Dating & Marriage 101: Single Christian Men Speak on What they Want from You

weddedImmediately, my heart filled with the desire to meet their fathers. If the daughters of God proved married or otherwise espoused, I would inquire about sisters. In these dark days when immorality runs rampant in the Church, we Christian men who are inclined toward marriage and mindful of the importance of choosing the best mothers for our future children look for ladies of virtue, for true daughters of the Most High.” – On Modesty & Servant Leaders

I think many people feel that it lessens a woman’s credibility because she’s sending the wrong signals. Respect me, but I don’t respect myself.” – On Immodesty

As a man who strives to be godly, I deliberately avoided considering the ladies who did not dress modestly. Ladies who did dress modestly — especially those who wore headcoverings — immediately seemed to surpass all other ladies, so much that everyone else in the room became invisible.” – On Modesty

I think some women have no idea how much influence they can hold. I find them captivating.” – On Servant Leaders

Male readers of the Dating & Marriage 101 series have submitted some pretty telling hints regarding what they as single Godly aka Biblical* men, look for in single Godly, Biblical* women. The verdict? “Past performance is a good indicator of future success.” Single Godly men use what they see in you now to measure what you will be like in the future as a wife and mother. Management uses this model in hiring top candidates and men use this model in choosing wives. Let’s take a look at the Occupation of Wife using the “Past Performance” model. Your future husband is the hiring manager and you the woman of God is the candidate. *Reader note: While Godly, Biblical individuals are Christians not all Christians are Godly, Biblical (ie professed, worshipers or believer in Jesus Christ but inconsistent or disobedient in one or more of His commands). All Dating & Marriage 101 series references are of Biblically based women and men.

OCCUPATION: Wife – Helpmate
KEY SKILL SET: Service, Modesty
PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Service – Must be willing to live amongst and serve others including children, men, parents, homeless, impoverished inner city, rural, third world, and/or reservation communities. Must be willing to work long hours without salary and take on unexpected projects weekly if not daily. Must be willing to teach and chauffeur children and parents. Must be willing to clean, garden, sew, and any other tasks required to keep the office (home) in order. Must be willing to entertain passersby not excluding the homeless and abused. Must be willing to put aside all other jobs (ie work, friendships, hobbies) aside to focus on the primary occupation (wife). Must be a helper. For additional details reference Proverbs 31, Matthew 20:28, and Genesis 2:18.

Modesty – Must demonstrate sober mindedness and honor towards her leadership (God, husband) and office (home) she manages. Must wear professional attire (modest) inside and outside of the office representive of the office values (Biblical). Professional attire includes knee length dresses, opaque print (non see through), scarves, shawls, or sweaters to conceal, and comfortable shoes. Figure hugging, low cut tops, high rising dresses, shorts, or skirts, and excessively ornate (bejeweled) styling not allowed. For additional details reference Proverbs 31 and 1 Peter 3:3-4.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE:
Local &/or International Missions – Servant leader, serving/served in third world, inner city, rural, and/or reservation communities; serving/served in Church kids/youth group and/or hospitality ministries

Personal Reference from at least one wise, Godly married woman – Reference indicates the candidate consistently seeks Godly counsel on Biblical womanhood pre marriage (ceremony), consistently seeks and accepts opportunities to serve others (kids, men, parents, impoverished), consistently demonstrates helpmate characteristics by working well with others and not independent minded

APPLICANTS THAT NEED NOT APPLY:
Spectators (unwilling to seek out or accept opportunities to serve others especially the poor; see Proverbs 31 for additional details); Hollywood inspired fashionistas (flesh driven style of dress; see Proverbs 7 for additional details); Ms. Independents (unwilling to be a helpmate; see Genesis 2:18 and Proverbs 31 for additional details).

Tall order? Maybe…maybe not. If you have missed out on previous openings for the Occupation of Wife, no worries opportunities are now available. If you need to build your resume, prayerfully ask God and Godly married women with preferably over five years of fruitful marriage how to become the future wife – helpmate God may be calling you to be. AMEN

Photo Credit: Bing
Related Resources: Fashion Look Book: Modesty Survey; Dating & Marriage 101 Series

Dating & Marriage 101: The Husband Quest

questQuestion: “Where’s my husband?”

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:10-20

Many of my single friends are on the Husband Quest. They spend a tremendous amount of thought and personal time devoted to finding their husband. Much like many if not most young women in the premarriage season there is a pursuit of various methods to attract their husband’s attention…in the FLESH. Cute dresses, manicures, haircuts, lipstick, batting eyes, attending “Christian” gatherings not in the name of reverence or honor of the Lord but in a personal quest to fulfill their hearts desire to be married.

Here are a few reasons God keeps His single women of God single.
• God purely wants you to be single and devoted to His works
• We ignore the Christian man who is pursuing us because he does not match all the points on “The Checklist”
• We ignore the Christian man who is pursuing us because he does not match personal flesh driven requirements aka looks
• We are unwilling to obey God’s simple but critical command required to be married: serve

Proverbs 31 spends an extensive amount of time describing this honorable woman. The most notable traits are willingness to serve. She serves her husband, serves her family, serves at work, and serves the poor. This woman is not idly sitting at home watching the grass grow or gathering with her girlfriends to chit chat about who’s cute or “define your relationship”. No, this woman is out being busy doing the Lord’s work which is to serve.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

God created Eve and all her descendants to be helpers or helpmates. Helpers are servants. These are the supportive, go to gals who make their husbands’ shine. God requires all Believers including single women to be servants. If you are not willing serve your fellow brother or sister, your Church, your parents, or the poor (which God repeatedly demands), what makes you think you would be willing to serve a husband? Servanthood is one area women on the Husband Quest need to consider. Besides, how’s your Biblical husband going to find you if he never sees you serving? AMEN

He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

Photo Credit: Bing

Discernment: Local v. Third World Missions

QuestionQuestion: Why is it so much easier finding Believers willing to serve the poor across the globe than finding Believers willing to serve the poor within 15-30 minute local driving distance?

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2

The above question was posed by a local missions’ coordinator trying to develop ways to encourage the congregation to passionately and equally serve the poor locally and abroad. Every year thousands of students and professional adults leave the shores of their Western homeland to serve in the third world. “I think the Lord wants me to serve the poor…in Mali. So help me raise $10K to get there.” We’ve all either personally had this experience or know someone dear that has had this experience. Many of these individuals have come to understand that there is more to this world than the status driven, materialistic society we live in and in turn devote their lives to serving others as God commands. It is praiseworthy to leave the safety of a Western community and serve often unreached third world communities stricken with illness, extreme poverty, and crime. On the other hand, don’t you ever wonder why just as many Believers in Christ Jesus do not seem to receive the same volume of life changing revelations to serve the poor communities locally? It takes not even a 1/4 of tank of gas and anywhere from one to twenty hours per month to reach a local inner city, rural, or reservation community. On the other hand, it takes several months pay and work leave to reach the third world communities across the pond. Yet even with all these factors, international missions seems to outpace local missions for volunteers in outreach of the poor. Body of Christ, maybe you were never aware of the needs locally or see yourself as a Nations evangelist. Here’s a challenge, let’s see if we can balance the scales in local and international missions. The world is becoming more global by the minute and opportunities already exists to serve the Nations in the Western world and third world. There are many poor communities in the Western nations that are driven around daily that could use some Jesus TLC. Cancel the “I’m afraid”, “I might get robbed”, “I can’t relate” or the many hosts of fear based excuses we use to justify ignoring the poor placed around us. Take a leap of faith, get out there, and serve the poor…locally.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

Holy Spirit come and reveal to us what hinders us from obeying your commands to serve without partiality. We ask all of this in the name and blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.

Photo Credit: Bing

Marriage & Family: Love, Barbed Wire, and Chains

Gift“Look sweetie! I brought you a present.” Mr. says.

“Oh, great! Barbed wire and chains. Just what I always wanted.” Mrs. says (with confused look).

Okay, many married and single ladies would have done one of three things: gone ballistic, run to your friends and complain, or have a long conversation with God about your compatibility and if he was really the one God created for you. On the other hand, a few would have genuinely appreciated the kind gesture and/or turned to God for wisdom as to how to make use of the new presents. They aren’t diamonds but the heart of it is still the same: love.

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

“Oh, dear God. Please give me eyes to see and ears to hear you clearly. Show me how to make use of this gift. I have no idea Lord, but I know you do.” Prays the Mrs.

Later, “I have an idea. Look what I found on Pinterest? I think we can make this ourselves. Let’s try it.” Mrs. says.

“Okay. Let me get my pliers. I knew we could use this for a project.” Mr. says.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

The finished product…
Wired-Gift
…and a very happy Mr. and Mrs.

Be encouaged my friends. You and your Mr. do not have to have everything in common and sometimes you will receive surprise presents like Barbed Wire and Chains (seriously). God made us uniquely different and as your husband's helpmate, you can create a wonderful atmosphere that grows you together. Just think of the great stories you can share with your friends, children, and grandchildren about the Barbed Wire Chandelier you created together. On the other hand, if you choose to go ballistic, complain to your friends, or doubt your marriage altogether, you have given his darkness an open invitation to tear down your home.

Be Blessed My Friends on your Kingdom journies!

What’s next? Horse shoes!
Cross

Discernment: What’s your Sign?

zodiacWhat’s your sign? It’s the pop culture question often asked when one is looking to classify individuals into personality categories. It is steeped in the traditions of man’s astrology most noteably of the Babylonian period. Society often uses it as the source of figuring out the quirks and traits of others. Have you heard of that other question? What’s your gift? It is steeped in the tradition of Yeshua and highlights the unique character of individuals that make up The Body. Here’s a pretty cool story that describes The Gifts.

There is a dinner party with the seven guests. Each guest has a different gifting. At the end of the meal you begin clearing the dinner plates and begin to serve desert. As you are bringing out a tray with the desert plates on it, you accidentally trip, sending the deserts flying and crashing to the floor. The story of the dinner guests helps exemplify the seven spiritual gifting of Romans 12:5-8.

The guest with the gift of prophecy proclaims, “I could see this coming. You can’t clear plates and bring desert at the same time.” (The motivation is to correct the life of the waiter.) The guest with the gift of mercy quickly follows, “Don’t worry; it could have happened to anyone.” (The motivation is to relieve embarrassment.) The one with the gift of serving jumps up and begins cleaning the mess. (The motivation is to fulfill a need.) The one with the gift of teaching analyzes the situation and responds with, “The real reason the tray fell was due to the equilibrium. See, of the seven deserts, five were on one side and only two on the other.” (The teacher’s motivation is to discover why it happened.) The guest with the gift of exhortation gift pipes up, “It’ll be alright, next time serve desert with the meal.” (The motivation is to correct for the future.) The one with the gift of giving thinks a moment. Noticing the carpet needs to be professionally cleaned and the plates are shattered, responds with “Here is $100 to cover the cost of the dishes and carpet cleaning.” (The motivation is to give to relieve a need.) Finally, the gift of leadership begins calling out directions. “Kris, could you go grab some paper towels? Sally, would you mind getting some more deserts put together. Molly, get the vacuum!” (The motivation is to keep things moving in the right direction.)

So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:5-8

Chip Ingrim, Pastor and Founder of the Living on the Edge radio programming highlights the spiritual gifts a bit further.

Prophecy – identifies what went wrong, has a sense of the culture, opinionated, corrective, works well in large groups but may be prone to pride and being insensitive to feelings
Mercy – cheerful to towards those who are suffering especially those who deserve punishment, can detect feelings, wants to relieve the embarrassment experienced by others but has a tendency to not be firm and be misunderstood by the opposite sex
Service – meets the practical needs, often asks “what can I do to help?”, behind the scenes worker, detects personal needs, more neglected in the Body and tends to overemphasize the practical needs and may become bitter when acts are not recognized
Teaching – presents the truth of God’s Word, loves to study, doctrine oriented, often says “Show me the meat?” but may overemphasize content rather than application and be boastful in knowledge
Exhortation – reassures, stimulates faith of others, often thinks “How can we move to wholeness?”, comes along side others, challenges others to grow, emphasizes practical application, described as a “fix it” person that may be discouraged if no change occurs and focused on temporary fixes
Giving – earns, saves, and gives money/resources to the Lord cheerfully, often thinks “What can I give to meet the need?”, sees opportunities but may be prone to pride and judging others by their bank account or use of resources
Leadership – sees what needs to be done, how things fit together in the big picture and coordinates it, mobilizes others, delegates, often asks “What are the results?” but may be prone to pride and forgetting the purpose of the project

So, what’s your gifting?

Abba, we thank you for the wonderful message received today. Reveal to us our primary spiritual gifting and help us to operate in the fullness of you for the Kingdom of God. – Amen

Related Resources: The Dinner Party ; Sober Self Assessment
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Spiritual Warfare: Mark 9:38 – He’s Not One of Us

man_walking_awayEvery few months I receive a client who has had a revision surgery due to some sort of failure in the previous course of treatment. Many of these clients explain they had no idea they were doing too much or too little. They simply had surgery and went home (left to their own devices). Anyone in rehab knows this scenario can go one of three directions.

1. Client goes home and does well with no need for follow up
2. Client goes home and does too little out of fear of reinjury, resulting in need for rehab at 6-12 months later due to excessive stiffness and limited performance in daily tasks or surgerical release of the severely adhered structures.
3. Client goes home and does too much not understanding the newly replaced joint(s) or sutured tendon is not healed, resulting in dislocation or rupture respectively of the structures and need for immediate repair of the post op failure.

In both scenarios two and three, the clients are usually sent to therapy after revision surgery. There is even closer communication and collaboration between the surgeon and rehab on this second course of treatment to ensure post op success. Most clients express regret for not having received the collaborative care on the initial course of treatment but express gratitude for having the collaborative guidance in getting them back to life this time around.

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

In many ways the Church operates in the same fashion as the medical scenario above. When the various parts of the Church’s gifts (i.e. helps, administration, prophetic, mercy, teaching, exhortation, giving) communicate closely with one another, positive Kingdom advancing results occur such as more souls being converted and genuine growth in the universal Body. However, when these spiritual gifts works apart from one another, less than ideal results for the Kingdom occur.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:4-8

Imagine a teaching ministry sharing the gospel with the poor but missing the basic needs of a hot meal and warm blanket that could be provided by a service ministry. Would not God’s work be more effective with the two gifts working together? This is the challenge for the modern Church. Entire denominations and in some cases specific gifts ministries within denominations work counter to one another than with one another.

Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and WE TOLD HIM TO STOP, BECAUSE HE WAS NOT ONE OF US.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Mark 9:38-41

Yesuah himself recognized the good works this unknown man was doing on His behalf. He corrected the Twelve who made the prideful judgment that this unknown man outside of the ministry of the Twelve had no place or authority to do Kingdom work. Yesuah told them to NOT stop this man from doing Kingdom work, as this man was doing good on behalf of the Kingdom of God and he was healing a man from his illness (possession). This story illustrates clearly that though we all are part of the Kingdom, we the Body can be a hindrance to the Kingdom by creating stumbling blocks for other Believers doing Kingdom work. We must not do this.

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this– not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Romans 14:13

The Body of Christ needs to be reminded like the Twelve that Kingdom of God is not ours to judge or determine who is worthy to serve or not. The Kingdom of God is Abba’s and he has given each Believer the charge in the Great Commission to do his works.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mark 28:16-20

Abba we repent of our pride and hindrances to your Kingdom advancing. Examine our hearts Holy Spirit and show us where we have rejected other Believers from your Kingdom works. Cleanse us; purify us so that we can openly welcome your sons and daughters into the universal family of the Body of Christ. Amen

Related Posts: Discernment ; One World Faith ; Hospitality v. Favoritism
Related Resources: Living on the Edge
Photo Credits: Google ; The Truth Won