Marriage from a Single Christian Millennial’s Perspective

Marriage from a Single Christian Millennial’s Perspective

I’ve been tasked to write about money saving tips for millennial couples and I came across how millennials co-habitate and put a hold on marriage for practical reasons.

I have family and friends who co-habitate, I have parents who fight over money most of the time, growing up I had a skeptic view of marriage, but it all changed when the search for where God is became my main priority.

I walked into this church hoping to find answers to my faith. Nervous and trembling I stopped by the center to ask where is the service then I was led by the guard to Waterfront Hotel where the service was held. My heart pounded faster as walked closer to the huge doors, and finally entered.

Not much going on, since I was late, I listened to the pastor speak. Fast forward, it took a lot of courage going back month after month until I decided to make it a regular habit to attend service, but it really wasn’t until I decided to serve in a ministry.

Thankfully, with the help of a co-worker and now co-minister and couple mentor, I was in the position I was in at the moment.

It’s a funny feeling getting immersed into a culture of acceptance of different personalities and excellence in serving the Lord through a change in our own character.

The best part of it all, was seeking God in my hunger, in my weakness, in my days of singleness. It was the best year yet.

I also found a beautiful union between married couples that served God. It was’t perfect, but the authenticity of what they did, admitting they were wrong in the past, choosing to be better, and the most challenging part of it all, inserting service in a ministry in their crazy schedules. If we though we were busy in our single status, how much more when we are married with children!

The cream of the corn was that God totally changed my heart with my view of marriage, I once saw a disoriented union from other people’s experiences, but He made me see something more, marriages break without Him at the center. Marriages were meant for His glory, and that when He has combined the two together, He himself will provide and nurture it.

I feel that I shared His hurt when people especially in our generation make it an “option” instead of a command that “marriage should be held in honor of the Lord.”

Marriage is a part of God’s work here on earth, yet people are turning it around by saying marriage can work without Him, or union can happen among two or more people, regardless of gender and without marriage.

There’s no commitment without a deadline and a focus on one. 

We always want to save up for the future, but if we don’t put a deadline to it, it will be just a task that is left undone. If there is no focus on one, then it’s not a main priority, then it’s not something important. We will just end up breaking each other when we are not committed to one and when we don’t set a plan for the things we said yes to.

There’s no love without respect.

How can a person say they love each other when in the first place they don’t respect God who made them? Respect is to honor God and everyone around you. Self-respect isn’t choosing what you want, it’s doing the right thing, even when it’s hard. You will reward yourself later with that.

In the end, it will always be our decision; I love how God gave us free will to make choices and the fact that he laid out the perfect guide on what we should do, and it’s all in His Word.

So what will you choose?

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The Pain of Obedience, The Sufferings of Love

The Pain of Obedience, The Sufferings of Love

Love suffers long and is kind.

You probably have heard it a few times in romantic movies, “I’m afraid to love because I might get hurt.” As cheesy as this sounds, reality is that people do get hurt when they make the decision to love someone. It’s because we don’t have the perfect love. It’s because we want to be loved so much more than to love someone. It’s a bit of a selfish love, trying to outdo each other, trying to measure who’s better at loving.

Well, love isn’t a competition, it’s an acceptance of who the person was, is and about to become, and choosing to show patience and kindness even when it hurts. I don’t mean endure the sins of a person, but to correct them in love. (Refer to Ephesians 4 & 1 Timothy 5)

Reading through these chapters in Scripture, I’ve learned that the best way to speak the truth of God’s Word is not to tell it to them, but to show it to them. Show them the changed YOU, the CHRIST IN YOU.

Moreso, I fail often in showing the love of Christ to my family, but I’m resting in the my faith and hope that by God’s sufficient grace and diligence in meditating and obeying God’s Word and speaking to Him in prayer, they will experience the love of God!

How To Love Right?

Every verse in the bible was written out of love, whether it was to teach us, warn us, equip us, rebuke us and encourage us to live right with God, so the best way to love, is to know what love is and where it came from, and the source of it is God himself.

The Love Twist

There’s a twist to the greatest love story on earth between God and mankind, it was when Satan enticed Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and she believed the serpent and sinned against God, out of shame, she and her husband Adam felt naked before God and went their way.

The Resolution

God was pained to see Adam and Eve drift far from Him, so did their children, He loved them so much, so He made a way for them and all of us to get back to Him through Jesus!

The Decision

Now the choice to love God is in us after knowing His truth, His sufferings, His sacrifice til the end, all to love us. Can we choose to grow and show love the same way as Jesus did? There will be times we fail, we get discouraged, we fear and we get hurt, but if we truly love the Father and the Father’s love is truly in us, we must decide to obey His greatest commandments, “To love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love others as ourselves.”

The Consequences of Over and Under

The Consequences of Over and Under

When you’re overdoing or under-doing it, the consequences stay for a lifetime.

The new year is an opportunity to get better, but over the holidays, I’ve learned what God meant by rest. It was the right amount of discipline for working and saying no to work to get some rest. In 2018, it was hard to rest knowing I had a lot of things to do, and I’m not only talking about work for a living, it also involved my ministries and all the things I committed to be in.

Commitments

We love to be reliable, responsible, recommended, because of our pursuit of becoming better. Well, better isn’t always about doing things, it’s making the wisest choices, so choose your commitments carefully, from working for a living, entering a relationship, and volunteering in church or in the community. Face it, we can’t do everything! Ask yourself:

  • Will I love it here?
  • Will it glorify God?
  • Does it give me enough time to rest?
  • What will it take to keep this commitment?
  • Are there people who can help me?
  • Will it be in sync with the rest of my schedule?
  • Am I really doing it for the Lord or am I just planning my way?

Overdoing it leads to sickness. Under-doing it leads to failure, but balancing it, keeps your mind, body, faith and relationships intact. Like a healthy person, you have all things in moderation. Some diseases may come unexpectedly, but knowing you’ve taken care of yourself well leaves no room for guilt and self-condemnation and regrets in the future.

Family

You didn’t choose them, but God gave them to you as gifts. Like any blessing, they can stress you out, but if you can’t handle pressure at home, how much more outside?!

Some sacrifices for the family aren’t worth it especially if it involves you cutting corners or for some reason, the Holy Spirit just tells you “no”.

Rest Is Holy

It’s time to think as God does, from the Story of Creation, He didn’t rest on the 7th day because He was tired, He rested because it was a Holy thing to do. Don’t feel guilty doing nothing when you’re done with everything else, it’s a gift from God. Reward yourself.

Overspending/Overworking

The wealthiest people are not living rich, they’re being rich, they’re spending below their means, they’re also rich in faith knowing the Lord will take care of them, so they halt work when its time to rest, they minimize spending for things that depreciate in value and focus on being grateful for what they have and patient for what they aim to have. They are balanced beings.

Undertime With The Lord

This year, I also found myself in a hurry to do what needs to be done, not stopping by and lingering in the Lord’s presence. For a time I thought it was a matter or schedule, but I realized it was a matter if the heart. My heart wasn’t calm in order for me to take in God’s goodness, I was interested in what I could get from Him to use for my ministry, for making my life better instead of just being there and listening to Him, not in a hurry for another appointment, just being there to listen to Him. Such a patient God for dealing with my weaknesses!

Worrying About The Future

Excessively thinking about he future translates to worry. Overthinking plans only leads to more stress, whereas sitting it out a few days just like writing a book, gives you insights day by day. Take it one step at a time and leave your cares up to the Lord. In his time, He will answer you. Praise Him for whatever answer or plan He reveals because He is God!

Your Coping Is A Sign of Great Victory Coming

Your Coping Is A Sign of Great Victory Coming

The year is almost over and the challenges just keep coming, but the more you learn to cope with it, the greater victory God gives.2018 was full of challenges physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. We tend to retreat in difficult situations by being busy, hanging out constantly with friends and worse, pretending that everything is okay, masking what we truly feel inside. All other remedies we can think of, though it seems good to us, like starting a new goal, without God’s intervention, the turn out would completely disrupt us our whole lives.But what about those who are coping on the right track? What if God told you to do something, what if you’ve verified it through His Word, loud and clear, but you are going through the storms of acheiving it? Coping or the attempt to overcome difficult situations is not successful without the one who overcame death. Great victory is overcoming death of a particular attitude, habit and belief. The only thing that’s blocking us from acheiving great victory is us. Our thoughts towards a situation, how we try to magnify it, lift it up and worship it instead of our God brings us down. Coping is not pretending to be okay, it’s lifting up our anxieties to the Lord, and acting upon what’s honorable though you’re uncertain of the future. In David’s coping with a pot of strongholds in His reign, he brought all his cares to the Lord when he wrote Psalms, he even had mighty warriors such as these three who showed loyalty to the King despite heavy duties that could cost them their own lives. Read 2 Samuel 23:8-39 for the full story.Josheb-Basshebeth – he raised a spear against 800 men whom he killed in one encounter. (v. 8)Eleazar – when the Israelites retreated in the midst of the Philistines, Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines til his hand grew tired and froze rhe sword. The Lord brought great victory that day. (v. 10)Shammah – When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about great victory. (vv. 11-12)The acts of these valiant men were fruits of David’s trust in the Lord and God’s unfailing kindness to him and his lineage for all of times!2 Samuel 22:51, NIVHe gives his king great victories; He shows unfailing kindness to his anointed to David and His descendants forever.Why should you turn back, why should you go your own way, why should you settle for less than what God has planned for you? 2 Samuel 22:31, NIVAs for GOD, His ways are perfect, the Lord’s Word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in Him.Hold on to the promise of great victory. The sufferings are worth it!

Loving People Hurts, But He Loves Me Forever

Loving People Hurts, But He Loves Me Forever

Love is His command, but it hurts to love those hurting inside.
His love is selfless, but I am just a servant full of pride.
He made us to love, but it hurts not to be loved.

Hate surrounds my household, the enemy stands and laughs, walls build up.
Oh how I long to connect, but failure creeps in.
Oh how I desire to share yet a trace of perfection wants to seep through.

How lonely is the one with no confidence in his lips, what awaits one whom no one understands? But you God understand. You know me very well.
Though my emotions run wild, your love stays the same.

Though people call me crazy, though my own family says I am a fool, You know deep inside what’s going in with my heart.
How I long to be in your presence.
You are the only person who makes me feel so special, even when I am not.

You whisper, “It’s alright” and “I got you”. You are more than the world to me.
You treat me very dearly, you are a God of all comfort.
You recognize what I feel, you ask how I’m doing.

How lovely is it to be with you always. Loving people hurts, but you love me forever.
People come and go, but you’re with me forever.
You listen, you answer, you love me and long for me.

I draw near to you when my enemies come closer, but even at joyful times, even when I forget, your hand, your love, it never leaves me. Thank you for loving me My Savior, My God, My everything!
You are all together lovely, worthy of all praises.

You turn my mourning into dancing. You wipe every tear off my cheek and crown me with your steadfast love and mercy. I will look to you all my days, my God who loves me forever.

Redeemed

Redeemed

A true sign of maturity is when you recognize the hurt, accept your situation, forgive and love despite the flaws without expecting something in return.

Have you ever felt so alive the other day, meditating on Scripture, declaring God’s Word, soaking in his presence with exceeding joy? Have you embraced prayers that just got answered last year, then reality hits you and you’re striving to be in the position you’re in?

Very certain that you’re not alone.

There is indeed a time for laughter, for tears, for sowing and for reaping. People can’t seem to get used to it, and always want things to go their way, always want something different, always want to be happy and not feel any pain, but that’s all fantasy here on earth.

For women, it’s perfectly normal to feel a lot of emotions in a day, but you certainly can’t let emotions control you. You control your emotions. Therefore, you can control your hormones, but you need to be strong enough. It will take a lot of physical, mental, psychological and spiritual power to overcome.

Yes, there will be bad days, a lot of it when you’re fighting to be better, better at managing your health, managing your finances, managing your emotions, managing your relationships and your thoughts.

Those who are dear to us might actually be the ones we have to wrestle with everyday. We may have contradicting ideas, and we end up in a clash and in worse cases, hurt each other. We can choose to communicate to arrive at a resolution, but in some cases, things just don’t work the way we want them to and it’s hard to accept, but as Christ’s followers, we know that recognizing we’re hurt is the first step to admitting what we really are—flesh; we’re humans! We’re not bulletproof of the negativity we accumulate from the world, there will be times when our strength reaches its limit, our love tanks begin to empty and it can’t function well as it used to.

Once we’ve done this, it’s time to accept our situation. Accept that you’ve failed, accept that he’s like that, accept that you’re tired. Accept that it’s hard. accept that you’re losing money. We can’t keep on thinking positive things when the facts of life tell us, we need to move or else. We need to make tough decisions, even ones we don’t like, but God is pleased with them, but remember, God will never be pleased in something sinful and contrary to His Word. It’s not part of His plan to hurt you, pain exists because of the world’s sinful nature. God does not control people too, we have our own decisions, for some they choose to do what’s right, others want shortcuts, but For those who have the Spirit of God within them, they will distinguish wrong from right.

Our circumstances are not God-made, they’re man-made, but it’s in those trying times, God intervenes. God shows His glory. That in His graciousness, righteousness, justice, peace and love, we can overcome, we can forgive. Surely, forgiveness is the key to our own healing. It might be someone you don’t get to see anymore, might be someone you meet everyday, might be that we need to forgive ourselves, whoever it is or no matter how it turned out, know that God forgave us, and we ought to forgive in sincerity those that hurt us. Again and again and again and again…forgiveness once or twice or a billion times does not guarantee they’ll do it again, but as said, it’s for ourselves, so the next time, we’re offended, our minds have been transformed and our heart has set to love no matter what.

 

Leaving you with these verses.
Romans 5:6-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Ephesians 4:32 New Living Translation (NLT)
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

1 Peter 4:8 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

 

 

 

Don’t Expect, But Choose to be Faithful

Don’t Expect, But Choose to be Faithful

Don’t expect it to go smoothly.Don’t expect it will be easy.Don’t expect that you can handle it.Don’t expect you can do it alone.Don’t expect for more.Instead, pray for what you’re planning on, pray for a wise decision, pray for help, pray for guidance, pray God will make a way. Pray first.His ways are perfect. (Psalm 18:30)Though it may involve pain, joy always comes in the morning.  (Psalm 30:5)Expectations kill, but faith gives life.I once had a beautiful picture of how I wanted my life to be, but sometimes, the frustration comes because I can’t handle the responsibility, the depression sinks in because I’m making my body, my relationships, my ministry, all my blessings—a god. I make a god out of my fear, doubts, expectations by magnifying it, meditating on it, dwelling on it, remorsing over it, feeding it, when instead I should be feeding my faith.I know, it’s not easy to shift thoughts, shift perspectives, leave the pain entirely, but I know I need to move on or else it will kill my faith.I can’t stay down. I have to get back up. I can’t let discontent burn bridges that connect me to the people that love and care for me, whether in a subtle or disciplined way, because God placed them there for a reason. There’s no reason for me to stay hurt, mistreated or broken, because life goes on, and the uncertainty of it, makes way for surprises, makes way for more challenges, makes me hold on to a Savior even more. Makes my life colorful, makes me whole, makes me live with a purpose. My purpose is not for myself to be happy, my purpose is to live and give love, my life comes from God, my life is short, my life is meaningful when I choose to give a part of myself to others because only in giving will I gain more. Only by faith, I can gain more of what this life God has in store for me. There’s no potluck at the end of the rainbow, but there is a God waiting at the end of your earthly life to give you that eternal rest.Have faith, it’s not over yet, you’re breathing! Praise God because you still have your purpose. He is giving you another chance to live better. Wake up and stay faithful to Him. He’s got your back and He has more in store for you!