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.

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God, God's Love, Inspirational, Single in the City Series, Singleness

Single in the City 8: Spring Fever

Yes, it is back!  Based on the blooming flowers, warm weather, and abundance of pastel colors in retail stores it is safe to say that spring is here!   Now that the frigid temps of The Cold Winter have come and gone, single women everywhere must brace themselves for those ugly side effects of “Spring Fever.” 

Almost every where you go people portray spring as this fun-filled time of the year to enjoy nature.  Great weather encourages walks in the park and picnics in the shade, but let’s be honest ladies–to seal the deal and make it worth your while, you need to have a male companion.  This is what spring fever does to us. Whenever the sun is shining bright and there is a slight breeze in the air we start to think of all the awesome activities that we could be doing with the opposite sex. 

It is so easy to focus on how much better life can be with a boyfriend/ husband but STOP!!!  Proverbs 23:7 clearly states that so a [wo]man thinketh so is [s]he.  Once the enemy gets us caught up in those dreadful symptoms of Spring Fever it is only a matter of time before we start to lose hope in the promises God has for our future.  “And this expectation will not disappoint us.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5 NLT) As always, single ladies, God knew I would get to the point where I would yearn for company but He always makes provisions. 

The biggest problem with being ‘Single in the City’ is that I get consumed with the commercial idea of being in a relationship and forget that I have been in one for the majority of my life.  I have actually been engaged in a love triangle with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for over 15 years!  I must admit that it has been the most fulfilling relationship ever. They listen more than they speak, when they do speak it is of substance and extremely relevant, they lead me through rough times, and carry me when it gets to be too much.  I don’t know about you but I am willing to wait it out because the soul mate God has for me will be strategically designed by my Daddy who knows me best!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for forcing me to realize that the only way that I will beat the Spring Fever blues is to counteract it with more of You.  You chose to stay in a relationship with me even when I chose otherwise and for that I am eternally grateful.  Please help me to keep my heart and mind focused on the love we have for each other and I’m certain this single thing will be a breeze.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Single gals, I EMPOWER you to shake that Spring Fever.  Instead of thinking of all the things you can do with a male counterpart, channel that energy to advance your “love affair” with God to a full blown LOVING relationship.  His feelings have been on the table for a while and it’s time for you to pour yours out as well.  Be Blessed 🙂

Single ladies, how are you beating the Spring Fever blues? Share it with us below.

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there.  Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

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, Singleness

Best of 2011: #10 – Single in the City: Ready for Love

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!

As I’ve stated twice before, one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever encountered was being a single, Christian woman but I never mentioned the hardest event to attend as a single woman…WEDDINGS!!  A few weeks ago a friend from college met his beautiful bride at the altar to exchange vows before God, family, and loved ones.  Truthfully, I was very happy for him but I could not help but to think about my future husband. 

Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions but it is very easy to lose focus as a single guest.  As the ceremony commenced I was deeply involved in a dispute with God in my head.  I eagerly questioned God when was it going to be my turn?  Where is my husband?  When am I going to be able to start planning my dream wedding?  Why everyone else and not me? I desperately wanted God to know that I am READY FOR LOVE!!

Just as India Arie poured her heart out on the lyrics to that song, I poured my heart out to God.  The entire wedding was a bit much for me as my emotions were torn.  Eventually I put aside my feelings and decided to chime in on the celebration.  However, once the wedding was over and I was on my way home, I chose to have a real conversation with Jesus and not just a one-sided interview like before.

As I drove back to Nashville, He revealed something to me that was a slap in the face.  “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 KJV)  It was at that moment that I realized that I can be READY for love forever but being patient for it is what God expects.  Since God knows the true desires of my heart, why was I questioning the arrival of my husband?  He is in control of the situation but clearly I have not let it go.  The real issue is that sometimes we have to surrender it over to Jesus and let it be while still having the patience to wait for Him to deliver on His promises. 

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your promises.  I know that what You have for me is for me but I pray for the patience to wait for it.  I understand that You have already worked it out but I ask that You help me to stay in position until it is released.  Lord, I pray for the obedience to surrender it to You and allow You to have Your way without question. I am READY for a lot of things but I pray for the patience to wait on my God to see me worthy of it.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, single or married, I encourage each of you to EMPOWER yourself and others to be patient in your situation.  Remember God created you so He personally knows your long lists of wants. He is just waiting for the opportunity to increase your territory but are you going to be patient enough to wait it out?   

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Single in the City 7: Ready with God

Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn” Isaiah 54:17

Blessings, Encouragement, Inspirational, Singleness, Spirit of Loneliness

What do the lonely do at Christmas?

This was a popular song, but also a very legitimate question.  I have found myself asking myself this question as most people prepare to spend this joyous time of year with friends and loved ones I have struggled with feeling lost, sad, depressed, and lonely.  As the Christmas and New Year approaches it is also a difficult time for those who have lost loved ones, and have no one to spend the holiday with.  My grandmother died last year on Christmas Eve so this has brought about some feelings of sadness as well as loss. However, the Lord said, ” I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 KJV).

I have also discovered during this difficult time of the year those of us that are single begin to focus on the depressing reality that we have gone another year without having somebody to share it with.

Isaiah 41:10 NKJV 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.

The Lord will always be by your side and with you.  If you have no one else in your corner you can always count on God.  I speak about things that I am guilty of myself.  I go in and out of a lot of homes because I am a Case Manager.  During this season I found myself encountering negativity and depressed spirits in most of the homes that I entered.  I had to realize that I was in the midst of a spiritual warfare.  The devil wanted me to take the spirits home with me that I was encountering in my clients’ homes.  I realized that I needed to pray before entering those homes to ensure those spirits were not transferred onto me.

Even though many of you may not go in and out of homes the way I do we all encounter these same negative spirits on a daily basis.  These spirits may be in the form of co-workers, family, and even friends.  We may not always see these spirits because it has more to do with our own insecurities than others.  Someone may be simply discussing family plans.  We immediately begin to think about the family we loss.  They may be talking about their significant others and children and we see it as bragging or boasting.  We must not allow the spirit of jealousy and bitterness manifest in our lives.  We must know that Jesus is the Reason for the Season and we must never forget that.

Dear Daddy,

I come before You during this joyous as well as difficult time of year and ask for Your strength and spirit to be with us.  I pray that You will help us to remember that this is a time to focus on You and how You died for our sins.  This is not about how many presents we will get or how much we have.  This is a time to reflect on how much we can do for others and how blessed we are to be able to see another year in our right mind, good health, and peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to take this time to look at the many reasons you are blessed instead of allowing the negative spirits to make you look at what you don’t have.  Reflect on all the ways you have grown in the last years and the ways that would like for God to continue to manifest in your life.  I EMPOWER you in the New Year to EMPOWER someone else.  Show them what God has done in your life and what He can do in theirs.

Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Career, Marriage, Prayer, Singleness

Is This What I REALLY Want?

I’ve had several personal requests before the Lord lately.  There are three specifically that God dealt with me about this week.   1) I want to be financially comfortable to the point that I am able to sow into other people and also help others in need 2) I want a challenge in my professional life 3)  I want the Lord to continue to keep me content in my season of singleness but PLEASE LORD PLEASE, only let it be a SEASON!!  My greatest desire is to be a wife and mother.

“…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

God has really been dealing with me this week on these requests in particular.  First, I got a call from an acquaintance. He was telling me  about his latest financial shortcoming and I found myself rolling my eyes on the phone and thinking, Lord please don’t let him ask me for no money! RIGHT THERE, it hit me “Is this what I REALLY want?”

Second, I facilitated a professional development workshop and the saying is true that teachers are the WORST students! Again in my mind I said, “Oh they can have this foolishness!” RIGHT THERE again…“Is this what I REALLY want?”

Third, my married Godsister and I were talking and somehow we got on the subject of marriage.  She gave me a PROFOUND analogy of the reality of marriage.  That thing FLOORED me and when I got off the phone AGAIN…”Is this what I REALLY want?”

We have a habit of making requests to God and then having in our minds exactly how we want the answered prayer to look.  I want to personally like everyone God uses me to bless.   I don’t want to have to deal with the challenge of trying to motivate my colleagues; I want a challenge that I can achieve without having to deal with them.  Oh and yes, I want a husband and children but I don’t want to have to sacrifice anything or change my ways and habits.  We must understand God does NOT operate this way!

“…from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked…” (Luke 12:48b)

Much what? More of what you ask?  More PRAYER, More FASTING, More GRACE, More MERCY, More GIVING, More WARFARE!!!!  So for those of you who have requests before God I ask, “Is this what you REALLY want?”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for granting me the privilege of making my requests known to You.  Help me submit to Your will even as I present the desires of my heart to You.  Give me wisdom, peace, and strength knowing that, “…You know the way that I take and when You have tested me, I will come forth as gold…” (Job 23:10 NIV) In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to TALK TO YOUR HEAVENLY DADDY!! Thank Him for all that He’s done, who He is, and who He has been in your life, but also BE HONEST with Him and make your requests known to Him.  But remember, “…To whom much is given, much is required..” (Philippians 4:6 KJV) and really ask yourself, “Is this what I REALLY want. Am I ready for what I’m asking for? “  I pray that your answer will be YES!!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Long Eyed Lesson

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Patience, Single in the City Series, Singleness, Strength

Single in the City 7: Ready with God!

God recently blessed me with a job at my church home.  Working in ministry has been a totally different experience than the corporate world yet very fulfilling in more ways than one.  I believe that He strategically placed me there for several reasons, one of which made the perfect topic for this EmpowerMoment.

I must admit that the church office is filled with a GREAT array of man eye candy!  I work in close corners with dozens of men that fit my Christian dating criteria and to top it off they are OH SO HANDSOME.  I have found myself running home daily just to tell my cousin about all the good looking gems that I am surrounded by every afternoon.  It’s almost amazing to me to see so many established, successful black men working so diligently for the Lord! I LOVE it!

However, I must admit being single in this environment causes me to become a tad bit anxious as I wait for my husband to find me.  Just to clarify, I don’t intend to be the Jezebel of the congregation but this is just conformation that what I desire my mate to be and stand for does in fact exist. “Blessed is the man [woman] who preserves under trial, because when he has stood the test, he [she] will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12 NIV)  Ladies, the truth of the matter is that I have to wait on God and have the faith that when the time is right He will do what He says.

Of course it is easy for me to say/write it, but the reality is that I feel that I am ready but apparently God knows otherwise.  So often we as single women just know we are ready to be married, have kids, and a house with a white picket fence but we have to trust that God knows best.  A lot of the time we are so focused on walking down the aisle that we find ourselves taking to relationships with men that we know are nothing like the man that God would have for us.  Well I am here to tell you that your Christian checklist was not written in vain. (See Single in the City 2  for all of the other stuff on your list!) There are plenty of eligible bachelors with those characteristics that you desire but it is NOT up to you to pick him out of the crowd.  For the Bible says, “It is not good for a man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18) It also tells us that “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22 NIV)

With that said, it is not for us to understand, for the God we serve has already appointed the day, time, and setting where you will cross paths with that certain mister that He made just for you.  So stop with all the questioning and just stand firm on the potter’s wheel and allow Him to continue molding you so that when He sends him you are completely ready! Ready with God that is!

Dear Daddy,

Continue to strengthen my faith in You as I wait for You to send me my mate.  Give me hope that he is out there, but most important, grant me patience to wait for him to come my way.  Help me to understand that You are simply preparing me for a loving and lasting relationship, and the work You have to do with me may take a while.  Keep my mind on You during the process.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Single gals across the world, I EMPOWER you to REALLY wait on God to send your mate.  Stop talking about it and be about it!  Let Him have control over this and not just on those things that YOU feel are in need of His attention.  Instead, use that energy to get in position and get READY!

Read the entire series: Single in the City

Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn” Isaiah 54:17