Tag Archives: marriage

To All My Single Ladies: 5 Steps To Catching A Man 

  
As I decided on this blog title, I thought about all the single men that might be put off having a read, but then my mind wandered to the wise single man who would use this as an opportunity to discover how to get caught, and so the title stuck. 

To everyone who clicked this link in sheer anguish at my audacity in assuming you need a man or even want one, I neither claim to be an expert and nor am I a sexpert, so sorry to everyone who thought they were going to get that kind of advice. 

With Valentine’s Day approaching I can’t help but think back to my oh, so recent single years and the awkward emphasis that this time of year would put on my aloneness. Now as a woman on the verge of diving into the biggest commitment love (or stability, financial security, and fear of being alone) can cause you to make in deciding to marry, I think it’s only fair I comment on my view from the other side. 

They say the grass is always greener but to everyone unconvinced who would really like to be one half of soppy couple number one eating fancy dinners this weekend, or the instigator in couple number two that couldn’t think of anywhere better to spend Valentine’s Day than Paris, please read on. This post is for you.
1. Stop acting like you need one

It is quite hard when you have a life plan that involves marriage and babies to not conclude that if not now, then at some point in the not so distant future, you will need a man. I hear you, and quite frankly I do think marriage and babies would be rather unachievable without one, however like all of our life plans of career success and comfortable lifestyles and all the rest, we need not stress about the how or the when. You don’t need me to tell you that desperation is low down on the attractive scale. Act like you’re completely comfortable as you are-in a long term relationship with God, and over time you’ll start feeling that way. Marriage and babies are nice but nothing can complete you in the way that God can, and so as appealing as another half may seem he will always be a want, not a need.

2.Be the man you want to meet

I know you read that the thought ‘What on earth is Dani talking about?’ I am not suggesting going under the knife to change your gender, but I am encouraging a good hard look in the mirror of your soul to see if you possess the qualities you are looking for in your other half. 

Desiring a man after God’s own heart that’s as caring as he is ambitious is a bit cheeky if you can’t say you emulate your own wish list. So many of us are looking for our better half, we’ve ignored what we could bring to the table in bettering our man. If you want a God-fearing man that’s driven to succeed and loves others with the same passion in which he loves himself, it’s important that you are actively pursuing a close relationship with God, asking him to show you how you can love others better and direct the steps of your career. If you can emulate your wish list when your man comes along you won’t need completing but complementing. What’s more inspiring than two great individuals coming together that are equally great for each other?

3. Start by being in the right place at the right time 

There are countless reasons for not entering into a relationship that I implore you to consider which can usually be routed back to not being in the right headspace to enter into a life-changing relationship. 

Whilst couples post their enviable Instagram pictures of them sipping Piña Coladas on beaches and of their fancy anniversary dinners what they don’t write in the caption below is of the continuous battle to not let their partner creep above God into first place in their hearts, and they don’t have enough space to describe the work it took to keep a smile on their other half’s face. 

Long story short, relationships are hard work and only really make sense to enter when there is an end goal beginning with M and rhyming with carriage. If you’re just after someone to go to the cinema with and to receive the odd bunch of flowers from, you aren’t after a man, just in need of some good friends. When you are ready to enter into long term commitment and are aware of the dragged out battle of resisting sexual sin coupled with the energy it will take for you to have a successful relationship, only then should you make yourself available for Mr Right. He’s not just the right guy for you, he comes at the right time too.

4. Pray for him

It might sound strange to pray for a man you can’t see but we pray for people we haven’t met all the time. Just like the children across seas in need that say a prayer for, your man is alive and kicking, navigating his way through life. 

As his wife you will be his main supporter, (even when you’re not his biggest fan) so why not start as you mean to continue? Once you’re together, you’ll have a long list of things you’d like God to change about him so you can be happy, why not start be praying for God to change the things about him that don’t make God pleased? 

The more prayer you put in now, the less struggle you’ll contend with once he shows up.
5. Let God become your king 

If you cannot submit to an all living caring God, you are going to struggle to submit to a man that is as flawed as you are and is just trying to feel out life, same as you. 

Practise serving your King and and when your earthly king arrives,half of the submission battle will have been won. (I’m aware that the submission topic is a whole post on it’s own, so I won’t say anything more before the feminists with their pitchforks attack!)

To every single gal reading, I hope this post has reminded you that don’t need no man, lol, but on a serious note, you don’t. You are completely complete in Christ and whilst a relationship is a nice addition to one’s life, a life without one is by no means less fulfilling.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a depressing season of mourning, why not spend the day with your first love, that way you are guaranteed a good time? 

 Let’s spread the love (of Christ) this weekend and show the world, single, married, in a complicated neither here nor their relationship, that above all Jesus loves them. 
Speak soon,
Dani

P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment and agree/disagree with anything I have to say here to your hearts content. Would genuinely love to hear from you. Xxxx

7 Things Being Married Has Taught Me

 

1. Letting yourself go is not a wise move

I took a lot of pride in my appearance when I was single – partly because you feel attractive when you look attractive, and you feel good when you look good. When my pay check came in, I’d make sure that my hair and nails were on fleek, I worked out religiously because I was trying to keep this body tight. A few months after getting married, looking good (for my husband) was not one of my priorities. I’d make an effort when I went out, of course, because the world deserved to see me at my best; my husband saw me first thing in the morning so I felt he wouldn’t mind what I looked like, right? Wrong.

Men like pretty things and they like their women looking good too.

2. Perfection is a myth 
Real life is not a fairy tale and no marriage is perfect. Marriage is a lot of work and romance takes effort. It’s really easy to take your spouse for granted because you are always with them. Simple things like “I love you” can go unsaid for days because… well, you married them, didn’t you? Oh, obviously you love them.

Eventually the burden of perfection begins to take it’s toll: the focus is no longer about ensuring that your marriage mirrors the love and commitment between Christ and his bride (the Church), instead the marriage becomes centre stage, where acts of love and service become a performance. Being consumed with your marriage, your home and your spouse being perfect only robs you of the blessings and joy which can be found in the contentment and gratitude of today.

3. Sex is not like it is in the movies

– In other words, Hollywood stays selling us dreams!
Check in your expectations at the door. Like every good thing in life, sex takes time to perfect. No one is an expert, even if you’ve had multiple sexual partners in the past. The bond of love and level of intimacy that takes place between a man and his wife during their sexual union is light years away from what Hollywood would have us believe. It’s easy to feel immense pressure to perform well in the bedroom and incredibly defeated if you don’t.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this area, it’s that great sex comes with paying attention to your spouse and communicating effectively with them.

4. Your spouse is not God
So you’ve gotten your man, you’ve fallen in love, he’s put a ring on your finger so now you’ve stopped praying and your quiet time is virtually non-existent. You now bow down and worship at the altar of your husband, and God is still fiercely jealous for you.

Eventually you find that your husband makes a terrible God; he can’t complete you, not in the way God can.

5. One size does not fit all 
When I got married everyone, and their mama, had an idea concerning the way we were to run our home. Some people told me that because I was the wife, it was my duty to cook and clean; some told me that my first year married would be the hardest year, others even went as far to tell me what my husband would be like.

Your marriage is unique to you and finding a fit that works for you is very important. How your parents ran their home might not work for you. How your girlfriend treats her husband might not work for yours. The longer you stay married the more you understand just how your spouse wants to be loved and served by you and the better you get at loving and serving.

6. There is no place to hide 
I honestly believe that one of the key ingredients that every marriage needs is transparency. If you’re not ready to be completely open and vulnerable about who you are, flaws and all, do not rush into marriage. Marriage has a way of exposing your insecurities, your fears and your heart. Despite this, it’s comforting to know that your spouse will be there to love, support and pray with you regardless.

7.Love never fails. 
1 Corinthians 13 v 4-7 is the go-to scripture on LOVE – that four letter word that is thrown around so much that has almost lost it’s meaning. Before getting married, I thought I understood what it meant to love deeply and passionately. Once I got married, it became clear that I had completely misunderstood the essence of true, biblical love. This has been my biggest lesson and one which I continue to learn. Everyday, by the help of the Holy Spirit, I resolve to love as best as I can. I strive to be more patient and kinder; to put my husband first, forgive him quickly and occasionally bite my tongue when the words I wish to express are best left in my mind.

Love ,

Grace Labeodan

The Day I Got Engaged

  From the day we are born, we are automatically enrolled into competing in a long list of races that we haven’t decided are worth winning yet. You probably don’t remember the first ones to hit you but I’m sure your parents still treasure and bring up at family soirées. There’s the race to taking your first steps, growing your first tooth, losing your milk teeth and making room for all your adult gnashers, learning to ride the bike you’ve been given for Christmas…, the list is endless. As we cross the various finish lines, most of us remain indifferent to the milestones are parents are intent on sharing with their friends, colleagues, and the rest of the family, who seem to be in some sort of mini-competition. This is all fun and games, but the stakes get so much higher for the races we begin once we’re finished with education, and suddenly, we as individuals are invested into reaching the milestone at the end of the track. We have swapped mastering our potties and being able to recite the alphabet for the races to get married, have babies, and the one to step up onto the property ladder. So many of us leave university ready to take a few strides down each of those lanes but feel incapable of making any achievement because we have not yet found ‘the one‘ (or they haven’t found us, depending on how you want to look at the dating scene). Just over a week ago, I took a huge step into a race I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to participate in.

On Sunday 19th July the one, for me, proposed under my favourite bridge and I said yes! *Squeals* I still can’t believe I’m actually getting married! I’m running towards one of the hugest milestones of my life, and a year and a half ago, I didn’t even want to speak to a single guy. Cray. Since Sunday I have been hit with a plethora of questions that have not been as easy to respond to as the one I was asked on Sunday. There’s been a mixed reaction but I figured where better place to answer everything than here?!

How can you marry someone you haven’t lived with?

I used to answer this question with the “I’m a Christian, we don’t really do co-habitation” and hoped that would suffice but this response has been met with, “but we’re in the 21st century” and “but Sally, and Jane and Jill and *insert long list of other Christian friends* live with their partners.” Then I’d have to go into a tentative, “I can’t really comment on Sally’s faith, but I don’t feel comfortable with co-habitation.” Now I save myself the trouble and give an honest answer: living with my fiancé is not conducive to the ‘no sex before marriage’ mission that I’m on. The questioner is always shocked at this point, but at least they kind of get it.

You are 22, how can you be getting married?

I can’t count the number of people that have highlighted how much you change as you grow older and questioned how wise it is to make a decision this young. I too am surprised that I’m getting married so young but that’s alongside the excitement and eagerness to cement the relationship I began just over a year ago. We will never stop evolving as we grow up, I just think it’s exciting to find someone you can’t wait to grow with.

Then the questions get a little trickier…

What do you do while you’re waiting for the one?

I think firstly I have to address my unbelief in the idea that there is one person out there that you’re supposed to be with and until you meet them there’s no-one worth speaking to. There’s a lot of prayers being said, asking for God to highlight that ‘oh-so special’ person that they’re supposed to marry, but I think a more useful prayer would be for God to show you the things about yourself that need to change in order for you to be ready to marry. If you’re a 20-something-year-old-girl, you’ve probably entered into number of conversations about the absence of males in your life, and how depressing singleness is, and what age you need to be married in order to keep to your schedule of when you want to have your first child. These conversations used to always make me anxious and my childhood fears that I would never get married would start niggling at me again. Last year, I decided to change how I thought about my single status and started praying for God to make me content with the situation. I’m clearly not anti-marriage, and the Bible does say ‘He who finds a wife, finds a good thing’ but I don’t think that means we should spend all our free time dwelling on the when and worrying over the ifs and the buts, when we consider our prospects of meeting someone. Before I met my fiancé I would pray ‘God, if I never get married that’s ok, you are enough for me,’ and I found so much peace genuinely believing that. It is lovely and life changing to meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, but in the absence of that, nothing compares to that awesome and incomparable relationship you have with Christ.

And then the questions got a bit ugly.

Why you and not me?

This question had never been phrased so harshly, but you can hear it in the undertone and selection of words in other questions like ‘but you’re x many years younger than me…*insert long silence followed by awkward half apologetic expression on my face. Or ‘You’re engaged?!… But I’ve been with my boyfriend for x amount of years…’ I never really know what to say to the why you question but I remember being a part of the clan asking it at various points in my life. When I look around and see people embarking on their grad schemes and I think back to being dropped from mine last year, there’s always a tiny voice whispering: Why you…? Or when I see people buying their dream houses and I wonder how I’m going to save for mine, I’ve thought: Why you…? Even when I see girls with thick hair that hair that has grown past their shoulders I can’t help but think, Why you…?

Well, why not me and and why not you?

We are all on our individuals paths, we can’t let the fact that we can see someone getting closer to achieve the milestone we are so focused on reaching that we get discouraged. The same person you were wishing you could swap successes with is wishing they could swap with you for something you’ve forgotten you achieved. I can’t guarantee that you’ll meet ‘the one’ this year, or buy that house you’ve seen on Zoopla in the year to come or that you’ll have the exact number of kids you’ve been dreaming of but I can confidently say that God has something great lined up for you. I wrote a post about the bitter sweet of 2014, losing a job and falling in love, who knew that I’d be engaged by 2015. We can long for someone else’s story and not realise that the very race we’re running is perfect for us.

Thank you God for allowing me to be so head over heels in love.

Thank you Jude for loving me despite my crazy.

Thank you all for for reading.

Love y’all,

Dani xxx

Why Am I Still Single?

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I’m not sure whether this has happened to you before, maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t. If it hasn’t, I’m going to to set the scene for you:

 Your friend invites you to a gathering and to your surprise it’s not completely boring – in fact, it’s becoming the best night you’ve had in a long time. Conversation is flowing, everyone is having a great time and then the person you’re talking to you suddenly says:

 You’re so great – why are you still single?!

This startling (and arguably offensive) question reminds you of the not-so-subtle hints and questions you’ve been receiving in what were once safe environments.


It all began the year I graduated from university; I noticed that when the women from my church would pray for me, ‘a god-fearing husband’ was suddenly on the menu of blessings. From that point onwards, I began to notice a shift in other areas; young women I had known for years would drop sentences into our conversations such as ‘so when I get married’, wedding ideas were casually being thrown into discussions and my Facebook newsfeed became an array of engagement rings and relationship status updates.

What was going on? What had I missed?

Let it be known that I had no real problems with weddings (except that they were long and there was rarely enough food for everyone). Even though I wasn’t really sure why people were so excited about marriage (if it was so easy, why were there so many divorces?) my main concern was the assumption that because I was a woman and above the age of 21, I should be seeking a man to settle down with.

There is a deep-rooted cultural and religious belief that we are somehow completed when we meet our life partners and that this is when our lives truly begin but this simply cannot be true. As a Christian, our lives begin the moment we surrender to Christ and true completion can only be found in him. He is the One, our soul mate, our true love – and all those other mushy western concepts.

It is so easy to get sucked into that weird world of ‘waiting’ but before I jumped on the eager-to-be-married-bandwagon, I decided to ask myself a few questions:

 Do I believe I have an individual purpose?

God created me with wants, needs, hopes, dreams and most importantly, a purpose. Now while I believe that some of our purposes can be linked in some way to other individuals, I also believe that if our purpose were completely dependent on another, we would have been born in twos. Since we were not, I am forced to conclude that… wait for it…there are things that we have to accomplish as individuals and certain parts of our journey that we have to walk alone.

Am I lonely?

Loneliness is an issue we don’t really like to talk about because it makes us seem weak, feeble and needy, but it is a state that a lot of us experience – some of us experience it every single day. Every time I am lonely, I begin to question how far I am standing from God. It says in the Bible that God will never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:8) so whenever I feel alone instead of reaching for my iPhone, I do my best to reach out for him because he is always there.

 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13

Real, real, real talk: if you are Christian who is constantly jumping from one relationship to another because you desire constant communication and validation, I urge you to look to God; the one that stays and never leaves (Joshua 1:5) and the one that does not forsake (Deuteronomy 31:6). I hope that you will also come to see the finished work of the cross (John 19:30) as your constant source of validation. Remember that there was a man that loved you enough to lay down his life for you in the hope that you would one day come to love and accept him. He loved you even before you could love him. If that doesn’t make you feel just a little bit special, I don’t know what will.

Am I seeking to be the perfect spouse or am I seeking to be like Jesus?

Okay, I get it; you wouldn’t try and sit an exam without revising (unless you’re me and it’s GCSE time) so yes, it is important to prepare yourself for marriage. However, the Bible speaks more on striving to be like Christ than it does about journeying to become the perfect spouse.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

1 Peter 2:21

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Every time I feel like I am getting somewhere with God, I inevitably become complacent; a day will pass where I haven’t set time apart for him or a situation will arise where I respond inappropriately. There is internal work to be done and there should a constant movement towards the person God called me to be because that it my ultimate goal.

Have I forgotten that there is a time for everything?

There is no rush and there is no decree that I must be married by *insert arbitrary age here*

 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Doing things in my own strength and my own time usually has disastrous consequences. Sometimes I’ve got to shake myself and remember that I am  worth having and that my spouse will be worth the wait.

This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

Habakkuk 2:3


I know that my stance isn’t a popular one at the moment. I should be telling you to wait patiently in your bedroom praying, hoping that the One somehow finds your address and knocks on your front door but that would be poor advice. There are many other Christian blogs which will detail heavily ‘what to do while you wait’ and that’s great, it really is, I just feel that we have shifted our focus and have begun to idolise marriage. This is deadly  because it will never live up to our expectations or withstand the burden we are placing upon this sacred union. There are many more important things (outside of marriage) to be achieved and seeking God about those things should not be neglected whilst you ‘wait’. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but life revolves around Jesus – he is the One.

Your Single Pringle,

Joy xxxx

For Those Who Don’t Do Love

no love

When I was 12 I decided that I didn’t ‘do’ love. I hadn’t even had my heart broken yet, but the idea that there was this feeling that came over you that meant you were completely infatuated with another person, and wanted to do everything in your power to make them happy, seemed a little far-fetched to me. You may have a more valid reason for opting out. Anyone who has had their heartbroken or has had to listen to the tale of some poor lad/lass that has, and can see the pain heartbreak causes, is faced with the dilemma of whether they want to avoid that squishy, warm, passionate feeling A.K.A being in love with someone, or still buy in to the Hollywood fairytale that awaits us all. It goes  like this:

Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy proposes, girl says yes, they ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

Those of us who aren’t living in a Disney Daydream will know that life just isn’t  that simple. The real life story has so many speed bumps and 3 point turns on the journey to perfect family life, many lose interest in the appeal that love once had. We allow the speed bumps to bring us to a complete halt and decide that we don’t DO love. I know it’s ungrammatical and sounds a lot like ‘I’m a woman scorned, all guys are the problem’ but opting out of the hope to fall in love is a decision many have made as a protection mechanism.

It becomes a bit problematic when you accept Christ. Now your whole life is love centred (God is love and our lives revolve around him, kind of like the planets-sun relationship in the solar system) and you’re supposed  to walk in love. The problem is that we’ve let Hollywood give us a definition of what it means to ‘be in love’ and show love to others. I have a secret for you: What we ascribe ‘being in love’ to be, doesn’t actually have any real importance when we’re thinking about the love of Christ that we’re supposed to be showing others. Love is a noun and a verb but I think the doing word aspect of love has become side-lined by the attention that simply being in love on this island called love, is getting.

If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15

Here Jesus is telling us the duty we have when we claim to love him. There is action involved in love. Lots of us ‘fall in love’ with Jesus and then spend all our time after that point deciding if we fancy obeying God in the various aspects of our lives. This island of love idea that we’ve created, where everyone who ‘loves’ God arrives and just stays there is based on the fact that we feel that being love is a state of mind, a feeling that has the words warm and fuzzy attached to it, but this isn’t  what God has depicted love to be.  Other translations of John 14:15 say, ‘If you love me, you WILL obey my commands. There’s just no way to avoid the doing aspect attached to love. It’s nice to fantasize about what it will be like to BE in love but being in love is expressed through what you DO. There is little point in the feeling of love without acting upon it. Imagine if John 3:16 said, ‘For God so loved the world that whenever he thought about the people on Earth his heart filled with warmth towards them and he gave them loving looks from heaven whilst watching them all die on Earth and perish in hell. I know you’re thinking ‘hey now Dani, that’s a bit harsh’, but that is how ridiculous it is to diminish love to being this ‘nice’ feeling in our hearts that causes us to look fondly towards people.

For God so loved that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Our whole lives, and the promise of heaven that awaits us after death is based on the fact that God wasn’t merely IN love, he DID love. What would it look like to follow his example of doing love?

Last week I was convicted of my lack of love for God. Telling God I loved him had become some kind of cover up for the fact that my actions weren’t a reflection of the love that was supposed to be in my heart. Maybe you can relate, I’ve listed a few warning signs below.

God, I haven’t read your word and meditated on it day and night but I love you.

Lord, I don’t even think about praying for someone other than myself but I love you.

 Father, I just can’t be bothered to re-arrange my plans so that I have time to invest into the lives of others but I love you.

Jesus, I don’t care if other people come to know you before they die but I love you.

What kind of love is that?

Just because we feel strong positive feelings towards God, doesn’t mean that we love him. You don’t arrive at a place called ‘loving God’ and hang out there long enough so when you need to ask him for something you don’t feel like you’re using God. We mustn’t forget that loving God is a doing thing.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since  the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.  Matthew 25:34-36

Jesus is telling the disciples about what will happen when he comes back again. If we’re including ourselves as part of the group of people that are inheriting the kingdom of God, then we should also be the people that are feeding those who don’t have any food and helping those in need. All of these things are simply what Christ expects of us. People criticise sermons that are about ‘how we can show love’ for not being ‘deep’ enough but whilst everyone is finding intricate new ways to chase after their blessings, who is carrying the shopping bags of the elderly and driving people home that are too unwell for public transport? We can’t be preaching about a God who loves the world, meanwhile our actions only reflect the love we have for ourselves.

This week I was thinking about what it means to love God with all my heart, all my mind, and all my soul and was left pondering the last time I’d actively shown someone love. As Christians there’s no opting out of doing love. There’s no denying that we have been blessed with the love of God, it’s worth thinking about what we can do to bless others with love. We can do better than lip service, let’s love God with our actions from here on out.

Love you all,

Dani xxxxxxxxx

Have You Ever Been Drunk In Love?

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EVERYBODY PAUSE! No, I do not want to know about activities that wouldn’t make it into a PG film.  Firstly, that would be awkward! Secondly, what you do in the comfort of your home with your spouse isn’t my business. Thirdly…EW!!!!

I shall re-phrase: Have you ever been so deeply in love, with a person of the opposite sex, that you think a small part of the reason your heart beats, is so you can be with them? Ok, maybe that’s too much, but you get the idea.  I’m not talking about the butterflies you get when good looking people cross your path. I don’t  mean the joy that washes over you when you realise that you’ve clicked with someone, and it could potentially turn into something that makes all the people who aren’t in relationships, (I’m a permanent member of this club), want to find ‘their other half’.

“Ever been in love?” Well, I for one can answer no. We don’t have enough time to talk about my boy issues (in a nutshell I’m awkward and probably have a slight complex). Pretty certain I’m not in this club alone. I’m even going to hedge a bet that most people reading will have answered no. (Congrats for all you who answered ‘yes’, if you still are in love, I hope it’s a long happy relationship that turns into marriage and produces beautiful babies). For those of who you answered no, just humour me while I briefly live out my dream of becoming a psychologist for the day. I’d like you to take a moment to ponder: ‘How do you feel about that?

I’ll go first.

Up until this year I was scared. Not scared enough to start joining Christian dating sites advertised on the tube (let me know if that works, anyone who’s tried). I was so mildly scared I didn’t even realise the fear. But it was there.Constantly. Since I first learned what marriage meant I’ve  had this niggling question that rears its head every now and again and gives me a fright:

What if I NEVER get married?

Growing up in a land where “I can’t believe your single” is woven in amongst the variety of chat up lines that don’t deserve reactions, eventually you start to wonder…

‘Why AM I single?’

‘Am I SUPPOSED to be in a relationship?’

There’s only so long you can blame singleness on the lack of viable male candidates, before you start questioning your part to play in the issue.

I should probably say now that by the end of this post, you will not have gained a magic tip to securing the spouse. Sorry! What I want to address is the constant desire to be in a relationship. Before you start hurling scriptures at me I’m one step ahead of ya!

He that finds a wife, finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

Despite contrary belief, this scripture justifies wanting to meet someone and do the whole love thing, it however, in NO way ,justifies an insatiable desire to have a ring put on it, at all costs. The Bible speaks of a plethora of blessings and great things that we should claim i.e wisdom, peace, provision. Why is it that we’ve placed such a high value on tying the knot that it consumes our thoughts and we won’t feel fulfilled if we stay single?

Disclaimer: I haven’t become so bitter about being alone that I want everyone to live a life of singledom and ready meals for one.

All I  want is for you to think about why it is, that you want the things you desire? My fear came from a place of wanting to be taken care of. Not in a gold-digger-esque fashion. I just wanted to be looked after, and made to feel special. I imagine it’s nice knowing that someone loves you.

Everything changed this year when I realised that I was scared about not getting married because I didn’t think there was any other way I could have these experiences.

Being taken care of, feeling special, knowing that I’m loved, didn’t seem quite within my reach if not attached to a six-footed, blessed with good teeth, man. Suddenly the penny dropped. I want all these things, but I have God. I lift my hands on a Sunday and open my mouth to sing that Christ is enough for me and yet do I really believe it?

I’ll admit, I do look forward to one day jumping on-board #Team Married, but that desire has stopped coming from a place of NEEDING completion. If I never get married then so what? (No babies, no white dress, but so?) I always tell God, if I’m never rich that’s ok. If I never get to work in my dream job, that’s ok. As long as I have you Lord, I am more than ok. If Christ is enough for you, you won’t need a mere human to feel loved and special and whole.

You will never be that person left on the shelf, because Christ chose you first. He loved you first and died for you before you could even say I love you too.

I might never get wed, but I’ll have lived having the best relationship known to mankind.

Love lots

(permanently sober) Dani X

My First Encounter With A Prostitute

pros

I’ve always been fascinated by women who use their bodies as a source of income. I think it’s more my need to understand everything than an actual interest in the industry, but even as a teenager, I always asked ‘why?’ Was it a love for sex? Was it love of quick and “easy” money? (I don’t think prostitution is easy money at all – that misconception couldn’t be further from the truth) Was it a means of survival? Vocations such as prostitution also caused me to question my ideals concerning sex and marriage; maybe the women who worked in these industries were the ones living liberated lives while the rest of the female population obsessed over the idea of the “the One” and continued to feel shamed as the number of men they have slept with increased.

I’ve had these questions in my head for years and up until last month, they remained unanswered and I was yet to have a real encounter with a prostitute. You can imagine my surprise when I met her, in my room, within the pages of my Bible. Her name was Rahab.

I’m going to give you key facts – if you want the full story, feel free to read Joshua 2:

  • Rahab was a prostitute. She lived on the edge of society and ran an inn built on the Jericho city wall.
  • Through the men she met (and slept with) Rahab came to learn about the God of Israel and the miracle of the Red Sea.
  • When the two spies sent by Joshua, seeking refuge in her inn, she knew that king of Jericho would hear of them and seek to kill them.
  • Rahab  planned the protection and escape of the two spies and when Jericho was eventually invaded by the Israelites, Joshua remembered how Rahab helped the spies and saved Rahab and her family.
  • She later gave birth to Boaz, making her the great-great-grandmother of King David, whose lineage continues on to Jesus.
  • In the New Testament, her name is placed amongst those in the Old Testament who had exemplified extraordinary faith (Hebrews 11:31).

As Christians, we love Rahab, don’t we?! She perfectly illustrates how the perfect will of God can come to pass and how he can use anyone.

But what about the people we have known who have given their bodies to men without a second thought? The people whose lifestyles we do not understand and do not agree with; do we love them too? How many prostitutes would feel accepted and loved if they visited your church?

“You sell your body?! You must be a bad person”

The above statement simply cannot be true. There is this notion that your sins have the power to decide whether you are worthy of acceptance and love, which is something my mind cannot fathom given that no man is without sin. If I am not defined by my sins, why should you be?

We have forgotten that God loves everyone and has a plan for each and every life despite the stage at which we meet each other – prostitutes included. We’ve stopped caring about the evidence at the crime scene and have become consumed with the crime itself, continuously making assumptions about a person’s faith, beliefs, worth and where they will spend eternity. In doing so, we fail to see the bigger picture and fail to view people in the love and light of Christ.

This judgment and this lack of compassion have resulted in people staying away from church because they are afraid to be judged and condemned. It has resulted in Christians coming to church, warming their seats and staying silent about the internal conflicts they face on a daily basis, afraid that the people they have come to regard as family will shun them once they find out what they’re struggling with. Some of us Christians have moved away from the Jesus that spent most of his time on the streets; he wasn’t in the synagogue playing happy families and arguing over who would lead praise and worship on a Sunday morning. In fact, Jesus continuously spoke to those who had been marginalised; the lepers, the blind, the tax collectors, and the adulterers – those were the people he spent his time with.

So what did I learn from my first encounter with a prostitute?

1)  Look at the heart

Do not judge others based on their actions alone. We are called to look a little deeper. This doesn’t mean that we should applaud and encourage sin but it does mean that we should look at the heart of another instead of looking solely at the outcome.

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart

1 Samuel 16:7

God doesn’t disqualify people because of their current circumstances so why should we?

 

2) God isn’t waiting for perfection

I’ve met so many people who feel as though they have to change dramatically before they come to God but the beauty of God is that when we come to him, everything changes. Rahab wasn’t  living a righteous life but her willingness to serve and her understanding of God brought her closer to him. She wasn’t perfect but she was willing.

 

3) You are more than your past

If you look in the mirror daily and only call yourself by the negative names you used to be known by, you will never truly move in the love and grace available to you. The only reason we should ever look back is to appreciate how far we’ve come. A lot of us are letting our past hold us captive but Rahab proves that your beginning does not necessarily determine your future. Where do we find her at the end of Bible? In the linage of Jesus.

 

4) Your family are important

When you’re finding God for yourself, I think it is your responsibility to let your family know about the changes that are occurring within you. It’s hard being interested in God when no one around you believes or generally thinks that he is a fictional character, but if you are finding faith, share it. Rahab didn’t just save herself and never look back; she grabbed her Aunty, Uncle, dog and cat and saved them too.

 

5) Love first

I think I realised at some point that life isn’t just black or white; most of us live in the murky grey full of good intentions and questionable outcomes. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is clear that there is a standard, make no mistake about that (1 Peter 1:16 – for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy) and sin is intolerable to God, however, judging people before loving them doesn’t work in real life contexts and often does more harm than good.

Let’s make a decision to love first because love heals, love restores, it covers all wrongs, it is kind and it is true. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

So Rahab, thank you for the lessons….now to meet a living prostitute….

 

Lots of LOVELOVELOVE,

 

J xxxxxxx