A Life of Marriage Prep

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire for a young lady to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The seeds that you sow before you get married determines the fruit that you reap after you are married. You will reap either good fruit or bad fruit.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Do not use the flesh to attract a man because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

A man will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the man you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.

 

 

A Life that Knows the Truth

There is only One who is true and His Words are truth. If you do not know the truth then you will be deceived and the meaning of deception is that you are not aware that you are deceived, so much so that you believe a lie. Your beliefs will be manifested in your life so if you believe a lie then you will live a lie.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.

Whatever goes into your heart and mind will come out in your words and actions. For this reason the Lord says to watch over your heart with all diligence.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Fill your heart with what is good and good will flow from your mouth and life. Fill your heart and mind with trash and trash will flow from you.

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Your heart is a treasure chest and what you put into it is what you treasure. If you value your relationship with the Lord and value what He values then you will put His Words in your heart and treasure them.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

Do you want the Lord? You must have a pure heart and clean hands. You must guard what goes into your heart. Do you want to come into His presence and know Him?

Psalm 24:3,4 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.

When you come into His presence then you will see Him and you will also see yourself for who you really are. You will no longer be deceived nor will you want to life up your soul to falsehood but will speak the truth. You will draw near to Him.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Do you want to know the nearness of God? Do you want to know His sweet presence? It begins by spending time with Him in His Word and prayer and seeing Him. Then after seeing Him and allowing Him to cleanse your heart through His Word, you then confess your sin and draw near to Him.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

The nearness of God will be your good and you will see the goodness of the Lord. When you know Him then you will know the truth and the truth will change your life.

Psalm 73:28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

You will want to talk about Him and tell others all of the wonderful things that He has done. If you find yourself defending your actions or wanting to go to movies where you know in your heart that Jesus would not go to then stop…is it worth it? The Bibles says that Eve was deceived and she paid a huge price for her sin. Would someone who wants to know the Lord want to be with you because of your clean hands and pure heart?

Psalm 101:6,7 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.
He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.

Those who want the Lord will seek out others who want the Lord. Do you want to marry a godly man? Do you want godly friends? You must become a godly young lady. Be faithful to the Lord in all that you do and especially in what goes into your heart and mind. You can not have both the world and the Lord. If you try to have both then it is only a matter of time before your heart is deceived and you no longer will want or hear the truth, which is Jesus, for He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”.

A Life Filled with Joy

We all want to have joy. Sometimes it may seem that joy is not possible all of the time but actually it can be. Is not it possible to have peace all of the time and also love? Yes, the Lord wants our lives to be filled with His fruit. Joy is not just an emotion even as love, peace, patience and kindness are not merely emotions either. Joy is a well being or satisfaction and pleasantness in the spirit. It is part of the fruit of the Spirit and comes with no guilt or regret. Emotions come and go and we are not to live by them but the fruit of the Spirit is an expression of Christ in us.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Joy is knowing His presence and having His favor on your life. Joy comes from the Lord. It is a security that comes from His presence and knowing that the Lord will be with you, will guide you and has a pleasing future for you. You can try to please yourself or you can have His pleasures which last for eternity.

Psalm 16:9 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

The Lord has also given us something special in this life which will give us great joy and that is the privilege of serving Him through the spiritual gift that He has given to you. There is no one like you and although others may have the same spiritual gift as you, it will not be expressed in the same unique way. The Lord has a job for you to do and only you can do it.

I Peter 4:10,11 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

There are two types of gifts, a speaking gift and a serving gift. If your gift is speaking then you are to speak the utterances of God, which is His Word. His Word has the power and you are the mouthpiece to speak it. If your gift is serving then He has given you supernatural strength though His Spirit. If you are filled with His Word and His Spirit then He will be glorified in your life and the church will be built up.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

You must know His word if you want to be used by Him. He uses His Word. We are only His vessel through which He speaks. If we know His Word then we will be prepared for the goods works that he has planned for each of us.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

You must keep a clear conscience so that the Holy Spirit is not quenched in your life. The Lord uses His Spirit and His Word. Sanctified means to be cleansed and set apart for a holy purpose.

II Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Finally, we must continually humble ourselves before the Lord, for He give grace to the humble. Jesus was full of grace and truth. The Word of God is truth and grace allows us to live out the truth and therefore be full of truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

When you are prepared and set apart and obedient to His Word then the Word becomes flesh through you and Jesus Christ is glorified. You are a part of His body and the spiritual gift that He has given you is meant to be an expression of Him to others. The word joy has the same root as the word grace and gift. You will have great joy when you exercise your spiritual gift through the grace that He gives to you.

John 17:15-19 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

Jesus has sent us into the world. He has prayed that we would be cleansed and set apart through His Word. He wants to use you. When He uses you to fulfill His plan for the world then you will have great joy. When you are faithful to Him and obedient to Him and His will for your life then your life will overflow with joy. May you be blessed by entering into His joy and hearing His words to you, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.” What has He called you to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Gains Understanding

Understanding is the knowledge of Him that the Lord gives to us but understanding can also be taken away from us.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Wisdom and understanding go together and the lady is blessed who gains wisdom and understanding.

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.

With understanding comes less discipline. Discipline is painful.

Proverbs 10:13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.

The Lord gives understanding.

II Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Jesus came that we might have understanding.

I John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Immorality and indulging our flesh takes away understanding.

Hosea 4:11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding.

Without understanding we are ruined.

Hosea 4:14 …So the people without understanding are ruined.

A true spiritual leader, who is a shepherd of God’s people will feed His people with the knowledge of Him. Go where you will be fed spiritually. The Lord has not called His shepherds to entertain or to even be popular but to be faithful. Jesus said to Peter before He departed, “if you love Me, feed My sheep”.

Jeremiah 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.

In this world where we don’t know who to trust, we know that we can trust Him but we must know Him and understand His ways. He promises to deliver us from those who are deceitful if we know Him and have understanding.

Proverbs 2:2-12 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things;

Make your ear attentive, cry to Him and lift your voice for understanding. Seek understanding. He will be your shield and preserve your ways. You will discern the right course to take and discretion will guard you. Understanding will watch over you to deliver you from the way of evil and from men who would lie to you and try to deceive you to take advantage of you.

A Life of Wisdom

Wisdom comes from the Lord. It is one of the gifts that He promises to anyone who will ask Him and He will give it generously…and without reproach. What a beautiful picture of who the Lord is and how different He is from many of us. He gives when we do not deserve and He does not remind us that we do not deserve His goodness!

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Wisdom is the right application of knowledge in any situation. When we act with wisdom there is great benefit to not only us but to everyone involved. Wisdom sets things right side up. Have you ever felt as though your life was a mess or upside down? You need wisdom.

Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

All of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Him. There is no wisdom apart from Him. When you know Him then you have access to all of the treasures of wisdom. His wisdom is a picture of who He is.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

When we become like Christ then wisdom will characterize our lives.

James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

If you live according to God’s wisdom then you do not have to constantly be defending yourself to others but your life will manifest the fruit of wisdom.

Matthew 11:19 …Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Your life will be vindicated by its deeds if it is built on God’s Word.

Proverbs 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established;

There is no wisdom that will go against God’s Word. If someone says that something is okay or gives advice that is not in accordance with God’s Word then it is not wisdom so do not act on it even if they are in a position of an advisor, such as a pastor, a Christian counselor, etc. Examine what everyone says by what is written in Scripture.

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord.

He who loves herself will get wisdom. Getting wisdom is one of the most thrilling aspects of your relationship with the Lord. You will understand cause and effect. Rather than deal with the symptom of problems you will be able to understand the root of problems.

Proverbs 19:8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.

With wisdom you will see life more from God’s perspective. You will love life and enjoy it and want to know more of God’s ways. Wisdom makes life pleasant.

Proverb 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

Wisdom is how to live life in this world with less pain. Just like with any sport, the better you get at it the more you enjoy it. It is the same with wisdom, the more you apply wisdom to life then the more you will enjoy doing life.

Proverbs 10:23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.

May you ask Him for wisdom and be blessed. He wants to give His wisdom to you.

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.

 

 

 

A Life that Stays In Love

Everyone wants to stay “in love” with the love of their life when they get married. You may not be married yet and are wondering why this would apply to you. It very much applies to any young lady who wants to and plans to get married. In fact, that is God’s will for most young ladies, but not all. However, what can you do now to help your marriage, if the Lord should choose to give you that gift?

Every older lady who is happily married knows the “secret” to staying in love. It should not be a secret but for whatever reason, not many know it or do it.

Your relationship with your husband will be an expression of your relationship with the Lord. You say you love the Lord? We know that if you are a Christian then you want to love God. A measure of how much you love the Lord is how much you love others.

I John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love  God, whom they have not seen.

Just as God loves because He is love, in the same way, the recipient of your love should not be the source of your love but God should be the source. He can and will love through you.

I John 4:7,8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

The Lord loved you when you were unlovable and it changed your life.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The Lord wants you to keep yourself in His love. In other words, to stay in love with Him.

Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

The way you keep yourself in the love of Christ is to nurture the relationship and to not neglect it. Over and over again in the Bible the Lord reproves His people for neglecting their relationship with the Lord and slipping into a ritualistic pattern with Him. Most marriages fail because of neglect although nearly all begin with good intentions. Both people just get so busy and before they realize it their love for each other is lukewarm and then cold. Are you ever too busy to spend time with the Lord? Is your love just as fresh as when you first came into that relationship?

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

If you learn to be faithful in your relationship with the Lord then you will have gone a long way in cultivating an intimate marriage. If you learn to love, not based on what you will receive in return, but because the Lord has called you and enabled you to love then you will have learned the secret of staying “in love” with the one whom the Lord has called you to be one with here on earth.

If you are married: Just as the Lord wants you to delight yourself in Him and to want to be with Him, so too, if you are married, your husband wants you to want him. He married you because he thought that you did want him. Do you still delight in your husband just as when you were first married? Do you still get excited about seeing him? Just as God’s love changed your life, so too, your love and desire for your husband can motivate him to be the person that the Lord has designed him to be.

Titus 2:4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,

This word “love” in this verse in Titus means to “be a lover of their husband”, or “to want or delight in their husband”.

 

 

A Life that Responds

The Lord has called the single men to be the initiators in relationships with single women. Women are called to be responders. If she is interested in the young man and he is suitable for her then she learns to respond to him. The young lady is not the initiator. For this way of life to be for a young lady she must put her trust in the Lord. If she will learn to live in His presence and put her trust in Him then she will thrive in life. If she trusts in herself then she will be constantly frustrated and defeated.

Psalm 52:8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.

The Lord is the One who directs the hearts of all men.

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.

If she does not trust the Lord then she will be tempted to initiate or manipulate concerning young men. Either of these options are not God’s way. If she initiates or manipulates and she gets what she wants then she will never know if it is what the Lord wanted for her. When the trials come in the relationship then she will be tempted to doubt and in her time of need she will not have the assurance that the Lord brought about the relationship.

Proverbs 7:7-15 And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,
Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,
In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.
And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

The immoral woman is an initiator and manipulator. Often she also will have a pretense of religion, of being a good girl. However, the Bible says that her way is death.

Proverbs 2:16-19 To deliver you from the strange woman,
From the adulteress who flatters with her words;
That leaves the companion of her youth
And forgets the covenant of her God;
For her house sinks down to death
And her tracks lead to the dead;
None who go to her return again,
Nor do they reach the paths of life.

It is when we are struggling and doubting that we are tempted to take things into our hands and “make it happen”. The attitude that nobody else is looking after you so you need to look after yourself is against God’s ways. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, in the Old Testament came up with an idea to get a baby, rather than wait upon the Lord. It brought her much grief.

Genesis 16:3,4 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.

In the same way, you will bring yourself grief also, if you take matters into your own hands. You may get what you “want” but will not want it in the end nor will it bring you any joy.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

When a young lady responds to a young man then it makes him feel like a king. If you make a man feel like a king then he will want you to be his queen. It is well worth it to wait for God’s man and for God’s timing. If a man sees a young lady as a queen he will treat her as such.

Psalm 52:9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.

In the end, if a young lady will trust in the Lord then she will give thanks to Him because she will know that He is the One who did it.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.