Forgiveness, Marriage, Why Did I Get Married Series

Why Did I Get Married: Get Out of the Way

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9

This scripture is a very popular scripture involving marriages. I would even argue that it is high on the list as one of the most important rules to marriage. Early in our marriage my husband and I faced one of the hardest trials of our life. We didn’t know what to do, whom to turn to or where to run. Looking back, it forced us to develop a foundation that involved God.

As the situation began to dissipate, I held resentment and anger that it even occurred.  And what rang true was this scripture, stitched on a wedding blanket that I received as a wedding gift. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” At that moment, I realized that sometimes that someone could be ME. It didn’t have to be an outside person, but what about the people on the inside of the relationship? Sometimes we can get in the way of our marriage flourishing.

I’ve heard countless stories about couples upset and arguing about things in the past and only one person is continuing to hold the issue over the other person’s head. The unforgiving heart is causing a wedge between the marriage that creates room for the enemy to squeeze in (some wedges are so big that he can just walk in) to kill, steal, and destroy the institution that God has placed as an image of His love.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your Word. Sometimes we like to blame other people for ruining our marriage when in actuality we are mishandling the “goods”.  Please create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me towards my spouse, that reflects You.  Help me to get out of the way and allow You to mold two hearts into being one. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Ladies, if you are in a marriage, or about to be in a marriage, I EMPOWER you to be overprotective of your marriage. Do not allow ANYONE to separate what you have going on with the man God has put in your life as your husband, even if it is you. Sometimes we have to step back and allow God to direct our speech, actions and our heart.

Ladies, how do you protect your message, even if it is from yourself?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Wise Women Build

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

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Gratefulness, Love, Marriage

Gotta Be…

Today is my Baby’s, also known as my husband, birthday.  He is 26 years young today. I’m so proud and honored to say that I have a God-fearing, praying, and strong black man!  However, today’s culture brings many challenges to the possibility of being married, especially when the divorce rate is high for non-Christians as well as Christians. I personally believe that marriage is impossible without God and a fulfilling marriage can only come by following His principles for marriage.  I must admit that I have been blessed beyond my mind when it comes to whom God chose for my mate.  Martin Luther said,“There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, that a good marriage.”

I can witness to the promise and have assurance in His word, the blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and He adds no trouble to it. (Proverbs 10:22 NIV)  God is fulfilling this very thing for me through my husband.  I remember in the beginning of our dating many people thought that I didn’t deserve him, tried to separate the thought of us even dating, or didn’t take it serious.  You see he was raised in the church most of his life and me, well, I was the complete opposite and I was with a child.  The Lord knew what He had in His blueprint and He knew that our marriage was apart of it.  When the Lord has a plan nothing can stop it, so if you’re believing the enemy’s lie on today that what the Lord spoke to you is not coming to past declare this, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”(Isaiah 55:11 NIV)

I can recall my husband, before our courtship, telling me that the Lord told him I was his wife.  I laughed and thought he was crazy because I wasn’t looking for a husband at that time in my life.  I was a single mother for three years prior to getting involved with my husband so marriage was something I thought about, but it wasn’t a desire at the moment.  Fast forward two years after my husband spoke those words to me; we were on our first date.  Before he dropped me off, we were listening to a song called “Gotta Be” by Jagged Edge.  He sang the song to me and every word he sang, he has been, done, and lived.

The first verse of the song goes like this: Don’t wanna make a scene/I really don’t care if people stare at us/ Sometimes I think I’m dreamin’/ I pinch myself just to see if I’m awake or not

This is a real-life illustration of what my husband and I have.  He is compassionate, self-less, patient, loving, and mine!  I’m so grateful for him.  Our marriage isn’t perfect and we both have learned through trial and error our God-given roles and responsibilities (thanks also to our Pastor Arthur Guice).  Nevertheless, we look towards the Spirit to help us in every area and we keep God first.

I’m a living testimony that if you wait on God, He’ll marry you.  While married, if you’ll give Him all of your heart and do things His way, He will give your marriage growth, love, restoration, and any thing it needs.  A fulfilling marriage is not just a dream, but possible with God!

Now to my husband, I know that we have had some obstacles in the road, but I LOVE YOU more than anything and less than God.  I pray that you will have many more healthy years, but that your encounter with the Lord will be stronger than last year. Know that you don’t have to “Gotta Be” any longer because you are.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You first for life.  Thank You that I am living and am saved.  Father, if it wasn’t for Your grace, I wouldn’t have been able to write this EM about my husband.  Lord, I ask that You would send Your word to restore any marriage that is in need of restoration. Lord, send Your word to grow every God-ordained marriage.  Lord, give grace also to my sisters who are single or engaged.  Lord, let their souls be satisfied only in You.  Let other young people rise up and live according to your principles regarding marriage.  I also ask that You would bless my Baby on today.  Be to him what he needs on today, keep our desires for one another, and help us to enjoy each other while we have each other.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you on today to bless your husbands if you are married and even if he may not be worthy of it.  Pray for him and ask the Lord to show you the treasure that’s inside of him.   For all my single ladies, get an appetite for the Lord like never before while you are still single.  Marriage would never satisfy you like a growing relationship with our Father can.  Lastly, Baby I EMPOWER you to hold on because change is going to come!

How do you keep your marriage to God and/or your marriage to your husband strong?

Thanks for all your votes and support!  We have won Best Faith-Based Blog!!!

Here’s “Gotta Be” by Jagged Edge:

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Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL. Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm 34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Marriage, Spiritual Warfare

Throwback Thursday: Battlefield of the Mind

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on April 26, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

“I really need God to step in and help me in this marriage.” vs. “God isn’t concerned with your marriage; you both should just walk away.” “I made a vow before God to remain committed to my husband.” vs.“God wants you to be happy so He’ll understand if you have to cheat just this one time.” “Today, I will not get into an arguing match with him, but rather express my concerns in a calm manner.” vs. “No, you need to scream and yell because that’s the only way that you will get his respect.” Those are just pieces of a never-ending dialogue and one of the many battles that go on in my mind on a daily basis. In this particular battle, I’m trying my very best to honor the covenant that I made with God and the man He made for me and I’m meeting opposition at every angle. It almost seems as if the more I try to do the right thing, the more the wrong thing rears its ugly head. I often ask myself and God what is really going on with this situation. Then I open my Bible and read Romans 7:21 and it reminds me that I am not alone in this battle for Paul experienced this very issue. “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” How profound is that! Right there in my mind, evil is raging a war against the good. Some days I literally feel a tussle in my spirit and it’s the Holy Spirit dwelling in me wrestling with the evil opposition.  I am almost certain that you are facing a similar battle. If you were to be 100% honest with yourself, there is a war zone in your mind as well. There is some issue where evil is trying hard to overcome the good in your life and you are trying everything in your might to fight the battle. For many us, a lot of the battles have been lost but if you are anything like me, you hate losing—and you REALLY hate losing a battle to that enemy’s camp.  Fret not, with the 5-step battle plan outlined below, we are going to be able to take control of the battlefields in our minds and win the war!

  1. Recognize the type of battle that you are fighting and who the REAL enemy is:  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)  I had to realize that I had been spending more time fighting my husband as if he was the adversary. This misdirected focus had caused us to bicker while the real enemy was steady moving in closer to our camp.
  2. Understand that we do not fight like everyone elseFor though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  (2 Corinthians 10:3) Again, our fussing and fighting is how the world goes to war. Real soldiers in the Army of the Lord are too busy fighting satan and diverting his attacks to be turning on one another.
  3. Dress for the battle: Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation…(Ephesians 6:13-17a) No wonder I was feeling EVERY shot that was fired in the battle; I wasn’t suited up properly! Truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation all seemed to be tucked away in my closet whenever my husband and I were having a disagreement. Really, who goes to war without the proper garments?!
  4. Know what artillery is needed: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4) Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17b) I have often heard that no one takes a knife to a gun fight, but that’s exactly what I have been doing in the spirit! I’m busy using MY words against the enemy but the sword of the Spirit is the Word of GOD! Get in your word so that you have the ammunition when you need it!
  5. Demolish the opposition and take your thoughts captiveWe demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Winning a battle in our mind means that we literally have to defeat ANYTHING that is in direct opposition with God. For me this meant destroying thoughts like “God wants you to be happy so He’ll understand if you have to cheat just this one time” and making them obedient to Christ and His word.

Dear Daddy,

I really want to do the right thing but evil always finds a way to seep into my mind. Please help me to prepare for the many battles that I will encounter.  Teach me to study Your word so that I will be armed with the most important weapon for spiritual warfare. Please give me the wisdom to know how and when to fight, the courage to go to war in the spirit and the strength to endure the battle. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to refuse to let the enemy win the battle in your mind. EMPOWER your fight by ensuring that you are prepared for the battle.

Are you winning the battle in your mind or do you allow your emotions to control the battle? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Don’t Be Divided

Have you voted for EmpowerMoments yet? If not, please click here to vote for us in the 2012 Black Weblog Awards!

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Divorce, Marriage

He Loves Me…He Loves Me Not

My husband and I have been “split-up” since July 4th. The reason he left is still a mystery to me. One day I spoke with him and asked him what was wrong because I didn’t feel connected. He answered, “Nothing is wrong, I’m good.” To that I replied, “No, there is something wrong because we are not even speaking.” He reiterated, “We are good; there are no problems…”  A week passed and I went back and asked him again. He told me that he was unhappy and we discussed our next steps to split up.

Perplexed and confused, I went to my Bible and read every scripture about marriage and divorce. I spoke to people that are married and divorced and I still didn’t get the answers that I was looking for. Does he love me? Or does he love me not?

After the breakup I was ready for a divorce and God spoke to me…. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:9 NIV) “And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.” (I Corinthians 7: 13-14 NIV) I know that if you read further it says leave, but I tried to leave and God said ‘NO!’ Remember you need to recognize God’s voice and have the spirit of discernment in order to know when it’s time to stand still or run.

Still uneasy and a bit confused, I started to pray and seek God’s face and again He spoke His Word to me: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4: 6-7 MSG) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) I then realized that God ordained me for such a time as this and since I was chosen, I am going to be fine.

One day as I was walking I just started praying  and God started to reveal myself to me. You know what I found out? I have flaws that are hindering our growth in marriage. Can you believe that Keviyona has flaws? Imagine that! He even started to reveal my husband to me. My husband has trust issues and he thinks no one understands him. At that moment, I understood that this was much bigger than me and I started preparing myself to enter an intense spiritual battle for my marriage and for my husband.

I almost lost my mind listening to bad advice as people were telling me, “He doesn’t love you, he has another woman, he never loved you, he used you, he isn’t thinking about you or your daughter, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And then when I asked him about those accusations, he replied, “I love you, I don’t want a divorce, and I am a work in progress.” What people said and what he was confessed once again had me confused horribly. Does he loves me? Does he love me not?

So here we are, over 2 months later. Some think I’m crazy, but here’s how I’ve learned to deal with the situation. I listen to his problems, we talk every day, we laugh, we eat dinner together on his days off and we spend time with our daughter together. Now this is the kicker–we are still not in the same house, but I am still treating him like my husband because that who he is in my life and God is working on him. He doesn’t want to be away from me, but he didn’t feel adequate to be with me. I walk around now having the faith that what God has joined together, no man will put asunder (not even us). Now I am not telling you to put up with disrespect, abuse, infidelity or anything that is not healthy for you. I am saying seek God and have the faith to believe that He will never leave you nor forsake you. I want you to stand strong and focus on Jesus as the author and finisher of your faith. If you know God joined your union, don’t let people or the devil tear it apart.

Dear Daddy,
Thank You for giving me the strength to endure. Thank You for teaching me how to war for my mate and how to stand firm in Your word. Continue to be my refuge in a time of present help. Continue to build me up where I need uplifting when I get weary in well doing. Continue to teach me to love with an agape love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you not to run from adversity, but to remember this scripture: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)  If God promised anything to you, remember that He is not a man that shall lie. Don’t stress and try to figure out if someone loves you, remember that there is no greater love than God’s love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV) You never have to wonder if He loves you or loves you not.

Do you have an encouraging word for those struggling in their marriages? If so, please share it with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Reality of Relationships

Please click here to vote for EmpowerMoments in the 2012 BlackWeBlog Awards!

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Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1: 5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Attitude, Complaining, Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, God's Provisons, Growth/Maturity, Marriage, Obedience, Patience, Purpose, Restoration, Singleness, Stress, Trusting God

Living in the Microwave Age

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6 NLT)

I heard an author last week speak about how this is the ‘Microwave Age’ because everybody wants everything to happen quickly. I thought about life and how God has worked on my anxiety. I was a right now person; if I saw something I wanted in a store, I bought it; if I wanted to say something, I said it; if I was feeling a certain way, I reacted; if I wanted to lose weight, I took plenty of weight loss medicine. I know that was a reckless way to live life. Even my prayer life had turned microwavable. Every time I would really need God to do something I would pray, get up and wonder why He didn’t answer my prayer.

I started to question when was I going to get my blessing? When was I going to get a promotion? When was my marriage going to be the marriage I pray for? When was I going to lose weight and have the physique that I want? When? When? When? When?

How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted. (Habakkuk 1:1-4 NLT)

The prophet Habakkuk sounds just like me! I found myself saying, “Why is God not answering me? Is He not listening to me? Why don’t I have the promotion? Why am I still overweight? Why is my marriage still not thriving? Talk to me God!”

The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands.” (Habakkuk 1:5-6 NLT)

The Lord spoke to me and told me He is working my situation out for my good. He is building up relationships and even things I thought were not repairable, He is repairing them. He has placed me in a new job that requires that I step up and become a leader very quickly- promotion. He is teaching me discipline when it comes to food and that in order to live a healthy life in Him and on earth I need to exercise. As of today I have lost 30 pounds with many more to go. As for my marriage that God joined together, we are under construction and He is molding us into the people of God that He wants us to be. God told Keviyona I am about to blow your mind!

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:1-3 KJV)

I decided that the microwave way of doing things wasn’t what God wanted for my life. I decided to wait and even though it seems like an eternity to me, it is not a long time in God’s eyes. I did not give up waiting for the Lord. And He turned to me and heard my cry.  (Psalms 40:1 NLV)

Dear Daddy,

I want to thank You for teaching me that fast and quick is not always what is best for my life. Thank You for teaching meBut they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) God I am being patient and waiting on You to lead and direct my path because I am nothing without You. God I want You to continue to teach me that patience is a virtue. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pray and ask God for the desires of your heart and wait. If you wait and lean not to your own understanding, God will show up and show out. I dare you to be patient on your job, in your home, with your marriage, with your family and friends, with your prayer request and watch God do the work. I EMPOWER you to unplug the microwave in your mind, relax and let God work it out. I know we live in a fast paced society but God works in His time and His time is always the best!

Take a moment to share how waiting on God has blessed you.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Confessions From An Impatient Christian

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Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Black Music Month Series, Marriage, Purpose, Single Parents, Submission

You Can’t Be the Man!

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

I can’t lie, when I first got this Fantasia CD, I would often listen to track three, ‘Man of The House’ on full blast, and often on repeat.  It was a bit of an anthem, because I could definitely relate to some of the lyrics (and I convinced myself that I could sing them pretty well too).

The chorus of the song goes like this: 

(If you gone) be the man, 
then be the man, 
cause if you can’t 
Baby I can, 
I can and I will so 
figure it out. 
Which one of us gone be the man of the house?

Yes, Tiffany was in the car and on the treadmill singing to her man to be, that if he can’t be the man, she can! One day God said, really?! Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-24 NIV) The Bible calls us to be submissive to our husbands and allow them to have the lead role! According to the Word, there is nothing to figure out!  No Tiffany, you can’t be the man!

That’s just a little bit of the independent, don’t need a man anthem that I was in love with! The first verse:

 If we don’t got it, I’ll go get it (it ain’t a thang)
And if it’s broken, I’ll fix it (I don’t complain)
But now see it’s gettin’ a little out of hand, 
Cooking, cleaning, providing taking care of little man
You want to talk about who’s wearing the pants
Baby, well I don’t understand

Since I am single right now, this verse is very descriptive of my life. I am sole provider for my boys and myself, cooking, cleaning, fixing, and anything else that needs done.  However, the role of a single woman and one with a husband (or man as Fantasia refers to him) are very different.  “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Titus 2:4-5 NIV) How can we expect our husbands to assume their responsibility when we are not willing to let them? Society, the media, and those around us constantly encourage us to be strong, independent, and not need a man, and then we are left to wonder why we are still single.  We can’t allow such trivial things to weigh so heavily on the way we live our lives as women of God! You can’t be the man!

The Word is clear on the role of the ‘Man of the House’ as well. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of fullrespect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)  (1 Timothy 3:3-5 NIV) We have to be careful of who we assign this role. If God doesn’t have His hand on him we could be left confused, as Fantasia is in the song!

I still love the song, though I know that its meaning isn’t as literal for me as it had been at one time, because I recognize that I can’t be the man!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the gift of discernment and understanding through Your word.  I thank You for the strength to be all that I need to be for my family while I don’t have a husband in the physical realm.  Please prepare me for the husband that You will bless me with if/when You see fit, and mold me into the woman that will allow him to be the Man of the House that You call him to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to let the man be a man! Whether you or single or married, allow the men in your life to take on the role that God has called them into, by being careful that you are only taking on the one that He has called you to.

As you listen to Fantasia’s ‘Man of the House’, remember who the REAL man of your house is!

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Fornication, Marriage, Sex, Sin, Singleness, Soul Ties

No Forno

Does God ever tell you to do something and you just keep putting it off because you really don’t want to do it? Well, today’s EmpowerMoment is just that. He told me a couple of months ago to write this and I didn’t feel like everything that was going to come along with it: transparency, in-depth studying, and intense spiritual warfare. But today I surrender…

A while ago I was having a conversation with a very close friend, who happens to be single. We were talking of her struggles of remaining celibate and how those around her weren’t struggling at all because they had taken on an “I can do what I want to” attitude. Deep into our conversation we made a thought-provoking discovery – We had often been told not to engage in pre-marital sex, but no one ever really explained to us WHY we shouldn’t. Yes, the WHY was simply because God said so, but for so many of us who have the “I can do what I want to” attitude, that WHY just doesn’t cut it.  Oftentimes, we like to think that God put a rule in place to withhold something good from us. However, the truth of the matter is that God’s ordinances are in place to withhold the bad ‘somethings’ from us. Let’s take a look at exactly what I mean…

WHY He said NO FORNO:

  • Every time we engage with a new partner, our souls become tied with the soul of that person. Imagine tying your shoe string. You may put a double knot in it to keep it from coming undone easily. If you tie it into a third knot, it just became harder to undo. When there’s a fourth knot, you may just have a permanent mess on your hands that will have to be cut and/or damaged to take apart. The same is true of our souls. Some of us have created quite a mess of knots . The only way to undo soul ties is to BREAK them and at the site of the break, a mending and re-growth must occur. Yes, they can be undone, but the process is often a painful one. God knew how painful it could be, and He didn’t want you to experience that. That’s WHY He said no sex before marriage. He intended ONE knot to be made between a husband, wife and Him. “…for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT)

         (For more on soul ties, see Ain’t No Feeling Like… )

  • When we have sex with someone who is not our husband, we strike a deal with the devil that we cannot make good on.Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV) Every time we engage in any type of sinful behavior, we strike a deal with satan. We let him know that at this precise moment, I feel like playing on your turf. The sad thing, however, is there is  a huge price to play on the enemy’s side.  The devil knows that your soul could never be his so he comes after your body. The problem is when you give into temptation, you’ve just made a wager with a possession that doesn’t even belong to you. You cannot make good on your exchange because you have nothing to give. Your body is not yours! And what happens when somebody owes you something and they don’t make good on their end? You torment them until they give in. The enemy torments you with feelings of guilt, shame, condemnation, low self-esteem, etc with hopes that you cave in. Yes, we have power over the enemy and we can cancel his attacks in Jesus’ name, but the consequences of our behavior can be very painful.  God knew how painful it could be and He didn’t want you to experience that. That’s WHY He said no sex before marriage!
  • Our present actions affect our future blessings.Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.” (Jeremiah 5:25) Yes, your sinful lifestyle can hinder some blessings from coming your way, but it goes much deeper than that. Most of the single women reading this desire to be married. As a married woman, who used to fornicate, let me be 100% honest with you. That lifestyle affects your marriage. You bring demons (i.e. the people you slept with) into your marriage and until you have the courage and ability to renounce and slay every wicked thing that is seeking to destroy you, you will not enjoy the fullness of marriage as God intended. Those demons affect your sex life with your husband, they torment you with guilt and shame, and even make you second guess  your worthiness to be married. They literally rob you of the blessing of marriage that God gave you. And let’s not forget the demons that your husband may bring. Your warfare as a married couple is intensified due to your previous actions. Again, your story does not have to end here, as you have been given power to tread on the enemy’s head. However, the process to restoration can be a painful one for both you and your spouse. God knew just how painful it could be and He didn’t want you to experience that. That’s WHY He said no sex before marriage.

You see, God isn’t trying to keep us from having a good time; He has boundaries in place to ensure that we are protected at all times. After all, “every good and perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17 NIV) And I am sure we all can agree that sex qualifies as GOOD! 😉

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for sinning against Your Word and engaging in sex outside the confines of marriage. I admit that it is not easy for me to stop, but with You and through Your power, I can do this! Please give me the desire to want to stop fornicating, and then give me the courage and power to put that desire into action. Help me to break any soul ties that my careless behavior has formed. Please heal my heart and soul from any damage caused by sinful acts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to embrace a NO FORNO lifestyle. Is it easy? Absolutely not! Can you do it? Absolutely! God is waiting for you to surrender it over to Him.

Are you on a celibacy journey? Share your triumphs below so that other women may be encouraged.

Join the No Forno movement by clicking here.

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 Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.