My Music Monday {The Bowling Family}

The Bowling Family combines talent, sincerity and experience to create a memorable concert experience. Their goal for the evening is to usher in the presence of God and celebrate the Christian message. They feel privileged and honored to enjoy the freedom to honor Christ with any and all of their abilities.

This song speaks for itself. The truth never gets old, and grace is still amazing. I’m blown away every time I really reflect on the love of God and the old rugged cross. It is such a reminder that He is here and He is the answer. There is power in the blood, power for everything we need in this life. Power to overcome sin, power to praise His name, power to walk through pain, power to preach the gospel. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing. This song hit a nerve with me, and I really hope it encourages you!

Enjoy :]

Visit the Bowling Family website here.

Tell Them That I Love Them by the Bowling Family

Hallmark worship

“When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart.” Lamar Boschman

 I love music. I love singing. I just love worshipping God through song it is a great way to express our love for Him, and is very close to my heart. There are so many songs of praise to God in the Bible. I truly believe that He loves to hear us sing his praise. However, worship is so much more than just our songs. Worship is born in our hearts, not on our lips. I believe worship is a life-style, not only a segment of a church service.

Worship is for God.

In all our songs, in all our actions, in all our “worship,” the ultimate goal is to bring God glory. It is not to make us feel good. It is not to put our love for God on display. In the presence of God, we find forgiveness and healing, we grow and learn and become more like Jesus; however, in all that we say and do in our worship, our focus should be awe before the surpassingly great and gracious God—not our church, our peers, or ourselves.

Therefore God has highly exalted him [Jesus] and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:11

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’ Hebrews 12:28-29

Worship should be authentic.

C.S. Lewis said, “The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.” It is so great to find exactly the right words in the Bible or in other songs to convey your feelings. Everyone loves to get hallmark cards. I take such a long time picking out a card. I just love to find a card with just the perfect message. But, If I put that card inside an envelope with my just my name signed on someone else’s words… how much would it really mean to the person I’m giving it to? It means the most when it is personalized. Those pre-written words are great, but what really matters to the receiver of that card is what you write with your own hand from your own heart. I think this applies to worship. God loves to hear us sing his praise, but if all we ever do is sing words written by someone else, it is like signing your name to a card, but never saying it with your own mouth. What God cherishes is for us to tell Him how we really feel. He wants us to sing a NEW song because of the marvelous things He has done. Tell Him how wonderful, and amazing, and beautiful He is to us using our own words, and prayers, and actions on a daily basis.

“God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy
exultation.”
Charles H. Spurgeon

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15 

Worship is more than a song.

“The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service.”  Billy Graham

When I think about worship, it is not just a Sunday morning occurrence. I think about my whole life. I think about how and if my whole life is honoring to God. Every job you work, every choice you make, every person you meet, every smile or word of encouragement is an act of worship to God. The following are definitions of “worship”: a. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object. b. To honor and love as a deity. c. To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion. It is from the old English term which means “to ascribe worth.” Who is more worthy than God? There is surely more than just songs to ascribe worth to someone who is so amazing.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. Psalms 29:2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; I Chronicles 16:29

True worship is born in obedience. To “worship” God without obeying Him in your everyday life is not worship at all. In our personal relationships, we all know that words-actions= nothing. Do we not think God feels the same? God wants not just our lips but our whole selves. This is really how God KNOWS that we love Him: not only when we SAY, but when we DO– when we obey. Of course there is no sense in singing about giving Him your all, and trusting Him completely and then not putting stock in how he advises to live. That is what faith really means, after all.

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:24 

Worshipping God is telling others about Him. Confessing the name of Jesus in a “worship” service is easy.  Confessing Jesus to your non believing co-workers, family and friends is a different matter for most Christians.  The Lord would rather have your obedience to preach the Gospel and disciple all nations than to have your “sacrifice of praise” on Sunday morning. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22) He also expects you to live that worship out in real life.

“Who will deny that true religion consists, in a great measure, in vigorous and lively actings of the inclination and will of the soul, or the fervent exercises of the heart? That religion which God requires, and will accept, does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless, wishes, raising us but a little above a state of indifference.” Jonathan Edwards

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and TRUTH, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

He is Creator, Redeemer, Provider, Healer, Deliverer, King, Friend, Keeper of hearts, and Savior of souls. He is wonderful, beautiful, loving, gracious, and faithful. Who is more worthy of our devotion to not only worship Him with our mouths, but with our hearts, and with our lives? How could we, being so unworthy, really adequately ascribe worth to such a holy, magnificent God other than to offer Him our lives and every part of us? My highest goal and desire is to give Him all, all of my worship, all of my praise, and all of my life.

He is worthy.

“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.”  C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

My Music Mondays {Selah}

Ok, you have gotta listen to this one.

Amy’s story is not unlike so many girls today… and even men. We define ourselves by so many other things in this life. Although we know this in our heads, we allow ourselves to be deceived by the lies of the world and the lies of Satan. Satan is bombarding us with the lie that we are simply not good enough. Whether “not good enough” means .. not good-looking enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not funny enough….whatever it might be, Satan wants us to believe that we are not good enough to be loved.

Jesus Christ is so beautiful, and when we find our identity in Him alone, we are defined with HIS beauty and HIS worth. Is there anything more beautiful than Jesus? He left the splendor of heaven, came to the earth, lived 33 years, died on a cross, and rose from the grave JUST to pursue you. You are THAT valuable to Him. If that doesn’t change the way you see yourself and treat yourself,  I don’t know what will. To read more on this subject… read {REdefining me}.

This song is so powerful. It is truly a cry to God of praise and thankfulness. We have so many questions, so many struggles, so so many hard times. No matter where you are in your life, no matter what you are going through….. Look to Jesus. Lay it at His feet. When you think you can not go on…. there is only Jesus. Lift your head. You are never lost in the arms of Jesus.

Visit Selah’s Website and listen to lots more songs here :]

“I was moved to tears upon hearing this song for the first time. The melody is gorgeous, and the lyrics perfectly describe feelings that we all have experienced — loss, regret, exhaustion, pain. But in the beautiful chorus, the lyrics also point us to the source of our hope in troubled times : “… after all my strength is gone, in You I can be strong…… when melodies are gone, in You I hear a song….”. I hope you can hear and sense God’s comfort in this beautiful song.” — Allan

Besides that…. this girl can SING. :] Enjoy!

Spoil Yourself.

Since when did girls have to compete for a man’s attention?? Since when were WE the pursuers instead of the pursued?? Since when did we have to try to look better than the girl next to us and reveal our bodies to catch a man’s eye?? Since when is this ok?

Ok, call me old-fashioned, but back in the good ol’ days, a man pursued a woman. He saw a girl He liked, took the chance and got to know what was inside of her, and spent his time, energy, and money winning her heart. The girl did NOT hand out her heart to any man that walked by. A girl’s heart was an expensive gift.

Girls, I just do not understand why we think that we place any value on our hearts when we shove our selves at these boys. Not to mention shoving our bodies in their faces. If a girl flaunts herself in front of the man you love, there are definitely action you will take to remove them from that situation, no? If you care anything about the guys around you a little more than you care about yourself and your “self-esteem” being fed, then you will keep yourself covered. It just baffles me that women can cheapen themselves to sex objects, and then claim that {Men Are Pigs}. Girls go to the beach with little more or less than their underwear on and wonder why disgusting men gawk at them? Stop complaining about not being able to find a good man if you are chasing all the wrong ones. We have to take responsibility for our own stuff.

We girls have so much more power than many of us realize.

Men want women. They do. God made them that way. You do not have to throw yourself at them. That’s so tired. Any self-respecting man finds that repulsive, honestly. What is really attractive to a good man is a girl who is smart, and confident in who she is. A girl who does not show her body to every pig at the park, but saves it for her husband’s eyes only. Someone with DIGNITY who seeks to be like her Lord and Savior. I’m well aware of how different this will make you than the rest of the world. Isn’t that what God calls us to– to be set apart from the world to seek better things from the hand of God?  {Jesus cares so deeply about how His daughters are presented.} Oh, please, please don’t be like the rest of them when our Jesus calls us to so much more.

“He does not want a girl who trifles with Christianity. He wants a woman who is radically given to Christ. He does not want a girl who prays tepid, lukewarm prayers. He wants a woman who lives in defiance of the powers of Hell. He does not want a girl who is self-adorning with the latest fashions and trends. He wants a woman who is adorned with the inner jewelry of Christ-given holiness. He does not want a girl who dishonors and belittles her parents. He wants a woman who honors the authorities God has placed in her life and serves them with charity and gladness. He does not want a girl whose Bible is an accessory to her wardrobe. He wants a woman whose hunger and thirst is to know the Lord, and who diligently feasts upon His Word. He does not want a girl whose tongue is a deceptive weapon of selfishness. He wants a woman whose words drip with the honey of the name of Jesus.” ― Leslie Ludy

What’s more is instead of celebrating our femininity, so often we cut each other down and give dirty looks to anyone prettier than us…. Since when is life a competition?? There are always going to be someone prettier than you. We need to learn to love each other and help our sisters in Christ grow in beauty and grace in Jesus instead of buying the cheap lies of the world.

How pretty your face is matters so little in comparison to how pretty your heart is. Believe that. Life is not a beauty pageant, and competition is not in God’s plan for His daughters.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

“The New Testament describes the characteristics of a “virtuous widow” who is qualified to receive help from believers. This woman’s description seems to parallel the miraculous, poured-out life portrayed by the Proverbs 31 woman. She does not live for her own pleasure but is well reported for good works, bringing up children, lodging strangers, washing the saints’ feet, relieving the afflicted, and diligently following every good work. How does she accomplish all of this? “She trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day” (1 Timothy 5:5-6,10). She lives a supernatural existence, accomplishing incredible things without stress and exhaustion because she makes prayer the foundation of her life.” -Leslie Ludy

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25

Do you really love Jesus with all of your heart? You want God’s BEST? It will cost you. It will cost you more than your vanity, but it pays better rewards every time. You want a good man? Don’t throw yourself at him. Don’t pursue bad guys. You have to stop chasing the bad boys, and give the good men a chance to chase you. Dignity costs alot, have expensive taste, and, please, spoil yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

My Music Mondays {Moriah Peters}

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

“I choose Jesus was written out of the experiences i had in highschool when i was one out of a handful of people in my classroom were Christians, and where most people were either atheist or agnostic of following a different religion. I realized very quickly in that environment that you have to take a strong stand on what you believe in. My teachers and classmates had asked me so many questions, it came to the point where I felt I didn’t have enough answers… I realized that if there is not a God then nothing mattered, but if there was a God then nothing ELSE matters, and I need to choose to follow Him. So I chose, in that moment, I chose to follow Jesus, and I feel understanding has been a result of my faith.” – Moriah Peters

I just discovered this song last week and fell in love with it. There are so many days we can get discouraged and distracted by our schedules and our problems by this life and by the world. Every day we have got to choose Jesus. Not only that but we have to let the whole world know. He has done so much for us and so much for the world. They need to know that He has chosen them too. I don’t know about you, but I will stand and let the whole world know that I choose Jesus.

Visit Moriah’s website and download this song FREE here :]

My Music Mondays {Lauren Talley}

There people who can sing… and then there are people who can SING. Lauren Talley is one of those people. Along with performing with her family, The Talley Trio, Lauren has an extensive solo career and has recorded four solo albums. Her latest, Songs In The Night, also accompanies her first book of the same title. Her voice is rich and powerful, and this song is one of my favorites.

It is easy to forget just who we are. It is easy to forget just how hopless our lives were before Jesus. He really gave everything He had to us. Everything that we could not attain on our own, everything that we did not possess, He gave to us in return for our brokenness. And when we think about who He is… righteous, holy, royal.. it should break our hearts that He did for us what He did. How could it ever be? Listen to this song and be thankful for the gift of God that gave us life. It is not about me and it is not about you.. or what we do.  It is about Jesus, and what He has done. What love divine? He have His life for mine.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15 

Visit Lauren’s website here.

His Life for Mine by Lauren Talley and the Talley Trio

Guys, want to meet a single, beautiful, godly girl?? Good. Go find one.

The Lord God said, “It is NOT GOOD that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18

There is this idea among SOME men these days that I hate…ok strongly dislike. The nice guys even, not the players and morons who don’t care and date every girl they know for the fun of it. It is this idea that if you just WAIT on God, He is going to magically drop the right girl into your lap, and you will live happily ever after.

PUHLEASE.

Guys, what other area of life do you do this in?

“I would really love some lunch… I am going to sit here on the couch and pray that God will bring me some lunch.”

“I would love a job… I’m going to pray that someone just calls me up and offers me the perfect job for me.”

“I really would be happy with six-pack abs…. I’m going to pray that if God really wants me to have six-pack abs, then He will give them to me.”

Seriously? In order to eat, you have to get up, go to the kitchen and get your own self a sandwich. In order to get a job, you have to apply, and in order to get yourself some six-pack abs, you have to put in the time at the gym. Dedication and hard work. That is what you were made for. So my question is… why do you do this with regard to relationships?

There is no example in the Bible where a man wanted a wife, and God dropped her into His lap. The men always had to put in the work….Genesis 24 is the longest chapter in the book of Genesis, and it is devoted to a description of the process for finding Isaac a wife. The right woman is absolutely essential for giving the best possible chance of having happy, godly marriage. Go ahead and read it. It is good information.

Finding a wife for Isaac was not an easy task. Why do you think that you are not going to have to put in a little time and effort?

Whosoever FINDETH a wife FINDETH a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

Who can FIND a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10

FINDING usually implies that one is actively LOOKING for something. Now, I am all for God’s perfect timing, and praying about the decisions you make, and certainly the kind of women you intend to pursue. God WILL guide, but, I am so sorry to break it to you, but no wonderful, beautiful, Proverbs 31 woman is going to walk up to you and say, “Here’s my number. Call me, maybe.” If that is what you are waiting for, you will be sitting single on your couch for the rest of your life. Anything worth having is worth working for.

The thing is, men dont have to work for anything these days. With little to no effort, they win at video games, and sports, and they can even “win” watching crap on Tv or the internet….. if you want a godly wife, stop whining, and go find one. In the words of a godly guy I know….

“I don’t know a whole lot about a whole lot, but I know that hard work pays off. Hard work used to be the hallmark of manliness. It seems today, dudes try to measure manliness in things like tattoos, car rims, sneakers, video games, porn collections, promiscuity, and so on and so forth. It’s pathetic. Honestly.

It’s like fellas want the world on a silver platter because they see some celebrity or athlete living this incredible life with a beautiful woman on their arm. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting the best of the best, but if you want to be king of the the world, you sure as sunshine better be ready to go out and conquer that bad boy!

Like they say, “easy come, easy go.” Men usually don’t place a high value on things they attain easily. That’s why a guy will lose a nice girl over his Xbox. He’s put more time an effort into reaching level 50 than he has on building his relationship. A simple example, but I think the point is clear. The things we value the most are the things we work the hardest at. I think a future wife should definitely be near the top of that list.” -Ben Sebrell

Marriage is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and His bride, the church. If the man is a type of Christ, well the work is cut out for you. Christ came to earth, lived 33 years, died on a cross, and rose from the grave all to win His bride. I think what you may have to do is far less daunting.

What is the risk? dun dun dun…. rejection. So someone says “no…” Who cares?? She’s not the one, but some other lucky girl is. So please, move on! (Don’t worry guys, I have addressed the {Ladies Here} too.) Ya know,  I’m not a guy. I can speak for what I see and myself. I think that alot of girls are looking. I think they are open to lots of possibilities. There is no Prince Charming. I don’t expect bachelor-like dates or super model abs. I am certainly not perfect and I don’t expect anyone else to be. I just want a guy that knows his stuff and fights like a man and likes me enough to kiss my face. That’s all the girl wants …. so if I am one, there have got to be more.

The girl for you is waiting for you to be brave enough to find her. That is {What Women Want.} There ARE plenty of good girls out there… I know them! She is certainly not going to come looking for you. So get up, put the game controller down, get out there, and go FIND yourself a wife.

My Music Mondays {Francesca Battistelli}

“The more you walk in relationship with the Lord, the more you learn to trust him. I’m learning not to focus so much on the issues I think are so big right now—our bus has broken down, or someone said something that frustrated me. I’m learning to slowly let things roll off my back, to say, ‘Hey, God knew about this before it happened and He’s got a way out or a plan better than mine.’ I’ve learned to stop freaking out and just trust that God knows what he’s doing. He’s not going to leave me in a bad place because He never has before.” -Francesca Battistelli

So many good songs by this artist, and it is usually a struggle to pick just one. However, with Francesca Battistelli, I knew exactly the song I would post. I believe this song is applicable to a lot of people. Everyone has been in a place in their life where they felt they were “in between” what has been… and what is to come. What God has done… and what God will do. It takes so much faith, trust, and obedience to wait on Him in every situation- to follow Him no matter what the outcome and no matter how I feel because God promises a good result. It will always be worth it to follow our Jesus. Everything that God has done for us should bring us to our knees, and it should always be enough for our time in between.

Enjoy..

Visit Francesca’s website here :]

The insanity of destructive relationships.

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

A healthy relationship allows a person to grow in spirit as an individual. From the most obvious beating and punching to the very subtle cynical remarks and insults, any kind of abuse is destructive. It may seem easy to turn a blind eye to the destructive qualities of a relationship but it is better to recognize one and end it early to avoid pain in the future.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Romans 12:10

Why do people stay in destructive relationships? Why do people experience pain and yet remain unwilling to change their circumstances when it is in their power to do so?

Pain is and always has been a sign from our body telling us that something is wrong. We can choose to respond to the pain by investigating the source and changing our insides or our outsides or we can choose to ignore that vital sign, and continue to endure the pain. I believe there is a certain amount of pain that a person can endure without changing. This emotional threshold is the point where a person says, “Enough is enough. I’ve had it. No more.” If you have ever been in destructive relationship and finally made a decision to use your power and take action, it is because you hit a level of pain that you were not willing to settle for anymore. That is the magical moment when pain becomes our friend– a warning sign of something that is wrong driving us to different action to produce new results. Until that point, a person can put up with a significant amount of emotional pain.

But WHY??

I don’t know. I think it is different is every case. Perhaps it is the fault of their parent’s relationship, maybe a misunderstanding of how relationships are actually supposed to be. Perhaps it is little self-worth. Perhaps it is selfishness…..perhaps it is simply not trusting God. Most likely, it is a combination of some or all of these things.

Understand that a relationship is destructive when: One or both parties commit physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse upon the other; One person is regularly overprotective, overbearing, or both toward the other; One person is overly dependent upon the other to affirm his or her personal value, to meet all of his or her needs, and to make most of his or her decisions; One person demonstrates a pattern of deceiving the other through lying, hiding, pretending, misleading, or twisting information to make something appear other than what it is; or One person exhibits chronic indifference, neglect, or both toward the thoughts, feelings, or well-being of the other. Know that, while we all can sin against others in these ways occasionally, what makes a relationship destructive is a repetitive pattern of sin, and a lack of awareness, remorse, or significant change. –from The Emotionally Destructive Relationship, copyright 2007 by Leslie Vernick

I think a big reason for not giving up a destructive relationship is pride. You don’t want to admit you have made a mistake that you can not fix.. and trust me, you can NOT fix it. You want so badly to have for yourself this made-up fairytale that you have created in your head even if it is killing you. You are so scared to be alone that you hold on to what you have gotten for yourself with all that you are.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galations 6:7,9

I have been there, and so have others….

“I have been the saddest girl in the world with a mangled heart and the certainty that getting over him was impossible. I’ve been the girl so in love with a person incapable of giving me what I needed out of a relationship that I not only stayed with him but gladly gave away every last shred of my self-esteem to keep him. I’ve been the girl who not only suffers through an unhealthy, demoralizing relationship but goes back to in hopes that time spent apart has inspired him to love me enough to change… or even try. And guess what? It didn’t.

I’ve stood where you’re standing now, broken to the point that I couldn’t get past the idea that my life wasn’t turning out the way I’d planned. But guess what? Once I got through it, and started demanding more from myself and for myself, I got a windfall that I never imagined. Today, my life is even better than I ever dreamed or planned. I have a husband whom I adore and whose love and devotion for me blows my mind every day…two beautiful daughters… and the very best friends and family in the world, whom I am grateful for every day. I would have missed it all if i’d wasted my life trailing after my ex and staying stuck in my grief.”  Amiira Ruotolo Behrendt

Demanding more for yourself is not selfishness. In reality, if you truly found your worth in Jesus Christ, you would know what you deserve. Jesus came to earth, lived 33 years here, went to the cross for you, laid down his life, and rose from the grave after 3 days. You are worth far more than gold to Him, and any man who refuses to treat you like the very child of God that you are is NOT worth your time or emotions. A Godly man who will build a strong house on the foundation of Jesus Christ for your family is what God wants you to desire. He wants the very best for His children, and settling for less is simply not God’s will.

Know that, in a healthy relationship, the people involved should care about each other enough to be committed to each other’s well-being. They should care about each other’s thoughts and feelings, and pay attention to issues that the other person in the relationship considers important or urgent. They should be completely honest with themselves and with each other, and not hesitate to be themselves when they’re together. They should respect each other, and have the freedom to lovingly challenge, confront, and strengthen each other.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Colossians 3:12-14

It is not an easy thing to do–To change the things necessary in your own heart and mind and determine what you will not longer accept or tolerate in your life–To break ties of destructiveness or patterns of weakness created by unhealthy relationships–To demand more out of the men around you so that you can have a healthy, loving, God-centered relationship. I suggest you start with God. Investigate who you are in Him, and ultimately determine your very worth. Your worth has been radically defined in scripture. [REdefine yourself by His standards] Search it out for yourself.  Once you have determined who you are in Christ and have defined yourself with His words, you can begin to make a list of what you will no longer accept in your life. Here is an example:

I will no longer accept in my life:

1. feeling second to anyone or anything but God in my significant other’s life.
2. feeling insecure on a consistent basis because of someone else’s behavior towards me.
3. being unhappy on consistent basis.
4. being in a relationship for the sake of having a relationship or having a status symbol that makes me feel better about my worth.
5. the WORDS “I’m sorry.” Right behavior in the future is the best apology for wrong behavior in the past.
6. lies. period.
7. disrespectful behavior.
8. mean words said just because someone was tired, hungry, frustrated, or mad.
9. physical or verbal abuse. none.
10. someone who is not clearly a good, loving, and kind person

and things I aspire to become:

1. a good daughter my parents can be proud of.
2. a good sister my siblings can look up to and respect.
3. a good friend my friends can respect, love, and count on.
4. a good mother to my future children.
5. a woman who does not take crap from any man. A woman so confident in who she is in Christ and what she can offer, she would kick the hottest man on earth to the curb if he was not a man that God would approve of.
6. AND most importantly, the woman I am created to be in Christ, my first and forever love.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Lastly, in addition to asking God for wisdom to help you overcome a destructive relationship, Seek council from godly mentors and build a strong support system. Ask many people you trust to help support you, encourage you, be honest with you, help you, hold you accountable to your goals, pray with you, teach you, comfort you, celebrate with you, and help you see more clearly. No one should to stay in a relationship that is hurting them. It is FAR better to remain SINGLE than to stay in a relationship that is destructive. It is not God’s plan for you to settle for less than His best. Seek God’s face, and know that if you will wait on HIM, surrender your all to Him, He has someone that will love you how you were meant to be loved.

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. Psalm 18:30-32

and you call yourself a Christian?

Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

If you and I are to call ourselves “Christians”, by the VERY name of Christ, then you and I have a tremendous responsibility. The bravest most important task that anyone could have laid upon them. We are an example to the entire world. We represent the one thing that set this world in motion, that the galaxies are strung upon, and that is the thread of meaning throughout all of human history. Every single one of us is an employee of the Gospel called to adorn ourselves with it, and be an example of the light of Christ.

Every person we come in contact with we can have an impact on.

The world is looking at you. They are watching. What is the first thing a person notices about you? Well, in my case, they notice I am a woman. You might be a man, I’ll get to you. Either way, the very FIRST thing someone takes note of is your gender. I am called to be an example to the world of what a woman should be. This is a big responsibility. You are an example of the entire female race. There are so many bad examples of women out there. The entire world is telling you what you are as a woman, and God is telling you something else. The world tells you that you are a worth little more than your physical appearance, and what you do with, and how you present your body. However, God tells you that you are beautiful, loved, cherished, and holy. Your body is not a fish hook, designed to bait men and manipulate their emotions and actions. Your body is designed by God for His purposes to be used only to glorify Him.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

As a man, the world tells you that you are little more than your instinctual desires. You desire money? You should have it. You desire women? Take them. You desire power? Get it for yourself. God sees you in a different light. He sees you as wealthy in heavenly riches. He has designed ONE woman specifically for you to win, and cherish, and keep forever. He has given you the power of the Gospel to proclaim to the world. He has made you to be more than conquerers in the battle of the ages for men’s souls. He says you are loved, and brave, and powerful in Him.

So, you can either chose what the world is telling you to be OR you can chose to be an example of a what God has actually made us to be. Only the latter will ever satisfy.

So, first people will notice your gender, but secondly, people will notice that you are a Christian. If people speak to you or are around you for long enough, they will notice you are different. They SHOULD notice you are different. You have been called by God to a different standard. Separated out of the world, and to God. You are an example of what a Christian is to the people in your life. That is not a title to take lightly. If you SAY you are a Christian and live  like the devil, it is worse than not saying anything at all. With your actions, you can turn people away from God. You can be responsible for people either saying, “Yes, I want what they have,” or saying, “No, there is no need for God in my life.” The things we do while claiming the name of Christ are a big deal to a Holy God. He has saved you, and set you apart for His purposes.

This seems like a whole lot of responsibility. Well, it is.

How are we supposed to accomplish this? By training, and training hard.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We need to take responsibility for our own training. Know God. Get close to him by reading the Bible for yourself. Listen to pastors and teachers. Read books by authors who are known and respected by the Christian community. Educate yourself. It is hard work. You do not train by simply going to church. That is only a small part of your training. There is so much you need to do in taking responsibility for your own training to be a successful Christian man or woman.

Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

I have said this before, but the men and women of the Bible did not have anything more than we have today. We probably even have more. We have the Bible completed in full, and so so many resources to learn from. We have the same God they did, and we can have the same boldness, confidence, and power that they did to accomplish the task that is set before us.

Think about how effective just ONE person was throughout history. Now, imagine if we all do our part. If we all take responsibility for our own stuff, we can be the role models that the world is really looking for. Forget hollywood, forget the media. The Christians ought to be what people aspire to be like. Good, and loving, and giving, and preaching Christ, and glorifying God. That is what we were set apart for. Let the gravity of this reality sink in. It is the biggest responsibility in the history of the world, and I can think of no braver endeavor.