Tag Archives: love

LitBits: The Missing Command

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One of my favorite things to do is to dump all my cares and concerns  at the door and venture into a good book.  Although there weren’t as many distractions when I was growing up, taking time to read is something that was instilled in me at a young age thanks to my mom, I literally (pun intended) had a mini library growing up.  Today I find it refreshing and an invaluable moment  in time to remove myself every now and then from technology, social media and the general hustle of life in lieu of cuddling up with a book.

I figure there are millions of others just like me, so I wanted to start some blog posts (and possibly videos) where we can discuss great or not so great books together.  The plan is to choose a different book every month to two months.  My choice of books are generally spiritually and self-help driven, but if  you have some great reads to add please list them in the comments below as I’d love to check them out.  In addition, if I read a book you read a book, as I’ll be giving away at least one copy.

I was torn between what book to start with, but in keeping with my ‘self-love movement of 2016’ I’ve decided to kick off with: The Missing Commandment: Love Yourself How Loving Yourself the Way God Does Can Bring Healing and Freedom to Your Life by Jerry and Denise Basel.  To read the reviews (5 stars) and description or if you want to read along with me click the link above to grab a book or enter for your chance to win a copy.  Opportunities for comments, discussions and reviews will be posted at the end of February and a new book chosen.

You can also read an excerpt here.

To be entered into the random drawing to receive the book this month, all you have to do is visit my Facebook page and write ‘enter me’ under the correlating post, it’s that simple. See rules below*

Happy reading and be blessed,

Court 🙂

* Contest open only to legal residents of the United States, the District of Columbia, and other locales under United States jurisdiction including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, American Virgin Islands, and other protected territories. Participants must also be at least eighteen (18) years of age. If you do not meet any of these requirements, or any other eligibility requirements in these official rules, then you are not eligible to participate in this contest.  The contest ends on the 31st of every month.
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The desires of your heart: Do you really know what they are?

In the book of Psalms it states that if you ‘delight yourself in the LORD, He will give you the desires of your heart’.  For a long time I asked God to introduce me to my husband so we could get started on the family I’ve had tucked away in my mind for at least the past ten years!   Recently, in one of my discussions with God a thought popped in my head that although I had requested my God given husband many times, this had not truly been my heart’s desire.  I didn’t quite understand this immediately but as I continued to marinate on the thought it became clearer as to why what I thought was my heart’s desire to usher in love was actually quite the opposite.  When in relationship, my thoughts and actions did not align with someone seeking to give and receive love from a man.  They were the actions (many times) of someone bitter and highly suspicious of anyone of the male persuasion.  If introduced to a guy one of the first things I would wonder was what was wrong with him or immediately pick apart things I didn’t seem to like about him in an effort to keep myself from wanting to get close.

I can honestly say that I’ve had men in my life that truly loved me (as best they could) and for a long time I focused on the negative effects of the one mentally and physically damaging relationship I had many years prior instead of recognizing what was before me.  They had offered me love and I did not truly accept what they offered.  As a result, the relationships were dead before they began, buried under a mound of past hurts, insecurities, frustrations and fears.  Of course there were other issues at play, but I know this was my biggest part in the demise of our relationships.  I could see love, always just over the horizon and thought I was eagerly paddling towards it but since I refused to do the soul work of breaking through the waves of the past love always seemed to remain at bay. 

I had based my theory of love on the relationships I knew about which mainly consisted of womanizers, women that seemed to have perpetually broken hearts and first hand experiences of dealing with men that were not mentally mature enough for a relationship.  I accepted these ideals, ingrained them into my mental perception of what ‘all’ men were and lived them out through my speech and interactions with men.  Men were dangerous, they would cheat on you and never stick around.  Throughout my life I began to accumulate the burdens of distrust, insecurities, over-analyzation, fear and judgement some through my own experiences and many through observation and they continued to grow larger and heavier.  So when love did present itself I acted from a place  of a woman laden with baggage instead of one free to love.  The bright  side is that eventually, I became a woman eager to lighten her load!

When I take stock of my actions in relationships and in relation to men in general I can see that my heart’s desire was not for love.  The desires of my heart were for the perpetuation of what I had known in the past and so that’s what I chose to live out.  I  didn’t trust men, spoke extremely negatively of them and always seemed to focus on the worst possible outcome, for example if I texted my boyfriend and he didn’t text me back within a certain amount of time my mind automatically flooded with thoughts of him cheating (a bit cray, yes I know).  So in an effort to ensure that my heart and head are on the same track I’ve been taking the time to focus on the positive, to accept what is and truly grow in love (starting with myself).

If you are wondering if your heart’s desires are truly matching up with your thoughts I would recommend doing the following

  1. Do a soul check:  Regardless of what your heart’s desire is, be it a job, a house, a baby or relationship, take some time to sit and think about how you truly feel concerning these things. Ask yourself if this really is what you want in your future?  Do you want it because you’re on societies time table and think you should have them by now or  are you receiving pressure from a source outside of yourself to push for these goals?  Make the all too common pro/con list.  If it turns out that these are things you really do want ask yourself if you are profiting in some way by not having them or is there a false fear that comes along with having what you truly think you want.  For instance if you  want a new job but are afraid of leaving the security of the job you currently have or maybe possess anxieties around job interviews or change in general.  In my case, I am working through a tremendous fear of someone else attempting to control me, giving up freedoms I have grown accustomed to and being cheated on.
  2. Flip the technique:  Once you know some of the mindsets holding you back, begin to counteract these by speaking life into your situation.  In other words turn the negative thoughts into a positive one.  For instance with a job, there is the possibility (and hope) that you will be much happier in your new position and or have increased job security.  In my case one of the things I try to focus on is trusting men and always acknowledging the security and contentment that will come along with my desired relationship.  If you tend to focus on the negative always remember to envision the flip side of the outcome.  Condition your mind to focus on the positive shifts whenever a negative fear based thought attempts to thwart your progress.
  3. Take action:  Take some action consistently towards your desire, set a goal of daily, weekly or monthly action steps or whatever will fit your schedule and work towards your desire.  It could be applying to a job a day, attending resume workshops or joining a toastmasters group to improve your public speaking and interview skills.  For me, taking action to better myself in relationships isn’t quite as concrete, but I chose to begin by loving me and consistently taking stock of my feelings and thoughts when in certain situations.  I have begun a daily meditation practice in addition to reading scriptures, prayer, affirmations, loads of videos and podcast but mostly taking the time to fully love and accept myself while expressing love to the people God places in my life.

Sometimes our heads and hearts won’t agree and that’s life.  But if we are the only one’s holding ourselves back from our goals we can always get them on one accord!  Here’s to your dreams!

Let me know what other things work for you in the comments!

God Bless,

Court 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

I pray for you a man…

Yesterday, I was reading an article about a young couple that waited until marriage to have sex and I found myself thinking back to my dating life as a young woman, unfortunately my lifestyle at the time wasn’t on track to lead by the same example set by this couple.  I realize that saving your virginity for marriage isn’t for everyone, but I honestly regret giving such a precious gift to my ex and truly wished it was something I could have saved for my husband.  Now that being said I’m not that young anymore and let’s just say if I had waited to have sex until marriage I would be well on my way to being the female counterpart of the 40-year-old virgin.  I’m getting to the point where being single has become normalcy and although I would like to be married one day I’m unsure if I even want to without the possibility of having children and the older I get the more my chances of doing so decrease. Believe me, my doctor drilled this into my head just the other day.  In reading the article, I thought that it may be too late for me, but there are some things that throughout my dealings with men and relationships that I learned and would tell young women today (and my daughter if God decides to bless me in that way) to seek and pray for in a mate, this is my prayer for them.

I pray for you a man who will support you, that will be your strength when you are weak, that will pamper, console, spoil and care for you, a man who will be your strongest cheerleader and weakest critic

I pray for you a man who will be faithful and loyal. I pray that you never have to feel the anguish of a broken heart, but if you do, know that it will teach you many lessons and allow it make you better not bitter

I pray for you a man who is diligent about keeping his word and that understands the strength of it, a man who knows his foundation begins with what he declares

I pray for you a man who see’s your body as more than something to pleasure him sexually and domestically or to be abused but that recognizes your body as God’s temple

I pray for you a man who honors your purity and desires to present you without spot before the Lord, a man who purposes to refrain from sexual sin because he desires a relationship with God more than he does with you

I pray for you a man who can make you laugh wholehearted, deep-belly, genuine laughs even on days when you feel like crying the most

I pray for you a man who will take the time to get to know you as a person, someone who calls you daily, woo’s you romantically, and stimulates you mentally, a man who will not stop pursuing you even after he knows he has you

I pray for you a man who feels pain when you are hurting because he is sensitive to your feelings and hates to see you unhappy

I pray for you a man who is proud but not prideful, that is confident but not conceited and is decisive but not stubborn

I pray for you a man who see’s the value of your input and the wisdom that flow’s through you from above and I pray that his ego is able to take a back seat to your opinions, views and ideals so that he truly hears and listens to your voice

I pray for you a man who love’s conversing with you because he enjoys getting to know you even after he know’s all about you

I pray for you a man who consistently acknowledges the beauty of you and will always choose to see the best in you

I pray for you a man able to find the delicate balance between the gentleness and strength required of great leaders

I pray for you a man who is mature enough to walk away if he is not ready to treat you in the proper manner  or a man who will  not hang on to you simply because he does not want to let you go but yet is not able to be the man you need

I pray for you a man who understands the meaning of relationship and that does not love in a self-serving manner, a man who is able to serve and provide for his family

I pray for you a man who you do not need, but truly want to have in your life and that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt loves and care’s about you because his actions say so more than his words

I pray for you a man that makes loving him easy even in the hardest of times and that seeks to truly and fully live out the command of loving you like Jesus loved the church

Be Blessed,

Court

What love is not…

Throughout my life I’ve searched to know what love is, but with each relationship or interaction I grow more aware of what love is not and can put that knowledge to use when loving others.  I realize I don’t always acted lovingly and have contributed greatly to failed friendships and courtships.  Even today I find myself acting out what seems to be the anthesis of love.  I sometimes do things that are in direct contrast to the teachings on what love is in 1 Corinthians like being impatient with my father or snapping at my mother when I’m in a bad mood.  In past relationships with men I thought loving someone meant that they became yours, I practiced a jealous, possessive ‘love’ and still have to fight with my flesh because it always wants to be in control.  As I’ve matured I know that love is giving someone the freedom to be themselves and to follow their passions while supporting them.  Love isn’t withholding affections or attention out of spite nor is it trying to change someone by constantly pointing out areas of lack but allowing them to better themselves and acknowledging their humanity through grace.  Many of the lessons I’ve learned are because they were enacted upon me and I realized that it didn’t feel like the joy of receiving love.  Throughout my life I’ve had three pretty serious relationships and can pinpoint areas that didn’t feel like love at the time in one relationship I learned that love did not feel like physical and emotional abuse and felt the long term effects that could come from hurtful words. Love doesn’t feel like being unsupported, lied to, ignored, unwanted or taken advantage of.  I’ve learned that love means serving, it means putting someone else first and not being selfish but ironically it also does not mean caving into their every want and desire especially if it’s to their detriment.  Many of these feelings about love are obvious, but there are many of us that remain in loveless relationships despite the revelations.  I ran across this video by one of my new fav YouTubers about the seven things we mistake for love and wanted to share!  Let me know your thoughts!

be blessed

court

Is online dating the Christian way?

Man offering a rose to a beautiful woman over laptop screenSince breaking up with my ex earlier this year I’ve had numerous people attempt to set me up with guys, get me to go out more in an effort to meet ‘the one’ and one friend in particular that was bent on ushering me back into the world of online dating. In the past I have visited that world and honestly couldn’t wait to get home!  The thought of seriously engaging in online dating made me cringe.  Having to journey through over crowded man catalogues and sorting the good from bad apples was really not something I felt mentally prepared to endure at that time.  But after knowing a hand full of people that are now happily married through online dating and listening to my friend who was recently engaged to someone she met online I saw a little bit of silver shimmer on the outer edge of that once dark cloud.  Finally, I honestly think out of wanting to fill the void of loneliness I gave into her urgings and my curiosity and opened an account.  Unfortunately, the experience was once again lack luster and my silver shimmer was soon revealed to be just some annoying glitter that clings unrelentingly to every part of your clothing and body!  My interaction on the account went from sometimey to rarely reeeeeal quick as I interacted with men that didn’t quite get where I was coming from or going.  Maybe I didn’t try long enough or was on the wrong site but one thing I struggled with was the thought that I was outside of God’s will by dating online.  I didn’t know if I was truly relying on or trusting God to bring my husband or if I was taking it upon myself to seek out a mate because I was too impatient to wait on God’s best?  If the latter was true, I already knew that things could only end badly and definitely did not want that.

Since I realized that my reasons for opening the account in the first place weren’t going to bring about a healthy return I refrained from using the site in leiu of growing my relationship with God and building a solid spiritual foundation.  I have however decided within those months that online dating is fine for Christians, at least this Christian (since I can only speak for me) if I ever decide to give it another go.  Here are three reasons why…

It is a tool:  When I decided it was time to purchase my home, I went to the interenet, the same with a car and school.   I use the interenet daily to help me get along in life and why should dating be any different?  These tools were provided to make my life  easier and options plentiful.  Believe me, I know choosing a mate isn’t as simple as buying a car but the ablitity to see what people are about, what their intentions are, if they are honest, and some general information right off the bat makes it slightly easier to choose.

God isn’t limited:  But I can choose to limit my options.  Have you ever heard the story about the man that was drowning and he ask God for help, God sends a boat (amongst other methods of escape) but the man doesn’t take it because he is waiting on God.  When the man get’s to heaven he ask God why he didn’t help him nd God is like ‘well I sent a boat’.  Yeah, I kind of feel the same way about using online dating services.  I don’t know where it says that using the services are wrong and by limiting my interaction with others I put boundaries on the people I can meet, including those that may turn out to be great friends or just people that I can be a light for by talking to them about God.  I realize God can do anything, He can bring the man for me straight to my doorstep or to my inbox online.

It does not take away from my Christian walk:  If I were to go on a blind date with someone he would know on our initial date where my head was and that I was a woman of God attempting to live my life as such.  No one night stands, no kissing etc and there’s nothing different online.  My profile statement and photograph make it clear that I’m not here for anything more than making a connection with someone whose goal is to make Christ the center of their life as well.

What are your views about Christians dating online?

God Bless,

Court 🙂

Single for a reason

Months ago I prayed to God to block the entrance of any man who wasn’t my husband into my life. I was (and still am) seriously done with wasting time in the dating scene. I prayed this prayer soon after my last breakup simply because I was fed up and tired.  Exhausted to be completely honest, exhausted of falling for someone only to realize years into the relationship after I had played wifey, after the cheating, the lies, the games and the fleeting dreams of marriage and a family together that we were never meant to be.  I was tired of trying to make it work with someone who hadn’t even saw value in me to make me his wife. Tired of running into men who although they say they want to do things the God way we still somehow end up in fornication. I went through this process three times during my adult life and although it may not be a lot for some, that was more than enough for me. Granted throughout the years I was no angel in relationships although I never physically cheated I kept ‘friends’ that I knew were interested in me around, I consented to fornication with my boyfriends, feared putting all my eggs into one basket and played the little petty games that many do when dating and ultimately lost.  I suppose I grew most tired of just that, losing, always coming to the end of a relationships feeling as if I had lost a piece of me that I could never get back yet again. It’s exasperating, frustrating and most of all painful, but in my case necessary for me to reach the point where I gave the heartache, the pain and the confusion to God and focused on Him.

In the past if I broke up with someone it wasn’t long before I found another man to keep me occupied while I nursed the wounds of a broken heart.  While we wouldn’t have sex I would allow myself to form an emotional attachment with them or go out just so I wouldn’t think about my ex. Neither of these were the right thing to do, because as I wouldn’t think about the pain or loneliness while I was out having fun but it was always waiting for me at home. I wasn’t fulfilled with these outings and grew to understand that I would never be, because what I wanted was so much more than an empty relationship. Although a couple of the men wanted to take it further and date seriously, something always held me back from progressing. There was no peace in the thought of spending a lifetime with them and if I couldn’t see that then I didn’t want anything more. Ultimately I would find something I didn’t like about them so I could easily keep my distance while still going out and having fun without delving too deeply into feelings even if they had them for me, basically I was led them on, which was so wrong.

Since praying the ‘anti-counterfeit’ prayer and becoming more purposeful in who I choose to spend time with, my dating life has been, shall we say, pretty nonexistent.  I have turned down dates by men that I know aren’t for me and old familiar faces have popped up every now and then but I choose to focus on my growth at this point in my life and devote time to having a stable foundation with God while still having a ball doing life.  I live my life and try to appreciate living it solo, as there may be a time when I long for the solitude I have now. I am able to travel to different places, have fun with friends, meet new people, become more involved with the church and try to simply enjoy the days as they come. There are moments of loneliness, but I realize they are just moments and the feeling passes when I remember that I am single for a reason. My reason no longer consist of bettering myself for a husband that may or may not ever show up, but becoming the woman God wants me to be, to form a deeper relationship with Him, to grow in faith and to hear His voice so clearly that I have no doubt when He whispers which way I should go. I long for a relationship like that with God and if being unattached is what brings me closer to Him then I would have it know other way.

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God Bless,

Court

But you say she’s just a friend

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The creation of security within the boundaries of a relationship should be a major priority between partners.  When this security is breached or not given the attention due it allows distrust, doubt and anger to creep through the door and settle into your relationship.  I was with someone who had a lot of friends, particularly of the female persuasion.  The issue wasn’t the gender of some of his friends but more so the way the relationships were presented and handled at least in my eyes, I’m sure he would beg to differ.  When I brought this to his attention, his stance on the issue was that they were my insecurities to deal with and had nothing to do with him.   I wasn’t completely sold on his position, but did partially agree as I believe my personal insecurities within myself are totally my responsibility to work on.  But insecurities felt in the relationship that were based on things he did or said had more than a little to do with him and vice versa.  I will admit that I may have over reacted slightly to all of his female friends initially, as I allowed my past experiences to guide my thinking many times in the relationship, but none the less I had some real concerns.

My ex had one female friend in particular, let’s call her Fern, that sent my cheating radar into alarm mode.  Granted I never found out they were anything more than friends but the entire situation didn’t sit well with me.  He initially told me they were just friends, but I found out later that they had been in a sexual relationship years prior, he still had photos and video of her in his phone, would pick her up from work and he texted or talked to her constantly.  When I began acting suspicious, I was made out to be the irrationally jealous girlfriend that just didn’t want him to have any friends, which wasn’t true at all, I just didn’t want the secrets that came along with these relationships.  This led to me looking at his other relationships with a bit more side in my eye because I wondered about what else he was hiding.  I’m not really the type to have a huge issue with my boyfriend having friends of the opposite sex as I do as well.  But I am a huge proponent of knowing exactly where the relationship stands and expect honesty.  If you are having similar concerns, I would suggest speaking to your significant other, communicating your concerns and ask them to do the following four things then watch for changes.

1. Be open and honest:  Had my ex disclosed the fact that he and this woman were more than friends in the past I may not have had such an issue with their friendship, but I felt that pertinent parts of their relationship were kept from me purposely and it made me extremely suspicious.  I understand that the past is the past and had their relationship remained in the past then fine, but she was still in his present.  You shouldnt have to feel as if you are being naggy because you ask questions about a relationship if they be reasonable and it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth to get a truthful answer.  Honesty should always be extended in regards to legitimate concerns. Relationships are all about communication, if one party feels as if that communication is one-sided it will only cause them to shut down, leave or continue the relationship in doubt, which only ends badly.

2.  Include you: if your partner and this person truly are ‘just friends’   they shouldn’t have an issue including you in their discussions or outings if that’s something you’re comfortable with.  When you enter into a serious commitment, the dynamics of your other relationships are bound to change and not necessarily for the worse, who knows you could gain a new friend out of the deal.  There were times when if I was at my ex’s house and he got a call from someone who asked what he was doing, his responses would never include me, except for with certain people in his life.  He was very selective about who knew we were together and who didn’t and I believe that Fern happened to fall into the latter category.  Had I been included in their discussions I would have felt somewhat more comfortable and not as if he was hiding the fact that we were together from her.

3. Be present: If your significant other spends tons of time on the phone or texting their friends everytime you are together, you’re bound to feel slightly neglected or at least slighted in some way, unless you’re doing the same.  I can recall a time when we were watching a movie together and he was constantly texting Fern.  Instead of focusing on our quality time he was focused on her, telling her how she would like the movie, sending memes and other messages but when I got upset and called him out about it, he saw nothing wrong with his actions.

4. Put themselves in your shoes:  I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot, your significant other would feel some type of way, unless they really don’t care.  Unfortunately, I often learn from making mistakes and am a pro at playing tit for tat and I began doing many things to spite him.  Many of the things he did, I became guilty of and them some. Since he would constantly chat with his female friends, I began to engage more and more with my male friends (some of who I knew wanted more than a friendship), I would talk to them constantly, go out with them and entertain talk that I probably shouldn’t have.  It got to the point where I would actually be on my phone more than he was when we were together towards the end of our relationship.  This is not, I repeat not the correct way to let someone know you want them to know what you feel.  This only created a deeper divide between us, it was childish and unnecessary because it exacerbated the real issues we had.

Hope this helps someone!

God Bless,

Court

Five things a man should see in you, besides your beauty

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I go to a singles bible study every now and then and an acquaintance, let’s call him Franco, started attending as a result of me telling him how much I enjoy the studies.  One day Franco informed me that he didn’t really need singles bible study because he already knew who he was going to marry and after a couple of minutes of going back and forth he revealed that his wife to be was me.  Now, I’m not the type of woman who buys something most people are selling especially if it doesn’t add up.  In this case, we had known each other for about a year, weren’t dating and I had made it known we most likely would go no further than a friendship.  Since I tend to question everything, this was no different and I asked him what about me made him think I was the one?  His answer immediately turned on my ‘game running alarms’ as he informed me that I was the proud owner of the three B’s: beauty, brains and booty to which I promptly chuckled while mentally incorporating a forth ‘B’, the boot!   If a man is unable to tell me why he wants to be with me or has trouble pulling out a couple of specific character qualities that make me special to him it’s an issue.  If he can’t do these things in my view he isn’t paying attention or truly invested in me as a person enough to get to know my core, especially if he claims to love me or would discuss something as serious as marriage.  This scenario made me give much thought to some of the qualities a mate should be able to recognize, appreciate and honor within your relationship beside your beauty and booty!

Your value: Regardless of whether you’re dating, courting, engaged or married your significant other should be able to clearly recognize the value that you bring to his life.  Throughout proverbs, wisdom is characterized as a female and in Proverbs 31 we see what makes up an excellent woman or wife.  In the bible it states that a man who seeks wisdom will be blessed, just as a man who finds a wife is blessed.  It also states that wise words and wisdom are more valuable than rubies, just as a woman of noble character is more precious than rubies.  I say this to make the comparison to the value of wisdom and that of a noble wife.  The word wisdom appears in the bible over 200 times and we are told in Proverbs 4 that obtaining wisdom is a principal thing; And although the bible is speaking of wisdom, verses 6-9 could seriously read as a guide-book for having a very happy wife and hence life.  If there are so many similarities between the attainment of wisdom with all its importance and that of the rare and noble wife then it is fair to say that you are quite valuable in God’s eyes and should be in your significant other’s as well.  In 1 Peter 3:7 husbands are told to live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.   If a man does not show understanding and honor to his wife his prayers could be hindered.  Meaning the way a man treat’s his wife is directly correlated to the way God treat’s his prayers!   That’s just how serious God is about the treatment of his daughters by their husbands and truly shows the value of a virtuous woman.

Your Irreplaceableness:  In the middle of an argument, I had an ex-boyfriend tell me that he could go out tomorrow and find another  ‘good girl’ just like me.  Aside from the fact that he called me a girl, the comment made me cringe because I felt like after all the time of us dating my worth to him boiled down to the fact that I had a steady job, was smart and pretty.  Like he could just go to the girlfriend store and tell the manager ‘this one didn’t fit I need another one of the same model’.  His statement didn’t encompass any of the attributes that made me who I was internally, it didn’t entertain the uniqueness of my laugh, my penchant for singing loudly off-key in the shower or my quirky sense of humor, it only focused on the external which in essence could actually be easily replaced.  Thank God for instilling me with enough confidence to know that although he may find someone else quickly, there was no way on God’s green earth he would run across another me.  If you look at the beginning of Proverbs 31:10, it begins with a question, ‘Who can find a virtuous woman?’  Since it’s in question form I immediately think that maybe this virtuous woman isn’t so easily found and while there are many, many women in the world to choose from, this particular woman is actually quite rare.  We all have qualities that make us irreplaceable to that special someone and if we model ourselves after virtuous women in the bible we become the one in a million that God so highly speaks of.  If your significant other is unable to see how irreplaceable you are maybe you need to take a trip to the boyfriend store and get an upgrade!

Your equality: Granted, men and women have very different roles within the boundaries of marriage, the fact that the wife chooses to submit to her husband as the head in marriage does not make her input, opinions or suggestions any less valuable or her role any less important.  In the bible it states that women are the weaker vessels, but it also states that the men are to honor her as a result of it.  Women are afforded the same salvation, grace, forgiveness and love promised to men.  Galatians 3:28 puts it this way: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Your intelligence:  I suppose one out of three isn’t bad in Franco’s defense as brains was one of his three B’s, but a man should love your brain long before he’s made love to your body.   Dating without fornication is a great time to get to know someone without the would be distractions of physical sex.  I regret the fact that I delved into sexual relationships with boyfriends in the past because it got in the way of us getting to truly know each other at times.  Hopefully, your mate enjoys having conversations with you, hearing your points of view and heeding your advice if it be wise.  Speaking from experience, if you have a long-term mate that is constantly dismissive of your views or rarely seeks your advice on pertinent issues in his life you may have a long, hard road a head, especially if you decide to marry him.  In Proverbs 31 we see that the virtuous woman speaks with wisdom, she is hard-working and doesn’t worry during seasons of winter because she was smart enough to prepare ahead of time.  I can bet she was one of her husbands main confidants and counselors as it tells us that his heart safely trusted in her.  So release your inner nerd and let your geek flag fly, the man meant for you will only love you all the more for it!

Your God: A man who knows you, should be able to see the God in you through your daily interactions together and optimally, in turn, will encourage growth in your relationship with God.  It could become extremely problematic if you set your standards as a child of God and he continually attempts to cross those boundaries.   If he constantly tries to get you into bed, take things further than you would like, speaks to you in a mean, harsh or vulgar way, disrespects you or treats you anything less than a lady he definitely doesn’t recognize or at the most respect the God within you.

God bless
Court

Without the ring

Bridal portrait.

When you’re dating sometimes the lines between acting as a girlfriend and a wife without a ring can get quite blurry. I’m not speaking exclusively of sex, but also the simple things that as nurturing women we want to do for our significant others. Oftentimes we don’t recognize that we are giving husband privileges to a boyfriend that hasn’t earned them. Although the bible gives us a glimpse of a godly wife, there are no hard and fast rules about biblical girlfriend-hood.  I’ve been in a relationship where it seemed the guy wanted me to be his wife in every aspect except the vows, the license and the ring.  Amongst other things, he wanted submission and of course sex, but wasn’t quite ready to take that walk down the aisle and I perpetuated it by allowing it to continue.  Many times we choose to believe words that hold the promise of a ring instead of believing the actions that ultimately will sell a person out.  I’ve learned a few things while in long term relationships (6, 7 and 3 years), so here are five big rewards or acts that in my opinion should be reserved for a husband that actually put a ring on it and not just a promise to do so.

  1. Sex: This is an obvious but extremely important point. The direction to flee fornication may oftentimes seem more like a punishment than the gift it is. I know from personal experience I cannot have sex with someone without becoming attached because for me there must be a deep connection already woven into the relationship. Unfortunately, through premarital sex I’ve formed unhealthy soul ties in the past with boyfriends because I thought it was okay since we would one day be married. Had I used the wherewithal to wait on God’s best and until marriage to take our relationship to the next level this may not have been an issue and I could have saved myself a lot of heart ache, disappointments and stress.
  2. Household responsibilities: In my twenties I lived with my boyfriend and found myself playing house every since then, simply because I thought that was the way it was supposed to be. I recently had a guy tell me (yes, tell me) that I would have to make him dinner because he wanted to make sure I could cook.  Now, when I want to, I can be a culinary (crockpot) guru, but have grown to a maturity level where proving my cooking skills to some random isn’t in my realm of desires.  I am eager however to cook for my husband and ensure that he enjoys every bite. In fact I have begun to cook more at home in an effort to add meals to my repertoire.  Things like cooking regular meals, ironing (which I despise anyway, a spray bottle filled with water and a dryer are my best friends), cleaning and other household chores are reserved for my home, if there happens to be a husband in it then he will definitely reap those rewards. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, that’s great news, because the only man’s heart I want is my husbands and he is the only one I want to cook (or order) dinner for every night!
  3. Changing churches: In past serious relationships, the issue has not been that we are unequally yoked concerning being Christian, but that we weren’t attending the same church. I don’t see much purpose in changing my church home until God has spoken to us and we are actually on the road to marriage. I do plan to attend my future husband’s church for counseling reasons and to be of equal accord, it just isn’t necessary while dating. The idea didn’t sit right with me the big one being because I wouldn’t feel comfortable in the case of the relationships demise; and If I based my decision about a church on who I’m dating at the time there’s a possibility that I would be a consistent church hopper.  If you are seeking a church home or already attend the same church those are very different circumstances.
  4. Combining finances:  I usually refrain from even discussing specifics about my finances (or his) early on in a relationship including what I make or what I have in savings.  Also, I have never been asked, but cosigning (read proverbs) on things or mixing finances would not occur while dating, joint bank accounts are reserved for marriage in my eyes. I do however think it extremely important to discuss how you each spend money, is his style thrifty or frivolous, does he save money regularly, are bills paid on time, is he in debt and vice versa. It’s been noted that many marriages fail due to monetary differences or struggles, knowing these types of things prior to engagement is crucial.
  5. Submission: Submission is intertwined into many aspects of our lives even if we choose not to see it. As a child you submit to your parents and as an adult to a boss, coach, pastor or another head. The bible tells us that as wives we are also to submit to our husband as unto the Lord.  That being said, I have yet to read where it states a girlfriend is to submit to her boyfriend, if you find it let me know!  Even though we may practice submission daily as brothers and sisters in Christ, until we have become one under God I would not consider any one I’m dating my headship.  As a single woman I submit to God and am still under the umbrella of my earthly and heavenly fathers.  I would however, expect him to exhibit leadership qualities and to have respect for the decisions he makes in his own life.

Just my two cents 😊

God Bless and here’s to a purposeFULL life!

Court

Through the flames

I got a text from my ex yesterday, that although it shouldn’t have, caused me a great deal of sadness.  I think it’s because it solidified the fact that we weren’t getting back together, and although I thought I had totally let go, there was this little piece of me that was still holding on.  While we were dating, I honestly thought he was the one, we discussed marriage, having a family, and he told me (although I never saw it) that he had gone ring shopping.  I thought he was the man who God had for me and we were going to live happy together for the rest of our days.  Unfortunately, there was a curve ball thrown and that didn’t turn out to be the case.

I won’t go into detail about the text but it was enough to send me running back to feeling as if we had broken up more recently and there was such an internal pain that it was almost crippling.   I didn’t want to see or deal with anyone, but since I received the text in the middle of doing something I had to push on and wait to open the flood gates until I got into my car and a safe distance away from the building.  I confused myself, because  I was dealing, coping or at least I thought I was until I found myself falling back into the anguish of sadness that seemed to come out of no where and so quickly that it was impossible to dodge.  I fell back into questioning the things that happened, wondering if I had made the right decisions. I found myself questioning God, asking Him if I would ever have love, did I miss my chance and why am I here yet again?  I found myself holding onto heartache more than happiness as I dwelled on the fact that I was 37 and without prospects.  I wondered if I would have to do the rest of my life without a mate and if so could I be okay with that?  I forgot to remind myself that just because I didn’t see big things on the horizon, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  Since, I’d been here before in my twenties I knew that if I stayed one of two things that would happen.  1. I would fall deeper and deeper into sadness and eventually depression and 2.  I would  fall further and further away from Christ.  So I prayed and prayed some more between sobs.  It was a long sleepless night of guarding my tongue against words the enemy would have me speak over my life and asking God for strength, faith and vision to see beyond this point in my life and also for contentment while in the season.

Today after almost two months of my ex and I officially parting ways, I let go.  It was difficult, because I wanted to hold on, but I deleted the numbers, emails and text.  I released the dreams of meeting him at the end of the aisle on our wedding day and us growing old and wrinkly together.  I let it all go, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt, it means that through the pain I must hold on to the faith that all things will work together for both of our goods and release the fear that it won’t.  It is not a fire of consumption but of cleansing, so I have to thank Him even while walking through the flames.

Whatever your issue is, if you find yourself taking a couple of steps back, remember it’s normal.  Blame it on our humanity.  No one and no situation is perfect, some days it’s easy to roll with the punches and sometimes you feel like you got knocked off of your feet.  Fight the good fight and remember God is there for you, He will help you, believe that.

God Bless
Court

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (ESV)

1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)

Genesis 2:18 – Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV) – God will bring someone great into our lives if it is His will, he made us for companionship.

If you need to speak to someone: The Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (212) 673-3000