What Christians Need To Know About Abuse

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what christians need to know about abuse

October is National Domestic Abuse Awareness month.  This is a really good time to take a moment to educate ourselves on the all too common reality of abuse.  I have done some extensive research and this is some of the information that I found.  I realize this post is extra long but there is too much information I couldn’t leave out. Someone, one of you, might need it.  Many don’t realize what abuse actually is and that they (or a loved one) may be effected by it right now.

12 Myths About Abuse

1. Abuse Only Includes Physical and Sexual Crimes
When you think about the word “abuse” what comes to your mind?  Battered or sexually assaulted women?  These are the most commonly known types of abuse but are only two of many.

Types of abuse and short definitions:

1. Physical Abuse- any act resulting in a nonaccidental physical injury.

2. Sexual Abuse- assault or other crimes of a sexual nature, which need not be physical. Acts of a sexual nature are considered abuse if performed with minors or nonconsenting adults.

3. Verbal Abuse- mean vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval. Word games and invalidating statements. Usually implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the harshness of the language.

4. Emotional Abuse- the debasement of a person’s feelings that causes the individual to perceive himself or herself as inept, not cared for, and/or worthless.

5. Mental Abuse- the use of fear, manipulation and guilt to control another person. The abuser often twists perceptions of reality to make the victim feel as if he must be the one who is crazy or wrong in the situation.

6. Financial Abuse- Making or attempting to make a person financially dependent, e.g., maintaining total control over financial resources and withholding access to money, are some forms of financial abuse

7. Spiritual Abuse- refers to abuse administered under the guise of religion, including harassment or humiliation,possibly resulting in psychological trauma. Religious abuse may also include misuse of religion for selfish, secular, or ideological ends

 *Sources: thefreedictionary.com, merriam-webster.com, womenslaw.org, Jason Candanedo

2.  The Most Damaging Types of Abuse are Physical and Sexual
It is commonly thought that physical and sexual aggressions are the most dangerous and damaging forms of abuse but in fact all forms can be equally as damaging and devastating depending on the scenario.  For example, a person suffering from emotional abuse will often have the same type of physical, internal and mental pains and reactions as someone who has faced physical abuse.

3. Abuse Only Happens To Low Income People or To Those Who Put Themselves In Compromising Situations
This is not true.  Abuse can happen to those in both low and high income brackets, to young or old, disreputable or well respected citizens and those that come from dysfunctional or stable families.

4. Abuse Usually Happens When Someone Is In the Wrong Place At the Wrong Time By Someone They Do Not Know.
On the Contrary, most of the time abuse is comes from from someone the victim knows well and interacts with often such as a family member, spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend.

5. Churches and Christian Circles Are Abuse Free
Unfortunately abuse happens regularly in Christian circles.  Abusers will often misinterpret Scripture to justify their actions to them selves and their victims.  Those who are abused are often afraid or ashamed to come forward and exposes their suffering to the Church body.

6. Abusers Always Know They Are Being Abusive
Abusers often have their own mental disorders or delusions.  They are also very good at justifying their actions to themselves and others.  Many times they do not recognize their actions as being abusive though this is not always the case.

7. Victims of Abuse Know They Are Being Wrongly Treated
In some cases yes, but many times the abuser has retrained the victim’s mind to think wrongly.  A victim can be made to believe they deserve the abuse they are suffering from or be convinced that it’s really not all that bad.

8. Abuse Is Really The Victim’s Fault
Abuse is NEVER the victim’s fault.  Even if the victim did not make wise choices they are not accountable for the Abuser’s actions.  The abuser is always in the wrong.

9. Victims of Abuse Are Stupid For Not Leaving When They Have the Chance
There are many reasons a victim may choose not to leave an abusive situation such as having fear for themselves or their loved ones, not knowing where to go to or who to turn to, having a crushed self esteem, having a compassion or love for the abuser or having been brainwashed to believe the situation is actually normal and healthy.

10. Abuse Is Easy To Recognize
Abuse is often well hidden, explained away or discounted as a viable accusation because of the abusers relationship, standing in the community or the victim’s perceived unreliability.

11. Abuse Only Happens To Women and Children
Though women and children are by far the most targeted for abuse men can also be victims.

12.  You don’t know anyone who is being abused
Sadly, the statistics say otherwise.  You more than likely know one or more people who are being/have been abused you just don’t realize it.

What Are the Signs of Abuse?

There are many signs of abuse.  If you suspect abuse I recommend doing specific research on the category of abuse you suspect and talking with a professional.

Common Signs Someone May Be Abused

  • Physical evidence- bruising, scars, doctor or hospital visits, or attempting to hide these things
  • Fear- Being afraid around a particular person, having a fear of men, acting timidly and carefully, not wanting to go home or to a certain place
  • Depression- crying, feeling down, blocking out the world, talking about or attempting suicide
  • Have Stopped Doing What They Love- don’t spend time with and/or alone with friends and family anymore, missing important appointments, not participating in previously enjoyed activities, not wanting to leave home
  • Making Excuses- explaining away suspicious behavior or injury, covering for another’s actions, attempting to justify things out loud for their own benefit
  • Weight loss- losing weight quickly, showing signs of illness or seeming to “grow old” in a short amount of time
  • Interventions- police frequenting their home, victim is always moving from place to place (hiding)
  • Overly Apologetic- always takes things on as their own fault, apologizes unnecessarily, frequent self blame
  • Self Esteem Issues- puts one’s self down or tries to elevate one’s self (though not in the presence of the abuser)
  • Change in personality- a usually outgoing person acting shy or timid around their abuser, a usually articulate person having trouble expressing their feelings

Common Characteristics of An Abuser

  • Jealousy/Possessiveness- Desire to isolate their victim or regularly bring up unreasonable accusations
  • Control- The Abuser seems to hold a certain power and control over their vicim
  • Must Be the Center of Attention- frowns upon the victim doing well or showing signs of independence or independent activities.
  • Superiority- Putting down others’ thoughts and ideas in effort to make themselves feel/look superior.
  • Manipulates- Uses the power of persuasion, guilt trips, makes victim feel crazy or inept, blame shifting.
  • Mood Swings- Goes from kind and reasonable to aggressive and angry in a moment’s notice, making the victim feel the need to “walk on eggshells”.
  • Inconsistencies Between Words and Actions- Says one thing does another, is kind, loving and understanding in words but not in actions.
  • Reward and Withhold System- Uses tactics such as the silent treatment, withholding of emotional or sexual intimacy or withholding basics and necessities to make a point or get their way.
  • Unwilling To Seek Help- Chooses not to accept that there is a problem, blames their issues on others or their circumstances and refuses to get proper help.
  • Shows Disrespect to Others, Especially Women- This could be a present issue or one that has occurred in the past where the abuser sees/treats women as objects or lesser individuals.
  • Has An Abusive History- They were abused in the past, they have abused other people or animals before.

How You Can Help Others

Know the signs.  
Do your own research and be on the lookout for suspicious behavior.

Trust Your Gut.
If you have a feeling that something is “off” even if you can’t put your finger on it you’re probably right.  Take time to look deeper.

Know who to call.
For emergencies, imminent danger, proof or suspicion of violence call: 9-1-1

To Ask for Help or Advice call United Way:  2-1-1

For advice and healing: look up a professional Christian counselor in your area

If possible get in contact with a trusted authority involved in the victim’s life such as: a pastor, principal, parent

Pray.
Sometimes there are situations where there is nothing we can do but pray to the Great Healer and Protector for safety and wisdom.

Tips for Protecting Yourself

Get educated on abuse and the signs of abuse.
Do your own research, take a class or talk to a professional.

Be Aware.
Protection is 90% awareness and only 10% defensive action.

Trust Your Gut.
If a relationship or situation doesn’t feel right GET OUT.  Go to a safe place and talk to someone about your concerns no matter how silly they may feel.  If that person doesn’t listen to you keep looking until you find someone who will.  Do not try to talk to the possible abuser about your concerns until you have help.  You only risk endangering yourself or being wrongly convinced to disregard your feelings and concerns.

Take a Self defense Class.
I recommend the RAD self defense course.  It is specifically designed for women, is very educational and by the end of the course you will have tools for protecting yourself from physical danger.

Carry a weapon… or three.
There are a variety of weapons you can carry and conceal in your bag or on your person such as a knife, pepper spray or stun gun.  You also may want to consider buying a small gun and getting a concealed carry license.  Just make sure you know how to properly use your weapons.

Know Your Worth.
One of the biggest dangers to avoid is doubting your worth and competency.  You need to know that God stamped His image on you and that makes you valuable and deserving to be treated with respect and dignity.  Losing sight of your worth, doubting your competency or God given intuition puts you in a dangerous place where you may be more susceptible and accepting of abusive treatment.  To live full, safe lives we need to speak truth to ourself about the worth God has bestowed upon us.  If someone is continually making you feel less worthy or incompetent trust your gut, talk to someone about how this person is making your feel.

What the Bible Says About Abuse

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  -Galatians 5 {ESV}

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?  -1 Timothy 3 {ESV}

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.  -1 Peter 3:7 {ESV}

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  -Ephesians 6:4 {ESV}

Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.  -Proverbs 22:10 {ESV}

Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.  -Colossians 3:19 {ESV}

The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.  -Psalm 11:5 {ESV}

Contrasting True Love and Counterfeit Love (often present in abusive situations):

“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;”  -1 Corinthians 13 {NASB}

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Here is an excellent opportunity for you to help rescue some abused women and children: The BRAVO Team

*Note: Each abuse situation is unique having different levels of abuse, different circumstances, varied signs and symptoms.  If you or someone you know may be facing abuse get help as soon as possible.  If possible encourage the victim to go to a safe place and pursue help and protection.  Do not try to fix things on your own, this will only put you and the victim in more danger.  Talk to a professional or call 911 in case of emergency.

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Reviving the Art of Elegance

Elegant: graceful, tasteful, sophisticated, classic, refined, gracious, dignified, poised, beautiful, lovely, charming, cultivated, polished, cultured

The words above describe the greatly sought after and valued qualities of the women of yesteryear.  Women went to great lengths to learn the art of elegance.  Some even pursued this by attending classes or “finishing schools” out of their desire to be a fine lady.

While I’m not suggesting that we go back in time and embrace all of the olden day cultural rituals I do fear that our society as a whole has lost the value and understanding of elegance.

Today many women prefer to pursue “sexy” over “elegant”.  And instead of beautifully dignified examples like Audrey Hepburn we are looking at roll models like “Lady” Gaga.  

In place of “elegance” women prefer words like: sexy, hot, seductive, alluring, sensual, provocative, tempting or tantalizing.

This culture shift worries me because those qualities mentioned do not promote a safe, healthy or biblical life style.

 

True elegance shows respect for yourself and insists on respect from others.

Seductiveness shows disrespect for yourself and encourages others to treat you the same way.

 

True elegance builds healthy confidence in your worth as God’s crowning creation.

Seductiveness builds a dependency on the conditional approval of others.

 

True elegance helps you enjoy being the feminine woman you were designed to be.

Seductiveness degrades you femininity and forces you to use it as a tool instead of a gift.

 

I’ve been doing some studying on the art of elegance and I’m convinced it is a beautiful trait too valuable to just be lost.

So I’ve decided to start writing a series of blog posts sharing some of the awesome things I’ve been learning.  I have not decided on all of the topics we will talk about yet so feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions or questions!

 

I hope you will join me on this journey to a more elegant life!

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What If You Haven’t Remained Pure?

apple2I was recently asked to write a post on the topic of purity.  As I pondered a way to approach this subject my thoughts went back to a chapter in Joshua, the book my father has been leading our family through.

Most of the time when Christians address the subject of purity we discuss the importance of staying pure, the commandments to stay pure, particular ways to help us remain pure or the consequences of impurity.

While these aspects of the purity talk are extremely important what about those who have’t remained sexually pure either by their own choice or because of the choices of others?  Is all lost for them?

Joshua 2 tells the story of Rahab and the two spies.  The two spies had been sent by Joshua to scout out the land of Jericho before the Israelites went in to claim it like the Lord had commanded.

The men needed a place to lodge for the night, a place where they would not be easily noticed.  They chose to stay over night in the house of the prostitute Rahab.  This would be a discrete hiding place as she no doubt had many strange men visit on a regular basis.

The story goes on to say that despite their secrecy spies had been noticed and the king of Jerico sent his men to arrest them.  Rahab courageously hid the spies on her roof and sent the king’s men on a wild goose chase.

After the men had left, Rahab went back on the the roof and explained to the Israelite spies why she had rescued them.  She had heard of the amazing miracles displayed by their God and it caused her to fear the Lord.

Rahab then let the men out through the window of her city wall home with a scarlet rope.  The men promised that if she left the cord tied outside of her window it would be a sign and she and her family would be spared when the people of Israel came to conquer the land.

Rahab and her family were spared.  We read in Hebrew 11 that Rahab became converted.  She trusted in God and her faith was counted as righteousness.

“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.”  -Hebrews 11:31 {NASB}

And that scarlet cord of blessing that hung from her window metaphorically continued on through the generations.  We read in Matthew that Rahab is mentioned as one of the women in the lineage of Jesus.  The red cord continued through her family line all the way to Jesus and ended at the crimson blood He shed on the cross.

Many times when we talk about the subject of purity we forget to include the grace that God offers to those who have committed sexual sin or have been sexually sinned against.

I want to encourage purity but I also want to encourage those who have not always been morally pure.  If you come to God by faith, the blood He shed on the cross will cover your sin.  Just as Rabah the prostitute was mightily used by God to rescue the Israelite spies and even was granted the incredible blessing of being included in the line on Christ, so can anyone who has sinned be forgiven and also be mightily used by God.

Strive for purity.  Glory in His grace.

pure hope

Some other lovely ladies are writing on the topic of purity.  

Please take a moment to read their testimonies and words of hope here.

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3 Gifts of Love for Your Future Husband



Valentines Day can be challenging for single women.  We all have a desire in our hearts to celebrate this holiday of love with our Mr. Right and while this year we may not be able to give material tokens of our affection there are several gifts we of love we CAN give to our future husbands, even if we haven’t met him yet.

 

Give the Gift of Living

Though it can be very tempting to want to sulk or aimlessly wander through our days just waiting for our Mr. Right one of the best gifts you can give your future husband is just living, living life.  Don’t waste this time in your life by simply waiting use it as a time to grow, learn and cultivate yourself as a individual.  Strive to grow spiritually.  Work toward profitable personal goals.  Be preparing for the future.  Taking this time to grow and thrive will be a great blessing when you begin your future marriage.

 

Give the Gift of Saving

Even if you think you may have found “The One” this Valentines Day give your future husband the gift of saving.  Save yourself physically and emotionally as much as possible until you marry Mr. Right.  With the romance of the holiday it can be easy to let your emotions and judgment get swept away in the moment but you will never regret giving the gift of saving.  We can’t know the future.  Even some of our best laid plans can be changed in a moment.  Give the gift of saving by purposing to wait to give your self to your husband.

 

Give the Gift of Praying

You may not know his name but this year for Valentine’s Day give your future husband the gift of praying.  Pray that he will be growing strong in the Lord and that he will use his time of singleness wisely.  Pray for yourself,  that the Lord will shape you into the wife your future husband needs you to be.  A few months back I created a list of 25 Ways to Pray for Your Future Husband along with a few free printable.  Feel free to look these up for more prayer ideas.

 

These are just three gifts the single woman can give her future husband.  I’m sure there are many more.  What is missing from this list?

Songs For a Hurting Heart

Last week I shared the news with you about my ended engagement.

When there is a great pain in my heart I have found that there is no comfort like the words of a rich song.  When I have an aching heart I find that I need true words that point me to Christ and encourage my soul.

I don’t know what your heartache is today but in this sin cursed world I know I am not the only one hurting.  Here is a list of songs, some that I have honed throughout the years during various trials, kind of the “old faithfuls” you might say, and a few new ones that I only recently discovered but bring me great joy and comfort.

I hope this song list can be a blessing to you during whatever trial you face just as they have been a blessing to me.

Enjoy the links below:

Unredeemed – Selah

Jesus I My Cross Have Taken – Enfield

He’s the Only Reason I Live – Lauren Talley

By Faith – Kristen Getty

Still My Soul Be Still – Kristen Getty

It is Well – Sandi Patty

His Eye is On the Sparrow – Sandi Patty

 

 

Photo Credit 

2 FREE Printables “25 Ways To Pray For Your Future Husband”

I’ve got a FREE gift for all Stay-At-Home Daughter readers…. just because I love you guys!

Last week I created a list to help us pray for our husbands and future husbands.  The list has 25 prayer ideas along with correlating Bible verses.  You can find the list here and here.

Today I’ve created TWO printable versons of the “25 Ways to Pray for Your Future Husband” list just for you!

This first one is a simple, poster-type printable that you can put on your Refrigerator, bathroom mirror, keep in your journal, Bible cover or frame it and hang it up anywhere you will see it often.

(Click here to view and print the PDF version)

The second printable takes the list of prayers and Bible verses and puts each one on an individual card.  These would be really nice if you printed them out on nice card stock paper so you can flip through them easily without bending them.  You could keep these in your purse, in your car, you could tape them in different locations in your house…. lots of possibilities!

(Click here to view and print the PDF version)

Know a young wife or single girl who could benefit from these prayer helps?  Do you have a regular Bible study group?  Pass them along!  Just don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us how you used them!

I would LOVE for you to share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest or link to it though your blog so many young women will be encouraged to pray for their man!

What are some creative ways we could use these printables?  Please share your ideas with us!  

*Please do not sell or distribue on another blog/website.

 

 

 

I’m linked up to:

25 Ways To Pray for Your Future Husband {Part 2}


Here is the continuation of the list, “25 Ways To Pray For Your Future Husband”!   I hope this proves to be a helpful list to guide you as you pray for your Mr. Right.  I know creating this list has greatly encouraged me to pray to more practically and specifically for my special guy.

Did you miss the first half of the list?  You can go back and read it here.

 

13.)  Pray that his heart would be one with a keen desire to serve others.

“And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”  -Mark 9:35 {NASB}

 

14.)  Pray that materialism and idols would not creep into His life but that Christ would be His one God.

“You shall have no other gods before me.”  -Exodus 20:3 {ESV}

 

15.)  Pray that joy, not complaint, would shine from his life even in the mist of trial and great pain.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”  -Philippians 4:4 {ESV}

 

16.)  Pray that he will gain a true understanding of Love so that he may love others (God, others, you) well.

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails..”  -1 Corinthians 13:4-8a {NASB}

 

17.)  Pray that he would have compassion for the lost and a love for sharing the Gospel.

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”  -Mark 16:5 {ESV}

 

18.)  Pray that he would begin, even now, making wise finical decisions that will benefit his future family for years to come.

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  -1 Timothy 5:8 {NASB}

 

19.)  Pray that humility would mark his life; that pride would die daily.

 “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”  -James 4:6 {NASB}

 

20.) Pray that he would work with diligence and quality at any task the Lord sets before him.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might….”  -Ecclesiastes 9:10 {NASB}

 

21.)  Pray that he would be so driven by the Spirit, that Jesus would overflow into every area of his life.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.”  -Ephesians 5:18-20 {NASB}

 

22.)  Pray that he would understand that biblical authority is a good thing and that he would willingly submit himself to the authorities in his life.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”  -Hebrews 13:17 {ESV}

 

23.)  Pray that he would endure suffering like a good solder, knowing that his Lord suffered much without sin.

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you….”  -John 15:20 {NASB} 

 

24.)  Pray that he would fight for truth and most of all Christ.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”  -Ephesians 6:10-11 {NASB}

 

25.)  Pray that he will have an abundance of godly, sharpening influences in his life.  

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”  -Proverbs 27:17 {NASB}

 

Later this week I’ve got a little gift for you.  I’m creating a FREE printable version of this list so you can print it out on your own and keep it with your other devotion/quiet time tools!

 

 

 

I’m linked up to:

Does God Really Give Us All The Desires of Our Heart?

“Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”  -Psalm 37

Does God Really Give Us All The Desires of Our Heart?

Join me over at Becoming a Strong Woman of God to find out!

25 Ways To Pray for Your Future Husband {Part 1}


I recently read this beautiful post from Darlene at Time-Warp-Wife, “31 Ways To Pray For Our Children”.  This wonderful post inspired me to create something similar for you!

Here is a list of 25 ways that you can be praying for your future husband, whether you’ve met him yet or not.

Prayer is a powerful thing because we have a powerful God.  Don’t miss the blessing and benefits of prayer in your life and in the life of your future husband.

Here is the list, in no particular order:

 

1.)  Pray that he will continue to grow and change more and more into the image of Christ.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  -Romans 8:29 {KJV}

 

2.)  Pray that YOU will constantly be growing and sanctified into the beautiful helpmeet He needs.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”  -Titus 2:3-5 {NASB}

 

3.)  Pray that the Gospel will impact him not only in salvation but also in every area of his life.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ” BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”  -Romans 1:16-17

 

4.)  Pray that He will be strong in the Lord and fight against the Lust of the flesh, guarding his purity.   

 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”  -1 Corinthians 10:13 

 

5.)  Pray that he will own the truth that, real strength is controlled strength:  meekness, gentleness and Spirit-filled Boldness.

“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”  -1 Peter 3:15-16 

 

6.)  Pray that self-control would dominate His life.  

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”  -Proverbs 25:28 {ESV}

 

7.)  Pray that He would have a hunger for knowledge and wisdom.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”  -Proverbs 16:16

 

8.)  Pray for spiritual and practical maturity well beyond his years.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”  -James 3:17 {ESV}

 

9.)  Pray that good, strong servant-leadership skills would be cultivated in his heart.

“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body……Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her”  -Ephesians 5 {NASB}

 

10.)  Pray for the Lord’s sovereign protection in his life.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  -Psalm 91:1-2 {NASB}

 

11.)  Pray that he would have direction and that he would prepare for the future.

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

 

12.)  Pray that he would have a heart of forgiveness and that forgiveness would be granted to him.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  -Ephesians 4:32 {NASB}

 

Very soon I will share the second half of the list plus a FREE printable!

What what are some specific prayer points that you use to lift up your husband or future husband?

 

Should You Kiss Before You’re Married?

A very long time ago I made a decision to save my first kiss for my future husband, as a gift on our wedding day.  I’ve gotten a variety of responses upon hearing about this decision ranging from total agreeance (and regret for not doing the same) to total shock and disgust.

While I can’t give you chapter and verse for my decision I’d like to take some time to explain why I’ve decided to wait.  Even if at the end of this post you feel kissing before marriage is ok I hope at least a few of the points will stretch your thinking and encourage you in purity.

 

“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart”   - 2 Timothy 2:22 {NASB}

 

4 Reasons I’m Saving My First Kiss

1.)  Physical Purity

Kissing doesn’t have to lead to sex but rarely is there sex without a lead up of kissing.  In an effort to protect my physical purity I have made the choice to save my first kiss for my husband.  My flesh is weak (much weaker than I even realize) and I want to do everything in my power to shield myself from even the temptation of sexual impurity by not allowing myself to do things that could lead me to stumble.

2.)  Emotional Purity

God designed physical contact to bring on emotions.  It makes you feel close to a person and begins to create a feeling of oneness.  These emotions are good and right in the context of marriage and should culminate in the ultimate physical unity that a husband and wife should share; but before marriage I want to shy away from these types of emotions.  I only want to have these emotions toward my husband.  I don’t ever want to risk sharing these feelings with another man who I am not yet married to and I don’t want to unlock desires that cannot rightly be acted upon before I say “I do”.

3.)  Sacredness  

To me a kiss is something special and valuable, not something cheap to be thrown around and given to many.  Delayed gratification is often much sweeter.  I want to save as much of myself as possible for my husband, not just the bare minimum.  My future husband is worth the gift of my first kiss and even if I’m sure a guy is “the one” I can’t see the future.  Something could change that is beyond my control and I don’t want to chance giving a kiss away to someone who I don’t end up marrying.  I also don’t want to chance giving my kiss to a man who ends up being someone else’s husband.

4.)  Health

Kissing is not only intimate on a physical and emotional level it is also intimate on a heath and wellness level.  If you (or the one whom you are kissing) makes a habit of sharing this affection with others there is more chance of coming in contact with a variety of illnesses and diseases.  The chance of this happening is drastically reduced if a couple is committed to keeping their kisses confined to their marriage partner.

 

Myths About Waiting For Your First Kiss

  • Awkwardness

I’ve heard people shoot down the idea of saving their first kiss for the alter because they are afraid that it will appear awkward and embarrassing.  I don’t think this is something to be too worried about.  God created this expression of love to be a natural thing and honestly I don’t see how it could be too hard.  It’s not rocket science :-) …. especially considering the type of kiss that would be appropriate in a marriage ceremony.  I’ve known several couples who have waited and none of them seemed to have any trouble. :-)

  • Compatibility

I have heard it said that if you don’t kiss someone before you are married you will not be able to tell if you are compatible with them.  Let me just say that if a person is basing their decision of marriage on a kiss they need to go back and evaluate their motives for marriage and make sure they line up with God’s purpose for marriage.  God already created men and women to be physically compatible.  We should be more concerned about things like spiritual compatibility and God’s will in our decision making than kissability.

I hope this post has given you some food for thought.  Even if there are parts that you disagree with I do hope it has given you a few things to consider, maybe helped you formulate in your own mind what you believe about kissing and encouraged you to put value on kissing and all physical gestures.

Above all strive to glorify God with your purity, mirroring the ultimate purity of God’s character!

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