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

My Friends Don't Understand my Walk with God

Living for God is such an amazing experience that we get to enjoy daily. He changes our lives from the inside out and delivers us from many things that used to keep our hearts in bondage. Unfortunately, our “friends” don’t always see it that way. What makes it even worse is when our “Christian” friends don’t support us. I can understand a nonbeliever questioning my desire to pray or fast, but not a Christian. I can understand an atheist saying negative things about my attempt at a disciplined life, but not someone in the “church”.
“Bro, you are doing way too much!”
“Girl, chill. Stop acting overly spiritual.”
“Don’t be so ‘heavenly minded’ that you’re no earthly good.”
“I get that you say you want to do right, but all of those things are just leading to legalism or a self-righteous approach of earning God’s love.”
I have heard these things said to me and to others before; but what if I told you that your friend was doing you more harm than good by saying those things? What if they want to help you, but their “good advice” is not “God advice?” What if God is actually calling you into a deeper place of intimacy, but you will never experience it because of your company?
Anyone that makes you feel bad for being passionate about living for God is a distraction from the enemy. It is best to keep a healthy distance and pray for them, instead of having them keep you comfortable in a stagnant walk with God. I am not advocating for foolish or weird behavior, because God will use friends to explain the scriptures to us and tell us when we are viewing things wrong. I am saying that there should be no one in your inner circle that doesn’t want to see you grow into who God is calling you to be.
Let’s look at 3 major things every believer should do when their friends don’t support their walk with God:
1. Examine your friends.
I’m just going to make this plain, everyone isn’t meant to be your close friend. Jesus is our example of how to love and treat others, and even Jesus had an inner circle. Jesus preached to masses, did life with 12 disciples, and yet He only called Peter, James and John for certain situations. Did he love them more than the others? No, not at all, but He had a different purpose for them and possibly a deeper level of intimacy with them.
If your friends stop you from growing, then you two must address it or slowly drift apart. If your friends are struggling with the same issues as you, then accountability is hard. Instead of having the wisdom to help you out of it or the boldness to rebuke you in love, they will give you a pass (because they are struggling).
So again, check if your friends are growing and keeping you accountable. If they aren’t, they should not be in your inner circle.

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, WITH THEM that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)


2. Challenge your friends!
This is something many never do because of fear, but why be afraid if the person wants to be in your life? Jesus had a rich, young ruler coming to him that seemed to have it all together. Jesus gave him one command, to sell his possessions and give it to the poor. However, the guy didn’t do it, and he went away sorrowful. What I find interesting about this is that Jesus never chased behind him. Too many of us are running behind people that God is not sending to us. If they aren’t willing to meet certain standards or to make any sacrifices, they aren’t willing to be in your life. If you are only valuable to them when it is convenient for them, that is not the will of God for your circle. Stop thinking you can’t push your friends to grow with you. If you aren’t doing so, you aren’t a good enough friend to them.
If I cannot tell you that you’re living beneath your purpose, I don’t love you. I should be able to genuinely say “get it together, you’re better than that” without it being taken as judgment. If you don’t have friends that do that, challenge them to challenge you. Pray for God to send people who will push you!

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6)


3. Be willing to find friends that don’t look or think like you.
This may sound simple, but this is one of the hardest tasks for a person. We will always naturally gravitate to those who look or think like us. It doesn’t matter if it’s politics or sports; we will feel more at ease when the person we are conversing with has things in common with us. Like for me, I have a few friends that act just like me. We can laugh and joke literally all day. The problem with that though is they will have my same issues so they may not pull me out of my spiritual valley. It wasn’t until recently when I started making friends with people who are of different races, denominations, financial status, various cultures, etc. that I hadn’t seen some things with a clear perspective. That’s like me being a guy with a Jamaican background and not going out to eat a lot when I was younger. So now when my wife and I want to go out or friends invite us out to eat, I don’t even know what to pick. Not because I’m super picky, I’m just not familiar with a lot and in need of someone to expose me to it.
How much is God trying to show you, but you aren’t able to see because it looks unfamiliar? How many people has God sent your way to push you into purpose, but you ignored them for being too “churchy”, “different” or too “weird”? Jesus gave Ananias clear instructions on what to do in Paul’s conversion. However, he knew how Paul used to persecute the church. God had to take him out of his comfort zone in order for Paul to be delivered, because he was possibly afraid of the things Paul would do to him. People may not be used to you or you with them, but you need others in order for you to be who God called you to be.

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. (Acts 9:15 ESV)

Your environment will play a major role in determining your destiny. God wants to bless your life and it requires the right people on your team and the wrong people can delay that calling. Not only can they delay purpose, but bad company will corrupt good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33).
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.

Men Know EXACTLY What They Want!

Men know exactly what they want!… Pretty bold statement and unfortunately, most readers are probably already disagreeing with me. The fact of the matter is, a real man may be unsure of some things, but they are never indecisive. Here is proof that a real man knows exactly what they want.
1. Jesus, the perfect man for us males to emulate, was purpose driven. 
Since the day Jesus came on Earth, he had a mission in mind – to redeem us… To win back HIS BRIDE! Jesus received more opposition in a day than most of us will see in a lifetime. Jesus only had a few people in his inner circle, but his love was stretched out to all. True love is when you don’t quit when friends betray you and the ones you are trying to help turn away from you. Jesus showed us that the agony of the cross was worth enduring to get what he loved, us.
2. A real man doesn’t need several women to be satisfied. 
A real man finds his contentment in Christ so he will never seek several women to complete him. He doesn’t flirt around and he doesn’t entertain every random girl who throw themselves at him. He is chasing God, not skirts. He knows loving one woman is enough and he chooses a woman that helps him spiritually.
3. A real man makes his intentions clear. 
If you have to guess what his plans with you are, there are no plans. A man who wants to date you for years before marrying you isn’t interested in you he’s just afraid of being single and just wants someone there all the time. Does a godly man rush marriage? No, but he isn’t going to need 10 years to know if you’re for him because he spends his time with God. God would have let him know way ahead of time if he should pursue you. Ladies, a WCW post and occasional dates doesn’t mean he’s in love. Never allow yourself to give covenant benefits to a convenient person. Men don’t take advantage of women, he respects God too much to mistreat his daughter.
4. A real man doesn’t give mixed signals. His life produces fruit.
Wise men are careful of what they entertain. They don’t want to preach Christ and live a life of sin.He wouldn’t seek a virtuous woman while following immodest women on social media. He wouldn’t lead a woman on if he didn’t want her in the future. He struggles, but he doesn’t allow mistakes to define him. He allows God to mold him daily.
5. Real men work and wait for what they love.
Let’s be honest, we’ve seen guys wait in line for Jordan’s, video games, and other unimportant things like new iPhones. We all know men are patient for what interests them. Jacob waited 7 years for the woman he loved and then was tricked with her sister, and continued another 7 years for her. He wasn’t foolish. He was man enough to seek what he wanted. Don’t think today you have to rush anything, good things take time.
If you’re a man, strive to do these things more. Ultimately, you want to live more like Jesus. Seek him before you seek a woman. If you’re a woman reading this, don’t settle for less. No man is perfect, but don’t feel you have to compromise and lower standards to entertain childish boys when God is preparing a real man for you. Grace and peace.

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The Man God is Preparing for Her

There is a process that every male must go through in life. Many boys never become men either because they allow people to control their lives or because they have never submitted to Christ and allowed him to mold them into the man He is preparing them to be. Men, you have to understand that you must go to God before a woman so He can process you. Ladies, you must understand that you cannot force a man to love you who isn’t ready, you will never be good enough.
1. Boys don’t know what they want.
Every boy has a desire to chase after something. However while immature, he will simply go after what looks and feels good not necessarily what is good for them. Which is why just like a parent, God has to teach him what to avoid and what is acceptable. Men, don’t rush this period. Allow God to develop you. Premature dating will lead to broken hearts or offering women what you can’t deliver.
2. Boys are emotionally driven, men are more focused.
Whenever a little boy doesn’t get His way, he’s either ready to fight, whine or shut down internally. That’s not the man God wants His daughters with. God has to work on him so he knows how to operate under pressure and how to lead a family without emotions clouding his judgment. Ladies, don’t spend time on a boy that has you being his second mother. If he can’t be calm and collected, he isn’t fit to lead you. Remember, love is patient and kind. An emotion driven man is the one who tends to abuse women when he can’t verbally express his thoughts or handle his emotions.
3. Men work for what they want, boys want handouts.
I don’t know how you feel about it, but seeing women in control and babying their man is a disgrace. Don’t get me wrong, ladies take care of your man, but no woman should be supporting a lazy man. Ladies shouldn’t have to be raising their husbands, she isn’t his mother. A real man may not have all the degrees in the world, but he knows how to provide, protect and pray for his family. Men, make sure you’re stable with God. A degree doesn’t sustain a relationship, but a connection to Christ will.
4. Good men are hard to find.
No woman should be pursuing a man. So if you think you found a good one, you did not. A real man understands it’s his role to lead in the pursuit. He doesn’t wait on a woman to come to him out of loneliness but he finds a woman with a heart for Christ and ambition that he can grow with.
5. Godly men are under attack.
If you’re paying attention, you can see that there are more women in church than men. And the men you do see in church are either being pressured into fornication, homosexuality, marriage before they’re ready, drugs, alcohol etc. Some of these influences come from within the church as well. You will never understand the struggles a man faces, they need prayer. Don’t say “there are no good men”, and not pray that God rises up men like David, Paul, Samuel, etc. Your prayer can be the breaking point of God saving someone’s husband, child, father. Men are falling, so many are comfortable in secret sins and honestly feel trapped. Prayer and accountability will bring them out.
There’s a process men must go through, pray that they submit to Jesus before trying to lead a woman or any type of ministry. Grace and peace.
– Tovares Grey
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The Chase

This one is for the guys. I’m well aware that many guys are seeking relationships: some boys just want to have “fun”, but there are some men that are looking for commitment, so I had to write something about it to put some things into perspective concerning relationships.

When seeking a relationship, keep these things in mind:

1. God did not create you to be a player or a pimp.

Do not waste the young lady’s time or emotions with your games. If you want to commit, then do so. If you don’t, move on. It is not fair for any person to invest so much into you and a future they are expecting only to have you treat them as though they never mattered. A real man doesn’t make 100 different women fall in love with him, he commits to one and tries to find hundreds of ways to make her happy. God cannot be pleased with you treating his daughters like toys.

2. Seek her heart, not her body.

Guys, God wants you to pursue a virtuous woman, not chase skirts. Jacob is the perfect example for a man so in love that he was willing to wait seven years for her (Genesis 29:20).It felt like a few days because of how much he loved her. Even after being cheated by her father, he went through another seven-year period of waiting for the woman he desired. Until you two commit to one another at the altar, don’t combine your souls in bed. It just isn’t worth the emotional roller coaster to have your body connected to many different people.

3. Is she even virtuous?

Stop looking at curves, and look for a woman with a heart after God. It does not matter how nice they look, if their heart is not after Jesus than how can they build you up spiritually? Many women call themselves “Proverbs 31” women and many aim to be there, but did you know that not many live that lifestyle? Proverbs 31 does not mention a woman’s looks, it focuses on her heart and character. Be careful of getting a beautiful woman who is lukewarm, more concerned about her fashion and social networks instead of evangelizing to lost souls, or a woman who is lustful instead of spiritual. The person you marry will be raising your kids, are you sure you want your kids acting like them? It does not matter if she can twerk, turn you on or she attends church occasionally. The question to ask is does she love Jesus, is she a role model and can she wait until marriage so you two can remain pure in heart and body?

4. Singleness is not a disease.

It is okay to spend time being single so you can get your life into perspective. Your life does not begin on your wedding day, so live now! Quit waiting on someone to complete you because true satisfaction does not come from man, it comes from Jesus. Colossians 2:10 says, “And ye are complete in him (Jesus), which is the head of all principality and power:. We are complete in Jesus, don’t look for anyone to fill the void in your heart that can only be filled by Jesus. This season of singleness is what helps you become a better spouse. Get your life together now before burdening your spouse with unnecessary baggage later.

5. GET A JOB/EDUCATION!

 Come on, do I even have to say this? Guys, God created you as a leader and provider, quit being comfortable having the woman do everything. It is okay if she makes more money than you, but the problem is when you are lazy or have no ambition, feeling comfortable that you don’t have anything to do. Study, work, learn, excel! Be an example to younger guys and to this economy. Let her know that even if you guys go through a slump or if you don’t have a job at the moment, that you will still spend your time finding ways to provide and lead whether financially, spiritually, and emotionally.

There is nothing wrong with being attracted to someone. It seems as though God wired us as men to be stimulated by sight, but it can turn chaotic if we go about it the wrong way. Your sex drive is normal, but can be uncontrollable if you feed your heart and mind with sinful things. Men are initiators, hunters, and even conquerors. What thrills men is the chase to get a woman, but sometimes that in turn hurts a woman because some men lose interest after they have won her heart and eventually get bored and want to move on to someone else. God said that it wasn’t good for a man to be alone so he made a woman to help him. However, I am well aware that not everyone is meant to be married, and sometimes God simply has a different purpose for them. That is fine, when single you can give more of your heart, time and resources to your purpose. Just know that whether you are chasing a relationship or not, remember to chase Jesus. Never stop following Jesus to be with anyone, whoever you end up with should help you grow spiritually. photo

– Tovares Grey

God Can Heal Your Brokenness

There are three types of people in this world:
1. Those going into a storm.
2. Those already in a storm.
3. Those coming out of a storm.
We have all gone through our share of problems, and no one is exempt from their share of pain or hurt. Some believed that once they accepted Christ they would be stress free, but I believe that’s when some problems actually began for many. Not because God hates people, but times when we have nowhere to run to, we know to look up to Jesus (Psalms 121). Sometimes God allows us to be knocked to our knees. Not to break us, but to give us a reason to start praying again. We all believe we are strong until circumstances come to challenge us, but we have strength in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:5-10).
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (Psalms 34:19)
One of the most frustrating things is to experience hard times when you are living right. I don’t mean the “modern Christianity” living right. I mean you pray, fast, give, love people and you can’t even pay your bills. When you treat everyone nice and people still gossip and slander you. When you’re a virgin and ridiculed about it, even among other “Christians”. When you only have a few outfits and people that are consistently sinning and insulting God have all the clothes in the world. When you seek God and can only put $10 in your car for gas and there are others who are atheists and yet their tanks are full and they get the most promotions!
Let me introduce you to David! He said he almost backslid when he observed how wicked men were prospering (Psalms 73:1-16). We often say “God satisfies”, but there is a strong possibility that many of us have been discouraged in our hard times.
– It’s not good to envy wicked men (Proverbs 24:19), because you’ll start to think blessings are material things.
– People are millionaires but are going to Hell for not following Christ. You may not have much money, but eternal life is worth it all.
– God doesn’t make everyone rich in finances, so don’t seek that. Seek God’s kingdom.
Many have been hurt, raped, abused, mistreated, stolen from, lied on, ridiculed, mocked, rejected, etc. Some of these people have been hurt by people in the church. Don’t let a bad experience with church people cause you to turn away from God. You are following Christ, not them. Many people simply tend to give up when times get hard, but you must know that God is always in control.
Job was a righteous, Man of God. The devil could not even touch him because God protected him. God told the devil he will remove the hedge so he can do whatever he want, just don’t touch him. God ALLOWED the devil to kill what Job loved: his children, his servants and even his cattle. Understand what just happened. The things that Job loved were taken away because he lived a holy life and God wanted to use him. Many of us would have left church if we were doing everything right and still circumstances grew worse. However, Job didn’t curse God and after his period of testing, God gave him double for his trouble (Job 42:10).
– Many of us believe that even though God is sovereign, we deserve to run the show. God doesn’t move out of our anxiety, He works on faith.
– Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead and his body was rotting before He came to deliver Lazarus. He didn’t rush because of Mary or Martha, He had a plan that human minds didn’t understand. The custom of the time was that the spirit of the person roamed around trying to come back into the person for three days. If the person didn’t come alive by the fourth day, then the Jews would say that they are dead. Jesus waited until everyone gave up hope before He worked the miracle. God doesn’t make you struggle to make a fool of you, everything He does brings glory to His name and souls to Christ. Many Jews turned to Christ after they saw Him raise Lazarus.
Everything you have been through has a purpose. No one can say you “deserved” to be raped, abused, mistreated, etc., but someone else will go through it and your testimony will be their deliverance. I have went through many obstacles and when I share it with some they are encouraged and are able to be delivered themselves. Don’t breakdown, God wants you to breakthrough. No one can obtain the promises of God without going through the process. God uses affliction to build our character and our spirit, don’t think it’s meant to destroy you. If you endure, there is a blessing waiting on you.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. (Joel 2:25)

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