Tag Archives: love

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

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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

Giving up on love

Love always endures is what 1 Corinthians 13 tells us, but when you come to the end of a romantic relationship that has been torn apart by carless words and actions you have to wonder is it always true?  After getting to know someone for months or years they can become so entrenched in your life that when it’s all over and done there’s a crater sized void in your heart and a million questions in your head.  Where did the dreams, the joy and the love go?  Your norm was hearing from them or spending time with them daily, consistently loving, laughing and living with them.  You shared visions of a future, meals and tv shows together.  So, when it all comes to an abrupt halt and you have to make the choice to live in your new norm of doing life alone, everything in you may fight against it.  For most it is a hurt that you never want to feel again.  At some point we all desire to throw in the towel and build that wall of protection around our hearts, brick by tedious brick.  After all, if you never allowed love in again, you wouldn’t feel the sting of another failed relationship, the foolishness of falling for an unfaithful partner, or the ordeal of placing your heart in someone else’s hands only to have them leave or abuse that trust.  Trust me, I know how you feel.

Break ups are akin to going through withdrawals.  You miss that familiar connection and there are periods of ups and downs where you may be looking forward to meeting someone new but then again you miss the comfort of them terribly.  You may be happy one minute and crying like a baby the next, emotions (and hormones) are strong things.  Some of us may do a better job at controlling how we deal with emotions but they come with being human, so allow yourself to feel and grieve the loss of the relationship.  These feelings will persist until they are no longer a part of you, until there is no twinge in your stomach when their name is mentioned or sting of regret when you see them.  But be grateful for the fact that there is an until because the feelings you have for them will change and eventually your heart will heal and won’t beat for that person.  You just have to go through the healing process.   Truthfully, it sucks and hurts like hell, but the wholeness that you receive on the other side is well worth it.  The most difficult part is letting them go, while holding on to the hope of everything that love brings.  Let go of the what if’s because they were just dreams and embrace the reality of a bright future and new loves. Let go of the you that wasn’t your best with them and embrace self-improvement through retrospection and diligent work.  Most importantly let go of the lies Satan will tell you of how you will never find true love and embrace the truth in God’s promises, that He will never leave nor forsake you and will always love you.

We throw the word love around today as if it were some flimsy, obscure, meaningless word, but there is power in our words and strength that comes with confessing that you will trust God’s plan for your love life, even in it’s absence.  God is love and our charge is to love each other as siblings in Christ, point blank.  Ultimately I believe that the type of love you have for the person must shift from Eros to Agape. It may take a while to come around, but forgive them, pray for them, genuinely wish them the best and take your lessons like a boss so that you become better not bitter.  Ask God to soften your heart and reveal and heal any hardened parts so that you don’t block your blessings when your chance to show love comes back around, because ultimately it will.

Don’t give up on love, it always trusts, always hopes and always endures.  Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:7-8)

God bless
Court

Daughters of Eve

I received a very derogatory meme today from a guy that I was none too happy with. It could be that I am taking things too seriously and that I am highly sensitive or passionate about my stances but to say the least it irked me.  From my view I could see the deeper meaning and sentimentality behind it and many other memes of its kind. The degradation, consistent exploitation and predatory mindset against femininity and womanhood as a whole.

There is a gentleness that comes with womanhood, a nurturing instinct that is needed to conceive and build a family. In other words God made us special! But most of what society brings to the table does little to reinforce these beautiful qualities because they are seen as weak instead of necessary or equal to many characteristics that are seen as masculine. Today women are expected to be hard and in many cases they embrace it by cultivating the culture of a ‘bad bitch’ that is then perpetuated from generation to generation. Sadly, one day we may look up and wonder where have all the true women gone?

The assault on my womanhood and crucial feminine characteristics is constant. Through music, television, social media and now from the people who should celebrate me! It’s disheartening, especially when women are passively accepting or ignorantly perpetuating the objectification. We can laugh off things like this meme as a joke, but collectively with all the other bullets, it is a negative massive overhaul of the female psyche because in the end words truly do have power. It is the constant tugging and pulling at our self-esteem and worth that breaks us down both mentally and spiritually.

We are women, daughters of Eve, mother of ALL living things, made in the likeness of God and woven from man. Our Adams should speak life into us, not kill us slowly with evil words or malicious names. That is not love and I pray for a world where it is considered ‘thirsty’ to long for genuine love and commitment or where a woman is abused and mocked for her gentleness, vulnerability and sensitivities. We must begin to learn and celebrate our womanhood, to teach our daughters (& other young ladies) the true treasure of being a lady. Ideally the world will learn to respect our womanhood even if they can’t comprehend its power.

How I know He loves me

Happy Valentines day!!!  I love holidays and V-Day is no different.  Although sometimes touted as a ploy to get people to spend ridiculous amounts of money, I’m just as happy making gifts and spending it watching movies with that special someone.  This V-day I don’t have a significant other, but I will be spending it with someone extra-special to me!  All this talk about love and relationships, got me thinking about the most important relationship in my life, my connection with God and how He shows his love for me. These are some ways that I know my heavenly father loves me (and you).

He provides: In the bible God tells us that He will supply our every need and that I need not worry about what I should eat or wear.  Granted I am a shoeaholic so I do find myself obsessing about these things, but I don’t have to and I know that I shouldn’t!  There have been days where I’m extremely low on funds (I’m talking $1 in my account low) and I’ll get a free lunch or someone will give me money they owe me, once I even received an unexpected check in the mail.  Although I’m not weatlhy by any stretch of the world, I’m rich because I’m blessed to have a heavenly father that provides the necessities of life and then some. (Matthew 6:26, Philippians 4:19)

He protects:  There are many examples in the bible of God protecting the Israelites and from what I know He will do the same thing for us today as His children.  God tells us that He will fight for us and He will even send angels to protect us if need be.  I can remember once when I was stuck on the side of the road, as cars whizzed by I was extremely apprehensive about getting out  but not even two minutes after pulling over a tow truck came to help me. I hadn’t called anyone and didn’t have to worry about a thing, God had me and sent one of His angels to protect me.  (Exodus 14:14, Romans 12:19, Psalm 91:1-16, Psalm 34:7)

He chastises: This one is a hard pill to swallow because who in their right mind likes to be chastised?!  But usually when I do something wrong, tell a lie (I’m not a great liar anyway) or am into something I shouldn’t be, I’m usually paying the consequences fairly quickly!  The bible tells us that God loves those that He chastises because those are His children.  When you were a child and did wrong your parent or guardian would have probably scolded or at least let you know where you went wrong out of concern and love.  Our parents were put here to love us by God so it’s easy to see  how much more does God love us. (Hebrews 12:16, Proverbs 3:12)

He says so: I can remember a time when I didn’t read the bible for myself and believed whatever the priest (I was raised Catholic) or someone else told me about God so I didn’t know my father.  But since reading for myself, Gods love for little old me has becomes more real to me every day (if that makes sense).  It has become an easier concept to take hold of because there was a time when I didn’t even know that I could have an intimate relationship with God as a father or lover of my soul.  To me He had been this great unapproachable being that ruled with an iron fist and I was just trying to get through this life to heaven by being a perfect person that did not wrong, or at least tried to most of the time.  When I did do wrong I would beat myself up worse than either of my parents could punish me.  I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to be perfect for Him to love me because He knew I wasn’t, after all He created made me that way!  Through reading His word I’ve learned so much about the type of relationship God wants with me and what He has done to have that connection with me.  It is still astonishing and sometimes hard for my brain to wrap around the fact that such a great God would deem me special enough to call me daughter.  That to me is a miracle in itself and I thank Him. (Romans 8:35-39, 1John 4:16, Luke 12:7)

He rewards: of course we get the ultimate reward when we get to heaven, but until then the earthly rewards are more than enough.  If we continue to reap we will be rewarded.  There are also times when God wants us to be still and know.  If we listen and submit to God’s will we will see the fruits of listening to our heavenly father. I can remember going through a period of waiting for a job, it was 8 months before I got one.  I went through depression, anger and eventually acceptance.  Although I never stopped submitting job applications, I held on to the fact that what I was going through at the time was God’s will.  I studied my bible, watched shows related to getting to know God and practically nothing else (that may be excessive but it was what I needed at the time).  When I got a job I was so ecstatic because it was just the type of job I had asked for, God always comes through!  (Hebrews 6:10, Galatians 6:9)

He forgives:  God sent His son to die for us, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and washed away our sins.  God is quick to forgive us and because He is love and love keeps no records of wrongs, our slates are clean once we repent (confess and turn away from that particular sin completely). Many times we have a hard time forgiving (at least I know I have), but we must as followers of God so that He can forgive us as we do others.  (John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

He never give’s up on us:  I have been a wishy washy Christian for a lot of my years here on earth (I wrote about that here).  But whenever I return to God, He is there.  He is not angry with me, He doesn’t push me away or make me feel bad but He embraces and loves on me.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a situation where someone let’s you know that ‘they told you so’ or turns their back on you because they feel like you walked away from them, it’s a horrible feeling especially if all you wanted was acceptance and love.  But human’s make horrible gods obviously, so thank God for our heavenly father who will never leave or forsake you! (Deuteronomy 31:6, James 4:8, Luke 15:1-7)

Also take note that all the ways God shows His love are ways that we can show others love as well.  Have a happy valentines day and love on:)

God bless,
Court

The Art of Friendship…

Your friends and loved ones are inside the inner most core of your sphere of influence. I have learned that who you associate and surround yourself with is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. In other words your friends are truly a reflection of you. Your relationships especially the friends you choose are extremely important in your walk with God. At times they could mean the difference between back sliding and pressing forward towards Him. It is important to choose friends that will uplift, support, encourage and understand your walk with God. If your friends are constantly trying to get you to do things you know are wrong, are always discouraging the things you try to do for the Kingdom or just have a general negative attitude about your journey you may want to consider loving them from a distance. At least until you are stable enough in your walk with Christ to resist the pull of the world. As Christians our goal is to bring people closer to God not have them pull us towards worldly ways. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says ‘But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway’. So it is possible that after all of our attempts to show people the light that we ourselves can be castaway if we do not practice self-control and continually renew our minds and spirits with the word.

In order to have healthy and Godly friendships we have to know how to be a great friend. This is one thing that I try to be purposeful about in my life because I truly value the positive, genuine friendships that God has given me to develop while on earth. Just as in any relationship, communication, listening and speaking life into your friend is so very important. I didn’t always have great friendships and I had to learn how to be a friend to the people God had placed into my life. Growing up I was bullied in school a LOT, I can remember going home crying most days because I was this socially awkward, uber quiet, lanky girl that was the tallest female in my grade (any grade) to top it off I had super short hair that refused to allow a little thing like a comb or brush to tame it. Basically, think of a black Olive Oil with a fro-perm! Unfortunately I never stood up for myself and would allow others to walk over me and speak to me any type of way. I ate their words, literally internalizing them and they manifested in the form of tears, hurt and self hatred. The more I heard that I was ugly, had nappy hair, was a nerd and weirdo the more I believed it. I brought a lot of those feelings about myself into my adult life through insecurities and negative self talk. I didn’t like me, I didn’t know who and whose I was. Yes, bullying can affect people so much that they carry it with them for years! But because of these insecurities and lack of self-love, I didn’t feel worthy of love. I allowed people to surround me that didn’t have my best interest at heart, this included friends and romantic partners. They would call me a friend to my face and talk about me behind my back, steal from me or make fun of me I would laugh with them on the outside but tears filled me internally. My boyfriend at the time claimed to love me, but the relationship was filled with anger and abuse because neither one of us knew how to love, ourselves or each other. Now there were a couple of people that I believed to be true friends and they are still around today, two people to be exact, but some people I truly had to learn to love from afar. I can remember going through an ordeal with one of my then friends where everything came to a head and I had to stop speaking to her. It was difficult because I thought we were best friends. She wasn’t a bad person at all, but not someone that uplifted and encouraged me. Around this time I wrote a letter to God to bring me friends where our relationship would be one of mutual support and genuine sisterly love. And guess what! God has answered my prayers, because that’s just what He does! God has since sent some awesome people my way that I truly love and consider chosen family. I have positive, uplifting and inspiring relationships with them and best of all they push me towards God through conversations, bible studies, invites to spiritual events and much more. This is in part because I learned that in order to have great friends, you have to be a great friend. I had to search my own heart and see where I contributed to my friendships in the past falling apart or why I chose those type of people to have in my circle. I make a conscious effort to check my selfishness at the door, to remember important things going on in my friend’s lives and to make a special effort to reach out and keep in touch. Because I’m human I fail, but when I do I woman up and attempt to make it right. Many times the efforts we have to make are small but there are times our friends will need us most, a big move, an illness or loss of a loved one and we should always try to be there for them. So often when we get boyfriends or husbands we forget about our sister friends that we traveled with while single or life just gets busy and we can forget to cultivate and tend to these relationships. But if we want the sweet fruit of a genuine, supportive, caring relationship we have to put in the work and effort to make it grow and blossom. My girlfriends are my confidents, my sisters in Christ and my truth tellers when I don’t want to hear the truth. I can count the number of people on one hand that I consider true friends and honestly quantity means nothing to me without quality so I’m extremely grateful for the few I have. I thank God for my friends and the things I went through growing up, it made me so much more appreciative of them and without the occurrences in my past I wouldn’t have a story to tell which hopefully will help others master the art of friendship.

Here’s to a purposeFULL life #kingdomfocused
Court

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

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One of my good friends and I white water rafting in Costa Rica, I highly recommend it!

Continue reading The Art of Friendship…

Wolves & Sheep

Sometimes when dating we find ourselves entangled in wrong relationships which can lead to the creation of unholy soul ties and unnecessary heart ache. (you can read more about soul ties here). Many times we trust what we see and hear with our worldly senses and ignore God’s voice or our spiritual senses. A wolf in sheep’s clothing can seem to have it all together a nice home, car, be a tithing member of a church and be able to spout bible verses like he himself wrote a couple chapters But as we all know even the devil has biblical knowledge and just because he is able to quote the bible like the back of his hand does not mean he is a man of God. Many people can speak or hear the good word and never put into action the things they know or even have the desire to truly walk the walk.
Here are some questions to ask when you are trying to figure out if you’re dating a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What are his actions showing you? Does he truly value your walk with God or does he do things that poke fun at your devotion to God? Is he truly exhibiting Christ like characteristics and attempting to abide in Christ? Does he say he understands your desire to wait until marriage to have sex but then constantly pressure you about it? Does he say you all will pray or attend church together but never follow through? Does he understand the true consequences of sin (Romans 6:22, James 1:15)? Does he know that sexual immorality is the only sin we commit against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18) and that sin creates a rift or separates you from the most high God (Isaiah 59:2). James 4:22 (NIV) says that anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. Would you want to date someone that ultimately brings you further from Christ, someone that will draw you closer to the world and not to God? God said we have a choice to make and it is either Him or the world (1John 2:15 and James 4:4) choose wisely!

Also in all things we must make sure that our hearts our in alignment with what God would want, so make sure you are upholding your standards and conducting yourself as a woman of God. Pit your character and qualities against the questions asked above as well to make sure you are not causing your brother in Christ to fall.

Happy Courting,
Court20140717-081235-29555613.jpg