Lies we Believe about the Christian Single

Having been “never married” for my nearly 50 years of life, by choice,  I have gained some vast  first-hand insight, being on the receiving end of a pretty broad range of assumptions from people make a swinging attempt to sum up the world of “singlehood”. Some of the ideation that has been given often without invitation sits somewhere on the grid of absolute encouragement and confirmation all the way on the opposite end of the edge of preconceived notions falling flat of any kind of reality. Some comments and suggestions are even downright mean-spirited and weird. I know I am not alone, and on behalf of those that have encountered the same, my objective is to give a few responses to these assumptions and to shed some light about what’s going on with those of us that have either chosen singleness, or are newly single again.

As someone that doesn’t like to be branded a type of anything other than a highly unique individual, I get very weary of being classified as a married, or single, or widowed, or divorced, as if the only way to file a person’s identity is by their marital status. The fact of the matter is, we are people, above and beyond that of a marital status.  According to God’s Word, there are benefits to marriage AND to singleness, but often times, others reach to marriage for reasons other than a true solid wise choice in order to fill up with something they are missing.

How many stories of those that got married thinking that this was the next step in life, and the cure for their ailments, find out that they have now compounded their existing issues with involving another imperfect human being into the equation? Being whole as a person above and beyond marriage is a highly favorable state to be in as it allows us to function as an individual dependent on the Lord as our source. Marriage can either compliment that, or, it can actually subtract from that in some cases.  Fortunately some of us had that one figured out a long time before we were faced with the decision to marry, yet still, we are faced with some pretty interesting thoughts from others and the following responses are designed for understanding, from what I typically have seen has been the case for many – wrong assumptions.

THE LIES WE BELIEVE ABOUT SINGLENESS:

“You must be anxious for marriage. Isn’t attending weddings hard for you? You are attractive and funny, but not married, what’s wrong with you? You must not be ‘ready’ yet for marriage (aka; mature enough).”

My response: Oh please …  aren’t we all adults here and able to think outside the box? Hello, this is the 21st century folks. By now, have we not seen that the average age for marrying has shifted to “much later in life” than ever before? And news flash, much of it is by choice and not because there is something wrong, or that we aren’t mature enough, or that we are secretly gay,  or that we aren’t good enough, or whatever other thing is assumed about someone else who is not just like the others that want to head to the altar.  Some of us have had some rip roaring rough interactions with the opposite sex in our lives and marriage looks more like a noose around the neck, rather than a haven of partnership.

If anything, waiting for the right time and place to marry in our lives, even if much later, is a strong indication of wisdom, depth, and character about approaching carefully a decision that can shape the rest of a person’s life. If one happens to marry earlier and it’s successful, then praise be to God, but, for those that have a mission before and outside of marriage for the time being or even for life, as well, praise be to Him. I stand in awe and in deep solid respect for marriage, so that is one area, I simply choose to approach with a reverent caution, not only to allow God’s perfect timing, but to allow myself and someone I may meet, to evolve to that place of being ready. We can be the most mature people in the world, but marriage requires a much steeper demand on those that are feeling particularly drawn to it in the immediate realm. Two different callings, with two very different lists of what is required for both – so the lesson here, and please let it stick >>>> being single doesn’t mean something is broken, and that marriage is the fix.

Let’s not forget one other factor. Life is vastly different from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s and we surely can’t exclude the blended family life out there. Blending lives can be a major gift for some and yet a tough area forced upon others. That can and does influence us vastly as to decisions on even wanting to look at marriage as an option for ourselves due to the “what-if” factor. Realistically, what is woefully apparent here is that we teach that marriage is easy to get out of with an attorney and disillusionment of marriage, but in the spiritual realm, it truly is a tearing asunder and it changes the fabric of a person’s history to one they didn’t necessarily plan on. Anymore, we allow an easy out and it’s not unusual for someone who has reached middle age to have been married and divorced more than once by the age of 40. So pardon me if some of us decide that it’s not necessarily the best option in the world for our every day in and day out of existence.

For me personally, having witnessed first hand or having seen the fall out of sixteen divorces in my immediate family, including that of my own parents, my enthusiasm for wedded bliss has been pretty much been rendered at the level of zilch for such a sacred act. As I said before, I respect it, I’m just not sure it’s for me right now, or even ever. Not everyone will respond such as I have, some will embrace marriage and have a successful and balanced experience with it, however, some have known the plague of the aftermath of a the divorce generational curse.

“Maybe you are afraid to get married – aren’t you lonely?”

One of the most critical and rare truths that we might completely forget and seem to look down on is that SOME of us are actually CALLED to singleness and are vastly fulfilled in that calling. Didn’t Paul pose the fact in I Corinthians that it is “good to remain even as I” – meaning single, and focused on God’s work and that it is indeed meant to imply that there are advantages to this life than to that of marriage. Look up the word “good” in the passages Paul wrote on the subject and you will be met with a deep definition in the Greek that will set the record straight! Unwed means time for the work of the Lord (aka: fun, travel, freedom, peace, etc), although marriage itself is also the work of the Lord, yes, more often we are busy trying to please an imperfect partner as opposed to being able to please a perfect God. This is exactly what Paul meant in the Word. Often times when I have given a relationship a spin, I have found it to be a complete distraction and almost invariably a means to an end for heartbreak I never wanted to invite into my world to begin with – I have learned a great deal from bad and good relationships.

Recently in the news, Vice President Mike Pence was criticized for being so “extreme” in his conservative approach about honoring his wife. The guy is trying to remain pure and true to his bride, and naturally, the media who is blatantly liberal, would make a mockery of such an incredible gesture of depth and wisdom. For the love, media, do you always twist something sacred into a sin? If I may take the liberty, fellow Christians, you also have a tendency to turn the call to singleness into something “extreme”, or wrong, as if it’s a sin or that we aren’t settled down or avoiding true bliss that we could possibly be partaking in. But some of us just don’t feel that it’s bliss … I see more work than I do harmony in most marriages. Let’s not twist God’s goodness and providence for another to look like a handicap when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Chew on that for a bit.

“You are divorced. What happened you failure you?”

Wow, so much goes into the reasons of divorce, and often we hear that one person wanted it while the other fought hard to keep it. What if the single you are making remarks to did indeed want to be and stay married. What if they are in anguish and feeling trampled at the moment with being rejected. What good does it do to remind them of what they don’t have and have longed for?

I hate divorce, it has been a huge part of the fabric of my life, but just as much I have seen some that never truly wanted it to take place. It’s a sad day when a certificate of divorce is issued, and my advice to others, is to take some time to imagine what it would be like if their spouse decided to part ways against their will, or if even something extreme happened to tear them apart. Putting ourselves into the shoes of another with situations that are different from ours, can help us use a little sympathy and consideration to keep quiet and not blame and point fingers.

“You are a widow. Have you thought of dating someone else? You can love again – let’s set you up on a date.”

What if they are a widow, and it’s a wickedly raw time for them grieving the loss of one not even wanting to entertain the thought of remarriage, yet, everyone around them is trying to push them into something new before they are ready.

Give people room, to not have to owe an explanation and to not have to prove anything with being in a relationship. Maybe they are profoundly lonely and might like to meet someone? Yet, maybe it’s not your place to pull that out of them. Give them time to offer up that desire if it’s meant to be, and, for all intensive purposes, make sure to pray first about the person they will meet and possibly even decide to marry. Sometimes remarriage after being widowed can pose an interesting new dynamic for them. Proceed with caution.  I have seen some great successes and have also witnessed some abysmal disasters in post widow marriages.

“You don’t have children, you must feel empty and sad. You never gave your parents children, they must be grieving.”

If there has ever been one that is as stinging and wickedly demeaning, but not for reasons you might think, it’s been this type of ridiculous assumption that blatantly proves a lack of basic 101 manners and couth. Maybe a man or woman was married and is single now and had a harrowing issue with infertility to the point they divorced. Maybe someone truly want children more than anything else, and they DO want marriage FIRST before babies, but God has not brought that into their lives yet. What if someone has had to survive and look back on an assault in their lives that yielded an unwanted pregnancy they elected to allow to come to full term and then gave up that little one for adoption. The list goes on and on of the what ifs. Woe people, what a field of landmines we step onto when we make such strong comments and judgements to others we know very little about.

My advice to those that don’t understand –  just don’t go there.

Remember Hannah in the Word who was in earnest pain over wanting a child and was constantly harassed by Peninnah over Hannah’s lack of ability to conceive. Hannah was far more holy than I would have been, as I probably would have knocked Peninnah backwards for her verbal heckling. Be careful about inflaming a wound … steer clear and don’t be a Peninnah … a source of greater pain and immature annoyance, for you might warrant a response you weren’t prepared to receive.

Then there are those of us that never were really given the basic DNA to desire children. Yes, it crosses our minds, and yes we have the makings of a mother’s heart, but it’s not something we feel we missed out on. I am abundantly aware of the work that goes into parenting, but often if one is called to other things, the Lord gives that one a very satisfying life that even viewing children as a part of, would be an impairment, rather than a necessary part of the picture. The desire has simply not been there in the womb to want to procreate and know for a fact that myriads share that same viewpoint. If one wants children, generally they are wired and want to live up to all the demands that parenting requires.

Rarely do I share this and am careful for the sake of respect, but for the topic at hand someone else might be able to identify with my experience. One of my beloved family members gave me a look years ago, sneering about my proof of lack to provide a grandchild for my parents. Yes, I forgive, but truly, my respect dropped down a few notches for an unwarranted and demeaning comment that nearly sliced me in half.  God was about to usher an amazing season into my life, and had kept me to Himself for that very reason.  I wouldn’t have skipped what the Lord was about to for that of a wedding ring, even if it were wrapped in Tiffany blue with a dazzling man to offer it to me on one knee with a Bentley as a getaway car. There will be time for that later, if it’s meant to be. The alternative gift God gave for the time being, was far superior to my being married at the time. .

“You are single, you must struggle financially and need a man to take care of you. Your knight in shining armor has yet to come along.” 

Eyes rolling and a sigh. Let’s make something clear, it’s not that we women don’t want or need men, it’s rather the fact we have more opportunities open to us to make money, married or not, so finances really aren’t going to be so much a part of the decision to marry like they used to be. So many women jumped from home with their parents as their caretakers into a home with a husband as their caretaker. Not that this is bad, it could have worked out great for many, but sometimes women got married, just to get married, to escape the home, and then ended up in very unhappy situations, even abusive ones, and with few learned skills, in order to make it on their own if faced with that challenge. This is 2017 not 1960.  I just cleared well over seven figures in my little company in revenue. No man did it, but God and God alone through my fingers, through ridiculously unmerciful hard work, and with the aid of incredibly talented souls I have hired to do it along with me. My clients are fabulous and I serve them with zeal and commitment, as a perfectly imperfect woman. I have much to be grateful for in this growth cycle, but not sure if marriage would have aided or hindered this amazing business experience for me and so many that benefited from it.

Most of the small start-up businesses in America, are founded, run and managed by … women. The majority of women outlive men, so at some point, they will be single again even if they marry. Look it up as statistics and data speak for themselves! Does it mean, we wouldn’t welcome some relief financially along with the blessing of companionship and someone to love at some point? No, but the options for truly Godly men to marry any more, are pretty rare. Women have been forced to do what they have to in order to care for themselves. Chew on that one as well.

And can we please drop the knight in shining armor life of paradise? People, that is the world of Barbie and Ken. Yes, I know there are some tremendous marriages out there, but we set our girls and boys up for a huge let down and unrealistic expectations teaching them to pin their hopes on a person alone, rather than that of the man Jesus Christ who never disappoints.  Then when man disappoints, we bale out! No we should never settle, but again, we need to be careful about making someone fit the role of a saint that is just as capable of the same issues we ourselves have, and no one is capable of fixing another person. Also along that line, let’s stop pressuring couples we might set up, as if they need to walk out of their first date with an engagement ring on and a wedding date set. It’s ridiculous and I personally avoid being “hooked up” on dates because of that type of pressure alone.

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My hope is that your brief read through this will give you insight and open new understanding that marriage isn’t a fit for everyone just as singleness isn’t either. Let’s support each other, not put a label of inferiority on either situation, as we all have a calling to fulfill be it with a spouse on earth or a Spouse that is perfect out of heaven. Pray and think before speaking … and …  remember what assume spells …

Read my previous blog – “To Married Men Who Cheat”

https://reannring.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/to-married-men-who-cheat/

 

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Vital Steps to a Successful Business

THREE STEPS TO STARTING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Countless people have approached me and asked about “how to” steps for their ownideas and interests for starting and managing a successful business. As an entrepreneur for over 20 years, aiding others in, or spear-heading my own start-up businesses, ranging from one-of-a-kind creations all the way to service-oriented ventures on-line, I opened up my “portfolio of collected experiences” and found three vital steps that have carried me from the inception of a new business idea all the way through to the launch and continuum of growth in any new or growing venture.

1. Prayer:

Oh what we miss out on in blessings and what could have been prevented, if only we had participated in the language of prayer. One area of prayer is about timing, about when and even if it’s right to start and execute a new endeavor especially under the guidance of the Creator of the Universe. Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a “season fore verything” indicating that timing is a critical part of life and that there is a rhythm to the law of the harvest that intertwines with this truth. Knowing how your idea or product would fit into that rhythm is vital.The Lord may have an idea He has lent to you, but maybe it’s not until next fall that would be on point to get things rolling, maybe it’s tomorrow He wants you to start, or maybe your product idea could be a million dollar winner, but needs to be tweaked and placed into a specific niche market that could only be understood through the process of listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit of God. Proverbs 1:20-33 says that wisdom is “shouting in the streets” and whenever Scriptures says something in a dramatic fashion such as “shouting”, it’s best to understand that we need to be completely open and quiet and listening to God’s voice.

I think He has to shout because we are too busy talking and our minds too enthralled with plans, to slow down and hear Him. We can get so carried away by enthusiasm that we get ahead of the process, miss out on ingredients that make the final outcome a smashing success, skip inviting others in to help, and then spend time in bitterness and anger bewildered as to how we flopped and lost out on the investment of time and money, simply because we didn’t pray, didn’t listen, and didn’t plan accordingly for the right timing. If this has happened to you, learn from it, and get up on your feet and try again the right way.

2. Seek out a personal Elisha:

II Kings 4:1-7, tells us the true story of a desperate widow who sought counsel from the

well known prophet Elisha, as to how to prevent the creditor from taking her children as

slave laborers to pay off a sizable debt she owed. Elisha quickly pointed her in the

direction of what she already owned, a pot of oil, that became of value after she put it to

use via God’s hand. It was multiplied nearly over night and cleared her debt entirely, but

the point is, she needed to have someone point her in the way, and then she had to get

busy with that small pot of investment to get the maximum benefit it had to offer.

When I see a true story like that, it whips me to attention! The Lord loves to use people

to help other people as the mutual reward in any relationship, and seeking out

experienced counsel has a vastly rewarding dynamic we could miss if we didn’t reach

out and ask for help. Imagine if the widow kept trying to fix things on her own. There are

experienced gurus in business that would love to indulge in teaching us in the way that

they have learned and could prevent us from making collasol mistakes, not to mention,

as Elisha did the widow, teach us how to cut corners for a vast and faster profit. If we

skip this opportunity, not only do we miss out on gleaning methods of high return, but

we could also miss out on contacts and privileges in ways that we would otherwise not

be given simply through the connection itself. We don’t need to go in as a know-it-all,

and humbling ourselves to learn from a fellow willing entrepreneur dynamo could make

all the difference in the world.

3. Do your due diligence: This means do your home work fully before you embark.

Following after step two, one pivotal area I learned from, from one of my personal

Elisha’s in business has been the great Robert Kiyosaki #RichDad. This man has been

one of the single greatest influences in the marketing world to date. Having adhered to

his principles of laying down the proper ground work of due diligence before launching a

business, such as researching what is working in the market and how I could duplicate

that idea instead of reinventing the wheel with a new product, seeking out tax advisors

and setting up tax entities correctly, preparing for and planning for economic down

turns, and so much more, I am ecstatic to report that my business sales have soared

from the thousands in income, to well into seven figures collectively over a shorter time

span than I could have ever imagined. This wasn’t learned at home from my family, it

was learned through Robert while putting his teaching into action.

I highly recommend Kiyosaki’s books as part of your process of due diligence, ‘Rich

Dad Poor Dad’ and ‘Cash Flow Quadrant’, to gain life altering insight. I was enlightened

to information never heard of once I cracked open the cover of Kiyosaki’s work of

wisdom and further indulged in audio recordings of his talks with fellow gurus in his

sphere of influence that helped him along the way. What a learning curve to realize we

can go from clock punching employees to a business owners and investor viewing

money as a means to an end and not as a god that rules our lives because we don’t

have any. But what won me most about Kyosaki’s leadership was that he teaches

making the Lord your business partner and being faithful to tithe and give of our profit

where others can benefit. Having the Lord as a Business Partner, that is the best

alliance I can imagine.

When we involve our Lord God, the One Who owns it all anyway, and humble ourselves

as a student of others far more advanced than we are, then we will know when to

venture out at the right time, in the right place, having done our calculated risk

assessment through due diligence, and can invest our energy, time, talent, and

resources to make a business everything our Father meant it to be.

Stay tuned for my upcoming series of blogs that will teach the next steps of advice in

order to create a million dollar business.

For hourly individual or project consulting services – feel free to contact me directly:

reann@reannring.com

ReAnn Ring

Consultant for Safire Productions

Founder of Fresh Press – II Kings 4:1-7

No This Is Not Photoshop

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FJohnKuckoDigital%2Fvideos%2F1853260368277844%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Photograph by John Kucko Digital A recent windstorm in freezing temperatures swept across Webster, New York earlier this month, causing a house on Lake Ontario to become entirely encased in ice. The amazing sight was captured by John Kucko Digital who shared the photos and videos (embedded below) on Facebook. They have since gone…

via Crashing Waves, Strong Winds and Freezing Temps Encase Home in Ice — TwistedSifter

Rare Recording of Details on Corrie ten Boom’s Life

April 1995, marks the date that the Lord spoke His words into my life and set a direction for the future where I would never be the same. Pam Rosewell Moore, pictured with me on the right in the photo included, was assistant, traveling companion and nurse to Corrie ten Boom for the last seven years of her life. That day in April when she spoke as keynote speaker about her own testimony, entitled, Safer Than a Known Way, of the blending of her calling of missions with service to Brother Andrew and Corrie, made an indelible impression on all of us.  It was that day that the Lord inscribed on the tablet of my heart a desire to serve Him wholly and without reserve when I heard His mind-bending whisper, “I have a plan for your life”.

Immediately after that conference, the weekend that changed absolutely everything, fast forward through 17 years to include myriads of studies in God’s Word as a student turned Bible teacher, speaker, entrepreneur, and television personality, never dreaming that the Lord was about to touch my inscribed heart of Corrie’s and Pam’s story, with an addendum of His will to serve Pam as her assistant. The Lord spoke again, almost out of nowhere, and said, “… go help her,” meaning Pam Moore and the ministry in which she now still operates.

Feeling unworthy of His call, and after a thorough search online, there popped into view contact information for Pam, and nearly four months later after much correspondence between us, I was slowly gleaning an idea how the Lord was asking me to help her. It became obvious that I was to be one of many to carry the torch of Corrie’s message forward blending my own calling now with serving Pam in the current status as her assistant. The assistant to the assistant to the Corrie ten Boom? Never dreamed it … Pam often speaks and shares her books on her own story and that of Corrie’s all over the country and the world, and, need I say, I absolutely adore this woman, love to travel with her, and beyond my ability to even know to pray for something like this in the way of work, God has unfolded His promise of the words He whispered to me so many years ago.

I was and am enthralled and humbled at the prospect of being a part of a ministry for several years now that has touched millions of lives since the post-Holocaust missionary Corrie’s story hit the scene with her books and film surrounding around the theme of The Hiding Place. If you, my reader, are not familiar with this story, I HIGHLY encourage you to look into Amazon for the book and film, and prepare yourself for a mammoth blessing! It’s one of the most highly anointed stories still bearing momentum and weight even now all of these years later. It’s timeless.

This past weekend in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Pam and I both attended a women’s conference where she shared her testimony and a glimpse of life with Corrie in front of an audience of hundreds. We receive inquiries from all over the world about the historical WWII survivor story as well as many stories people share that met, knew and loved the Ten Boom Family. Your’s truly had the blessed privilege to share a question and answer session with Pam on some of the amusing, painful, and most powerful inside details of Corrie’s life during that time they traveled and lived together all the way to the end of the journey. We hope this will answer many of the questions people have asked for so long. Enjoy our recorded session, and may you be greatly touched, as I was, on the work of the Lord that has influenced over 70 years of followers. It is my deepest joy to share what our God has given in order to carry the torch and pass it on to anyone who will listen. Click link: Pam Moore and ReAnn Ring

As an added note, if you would like to hear that very conference talk Pam did that we heard in 1995, the three part recording from the 1995 tape-to-cd-to mp3 copy of her testimony is included here. It’s the old school flip tape style so it has a shorter section that is part two from the back side of tape one, but you will hear the entirely of the message over the three links. Enjoy – you will be blessed!

SAFER THAN A KNOWN WAY PART ONE

SAFER THAN A KNOWN WAY – PART TWO

SAFER THAN A KNOWN WAY – PART THREE

pam-and-reann-speaking-mlc-cryder

15 Highlights from the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest — TwistedSifter

Last call for entries! Contest closes Friday November 4, 2016 National Geographic invites photographers from around the world to enter the 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year contest. The grand-prize winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions and two 15-minute image portfolio reviews with National…

via 15 Highlights from the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest — TwistedSifter

To Married Men Who Cheat

I get it, married life has not turned out like you had hoped it would, with the shortchange of your dreams with companionship, a safe place to call home with a supportive loving wife, enriching satisfying intimacy, mutual respect, raising and leaving a healthy legacy for your children, and building finances for a great retirement. No, it’s definitely not been in the scope of what you may have wanted. Maybe, you do enjoy all these things, but still you have gotten bored and restless with the status quo and have ventured out into the world of taboo, seeking acceptance and the spice of life you have been looking for – with the extramarital affair, emotional or physical.

This is not an opportunity to shame males for falling into an affair or would-be affair, but simply a chance to share how it possibly could be perceived through the eyes of the woman that he pursues outside of the marriage nuptials. It’s a message with the modus operandi to help give greater insight for men from the perspective of the women he pursues, no matter his circumstances.

Before I indulge, we are not talking from the perspective of an Alex character type from Fatal Attraction, a woman with a Jezebel spirit woefully abandoned to her own demise, partaking in a conscience-free seduction, but more from the perspective of someone less dramatic like me – a single busy entrepreneur and happily involved in several ministries. You may even find yourself attracted to a woman married herself that might be in a bit of an unhappy dynamic like you have found yourself, so you reason with yourself that if both sides of the equation are married, there will be less entanglement with the fact you won’t have to fight off the eventual emotional connection and demand for marriage with a single woman. It’s less messy.

It might surprise a man how a lady truly feels about passes and suggestions to toy with the danger of an affair, even if it’s just pushing the line of safe boundaries with a “friendship”. A woman not looking for a man to fix her needs or to partake in a side venture from a pure and upright walk, could be found as even more of an exciting challenge, and what an incredible rush to actually see someone who never would normally indulge in such a sin, finally break down, and join you on this path of  choice. If she is of good moral character, that makes her even more exciting, breaking down the barriers of her safe wall of decency, that gives a man territory to conquer. Maybe you are looking for that secret tigress in her, supremely exciting and adventurous underneath all that morality talk, like the electric woman you always dreamed you could encounter.

When you see her, you might not be looking for trouble at first, but that spark and chemistry felt is undeniable. Conversations may start out as harmless,  but after a while, you begin to look forward to seeing her and possibly allowing the mind to slip into the world of fantasy about the two of you. Perhaps she resembles the girl your wife used to be, or more curiously, a total departure from her altogether, and because now you are feeling shafted, bored, or estranged by the current status of your marriage, you are tempted by the “what ifs” that this other lady might offer. You entertain conversation that if left unchecked, can eventually introduce you both into those tantalizing topics which lead to actions that are far more than unacceptable in the eyes of your wife and anyone else around you who truly cares. You begin to look forward to more time and interaction, and eventually, exchanging text messages, emails, planning quick meetings here and there, sharing a lingering hug, and whatever else transpires, you have found yourself wandering far and away into the forbidden territory. You are in it, looking over your shoulder, deleting messages so no one finds them, sneaking around, longing, wanting, wishing, plotting and more.

At this point, perhaps even both of you are dealing with the guilt and shame mixed with excitement of not getting caught, which only plays more heavily into the cycle of how it all repeats. The heightened sense of not getting caught makes the satisfaction of lust all the more exquisite. You feel alive, wanted, and appreciated more than ever before. The delight of the way it fills the bill, seems to offer promise of more of the same down the line if you continue in never getting caught. Or, does it?

In reality, something happens regardless of the promise of a new hope for your love life, because more often than not, men end up staying married to the original partner they married. The wanna-be new life seems to become the center of procrastination and excuses and before too long, your lover realizes, regardless of your loving exaltations, that she was used for something vastly in contrast to what the Word of God ever meant for a woman.  Emotional ties to someone your heart is not truly committed to,will yield to the fact that some day, someone is going to get burned, usually the woman, who looks far beyond the physical connection, and ties her value to how non-commital the male lover is to her, as if an affair could offer that anyway. The other issue is the wife may soon find out feeling devastated beyond words, your children are thrown in a chaos, and the once status quo household is a bundle of disarray and uncertainty.

I also want to address the men who pursue other women and hide the very fact that they are even married. The level of energy it takes to juggle and hide each relationship from the other, must become quite exhausting in the over all scheme of managing and weaving tales. Whatever the issues that supplied a set up for a new romance, you now have a side relationship that appears to be a safe secure haven that engages your interests, emotions, and physical desires and yet hiding the fact of an existing marriage is far more of a cowardly act than one might like to admit.

As strange as it sounds to quote Bob Marley, but oh so true, “the biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her”, be it your wife that was promised “for better or worse” that you have cheated on, or the one whom you have stirred into an emotional commitment to love you outside of your marriage, yet, knowing full well, you are not able to be faithful to either party. To entice another soul to fill your void, sooth your pain, and know full everyone is denying the reality of a sad ending, is wickedly unfair to have pursued to begin with, to say the least. Even if you have had a rare exception of happiness in an affair that ended up working out in the long run, no matter what, you live with the stigma of an affair in your present and past. Those infractions are rarely forgotten and go down in the historical account by family, children, and certainly the ex-spouse and both sides of your world, yours and hers ,will whisper of the truth of it, for quite some time.

Personally, having been the unwilling party on the receiving end of this type of pursuit in my history, I have found it completely cheap and disheartening to even be viewed in the most minor way as a surrogate wife to a married man. It short changes everything the Word of God says is pure and honorable of marriage.  Having experienced these passes of married men, ones in the church especially,  who want a potential rendezvous, I have found the words they use as empty and nothing more than a smoke screen for what is going on in a broad range internally. It certainly would never promise a fulfilling future. Having the opportunity to be his cherished one and only one day seems quite ridiculous especially if he can’t cherish the one and only he is with currently. Ladies, if you are reading this message, you know very good and well, that if he cheats with you, he will cheat on you. There are better ways to live on this earth, other than playing the game of being the one he hides and lies about in his world.

Affairs, even if never carried fully into fruition of the actual act of full on sex, carries with it the surefire way to fail and be used. I resent men to the nth degree who think I would find their advances, of all things, flattering, knowing it could cost him and me everything, plus perpetuate generational sins already established rather than being the ones that are the catalyst to break that cycle.  Is the reality of all of this really supposed to be a turn on?

A new-found secretive relationship could cost your partner in the affair everything , as there is no escaping the fact you both made decisions to act in this, unless it’s a girlfriend you hid the fact from that you are married. The fact a man would dull his own conscience to his marriage and the heart crush it would cause his wife, the price tag for his children, and the usery of the other ladies he chases, tells me volumes more about his lack of character than anything else. These actions help fuel the Gloria Steinem mentality that spews bitter hatred and self-righteous this and that, due to the inability to deal with and heal from pain with an attempt to guard and protect themselves from men they have labeled as “evil preying cheating monsters”.

Hey guys, let’s take a look at what women really want. We women need honorable men in our world. I, personally, want a safe covering for my life in the form of a faithful husband. Affairs dilute the institution of sacredness toward marriage as a whole, and for those in waiting for God’s very best like myself, gives us one more reason to be disappointed in men and diminishes hope that there will ever be a “real man” that can be found anywhere in sight. Any more, it’s rare to find any man who hasn’t cheated somewhere in his lifetime.  The days of men protecting a woman’s honor, seems to have all but disappeared and is now used as a theme brought into films on the screen as an antiquated romantic ideal.

People also forget the blessing that comes from the Lord by waiting on Him, for the best person, and in the sexual realm, keeping things pure before marriage and during marriage. There is a reward that comes from two people who truly work at making a long-term commitment priority and surrender the coping methods they have been using to the Lord, and allow Him to do the repair work needed and guiding into a renewed respect for the original spoken promises in our vows. It’s also the finest and the best of two people making a decision to marry, to marry the right person, at the right time for the right reasons. Oh the issues of life that could be avoided, if we prayed first, waited on the Lord for His best, and then proceeded into a life of blessings, rather than the constant challenges that marriages bring when not done in His will, with patience and a true reality check of what we bring to the table in the matrimonial world.

So let’s figure out where you are right now by answering these questions:

How does disobeying the Lord in the first place ever seem to assure a blessing in the long run?

Did you marry the wrong woman in a hurry due to lust and now there are great regrets shopping around outside of your marriage to see what it could have been?

When did respect for each other die in the way of protecting purity of another human being not to mention for yourself?

I personally love it when a man shows a serious level of maturity by realizing what is best for a lady, his own, and others. He opens the door for women, knows what good moral code is, and protects himself from his own weaknesses, even if the other party could never appreciate it. He will flee from the Jezebels that do indeed exist, and in contrast, also understands that if a vulnerable side of woman appears, it’s his duty and place to protect that by simply walking away, instead of maneuvering into a place to take advantage. Yes, she needs to guard herself as well, and as obvious in the situation, two people need to play the role of mature adults and simply flee from the temptation.

If he is my brother in Christ and knows better, and if you lady reading this know better, than why do we push the envelope into the affair level thinking it will ever bring a promise of a stable future more soundly than where we find ourselves now? It’s a lie from the Enemy to set one up for certain disaster.

If I were married, you are toying with another man’s territory, and if I am not, you are treading in the area of that of a future husband and the daughter of the King. Even if you dream of being that future spouse for a new lady, what kind of courtship is that – to be romancing someone while you are betraying your current vows, no matter what the excuse?

To add insult to injury, there is also nothing like the object of a husband’s affection that will guarantee the fury more of an anguished jilted and justifiably angry wife. Your other woman, will be regarded as the seducing villain, the enemy forever in the story, with no recourse, for no one can ever repair the feeling of being “less than”, than a wife that has been cheated on. This is one wound only the Lord Himself can heal.  And please, don’t tell me sir that you are totally forthright with your wife after being caught, only to lay a large amount of blame on the woman you had the affair with or almost affair with … because somehow she gets thrown under the bus no matter if she did or didn’t do a single thing to encourage your desire. Don’t blame your wife either for your stepping into infidelity.

Still feeling enticed to cheat?

Or, you may have already been there and done that, way past the point of no return, never having dreamed of having an affair and are now standing in a position that makes you wonder how in the world this whole thing started. You are staying in a heavily broken and strained marriage by choice in the aftermath, or even ransacked by divorce proceedings, bank account drained, reduced to seeing your children every other weekend, or even more of a dagger in the heart, your children have decided not to have anything to do with you. Your job is in question, and if in ministry, you know full well this could and probably has cost you everything you ever worked for over the years.  And let’s not forget, perhaps an unplanned pregnancy or a surprise venereal disease pops into the scenario for you both to have to deal with the rest of your lives. The gift that keeps on giving. Plus this as well, what about the unbeliever or weak in faith who is watching, thirsty to see if anyone truly lives an authentic Christian life – how about what they perceive in the body of Christ to be true and dependable?

So let’s see first how the dynamic of infidelity is a set-up from the origin, and learn how to avoid the perfect storm of lies from the evil one before it ever hits – that faulty promise that the grass is greener on the other side. Marriage was never meant to fill what only God could fill. That should be the beginning of baby steps toward understanding the the Lord is the only and all fulfilling God and marriage is a GIFT and a commitment between two very imperfect people. Everyone woman can produce a vulnerable side, and if inspected long enough you will find her weaknesses and strengths,  what makes her laugh and delights her heart, those areas which men are often all too familiar with – the way of her wounds and needs and past issues that she carries into her present. Isn’t that what attracted you to your wife? So when you see it as an attraction to a new person, it’s the same pattern of setting one up for emotional ties not meant for any reason other than for marriage.

Often men experience that innate desire to either protect or exploit that Achilles Heal of a woman in “befriending” her as a brother, to fulfill her at least with words and encouragement to help her feel whole, only to find himself gradually falling into an unintentional desire for filling that role himself. She will respond to you one way or the other and may even fight you for a while, but if she doesn’t run from temptation, she soon moves closer to you in heart. It’s the thrill of the chase and winning her trust and affection that keeps you both coming back for more. It could also be that she seems quite stable in her ways, and that helps you feel whole and completed drawing from her strength where you can no longer look to your wife for support.

So one has to ask himself, did the affair of the heart start with the first glimpse of each other, or was it when you decided that it was each other’s responsibility to play the fixer upper?  If you can no longer fix your own, you mine as well divert your abilities onto a life that could appreciate it – right? And somebody had to make her aware of how smoking hot and desirable she is – so let it be you to do the task. You feel that she needs to understand that she “deserves to be loved and appreciated”.

Oh danger – danger! This is where we go from flattery to forgery of God’s call on her life. That is not anyone’s place to make a woman feel desirable but that of her husband alone. Your actions will woe her into falling in love and wanting you on a permanent basis and it is woefully unfair for you to truly have no intention of ever following through. This is why the Word of God says to “guard your hearts” (Proverbs 4:23). Even if you have not found yourself intertwined emotionally with a woman, you may feel that an on-line participation of a sexual nature, but no physical touching, is less threatening and more credible as the non-affair type of affair.  However, let this be a glaring reality for all to know, cheating is cheating, no matter how you slice it.

We can dissect an even deeper truth of the vows you willingly took on your wedding day. You took the time to consider your wife, to court her, and convene with her in marriage, for better and for worse.  You are in it, although bored, restless, and wandering, feeling unloved and unconnected, feeling a fresh new face could fool you into thinking that this is the answer, even if just for a temporary fix. But beware, every relationship dynamic has areas that need to be examined, and carrying old baggage into the new, complicated by the very real fact this is an affair, can rarely ever transpire into something promising for the long haul. I will never understand why a man who wants to play the field, decides to marry and stays in it, and justifies all day long running around behind the backs of those that trust him the most. All of it, can go up in smoke with one phone call, a picture for evidence, or text copy – living on the edge of disaster smacks of nothing more than immaturity in character at its worst.

Are the Ten Commandments no longer applicable to adultery? The answer to that is an unequivocal NO. Those virtues of the standard of living in the Word of God,  in Exodus and Proverbs, and more, explains the consequences of this danger over and over again and prove to be right on the money for the 21st century beings we are today. It can and will cost more for the undertaking of it, than anyone ever could have prepared themselves to pay. The Lord put these rules of conduct into place in order to help His children avoid pain and disaster and never for the reason of causing you to live a life that is less than. 

Before you justify your actions to get your needs met outside of your consecrated vows, as yourself how adding another relationship into the equation help the matter?  If you are truly ending your  marriage, then take time to pray and seek Christ, and give yourself time to heal before entanglement with another potential divorce set up with a new person. Do you really want a healthy marriage as it is? Then give it all you have got. And if you do end things, don’t play around for the mean time.

Paul said it best in I Corinthians 7,  that in marriage, there will be “trouble” and that he was trying to “spare them” from that pain and derailment to their walk with God. Part of the subliminal footnote I feel Paul intended in that passage conveys that two imperfect people with a sin nature, enter into marriage and then place the other person in the marriage responsible for all of their needs to be met, and to make all of their dreams come true. I have had enormous pain just in the dating relationships, with “men of God” who most certainly would have been a disaster to have married. It’s pretty much curbed my appetite for ever wanting marriage and provides one fact I can rest upon: never married, never divorced, either.

Marriage is an ideal place to find out how giving or selfish we can ultimately be with another person, and the expectation levels we put on each other are far from the ability any human being could ever endeavor to meet, which leads to the obvious and highly expected let down that ensues. After all marriage is about how we can evolve in Christ together as a team, and not about how we can tear each other apart with the microscope looking for “the answer”. God never intended for it to be the whole picture for happiness, but rather a place where “iron sharpens iron” according to Proverbs 27:17, and for the sake of ministering to each other and with each other for those around you. If one falls down the other can pull them up for two are better than one as depicted in Ecclesiastes 4. It’s to glorify the Lord in the way Christ gave Himself up for His bride, the church as her Husbandmen, and for the wife to honor that role and that man. Remember, Jesus never cheats on His bride and she has certainly been a handful for him for centuries now.

Wives, you as well can play party to the problem of a cheating husband. Maybe you have worked as hard as you can on your relationship, slowly let down over time, by the reveal that the man you loved was not the man you thought you loved. But what if you helped set up this disadvantage for what is now a reality – did you happen to ignore the signs of what was coming?  Did that bitterness and the put downs, the male slamming and bickering happen to lead to a place over the years that your husband just got tired of the stress and felt driven away? Did you refuse counseling? Did you know better than to marry that guy that possibly was unfaithful before you said those nuptials thinking you could change him? Did you marry just to marry or escape another situation only to realize you two were not a life long match? Did you stop being a friend to him, and dismiss intimacy, and became the mother rather than the wife in the marriage? Do you hold past hurts from things of your childhood and other men in your life over your husband’s head as if he needs to pay the price for all of humanity? How about putting a leash on your spouse, did you think pulling him in tighter to your control was the answer? All of this is as self-serving as it can get.

“Perfect love casts out all fear” as I John 4:18 says, but that perfect love needs to be established carefully, with mutual agreement, done over time, and with open and honest transparency. Even if one person is working it harder than the other, at least they know they can put their head on their pillow at night knowing they are doing all things possible to make things work. But if all things are operating out of fear, it will serve as a sinking ship for the bottom of the abyss.

Men are visual, they like to be nurtured, we all like to be nurtured – yes, men, we women desperately need that as much as you do, and when we can’t deepen the communication and be respectful in our quest to get things out on the table for healing and counsel, we heighten the danger for either one in the marriage to seek solace elsewhere. Dr. Henry Wright, a champion on spiritual roots of healing in the ministry God gave him, points out many issues that are given for health problems due to lack of nurturing from those we are to receive it from, even including marriage. Check out his amazing ministry at http://www.beinhealth.or.

Men, do you put down your wives in the company of friends to fit in with their attitude? Does she feel valued, adored, needed, and protected? Have you set her up to feel bitter against you? And that thing we think is “harmless” with flirting, is absolutely untrue. For the small violation of trust with flirting with another, means a larger violation of trust is imminent. Flirting can turn into an all out affair and it is painfully disrespectful to your spouse. Caring, God-seeking friends – won’t set each other up for a fall into sin – so making someone who is a friend an object of your flirtation, can be a very dangerous risk.  One of the things we subliminally wish for in seduction is that even though the girl you are chasing may love the Lord and want total commitment to Him, we want her to respond. She is human, and can fall, so when a man who knows better, looks for insecurities, plays on emotions, trying to slowly diminish the boundary lines of what was once – taboo, and justifies his actions due to his miserable emptiness in his marriage, it creates a total breach of safety for all, and Satan sees that nothing and no one is off-limits. The key isn’t the empty marriage, it’s the emptiness within the people themselves.

The good news is, the Lord has equipped us fully and completely with the ability to be filled with His knowledge by His word, flee immorality, clean up our mind, cling to His Word, and learn from other’s mistakes or our own. One has to be on guard, instant in season and out, and it’s the toughest lesson to learn that the enemy of our souls plants his wiles among the pews and in ministries even outside the church walls, in businesses, and anywhere that people have to interact and where the Holy Spirit dwells. Target practice is common place especially if believers are not on guard. And honestly, I would rather see a cordial end to a marriage that is simply out of fuel, both parties completely spent and done, LONG before one tries out another new relationship, and only then, after a time of counseling and reflection. We don’t want a repeat of what just happened.

Again, my goal is not to berate, but simply to paint a sobering picture and provide a checklist in the mind for future reference that will give you guys something incredibly profound to consider before deciding to open the door to share intimacy with another woman.  The Scripture verse Hebrew 13:4 that says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous,” bears some pretty heavy weight with it and seems rather terrifying to someone who knows that unless they repent of this, get the help they need, and fall headlong into the Lord’s ability to heal, there is a sobering expectation in the long run. It’s even worse, when one does know that truth and still chooses to defy God’s warning.

Let’s look at the fact that there is hope, if two shall agree to get the help they need to safeguard against adultery, or the repeat of adultery. Infidelity, sin, for whatever reason, in whatever form, will never produce the righteousness of God. In the meantime, let’s do our best to remember that truth of the matter and work to overcome the desire to cause another one to stumble along with us. To finish off my ending note, what can we do to prevent a disaster and unwanted outcome in marriage, and when do men need to know that professional Godly counsel is in order to prevent further damage …

Checklist:

  1. For men and for women – do I need to get counseling in my marriage even if I am doing it alone? Do I have a sexual addiction? (There are volumes of places to help with this.)
  2. Do I spend time flirting with the opposite sex calling it harmless, and even convincing myself that this flattery is making them feel worthy and needed?
  3. Do I have a history of infidelity and should I avoid certain types of women that may trigger a desire to step out on my marriage? Should I really be on social media, or stay in the same realm of work on that floor of the church, with “her”?
  4. Am I calloused to my spouses needs and have I become less and less convicted about the idea of cheating? Wives are you pushing your man away and berating him with a honey-do list and income as his means of existence for you?
  5. Am I spending time in God’s Word daily and pursuing the heart the of the Lord to prevent issues even in thought, that could lead to infidelity?
  6. Is my marriage truly over? Have I tried everything to make it work, and have I been totally transparent with my spouse that temptation sits at the door if we don’t work on things together?
  7. Did I see some warning flags with my spouse before I married them? Could I have prevented heartache ahead of time? Was she cheating with you and now she is cheating on you? Were you the one cheating and thinking the next marriage would fix whatever it was that was broken?
  8. Am I lying to myself that flirting with anyone, is harmless? ) All marital infidelity begins with flirting.)
  9. Do I really want to hurt someone I say I care for? My wife, the ministry, my children, the church body, unbelievers who are looking for hope, and the other woman I encounter?
  10. Are there generational issues of infidelity in my family that I need to be freed from? Can I truly be the one that breaks the line of the curse? Of course you can!

I pray for blessings on you as you read this and take it to heart. There are so many blessings when we ourselves remain personally healthy and attach ourselves to the same. The Lord has a great plan for you, according to Jeremiah 29:11-13, and that would include freeing you from the stronghold of infidelity. God bless you as you endeavor to overcome.

Suggested reading: The Fantasy Fallacy – Shannon Ethridge

Love

Under the Micropscope

Challenge: To take our eyes off of everyone else and put them squarely back on Jesus. To work on our own personal growth while not losing sight to care and pray for others. Can you imagine if we spent as much time introspectively on ourselves for improvement as opposed to self-righteously pointing at and blaming everyone else and be ultra concerned about seeking the heart of and pleasing Jesus Christ of Nazareth? When we get caught up in Christ – supernatural change takes place and we become aware of our own issues and more concerned about others and their growth in Christ as opposed to tearing them down. That requires praying for clear vision, evaluation and surrender to the Lord, then again – praying for the Lord to change those areas that have fallen short and to strengthen those areas that are on point – in our OWN lives. We evaluate under the microscope-interrogate-and berate those around us – our spouses, our kids, our parents, our bosses, our friends, our church leaders, our fellow church members, our co-workers, our politicians, expecting standards that are sometimes impossible to attain to while grossly overlooking glaring issues in ourselves, our behavior, our attitude and the consequences. Paul said, 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others.”‪#‎TURNYOUREYESUPONJESUS‬

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