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.

________________________________________________________________________

 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.

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Love, Love, Love Series, Marriage, Relationships, Sex

The Reality of Relationships

“Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.” Mark 10:9 MSG

Relationships bring out the root of our character. Whether it’s spiritual, marital, familial, or friendship, our character is often what determines the depth to these relationships. This past weekend my husband and I went to a marriage conference entitled, “Weekend to Remember.” We witnessed so many couples, even ourselves, having breakthroughs and becoming free because they understood what a true relationship with their spouse or future spouse should entail. Unfortunately, society, secular culture, media, and our imaginations have tainted the true meaning of the love shared between a husband and wife. When I was dating, I had so many misconceptions and unrealistic expectations about marriage. It caused a lot of frustration during my dating years and rifts when I married. Today I want to EMPOWER you to step outside of what you “think” is healthy for the marriage you have or the one you are preparing for, and look to God as the source of abundance and joy in your relationship.

Common Myths that Skew Singles and Murder Marriages:

  1. Difficulties mean we have a bad marriage: It’s not the difficulty that rates your marriage, but the way you respond to difficulties. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” (1 Corinthians 7:28 NIV) Work as a team to face ALL troubles.
  2. I have to make my point: When you respond to your mate, do you use honey or vinegar? The Bible tells us to speak in a way that encourages: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV) I’ve learned over the years that my husband does not respond to nagging (the equivalent of being nibbled to death by a duck). But he responds to TIMELY conversations that encourage him.
  3. Children first, then our marriage: God designed the marriage relationship as the priority relationship of the family. Our marriages should mirror God’s image of love. The speaker at our conference gave some astounding advice. He said children don’t necessarily “need” quality or quantity time the most. They need mom and dad to have it together! This is so true because it breeds security in the home. Children are sensitive and can pick up on tension in the home.
  4. Love has to be earned: The anchor to your love for your spouse or future spouse should not be based on how well he cooks, acts, works, dresses, or interacts with other people. That’s what makes you “like” him. Love is based on the principle of agape love. It’s patience (not forcing him to change or slapping resume` builders in his face), kindness (saying “good morning” or sending a text message that says “I love you”), void of envy (you are not his competitor), non-boasting (refrain from “I cook, clean, AND work! What do you do?”), honor (opposed to punking him in public or acting like his mom), selflessness (opposed to manipulating the finances in secret), self-control (opposed to being quick to get angry), and it’s based on forgiveness (instead of keeping a record, tally, score sheet, note-book, or spreadsheet of his wrongdoings in your brain and heart or reminding him of them.)
  5. Marriage should be blissful: Did you know that some things are not solvable? You cannot change your spouse and he cannot change you. Some disagreements have to end in compromise.
  6. I can fix him: Your husband is not your project! Pick another hobby! Your man has attributes that are indicative of him. God can make the situation work, but when you make it your business to “fix it” on your own, that becomes day one of destruction. Trying to change him means that I do not accept the masterpiece God designed for me.
  7. Sex is not necessary: Did you know that both of you should be “satisfied” during sex in your marriage? I just learned of a story of a woman of 12 children that never experienced an orgasm. She began to pray over her marriage bed and soon, her husband prayed with her. He took on the responsibility of trying to make sex enjoyable for her as well. God filled them with ways of intimacy to encourage oneness in their marriage. Healthy sex encourages oneness.
  8. I don’t need a man to complete me: You should definitely be complete in your decision for Christ before you marry. However, a marriage is a companionship. When there is not a “need” for a companion, your husband cannot see where he fits in. Men have a “need” to complete and fix. If he can’t complete your desire for companionship, he doesn’t see where he’s needed.
  9. Conferences, counseling, and marriage books are only for broken marriages: My husband said something astounding the other day. He said we study for our degrees so we can “know” our fields, but we don’t “study” our marriage. I was blown away because he was right. I know his personality, but I don’t know what it means to be “married” unless I look at two other people that are NOT he and I. Whether it’s your Bible, talks with your mate about your marriage, retreats, books, etc, your marriage needs to be an “intended” focus, not just another feather in your hat.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for bringing some things to the fore front. Father, please help us not to taint our minds and imaginations with selfish ideas and worldly expectations of marriage. Lord, I pray that every wife reading this message is able to demonstrate oneness. Lord, I pray that she sees to it that she prays for her husband on a consistent basis, whether he is a believer or not. Lord, I ask that the Holy Spirit guide our prayers so that they are not selfish. Lord, I pray for every Lady in Waiting and every Wife, that You encourage her to realize that the focus before and during marriage should be You because You give her provisions, joy, happiness, and fulfillment, regardless of circumstance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to love your man with Godly love. Relationships are wonderful, but we can’t encourage worldly expectations if we want a Godly relationship. I listed the myths above to help free you to lavish in the abundance of love. Your husband is neither your enemy nor your competitor. There is nothing worse for a man to fail outside the home and then come home to someone that reaffirms it. God designed us as helpers. The term helper means to assist someone that is not adequate to handle it by themselves; it does not mean slave! Love on him in God’s way and He will move like never before.

Comment on our Facebook Wall or Tweet us and tell us ways you encourage your healthy relationship.

  We continue our celebration of Whitney with her hit, “All The Man That I Need”:

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is 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 teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and 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 energetic three-year old daughter. They attend Vaughn Forest Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here

Relationships, Sex, Singleness, Soul Ties

Are You Settling?

In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!” Isaiah 4:1 NIV

As a single woman, I think it is imperative to do self-assessments, especially when you keep having troubled relationship experiences. Like the women in Isaiah’s time, what are you willing to provide in order for this man to “take away your disgrace”? Look at that text carefully; seven women will take hold of one man. Are you currently in a “relationship” with a man that you know is sleeping with or has several other women?? Let’s be real. We all know the “main chick” attitude. You know exactly what I mean: “Well, as long as he comes home to me, it doesn’t matter who he is out with.”  Even worse, are you in a non-relationship “relationship”? The relationship where a man is getting all the benefits (you know what I’m talking about), yet he won’t even give you the girlfriend title, not to mention the wife moniker?

Let me tell you a secret: I have been that woman, the woman I said I would never be. You know the woman who is in a relationship with a man, but it’s all in her own head. I thought a woman had to be the most gullible chick in the world to ever entertain such a thought. That is, until I became her. We all have been there, caught up in lust masquerading as love. And maybe for you it has developed into love, but for him it is still lust.

This is why God tells us in His Word, “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. (I Corinthians 7:2-3 NIV). Sex is meant to bond you to a man. If you are not his wife, you are setting yourself up for heartache.  

Women of God, you are beautiful, you are matchless. The God of Heaven and Earth sacrificed His Son for you. He pursues you with an everlasting love. Why are you giving yourself to a man that does not value who you are? You are a princess from a line of royalty. You must not live like the unsaved women of the world. Do not sacrifice your spirit for a temporary situation. If that man is using you up and he is not planning (and showing action) of sharing a future with you, then why are you staying? 

If you are in a “relationship”, that has you stressed, worried, crying, and depressed, leave! And like the angel told Lot and His family “DON’T look back”.  As the writer in Song of Solomon cautions: Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires (Song Of Solomon 8:4 NIV). Don’t rush into a relationship or a so-called “relationship” because you no longer want to be single. Be patient and let God provide.  Don’t settle for less than what God has promised you!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for losing focus of Your place in my life. Help me to do as Your Word says and, “Above all else guard my heart, for it is the well spring of life. (Proverbs 4:23) I thank You in advance for hearing and working on my behalf. Help me to show Your Love to other women who find themselves in this situation. Help me to not judge them Lord, but pray for wisdom, peace and Your perfect love in their lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Lovely Ladies of God, I EMPOWER you to take back your life from those who mean you no good. Ask the Lover of your Soul to heal and mend your broken heart. Even after years of settling, you can move on; you don’t have to look like the hell he’s put you through!

Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Best of 2011 Series, Sex

Best of 2011: #2 — Between the Sheets

We are featuring our top EmpowerMoments of 2011. They made us laugh and they made us cry. They comforted us during troubled times and made us uncomfortable in our mess. But most important, they EMPOWERED us to be greater women all around! We are better wives, mothers, daughters, friends, servants and employees. We have been EMPOWERED to love harder, forgive more and listen better. We thank God for EmpowerMoments! Enjoy the Best of Series!

Disclaimer: Today’s EmpowerMoment is for the MATURE and MARRIED folks! We are going to discuss something that rarely gets any pulpit time…

Over a year ago I attended a women’s retreat with my church. I’ve been to several retreats in the past, but nothing as amazing as that purging, life changing experience.  During one of the sessions, the facilitators gave us a packet to fill out. The questionnaire was for not for anyone else to review, rather it was a chance for us to really examine what was at the core of a lot of our issues. (There is something very cathartic about pouring your heart out on paper.) The packet started off with basic questions like your name, age, Christian experience, etc. I was breezing through the questions thinking, “This is a piece of cake!” Then the questions started to get a little more intense asking things about our past…you know those “have you ever” questions that anyone with a checkered past dreads so much! But even those questions were easy to answer as most of it I had already discussed at one time or another. It was until around page 8 that I got a little stuck. The question read, “Are you sexually frigid?” Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what the question meant so I skipped over it to come back to it later. After all, that’s what we were taught in regards to our standardized tests, right? After completing the rest of the packet, I returned to that question and pondered it for a while. I was still drawing a blank. I knew what sexually meant and I knew what frigid meant, but what exactly did they mean together? At that moment, my heart began pounding fast and my throat tightened. That was a clear indication that I NEEDED to know what this question meant. I raised my hand and asked for clarification…

“What does this mean” pointing to the page 8? “Sexually frigid means being cold in bed…ummm kind of acting like you really don’t want to be there.”  Maybe my facial expression said guilty as charged or maybe God moved her spirit, but she instantly slipped into a profound prayer. I’m convinced it was the latter because the things that she prayed only He would have known. Page number 8 forever changed my life and marriage…

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  (1 Corinthians 7:3-5 NLT)

Yes, I was indeed guilty of being sexually frigid. Sex was a pawn that I used to get what I wanted and when things didn’t go my way, I withdrew. Sometimes I would only engage because I knew what 1 Corinthians said and wanted to act like I was obeying it. But it was just as if I was disobeying God because my heart and mind were not engaging with my body.

In her book, For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn explains that men need fulfilling sex to feel loved, desired and confident.  It is important that we give the kings in our lives the boost they need to face the challenges that they meet on a daily basis. I once read this quote that I replay anytime the enemy is trying to convince me that I don’t want or need to satisfy my husband: “satan loves marriage without sex just as much as he loves sex without marriage.” In essence, fornication and withholding in marriage have the same detrimental effect and leave no one happy but the devil! Page number 8 changed my life and marriage in more ways than one. I implore you to take my advice and change yours!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that I didn’t do what you commanded me as a wife to do. Remind me daily that my body is not my own. Give me burning desire for the man who You created just for me! Thank You for the wonderful gift of sex! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER to you get BETWEEN THE SHEETS! EMPOWER your husband’s confidence by giving him what he needs to face the world. EMPOWER your marriage by vowing to have a healthy, active and happy sex life!

P.S. Visit our friends over at Christian Nymphos if you need some ideas!

Read another marriage EmpowerMoment: Who Do You Think You Married?

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.

Black Music Month Series, Marriage, Sex

Between the Sheets

Disclaimer: Today’s EmpowerMoment is for the MATURE and MARRIED folks! We are going to discuss something that rarely gets any pulpit time…

Over a year ago I attended a women’s retreat with my church. I’ve been to several retreats in the past, but nothing as amazing as that purging, life changing experience.  During one of the sessions, the facilitators gave us a packet to fill out. The questionnaire was for not for anyone else to review, rather it was a chance for us to really examine what was at the core of a lot of our issues. (There is something very cathartic about pouring your heart out on paper.) The packet started off with basic questions like your name, age, Christian experience, etc. I was breezing through the questions thinking, “This is a piece of cake!” Then the questions started to get a little more intense asking things about our past…you know those “have you ever” questions that anyone with a checkered past dreads so much! But even those questions were easy to answer as most of it I had already discussed at one time or another. It was until around page 8 that I got a little stuck. The question read, “Are you sexually frigid?” Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what the question meant so I skipped over it to come back to it later. After all, that’s what we were taught in regards to our standardized tests, right? After completing the rest of the packet, I returned to that question and pondered it for a while. I was still drawing a blank. I knew what sexually meant and I knew what frigid meant, but what exactly did they mean together? At that moment, my heart began pounding fast and my throat tightened. That was a clear indication that I NEEDED to know what this question meant. I raised my hand and asked for clarification…

“What does this mean” pointing to the page 8? “Sexually frigid means being cold in bed…ummm kind of acting like you really don’t want to be there.”  Maybe my facial expression said guilty as charged or maybe God moved her spirit, but she instantly slipped into a profound prayer. I’m convinced it was the latter because the things that she prayed only He would have known. Page number 8 forever changed my life and marriage…

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  (1 Corinthians 7:3-5 NLT)

Yes, I was indeed guilty of being sexually frigid. Sex was a pawn that I used to get what I wanted and when things didn’t go my way, I withdrew. Sometimes I would only engage because I knew what 1 Corinthians said and wanted to act like I was obeying it. But it was just as if I was disobeying God because my heart and mind were not engaging with my body.

In her book, For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn explains that men need fulfilling sex to feel loved, desired and confident.  It is important that we give the kings in our lives the boost they need to face the challenges that they meet on a daily basis. I once read this quote that I replay anytime the enemy is trying to convince me that I don’t want or need to satisfy my husband: “satan loves marriage without sex just as much as he loves sex without marriage.” In essence, fornication and withholding in marriage have the same detrimental effect and leave no one happy but the devil! Page number 8 changed my life and marriage in more ways than one. I implore you to take my advice and change yours!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that I didn’t do what you commanded me as a wife to do. Remind me daily that my body is not my own. Give me burning desire for the man who You created just for me! Thank You for the wonderful gift of sex! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER to you get BETWEEN THE SHEETS! EMPOWER your husband’s confidence by giving him what he needs to face the world. EMPOWER your marriage by vowing to have a healthy, active and happy sex life!

P.S. Visit our friends over at Christian Nymphos if you need some ideas!

Turn on The Isley Brother’s “Between the Sheets” and celebrate Black Music Month with your hubby in between the sheets!

Time is running out! Check out our monthly contest by clicking here

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 more than anything. 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.