Idolizing Marriage

So you say that you want to be married. That’s fantastic! However, your desire may be delayed because of your motives. Why is our society so deceived into thinking that they can’t be happy until someone else comes along to give them worth? Marriage is so great, but it cannot complete. Good things cannot fill God’s role. Marriage is meant to be a blessing, but not your purpose on earth.
Okay, before I scare you away, let me get into the point of this blog!
There are so many people out there desiring marriage. That is so good, because marriage gives us an idea of just how much God loves us. Husbands are literally told to love their wives the way that Christ loves us. If that isn’t an indicator on how serious God takes marriage, I really don’t know what is. We are blessed with the gift of sex in marriage which gives pleasure and the ability to procreate. However, the problem arises when we want to be married more than we want Jesus. We seek a spouse before we seek the God who created us. Of course the all-knowing God could tell us who to pursue and who to stay away from, but we simply just hunger so much for the fairy tale love story that we forget all about God. Too many people are expecting a story like Love and Basketball, The Notebook or a Disney channel love story. I think many of us have the idea that marriage carries us into a happily ever after without problems, but is that the case? Every “romance” movie we watch, the movie ends with the highlights! The boy finally wins her heart. That pretty girl finally gives that guy a chance and they run off into pure bliss. The couple who broke up and moved on, somehow managed to run back into each other and fate would have it that their love is rekindled.
“It is definitely God’s will that I get my fairytale!” That’s just how it should be, right?
Wrong. Relationships don’t always go according to our plans….even if we love Jesus. Divorce rates are high just for the misconception many of us believe. You must know that no matter how awesome they are, they are still human. Perfection can only be found in Jesus, so do not hold an extra high standard for someone that cannot fill it. Marriages fail when God isn’t the center, but your idea of how marriage is. You both will have work to do, but you can’t grow if you two aren’t CHOOSING to forgive, love, cherish, respect and honor even when the feelings may fade.
Ever heard someone say they want a Godly spouse or someone following Jesus, but they aren’t even following Him wholeheartedly? That will never happen, you attract who you are not necessarily who you want. If you’re pursuing Jesus, then like-minded people will be drawn towards you; if you’re a lustful person, then that kind of person will be drawn to you. It is not God’s will for you to be with anyone holding on to the world. You two are going in opposite directions if they choose to remain lukewarm or unsaved. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Wait on someone you can pursue Jesus with. Wait for the type of person that will protect your purity and encourage you to seek Christ. So many want marriage so bad that they don’t take the time to evaluate themselves or the person they are with. God does not want us with anyone leading us away from Him. Love does not lead to sin. A Godly man/woman can commit to one person. Be careful of those wasting your time with their games. Do not say “I do” to someone who hasn’t said “I do” to Jesus. Committing to someone that doesn’t love God is only setting you up for a dead end relationship. If the two of you even last, you’ll still find yourself far away from God and that wasn’t your intention.
Are you getting yourself prepared for marriage, or do you just want a honeymoon, a ring and sex? Be careful of doing right things with wrong motives. Paul did say it’s better to marry than to burn with lust/passion (1 Corinthians 7:9), but keep this in mind: if sex is the only reason you are going into marriage, you’re not ready for it. Of course no one will be perfect before marriage, but be careful of jumping into it and you’re not ready for such a great commitment. It should be until “death do you part”, not until “looks fade and you run out of money”. Remember that it’s a lifetime commitment you are preparing for so do not rush into something you can’t handle. Guys, if you don’t want to commit then leave the girl alone. Stop trying to see how many hearts you can break before “settling down”. And vice versa, because some women string men along and try to get attention from him, but won’t give him the commitment that he desires. Divorce is only common because we are seeking guilt-free sex, a wedding celebration, someone to control and manipulate rather than a best-friend we can honor Christ and grow with.
Think about it, your heart is too valuable to just jump into marriage and you weren’t prepared for it. Rushing will lead our vulnerable hearts into sin, brokenness and wasted time. Choose today to be patient, wait on God to lead you and not our emotions that can easily change. His timing is perfect.
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

Stop Chasing Butterflies

I receive many questions from people who want to know how can they tell if someone is the one for them. We’ve made a YouTube video about the concept of “the one” and wrote a blog about knowing how you can tell if they’re the one for you, you should check it out if you haven’t already. However, it confuses me when someone says they’re with someone who’s amazing and loves God, treats them right, but something is missing.
“Well…. what’s missing?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t have those butterflies I’d expect to have.”

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Can I tell you something that you know, but can easily forget? Your feelings will destroy you. Your feelings will have you running back to relationships that God delivered you out of. Your feelings will have you running back to abusive relationships, because you’re focused on memories instead of reality. Your feelings will have you thinking it’s okay to to let your flesh take control, but you know in your heart what God is telling you to do.
DO NOT ALLOW SOCIAL MEDIA, FRIENDS OR TELEVISION TO TELL YOU WHAT TRUE LOVE IS.
If you want to know true love, look at the Bible’s definition of it (1 Corinthians 13). Too many expect life to be like Love and Basketball or The Notebook. All of these Disney and movie fantasies will have you ignoring your blessing that you’re praying about. Many people want a godly relationship, but when they have a godly person in their lives that’ll correct them when they’re falling or lukewarm, they take it as judgement. So you want a godly relationship, but you don’t want God? Some people claim they want true love, but they really just want someone they can post on social media. Just because all of your friends are dating or married, that doesn’t mean God is telling you to do the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being married, but I honestly believe many of us don’t understand that marriage is way more than we think. We have to understand that marriage is a ministry as well and God has to prepare us for it. I honestly believe our motives are what causes us to have our blessings delayed (read more about that here).

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7

I’ve learned that we live in a generation of people that are driven by emotions (see Provers 30:12). We disregard the word of God, and we go by opinions instead of scripture. We don’t like correction, because our feelings are placed higher than God at times.

“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs‬ ‭30:12‬)

There are days when my marriage isn’t all sunshine and roses. I absolutely love my wife and our marriage is great (she said so as well, so don’t think I’m being dramatic lol). However, that does NOT mean we are happy every single waking moment of the day. There are some days when it’s like she can’t wait to hug me, and there are some times when I’m sure her hands just want to hug my neck. If we go by those days when there are no “butterflies”, we’d foolishly think God didn’t bring us together. When we don’t feel those “butterflies”, does that mean it’s time to jump ship? No. It’s time to keep cultivating our love so it doesn’t die out.
Does that mean I’m telling you to settle? NO, PLEASE DON’T SETTLE. I get butterflies when I’m around my wife still. But you have to understand feelings should not dictate your future. Pray regarding that person. If God gives you peace regarding them and He gives you confirmation to keeping the relationship, then don’t give up on them just because you don’t feel happy all the time.
Grace and peace.

No Lust November

Welcome to the first day of #NoLustNovember! Everyone is familiar with “No Shave November”, but I wanted to do a weird twist on it and give Christians something they can relate to. This is a challenge for everyone to jump in on. I’ll be checking for this hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and talking to you all so we all can hold one another accountable. 
Before you go any further, I have a blog on “Fighting Lust” that you can read here if you haven’t already. 

“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs‬ ‭30:12‬)


One of the most dangerous things a believer can do is assume that they have it all together. The Bible says to be careful when you think you’re standing firm because that is when you’ll fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Many Christians are under the impression that they cannot fall into sexual temptation. I used to be one of those. I would wonder how are people being so gullible and consistently falling into the same sin, but I realized with my own struggles that it wasn’t something as simple as I assumed. Then there are other Christians that believe they cannot break that cycle over their lives, but that’s because they aren’t properly following God and establishing boundaries. Understand this, falling into sexual sin is common. I am not saying this to justify anyone’s sinful lifestyle. I am saying that so you can know as a reader that you can overcome in Jesus’ name and you don’t have to keep hiding your weakness. God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Be willing to let go. 






But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:28-29)


When you talk about overcoming lust, many people target the symptoms rather than the real issue. So they’ll be willing to stop watching a certain show, but they won’t end the relationship. Or they will end the relationship, but they’ll still check up on the person. Sometimes we even overcome and then turn back to our filth. What I have realized is, Jesus isn’t a passive God. Jesus was so drastic in His teaching that many didn’t like Him and many turned away. If we aren’t willing to cut off what stimulates lust, are we tired of that lifestyle? No, we enjoy it but we don’t want its consequences. Sin never satisfies, it only pushes you to go further and further away from the presence of God. Are you disgusted with your sin yet? Ask God to remove those desires. Stop entertaining those desires and watch that sinful desire begin to fade out of your life. 
Be willing to examine your heart and take spiritual inventory. Some people shouldn’t still be in your life. Some shows shouldn’t still be on your tv. Some social media accounts should’ve been unfollowed months ago. Are you willing to let go of your past life to embrace what God has for you?




“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:9‬)


What are you going to choose today? Your porn or Jesus? Your fornicating/adulterous relationship or Jesus? Your ungodly friendships or Jesus? Your music that corrupts your heart or Jesus? Your feelings or Jesus? Your lust or Jesus? Your pride or Jesus? 





“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭2:13‬)


This scripture shows us that we as the people of God can easily backslide and choose things that can’t satisfy. The woman who met Jesus at the well was searching for Jesus, but she didn’t know it. No man could satisfy. She went from man to man and still never found true love until she met Jesus. That’s you and I. Searching for something to satisfy, and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to choose lust anymore. 
So what do you say…….Challenge accepted? 
This journey is for everyone, but I don’t expect everyone to participate. If you desire more of God and less of that sinful cycle, then let’s get this party started! Jesus satisfies, trust me. Let’s not turn back. Forget what you did before starting this and let’s go back to the cross and the plan of God. 
What I need you to do!
1. Post a picture everyday with the hashtag #NoLustNovember so we can be engaged together! 
2. Post a verse, prayer, or your journal talking about what God is sharing with you on this challenge. 
3. Don’t judge anyone, just grow! 
4. Don’t quit WHEN you make a mistake. Not if! 
Grace and peace. 

What Happens if YOU Made the Mistakes?

Someone recently messaged us asking for a blog for those who did the hurting, the cheating, the lying etc. It really struck me that I have allowed too much time to pass without mentioning this. Why is it that we love to bash those who hurt us, but not point them to where they can go to grow? This may come as a surprise, but your ex deserves grace as well. They beat you up? Yeah they need grace as well. They cheated? They need grace as well. They dumped you after making you think they loved you? Yeah Jesus still loves them the very same way that He loves you. So this blog may not be for everyone, and I am sure that many who need this blog won’t even read it. But our goal is to help at least one person get restored back into who God designed them to be.
 
Here are 3 things to understand in regards to your past mistakes:
 
1. It does not define you.
Let me tell you something you already know: The devil does an amazing job at making us feel condemned. We all should feel remorse when we fall into sin and disobey God, but that should never define us. I am who God says I am, even if I am still struggling. You may have cheated, that doesn’t mean God won’t forgive you and help you next time. You may have fallen into sin, that doesn’t mean God sees you as a fornicator, liar, thief, etc. There is a difference between someone who fell into sin and someone who deliberately lives a life of sin. Are you seeking God for growth and change? Then good, keep growing. If you aren’t, then yeah you might need to stop playing ignorant to your struggles.
 
One thing I really love about the Bible is it doesn’t set an unrealistic standard on us. God showed us that He can forgive the messiest people, use the most ignorant people and not once does he mention that we have no hope because of a weakness. He shows us that He can help us in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). David was known in the bible as a man after God’s own heart, but David also did some things that no Christian should ever be doing. God could have easily condemned him, but David repented and continued to follow Jesus. That is what you need to do. Stop allowing your past to define you and allow it to push you to God for healing and restoration.
 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10)

 
 
2. People will still talk, but you have to choose to ignore them.
One thing you must realize, if you haven’t already, is that sin has consequences. You may repent and receive God’s forgiveness, but some people will always view you as your past. Some people may never trust you when they know you always lied in the past. Your relationship may have no trust for awhile since you cheated in the past. Your walk with God can be on fire, but people will still remember how you had a baby out of wed-lock. Are people evil to see these things? No, but people aren’t perfect and we tend to focus on the negative very often. Should that hinder your walk with God? NO! After David sinned, you really would have expected him to leave his walk with God. He could have turned away. I know my shame would have been overwhelming, but he repented. He didn’t allow Nathan’s correction to cause him to run away in shame; he decided to get back on track. That is what you need to do if you fell. Get back up!
 
It is sad that we can sometimes receive the most judgment from people in the church. Sometimes that may be the only place you can go to gain some form of peace, but it does happen that you can be mistreated in the church. But that is not an excuse to leave the house of God. That just shows you how much we desperately need God in our lives. I remember being accused of doing something one day. People disowned me, talked bad about me and even told others to stay away from me and that was all because of a rumor that they heard. When they found out it wasn’t true or when they realized I didn’t let it push me away from God, many of them tried to become my friend again. I had resentment at first, but then I realized that I still had to show love to the people who treated me like an enemy. So God allowed that to show me their true colors, He showed me that I needed to guard my circle better and He showed me that I need to have boundaries so I do not place myself in situations that can lead to sin. Just like I allowed God to work on me, you have to do the same.
 

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)

 
 
3. God can use your mistakes for His glory.
God chooses imperfect people every single day. We can go through almost every single book in the bible and find someone who wasn’t perfect, but had a relationship with God. The bible makes it clear to us that God didn’t choose us because we are perfect, but He perfects us into His image because He has called us into a relationship with Him.
Creating a page called “GodlyDating101” was never on my agenda. Let me be the first to tell you that there are days I just want to end it all, stop answering messages, ignore the prayer requests and just stop this ministry. Then I realize this page is not and has never been about me. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of people that message us just to say “thank you” and how this page has helped them. I may never be perfect, but God is using this ministry to develop other believers into His image. My goal isn’t to live a righteous life just because I have a ministry, but to protect what God entrusts me with. But I do know that no matter how messy my past has been and how I may fall tomorrow, God is the one who orchestrated this to encourage others. Please understand you cannot stay down in your sin, you have to get back up and let God use you. There is someone out there that is waiting on your obedience to God.
 

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. (Psalms 37:23-24)

 
 
If you are a person that has felt like there is no hope after how you have treated someone, I just want you to know that there is grace in Jesus. God can restore you. You can get it right next time. God can break that cycle in your life. Get back up again and keep seeking God.
 
Grace and peace.

Words

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)

 
Grace and peace.

HE Is Worth the Wait

It is so easy to become eager when you are expecting something. Especially when you’ve been waiting on it for a while. We fantasize and obsess, creating a tunnel vision in which we see nothing else except for that one thing we know will bring contentment and joy and even security. Nothing else matters until the dream in our hearts become a reality in our lives. We exude so much passion in pursuit of that next job/career, that house, that car, that relationship… There is nothing wrong with going after any of these things but nothing guarantees that they’ll be worth the wait and truly satisfy us until we learn to trust and wait on God. My dad used to always sing this song “There is no satisfaction without salvation”, and never did I truly understand it until now.
 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)

 
Long before my husband I started dating, there were times when I longed for a companion. To be honest, I knew I wasn’t ready for a relationship but seeing all my friends around me in relationships made me believe that I needed one. At some point I even allowed satan to convince me that I was lonely… That I was incomplete because I was single and that what would make me the happiest was to find “THE ONE” for me. I remember being in high school and never having a boyfriend. My “friends” would say I was lonely and some would even encourage me to come to parties or out with them for the weekend. They promised me a life changing experience. But my parents were saved and strict and I knew better than to ask them if I could ever participate in any of those activities. I was miss “Goody Two-Shoes” and I hated it! I was tired of sticking out like a sore thumb and I wanted to fit in so I decided I was going to get a boyfriend. I “dated” this guy in an attempt to “fit in” and to remove the loneliness my friends said I had, but I still didn’t feel like I was fitting in and my relationship did not make me happy because it wasn’t one I wanted to be in. I knew this person wasn’t for me and I knew my reasons for entertaining this relationship were all wrong.
So at some point I had to stop allowing society to make me feel like being single and pure was a sickness. I realized God did not call me to fit in and I would never fit in because God’s agenda for my life required just the opposite. I ended that relationship and redirected my focus on the ultimate one worth waiting for, Jesus Christ.
 

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)

 
I’m sure many others have similarly been where I was. It’s so easy to lose your identity in trying to obtain what the world displays as happiness. What I started to realize is that the world’s definition of a relationship wasn’t a healthy one and relationships do not bring you happiness if you are with the wrong person. And if you aren’t spiritually and mentally mature enough to handle them, they can be destructive. Just because our peers look happy in relationships, that doesn’t mean we should compare ourselves to them in believing that we too need to be in a relationship right now. Who says they are truly happy anyway? You don’t know that. The path God has for you is different from the one He has for someone else so it is important that you stay in your lane and not get ahead of yourself.
Singleness is a blessing, and there are so many things that you are able to do more freely when you’re single that you might not be able to do when you’re married. This is your time to serve God without added family responsibilities and obligations.
 

But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:32-34)

 
I learned to chase Him in my single state and trust Him to write my love story. In my love life and in other aspects of life, I’ve had to learn to wait on God and not get so anxious in obtaining my worldly desires. Once I put my life and decisions in God’s hands, I’ve been completely satisfied with Him and what He’s given. Simply because He gives me His best and His plans for me are far better and greater than the plans I had for myself. He was truly worth the wait, He still is worth the wait, and He will always be worth the wait.
I encourage someone to wait on God today. He will fill your heart and satisfy you like no one else can. All your dreams and desires are so plain and miniscule compared to those He has for you. It’s so crazy how difficult it might be to see this now but we will better understand it as time goes by.

 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 
Grace and peace.

Can Our "Motives" Delay God's Blessings?

“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬)
 
Sometimes, understanding God can be a bit difficult. Jesus promises us that whatever “we ask for in His name, He will do it” (John 14:14). However, He doesn’t always answer when we want Him to or exactly how we expect Him to. Does that mean God is lying? No. Sometimes some things we ask for just aren’t the will of God for our lives, that’s why when Jesus was praying to the Father, He said “not my will by Yours” (Luke 22:42). Even if it is God’s will for our lives, that doesn’t mean that it was His timing.
 
You see, when the Bible says that if we delight in God and He will give the desires of our heart, that didn’t make Him a genie. Many people try to use that scripture to manipulate the hand of God. If you have a child that’s sixteen, straight-A student, they love God with all of their heart, and they even have manners (because that’s definitely rare today), that doesn’t mean the child deserves a brand new car. Are you angry with your child? No, but they don’t need everything they ask for. If that child gets mad and says “but all of my friends have cars”, does that mean they need one? Nope. Too many people expect things prematurely, but that is not always a good thing. Receiving blessings early can do more harm than good. 
 
When the word of God says to delight in the Lord and He will gives the desires of our heart, it wasn’t lying at all. I know you may doubt the word of God when you don’t see it coming to pass immediately. The issue is, many of us don’t realize that when we delight in Jesus, our desires are going to change. If you say you are getting closer to Jesus and you’re still spiritually stagnant or chasing sin, then you’re not actually growing. You see, spiritual growth is evident in every aspect of your life. Many of us are still missing some exes because the part of us that needed them isn’t healed yet. Many of us are still seeking shallow things like earthly approval or “likes” on social media because we aren’t fully aware of who we are in Christ. When you start to delight in Christ, you will never be the same. You won’t keep chasing what you want, but you’ll begin to seek what God has for you. You won’t keep chasing the things that kept you in bondage, because you want to please God. When you start allowing God into your heart, He will push out all of those insecurities, sins, frustrations and stress you have in your life. 

Our Christian walk is similar to a parent-child relationship. The parent, in most cases, is saying things that we don’t understand. We feel restricted. We feel unloved. Some may feel “abused” even when it comes to slight discipline. However, most loving parents do certain things to protect us, we just don’t recognize it at the time. The areas where you feel God is isolating you from all of your “friends”, He’s actually insulating you from that destructive path you were on. When you see that God isn’t sending a spouse yet, God sees that you have insecurities and bad habits that need to be broken.
 

Life isn’t always about the destination, God is trying to work on us while we are in route to that blessing. 

You ever noticed as an adult that something your parent said just never made sense to you until you were in a certain predicament that required it? Here’s a quick example: My parents didn’t play games when it came to the house of God. My brothers and I grew up with two God fearing parents that never allowed us to disrespect the church, talk down to leadership, play while the service is going on, and other things down the line. As a child, you can easily find church boring and try to find a new way how to sneak out or fall asleep without getting caught. Let’s just say, that one of my dad’s favorite scriptures just has to be Proverbs 23:13. Look it up and you’ll understand lol. However, as an adult now, my brothers and I still see the value in the church. No matter if we strayed, we realized where to go for peace. We know where to go to be restored. We know that the world doesn’t have much to offer, and it’s all because our parents instilled some principles that we needed in life.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs‬ ‭22:6‬)

I say all of that to say, God wants to work on our motives. Sometimes, God will withhold a good desire until He finishes working on our hearts. Many of us think all we need in life is a spouse, so He has to help us not make an idol out of marriage. Many of us only want a spouse because others have one, so He works on the envy in our heart. Many of us want to have a spouse just to have “sin-free” sex, so He wants to work on the lust in our heart. Whatever state you are in now, just ask God to work on you. He won’t withhold His promises from us, He just has to prepare us for them. 

 

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

God is able to give us the desires that we have, but not every “good desire” is a “God desire”. When you are seeking God, remember to seek His will over your own. One way to know if your desires aren’t selfish is to ask yourself this, “If God gave me everything that I asked for, would this benefit only me, or those around me as well?”
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

3 Tips to Getting Over an Ex

One of the most common questions/concerns I get in my inbox are typically along these lines: “I was dating someone for a few years and we just broke up…”, “How do I get over my ex?”, and the very frequent “I didn’t mind him/her saying let’s take a break to focus on God, but two weeks later they’re seeing someone else.” 
 
Getting over an ex is not easy, because there is no “on/off” switch to love or how we feel. However, there are a few tips to actually recovering from that breakup.  
 

Spend time with God. 


It will never make sense to me when someone says they can’t get over an ex, but they aren’t spending time with God. If you are spending all of your time reminiscing over pictures and going down memory lane, your heart will always be in that state of brokenness. In the presence of God, there is fulness of joy (Psalms 16:11), there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17), and there is peace (Isaiah 26:3). Of course the list goes on, there is so much we find by seeking God. 
Being in God’s presence places our lives into perspective. In Isaiah 6, the Bible shows us that the prophet Isaiah saw God in the year of the king’s death. Isaiah was a man of God, but in God’s presence realized just how unclean and lost he was without God. However, the part that gets to me is that he didn’t really see that much of God until someone died. Meaning, if the king was still alive, maybe he would’ve never noticed how big God really is. It wasn’t until king Uzziah was removed that Isaiah could have this experience. 
Sometimes God has to remove a person out of our lives for us to see Him for who He is. Sometimes we never notice that Jesus is the most important thing to happen to us until He is all we have left. Relationships easily becomes idols in our lives when we don’t keep things into proper perspective. 
Your worth is not in someone or something you can lose, your value is in Jesus Christ. Your identity is not in your ex, spouse, degree, etc., it is only found in Jesus. Until you learn to find purpose in Jesus, you’ll continue seeking it from others.  
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:1‬)
 

Stop seeking closure/an apology. 


One of the worse things we can do is to only trust God when things go our way. Meaning, it is very easy to love God when He gives the desires of your heart, but will we still obey if He removes that person? To love is to be vulnerable. We trust someone and that gives them the power to hurt us. Is it God’s plan for us to be hurt? No. Is it God’s plan for you to get cheated on or abused? No, and it never will be. However, God allows things to work together for our good; it’s just a matter of will you trust Him?  
Does God restore broken relationships? YES! 
I’m currently engaged to be married, all glory to God because she’s pretty amazing, and I tried to pursue her once before around 2011. It didn’t work out. Thankfully, it didn’t end on bad terms. The timing was just off, so it didn’t happen. I’m glad it didn’t though because I was clueless on how to be in a serious relationship (it’s not even easy now), all of this is a learning experience that Jesus has to help us through. So God protected her from my immaturity, selfishness, etc. and allowed us both to just focus on His plan. She finished school and I ended up joining the military and finishing school here now. I wouldn’t say God didn’t open that door so we could get degrees first, but He didn’t let us get what we desired because His plans were better than ours. So I understand that God can mend broken relationships, just stay focused on Him and let Him do the mending, not your emotions. We should be sure God is the one who led us back to an ex, not loneliness. 
Does God restore all broken relationships? NO! 
Many people ask me daily, will God send back my ex (this is after mentioning a relationship that doesn’t appear to have had God as the focus), and all I can do is simply think is, “why do you even want them back?” Of course I wouldn’t say that, because we all sometimes are addicted to what’s destroying us. My point is, most times relationships end because they weren’t ever in God’s plan to begin with. If you tell me that they are only after sex, in my opinion, God didn’t send them. If they only want they can get from you, they don’t love you. If they’re willing to drop you whenever they’re bored or there is an argument, that was NEVER love to begin with. 
Sometimes you have to learn that some relationships are temporary and you only hurt yourself when you refuse to let go. We will outgrow some people that come into our lives, and that is okay. Some people only pretended to love God to get your attention, but you can’t become lukewarm to keep them. If you have to sin to get them, you’ll have to continue compromising to keep them. 
Why do we as humans hurt others? Not because we are cruel, but because of sin. So we have to show grace to those who hurt us, but we also have to realize when God is the one who delivered us from a relationship.  
 
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” (Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬)

Stop checking on their every move.


I’m not saying you have to delete numbers and unfollow someone if you two stop dating, but you have to give yourself space to heal. Trying to figure out why they chose someone else will hurt you. Checking their page to see if they’re miserable shows you’re not healed. If they’re happy, you’ll only feel jealousy or anger. Unplug from social media, stop reminiscing daily and then just sit in God’s presence. They’re doing just fine, pray for them and move forward. 
Can you imagine how much we work against God when we pray, “God please give me the strength to get through this breakup”, then turn around and check your ex’s page (or their families so you can be more “discrete”)? We are basically slowing down what God wants to do. It is not God’s will for you to be bitter. 
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬)
If you took none of my advice, please hear this part: God will not remove anything from your life if He wasn’t protecting you, or giving you better. Trust God’s plan. Sometimes we orchestrate our own life and then bring it to God as if He should cosign to our emotional/spiritual downfall. God knows best, just learn to trust and obey. 
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

How do I Know If They're "the one"? 

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.

Dealing With the Root

I don’t know about everyone else, but I know my struggles. They are clear as day and I know where I need to make adjustments even though sometimes I may pretend to be blind to them. My question that I want you to answer to yourself truthfully is this: Do I have a reoccurring sin or struggle in my life that aims to weigh me down every time I try to go forward? Maybe you don’t have one and that’s fine, I don’t believe you but that is okay. The first step to growth is realizing change needs to be made.
So the bible says in Hebrews 12:1 to lay aside every weight and the sin that easily trips us up. A weight is something in our lives that may not be sinful, but they are very well distracting. Playing video games, hours of netflix/social media/or liking material things may not be sins whatsoever, but they become idols when they consume all of our time, affection and attention. Many times I’ve cut off my “weights”, but I realized that in a matter of hours, days or weeks I will definitely be back in the same sin or bondage. Why? Why is it that we can be sincere when we cry out to God and still go back to the same sin/distraction that we know cannot satisfy our souls?

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:43-45)

Jesus lets us know clearly that the spiritual battle we are in is much more serious than some people believe. If God frees you from bondage, that is such a remarkable thing. I praise God for deliverance, but that is just the beginning. You have to understand that God did his part and now it is time for you to do yours. The bible says that this man’s spirit was swept and garnished, but still empty. Too many of us have the masks on that make us look so spiritual from the outside. God cleansed us and it’s even obvious in our demeanor, but what happens when there is no substance within us? You will simply fall back into the same sin later and sometimes things even worse.
For example, if you ask God to deliver you from masturbation or pornography. God can very well forgive you, cleanse you and give you a new beginning. But do you think He can force you to have godly desires? He can push you in the right direction but you have to move your feet. You would have to decide to open your bible and pray rather than engaging in things that could lead to those struggles. Right? If God freed you from that relationship that was just pure lust, fornication and adultery. Yes, He will forgive, but do you think He can force you to delete their number or the pictures? Can He force us to unfollow them and stop stalking their page? You see God knows you will have memories and be tempted to go back to where He delivered you from, but God doesn’t want to cut off your temptation, He wants to strip you of your desire to go back to them.


Three Ways to Overcome Your Ungodly Desires

  1. Stop acting like you do not know it’s wrong.
    1. God will not send you anything to distract you from Him.
    2. If you have to hide, cover it, or keep it secretive, it needs to go! David never wanted Bathsheba’s husband to be around until he didn’t want to take responsibility for the child that he shouldn’t have brought into the world. David was warned by his men before he sent for her, he knew she was married. Never ignore your warning.
    3. Many times we know within ourselves something feels wrong, but we try to avoid the voice of God. That isn’t just your conscious bothering you, that’s God telling you to stop playing with fire! We cannot twist scripture to justify our lifestyles, we must use scriptures to transform the way we live.
  2. Replace it!
    1. I’ve cut off many things, connections and environments to get closer to God. Sometimes I’ve returned right back to it, which is ridiculous. We have to replace these ungodly desires with ones that please God.
    2. Letting go of a lustful relationship is great, but what are you going to do after? So many of us “cut someone off”, but we never use our new free time to spend time with God. So now all of your free time is spent going through old pictures, reminiscing, and thinking about them. Eventually your body will go after what your heart and mind is focused on.
    3. Let’s say you struggle with music that you know is filth (I am not going to tell you what to listen to). So you cut off anything that you feel distracts you. However, you never replaced it with Christian music or something that uplifts your soul, eventually you’ll go back to what keeps your heart focused on everything except God. Or you like books like 50 Shades of Grey, you know its trash but you will go right back to it if you don’t feed your spirit with the bible, Christian books, or things that can benefit your mind and spirit.
  3. Consistency
    1. It is easy to walk on the straight and narrow road, but the challenge is in our consistency. We have to let our commitment keep us when the emotions are gone. I can say “I love You, Jesus” at church, but the challenge comes outside of the building and the temptations arise.
    2. Don’t think consistency means you won’t fail, but it means you are wise enough to get back up and get your eyes on the prize.
      1. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9)
      2. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. (Psalms 37:23-24)
    3. The devil knows your weaknesses, he studies us and knows more about us than some of us know about ourselves. He knows what you like and He will wait a day or years to catch us to let our guards down. He will allow you to read this and be encouraged or convicted, and still tempt you before the day is over if you aren’t careful. So it is not enough to be committed today and relax tomorrow. Part-time Christians will never overcome fighting against full-time demons. Keep your guard up.
      1. You may think it’s okay to go back to sinful environments now that you are delivered, but you have to be realistic with yourself. Don’t say you are going to the club to be a witness for Jesus, and you know within yourself that a half naked person can pull your mind right back into sin and tempt you.
      2. Don’t say “God delivered me from being an alcoholic/drug addict, I can handle a drink or two/one puff won’t kill me”. Playing with fire will cause you to get burned. 

Before we think that people need to stop tempting us to sin, remember that we are only tempted when its things of our own sinful nature (James 1:14). You can’t tempt me to steal because I won’t budge, I never struggle with that. There are other things I have to battle with daily. In order to live a life of victory, it’s time to stop entertaining ourselves that keep us walking in defeat. 
It is not that hard to live for God, but it’s only easy when we choose to realize that the things He freed us from were not that great. Sin has temporary pleasure, but never a lasting peace after. Joy and real pleasure is only found when we get in the presence of God; we need to get into His presence if we want to see the proof that nothing this world has to offer is able to compare (Psalms 16:11). People think Christians are slaves to rules, but they are really slaves to feelings, sin and are empty. What we have in Christ is better than what we gave up to follow Him. It’s time to let God deal with the root of our “sin problem”, our deceitful and desperately wicked hearts.
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

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