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

The One Thing I Don’t Ever Want To Do

“You’ve never been married?” Some have stammered with shock and disbelief over the years searching me with wannabe x-ray eyes and a mind riddled with assumptions and probing questions.

“Never been married, and I’ve never been divorced either,” I confidently retort.

Point being, I NEVER want to divorce.

Their reaction to my befitting response generally disarms and silences that quizzical mind that is about to hurl an almost accusatory tone of inquiries that borders on the edge of insulting all the way up to and including, “what’s wrong with you then?”

For some reason it’s almost as if they are personally injured because I didn’t choose marriage such as they did or possibly feel I have been robbed of marital bliss that all human beings should know about and experience. Quite frankly, I have not met anyone, even in the best of marriages, that hasn’t had to work through some tough issues in a lifelong commitment.

So the truth is what is RIGHT with and for me? What is right for you and what is right for me may have an ultra sharp contrast.

I have waited. On purpose. For God’s best. In His timing. For His purpose. I have heard His glorious voice that told me “single, for now,” when I asked. And, I don’t have the angst and worry that many singles do that have not married as marriage is not the center of the universe for me.

Paul, in the New Testament, even wisely addressed this ideal of singleness and that it is highly beneficial to remain, even as he was … single, in order to fulfill the work of God, unencumbered. He points to the topic of singleness in I Corinthians 7:8 and carefully uses the word “good” that one remains in a free state of being, that carries with it a vast and surprising meaning in the original Greek text. That very meaning even tips over the line into a definition that could be mistaken as “better” and carries an exquisite and lengthy root word trail wrapped up in descriptions such as “praiseworthy, magnificent, precious, and honorable,” which is spelled out in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

Praiseworthy? Magnificent? Precious? Honorable?

How’s that for the truth!? This is exactly why I don’t like to run toward a lifelong commitment.  What better way to prove maturity in Christ than to choose Him as the primary focus, even though there is nothing wrong with marriage as he continues to discuss in that powerful set of verses in I Corinthians 7. Paul was not lonely and depressed, but simply, and overwhelmingly, and willingly available, to the Lord’s purpose and plan.

My challenge to anyone who questions an on-purpose-single such as I am, is to do a word study on these verses in the Word of God before they decide to turn and lecture by making assumptive comments or allowing the unsolicited advice to begin with and basing it on the desires of the average Joe or Josephine they have met. It may even challenge some to look into their own lives and see if they too are not called to singleness if given a moment of meditation and reflection. There is nothing more gratifying than understanding one’s call, so rather than fear singleness, find out if it might just be for you.

I am vastly contented in my 47 years of freedom from the yoke of marriage, and have been quite fulfilled in my marriage to the Lord.  Some cannot fathom this and one woman years ago even flat out called me something short of a liar. That’s when I knew I was talking to someone who couldn’t survive without a man herself; therefore the rest of the women in the world must be just like her. Right? Poor lady. Even more ridiculous, sometimes one will reach over and pat my hand and look at me with a pseudo compassion – completely displaced I might add, affirming that God will bring “him” one day … just you wait honey, “it” will happen.

Nothing could grovel my bones harder than the misguided idea that I have been feeling dissed, hurt, lonely or any other misnomer to that cause because there is not a significant earthly other, as if all singles are panting and pining for a mate. It never quite hits them in the way of wisdom that maybe some singles really choose to be alone and that some of us have had some very interesting suitors that have turned our taste buds completely off to marriage for the present, only to be replaced with a vastly more fulfilling call in God’s work. Not only that, marriage is hard work! And I am not so sure I want to add a line item of marriage with a number of work orders attached to it that will naturally float to the top in importance and attention in my life until I am good and ready.

God has given me an enormous amount energy, ridiculous ambition, and a fistful of diamonds of ministry that I serve with my whole heart, and it would take a very special man to share in that energy, joy, and calling, and not feel threatened, or become needy in the process. The Lord has equipped me for His work. In turn, if and when that elusive gentleman of mine presents himself, I want to go in with my eyes wide open, equipped with the understanding that we are a team and not in competition, and that we have all the “stuff” that is needed to be a success. There is nothing I would love more than to serve my husband in a way far better than he even prayed for … but the Lord can only create that cocktail mix for all the necessary elements to be in place. Namely – that we were made for one another. I have dreams and baggage and I imagine he will too, so it has to be the perfect fit and I will not settle for anything different nor will I get married just to be married to beat the clock only to end up in divorce or worse — marriage with infidelity present somewhere. Trapped in a disappointing marriage because I didn’t want to wait? NO WAY!!

Has God’s call cost me the opportunity for children? Possibly so, … but I could be the rare 50 something year old woman someday that married in God’s perfect timing and gave birth and beat the shocking snot out of everyone.  Yet, never has it been burning in my bones to hear babies crying at 3 a.m. nor to deal with a possible dysfunctional teenager. I’m not really wired for that, just like it’s not been in me for the immediate drive to marry out of high school or college. If the Lord should so wish for me to have children, step or home grown, He will be faithful to give me the ticket before I climb on board.

So there it is, from the beginning of time … that simply dynamic complicated union … which has become the emotionally charged target for descriptives tethered to its side ranging from “the hardest thing one has ever done” to the “best move one has ever made,” that life engulfing entity that dreams or nightmares are made of, that life-altering experience that offers a variety of material that film makers can draw from … the source for fulfillment, emptiness, excitement, hard work, ministry, thrills, boredom, strength, sorrow, great love, bitter disappointment, happiness, faithfulness, depression, peace, infidelity, challenge, frustration, abuse, total and complete joy, electric chemistry, great-boring-or-no-sex, the source for so many thousands of dollars spent in counseling and legal fees, that fascinating union of two, that God-given gift and creation … called … marriage.

Marriage … couples blend together and consummate their lives, their individual character traits, interests, talents, skills, beliefs, cultures, family background, belief systems, approaches to parenting, and more, and the entire process is often found to be the very hammer that pounds out the strengths and weaknesses of the couple who dared to enter over into its threshold. And for those very reasons listed above, I have approached marriage with a painful caution even slipping over the edge into a viewpoint of cynicism.

I was birthed into my two immediate families – one of mom, one of dad, who have successfully created sixteen hefty complicated divorces and a host of remarriages and blended family unions, diversifying every holiday as children work to figure out how to juggle one family verses the other, or as well as the other, for a visit–not to mention, a number of divorces that exist throughout my non-immediate family with the greats, the cousins, and so on. Some of those people have actually managed to marry and divorce multiple times in a short record number of years, or have remained single since then, and some finally got it “right” or simply decided that one more scar on the heart was unwelcomed. Nothing like a little variety in life-mates right?

Yes, few, very few, marriages successfully survived the worst and remain intact, namely my grandparents who have been together for over 73 years. It has been tough and difficult, but they have also been a source of delight for one another not to mention that they love their children and grandchildren voraciously. Being the first born grandchild and only grand-daughter, I have grown old enough now to see things with my own eyes and have listened to the stories of old and new to learn the reality check of marriage. I am not sure I would want a marriage like theirs at all. In fact, I know I don’t for a variety of reasons I will refrain from unpacking.

There has been more than one opportunity for marriage for me, but deep in that women’s instinctive gut He gave us girls, there was no doubt, they were not “the one.” It was hard to walk away, many tears and heart ache involved, and often I have questioned God as to what the purpose of that set up was for, only to fall back on the original truth in my heart — that I never really enjoyed the dating process that I figured later was for this very reason … it’s not in the Bible. It’s an “American tradition” as Elisabeth Elliot pointed out personally to a group of us in a women’s conference years ago and at that point, I nearly stood and applauded her insight at the podium in that God could do a splendid job of matchmaking without our help. Help that usually turns things into a mess. We end up with people that the Lord never intended for us.

Yes, He can use dating, but often we yield to a wrong match making process that’s Plan B when our Father had a much better idea with Plan A. I choose Plan A. Still, I have yet to truly encounter the man, single and ready, with whom I have that natural chemistry and complimentary match up of the fundamental basics that one would not want to survive without in a lifelong commitment. Never settled, never will. God has created me as an Eve for a perfect fit for my earthly Adam husband, aside from the spiritual Husband I already have called Jesus Christ. After all, in the book of Isaiah, He is called our Husbandmen. That to me, is worth its weight in gold.

One close friend said it was exactly what she had prayed for when she married at 42, that her husband most certainly filled “the list” she had created for her praying friends to offer to the Lord after multiple years in ministry service which has yielded her a beautiful speaking ministry AND she got the marriage goods to go with that gift. Had she married younger, she would have missed one of the most incredible ventures in mission work that anyone could have ever imagined. No, it was not easy in ministry all the way, and unlike me, she truly did want to be married all along. But in God’s timing, He brought her – her imperfectly perfect man and no doubt she would not have it any other way.

Conversely, there is no way to summarize and count correctly the number of pain filled voices I have heard of women and men who wished they had never married him or her, or wished they had waited, or hurried into marriage because they were pregnant, or married for sex or money or loneliness, or simply, because they thought it was time. But the big one that REALLY rips me a new set of angries, are the stories of marriage that yielded to the pressure of parents, the church, friends or otherwise.

For the love of everyone, why would anyone pressure their children, a friend, or a minister, to marry someone that they may not deeply love, or have chemistry with, or could have massive issues with down the line? Is it pride, money, prestige that drives us to put someone into the hot seat? What are we doing when we try to live vicariously through our children or friends and miss the greatest satisfaction aside from our love of the Lord … the love from a man or woman that was divinely made to fit us in every way with a spiritual yoking that fits? Oh how vital that is for making a union peaceful and those complimentary gifts for one another that provide balance and a sense of relief as the other mate has got our back in those places we are weak.

My mother and father have never pressured me into marriage to any degree whatsoever and I am all the more blessed to have not made that mistake of yielding to the wrong situation. Probably they didn’t ride my heels for marriage or grandchildren because they have been married a time or two or three themselves and they know full well what it entails. Thank you mom and dad.

How about this one–physical desires and intimacy? Assumptions cannot be made here about how “it” will be. So, imagine if one will, openly discussing and expressing wants and fantasies even before marriage to a fiancé in a spirit of chaste respect, so that they are aware of expectations going in rather than bitter disappointment after the nuptials took place. Not being correctly balanced with the person the Lord has made as an Eve for an Adam, could almost guarantee a lack of fulfillment in this area, possibly leading to infidelity and a tearing asunder as one searches for that very basic need outside of their vows that our Creator Himself intended to be fulfilled by the right person inside of marriage. Oh the woes of being unfaithful, but oh the woes of why they did it and the numerous examples in history of those devastating consequences of a cheating spouse. Dissatisfaction in this precious part of marriage doesn’t just affect the couple alone, it affects everyone else too.

Married men or women may act the part of a seducer and not even be aware they are doing this, simply because they are hungry for stimulation mentally from someone else that is attractive, and then emotional and ultimate physical desires will soon follow. Think on that chain reaction a minute and see how that could be true and the path where that could lead. I will say though, I truly understand why some do wander. Since marriage is already filled with challenges, it’s even harder if it’s to the wrong person. The wrong person can make it supremely difficult and one will feel rejected, unloved, unsupported, and this can go on for years and years at a time. We can hardly blame a person for looking around and comparing when times are tough, but then when actions follow, it gets ultra-complicated. When one is not fulfilled in Christ first, they can make the unwise choice all the way down the line in who and why they marry to begin with, all the way to the trip outside of marriage if things are not going well. It boils down to our identity in Christ and our trust in Him for His choice for us. Do NOT settle.

Summing up, without a doubt I have with great certainty come to the conclusion that 99% of the reasons couples don’t survive marriage is because they did not marry their divinely created Eve or their Adam that was designed as a teammate to withstand what life can hurl at them, albeit we will still sin even with the right fit as happened in the Garden of Eden. But it’s so much better to be equally yoked. It’s a choice to marry right, and a choice to stay right within that boundary of commitment. Not being equally yoked can devastate and disable even the most well-meaning suitors and marital partners.  Big woops is all I have to say if we settle for less. I have even seen blessed second or third marriages when the first one or two spelled mistake. Now the Baptists would have a field day with that comment, but I have indeed seen this to be true.  God works with us despite our mistakes – even divorce, for He is a gracious and loving God and if we are made in His image with His gigantic heart of love. I want ALL of that love for you and for me when we choose a mate.

My greatest reservation to marriage for myself is the fact I dread the idea of divorce. Others reading this, dealing with heart break if you split due to a mismatch on this side of marriage before it happens is far less painful than marrying someone that you discover is all wrong  … it even saves your life. Why be married to someone who is wrong for you? For when the time comes, dissatisfaction later on will set in when there comes the game-playing of hatred, withholding intimacy, using children as a weapon, messy money issues, and a lifetime tied to that person from then on even if you divorced, if even just for the memory of the experience.

Proceed with calculated caution and a mother load of prayer and WISE counsel. If that is not enough to read and digest, the Word of God is full of promises for us when we pray and lift our imperfect selves, broken marriages, scarred hearts, and even our joy-filled thanks to Him. But, if there is one caution I could give to someone who reads this … Men, WAIT on your EVE. Women WAIT on your ADAM. I don’t want to settle for good. I want to run toward great and I want the same for you. Take your time and pray for and against those things you desire in marriage and learn that you may need to surrender to God’s type of person He brings that is better than one could ever imagine. Ask anyone who has done it right. It’s well worth the wait.

Disclaimer: This blog is from the viewpoint of the author, and her opinion is not up for debate.

Four Methods of Absorbing Truth

Today I was listening to my Bible App and the voice of the fine sounding Englishman reading through Proverbs realizing how powerful it is we absorb the Word in these four ways; read the Word of God, speak it aloud while meditating on it’s truths, listen to it read aloud, plus sing the Word – for our Lord Jesus Christ inhabits our praises. One picks up different morsels of rich truth doing all four methods – reading it, speaking it aloud, and listening to someone else say it, and singing it from the heart.

Proverbs 8:34-35, “Blessed is the man who LISTENS to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds Me finds life And obtains favor from the LORD.”

Rev. 1:3, “Blessed is he who READS and those who HEAR the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

Ephesians 5:19, “SPEAK to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. SING and make music in your heart to the Lord.”
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When the Odds are Stacked Sky High

A word of encouragement: When the odds are not stacked in your favor, that’s when the Lord will display His finest craft of carrying out the impossible!

Soon after I started promotional work as a publicist for several noteworthy clients, I was diagnosed with a very serious illness that finally answered a great deal of mysterious pain and discomfort for many years. Issues began to escalate into a true emergency in February 2013 with sudden tremors,  insomnia, various pains in my abdomen,  a feeling of nausea, skin inflammation, and a continuum of aches and stiffness.

Right away, it became evident that my ordeal was more than just being ill, which is so foreign to my normal level of well being, but, more a matter that this was a full scale attack from the enemy to attempt to keep me still. Since nothing slips through the filter of our Savior, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Lord was and is sharpening my weaponry  in warfare. The taller the flames of the ordeal, the greater the triumph when we pass through them without even a hint of smoke trailing behind such as with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

During the months of sickness and search to find a diagnosis and treatment, I  have spent MUCH time calling out to the Lord for His intervention. My literal pray has been “PLEASE HELP ME”, and,  He delivered indeed with the correct label on this problem via a tremendous Christian Doctor who specializes in my particular ailment with the surprising declaration of Lyme Disease. Not only that, but a co-infection that often is affiliated with such a named burden. From what we can surmise it has been in my system for several years.

The course of healing requires medication for an extended length of time that can bring a hefty level of unpleasant side effects,  required enormous detox concoctions, and a sudden sacrifice of ALL comfort foods we have ever known, such as; chocolate, coffee, tomatoes, bananas, anything boxed or canned that has elements in the ingredient list that are not “pure”, and certainly, no spices what so ever in any dish at all. That means no Mexican Food … my all time favorite. Boo Hoo. In other words, extremely healthy and organic.

For relief from unrelenting pain that an average food list can bring, those items have been replaced with a low acid list, alkaline water and green drinks, juicing, herbal teas, probiotics, and a suit case full of supplements.

On top of dietary issues, I’ve had to add a purchase of an infrared sauna used at home, detoxing clay packs, hours of exercise and sunshine, and a preoccupation of my time in order to “treat” the body so that my immune system can carry out it’s orders to heal. Thousands of dollars have been poured into my new living regime to purchase what insurance will not cover, not to mention a nice investment in our local Whole Foods.

I have no guarantee that treatment will cure this, and for sure, the process of undergoing this treatment is much worse than the illness has been itself. With brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, ringing ears, blurred vision, weakness, I am forced to accept that this is no longer a body I know with it’s familiar response to things.  Often I have to brace myself for what each day will bring that is new and unfamiliar territory.

HOWEVER, God is faithful! Often I remind Him of His promises to me throughout Scripture and from the specific times I have heard Him speak to me of Jeremiah 29:11 -14 for His plan, and, Matthew 28 that He will be with me … always. When one hears God’s voice, they are never the same and are none too soon to forget that stunning voice and His given Word of comfort. Several times I have told Him I would wear His ears out with my request for healing while coming boldly before His throne of grace.

Every fiber of my heart believes, by faith, for Christ’s total touch of healing. My nights have been spent with hours listening to healing Scriptures on-line, and speaking out loud to my illness commanding it to leave my body. There is too much to do that requires a healthy enough body, but find that reading through history, many many of the Lord’s most effective workers, had to harness heart aches, health issues, and crippling losses that are part of the fiber of their stories; Corrie ten Boom – lost four family members in the Holocaust and later battled Hepatitis and was silenced for five years from consequtive strokes. Elisabeth Elliot – suffered the loss of her darling beloved husband that was speared to death by the very tribe they were delivering the Gospel to, and to this date, is suffering the ravages of Alzheimers. Let’s not forget the greatest suffering of all with our Savior, Who left the glories of heaven to be humbled while living on this earth while serving His very own creation … and then betrayal and torture to the level of unthinkable, for you and for me. His isolation during those hours of His life were the very moments that allow us comfort to understand that He “gets” our suffering, having been-there-done-that. Thank you Father for not abandoning us in the unfamiliar.

The great comfort in this unpleasant ordeal is that looking back, one can see that of all the trials, furnaces, and valleys, one thing I NEVER have can doubt, is God’s character and His plan. He has never let me down and has used every difficult moment for His glory. So I eagerly await to see what He will do with “this one”, for without a test, there is no testimony. Incidentally, in the Old Testament Hebrew, one of the root words of desert/wildnerness … is “speech”. The desert dry parched moments of life are the required elements at times in order to hear our Lord’s voice.

In the mean time, the Lord has given me much in the way of favor and blessings during this waiting period for “what next” … including a surge of business opportunity I never dreamed possible. In a short amount of time during my darkest hours, my businesses  have been doubling if not tripling. Often I ponder that this illness experience is required in order to buffet my mind, body, and soul to be fixated on Him and not the success of the business. As Paul states, He must increase and I must decrease … knowing that this is my thorn for the time being, I trust increasingly for what He is going to do. In fact, there is no choice but to adopt a spirit of gratitude IN the fire long before I can even see the way through the fire.

Which leads me to ask, what are you doing with your trial? Are you crying out to Him? Are you forging forward no matter what the prognosis? Are you determined NOT to give up and utilize what gifts you have during the hours and days that you are capable of working them? Are you confident that you will emerge from the flames a spiritually deeper and readily prepared soldier for the greater tasks that lie ahead.

He promises He has a plan and will be certain to carry that plan to fruition even and especially using your trial that looks hopeless. No telling what He is grooming us for in the upcoming days, but the issues of suffering now are supreme preparation in strength building for the greater good. Join me in believing what He has promised and that all things will work together for good – Romans 8:28.

And certainly I will cling to this Word I heard from His very mouth in April of 1995: Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?1 Peter 5:6-7
“Cherish your purpose in life.”This is one I can honestly say I have never seen circulating in the emails
so; if it touches you, you may want to forward it.

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never
noticed this….
The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over
the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.
The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly
folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the
tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.
She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus
loved. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I
don’t know where they have put him!’
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.. The other disciple
outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen
cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen
wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was
folded up and lying to the side.
Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!
In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to
understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded
napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this
tradition.
When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it
was exactly the way the master wanted it..
The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out
of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not
dare touch that table, until the master was finished.
Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his
fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and
toss it onto the table.
The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the
wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done’.
But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it
beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table,
because……….
The folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’

He is Coming Back!
(Author Unknown)

Peace!

Praying for families and friends to MAKE peace today with each other – because it’s the mature thing to do, and it pleases the Savior. It’s the ministry of “Grow Up, Forgive, and Get Over It in a Spirit of Love”.

Definition of Reconciliation: adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favour. In the NT of the restoration of the favour of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ.

2Corinthians 5:17-18, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [fn]he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”