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Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Plato
As Christians, we have the opportunity to show someone Christ without even mentioning His name. We have grown accustomed to saying “I’m Christian” instead of being Christian. A major way to show the world the love of God is by our words. We should not say things that will cause people to sin or go against the church. Our words should always be graceful, beneficial, and kind to the hearer (Colossians 4:6). Words are very impacting. You can be nice to someone for years, but they’ll never forget the one time you did them wrong. You may be forgiven, but you cannot take back your words. So to avoid the hurt, just learn to limit your words and speak to people respectfully.
Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. (Proverbs 10:19)
Before you speak, ask yourself:
1. Is this true?
2. Is this helpful?
3. Will they be offended?
4. If it needs to be said, does it have to be said now?
5. Even if I’m right, how can I say this without a judgmental approach?
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever made that up was very clever, but that is definitely far from the truth. Many of us today struggle with insecurities because of things once said about us. Called names and ridiculed, and in return leaving many scars. If that is you, I will definitely like to encourage you and let you know that you are good enough, you are beautiful, and Jesus thinks you are to die for. Never let someone’s opinion of you change your reality. God did not make a mistake. Before you speak, think about what you are saying. You want your actions to point people to God, not to insult anyone. The bible says it is almost impossible to reach a person that was previously offended (Proverbs 18:19). You do not understand someone’s battle, so just use your mouth to keep them in prayer.
Here’s a challenge for you! This week, choose one of these 2 ways to impact/uplift someone with your words:
1 – Use your words to share Jesus.
If you love Jesus, why not share Him? Yes, the Bible says they will know us by our love, but how can someone come to salvation if you don’t share the gospel (Romans 10:14)? Talk about Jesus as often as you can. Please don’t be awkward though.
Friend at work: “Hey, would you like to come to lunch with us?”
You: “I can’t, but Jesus loves you. Let me know when you have a minute to discuss salvation and your eternal dwelling place.”
Just please don’t. But pray that God will open a door for you to share your faith, your testimony and share His goodness.
2 – Encourage someone.
Everyone loves to hear kind words, and many of us have a friend that is just always kind. But have you ever reached out to them and just said, “Hey, I appreciate you. You’re a great friend, praying for you. Have a blessed day.”? Be willing to reach out. I know you would rather someone reach out to you, but this is a way to treat your neighbor the way Jesus expects.
You know that they struggle with sin? Pray for them. Try to help them back up, don’t look down on them for their weakness. Use your words to assure them that God is able to deliver and keep them.
I encourage every reader to listen to an amazing song by Hawk Nelson, it is called “Words”. Your words have power. Use your words to bring life and not to tear others down.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)
This blog is long overdue! One too many people have been frustrated with God because He has not met their desires when or how they expected Him to. Many are now in their 30s, 40s, 50s and even older and still message us saying “I really don’t understand if I am missing something. I turn down bad relationships all of the time. I honor Christ with my body and I do my best to stay focused on Him. But I want a wo/man, doesn’t the bible say God will give us the desires of our heart?” And yes, I have received this concern from all age groups, genders, countries, etc. I used to think some people were honestly being impatient and “needy”. But is that always the case? Nope. Some people just have good desires that won’t be met, or they will be and they just have to learn to trust the journey.
Here are 4 things I want you to grasp about this topic:
1– Just because you want to get married, that does not mean a spouse is owed to you.
I believe many people can twist the scriptures so much that they no longer serve God, but they serve their idea of God. I say that because it is so easy to find a bible verse that sounds good, so we try to apply it to our lives without knowing its context or understanding what God was actually trying to say. I literally received a comment from someone that said “We all were created for marriage, and the bible says the woman was created for man.” I didn’t even bother arguing with them or getting into some form of biblical debate, because everyone has the right to their own opinion. Even when they are wrong. We are created for God and to give Him glory. Yes, the bible mentions that God brought Eve into the picture because it was not good for Adam to be alone, but that does not mean every woman born on this earth needs to be married in order to have a purpose. Just because God did not see it fit for Adam to be alone, that does not mean that every man on earth needs a wife before he can do the will of God for his life.
“Well the bible says in Psalms 37:4 that if we delight ourselves in God then He will give us the desires of our hearts”. Yes, it does say that, but it does not say everything that we desire is owed to us. Neither does it say that every good desire in our hearts is God’s desire for us. When you delight in Jesus, you begin to desire more of Him and you begin to desire what He wants you to have. So while you are there spending time with Jesus, He will begin to rearrange some mentalities, habits, actions that you have/struggle with and He will mold you into His image. What if it is His plan for you to be single? So many people are not content, but they believe a spouse will fill that void. That will never happen because a spouse should add to our life, not be your goal in life. Jesus is the only One able to fill the void in our hearts.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)
2 – Some people are called to singleness.
I figured I might as well tackle this topic at some point, because some people really do not think it is possible for this to happen. In the scriptures, there were people that were not meant to be married. Those were the eunuchs. Of course, I am not advocating to having any man castrated or forcing people to remain single. Times have changed, and that is a bit extreme if you ask me. However, if you don’t mind reading Matthew 19:1-12 really quickly you’ll see what I am about to refer to. Jesus was asked about divorce by some clowns, I mean Pharisees, and He dropped the truth on them like a BOSS! Marriage is God’s design, and the two become one flesh that way. They asked so why did Moses allow divorce then, clearly trying to start drama. Jesus told them because of your “hardened hearts”, Moses allowed that to happen. God’s plan is never divorce, and He goes into a little more detail, but I want you to go and read that really fast! Back to my point, Jesus said in verse 12 that some were born eunuchs, some were forced into it, and others chose that lifestyle for Heaven’s sake. I could possibly be wrong, but this is only my opinion on what He was stating: Jesus wasn’t saying some castrated themselves to glorify God. Rather, He was saying some abstained from marriage and sex in order for their lives to be fully dedicated to God. It is possible to be alive and not desire marriage or sex. Don’t feel inferior or weird if that is you. Use your life for His glory. I believe it is also possible that some may desire marriage, but they can be more effective for God while single. Which is why marriage will always be a great desire, but being single is not something you should just shun the very thought of.
Paul was a man that literally changed the world for Jesus. He was so on fire for Christ that he could send a handkerchief and it would heal the person when it reached them (see Acts 19:11-12). However, in all of the great things this man did for Christ, he did something that many refuse to believe is God’s will: he stayed single. Whether Paul was always single, divorced or widowed is beside the point. He said that he recommends for Christians to remain single like he was (1 Corinthians 7:6-8). Of course he was not saying everyone should be single and celibate, because that will mean there is no way to repopulate God’s earth. However, he was showing us that there is so much you can do for God when you are single. If you have the desire to be married, that is a good desire, just be sure that you are willing to serve God with your heart whether single or married.
For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Corinthians 7:7)
3 – Your motives can be the reason why you are still single.
In the era of social media, everyone feels like they are missing something. You follow that dream couple and you wish you could be like them. You are constantly told by friends and family that you need to hurry up and get married. People begin to question your sexuality, your character and everything else about you. Sometimes it feels like the best thing to do is to just rush a relationship. However, seeking something God does not want us to have or rushing into something because we do not want to feel left out will only lead to pain, stress or sin. I have reached a point in my life where, I only want what God has for me. Waiting sucks, we all know that. But what good is it to be married and you end up walking out of God’s will in the process?
I didn’t get into too much detail because we already wrote a blog on how our motives often times delay God’s plan for our lives. Click here to read that full blog that will get more into why motives are a reason some will never be married, or it will simply be a very long time before they do.
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3)
4 – If you aren’t faithful to Christ in your single season, you will still be inconsistent when you’re married.
Some people amaze me at how much they love the idea of marriage, but not the idea of being the bride of Christ. That isn’t to sound judgmental, but we really need to check our hearts. Do you really think that marriage is the time to start living spiritual? No, singleness is the time to develop your walk with God. If I struggle with lust while dating, I will struggle while married. If I am rude while dating, I will be rude when I am married. If I can’t budget and I spend all of my money shopping, I will simply lead my marriage into bankruptcy. Too many people are focused on finding “the one”, instead of becoming the one. I know firsthand that all of my issues before marriage are still issues now unless I address them, learn from them and depend on Jesus for growth.
Not only that, but we must have our own walk with God. Please do not think a “godly relationship” is a substitute for an actual relationship with God. You want a godly spouse? Live a godly life. You want to prove that you are “marriage material”? Start developing yourself as a Christian and mature adult so that you will actually be ready for this marriage that you are prepared for. Some people are single because they cannot be trusted in a relationship. If we are inconsistent with God, we will only love someone else conditionally. If we are not faithful to Him despite His love and grace towards us, we will struggle with the person we are dating. We all mess up, but a consistently growing relationship with God will help you to love others.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21)
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
- Psalm 42:5 & 11
- Psalms 34:1
- Philippians 4:8
- Deuteronomy 31:8
- Psalms 34:17
- Psalms 40:1-3
- 1 Peter 5:7
- John 16:33
- Isaiah 41:10
- Jeremiah 32:17
Of course, depression doesn’t leave overnight. I remember going through the lowest point in my life, because I was ostracized over a rumor. The only people I could trust were family and a few friends. It didn’t make sense to me because everyone that cut me off were so close to me. David said that he could understand if his enemies hated him, but being hurt by church family can be overwhelming (Psalms 55:12). The trick of the devil though is to allow you to isolate yourself from people, he wants you to shut down so you can become an easy target. However, when you feel the most alone is when you need to seek God the most. Have a spiritual leader to lean on and help strengthen you. When you feel no one understands, that is when you need to learn to express yourself instead of assuming that no one cares. I’m praying for all of you who may struggle with this.
Grace and peace,
There are many people in the church that absolutely love Jesus, but have some “issues” that prevent them from being confident in who they are. I pray that we get to the understanding that God didn’t pick us because He thought we were perfect. He understands your issues, but He wants your heart.
There is only so much the devil can do, but I know for sure he cannot silence the mouth of a believer that is focused on on the will of God. Job went through a storm and was determined to still trust God (Job 1:20-22). The Hebrew boys decided to not serve a false God despite being threatened to their death (Daniel 3:17-18). Paul and Silas were in prison and decided to still praise God (Acts 16:25). The list goes on with many people who didn’t allow their confidence in God to end.
“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT)
Even if our hearts will condemn us at times, the Bible tells us the solution to that feeling: “God is GREATER than our hearts” (1 John 3:20). You know that sin that you feel is to big for grace? It isn’t, God’s love outweigh our mistakes.
Let’s dive into a few scenarios that we all have fell into at some point.
1. You have a bad past that you don’t want to be “exposed”?
Many people don’t understand this simple concept, God is not like humans. God does not forgive some of our sins and keep track of the “big” ones, that is what we do at times. God is not saying “I forgive you on this condition”, but that is what people do. The church has to reach to a point when sinners, and even believers that have fell into sin, feel comfortable enough to come forward and seek healing (see James 5:16 and 1 John 1:8-10). And we also must come to the realization that God is a loving Father, not just a judge. Yes, sin should never be taken lightly, but understand that Jesus died for you on purpose. He knew when you’d fall, so don’t be ashamed of your past. Let your past be your testimony.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
2. You feel as though you don’t have the resources or capability.
I don’t know how your spiritual walk has been, but I know for a fact that sometimes I feel inadequate or simply unable to do what God has called me to do. It’s crazy that I’d think that because He’s the one doing the work, I’m just the vessel. We place so much on ourselves and we don’t even realize all that does is take the glory for ourselves. I pray that God will strip away any pride I may have so that I can do His work willingly and with passion, without fear of how it would turn out.
Moses didn’t believe he could speak well enough (Exodus 4:10), but God used him. David committed adultery and caused innocent blood to be shed, yet God restored him and called him a man after His own heart (Acts13:22). Paul used to persecute the church. Peter denied Jesus (Matthew 26:70-74). Jonah was disobedient and God gave him another chance; the guy was even suicidal. Pause for a quick second! You can be a child of God and get tempted with those thoughts! Please don’t cave in to suicide, allow God to give you His peace. Your valley moments are when you need to trust God the most, not isolate yourself. As we were….. God can use you despite those things you struggle with. Paul said God gave him a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Jesus said He would NOT remove the thorn, because His grace was sufficient in our weakness. Quit expecting God to remove those desires and struggles all of the time. God does remove ungodly desires as we spend time with Him. Other times, God allows us to have struggles in our flesh because it FORCES US TO RELY ON HIM FOR STRENGTH. Use your weakness to your advantage, seek God constantly and wholeheartedly.
You lack nothing, use what God gave you. Don’t compare yourself to others, be who God called you to be. You aren’t behind in life, your goal is not to keep up with others, but to be in the will of God.
“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
3. You are still in a sin that you know is wrong, but you don’t want to be delivered.
There is so much to say about this, but the truth is, you may already know it. You know God doesn’t want you out there in sin. You know sex outside of marriage is wrong. You know that stealing, partying, carnal lifestyle isn’t building you up, it’s simply making you numb to the voice of God. I won’t try to scare you straight, because I’m sure God is talking to you already if you’ve read this far. Please, just come home. I say this as a brother in Christ, we need you. There is no such thing as happiness outside of the will of God, it’s only temporary. There’s no peace outside of God’s will, only bondage and a constant need for more even though your flesh won’t be satisfied. Let go of that secret sin, you can’t grow with it.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8)
I’m convinced that since the devil can’t stop us from getting to Heaven, he will try to stop us from fully realizing Who we belong to. We have to understand that it doesn’t matter what insecurity or “issue” we have, God is faithful and will use us if we allow Him. God works on our willingness, not because of how “great” we are. You can make a difference today, will you allow God to work in your life?
Grace and peace,
I think it’s important that as followers of Christ, we have some extent of transparency so that our experiences and the lessons we learn from them, can be used to encourage others to live for and to wait on God. The ultimate goal here is that He gets the glory through the story, but how can He if we keep our experiences to ourselves? So as Tovares and I, go on this journey in transition from singleness into the ministry of marriage, I’ll share what I’ve learned and have experienced so far in hopes that it will be a blessing to someone and also encourage you to wait on God.
For a backdrop on our journey together before you continue, feel free to visit our wedding website www.weddingwire.com/sailingwiththegreys
100 More Days till Forever
I still can’t believe I am getting married. Like when did this become my reality. Because it feels like one day I just closed my eyes, wasn’t looking for anyone, was solely focused on my education and my relationship with God and then I opened them to find a Godly man kneeling down in front of me asking if I would do him the honors of standing by his side for the rest of our lives. At least that’s how fast it felt like it happened. I wasn’t looking for him but he found me and I’m convinced that this was orchestrated by God…
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. Prov. 18:22
Stay tuned on our journey towards marriage, God bless 🙂
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
God does not see things the way that society does. God does not see things the way that we do. Many times we allow people or emotions to cloud our judgment, but we have to understand that there is no peace or clarity outside of the will of God. We can have a new relationship, but we won’t be happy without Jesus. We can look “beautiful” by society’s standard, but we won’t feel happy without knowing our worth is in Jesus. We can even be wealthy, which can buy anything our hearts desire, but it won’t give us peace or love.
Many people have recently been messaging me with dilemmas that are hard to understand. I say that because, many of us would not date a nonbeliever if we understood who we were in Christ and what His plan was for us. If we understood that hell is real (just like Heaven), we would invite people to Christ and be witnesses to more to souls rather than trying to “date them into a relationship with Jesus”. Some call it “missionary dating”, where you get the false impression that they will love you enough to attend church with you. My question is, where’s God in any of that? Dragging someone to church in order for them to get saved all so that we can marry them is a selfish desire that God may not honor (read James 4:2-3).
When tempted to give in to lust, remind yourself that God has something better for you.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)
When tempted to go back to the ex who only led you to sin, remind yourself that God wouldn’t free me if He wanted me to go back into sin.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
When tempted to settle for just anyone saved or not just to not be lonely, remind yourself that God is never going to ignore His children.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalms 84:11)
When tempted to have sex before marriage, remind yourself that the marriage bed is honorable and sex can wait to be enjoyed the way that God intended.
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
You are worth the wait. Your time is to be valued. Your body is to be respected. Your God is to be honored. Don’t feel ashamed if you are the only one doing it, but never forget…. You are worth the wait.
How do I know God’s will for my life? Who does God want me to marry? Are they going to be attractive? Will they workout often? Are they spiritual? Is the person I’m with a blessing or a burden?
These are just a few of the random questions that plague our minds when we are single or are contemplating marriage. There is nothing wrong with taking great thought into marriage, the issue simply occurs when we allow our emotions or our friends to bring clarity rather than praying and waiting on Jesus to give us direction. You see, it’s nothing wrong with me being single, if I’m single and using my singleness to honor Jesus. Meaning I’m honoring God through my inward (thoughts and desires) and outward (actions, entertainment, dressing, etc.) purity. It’s also nothing wrong with being in a relationship if I’m using that relationship to glorify Jesus and not turning that person into an idol/besetting sin (see Hebrews 12:1).
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
The majority of us want to be married, and I strongly believe it isn’t God’s will for anyone to be alone. By alone I do not mean “single”, I mean isolated and having a mindset that you can do everything by yourself. Desiring company, whether that simply being godly friends or a spouse that you can honor God with, is a good desire to have.
“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)
Whoever we date/marry will influence our spiritual walk. Maybe you missed that so I’ll say it again for anyone who hates that fact, WHOEVER WE DATE/MARRY WILL INFLUENCE OUR SPIRITUAL WALK. Too often there are believers that feel it’s okay to date nonbelievers. While that is not the right thing to do biblically (2 Corinthians 6:14 and Amos 3:3), it really isn’t safe. We may feel as though we are leading them to Jesus, but why couldn’t we do that outside of dating? Isn’t witnessing God’s will for us? We are to win souls for the kingdom, not date people into a relationship with Jesus.
For those wondering how good looking their spouse will be…. Of course the person you marry will be attractive to you, God knows that you will see more than their spiritual walk. However, everyone who is attractive or is interested is not supposed to be an option for you. That six pack isn’t a strong enough foundation for marriage. Those curves may look nice, but they do not raise your children or determine if someone respects you.
You want to know how to tell whether someone is “God’s will” for you? Seek God for yourself! If you don’t know truth, a lie will always deceive you.
“All men/women are the same”.. You’ve heard it before, but the reason they’ll keep ending up with those types is because we haven’t surrounded ourselves with God. Evil can’t stand in God’s presence, so the more you seek Jesus is the more you’ll see Him weed out the bad influences in your life. We can study a lie so we know how to resist it, but then the enemy will bring another lie. It’s not enough to understand your enemy, you have to understand Jesus as well so that you can be alert against every possible attack/distraction coming in.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)
Just because we believe in Jesus does not mean we have a relationship with Him. God wants us to keep coming close to Him. We can’t be satisfied with where we are. The closer we get to Jesus is the further we are from distractions, and that’s definitely the easier way to recognize when something isn’t God’s will. If someone comes along trying to get you to do the opposite of what God is telling you, then it is no way that God wants you to be with them (see James 1:13-15).
Grace and peace.