Single & Married Ladies – He Understands NO!

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Hi Ladies,

Okay, you’ve definitely heard this before – you can’t have sex with him until you’re married! But #9 on the checklist of 12 Ways to Know He’s the Right Man for You is He doesn’t push for premarital intimacy.  Your right guy respects you, and your decision to abstain.  He values you enough to wait for the gift of your body.

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification: that you should abstain from fornication.” – 1 Thessalonians 4: 3.  If you are a Believer, and you’re in bed with a man who is not your husband, you are not “making love” or “sleeping together.”  Discard the sugar coated word games, and understand that the King James translation of the Bible calls sexual immorality “fornication”.  It’s an ugly word for an ugly situation, a compromising position you should never be in.

What’s the Problem?

Many a believing woman, and man, fights an internal battle over the temptation to disregard this particular restriction from The LORD. And unmarried sexual activity certainly exists within the Church Body…especially now when conventional sexual restraints are being challenged, ignored, or even overturned in Western social mores and legal systems.

You may possibly have sincerely stated…”I don’t see what’s so wrong with this.” This attitude doesn’t pertain only to sexual activities.  It can be spoken of a multitude of prohibitions in the Word of God.  These are potential problems which the Holy Spirit, through our conscience, tries diligently to make us aware of.

But that’s precisely the point – we truly don’t see.  Instead of the spiritually correct positioning of “Spirit/Soul/Body”, too often we actually function as “Body/Soul/Spirit”.  When our physical person has regained preeminence, we will fail to notice what’s happening to us and around us. The dictates of the flesh speak loudly and clearly.  And our spiritual discernment can become overwhelmed by the insistence of the physical when we’re not in correct alignment.

With sufficient time and insufficient prayer, we’ll lose the ability to understand spiritual instructions. With a physical focus, when considering questionable activities, we won’t be convicted and repentant.  Instead, we will become defensive of our position, and convinced that whatever we want to do is “not really so bad.”  The process of justification then begins in earnest, and the effects of evil in our life become increasingly less recognized and acknowledged.

SITUATIONAL ETHICS

According to Wickipedia, situational ethics is a “Christian ethical theory which states that sometimes moral principles can be set aside in certain situations if love is best served.”  In other words, you can decide the right or wrong course of action based upon the situation at the time.  But this is not scriptural teaching.  Instead it’s a philosophy of human wisdom in which there are no absolutes, no actual sin or evil…only a good or bad choice.   But the snares of the enemy must be recognized and called what they are.  They are sins, which cannot be glossed over or ignored, but which must be conquered by all Believers.

The enemy of our souls is a clever adversary who understands the adage that “honey attracts more flies than vinegar”.  He’s made the lures of temptation attractive to us.  Sin entices our human nature, and even when we know the dangers, if it’s an activity that we’re drawn to, we’ll keep coming back to it.  James 1: 4 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires, and enticed.”   I Corinthians 6: 19 tells us to “flee from sin”, not to stand around inspecting it!

When we peer closely at a biblically prohibited action and examine in our own mind whether or not it’s actually evil, we’re questioning Scripture. Our Body, overriding Spirit and Soul, must seek justifications for its’ planned sensually based behaviors.  And it will search to find them, pulling us far off course from our God-ordained path.

Ladies, keep your safe locked up! Your right fellow will honor, and share, your desire to maintain a godly relationship.  Reconsider him if he doesn’t!

Joy and Shalom!

Single & Married Ladies – He’s a Proud Man!

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Hi Ladies,

Congratulations – Your man is happy and proud to show you off! You’re his lady, and not the closet gal.  This is as it should be, and may indicate that he’s a “keeper”.  It’s #8 on the checklist of 12 Ways to Know He’s Right for You  – He takes you to meet his parents and friends!

If you’re awaiting the arrival of your mate, and wondering if he will ever come at all, you know the reality of God’s timetable. Each of us follows His schedule and not our own, so unfortunately I can’t provide foolproof ways to make your fellow arrive faster. But I truly believe that if you are sincerely ready, have a strong relationship with Our Father, and are prayerful about your request, then God has heard you and your answer is on his way.  In the meantime, we’ll continue to explore the list of criteria which indicate that the man you may already be considering is God’s choice for your spouse.

CHAMPION

When a fellow selects us as his own, as females, we automatically assume there’s a level of caring, love, and protection that he is willing to provide. We expect him to be ours, and to be our Champion.  Our Father has implanted this need within us, and it is an essential trait to seek in a godly mate.

Starting way back when we were little girls, we are naturally responsive to the oppositeness and strength inherent in men.  God Himself designed us to respond this way, to prize his muscular physique, and his deep, rich voice, to admire his brains and his brawn.  And no matter the actual physical dimensions of our man, we value his maleness, just as he values our femininity.  As women we desire a champion, and when we marry, he’s the one.

Dictionary.com defines “Champion” as “a person who fights for another or for a cause; defender, protector, supporter.”  We expect and need our husband, the man who has selected us above all others, to value us.  We want him to protect and defend us, love us, and take on and fend off the world for us.  Even if we don’t need him to do this literally, on a psychological and emotional level, we crave this attitude in our chosen guy.  And no matter how sweet and protective he may be as a boyfriend, this responsibility as a Champion is not part of courtship, but it becomes the mantle of a husband.

One of the deepest of marital wounds occurs when a husband shirks the responsibility to champion his wife.  A man who ceases to prize her, who declines responsibility as her protector and supporter will cause a wife to feel emotionally abandoned, left to face hurt, angers and frustrations alone.  This is not what God intended for marriage.

In His design, the husband forms an umbrella of protection for his wife and family. When sheltered under his headship, the attacks of the world and of Satan will fall around them, unable to breach the boundaries of safety that his caring provides.  He, in turn, under God’s direct leadership, can function capably as head of his household.

With this in mind, take a close look at your fellow. How does he treat you?  Do his parents and friends know your name?  Has he brought you to meet them, crossing the invisible divide between your being a girlfriend and a potential love?  No woman should settle for a man who doesn’t, in the words of many marriage vows, “love, honor and cherish” her, and I’ll add, “And show her off!”

He is to be your Champion, a “strong tower”… (Psalm 61: 3 – “For thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy”), and his willingness to protect and care for you is something you must never compromise on.  Such commitment indicates real love…it cannot be manufactured or faked, and without it a key ingredient of your marriage will be missing and you’ll never be a truly joyful wife.  Don’t wish and hope…pray, watch, and see how he feels by how he acts!

Until next week – Joy and Shalom!

Single & Married Ladies –You Can Handle Him!

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Hi Ladies,

In earlier posts we’ve covered traits of fellows that the Bible warns against involvement with.  The descriptions are essential to know when evaluating the suitability of a man to your needs in life.  However it’s also important to know that despite any potential problems, if his quirks are something you can handle, he may be a viable contender as your spouse.  #7 on the checklist of 12 Ways to Know He’s Right for You is – He doesn’t fall into any of YOUR “Problem” categories! He may have his challenges, but you may also have been specifically equipped by The LORD to deal with them.  Only you and God will know the answer.

Let’s recap the areas of concern presented in The BOOK…

#1 – THE UNSAVED MAN

The first requirement is that he be a man of Faith, a follower of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible states this as non-negotiable for any lady who is a Believer.

Amos 3: 3 asks “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”  2 Corinthians 6: 14 &16 admonishes, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?  And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For you are the temple of the living God.”

When contemplating your mate, you must realize the importance of the question of “To whom does he listen and submit?” When a man is about to assume the role of being your wedded husband for life, only one who is saved will receive his directions from Christ Himself.  Only such a man can be trusted to be a reliable leader for you, your life and family.

THE SAVED, BUTS…

The men listed next are Believers. They’ve experienced Jesus’ salvation, and may have stirring testimonies of His redemption.  But being saved does not automatically mean that a guy is problem-free.  He may still be a work in progress, just as you are.  And with these fellows, the work is likely to become intense.  Under the guiding Hand of our Almighty Father, you must decide if he’s worth it.  Only you can know if you are up to the tasks you will face as his wife, that you are willing to commit fully to him, and that you will deal with problems as they arise.

Each characteristic links to the blog posts that detail what Scripture has to say about him:

#2 – THE ANGRY MAN: Post #10,  April 13, 2016

#3 – THE ABUSIVE MAN: #11,  April 20, 2016

#4 – THE ADDICTED MAN: #12,  April 27, 2016

#5 – THE FOOL: #13 & #14,  May 4, 2016  May 11, 2016

#6 – THE CONTROLLING MAN: #15 & #16,  May 18, 2016  May 25, 2016

#7 – THE JEALOUS MAN: #17,  June 1, 2016

The purpose of this list of poor matrimonial choices is to encourage you to look beyond an idealized concept of marriage.   Instead, be aware of some of the men you might encounter while awaiting God’s designated mate.  And since they’re Christians, you may meet one of these fellows in church.  Just stay vigilant, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and hear and obey His voice.

There are other potential marital partners that a prayerful woman must never hesitate to avoid. They include chronic womanizers who will never be faithful, liars who can never be trusted, and married men who are completely forbidden for obvious reasons.  Also to be rejected are those with whom you share little beyond physical attraction.  You’ll need so much more in order to build a godly marriage.

However, there’s always the possibility that a flawed Believer may be the man that God has chosen for you, and He will not place more upon you than you can handle. Relationships are too important to ever consider ignoring the directives of Our Father. Follow Him, do not be anxious, and don’t rush into any relationship.  Philippians 4: 6 offers wisdom:  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Until next week – Joy and Shalom!

Single & Married Ladies – You’re Friends!

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Hi Ladies,

Are you his friend? And is he yours?   Being friends is crucial to love, and is #6 on the checklist of 12 Ways to Know He’s Right for YouHe is your friend.  And you’ve known each other long enough to have formed a relationship that demonstrates his attachment.

If you’re still seeking a partner, build a friendship first. Since dating is today’s accepted means of meeting a spouse, as a Believer, there is a simple evaluation to make when considering whether or not to “go out” with a man.  If you like him well enough to go on a date with him, then you should like him enough to be his friend.  Friendship is what you must develop, and if you wouldn’t want to have him as a friend, you certainly shouldn’t be going out with him.

When you immediately consign men to your discard pile without first getting to know them, you’re wasting a unique opportunity. Although he may not be a fellow you’d marry, he’s valuable to Our Father nevertheless.  God calls upon us to exhibit an unselfish attitude that does not seek to get what we can, but instead to give to others.

Nurturing a Christian friendship with a guy who has asked you out may not be an option if he decides to move on, or has other activities in mind, but you should at least be willing to try. Marriage is a lifelong covenant, and you two must be friends in order for it to survive!

Faux Love

Love develops from friendship; but there is a Faux (False) Love based in lust, and we must be able to distinguish between the two.  Just because your sky lights up when he enters the room doesn’t mean it’s love.

Our Father’s design is that we function always as Spirit, Soul and Body. In a blossoming relationship, first comes oneness of spirit; followed by oneness of emotions; then lastly, physical oneness.  Spirit, Soul, and Body become connected and in that order.

SPIRIT:   During courtship the man and woman confirm their relationship to Jesus Christ and explore their commitment to Him.

SOUL:   Also in courtship, the couple enjoys a uniting of their minds, wills and emotions. Friendship bonds them, followed by love, and the possibility of building a life together.  This unity of souls allows them to know and trust one another, and to understand how the other person thinks.

This development of strong emotional intimacy is the practical foundation upon which their marriage will be built. It is the melding that truly meshes them, the connection that deepens into love and forms the cord that binds them.  Together with their oneness of spirit, it is the rock upon which they will stand to weather the inevitable marital storms.

BODY:   This last oneness takes place physically after the wedding vows are completed.  When the covenant pledge that consecrates their union in the eyes of both God and man has been sealed, then this final linkage can take place.  Until then intimacy is to be avoided because faux love is initiated by physical sensations.

The touch of a man, the feel of his lips, or the warmth of his embrace can all make a woman feel ‘in love’. The emotions aroused when a person is captivated by physical intimacy are often mistaken for love, when in reality they are only manifestations of passion.  Real love is built upon a firm foundation of awareness, acceptance, commitment and friendship between two people.  When love develops in God’s ordained order, the basis for their emotion is strong, but not blind, because the couple has learned each other on all three levels.

As with everything that The LORD has designed for us, His steps to marriage are established for our good. His order sets the foundation for the happiness, strength and stability of a godly wedded relationship.

And true love certainly includes physical love, expressed beautifully in:

Song of Solomon 5: 16 – “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely.   This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Joy and Shalom! hen

Single & Married Ladies – You’re Prime Time!

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Hi Ladies,

Does your fellow view you as his highest priority, second only to his relationship with Christ? Our Savior is always #1 in the life of any Believer, but in a loving relationship between a man and woman, your guy’s road should always lead straight to you!  #5 on the checklist of 12 Ways to Know He’s Right for You is that he spends time with you.

Our Father God delights in you, since as I Peter 2: 4 declares, you are “Chosen by God and precious.”   A man who wants you, who loves you, and who knows that you are precious to him will demonstrate it by desiring to be close to you.  He doesn’t need to be coaxed or nagged into spending time with you.  He seeks and values your actual physical proximity.

Everyone today has innumerable influences vying for our attention. With career, television, social media, friends, spiritual pursuits and sports, a man may have very little leisure time, and he must make decisions on which activities to choose.  But the one who is right for you will see through all of the distractions to identify and focus on you.

Special Lady?

Are you his “prime time”, or have you been placed on a sideline in his life? Does he talk to you, relax with you, and prefer your company over any others?  What about his list?  We’ve discussed your need for a list of attributes you desire in a mate, but your fellow likely has one too.  Being a male, it’s probable that his criteria list isn’t written down anywhere, but it still exists!  And are you on it, a special lady who matters greatly to his sense of joy and wellbeing?  And does he let you know it?

Scripture notifies us that “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.” (Proverbs 12: 4).  Your God-ordained man will understand and accept this as God’s truth for his life.

Dating?

But before you ever get to that point, first you’ve got to meet him and establish a relationship! People now commonly do so by dating, and a godly single lady must be clear on what that involves.

The concern here is with our interpretation of the word ‘dating’. Dictionary.com defines a date as “An appointment for a particular time, especially with a person to whom one is sexually or romantically attached.”  This activity is so commonplace that there is little thought given to the process, but it’s not addressed in the Word of God.

There is, of course, no mention of dating in Scripture because it wasn’t practiced until modern times. “Courting” eventually became the extended process of getting acquainted that was observed by most of American society.  Today, dating has become the accepted means of finding a marital partner, and it isn’t going away.

However, as Believers, we must make an honest evaluation of the mindset involved in the typical dating scenario. We’ve probably adopted the world’s attitudes toward this activity without close examination.

The problem is that traditional dating advocates an un-Christlike, throwaway mentality. If we discover that a man isn’t a suitable marriage candidate, we waste no further thought on him.  But what does God call upon us to do?  We are directed to invest prayers and involvement with people in order to be a blessing to them in whatever way He requires.

1 Timothy 2: 1, 3 – “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…

The right fellow, the one who will merit your time, will treat you as his priority, and he may certainly want to take you out. But dating as a search for a spouse is a waste of the precious and limited hours that Our Father has given us.  Seeing people through the eyes of Christ keeps our focus on The LORD, and helps us view a man not as a potential husband candidate, but as a human being with a purpose and value in the Kingdom of God.

Joy and Shalom!

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Single & Married Ladies – Are You Important?

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Hi Ladies,

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from The LORD.” – Proverbs 18: 22. This is the attitude that a husband is expected by God to hold toward the wife he has been blessed with.  It is also the attitude to expect from your husband-to-be.  He must believe this scripture and be willing to treat you as precious and special to him.  This meets #4 on the list of 12 Ways to Know He’s Right for You….He is attentive to you and responsive to your needs, especially in courtship!

As a Woman of Faith you are a treasure to Almighty God. And as a virtuous Believer, you are precious not only to God Himself, but also to other people.  Self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth  – these are not ungodly concepts.  Instead they reflect who you are in Christ Jesus, and you have a right to anticipate that a potential mate will honor you as the unique individual that God has created for him.

If you have been saved for many years, the beauty of your redeemed self may be something you now take for granted. Perhaps you’ve even shut yourself away and forgotten about your attributes as a godly woman, but now is a good time to open up that locked box that may be restricting your potential.  You are a Daughter of the King of Kings, possessing Christ’s royal spiritual blood!

Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to advertise your redeemed value to the world. Men are gifted with special radar about women.  They are always aware of the females around them, and they know, even if only vaguely, whether one is of potential interest to them.  Your goal should not be to impress everybody with your stellar qualities…instead simply polish up your assets and let the shine speak for itself.

The Bible illustrates how special we women should be in our man’s sight in Proverbs 31: 10, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”  That’s a high worth indeed since, in biblical days, rubies were extremely rare and were the most highly sought of gemstones, even above diamonds.  A good wife, who is first and foremost a good woman, is essentially priceless.

So does your fellow view you as a valuable treasure? Does he request your opinion, is concerned about your desires, and seeks to please you?  Does he pay close attention to your needs?  (Not all of them, of course, but most!)  Does he let you know that you are important to him?  Who’s chasing who, and who is doing most of the work in your relationship?

What about your own opinion of your worth? Who do you think determines your value?  Do other people decide for you that you are priceless or worthless?

The good news is that others, particular male others, will accept the value that you place upon yourself, whether high, or low, or in-between, and they will act accordingly. After all, who would know better than you?

A man may try to guess at your worth, but he doesn’t really know. But when you understand and embrace your own value, setting your worth high and acting accordingly, those around you will comprehend your value as well.  And if you don’t think you’re worth much, then it’s unlikely that they will either.

A woman who projects an attitude of self-respect generates respect for herself in others. A pastor friend characterizes this as “A woman demands respect, but a lady commands it.”  It’s how we “carry ourselves”, not with an attitude of arrogance or pride, but with awareness and acceptance of who Our Father has called us to be.

The right man for you will understand your value to him. He will believe in his heart and know in his Spirit that you are worthy of whatever sacrifices he must make to obtain and keep you.

Accept your status as a Believer in Christ, estimate your merit properly, and let it be seen by others. Don’t devalue yourself, but remember who and Whose you are.  The right man for you will see that you are priceless.

Joy and Shalom!

Single & Married Ladies – Checklist Him

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Hi Ladies.

Our Father intends for you to love and be complemented by the mate He has ordained for you. As your Designer, He knows you BETTER than you know yourself, and He’s created the man who will make you happy.  But you must also do your part.  #3 on the list of 12 Ways to Know He’s Right for You is that your fellow meets most of the Important criteria on your list.  You have a list, right?

The reason for knowing the attributes you’d prefer in a husband, besides making your requests known to God, is so that you become aware of them yourself, and you’ll recognize your blessing when he arrives.

I John 5: 15 says, “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”   The LORD doesn’t NEED us to ask Him, but He tells us to because it makes us more involved in receiving the outcome.

This photo is of my new miracle dining room chairs. Last year, I noticed that my old chairs were wearing out, and made a mental note that I‘d like to have new ones.  But dining chairs are expensive and there was no money for them, so I forgot about it.

Then last week, I received an email about an accessory sale at a model home park I’d only visited once years before. Although no one would go with me, and I wasn’t looking for anything specific, or nor had funds to “waste” on new decor, I kept feeling the urge to visit the 2-day sale.  So I got dressed and went.

After touring 11 of the 12 homes, I’d found nothing of interest. Then in the last house, there sat the most beautiful dining chairs ever! I admired them longingly, and reluctantly ventured a look at the price tag… “Set of 4 chairs – $4,696.00”!

Resigned but not surprised since furniture wasn’t on sale, I moved on to tour the rest of the house. But I was drawn back to those chairs.  It was then I saw another price scrawled lightly in red beneath the big black original price…”4 chairs – $470.00”!

After recovering from shock, I realized The LORD’s Hand and ran to grab a sales person to purchase them! When I returned the next day to double-check if there was anything I’d missed, no other item was being offered at such a drastic discount!

“What does this have to do with my future husband”, you ask? The factors that influence God’s blessings are similar, no matter the nature of our requests.

#1 – Desire. New chairs were something I truly wanted.  A husband is something you must actually want.  God hears you even when it’s only a passing, casual request.

#2 – Know What You Like. I knew the style, fabric type and look I wanted.  But Our Father understood my heart’s desire, and Perfection is what He is!  On my own, I would never have found such ideal chairs.  And on your own, you will never find your perfect mate.  Only He knows exactly what you need, and how to get him to you.

#3 – Patience.  Although dining chairs were a desire, I was also satisfied with what I had, and would never have rushed out seeking new ones.  I dropped it completely, but The LORD didn’t, and He led me to the right place, the right time, the perfect chairs, at an amazing price, when I least expected it!  Only Our Father can do this!  Never doubt that He has heard your husband prayers…it’s now upon you to wait on Him.  Don’t fret or worry… let it go and “Let God”.

#4 – Obedience. When Christ imparted the urge to move, I didn’t talk myself out of it.  My response wasn’t “Lord, why should I drive all the way over there when there’s nothing I’m going to buy?” I felt the tug in my Spirit, got up and obeyed.  And His miracle was waiting.

Hopefully you’re encouraged to consider your specific desires in a spouse. Ask God, then move on.  He is in complete control, and He will answer you!

Until next week…Joy and Shalom!