Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Wedding VIDEO

I realized the other day that I never posted the video of our wedding. Well, better late than never.

While uploading the video, it was a sweet moment, looking back to my wedding. I can't believe it has been one year and eight months since that day.

I hope, if you take the time to watch our video, that you will see the Lord Jesus, the great Author of Love, all throughout the ceremony.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Excerpts from "I Kissed Dating Goodbye"

Choosing to quit the dating game doesn’t mean rejecting friendship with the opposite sex, companionship, romance, or marriage. We can still pursue those things, we just choose to pursue them on God’s terms and in his time.

Some people who hear about my decision not to date till I'm ready for marriage assume that my heart must've broken. No, my heart was made new by my Savior...Having a girlfriend was no longer my greatest need. Knowing and obeying him was.

True love isn't just expressed in passionately whispered words or an intimate kiss or embrace, before two people are married, love is expressed in self-control, patience, even words left unsaid.

Deepening intimacy without defining a level of commitment is dangerous. It's like going mountain climbing with a partner who isn't sure she wants the responsibility of holding your rope. When you've climbed two thousand feet up a mountain face, you don't want to have a conversation about how she feels 'Tied down' by your relationship. is a product of our entertainment driven, disposable-everything American culture.

One of the saddest tendencies of dating is to distract young adults from developing their God-given abilities and skills.

God gives us singleness---a season of our lives unmatched in its boundless opportunities for growth, learning, and service...
We each have a ‘room’ containing all our sinful deeds and thoughts. But just because we admit this or feel bad about it doesn’t mean we’re forgiven. Remorse can’t save anyone. Only faith in Christ can. Only trust in His death and resurrection for us.

The human heart doesn’t like taking orders from the mind. The time will come for all of us when we won’t feel we’re doing the godly, responsible thing we’re resolved to do.
The question is not merely, “Are you and a potential spouse saved?” but rather, “Are both of you in love with Jesus Christ? Will you place Him even before each other?”

And because I’ve experienced it – because Jesus died for me – I’m committed to a love life that is controlled by Him. I invite you along. In the light of the love He’s given us, let’s make purity and blamelessness our priority.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Heavenly Love Stories: Adam & Paige || pt 2

Adam and Paige | pt 2

April 14, 2007

As told by Adam:

In 1965, The Beatles performed the song, “All You Need Is Love” on a live global television link that was watched by 400 million people in 26 countries.

Isn’t that sweet. “All we need is love.” Don’t you hear that all the time? What is it that is lifted up at weddings everyday? Love. Right? Sure, because…that’s all you need…right? WRONG!!!

John Lennon was flat-out wrong. Their statement, which has been more than embraced by our culture is in complete contradiction to the word of God. You can thank The Beatles for the sixties “love and peace” garbage. We saw how that one worked out. The truth is, though they meant to say it or not, The Beatles were declaring that you don’t need God to have peace. You just need love. Well, I would submit to you that you can have neither one without first having Christ!

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” I wish it would become a requirement for this verse to be expounded upon at every wedding. You see, we have bought into Hollywood’s version of love. You know, the one where Cupid shoots you with an arrow and all of the sudden you “fall in love.” Well, I’ve got news for you. If you can “fall in love”, you can “fall right out of love.” Love alone won’t cut it when the going gets tough. That’s why we need Christ as the centerpiece. Period.

Why have I started in this way? Because you need to understand that, though Paige and I are madly in love with each other, it was not our love that brought us together. Nor, is it our love that is keeping us together. It’s the Third Cord. When you read Paige’s story of how she was led to me, it is easy to think, “Awww…how sweet…the two little love birds.” But if that’s how you read it, you missed something. You see, though Paige and I have travelled completely different paths, there is one thing we have perfectly in common. Both of us fully surrendered our lives to God…especially our love lives.

Many girls reach an age when they decide they are ready to pursue the opposite sex, so they do so. Despite the cultural norm, Paige did something completely different. She committed herself to God and to praying for her future husband. She was putting her trust in God; that He would do what was right. Praise God that He did.

As Paige said in her article, I had never met her when she committed to praying for me. So, it was January 3, 2004 that she made this commitment. I can honestly say, that the year of 2004 was life changing for me.

On February 24th of that year, “The Passion Of The Christ” was released. In January of that year, my roommate at the time convinced me to go watch this movie with him. I was a big “Braveheart” fan, so I figured it would be good. He also talked me into reading the passion account from each of the four gospels.

I not only read that, but after watching the movie, I continued to read God’s Word. It wasn’t every night, but I read it pretty often. I knew there was something to this book. The movie had really opened my eyes and I no longer viewed Christians in the negative light that I had in the past. Oh, I knew that because they were emotional, didn’t dictate truth. But, I knew I had better check into it for myself.

Over the next year, God used several key things to open my eyes to the fact that I was lost in my sin and my only hope was Christ. Finally, in February of 2005, I crawled to the foot of a blood-stained cross and surrendered. Jesus saved me.

It wasn’t long after that that I met Paige. The first time we met, we shook hands and greeted each other and that was it. I hardly had the time to put much thought into it, but I knew something was different about this young lady. And, though she truly is the most beautiful woman in the world, it wasn’t her outward beauty that attracted me to her. It was her walk with Christ.

Over the next few months, we became good friends. I really needed a good friend at this point because, though I had been saved, I was still struggling with my sin. And I was fighting for my life with a ten-year-old drug addiction. I am so thankful that she did not let me know how she felt about me. Because, had we gotten involved at this period in my life, the outcome would have been devastating.

Then comes August 19, 2005. That night, as I was in a prayer meeting, I realized that I could not win my fight against my addictions. So I threw my hands up and gave it to God. That might sound trite to you, but that’s what I did. You see, I didn’t understand that God was the kind of God that overcomes sin. That night, I realized that my sin was not only hurting me and others. My sin was hurting God.

I truly surrendered all of my life to Him that night, and He truly set me free. The next day, I had to drive down to South Carolina for my step-brother’s wedding. I was so full of the Holy Spirit, I could hardly contain myself. It was on that trip, that God showed me that Paige would be my wife. He also, clearly showed me that I was not ready yet. As I was praying in my car, I realized that the only way a relationship with Paige would ever work is if I had the right relationship with Christ.

On the way back, I still remember buying Paige a little package of fireworks. That was the first thing I ever bought her. I was so excited to give them to her. I know…that’s cheezy, but I really enjoy giving things to her and I knew that she loved fireworks.

So, that was August of 2005. Over the next four months, God took me on quite a journey. I’ll make this brief. In October, I lost my job. I was designing shirts with alcohol on them and I knew I could no longer do that. When I told that to my boss, he fired me. Well, I had a new job (my current job) the next day. Let’s just say that God definitely blessed me on that one.

Before starting this new job, I went on my first pro-life mission trip to Wichita, KS with Operation Save America. I followed men of God like Flip Benham and Scott Heldreth down there and met up with saints like Mark Hollick, Rusty Thomas and John Reyes. Those are some special people.

I remember calling Paige from Wichita, telling her that revival had broken out. One of the high schools that we had shared the gospel to, came to our church that Sunday to protest us. Many of them got saved that morning.

On the way back, I spent a week helping Hurricane Katrina an Rita victims in Texas and Louisiana. That was pretty fun too.

It was trips like this, along with going to the abortion clinic with Flip, that caused me to grow leaps and bounds. Well, that and a heavy dose of daily Bible reading.

Finally, in December of 2005, I got clearance from God that I was ready to pursue Paige. Now, this was no audible voice or anything. I just felt the peace that I had His blessing.

So, the first thing I did was call my youth pastor. He and I were pretty close at the time and he knew that I wanted to do things right with Paige. I had listened to quite a few sermons on purity and I was fully convinced that God has a particular way in which he wants us to go about pursuing the opposite sex.

I asked Pastor Mark Miles if he thought I was ready and he said “yes.” After that, my plan was to talk with Paige’s father, Allen, one night at church. I didn’t have the chance to talk to him alone, so I decided to put it off until next week.

There is no telling how long I would have put it off. Though Allen is a really nice guy, I was still very nervous about talking to him. Finally, something happened that, as Paige said, lit a fire under my tail.

I saw another guy going after her, so I called Allen that night. Yes, I wish I had talked with him face to face, but like Paige said, we didn’t do everything perfectly.

So I called Allen and told him that I would like to pursue a future with his daughter. He gave me the green light, so I asked Paige the next day. Obviously, she said, “yes.”

Like Paige said in her article, we were learning as we went. I had listened to many sermons on purity. I first heard the idea of not kissing until marriage from a pastor in Seattle named Judah Smith. Instantly, I knew that that’s what God wants. So, we agreed that we would wait until we were married for that. And, yes, we talked about marriage early on. That’s a major difference between courtship and marriage. We weren’t just practicing for divorce. We knew, before starting anything, that this thing was serious.

Early on in our relationship, I had to come clean about something. I knew that I loved her and that I wanted to marry her, but I was scared to make any kind of commitment because, to me, love was something that could dissolve at the drop of a hat. I told her about this. I told her that I was scared to love her. I feared that her love for me might wear off one day. We committed ourselves to praying about it.

The next morning, I woke up humming a familiar tune. I wasn’t sure where it had come from. I was humming a verse from a Jason Upton song, which said, “What God has joined together, let no one separate it.” That verse continued in my head all morning. Then it hit me. That’s not just a song! That’s a Bible verse! It was incredible. God was showing me, through His Word, that He would not let anyone tear our love apart, as long as we made Him the center of our marriage.

From that point on, things were different. I not only knew that Paige was the one, but I trusted God that He would hold us together. Praise God.

Another revolutionary moment was when I first listened to Paul Washer. He laid out for me what courtship really was, and also what dating really was. I found out that, though we were doing many things the right way, we were also doing many things that could take us places we didn’t want to go.

So, we purposed in our hearts to do right and changed the way we were going about things. Our main goal was to not spend time together at my house. So, from then on, I would go to her house, when her parents were home. That way, we were keeping ourselves from dangerous situations, as well as abstaining from the very appearance of evil.

Let’s go ahead and fast forward to October 21, 2006. Around a week beforehand, I sat down with her parents and got their blessing to marry their daughter. But, just so you all know that I’m not some romantic, “knight in shining armor,” let tell you about the day I planned. This being the day I would propose to my wife. First, I took her to the Lexington Barbeque Festival to go witnessing. Then, I had to meet at the Mazda dealership to get rid of my sportscar, in exchange for a four door (I knew God wanted me to eliminate as much debt as possible before opening the next door in our relationship.) Then, it got a little more romantic.

I cooked dinner for Paige at my house. Yes, I know. We were alone at my house. Like I said, we didn’t do everything perfectly. But, in this case, even if I had the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t. The night, in my opinion, was perfect.

I had tried to conceal this night, by celebrating her birthday early. So, after dinner, I gave her a tiled mirror as a gift. At this point, I was more nervous than I had ever been in my life. I just went ahead and did it anyway. I knew I would trip over every word, so I prepared a poem for her. Toward the end of the poem, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry her. Of course, she said, “yes.”

Not long after that, we set the date to get married on April 14, 2007. What a wonderful day. I still remember that day sovividly. As I paced behind the altar, and the worship music was being played, I felt so close to God. I thought about the journey I had been on. And I knew that what He was about to join together, no one would ever be able to separate.

I cannot tell you the joy of sharing our first kiss on the altar. So, I won’t even try.

There you have it…our love story. Now one thing I don’t want you to take from this is that we are, in any way, boasting about what WE did to make this happen. Again, all we did was, in the best way we knew how, submit our lives to Christ. He did it. Not us. We are boasting in Him.

I started this article with a Beatles song, and I’ll end it with another song that is a slap in the face to biblical truth. There is a song, that they even play on Christian radio which talks about how God will bless the broken road that you travelled to get to where you are today. If you don’t mind, I’d like to show you the biblical way to look at our pasts. You see, Paige kept herself pure for me. And that was the greatest gift she ever gave me. Unfortunately, I did not do the same for her. For many years, I walked down “a broken road” full of sin, sexual immorality and rebellion. And, trust me, God never blessed it.

Just so you know, that “broken road” has a name. It is the wide road that leads to destruction. God will never bless that road. But here’s what He will do. He will take you, smash you to pieces, create a brand new you, and set you on the narrow road that leads to life.

So, I’m not going to sing about my past. I hate my past because it was full of sin. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have great family and friends from my past. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about my sin. I will never boast about it. I am ashamed of it and always will be.

Let me finish with two very important lessons.

First of all, though God can wash all of your sins away and make you into a new creation, there are still consequences for your actions. I have scars that will never go away. So, if you are living in any kind of impurity, and think that you can just confess it to God and it will all go away, you are mistaken.

But, on the other hand, I know that for many of you reading this, it’s too late. You’ve already stepped across that line. Here’s my message to you. God is a God of redemption. When you come to him, poor in spirit, and mourn over your sin, he can take your life of ash and turn it into a thing of beauty. He will, of course, smash you to pieces first. But when He is finished, you will be a new creation. And all things will be brand new. So, though John Lennon penned that “all you need is love,” he was dead wrong. All you need is Christ…

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Have a testimony to share about how God has written
(or is writing!) your love story?

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heavenly Love Stories: Adam & Paige || pt 1

Adam and Paige || pt 1

April 14, 2007

As told by Paige:

Growing up, when all my friends were dating in middle and high school…let’s just say the guys were not knocking down the door to get to know me! I was awkward, very insecure, and incredibly shy. While those aren’t godly attributes, I do thank God that guys weren’t just dying to talk to me…or this could be a very different story. I had crushes, like every other person. I got disappointed. And most of the guys that did approach me, well, lets just say I was FAR from interested in them. God kept me from having my heart broken. even before I learned what courtship was all about. Even though all my friends who dated, seemed to be having a blast, it sure wasn’t pretty when they broke up.

Let’s fast forward to when I am sixteen ( I think). My youth leaders did a series on courtship. It was a curriculum called “A Match Made in Heaven” by Richard Crisco. It discussed the dangers of dating and how dating is actually practicing for divorce. I won’t cover all the material because there is way too much. But, it was then that I realized that I wanted God’s best. It was hard. I didn’t necessarily commit to the courtship process, but I tried my hardest to keep my heart only for my future husband alone.

In the years that followed, I grew much as a person. I slowly came out of my shell. I was growing in the Lord, and accepting who HE made me to be. I wasn’t supposed to be like all the other girls. He made me different. He made us all different. It is so liberating when we realize this and just learn to be ourself! I devoured resources that encouraged purity. I will list them at the bottom if you are so inclined to read…for yourself or for your children.

So now to the really good stuff! Pay attention to the dates. It was the first Saturday night in January 2004. January 3rd to be exact. At that time, we had prayer on Saturday nights at the church. I was praying, and suddenly, the Lord impressed it on my heart to pray for my future husband, right then. I had no idea who this person was. I wasn’t interested in anyone, and I didn’t know of anyone interested in me. It was strange, but I prayed anyway. I had read about people praying for their future spouse on a regular basis. There had been times when I prayed about it, if it popped in my head, but nothing consistent. But, this night changed everything.

For the next two days, I pondered why God had me pray for this man. It was a feeling of urgency. So two days later, on January 5th, I began to journal heavily about all that I was dealing with. This journal saw many emotions. This journal saw a lot of growth. I was committed to this man I never met. I prayed for him as often as I thought about it…which was probably close to every day. Not fancy prayers. I would just breathe prayers of protection of his life, or that God would help him resist temptation. Things like that.

As I wrote, God showed me other things. It wasn’t just about praying for him. I needed prayer, too. I surely wasn’t wife material. There were things in me that God had to do before I could hope to be ready for the amazing thing called marriage.

So all of 2004 goes by, and nothing. No knight in shining armor for me! Then 2005 begins and…same thing. One night, I think late February, I was introduced to a visitor at our church, a guy named Adam. It was just kind of a quick handshake and “nice -to-meet-you” sort of thing. He begins attending our church on a regular basis. He is a nice guy…not to mention good looking…but that’s about it. Then he starts talking to me. Nothing major, just friendly stuff. I notice that he seems to actually LIKE talking to me, and sought me out to talk to me. I liked this. But, there were some problems. He had just become a Christian in February and was still battling an addiction to painkillers. It was tough, because in my heart, I really, really liked him.But, I knew a relationship with him just could not happen. Not then anyway.

In August 2005, things dramatically changed. Adam was miraculously delivered from his addiction to drugs. But, it was much more than just deliverance from bad addictions. He grew in the Lord by HUGE leaps and bounds. I really don’t think I have ever seen a transformation, with my own eyes, quite like Adam. He began to read the Bible everyday. Since that time, I think he has missed only one or two days of reading since 2005! Incredible. While I watched all this, I was so excited! I started to see qualities in him develop that I desired in my future husband. But, I still knew I had to give it time. Growing up in church, it was so common to see people passionate and on-fire, only to have them go back to their worldly ways and never see them again. I had to know that this change was real, and wasn’t a fleeting passion. We continued to grow as friends. Hardly anyone knew of my feelings toward Adam, though my flesh wanted at least him to know. I think the only ones who knew were my mom, and one close friend who I knew wouldn’t share this with anybody. I felt it was important to keep quiet about it, because the last thing I needed was some “friend” telling me to tell Adam how I felt. Or better yet, having that “friend” tell Adam how I felt. So, I continued to wait.

This next part is kinda funny. January 2 (I think) of 2006. I am attending a church meeting. My pastor introduces me to another young man and is speaking highly of him. Basically, this guy wanted to know if he could call me. This gentleman did not attend our church, but I knew of him. I did give the guy my phone number, but felt weird about it. While flattered, the whole time, I was thinking about Adam. That’s who I wanted! But, since he hadn’t voiced any feelings or anything to me, I couldn’t think of an excuse not to (though I could think of a few now!). Adam was also attending this meeting, and as it turns out, was in earshot of this conversation. This sorta lit a fire under his tail.

The next few days were very conflicting for me. This guy would call. He was nice and all, but I really wasn’t interested. And I didn’t know how to tell that to him, in a nice, honest way. One of my many flaws, is that I beat around the bush…and the person on the receiving end doesn’t seem to get the point. My heart agonized, because I did not want to, in any way, lead this guy on. But, then I thought, maybe I should give this a chance. Maybe this is who God has for me, and not Adam.

Then comes a really good day! January 5, 2006. Adam and I met up for lunch at the yummy K&W! We had met for lunch frequently prior to all of this, so this was not unusual. Earlier that morning, my mom told me it was going to be a good day. So I was expecting something. Not sure what…but something! We eat all of our lunch, and nothing. Just normal conversation. Finally, we both are getting to leave and head back to our jobs. I can’t remember exactly all he said. I think he just blurted out “Um, what are you doing Saturday night?”. Haha! Unfortunately, I really did have plans that night. But was quick to say maybe another night. When I told him, he then proceeded to tell me that he would like to begin a relationship with me and that he called my dad the night before to ask his permission! I’ve heard about young men asking the lady’s father for permission to marry their daughter, but not to begin a relationship. It was very honorable of him to seek my father’s permission before entering into a relationship. I was on cloud nine! The whole day I don’t think I could stop smiling. Shortly after, I realized the significance of this day…it was 2 years to the DAY that I began journaling about him! I was blown away! Talk about timing! God’s timing.

So begins our courtship. Like I said before, we weren’t perfect, and if we could go back, there are things we would do differently. But, early on we were committed to purity. It was awesome, because Adam was actually the one who thought we should save our first kiss for the wedding day. He was not interested in just dating. From the beginning, marriage was in mind. It was so great to not be physically involved, because we really got to know each others personalities really well. We were (and are) very different, but we learned how those things can complement each other.

My birthday is on November 7th. But, this particular year I was going to be away the on weekend of my birthday. Adam wanted to celebrate it early. We decided that we would get together to celebrate it on October 21.

He made dinner for me and gave me this beautiful mirror that I LOVE! Then he hands me this piece of paper and wants me to read aloud. I start getting a hunch at whats going on, but try not to go crazy in case I was wrong. The Paper read :

To My Beautiful Paige

To my beautiful Paige, I give my heart.
To explain my love, where should I start?
First of all; the day I saw you I fell in love.
Now, I know God sent you, like a gift from above.
Knowing you love me is such a blessing to me.
God unlocked my heart, but you were His key.
Knowing that I can love you and you’ll love me back;
I promise my love for you will never grow slack.
What a journey it’s been, falling in love with you.
I’m so much in love, I hardly know what to do.
I think about you all day; morning, noon and night.
I imagine our future what a beautiful sight.
Speaking of our future, I want to do things right.
I could hardly wait for this wonderful night.
I went to your folks and they said O.K.
Now I hope I don’t trip over the words I say.
Just the thought of this moment makes my blood pressure rise.
So just put down this paper so I can look into your eyes…

I wish I could remember verbatim what he said at this point! I know he told me that he loved me and asked if I would marry him. He then opened a box with an incredibly gorgeous ring in it! Of course, without even seeing the ring my answer was a big, fat “YES!” But, let me tell you about this ring. Us women love to look at pictures of engagement rings and wedding dresses and all that good stuff. I liked the princess cut, but I really liked the emerald cut diamond ring. I never told Adam what I liked, but I did tell my friend (now sister-in-law) what I liked and so he found out through her. It was a stunning ring.

After that ring was placed on my finger, he proceeded to tell me something I didn’t know about emerald cut diamonds. For that particular size and cut, the diamond has to be very pure, or it will be easy to spot imperfections. He added, that knowing this reminded him of me and my desire to remain pure! Wow! I was so blown away. What a beautiful gift!

Shortly after, we decided on a wedding date of April 14, 2007. During our engagement the Lord strongly revealed some areas that we needed to change. When we compare ourselves to others, its easy to justify certain actions. But when the Holy Spirit convicts us, no matter how good we think we are, we had better obey. Adam had his own home and had a roommate living there. And we hung out there a lot of the time. Again, we were strong and really would just hang out and talk or watch a movie. But, there are a few things very wrong about this. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says “Abstain from all appearance of evil”. In 1 Corinthians 8 it talks about not being a stumbling block to others. It just didn’t look good, me being there with him, many times alone. We were involved in youth ministry and how would this have looked to them? We may have been strong and in control of ourselves, but this was sending a message to them that they could do this with no problems as well. By the grace of God alone, we were strong. But, had we had one weak moment, things could have changed dramatically. It’s like playing with fire. I am not saying you can never, ever be alone. But there are principles in the courtship process that allow for that in a safer environment then your boyfriends home or apartment. My mom had even warned me about it not looking good, even though she trusted us, but I just shrugged it off (outwardly), though it was still deep in my thoughts. The kind of thoughts you just tuck away and choose not to think of. But in January of ’07. God dealt with us and Adam decided that I shouldn’t come over anymore. He would start coming to my house ( I lived with my parents) a lot more. It’s hard when you know you have sinned against God, but such grace when you repent and do things completely the right way!

FINALLY- April 14th arrives! This was a perfect day in every way. I wasn’t nervous. I was sure and really happy! Of course, there was excitement and a little nervousness about the wedding and all those people watching me, and just the fact that I was getting ready to vow my life to another person. But I was sure and I knew this was the man that God designed for me to be with. The weather was perfect. Things ran smoothly. Well except for one part. I had read of a couple who had a footwashing in there ceremony. If you recall in the Bible. where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as a symbols of servanthood and humility . We wanted to symbolically say, ” I will serve you”. It was a beautiful moment except for when it was my turn to wash his feet, trying to put a dress sock on a damp foot wasn’t easy! You had to be there….it was just funny! But it was a perfect ceremony. We exchanged rings, and vows. ” The pastor then pronounces ” Mr. and Mrs. Adam Tennant….you may kiss the bride”! That long-awaited kiss finally came! A beautiful kiss! Such a good kiss, I asked him for another one there at the altar! It was surreal and I felt like I was floating! God truly had the best for me in every way. Be encouraged to wait on the Lord and not take things into your own hands.

And that’s the beginning of our journey, The romance didn’t die at the honeymoon, either. He is still so loving toward me. We aren’t perfect and are still learning so much about one another. But I have to say it has been something I would do all over again in a heartbeat! He is an amazing man and I love him to death!

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(or is writing!) your love story?

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Romance, God's Way

Quotations on Romance
Eric & Leslie Ludy

“Before our relationship ever began, we each individually made a decision to go against the cultural norm – even the Christian norm – by setting ourselves completely aside for each other in every way – mentally, emotionally, and physically. It was a difficult decision to make, yet it was the best foundation we ever could have laid for our marriage.”

“If your future spouse could see you now, as you interact with members of the opposite sex, how would they feel? Would they feel hurt and jealous, or adored and special?”

“Faithfulness is not something that should begin only after the marriage vows are spoken. Faithfulness should be learned and practiced throughout our lifetime.”

“A letter represents something far more than a kiss ever could. It evidences thoughtfulness and the gift of time. While a kiss can prove tender, it must overcome the stigma of impulsiveness to truly display love. A letter on the other hand, when written in the spirit of ardor and romance – even if it never mentions passion – strokes the heart deeper than any other form of physical touch. A kiss cannot be felt again and again from a great distance, but a letter can be read and reread thousands of times. A kiss only familiarizes the lips with the physical body of a lover. A letter familiarizes the heart, mind, and soul. Maybe that’s why God chose to write us a letter.”

“God knows what we’re attracted to better than we do.”

“Give God the Pen. The single reason He gave us the pen was so we could give it back to Him.”

“Tenderness means looking at life through their eyes.”

“Romance is more difficult after the honeymoon because you’ve won their heart…now you must cherish their heart.”

“A woman’s perception of her beauty is shaped by the men in her life. So be artists, be gentle and tender with the words you guys speak.”

“A man’s sense of masculinity and confidence flows directly from the women in his life. If the thing he works hard at is validated by a woman, it will stay with him for the rest of his life.”

Advice To Girls: “Keep your standards high and keep trusting that that Knight in Shining Armor is out there for you and set yourself aside completely in purity for that person.”

Advice To Guys: “Same thing, but also the character of Christ. I deal with girls all over the country—all over the world even—and I know that they’re more impressed with sensitivity, kindness, gentleness, and a pure heart than they are with muscles, smooth talk, and everything down just perfect. It’s the character of Christ that will win out in the end. So if you keep your standards high, God will not disappoint you.”

Many years ago, I was introduced to Eric and Leslie Ludy; a couple who saved their first kiss together for their wedding day. I was moved. I was inspired. I was motivated. Because of their story, I chose to remain practice purity - of the mind, heart, and body - and save it all for my husband on our wedding day. In March of 2010, just one month before my wedding, I was blessed to be able to attend a conference with two of my sisters where I met them and was able to share how God used their testimony in my life. I pray you, too, will be encouraged to learn about romance....God's way.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Heavenly Love Stories: Jason & Katy || pt 1

Jason and Katy || pt 1

May 28, 2011

As told by Katy:

Well, each story has a beginning and so I thought I would share ours :) Lets go back to March of 2010.

On March 14th my world had turned upside a bad way. I had been in a courtship relationship for a little over three months and some things had come to light in the young mans life and my Dad (who is my hero) made the decision to break off our courtship. I was devastated.

All my life all I had wanted was to be a wife and Mother. I asked God why He would give me my dream only to snatch it away. In the weeks that followed the Lord began to show me. He showed me that my entire life I had allowed desperation to lead my heart and my life. I had looked to guys for my fulfillment.

Marriage had become an idol.

I was so afraid at the thought of possibly being alone for the rest of my life. But one night the Lord gave me this thought one night: "What if the Lord is calling me to be single for the rest of my life?"

I cringed.

He couldn't be. Could He?

Then I realized what an idol not being alone was to me. And I knew I had to make a decision. Would I surrender my entire life to the Lord's service even if it meant being alone? I thought. And prayed. And probably cried. And then purposed in my heart to serve my Jesus no matter what. That is when I started taking steps towards nursing, because I knew that I could be independent and serve the Lord in that way. I had never wanted a career. But that day when I decided to move forward in my independence I surrendered my hopes and dreams to the Lord. I surrendered my future and stepped out in faith. Alone....for the first time in my life, with only Jesus by my side.

No prospects. No possibilities.

I was heading to the mission field to serve my Jesus in my singleness and I was super excited about it! And nothing was going to stop me!

Ahem. The Lord's ways are not our ways.

One of my girls that had been going to my girls Bible study invited me to a Bible study she had been attending on Sundays. I really did not want to go anywhere near the male species. But I decided I could not stay away from contact with the male species forever. So I swallowed my fear and went.

March 28, 2010. Exactly two weeks to the day my courtship had been broken off. So I get there. There were a ton of people there and I didn't know anyone! So I just sat there and waited for study to start. The leader had gone to pick up someone and so we were waiting for him to get back. Finally he got there and he walked into the room. Jason Hollands. My heart sank. He was very handsome in the white button down shirt and tan pants.

Katy you do not even look at him.

He had a purity ring on that looked like a wedding band. Oh wow that is really neat. Oh snap! Katy cut it out. Do not look at him.

And wow was he a spiritual leader. I sat there amazed as he started the Bible study. The one thing that made the most impact on me was how he prayed. Oh how he prayed.....and it wasn't a show. It was just him coming before his Heavenly Father and having a talk with Him. And it was anytime. Anything. No matter how big or how small. And as we went around the circle, at the very end, he prayed for me. Just me. By name.

Katy stop it! You are going to be single. And happy. And serve the Lord. IN A SINGLE WAY!

I cried the whole way home and went upstairs and determined to not ever go back to Bible Study again. Never. In fact I was not going to ever going to go around guys again. I was considering being a nun! So Mom came upstairs and asked me what was wrong. And finally I admitted that I was just terrified about making the old mistakes with allowing desperation to guide my heart and life and I just knew somehow that if I kept going back I would possibly develop a mindless crush on Jason and I just did not want to even have to struggle with guarding my heart again! I was going to serve the Lord. As a single woman.

Well, Mom ended up telling me that yes I had to slay the old fleshly tendencies to let desperation to lead my heart but hiding was not going to cut it. So, she said to not initiate anything with him. I really clicked with his younger sister Sarah (we talked for hours the first Bible study) and she said to just focus on my friendship with Sarah. So I kept going to Bible Study. On April 4, 2010 I wrote this in my journal about Bible Study:

"Please help me to jealously guard my heart, Lord. Please help me to never go to Bible study just because there are guys there Lord. I truly do just want to be fed spiritually Lord. The reason I am praying about this is because there is a guy there that, if I went back to my old pattern of going from guy to guy searching for completion (out of desperation), I would be tempted to start obsessing/dreaming/crushing about. Jason Hollands is the leader there and very godly BUT I do not know him. I have decided, as a part of slaying this old, fleshly tendency, that I am not going to initiate anything with Jason. I will be friendly but not go out of my way I guess. He friend requested all of us kids today and so I accepted him. Tonight I was on face book and all the sudden he started chatting with me. It was so nice. We just talked about You and encouraged each other in You. I really think we could be good friends but, as of right now, I don't see it as anything more because I DON'T KNOW HIM."

Oh, if I had only known.

So I did not initiate anything. At all. And as the weeks and months went on and we started spending more and more time together I was friendly but did not initiate anything. Jason told me later that me not swooning all over him is actually what intrigued him about me. A few times he thought: What is wrong with her?

We continued to get to know each other, and I started to have feelings for him. And I started to pray that the Lord would take the feelings away. But strangely it didn't work. For months! So when did it start to change? are going to just have to wait for part 2 :)

Have a testimony to share about how God has written
(or is writing!) your love story?

Share it with us by emailing it to:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Waiting On Him: Marli's Story

Marli's Story

The day was November 23rd, my 10th birthday. I remembered the night well. A special night had been planned for me, just me! Mom and Dad had reserved the evening for the three of us to have dinner at a elaborate restaurant, while my brother and sister stayed with my grandparents. I anticipated the evening with enthusiasm!

After arriving at the restaurant, Mom and Dad began talking to me about remaining pure as I waited on my prince charming. They had also suggested, as I was growing older, my first kiss would be a special gift. They encouraged me to save that kiss for my husband on our wedding day.

At one moment during the dinner, I remember asking my mom for a Tylenol. She told me, “Okay, you can get it out of my purse.” I looked in her purse and there it was lying among the other purse items, a tiny wrapped package. I looked at Mom and Dad. They were both smiling. After confirming that the gift was for me, I pulled it out and opened the small package.

It was a little ring box which contained the most beautiful, gold ring displaying a petite diamond on top. I was pleasantly surprised. Mom and Dad told me this ring would become a symbol of our evening together, representing the promise I had made to them and to my future husband. It would become a constant reminder that I was to protect the unique and irreplaceable gifts God had given me - that were intended for my husband, and him only, on my wedding day.

I have been blessed to live in a Christian home my entire life. This was not the first time I had a conversation with my parents about purity. I have always acknowledged that saving my first kiss would further delay the sexual act and help prevent the hasty giving of myself emotionally to a guy.

It makes me sad to think that in today’s world that so many young ladies are not virgins anymore. When others see my purity ring and ask what it symbolizes, I consider it a privilege to explain to them the promises that I am keeping. Some find it shocking and hard to believe. But, I look forward to the day that I can present myself to my husband as an anticipated “unwrapped gift.”
Another representation of my purity ring is in the area of my relationships with guys. I have made the commitment to replace dating with old-fashioned courting. Courting isn’t a bad word, it is actually a very safe word. My definition of courting is getting to know someone in the company of family or friends. This is another principle that I adopted in my teen years.

I want my parents involved 100 % in the process of me choosing a mate. Many of my friends’ parents do not even know who their children are associating with, much less, dating. I don’t want that to be my circumstance. I want it to be a family affair, even with the brother and sister involved. It can actually be a lot of fun! Having an older brother who is courting has given me a positive view of what it can be like. I have also come to realize how important boundaries are in a relationship. I have read numerous stories of courtships. Most courtships are adapted to their personal expectations, but most happily choose the safety of physical boundaries and getting to know each other within a family setting versus being alone in a dating situation.

One of my greatest struggles is remaining content as I wait for my special someone. Handing the pen over to Christ and allowing Him to script my love story is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. As I watch other couples walking hand-in-hand, I occasionally feel discouraged. However, I constantly remind myself that God has the perfect love story planned for me. In my opinion, shuffling from guy to guy just for the sake of companionship would not be part of His perfect plan.

So, what’s a girl to do? Taking advantage of this phase in our lives to be an encouragement to our male friends in the faith, would be beneficial to all those involved. As I treat them as my brothers, “with all purity,” I can strengthen them spiritually and display to them characteristics of a true female friendship(1 Timothy 5:1, 2). The characteristics of flirtatious girls are described in Proverbs 7. This type of conduct should be avoided, as it creates hardships on our guy friends to remain pure gentlemen. As we adopt the practice of building our male friends up in their everyday accomplishments, instead of seeking them as a potential mate, they will appreciate our chaste behavior. If our actions are mature in dealing with our guy friends, the more respectful they will treat us.

It may seem difficult remaining pure and spotless in a polluted world, but we can be the one who goes against the flow. We should not be bashful about reclaiming a commitment to purity. Saving your special kiss, allowing your parents to guide you through a healthy relationship and treating guys with brotherly kindness will persuade others to demonstrate a more perfect Christian walk. I pray that we all can live a life of purity…with no regrets.

Have a testimony to share about how God is writing your love story?
Want to encourage others to wait on His timing?

Share it with us by emailing it to:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Waiting For You

Back in 2009, two friends became engaged. Jason and Jessica. Their story is featured here on King's Bride. As I eagerly awaited their wedding, I found myself penning the following song down. Later, I ended up recording a demo and sending it to them, it having been inspired by their story. At the time, I was seven months away from my own wedding and anxiously awaiting the day I, too, would be able to say to my groom, "I've been waiting for you!"

I hope you are encouraged to continue to wait.

Click here to listen to "Waiting For You"

He was running through the fields
She was picking flowers
He was fishing in the pond

She was playing house
Now they're standing at the alter together
They're about to exchange their wedding vows

As they look into the eyes of one another
You can almost hear them as they say...

I've been waiting for you
I've been praying for you
And now I'll spend my life with you

God sent you to me after faithfully
Waiting for you

There were days
When he almost gave up hoping
There were nights
When she wondered at God's plan
But they waited and they both remained faithful
Entrusting their lives into God's hands

Now as loved ones and friends all gather 'round
You can almost see the Savior smiling down
As they say....

I've been waiting for you
I've been praying for you
And now I'll spend my life with you
God sent you to me after faithfully
Waiting for you

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

God Hasn't Forgotten You

Home from Wednesday night youth meeting, she walked into her room, tossed her purse and Bible on her desk, then dropped to her bed. With a tired sigh that went beyond physical fatigue, she just sat there silently, lost in thought.

Another night with Church friends who were more like acquaintances....

Another night having to ignore the silly giggling from "that couple"....

Another night of being given scowls and glares when she spoke anything remotely concerning set-apartness....

With a pounding headache and an aching heart, she sat there, silently, wondering what she should do. Nobody wanted to live differently. Nobody really even liked her. Oh, they liked parts of her, I suppose, but nobody truly wanted to be her friend....and she knew why. She was different. She believed different things.... like love being worth waiting for; like purity being something to prize and protect. She dressed in a different way.... no miniskirts or plunging, low necklines. She acted differently too. She didn't shameless flirt with the guys around her. She didn't let out the cute little giggle when a guy made eyes at her. She didn't bat her long eyelashes their way or sway as she walked pass them. She was far different from those around her and though she was proud of that fact, the frustration of being utterly alone in her pursuit of "different living" was beginning to weigh on her.

"Lord," she prayed. "Have you forgotten about me?"

With tears in her eyes, looked down at her bedspread. "God....were you watching tonight? Did You see them sneak that kiss with the youth director left the room? Did You hear what they were whispering to each other and writing about all throughout the lesson? Do You see how they treat me?
.....God, they all act like they are so happy with their significant other. I know I have chosen the right path and the right way, so why am I hurting right now?? Why am I lonely tonight when they are giggling like crazy?? God, are You still there??"

I remember that night. Actually, I remember many nights exactly like that. Sadly, in my pursuit of purity, I had no support system outside of my parents. If it hadn't been for them, I could have possibility been driven to lowering my standards. But oh, how I wanted to be different! I wanted to be truly set-apart. Because of the fact that practically everyone my age thought I was crazy in that area of my life, there was no one to encourage me to hang in there other than my mom and dad. At that time, I was having so many attacks from friends, Church people, and even family members who thought that my "set-apart" way of living was unrealistic, old fashioned, outdated, lame, a form of abuse from my parents, and the like.

It hurt.

I remember that night as I sat on my bed, trying to keep my tears from pouring down my face. I felt lonely that night. I felt forgotten by God. And it was then that He gave me these words:

Come back to me.
In moments of doubt and frustration and loneliness, instead of wallowing in self-pity, what we SHOULD do is run back into the comforting arms of the Lord. His strength is made perfect in weakness. When we stray a bit from Him, we begin to feel its effects. We grow stale in our faith. We begin to doubt. We get lonely. We even wonder, as I did, if God has forgotten all about us. After that night, I tried to take those moments of loneliness as a call from my Father to come back to Him. HE never leaves. We do the leaving; we do the straying. And though WE may forget the many promises that He has made, He never forgets.

When we hurt, He feels that hurt and longs for us to allow Him to comfort us.

When we are lonely, He aches with us, yearning to wrap us up in His arms.

When we are tired of waiting, He is there, ready to sustain us with His strength.

In your pursuit of purity and in your season of waiting, I want to encourage you to, as Mary Slessor once said, keep close to Jesus. Do not stray from His presence. In those moments of loneliness, please remember that God has not forgotten you, nor will He. He sees far beyond what we see and is scripting a beautiful love story for you....all you have to do is give Him the pen and trust Him.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Bride's Walk

To me, one of the grandest moments of a wedding ceremony is when the bride makes her entrance and begins walking down the aisle. The music swells, all heads turn, the crowd rises, the groom is full of emotion, and - THERE SHE IS!

Slowly, she begins walking down the aisle toward her groom; her beloved.

I remember my walk.

I had been choked with emotion listening as each song was played. The candles were lit during "Sunrise." Then "Great is Thy Faithfulness" began as our grandmothers and mothers were escorted to their seats. Then my groom and his groomsmen entered. After that, everyone was still as Grant's and my song began to play. As it ended, I took a breath. The processional was about to begin. I listened as the music began and watched as my friends and sisters made their way down the aisle. I remember being momentarily distracted by the timing and made a motion for the ring bearer to begin walking. Then, it hit me. It was time. This was it. I took my Dad's arm and made my way to the aisle, quickly pausing before we began our walk.

As I stood there, I searched for my groom's face. There he the end of the aisle, waiting for me to join him. I gave the biggest smile I could muster and began to walk, keeping my eyes focused on him. Though the crowd stood to honor me, and though my uncle loudly blew the shofar horn, through all the commotion, I fixed my eyes on Grant knowing that if I could just keep looking to him, I would make it. A part of me was afraid. "I'm getting married. My whole life is about to dramatically change." A part of me wanted to burst into tears, thankful and grateful for all the blessings. A part of me wanted to run down the aisle towards him before he got cold feet and changed his mind! But I kept a steady walk and focused on his face, on his eyes.

Finally, we made it to the alter. As I looked at my groom, I saw a mixture of joy and awe. He gave me a small smile and nodded, telling me that he thought I looked gorgeous. Then, he took my hand and the ceremony began!

Obviously, the bride's walk is one of everyone's favorite parts of a wedding day.

As I began to think back, I couldn't help but think that our walk, as Christians, should be very similar to a bride's walk down the aisle.

I cannot say that every bride does what I did, which was focus in on my groom, but I do know that that is exactly what every Christian needs to do when walking through this life.

In this world, there is pain and trials. There is hardship. There are sometimes roads that are long and lonely. Sometimes the cross we carry is exceptionally heavy to bear. But, sisters, LOOK to JESUS.

When you are afraid, focus your eyes on Jesus.

When you are tired, fix your gaze upon His face.

When you are weary, keep walking steadily onward towards Him.

When you stumble, get back up and continue on.
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Then comes the best part that gives us hope....

Hebrews 12:2a - "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...."

Looking unto Jesus. Looking unto Him.

As the bride of Jesus Christ, let us lay aside all the things that so easily hold us back and let us steady our eyes upon the beautiful face of our Master and walk towards Him. Sometimes, there will be the commotion of life that will threaten to deter us. Sometimes our own fears may tempt us to pause. But if we will keep our eyes focused on the throne and upon our beloved Bridegroom, and walk on, we will make it one day. And what a wonderful day it will be when we finally reach the "alter" of Heaven and be with our Beloved for all eternity! On that day, we won't be thinking much of the long walk down the aisle. We will only be basking in the love of our King!

Ephesians 4:1
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."

Ephesians 4:17
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind."

Ephesians 5:8b
"....walk as children of light."


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Purity Lost

I do not understand the mentality of this society. No one listens to the voice(s) that's crying out; voices of caution. No one heeds the warning signs anymore. I will never understand why so many gift away the most beautiful, priceless thing they own as a mere trinket. They choose to give away their purty - a precious, God-given jewel - like something they bought from a dime store. I don't understand why they offer it up to the highest bidder or give it out as a prize for a game; why they hand it over without question, without committment. A heated moment in the backseat and all is lost. Love just isn't patient anymore.

It seems as though, every time I turn around, I hear of another friend, loved one, or acquaintance who has gone down the road of premarital sex. And I wonder why. If I could only sit down with them, I would ask them WHY?

Why did you give it all away? What was your reason? What justified your actions? Don't you know that there is a better way? Do you not see the damage you have done? Did you do it because you wanted to feel loved and accepted? Why not turn to God who loves you so much He gave His Son to die for you? Why not turn to the Author of love? Why? Why?

Jeremiah 29:11-13
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."

As a teenager, I remember spending night crying over losing one friend after the next to sexual promiscuity. I would see them beging to date around, then slowly give themselves away. Next, I would see heartbreak, pregnancy, diseases. I saw a tremendous amount of emotional pain by toying with sexual sin. It hurt me to see them go through so still hurts today. If only they had resisted Satan's temptation.

In 2004 I wrote the following prayer in my journal:

Oh Lord, please come and touch my generation. May it be a generation that pleases You!..a pure, unadulterated, clean generation who lives to glorify You in their bodies. Help me, as a Christian, come out and separate myself from the ungodliness of our society and be a light in this world.

Now, seven years later, I echo that same prayer.

I pray each one of you will hold on to your precious purity and guard it; treasure it; keep it safe. Keep it sacred. Do not lose something so valuable and beautiful.

Psalm 37:3-7
"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."

Do you know what you have done;
What you had, then gave away?

I gave you something so special,
Something wonderful to save.

I gave you your purity,
Something that I made
For your one and only love
That I would send your way.

But you threw it to the wind
With no thought of tomorrow.
You had your fun and pleasure
That soon turned to sorrow.

You gave away to many
What I had made for only one,
And the sin you have committed
Has been placed upon my Son.

Why did you give it all away
When you could have had a life so pure?
All you had to do was trust me
But now the pain, you must endure.

I love you still, and you are forgiven.
There is cleansing and freedom today.
But it does not change your past.
Oh, why did you give it all away?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

10 Things I'm Learning in Marriage

The wedding is one day....The marriage is a lifetime.

And nothing about marriage comes natural. Why? Because marriage is hard work.

I am sure many people enter into marriage thinking that they have a head start. I know I did. How wrong I was. Just like nothing can prepare you for parenthood until you actually become a parent, nothing can quite prepare you for the marriage relationship.

I know that being married for one year and two months makes me a "newbie" still, but I am here to testify that once you are married, the lessons begin! You start learning right away! And here are a few things that God has taught (and is still teaching) me!

1. Christ must be your fulfillment. This lesson should begin long before the "I Do's" are spoken. It is very easy to rely on your spouse to fulfil you, but listen to me: this never works. There have been plenty of moments when I have grown irritated when Grant hasn't met my every need. It is then that I have had to be reminded by the Lord to stop and remember an invaluable truth: HE is all. Nobody, not even your dearest friend and soul mate, can meet all your needs. God created it to be this way as an ever-constant reminder that HE is God and the only One who can fulfill us completely.

2. Remember your spouse is a sinner. Yes, Grant is my prince charming. Yes, he is a man of God. Yes, he will stop and pray no matter when or where. Yes, he is my best earthly friend. But he is not perfect. I have seen him angry, irritated, and stressed out. I know what makes him tick (yes, he can get ticked). I know his weaknesses and his imperfections. He is still a sinner.....and as much as it hurts my pride to say it.... I am one too.

3. Pick your battles. That's a toughie. At first, it sounds like 100% fun all the time to live with your best friend. And, to a degree, it IS fun! But it is also work. Habits can become annoying (like the clearing of the throat in the shower every morning). Little things can get under your skin (like finding little hairs all over the sink after a shave). But I have to remember to stop and ask myself, "Is this worth getting angry over? Is this thing worth picking a fight about?"  Most of the time, it's not. So pick your battles.

4. Learn how to make up. Pride has to die in a marriage relationship. It is easy for me to gloat when I am proven right in a disagreement. And it is very easy to refuse to say "I'm sorry." But it MUST be done! Disagreements are inevitable in marriage. Marriage takes two different people (male and female) who grew up in two different families (sometimes in two very different circumstances), with two different personalities and character traits, and it thrusts them together in tight living spaces. It's impossible for two opposite creatures to live in constant harmony. So you will have moments that are not pleasant. But one thing that has to be learned is the art of making up. Get over yourself. Let go of your pride. Remember you LOVE your spouse and made some serious vows to him/her. Forgive. Forget. Move on. It is rewarding if you do!

5. Compromise. I like to talk things out. Grant does not. When there has been a disagreement or if I feel unsettled about something, I need to talk about things in order to move past it. Grant prefers to go into "internal hibernation" for a while. So....what do we do in this situation? We learn to compromise. Sometimes I need to give Grant an hour or more to keep from overwhelming him or for him to get his thoughts together. Sometimes Grant puts those things aside in order to sit down immediately with me to talk about how I feel. We don't take turns. We just do our best to find the happy medium no matter what the situation may be.

6. Let go of your rights. I am still struggling with this area. Sometimes I don't want to compromise. Sometimes I want my way. Sometimes I am downright selfish. And sometimes I believe I have a "right" to act like a self-centered wife. But the more I study and pray, the more I find that we, as Christians, should let go of our rights. In all honesty, we have none. We gave up all our rights when we allowed Jesus to take over and buy us "with a price." So let go.

7. Have a date night. The reality of life can wear you down. Sometimes we get SO busy! It is for this reason that it is important to have a date night fairly often. For Grant and I, this was hard. We were married for three months when I got pregnant. Morning sickness, a growing belly, feeling tired, THEN a new baby! All in one year! A date night? Yeah right. But it is so important to make time for one another. Recently Grant and I did just that and WOW! It was such a blessing to be able to get away and simply enjoy each other's company. Even if you don't have the money to go out, stay in, turn the TV off and talk to one another. Or cook a hearty meal and rent a movie. Reminisce with each other. Just enjoy being together as husband and wife. Your relationship as husband and wife comes before all else, save your relationship with the Lord.

8. Be each other's best friend. Growing up, I had what I thought were a few "best friends" here and there. How wrong I was. Grant is literally my best earthly friend. I can let my hair down with him. I can be 100% me. He knows me, sometimes better than I know myself. And I know him better than anyone else. We belly laugh together. We tell crazy jokes. We giggle like teenagers. We hop in the truck and take off down dirt roads blaring music and singing. We pray together. We tell each other things that are difficult for the other to hear. We are there for one another....through thick and thin, good and bad. Don't ever let outside friendships and relationships, work, hobbies, or anything of the like stand in the way of you and your spouse being best friends.

9. Protect your spouse and your marriage. Privacy in marriage is almost foreign these days. And it shouldn't be! From the very beginning of our relationship, I made a personal committment that private things would always remain private. Marriage is a "bear-all" relationship. You are totally revealed in every way to your spouse. Protect that. Keep it sacred. I have vowed, when Grant and I have a disagreement, to never talk about it to anyone. It is no one's business and my words, even at a time when I may be upset, could hurt my husband and bring him disrespect. It is personal and between him, myself, and the Lord. I have vowed never to have "bedroom discussions" with girlfriends. The bedroom is sacred, holy, and deserves the utmost privacy. There are plenty of outside things that should be guarded against. Protect your spouse and your marriage.

10. Pray and pray together. Pray for you spouse. Pray that he can be a strong, passionate, mighty man of God. Pray that she can rise and be a valiant, virtuous woman of faith. Pray for strength. Pray for wisdom. Pray for your marriage as a whole. Pray for your children. Pray for yourself. Then pray together. Prayer brings unity. Praying alone can bring you closer to the throne of God and closer to His will. Praying together as a couple brings you closer together AS you draw nearer to the heart of God. Prayer brings unity and it brings strength. Always, always, always pray! Never cease!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

While I'm Waiting

Earlier this month at camp, I was given the opportunity to share my testimony and speak about my purity, modesty, and my love story with Grant. It was good to go back in time and relive those years, remembering what God taught me and how faithful He was....even when I couldn't see it at the time.

There are plenty of books in the Christian community on "Christian dating" and "how to avoid going all the way" but there aren't many books or lessons or messages on simply waiting. I'm not talking about abstinence. That should be a given. I am talking about truly waiting on God; on His timing, on His "green-light," and waiting for HIS choice (not ours) for our mate.

Many think that waiting means doing nothing. You're just sitting around with no social life, nothing to do......waiting....and waiting....and waiting. Let me tell you, that is not so!

The Lord gives us a season of singleness for a reason. When we are married, we think much about our spouse (and so we should) and we care for the things in marriage. However, when we are single, we are free of distraction and free from the marital responsibilities, and that gives us ample time to dwell on Christ, growing closer to Him, and developing an intimate relationship with Him that helps us in marriage. It all works together for a grand reason! God made a special season for singles. And you should "redeem the time" as Ephesians 5:16 says and, with wisdom, USE that time for His glory!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Waiting On Him: Sarah's Story


Sarah’s Story

I have grown up in a Christian home my whole life, which I am incredibly thankful for. At a young age, I always thought it would be easy for a Christian girl (I accepted Christ at age 7) in a Christian home to live the Christian way. I thought that if I was surrounded by God’s people that it would be easy to live right, walk right, and be pure in God’s eyes. I was mistaken. Just because someone knows, believes, and is surrounded by the truth doesn’t mean that everything will be a walk in the park.

At the age of 14, I went to a purity conference that was hosted by my church. This was about the time that I started becoming interested in boys. I wasn’t flirting with them because I was shy, but I still wondered if they liked me. At this purity conference, I was opened up to a new way of thinking when it came to purity and relationships. The woman teaching gave all of the girls there a sheet of paper that had these words in it: Calling/texting, hanging out, holding hands, hugging, small kissing (a peck every once in a while), frequent kissing (a more meaningful kiss, but not too much), passionate kissing, and intimacy. The way these scenarios were arranged was at the very bottom of the sheet were the words ‘calling/texting’ and at the top were the words ‘intimacy’, and everything else was in the middle of the page, listed in the above order. She then gave us all a pen and said that when we were in a relationship one day, where would we draw the line? Would we stop our relationship with small kissing, and save the rest for marriage? Would we stop at frequent kissing and have the strength to save everything left for marriage? So, she told us to draw a line under the scenario that would be our stopping point in a relationship. All the girls made their choice that night, and mine was to stop at small kissing.

After we had all made our choices, the teacher began to tell us the dangers with some of these scenarios, and how that if we didn’t guard our hearts, we could end up going further than the line we drew. I listened to her, but I didn’t take everything to heart that she was saying. Everything was true, but I had drawn my line and I wasn’t going to budge. I was a strong, Christian young lady living in a Christian home, surrounded by Godly people. I wouldn’t fall for the things that other girls fell for. I was a good girl with a line that couldn’t be crossed.

Wrong. I was so terribly wrong. While I kept my mind and heart pure for God and my future husband, I wasn’t mature enough to handle a relationship the right way. I was in two different relationships and both of them were born out of my selfishness of wanting a boyfriend because all of my friends had one. I truly liked the guys, but I was looking for someone to accept me. You see, what I thought was pureness of mind was not what God thought of pureness of mind. I was constantly thinking about a boyfriend and all the benefits that I could get from a relationship: someone to like and accept me, bragging rights, and not being lonely. When I would be in a relationship and I wasn’t getting those benefits, I would give more of myself, throwing all of my emotions into making the relationship work.

At one point, not only was I kissing a guy, but I found myself wanting to give more. I stepped over my line I had drawn, and I did it all myself, not just because a guy was pressuring me. I willingly wanted more, so I selfishly gave more. I was still concerned about not stepping over “that line” where one goes from being a virgin to not. The problem with that is once I erase the line, where do I draw it back? If I blur the line over here, can I draw it back over there and still be okay? In this whole process, I didn’t realize that I was getting my heart broken. I Thessalonians 5:22 says to “Abstain from all appearance of evil” and while I have heard this verse my whole life, it wasn’t until after my second relationship that I truly started running from evil. My whole life I had stayed away from the really bad stuff, but is that enough?

Around the age of 17, there were several nights where I lay in my bed crying, asking “God, what do you want me to do? Is there something better than this? Will I ever get married? What am I doing wrong?” There were so many questions and tears, and I had to give everything to Him. A little after my 18th birthday, I decided to save myself completely for my future husband, so I made a big commitment: I am going to save my next kiss for my future husband. This is huge for me. I also committed that I will not give my heart away to another man until I know for sure that he is the one God has for me. With this promise to God came another promise that I will not spend my days worrying about whether or not I will ever get married. Worrying about that alone was wearing me out, especially since I have surrendered to be a missionary and there is a big possibility that I could be on a mission field without a husband.

While I still wonder about my future and still dream of marriage and a family, I am not making myself sick over it anymore. I always had a low self-esteem because of my physical appearance, and I still struggle with it at times, but just knowing that God truly has control over me, I am not worried about what might be next. That has always been my biggest problem: trying to figure out God and His plans. So, I ask God all the time to take away my desires and replace them with His. He has done so...He has taken away MY desire for marriage and replaced it with HIS. The difference is incredible! I literally don’t have to worry! Before I handed everything to Him, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be free from so many thoughts and worries. Now, I don’t see how I survived before! He really CAN handle everything, He really IS there for me, and He really WANTS me to live a better life!

One thing that has changed my view about purity and commitment in recent times was having an opportunity to go to an Eric and Leslie Ludy conference and hear the way they explain purity. Even though I made the commitment at 18 to save my kiss, body, and heart, these folks really encouraged me in a new way. At the conference, Eric Ludy made two comments that I hope never to forget. One of them was “Never pitch your tent.” Boy, was that a big problem for me! So many times I just settle with what I think is best, when there is actually something better God wants to show me. Another thing he said was “Your future spouse is alive right now!” Now, this was a little weird when I first heard it. Of course, my future husband is alive right now! As he went on, Eric Ludy explained that somewhere in the world, the person that God has for us is alive and is possibly going through the same things that we are. Some of the same difficulties, hopes, plans, dreams, worries…your future spouse is probably thinking like you! Then, Ludy said “Is it possible to live for and to be in love your spouse before you even know/meet them?” When he said that, God whispered to me and “Sarah, I want to live for your husband right now as if you are already married.” Woah…this is huge.

I started changing things big time after that. I look at things differently, think of things differently, and live differently. I am doing my best right now to live for my husband in every possible way to honor him. I am falling in love with him by falling more in love with Jesus Christ. And I have no clue who he is! I pray for him all the time. Some of the specific things I pray for are: “God, please show my husband Your love today. Please help him with whatever his problem may be right now. Please, comfort him in his pain right now. Please let him know just how close You are to him and how You are always there for him. Please help him to have a good night’s rest and a good day tomorrow. Please give him a hug from me and let him know that I am praying for him.” I pray all of this, and so much more. Pretty much anything I would pray for myself or a friend, I pray about for my husband. That’s a lot of praying. If there is one thing that has improved in my Christian walk, it’s my prayer life.

One of the best ways that I can feel close to my future husband is to study the Word. For some reason, every time I find some new discovery in the Bible or some new concept, I can’t help but think about him and whether or not he has discovered the things I have. I wonder what he may have found in the Scriptures that I have not. Things like that are what I wonder about, rather than worrying about so many trivial things that I did before. It’s such a relief!

There are still times when I distress over what is next so I have to give it all to God…again. My human nature wants to pick up my worries and burdens all over again and start lugging them around. However, as soon as I feel that burden on my shoulder, I’m like “Woah, Okay God, You can have them back!” And He is so faithful to help me out.

I am still waiting on him, I am still praying for him, and I am falling in love with him more and more because I have found my true Love, Jesus Christ. I want to be so close to Jesus that my husband has to seek Him to get to me. So, me and Jesus are hanging out. God has given me this period of being single for a reason: He wants me to serve him and be in his perfect will. There is a song by John Waller called ‘While I’m Waiting.’ The lyrics to the first part of the chorus mirror what I always want to do:

I will move ahead, bold and confident.

Taking every step in obedience,
While I’m waiting,
I will serve You while I’m waiting.

Have a testimony to share about how God is writing your love story?
Want to encourage others to wait on His timing?

Share it with us by emailing it to:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Skills in Singleness

Learn to be a person of prayer (1Tim 2:1-8)
Too few of us, myself included, have established strong prayer lives–yet Paul states that this is essential for living a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Learn modesty, good works, and submission (1 Tim 2:9-14)
Women are encouraged to adorn themselves with modesty, with good works, and with submission. This is a skill we can grow in; even as married women.

Learn discernment (1 Tim 4:7-8, 6:20-21; 2 Tim 2:15-19)
Paul commands Timothy to “reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise [himself] toward godliness.” So we too, would do well to develop discernment in doctrine and practice.

Learn to walk in purity (I Tim 4:12, 5:22; 2 Tim 2:21-22)
Contrary to the depraved world in which we live, where singles are encouraged to do whatever they like, Christian singles are called to live lives of purity.

Devote yourself to the Word of God (1 Tim 4:13,15-16; 2 Tim 1:13-14, 4:2-4)
I believe single adults have a unique opportunity to dig down deep into the Word of God – both reading it, speaking it, and doing it. Paul says singles are not distracted–what better time to “give attention” to the Word?

Learn to walk in your gifts (1Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6, 4:5)
Singleness is also a great time to learn what your gifts are and to begin to practice them. Don’t sit around and wait until you are married to get involved within your local church and your community. Ask God what role He would have you play–and get doing it. Don’t waste your singleness by living only for your own pleasure.

Develop healthy relationships (1Tim 5:1-2)
Paul encourages Timothy to develop healthy relationship with older men and older women (treating them as parents) and with younger men and women (treating them as brothers and sisters). We can learn how to glorify God and honor others in our relationships.

Learn contentment (1 Tim 6:6-10)
Contentment goes further than singleness. We can learn to be content with our circumstances, with our possessions, with our relationships, etc.

Be discipled and disciple someone (2 Tim 2:2)
Paul encourages Timothy to take what he (Timothy) has learned from him (Paul) and to teach it to others. Timothy is one link in the chain of making disciples. In the same way, we ought to be links in the chain of discipleship. Seek out older believers who can mentor you. Don’t wait until you have kids of your own to begin to pass along what has been entrusted to you. Find a younger man, a younger woman, a child, that you can commit the word of God to. I promise you won’t regret it.

Maintain your focus (2 Tim 2:3-7, 4:5)
Endure hardship. Resist temptation. Look forward to the prize. Don’t let either the trials or the pleasures of this world distract you from the treasure that is Christ Jesus.

Learn humility (2 Tim 2:24-26)
This one gets me every time. Learn humility–avoiding worthless disputes. Being gentle. It’s tough, but it’s necessary.

Recognize that singleness is not a sit-on-your-hands-until-something-better-comes-along time. Singleness is a time when we should be fully focused on God and on advancing His kingdom. Singleness is a time when we can develop our relationships with God, with His body, and to win the lost. Singleness is a time to grow in godly character and to be conformed into the image of Christ. Don’t waste your singleness.


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