible.

But God keeps reminding me that He is here and He’s taking care of me and providing me with all I need.

And in that is incomprehensible peace, joy, love, and passion for life!

If you don’t have a close relationship with Jesus Christ, your life is going to be fraught with loneliness, unmet expectations, and discontentment – whether your married or single!

You have to come to this place of emptiness where you feel like all you can do is cry out to the Lord. And then, wow, let Him fill you up.

Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

2) Realize there are a lot of Mr. Wrongs out there

Okay, so I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding “Mr. Right”. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about all the “Mr. Wrongs”; and they are out there, let me assure you!

So let me explain. There have been times in my life where I’ve been like, “I just want to get married! Why does this have to be so complicated? I’ll just find a nice, Christian guy and we’ll fall in love and live happily ever after.”

But listen, ladies. There are a lot of nice, Christian guys out there that aren’t right for you.

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They aren’t pursuing a close relationship with God like you are. They don’t have the same passion for glorifying God in everything and living out His plans for their life like you do. Maybe they don’t have a love for Jesus like the one you feel in your heart. Maybe they aren’t actively working through struggles and hurts in their life because they don’t trust God enough yet. Perhaps he’s a great guy, but he has such different convictions, passions, and ideas about life. Maybe he doesn’t have hardly any convictions or passions at all.

Just because he goes to church and believes in God doesn’t make him the right partner for you, dear Christian woman.

I’m not saying you’ll find a perfect man. Because you most certainly won’t. (And if you think you will, you’re going to fall a mighty long way from cloud nine.)

But if you’re desiring to live your life for God’s glory (and this is His will for you!) then don’t you think God wills for you to have a man who’s deeply desiring the same thing?

If you’re going to be partners, don’t you think you need to be moving in the same direction?

I don’t know about you, but I want my husband to be my soul mate. By that I mean, I want him to understand and share the deepest parts of me – heart and soul. My relationship with a very real Creator God. My love for Jesus Christ, God’s Son. My firm belief that I’m God’s daughter by Jesus’ blood and my faith in Him. My belief that the Bible is absolute truth. My hunger for Him, His Word, and prayer time. My desire to live my life for Him, use my gifts (which He gave me for a purpose) for His glory and people’s good, raise children to know and love Him … !

I’m not perfect. But as I desire and seek … and over and over again find God and His will as my central desire … why would I bind myself to a man who can’t understand & share in that?

It makes no sense.

So, as I grow in the Lord and realize that I do have very specific desires when it comes to a husband, and not all the guys out there are going to meet those standards, it helps me in some way.

To be patient.

I so deeply desire a godly husband that I know I’m one-hundred percent willing to wait as long as it takes!

It perhaps helps calm my anxious heart that worries as all these guys pass me by. I say to myself, “I’m seeking God’s will for my life and I’m not willing to settle for a man who’s not desiring the Lord like I am. I can’t just dash out there and find a suitable guy in mere seconds because my standards are high. Therefore I must surrender and trust God to work out my earthly love story if He has marriage in store for me.

I let go … and I find peace and joy.

3) Find a Community. Build Relationships. Look for ways to Bless and Serve People!

Love people and live life! ❤ Don’t let singleness stop you, folks. There was never any reason that it should!

So come out of that dark hole. Press into the Lord and realize your standards – what you want in a husband … what God would want you to choose/seek!

Next, find a community. I believe when God speaks of alone-ness in Genesis, He’s not just saying marriage is good. He’s saying people being with people is good – family is good and friends are good and community is good.

Genesis 2:18

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

We should be doing life with other people whether we’re single or married. We should have close friendships and wise mentors in our lives. We should be looking for other people to bless and mentor!

Now, there are some seasons where we’re just alone. And God uses this. Most times to draw us to Him! (That’s what I’ve found in my life. In that way, being alone can actually turn out to be a beautiful thing … when it draws us to the Lover of our souls.)

But we’re not meant to be without human companionship forever. So find a church community and make friends! 🙂

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For myself, I’ve been visiting different churches! I like the church that my family goes to – the teaching is solid and encouraging. However, I’m having a hard time getting involved. So I’ve been visiting different churches, looking for one that has great fellowship and I can really be in community with. It’s been fun, trying out new churches! I get a little nervous at times, but I love meeting new people! (If they’re the ones to introduce themselves and strike up a conversation, haha!)

I’ve involved myself in Bible studies. Even started one for my younger sister and her friends. Now, we haven’t been able to do any study nights recently, but I’m hopefully we’ll be able to again soon! I’m plotting and planning and toying with ideas of going through this book or that book. 😉 And I might try out the Wednesday night Bible study at the new church I’m going to currently.

I’m grateful for the chance to grow closer to siblings, family & relatives, and long-distance friends. Yes, sometimes it’s hard because my life can be so monotonous. And then I start feeling down and don’t feel like putting any effort into building old relationships.

But, that’s why I’m trying to get into a community and try new things. Keeping a spark of excitement in life helps me to remember the people already around me and how I shouldn’t let this stage slip by without growing close to them!

One thing that continues to be really hard is not having any friends my age. I have a few long-distance friends, but we don’t get the chance to talk very often.

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Do you all have any advice for me? 🙂 Besides looking for a church family to get involved with, what can I do to meet new people and make friends?? Haha. It’s been difficult, but I’m thankful for my siblings and their friends, aunts, my mom, cousins, etc.

Last night I went to a disc-golf course with my thirteen-year-old brother and seventeen-year-old sister. We enjoy disc-golf! Well … my brother loves it. I enjoy it. 😉

So there’s another tip … look for ways to hang out with your younger siblings (or cousins or something.) Look for ways to invest in their lives. Mentor them, maybe.

That’s been helpful for me. It pulls my focus off of just me and my life and my struggles and my hurts, and starts investing my heart and emotions in other people. So I can find hope through their lives. I can feel joy for them when good things come their way. I can pray for them. I can help them through the hard times. I can rejoice when they succeed. Grow. Receive their dreams.

So whoever God has in your life right now, find ways to serve and bless them! Get involved in their lives and journey together! Share emotions, hopes, hardships, and dinners. 😉

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4) Pursue your Dreams. Invest in your Talents. Don’t wait to do what you feel like God is calling you to.

Y’all, what is God calling you to? Don’t be deceived … if your heart is beating, you have a purpose! Don’t miss out on this wonderful thing because you’re too busy waiting to get married.

If you can break away from the depression that comes from a broken heart and the listlessness that comes from shattered dreams and the hopelessness that comes from lack of trust …

You will realize that there are beautiful things out there within your reach, but you’ve been so consumed with one beautiful thing (aka: marriage) that you’ve been blinded to all the rest.

What was it you always wanted to be when you were younger (for me, it was an author!)? Or what opportunities do you see around you that tug at your heart? A younger person who needs a mentor? A group of young people who would be blessed by a Bible study (ladies, you could start a girl’s Bible study using Love Defined!)? A Crisis Pregnancy Center that could use some volunteers? Maybe your church is going on a mission trip and you have a heart for overseas missions.

Ponder it. Dig deep. What do you have a passion for? What do you feel God might be calling you to? Maybe He is calling you to marriage … someday. But right now there are other opportunities available while your future spouse is out of sight!

As for my personal life, there’s a chance I’m going to have a full-time job very soon. (I’d appreciate your prayers!) Meanwhile, I’ve been novel-writing quite a bit and absolutely adoring it. I’m remembering that God gave me a passion and a gift for writing and I should definitely be pursuing that and using it for His glory! ❤

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

So yes, I’ve gotten excited about that once again. I have a desire to publish more books – stories that I hope will touch reader’s heart for God. I know that I have a few loyal fans out there and they remind why I love writing. I’m not exactly sure what God has in store for me, but I’m trying to use my time wisely and write whenever I can. If He wills it, I want to publish again soon!

I tried my hand at making soap and it was a good experience! Not as hard as I thought. Though I was a little scared about mixing the lye. Good news, it all went well and I didn’t splat any on myself or my sister! :p So we have a beautiful batch of charcoal soap that smells of lavender and tea tree oil stacked on the top of my sister’s bookshelf. We’re hoping to make some more this coming week.

And yeah. Blogging, booktubing, Bible studies, and more! I’m trying different things and just seeing where God takes me.

I hope you all will too! Pursue God. Trust Him with your life. Take steps of faith. Enjoy life! Try some new things. Do what you love, all for His glory. ❤

Matthew 6:31-33

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

***

That’s what I have for today. Hopefully it wasn’t too long-winded! Happy Saturday, readers! I’m probably off yard-saling while you all read this post. 😉 Hope you enjoy your day – breathing in God’s love and looking to Him to direct your life.

Live loved, dear fellow singles, and live to the fullest.

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Social Media – Good or Bad?

Hi, readers! You may have noticed that I’ve been a day late with my schedule these past couple posts. That’s just because I was part of a blog tour, and my set date was Sunday … so I decided to push my Tuesday post to Wednesday. But after this, things shall get back on the schedule. 😉

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about social media. Is it good? Is it bad?

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There are so many social media sites out there these days. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads, and whatever else. It seems like as soon as you make an account on one, another one gets popular and everyone moves over there. So you go make an account on that site then …

And soon you have a whole list of accounts and profiles and usernames and friends and notifications you have to keep track of.

So is this a problem?

Let’s cut to the chase. Yes. It very well can be a problem.

It can be overwhelming. Stressful. Time-consuming. It can cause discontentment, jealousy, insecurity, and even more loneliness than you had in the first place. It can open up doors for unhealthy friendships or sexual temptations.

On the other hand, social media can be used in a very good way. It can provide platforms that you would have never had. It can get you connected with like-minded people who share your interests and passions that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. It can help you stay in touch with friends and family who move far away. It can help spread the word about your work, passion, and pursuits.

If not for social media and blogs, my sales for my fairy tale novella would have been cut down dramatically. Because of my presence on Goodreads and my steady blogging, I was able to connect with readers and writers who were interested in me and my work before I ever published my first book!

Through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and blogging, I was able to spread the word once my book was published and got a lot more response than I expected. Even most of my relatives, family, and friends who bought my book heard about it through Facebook and ordered it directly from me – giving me more of the profit and them a cheaper price.

So without social media, internet, blogs and the like, the things I’m passionate about – writing, blogging, reading, bookish stuff – wouldn’t be even half of what they are today.

Today I run two blogs. I have a Youtube channel. I’m a published author of a novella. I’ve connected with some of my favorite authors. I receive free books to read and review from publishers and authors. I’ve “met” many an introverted, bookish writer who I can relate to so much, and I’ve received such encouragement and blessings from these lovely “online friends”!

I’ve gotten emails and messages and comments from people telling me how my blog post or book has encouraged and spoken hope to them.

I’ve been able to connect with distant cousins and this opened the door to actually getting to know them in real life! *happiness*

I’ve been asked about my writing and when I’m going to publish my next book. 🙂

I have a PURPOSE in this. There is meaningful work in it. I’m able to use my passions and gifts and get them out to the world somewhat, and then see God work and use my efforts in other people’s lives! Stranger’s lives, sometimes! This is truly beautiful.

Also, I have read lots of blog article that have strengthened me in my walk with Christ. And ones that have encouraged me mightily as a writer. I have learned, and discovered, been encouraged & challenged, and listened to many a great and passionate speaker.

I can scarcely begin to list all the incredible ways I believe God has used blogs, Youtube, social media, internet and the like to impact my life.

On the flip side, I’ve struggled with wasting time on social media or checking it too much in a day because I’m looking for some fulfillment or companionship.

Scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram because I’m bored, lonely, or anxious is not profitable or using my time wisely.

I realized this some time ago and decided I needed to get a life. 😉 So now days I’m only occasionally on Pinterest or Instagram (I don’t post on Instagram, I just follow some people), and I am purposeful about limiting my Facebook time. Some days I don’t check it at all because every time I go to check it, I realize I’m just bored or lonely and I know there’s something else more meaningful that I can be doing.

Psalm 107:9

For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

Mainly, Twitter is used for sharing my blog post or Youtube video links. No more mindless scrolling on there either.

Some time ago I was getting anxious and feeling down because of all the bad news and arguments on Facebook, so I went on a Facebook break. I think I was off for a month. Friends, social media breaks are a great thing to do every once in awhile. Let yourself breathe, and give yourself a check up: Is this break so hard that I might actually be addicted to my social media?

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Youtube is one that I still struggle with every now and then. Once I start watching videos, it can be hard to stop. Like when I find a really well-spoken young conservative talking about all the hot topics of the day, I can find myself staying up way too late, just clicking on the next video … and the next video … (Liz Wheeler is one such conservative I’ve admired!)

So that’s something I have to be careful about. I need to set a timer or something. 😉

Besides being a waste of time, social media can cause anxiety (as I mentioned in the example above), discontentment, or jealousy.

Friends, if your social media is provoking you to these things, you need to make a change. It’s not worth it. Take a break. Or delete your account altogether.

Proverbs 4:5-6

Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.

Social media can expose you to sexual immorality and temptation. This is more of a danger/struggle for men, but it’s also something girls need to be aware of and careful about. There are some women who have been drawn into pornography and the like, so we should never pretend there’s not nastiness to be found on the internet or that we are immune to temptation.

If social media is causing you to stumble in this way, get out! Get rid of it! It is, in no way, worth your purity and peace of mind. There are blocking and accountability programs you can get if you (or your children, someone in your family, etc.) struggles.

Matthew 5:29

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you;

Is it lowering the quality of your time spent with family and friends?

Is it taking away from your time alone with God? Is it messing with your relationship with Him in any way?

Colossians 2:6

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

There are a myriad of other negative things, as well. From the temptations to post slightly seductive photos in order to feel beautiful and good about yourself, to unhealthy online dating relationships, to feeling safe to say nasty things because you’re behind a computer screen.

So as amazing as social media and internet access can be, they also come with weighty responsibility. And if we want to use social media in a God-honoring way, we need to step up to that purposeful maturity and responsibility.

  1. Honestly evaluate your social media – how you use it, how much time you spend on it, how you affect other people with it, how it makes you feel, etc.
  2. Take action. Make boundaries. Be purposeful. Take the steps necessary to keep you responsible.

So whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory and honor! If social media is causing you to be tempted, lazy, become anxious, neglect important or meaningful things – if it is in any way pulling you away from God or His purposes for your life – then step back and make some changes.

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Just because something can be great, doesn’t mean it can’t also be very negative.

And that’s what I have to say for now on this subject.

Use your blog, your social media, whatever else FOR GOOD. And don’t forget to get plenty of time with people face-to-face. Hang out. Encourage each other. Laugh. Have dinner together. Get down on the floor and play with your kids.  Talk to your loved ones without any distractions. Meet new people. Make friends. Connect often. Spread the good news. Make disciples!

In everything you do, both online and face-to-face, do it all with the desire to make much of His name.

Go forth in God’s peace!

❤ Lady Grace

Psalm 27:4-5

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

Book Review: Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe

Real Life Romance

Real-Life Romance: Inspiring Stories to Help You Believe in True Love by Rhonda Stoppe

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Do You Believe in True Love?

In a world of broken relationships and hurting people, it can seem like all we ever see is heartache—that marriages are doomed from the start and romance isn’t worth the risk.

But heart-fluttering, long-lasting love is all around us … we just have to look for it!

This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Page after page, you will find inspiration to

rekindle the romance in your love story
trust in God’s providence and timing
faithfully hope for your own happily-ever-after
celebrate true romance
believe in life-long love

Don’t let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people—knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.

My Personal Review ~ 4.5 stars ~

Quite a thoughtful, fun, and inspiring read! There were a couple things I wasn’t sure what to think about, so that’s why this book didn’t quite reach five stars. But overall, Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe is an amazing, lovely book that I hope to share with others!

“And you’ll discover how God’s plan is for couples to love each other so deeply with His love that their marriages become a light He can use to draw others to know Him.” (Real-Life Romance pg. 9)

So basically, this book is a collaboration of twenty-five unique love stories. Each story is a little different, which is so neat to see. Real-Life Romance is about sweet romances as well as faith, friendship, redemption, loss, secret sin, and forgiveness. It was so awesome to see how God worked in these couple’s lives! It was also fun hearing about the author’s own love story, and those of her children! Breaking the Bro Code: Estevan & Kayla (pgs. 177-188) was especially heartfelt. I was deeply touched by how they used personal loss to keep an eternal perspective and press closer to Jesus Christ.

Some of my very favorite stories were Waiting on God’s Timing: Keven & Suzanne (pgs. 33-38)The Heart’s True Desire: Jason & Noelle (pgs. 39-45)Addicted to Each Other: Jeff & Jennifer (pgs. 105-113); and Connected at the Heart: Bill & Pam (pgs. 131-139). These four were particularly beautiful and powerful to me. I so loved them!

Oh, and the brief bit about Apostle Peter and his wife. Ah! Incredibly tender and soul-stirring. I’m so glad Rhonda Stoppe included that account in Real-Life Romance! It was a perfect way to conclude the book.

I have strong, personal convictions about dating and marriage, so some of the stories didn’t resound with me as much as others. Particularly when couples seemed to rush ahead instead of seeking the Lord and waiting for His leading. One story it appeared that a man was a Christian when he married a woman who was an unbeliever. (She came to know the Lord and has a beautiful testimony, but I question whether his decision was Biblical. {2 Corinthians 6:14-18}) Also, there were at least four stories about divorce and remarriage. From reading the Bible, I firmly believe that God is against divorce and it’s not His heart for His people! (Matthew 5:31-32; Mark 10:2-12; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Romans 7:2-3; Malachi 2:16; 1 Corinthians 7:11-13; Hebrews 13:4). So I’m always a little at loss of what to think when reading about divorce and remarriage. I don’t know the whole stories – background and reason for divorce. And some (all?) of the stories were about people who married/divorced before they had become believers. Anyway, I just thought I would give a cautionary mention about that.

Even when one of the stories didn’t settle with me as much, I felt Rhonda Stoppe herself was pretty spot-on throughout the whole book! After each story, she has sections called Ponder This and Ask Yourself, and I felt she spoke a lot of Biblical truths and raised important questions through those! Even with the concerns I mentioned above, I believe Rhonda Stoppe and I have quite similar thoughts, convictions, ideas, and cautions.

“How might you adjust your life to take your focus off looking for a husband and learn to find contentment in loving and serving Jesus?” (Real-Life Romance pg. 38)

All in all, I think the themes of Real-Life Romance: Inspiring Stories to Help You Believe in True Lovewere of finding your hope and joy in the Lord and believing that He does and will write beautiful love stories and strengthen marriages to be a light and a testimony! I was encouraged. ^_^ Besides a few things that raised questions for me, I recommend this book. Planning to have my mom and sister read at least my favorite stories! *smiles*

“When looking for a mate, it’s tempting to take your eyes off the prize of Christ and focus on who might be ‘the one’. But let’s follow the example of the woman in Tony’s unit. If you run this race of life with your focus on the One who calls you to run, and one day you look over and see a man whose eyes are fixed on Jesus and he places his hand in the small of your back to help you run your race – marry him!” (Real-Life Romance pg. 226)

I received a copy of Real-Life Romance from Litfuse Publicity Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review.

 

**Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life on March 6th, 2018**

Ladies, Stay on God’s Path for You

Have you ever stopped to ponder that fact that God has a plan for your life? That He knows and is ready to be involved in all the details (if you but surrender to Him)? That He has a path set out before you, and you should be seeking Him in regards to each next step?

Ladies, stay on God’s path for you!

Men, this is for you too.

As children of the King, we have a constant Hope and Guide. If He is truly our Father, Lord, and First Love, then we should be inviting Him into every day, every event, every moment, every detail. We should never go somewhere that He isn’t.

ladies stay on Gods path for you

So let’s talk about romantic relationships. Speaking of this, are you going somewhere that He isn’t? Have you surrendered this area of your life to God? Have you invited Him in? Talked to Him about your hopes and dreams and ideas? And then listened? Are you trusting Him to work out the details of your love life, meeting your “special someone”, and your future marriage?

Listen, God is so in control and so able! I believe that if we but surrender our love lives to Him, He can and will lead us in this area! He can and will write our love story. He can and will bring us the right person in the right timing.

Psalm 31:19

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

Psalm 33:15 & 18

15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,

So I want to challenge you.

Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best.

What does that mean? Surrender. Surrender it all to Him. And trust. Trust that He is directing your path. And stay. Stay on His path. Don’t veer off without His permission because you catch a glimpse of potential romance.

Proverbs 4:26-27

26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Do you have enough faith – do you trust God enough to completely surrender this to Him? To give up your fears of never getting married; of still being single when you’re thirty; of missing out? To give your heart wholly to Him and let Him lead you? To open up your hands and allow Him to take the bad,  but also give the good? He knows what is good. He knows what is best for you. And He knows He can sustain you through anything.

Job 1:21

21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

First point – KNOW THAT MARRIAGE IS NOT THE GOAL IN LIFE.

As Christ-followers, getting married should not be our ultimate goal in life.

Growing in the Lord. Falling more in love with Jesus Christ. Glorifying God. Sharing the good news of the Gospel. Making disciples. Loving. Living in community. Making much of His name. Friends, our purpose here on earth is to know God and to make Him known.

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

If marriage is all you think about, all you desire, all you work toward … If you lacking marriage is making you miserable, sad, empty, purposeless, and inactive, then you have made a good dream an idol. You have forgotten—or perhaps never intimately known—your First Love.

1 John 5:21

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Revelation 2:4

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

As powerfully beautiful as marriage can be, it has no power to fulfill you. Without an intimate, personal, thriving relationship with Jesus Christ and a solid knowledge of what you true purpose is as a Christ-follower, you will always grapple with emptiness and feeling unfulfilled.

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So before you start searching for a spouse, search for Jesus. He’s waiting. He says that those who seek Him with all their hearts will find Him! Before you step into making a choice as important as who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, build your relationship with your Father and Lord. Know and believe His love for you – find your worth and purpose in Him.

Psalm 130:5-6

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

1 John 4:16

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Jeremiah 29:12-14

12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord,

Find your place in the Body of Christ. Become a part of a community of believers. Start living for His glory – pursuing life with courage, joy, and peace.

Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another,

Romans 12:5

so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Acts 2:46-47

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Pursue Christ, not marriage. As awesome as marriage is, it is better to be single than to be married outside of God’s will.

Second point – DETERMINE ONLY TO MARRY A PERSON WHO DESIRES TO/AND IS PURSUING CHRIST LIKE YOU ARE.

The more I grow in Christ, the more I realize that He is everything. He is my only Hope. He is my joy. His Word is my truth. Apart from Him I am utterly empty inside and, in reality, I have nothing.

So, my dear sisters and brothers in the Lord, it makes absolutely no sense to join yourself to someone who does not realize this the way you do.

I believe passionately in having close relationships and being intricately involved in a community of fellow believers. I believe that God made us to be relational creatures, because He is relational! I believe He made us for community – to connect at a soul level with other people. And I also believe that marriage is one of the closest, deepest relationships of connection and community that a human being can have. It symbolizes Christ and the Church. I think it can also represent the Trinity and the close relationship that God wants to have with His people.

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Ephesians 5:23-25 & 28-32

23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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Isaiah 62:2-5

You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you,
And your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

Marriage is—should be—the connecting of two souls.

So you should never consider connecting yourself to an unbeliever. In all honesty, how can you? If your soul is connected to Christ, how can it also be connected to a person who does not know this Light?

2 Corinthians 6:11-18

11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

 

And, to go even deeper, we shouldn’t just be looking at the surface – is this man a Christian? But: Does this man follow Christ? Does he know and believe God’s love for him, and show that love to others? Can/will he lead me and our future children spiritually?

1 John 4:19

19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Do you think you will be able to run after Jesus Christ just as passionately married to this man as when you were single?

If not, I don’t believe you should marry him. If anything is going to hinder your relationship with the Lord—including romantic relationships!—then you should part from it.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

Do you not realize? NOTHING is as important as being close to God. Following Him with all your heart all the days of your life. What use is it to you if you gain the whole world—the love of your life, the job of your dreams, houses, careers, passions, vacations, things—but lose what really matters? Deep down, you will always be empty and looking for the next thing unless you let God completely and radiantly fill you up.

Psalm 63:1-5

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

Mark 8:34-37

“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

If a nice young man who attends your church wants to get to know you, make sure you know who he truly is before you let your heart get involved. What is he living for? What is his heart’s deepest desire? What does he want out of life? What is he pursuing?

Matthew 7:20

20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Think about this. Do you want to be married to the man whose house stands firm? Or the man whose house falls?

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

If you strive to glorify and honor God in all you do … Read the Word and pray daily … Dream of doing some sort of ministry with your husband … Have a strong desire to raise your children to know God’s love and serve Him …

… But this young man has hopes and aspirations to make good money, have a nice house, marry the woman of his dreams, raise a couple kids and get them off onto their own with good jobs, retire and enjoy life … oh, and go to church on Sundays, of course.

Well, he might be a very nice Christian man! But please, ladies, don’t get involved – just let him go. Don’t let him dim your passion for Christ. Don’t let him stifle the joy you have in the Lord. Don’t let him pull you away from the ministries the Lord has put on your heart. Don’t let him entice you to settle for a mediocre life when you could have one of thriving in the Lord! (Either single or married to a different man who understands/shares your desire for God.)

Luke 10:27-28

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Proverbs 4:23

23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

Do you know how many married women long for their husbands to lead them spiritually? Do you know many women have a love for the Lord that longs to grow passionately, and their husbands—whom they’re supposed to be connected at the soul with—just don’t understand? Do you know how this hurts these ladies? Do you know how many women have a deep need and desire to raise their children in the Lord, and their husbands just don’t care about it? –Not only do they not step up and lead spiritually, but they don’t even support their wives in this very important desire!

Not, ever, to say that there is no hope for married women and families in these situations. There is always hope! God is merciful and compassionate. A good and tenderly loving Father. Marriages that started out foolishly, selfishly, or rocky can blossom into strong, godly marriages when the individuals seek God. And if only one individual turns to God, He is faithful to tenderly care for that person and their children, even if the marriage continues to be hard.

Joel 2:25-27

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

But single women, I implore you, don’t set aside your heart for God while you look for a man. It is not worth it. You don’t know the struggles and heartache it will bring!

Follow Jesus Christ with all your heart! He is truly all you need.

And if, one day, you see a man following the Lord the same way you are, ask God about him! He won’t be doing everything you are, of course. But when Christ is the true desire of both of your hearts, you will connect on a deeper level and know, with time and friendship, that you are running the same race. Desiring the same things. That you would make a great team in seeking after the Lord together!

Waiting for a truly godly man is WORTH IT.

Waiting for a man who will run passionately after Jesus Christ with you is beyond worth it. Waiting for a man who will stand for righteousness. Who will preach the gospel to you. Who will truly strive to love you like Christ loves the Church. Who will pursue you selflessly. Who will lead you spiritually. Who will long to raise your children in the Lord just as you do! Who will get down on his knees and pray with you. Who will open God’s Word each day. Who will continually point you and your children to Jesus.

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This is the man to wait for. So wait for him. And focus on falling in love with Jesus Christ and becoming the kind of woman this man will desire as a wife. Become the godly wife that he should be waiting for! 🙂

And if the years are just going by and you’re not meeting this man … don’t worry. Just fall in love with Jesus. He is your heavenly Bridegroom. You are His bride.

Psalm 84:10-12

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12 Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Third point – BELIEVE THAT GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT.

As I journey through life, currently in a season including singleness, I am learning that God knows all and has His own timing for things. For all things. And each season has purpose.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

Life is about what, friends? As Christ-followers, it about knowing God and making Him known! So, in every season, that should be our goal.

We passionately pursue Christ. And we surrender our desires to Him, trust His timing, and delight ourselves in Him and the season He has us in.

Consider this. Perhaps you are *still* single because it’s simply not God’s timing yet for you to be in the season of marriage. Maybe your future spouse isn’t ready for marriage at this time. Maybe he doesn’t realize his worth in Christ – doesn’t truly understand how loved he is by God. Maybe he hasn’t learned how to be a spiritual leader yet.

Instead of fighting this season and struggling against God’s plan, why don’t you give it time? Why not consider that your spouse might need to be in a season of singleness a little longer? Why not commit to praying earnestly for him/her? Why not take a good look at yourself. Are you ready for marriage? To lead spiritually as the head of the family? To be responsible and provide as the man? Or to support, respect, and encourage as a godly wife? To raise children in the Lord? To tell and show them how much Jesus loves them by living in a way that shows you know you are loved by Him?

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect. Seriously, no one would ever get married then! 😉

But it’s always good to evaluate ourselves and our lives and our relationship with the Lord. Be serious. Be intentional. And stop freaking out about possibly getting it wrong or missing out on your last opportunity to get married because you were too picky or some such.

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;

24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Do you trust God?

With even this?

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Just seek and love Him with all your heart. Run passionately in the way He shows you. And trust that He will write your love story—work out the details—if it is, indeed, His will for you to marry.

1 Samuel 2:30

for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

He is God, is He not?

He is able.

Psalm 37:23

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

Another thought about your season of singleness. Perhaps there is work to do, or a ministry you need to have, while you’re yet single. Maybe you’re not married yet not because you’re not “ready” or you’re making marriage an idol, but because God still has work for you to accomplish in this vital season of life. Maybe your future spouse has a ministry that he/she needs to be involved in as a single person right now! Don’t hinder them in that. Don’t hinder what God’s trying to do in and through you in your own season of singleness.

Ecclesiastes 3:5-7

A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. 34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

Not at all to say we can’t serve God or do ministry as married people. I passionately believe that marriage and family are beautiful, God-given ministries – ways to serve God! And you can get involved in additional ministries together as a family.

But there are also ministries or specific things that are easier or better to do as a unattached person. When you don’t have the crucially important and big roles of being a wife & mother/husband & father. So embrace this season of singleness and do all that God has put on your heart! Maybe you will never get a chance to do it again in any other seasons of life that are coming up! Live this season to the fullest. All for His glory! ❤

Psalm 23:1-3

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

So. Stay on the path that God has for you. Because it is truly the best. Don’t get distracted by romance—by bad men or good men! Only open your heart to that person who doesn’t distract you from God, but pulls you closer to Him! Trust God with His timing. Strive to glorify our King and live life for Him in every season. Singleness is beautiful. Marriage is beautiful. Raising children is beautiful. Using your God-given gifts is beautiful. Pursuing a career you’re passionate about is beautiful. Over-seas missions are beautiful. Mentoring your siblings is beautiful. Every season and passion and opportunity is beautiful as long as we are inviting God fully into our lives and following where He leads.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-13

10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 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.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Follow His path. Live loved. ❤

Practicing Purity & Pursuing Righteousness in Romantic Relationships

How does one pursue purity and righteousness in a relationship?

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Even though if you read my relationship status it would say “single”, I’ve gleaned some insight and wisdom over the years on romance, dating, and marriage. By pursuing God and studying this particular topic through Christian Living books, sermons, and speakers—plus deep thought and discussion—I’ve perhaps gained some knowledge, and I want to share my ideas with you! I would love to converse with you in the comments below and hear your experiences and thoughts.

One thing I’ve learned: each relationship looks different! There are no perfect steps and cut-and-dry answers.

But as we strive to honor God in all areas of our lives, what are some ways we can intentionally practice the purity and righteousness He calls us to as His children?

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:1-6)

So here are some thoughts:

Meeting.

Wanting marriage is a God-given desire. While we need stay focused on our First Love and be careful not to get obsessed with “finding the one” or make marriage/a relationship an idol … desiring and seeking marriage is perfectly okay!

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18)

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 18:22)

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

I think it’s a beautiful and Biblical thing to connect with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and have meaningful friendships. God created us for community and relationships! So get involved. Meet men and women your own age – and of all ages!

If you find someone you’re interested in, make an effort to spend time with them. Get to know them in a group setting. Seek friendship first … show interest without flirting! Oftentimes, flirting can be shallow and self-focused – so check yourself. Strive to see this person through God’s eyes. They are a human created in God’s image; a beloved child of the King, with a heart worth really knowing! (Here is a letter I wrote to my future husband with these thoughts in mind.)

Pursuit.

Dear fellow women, wait for a man who will pursue you with godly intention and genuine attraction and interest in you. –Who you are as a person and your heart.

Take your time, know your mind, and let him win your heart. Don’t feel pressured to act or be a certain way. You don’t owe a single thing to the man who’s pursuing you. This is a trial period where you each get to know one another, deepen your friendship, and seek out each other’s hearts with the possibility of marriage in mind. You do not belong to him. He does not belong to you. The purpose of an intentional relationship should be to really get to know one another and find out if you want to marry. If, at any point, you realize the answer is “no”, end the relationship without delay. Be honest. Don’t lead them on.

In a man’s pursuit of you, I think it’s so important that he ask for your dad’s (or spiritual father’s) blessing. Involve your parents, mentors, and other family and friends who care about you and are invested in your life. I think it’s a beautiful thing when men and women involve wise people as they contemplate a relationship. Take steps to honor each other instead of just rushing into a relationship with only fun and pleasure in mind.

Men, you’re pursuing a woman, not a relationship.

Women, you’re responding to a man, not a potential fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams.

Take time to truly care about them.

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Friendship.

Be careful to use this dating/courtship time as an opportunity to deepen your friendship, rather than get all romantic too fast or too deeply. I’ve heard so many times that once you introduce physical touch into the relationship, your ability to really get to know one another seriously dwindles. Perhaps this is why many couples wake up six months to a year after their wedding day and wonder, “Do I really even know this person – my spouse?”

Besides that, remember, you do not belong to each other yet. So be careful of thinking that you have a right to any and all romantic touches, gestures, and talk.

I believe we should establish a solid foundation as brother and sister in Christ and focus on pursuing a deep, enjoyable, real friendship in dating/courting relationships.

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

Honor that young woman as your sister, men. Treat her with gentleness and care, and much respect!

Girls, treat him as an esteemed friend rather than spending all your time stressing over what to wear, flirting, jealousy, and posting a thousand and one pictures of you two snuggling on Instagram.

You don’t belong to each other yet. Maybe not ever.

Boundaries.

Establish boundaries right away. Realize your values, and stick to them. Pray about convictions you feel God is giving you. Study Scriptures that speak on the topic of sexual purity. As I mentioned above, honor each other as brothers and sisters and pursue an authentic friendship first and foremost. Relationships aren’t all about holding hands and cuddling.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Concerning romance and physical touch, my basic thoughts always went something like this: I’ll meet this wonderful guy and we’ll become the best of friends. After a few months of courting, we’ll hold hands. Maybe after about a year, we’ll get married! And I’ll probably save my first kiss for my wedding day.

Well, yes. Every relationship is unique! So you can’t really plan out your future relationship perfectly – everything all black and white.

But I do think it’s important to ponder, pray, and contemplate. What do you stand for, and how would you like to proceed if a man shows interest?

Men, how are you going to go about things if you find a woman you want to pursue? Have you thought about how to best honor God in this area? How to best honor a girl you want to date?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

What are your boundaries? Do you have any? I firmly believe that men and women seeking to have a godly relationship should have solid convictions and boundaries. Not something like, “Well, I might save my first kiss for my wedding day … that kinda sounds like a good idea …”

No. Figure out where you need to draw the line, and make some firm boundaries for yourself. If you don’t have convictions, you’re bound to go where you never set out to go. And be certain to honor the boundaries of the person you’re in a relationship with!

20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:20-23)

Lust is not part of a healthy, God-honoring relationship. Seek the Lord. Guard your heart. Take every thought captive. Watch your actions. If you start to lust, know that you’ve stepped into forbidden territory.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)

20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20-22)

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Besides avoiding sexual compromise, I think we need to set boundaries to protect each other emotionally.

I, and perhaps most women, need to feel secure, emotionally connected, and trustful before I would be open to a man’s affectionate touch. I see holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc. as an expression of a love already deep. Not a way to “feel in love”.

And we, as women, need to know we’re being pursued for who we are – our hearts. Not our bodies, not our looks, not what we can give.

Men, pursue patiently, gently, and selflessly. A woman doesn’t owe you anything and you don’t have any right to her body, emotions, heart, etc. If you pursue her in a godly way and honorably win her heart in time, she’ll give you what is right to give you—in God’s eyes and for her personally—in each season.

I now hold to a conviction to save my first kiss for my husband. I want to honor him even now – and more importantly, honor God. So I’m intentionally learning, and reading, and practicing, and doing what I can to be ultra cautious and honorable in the areas of sexuality. Even if I never marry, I want to live purely before the Lord. If marriage is in my future, I want to save my body, romantic touches, and such for my husband, because he is the only man who has the right to them. And because I want to give him such a gift.

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12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12)

This is not to say that I’ve been perfect in the area of sexual purity. Maintaining God’s standard of purity can be a battle, especially if you don’t know what you’re up against and aren’t seeking God in this area, and all areas, of your life! We’ve all made mistakes, entertained the world’s ideals, and fallen into sin.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:19-25)

But today is a new day. Though our sins are grave, our mighty God is faithful in forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and grace! You can turn from sexual impurity and walk in forgiveness and newness. Today you can choose to start honoring God in your love life and with your sexuality. Today you can commit to reserve your body and heart for your spouse only. Today, dear sisters and brothers in Christ, pray for a passion for God’s Word and His good design!

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:22-25)

 

If you want to study more about God’s design for your sexuality, relationships, marriage, romance, and sex, here are some books I recommend:

Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge (I’m assuming Every Man’s Battle would be helpful to men in the same way.)

Sex and the Single Girl by Dr. Juli Slattery

Savoring Single by Shelley Black

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Pray. Serve. Be.

So, make friends, have fun, hang out, get to know people! Go wherever God calls you and do all that He gave you a passion and heart to do. Find a like-minded community of believers and serve together, work together, play together, laugh together, grow together …

But be serious about relationships and marriage. Give it some thought. And pray! Bring God into every aspect of your life. Tell Him about your struggles and concerns. Bring the person you’re interested in to Him in prayer. Tell Him about your desires for marriage. Ask for His leading. For wisdom, guidance, and clarity. He is faithful to write beautiful stories for those who follow Him and seek His face constantly.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:1-4)

Be in prayer and surround yourself with good friends and mentors. Whether single or in a relationship, now is always the right time to learn more about God’s design and beautiful plan for purity, relationships, marriage, and the like!

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word. (Psalm 119:9-11 & 15-16)

Pray for your future spouse. Pray for your future marriage. If you’re dating/courting, always be praying for you and the person you’re in a relationship with! I cannot stress enough the power and beauty of prayer. ❤

As you practice purity and pursue righteousness in your relationship, remember to enjoy this season! Laugh. Talk. Go on exciting adventures. Serve together. Pray. Rejoice. Count your blessings. Love being friends and being together! Even as you act intentionally in this, trust God to guide you each step of the way, and just be.

~ Lady Grace ~

I am a Woman

I am a woman(picture found on pixabay.com)

I am a woman

Created in the image of God

as it says in Genesis 1:27 … 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Formed to be a helpmeet

as it says in Genesis 2:18 … 18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

“But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

I am a woman

Made to nurture

to support

to help

to bring life.

Prepared to do good works

as it says in Ephesians 2:10 … 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

I am a woman

purposefully formed in my mother’s womb by God Himself

as it says in Psalm 139 … 13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.”

When God created men and women, He called them good

as it says in Genesis 1:31 … 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

Even though both man and woman gave into sin and evil clouded goodness

I am a woman

and I know that my design is good. God designed woman in the beginning, when perfection reigned. And He designed me as a woman now. Even though I cannot hope for perfection on this earth, I can champion behind God’s good design.

beach-1868130_1920(found on pixabay.com)

I am a woman

I am not sinless or pure

But I am an image-bearer of the immortal King of Kings

As is every human being, and does that not call for us to respect each other as we struggle to find our way back to the One we were created in the image of?

We could not find our way on our own – the Heavenly Father pursues us

as it says in Romans 5:8 … But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

and in 1 John 4:19 …19 We love Him because He first loved us.”

I am a woman

forgiven and made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

And as I look out into the world, filled with people who do not know God, yet were created in His image, I want them to know of the Love that brought me back to my Creator.

If we, as Christ-following women and men, do not treat each other with love and respect and dignity, how will the lost know we serve a loving Creator?

As it says in John 13:35 … 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” “

I am a woman

Not more important than men. No.

But not “less” than men.

We are all the same – all equal – in Christ

as it says in Galatians 3:28 … 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

But I am specifically a woman

Not more or less than men

but beautifully different

Given a different role and purpose for a reason

to complement each other,

not be in competition.

Sometimes to come together in marriage

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And with our unique identities combined

create the perfect “home” for children

to raise them in the knowledge and love of the Lord.

To reflect the nature of the Most High God in the way He created us as male and female

To radiantly glorify Him with our different but equally important and honorable roles.

I am a woman

And as such, I believe in

Femininity

Beautiful and loving and God-honoring marriages

Radiant Motherhood

Supporting and respecting men (in particular, one’s husband)

Keeping a joyful home

In short, I believe in my right to be a real woman! A woman as God created … feminine, gentle, strong, nurturing, supporting, companionable, life-giving …

motherhood-1209814_1920(found on pixabay.com)

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I believe there is much beauty and fulfillment and honor in standing by your man, making a home, and raising children for the Lord.

Proverbs 31:25-27 25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,”

casal-1818171_1920(found on pixabay.com)

I am a woman

I have not given up on men. I believe they can and will and do step up to their godly calling. I still believe in:

Chivalry

Masculinity

Leaders

Protectors

Providers

Gentlemen

I am not less than men. But I am a woman, designed by God to be treated with care by men.

As it says in 1 Peter 3:7 … Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life,”

If I am the weaker vessel, I believe God decreed that I should be treated (especially by men) with:

Gentleness

Kindness

Understanding

Honor

Respect

I am a woman

And yes, I truly am honored and enjoy (and even crave this) when men, in sincerity of heart:

open doors for me

offer a hand to steady me

protectively guide me through a crowd

value my thoughts and opinions

offer to help with something I may be having a hard time managing on my own

offer to walk me home, a coat, hat, etc. when I’m cold, a presence if I’m uncomfortable or being harassed

strive to guard my heart and my purity

casal-1818153_1920(found on pixabay.com)

In short, I (and many other women) truly appreciate when men are gentlemanly, appropriately protective, looking out for us, kind, gentle, leaders, honorable, respectful, etc.

We appreciate and champion real men who are

masculine, protective, and courageous leaders

but also humble, gentle, selfless, and tender providers.

I am a woman

And I believe that if God wills for me to get married, I should wait for a godly man to pursue me.

Pursue me:

cautiously

intentionally

wisely

respectfully

patiently

honorably

chivalrously

gently

kindly

selflessly

Because if I, by God’s command, am to submit to, respect, and support my husband, and he is to be head over me (responsible for me) and love me as Christ loves the Church …

I should wait for a man of God

and he should prove to me he knows and is prepared to be a husband as God designed.

And I believe romantic relationships should play out in an honorable way – the man leading, but both individuals treating each other with respect and wisely, with the knowledge that they might not belong to each other in the end.

Proverbs 18:22 22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.”

1 Timothy 5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.”

Colossians 3:19 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”

Ephesians 5:22-33 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 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. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 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 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. “

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Song of Solomon 5:16 This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!”

man-2382314_1920(found on pixabay.com)

 

I am woman …

striving to be a woman of God. Obey the Word. Live out God’s good design.

Proverbs 11:19 16 A gracious woman retains honor,”

Titus 2:3-5 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,”

1 Peter 3:4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

Proverbs 19:14 14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

Proverbs 31:10-12 10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31:30-31 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.”

I am a woman

And I want to be unashamedly a woman.

women-2514357_1920(found on pixabay.com)

Living out my femininity in a Biblical way. And thus encouraging men to live out their masculinity as God designed and blessed.

God had a good plan in forming both male and female, and giving us different roles. As children of God we should be seeking Him, searching for wisdom, gaining understanding about His design for womanhood, manhood, singleness, marriage, family, life … and passionately living it out.

Lady Grace ❤

 

Books and Videos on Purity, Relationships, & God’s Design

Hello, friends! How is the fall season going for you? Excited about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday? 🙂

Today I want to share some Christian books, video talks, and sermon series on purity, relationships, marriage, God’s design and such that I’m so thankful to have come across. Some of these I read/watched in the past and remember really liking, and others I discovered more recently. I hope you can find some helpful, challenging, freeing, and encouraging truths among these.

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

 

VIDEOS

 

Christians and Dating // @whatisjoedoing @chaseGodtv

Christian Singles: How Far is Too Far // @whatisjoedoing @chaseGodtv

Reclaiming God’s Design for Love, Marriage, & Sex // Girl Defined

The Number One Thing Single Girls Should Look for in a Future Husband (but rarely do) // Girl Defined

6 Strategies to Help You Fight for Purity  // Girl Defined

3 Ways Christian Girls can Promote Godly Manhood // Girl Defined

6 Guys You Shouldn’t Date, Court, or Marry // Girl Defined

Praying For Your Future Husband // Girl Defined

Answering Your Guy Questions: Dating, Bad Relationships, & Guy Friends // Girl Defined

A Beautiful Design // #AskTVC Week 10 by The Village Church

 

BOOKS

 

Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristin Clark & Bethany Baird

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Answering the Guy Questions: The Set-Apart Girl’s Guide to Relating to the Opposite Sex by Leslie Ludy

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Praying for your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His by Robin Jones Gunn & Tricia Goyer

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Quest for Love: True Stories of Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

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When God Writes Your Love Story: The Ultimate Approach to Guy/Girl Relationships by Eric and Leslie Ludy

when-god-writes-your-love-story

When Dreams Come True: A Love Story Only God Could Write by Eric and Leslie Ludy

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Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts: Seven Questions to ask Before and After You Marry by Dr. Les Parrott III and Dr. Leslie Parrott

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And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity by Dannah Gresh

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Sex and the Single Girl by Juli Slattery

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VIDEO SERIES

From the Beginning: Relationships that Give Life // J.D. Greear

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Marriage for Dummies: Mutual Love & Respect // New Work Fellowship

 

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