Why wait?

waiting

Why would God give us something that feels as good as sex and then ask us to wait? Once we get our first good hit, we’re hooked and looking for the next one. Reminds me of when my brother took his first bite of a Krispy Kreme doughnut. He said: “What do they put in these things? Heroin?” They’re good!

Our bodies go through all kinds of changes as we grow up. Sexual desires and feelings are natural in this process. And, when puberty ends, that’s just the beginning. God created sex for us to not just be fruitful and multiply, but to enjoy. To come together as husband and wife over and over and over again. Each time we do, we honor God with our bodies and our marriage.

But, what about before? Before I got married, one of my favorite things about a committed relationship was consistent sex. I enjoyed it with my boyfriend and felt little shame. We were “committed” after all. But, is that the commitment God desires? Our boyfriend is not our husband. Our boyfriend has not pledged his life to us. Boyfriends come and go. Husbands are supposed to stay. I realize now that this is God’s desire and definition of commitment.

Covenant love gets to enjoy sexual relations free of shame and free from the fear of parting ways. Sex is a gift that God intends and promotes for true commitment. These days divorce is so common, I can understand how even marriage can feel iffy in the “not parting ways” department. Mine was. This fact makes it that much more important to me to know how committed my future mate is.

In my mid 30s and back in the dating pool, the Lord spoke to my heart and I had the question for the first time in my life: “How do I date without sex?” “How do I have a relationship without it?” Is it even possible? I mean, what do we do instead? How far is too far? What’s ok, what’s not? How will we connect? How will our love grow? To me, that was all part of being and growing in a relationship. And, once I’d crossed that line, what was the point in not crossing again?

Then, the questions: How would I want my daughters to date? Wouldn’t I want them to know it’s possible? What example do I want to set? How does grace play in? I hadn’t held back since my teens. So, I thought I’d write to share my struggle with you. If it’s hard for you, I get it. I’m living it. And, I’d love your tips if you have any. This is new and very difficult territory here.

My best tips are communication and peace. Communicate with God. Ask Him for help and guidance. Have the “talk”. Let your dates know up front that it’s your desire to wait. If they bail, you know early! If they have the same desire, Hallelujah! They can and should help you. If they don’t, they’ll go elsewhere. Don’t expect it to be easy for them either. You will both struggle. But, it will be together.

Keep talking as your relationship progresses. It will grow in a completely different way. Let peace be your guide. If you have it, you’ll know. If you don’t, you may be going too far. Communicate again with God and each other. Because, there is so much more to it…

You are not alone. There are Christian singles out there with the same desire to honor God with their lives, hearts, and bodies. Both men and women. They are out there, but few and far between. It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be. It’s so difficult in fact, that it may prohibit some from dating at all.

If you find someone who is willing to battle this with you, they are willing to fight for you. They know, like you, that in order to get to the other side with someone who respects themselves and desires to honor God is worth that wait.

Your willingness to communicate your desire to wait has to be stronger than the fear of embarrassment or rejection. In this case, you have to look at rejection as a blessing. The man who honors you, honors his Father in heaven. And, that’s the kind of guy you’d want for your daughters, right? A man who knows how to cherish, protect, and wait for what he wants most too. And, that’s you. A woman who knows her worth and God’s definition of commitment.

Your heart is the ultimate benefit after the ring. Add that to the other benefits and that’s a marriage to cherish!

 

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Speak!

speak

Who made you feel like your voice doesn’t matter? Like it doesn’t count?

God used Moses who stuttered and was afraid to speak. He tried to get out of it. He even asked God to send someone else. He was afraid and felt incompetent, yet God promised His help.

Moses spoke to the Lord. He said, “Lord, I’ve never been a good speaker. And I haven’t gotten any better since you spoke to me. I don’t speak very well at all.” The Lord said to him, “Who makes human beings able to talk? Who makes them unable to hear or speak? Who makes them able to see? Who makes them blind? It is I, the LordNow go. I will help you speak. I will teach you what to say.”  Exodus 4:10-11 (NIRV)

In spite of Moses’s insecurities, God used him to DELIVER His people from the Egyptians. Moses spoke. His words delivered…what a testimony to tell.

Fear paralyzes my vocal chords. Can you relate? It’s like I can almost feel the enemy strangle me when the truth of how I’m feeling wants to come out. Be free and know that choosing not to speak your truth doesn’t necessarily protect you, it just leaves people in the dark. They don’t KNOW, if you don’t tell. We can’t hold people accountable for something they don’t know. I was SO guilty of this thinking…”Well, they should KNOW that hurts. They should KNOW what I like and don’t like. They should KNOW what I need.” Newsflash! They don’t.

Yes, they should know you deserve respect and honesty. But, they don’t know your preferences, likes, dislikes, or necessities unless you clearly communicate them. I used to think this was rude or selfish, now I see that it’s just plain common sense and necessary. Speaking your truth respectfully is quite the opposite of rudeness and actually mandatory for mutual peace and understanding.

If you struggle with this like me, remembering our value and respecting ourselves, is the best remedy I’ve found. Remember that your opinion, whether agreed with or not, is just as important as the next guy’s. Remember that God created and died for you just like He created and died for the person you are afraid to speak to. Remember that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Remember that we should be respected whether we work for you, with you, or because of you. Remember that we don’t have to befriend or trust a person to treat them respectfully. Remember that just because someone chooses not to befriend or confide in you, you are still worthy of being treated respectfully. Remember that even when you’re wrong about a situation or have been misinformed, you are still worthy of respect and understanding. We all make mistakes. Remember these….and I need to as well.

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Speak your mind. Speak your truth. God gave you a heart, a mind, and a mouth to communicate with. We are always learning and hopefully growing. Don’t let your moods, thoughts, and words go haywire before laying them out before God, but once you have, don’t let fear hold you back. He gives us power and strength to speak. Your words may be His words. He may use you to correct a situation or touch a person’s heart. God used Moses and He can use you too.

Speak, dear one…..we’re listening.

 

Why Ya Gotta Be So Rude?

excuse me

“Why ya gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too?” This song is so catchy right now. I can’t help but turn it up and sing along…and it got me thinking (fancy that). We don’t know the story behind why the dad is not giving his blessing to marry his daughter. He may have a very good point. We also don’t know if she even wants to marry the guy or if Dad’s replying truly rudely or just being protective and direct….but I DO love the premise behind the song. Why do people have to be SO rude?

I’ve come to realize that blatant rudeness is just disrespect plain and simple. It shows lack of self control, lack of decency, lack of respect…just lack. I used to be attracted to rudeness, maybe because I thought it showed superiority in some way. I just assumed if the person was rude they had every right to be. Now, I see things very differently. I’m completely repelled by rudeness, it’s just not necessary. There are ways to do and confront hard things without being rude.

Turns out you can disagree with someone and not be rude. You can express your own personal opinion and not be rude. You can say “no” and not be rude. You can confront really hard issues and not be rude. People will respect you SO much more if you can express yourself, be yourself, stand up for yourself and NOT be rude. It may be extremely tempting to roll out the rudeness, but it’s just not necessary. It’s disrespectful.

If you disagree, express, decline, confront, or end something in a polite manner and the person is offended and angry, that’s their problem. You have every right to make decisions in your life and they do too. It’s HOW we navigate these situations that show respect for others and ourselves. Remember to respect yourself, we people pleasers have a very hard time with this one….

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

Be you, be strong, but be POLITE! Thank you 🙂

Daddies and Daughters

daddy

This is the best list that I’ve come across to explain the importance of how much daughters look to our daddies for love in the form of approval, acceptance, grace, tenderness, and direction. We CRAVE it. Our earthly fathers have a tremendous responsibility in shaping our hearts for the future. We look to you first for acceptance and approval (especially when we mess up). We look to you to determine our self worth.

Before we learn to seek and look to our Heavenly Father for our sense of worth, we look to YOU. This is why we tend to turn to men that treat us like you do for comfort and eventually marriage. This is why it is SO important when we are young for us to truly feel your love. If you get the privilege of raising a daughter or stepdaughter, learn to love her in her language (it’s probably different than yours), show her how to be treated and what to accept and not accept from a man, fess up when you mess up (this teaches us that humility is honorable), and tell her how beautiful she is (alot)! She will ALWAYS look up to you. She will learn about who God is to her by the way you treat and value her. She will ALWAYS love you fiercely.

Here is the list:

1. How you love me is how I will love myself.
2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.
3. I learn how I should be treated by how you treat my mom, whether you are married to her or not.
4. If you are angry with me, I feel it even if I don’t understand it, so talk to me.
5. Every time you show grace to me or someone else, I learn to trust God a little more.
6. I need to experience your nurturing physical strength, so I learn to trust the physicality of men.
7. Please don’t talk about sex like a teenage boy, or I think it’s something dirty.
8. When your tone is gentle, I understand what you are saying much better.
9. How you talk about female bodies when you’re ‘just joking’ is what I believe about my own.
10. How you handle my heart, is how I will allow it to be handled by others.
11. If you encourage me to find what brings joy, I will always seek it.
12. If you teach me what safe feels like when I’m with you, I will know better how to guard myself from men who are not.
13. Teach me a love of art, science, and nature, and I will learn that intellect matters more than dress size.
14. Let me say exactly what I want even if it’s wrong or silly, because I need to know having a strong voice is acceptable to you.
15. When I get older, if you seem afraid of my changing body, I will believe something is wrong with it.
16. If you understand contentment for yourself, so will I.
17. When I ask you to let go, please remain available; I will always come back and need you if you do.
18. If you demonstrate tenderness, I learn to embrace my own vulnerability rather than fear it.
19. When you let me help fix the car and paint the house, I will believe I can do anything a boy can do.
20. When you protect my femininity, I learn everything about me is worthy of protecting.
21. How you treat our dog when you think I’m not watching tells me more about you than does just about anything else.
22. Don’t let money be everything, or I learn not to respect it or you.
23. Hug, hold, and kiss me in all the ways a daddy does that are right and good and pure. I need it so much to understand healthy touch.
24. Please don’t lie, because I believe what you say.
25. Don’t avoid hard conversations, because it makes me believe I’m not worth fighting for.

“It’s pretty simple, really. Little girls just love their daddies. They each think their daddy hung the moon. Once in a while when you look at your little gal twirling in her frilly skirt, remember she’ll be grown one day. What do you want her to know about men, life, herself, love? What you do and say now MATTERS for a lifetime. Daddies, never underestimate the impact of your words or deeds on your daughters, no matter their age.”

This is priceless information. So true!

Which Language Do You Speak?

umbrella

There’s a very well known book by Gary Chapman called “The Five Love Languages”. Great read! The five languages are as follow:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Physical touch
  • Acts of service
  • Gifts

If you’re like me, they are all wonderful! Where can I get more of all of the above please? They are all important in showing love. But, usually, there are a couple that stick out to us personally. If you’re married, ask your spouse what their love language is and do a lot of it. Love is sacrifice and it’s when you don’t feel like it and do it anyway, that you are showing true sacrificial love. Putting the other person’s needs before your own is sacrifice.

In a perfect world we would all marry a mate with the same exact love language as us, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to work that way. Opposites do attract and what we do in the beginning starts to fizzle out in time. When we are dating, the acts of love are flying off the shelf. It just comes naturally to do all of these when we are infatuated and hoping to impress a possible suitor. We seem to get it all, but it’s what we get AND give in the long run that counts.

If you are dating and considering marriage, it would be a great idea to find out what that person’s love language is and be honest with yourself and the other person if it’s not something you can see yourself dishing out a lot of. If they love physical affection and you’re not big on it, it may cause a problem down the road. If they are super picky about how the house is cleaned and acts of service is their language, watch out.  There’s nothing wrong with someone’s love language if it’s different than yours, it’s just part of what makes them tick, but be aware of what you’re getting into.

We tend to speak the love language that we most desire to receive. Your attempts to show love may fall on deaf ears if they don’t speak your primary language. It takes a conscious effort to think about what would show the other person we love them instead of giving them what we want for ourselves in return.

Learning someone’s love language is not just important in romantic relationships, but our kids, friends, and parents have them too. Love is not just a feeling, it’s an action. It’s something we DO for another. My primary love languages are time and touch. What’s yours? Investigate and try it out. Show someone some love today!