10 Years of Sanctification

This April will be a special one. It will mark 10 years that I have been following Christ.

I truly can’t believe this anniversary has come so soon. That fateful day feels like just yesterday.

Many of my anniversary posts are just a recounting of my testimony, and while those are great, this time, I’d like to do something a little different.

Because while God opened my eyes to His glory and Lordship on April 25, 2010, I am not the same person I was in 2010, 2011, 2012, and so forth.

God gave me some kind of spirit of discernment early on in my walk (I never like prosperity gospel preachers and, back then, I really couldn’t explain why, but something [the Holy Spirit] told me to be weary of their teaching), but that same gift and zeal for sound doctrine was abused for a few years as I bullied brothers and sisters in the faith for not holding to the doctrines ol’ important me thought were most important.

I thought I was strong and able to “handle difficulty”, but I didn’t realize just how powerless I was until I was thrown into a barrage crazy trials some years ago. And yet, during some of the darkest times of my life (as a believer), I realized I wasn’t nearly as hopeless as I had been during an earlier trial in my life (one that happened before I was truly saved).

And those trials humbled me. I began to realize some of those Christians I disagreed with understood the love of God better than my own “clique” did. I began to realize it is okay to disagree on certain things. We are a family. Family will never agree on everything, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are all brothers and sisters.

10 years is quite a vantage point.

From here, I can look back at things I asked of God and say “I am so thankful You didn’t answer my prayers the way I wanted You to”.

It’s encouraging. And humbling.

My pastor recently said “I am not where I want to be, but thank God I am not who I used to be” and I couldn’t agree.

10 years ago, I thought I’d be this well learned theologian. I thought I’d written a book, be some kind of teacher, etc.

But 10 years ago, I was also too zealous for John Calvin and wasn’t zealous enough for Jesus Christ.

Am I still reformed? You bet.

Do I still think TULIP is the most accurate interpretation of scripture? Yup.

Am I still Cessationist? Well…I don’t really know. I’m beginning to lean Continuist, but I don’t really understand how the gifts work for the modern day church.

And that’s okay to say I don’t have all of the answers.

I do have one answer though: the Word of God is living and active, inerrant, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and is the foundation for all of our lives.

As long as it doesn’t contradict something clearly laid out in scripture, we can have some friendly debates on things, but let’s remember that our unity is more important to God than getting to say we won an argument.

“Nobody has ever been argued into the Kingdom, but many people have been loved there.” – Chad Moore

Grace & Peace Saints,

Christina

Fulfill Your Ministry

One of my favorite Matt Chandler clips is the one where he talks about Mark Driscoll.

Chances are, most people nowadays don’t know who Mark Driscoll was. If you do, that’s awesome. But if you don’t, he used to be the pastor of Mars Hill Church. He was also the founder of the Acts 29 Network (which Matt Chandler now leads, ironically.)

Any who, if you do know Driscoll, you also know he had a pretty aggressive way of preaching (which I won’t get into now because it’s besides the point).

Well, in this clip, Matt Chandler is coaching pastors and, in essence, he tells pastors that, though Mark Driscoll is very good at what He does and God uses it, we are not all called to be Driscoll.

We can not emulate him and expect the same results because God didn’t call us to be Driscoll.

God calls us to be ourselves. 

We aren’t called to fulfill Driscoll’s ministry. We’re call to fulfill OUR ministry.

God has shaped you specifically for a specific purpose. Though it may be tempting to look at “success stories” and want to emulate them, the truth of the matter is that what worked for Matt Chandler, Beth Moore, John Piper, etc, may not work for you.

You’re not called to fulfill their ministry.

You’re called to fulfill YOUR ministry.

Your ministry may be at home, with macaroni and cheese covered fingers. And yes, do I know it gets tiring changing diapers and trying to constantly entertain children, but it may be where God is calling you for this season. 

Your ministry may be at that job you don’t like, surrounded by those people who always gossip about their sins around the water cooler. Sure, you can’t wait to get out, but maybe, you’re called to be the light in a dark place. You’re called to point one of God’s future saints to the light. 

Your ministry may be in a not-so-great marriage. We’re not meant to divorce one another at the first offense. Maybe God called you to a marriage that starts a little hard, but as time passes, you grow from the trials and your love becomes an example of God’s power and healing.

(And don’t read what I am NOT saying. I’m saying that, for some, the trials serve to strengthen a marriage. I am not saying not to divorce an abusive spouse. Just throwing that disclaimer out there).

Simply put, we are all called to different ministries.

Fulfill YOUR ministry.

Why You Should Sponsor A Child

By the time your done reading this blog, at least 150 children around the world will have died due to poverty.

(According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day because they lack the means to afford proper care).

Their deaths are preventable.

Organizations like the one I work for (Expect Hope) make it their mission to rescue children from poverty and provide them with food, clothing, shelter, access to healthcare, and most importantly, love.

But WHY does your sponsorship matter?

Well, for one, not every country is the United States. Many countries do not have the means to help orphaned children, so many of them end up on the streets, naked and begging for food.

Many of those same children are targeted by terrorist groups like ISIS or Abu Sayyaf who promise them the same things Expect Hope does, but asks them to pay a hefty price; psychological abuse and, at times, sacrificing themselves for the terrorist groups cause.

There is no Child Protective Services to call in many third world countries. There is no Medicaid, no Free or Reduced Lunch, and sometimes, there isn’t even an option for free “public school”.

There are children right at this moment, walking along the streets naked and barefoot, with tummies rumbling, lacking ONE thing above all else; HOPE.

You could bring HOPE to a child today. You can change a life forever.

Some may say “well, $35 a month is a big ask”, but is it really?

My HULU subscription costs more than that.

Taking my family of four to Chipotle just once a month costs more than that.

Buying three new shirts at Ross costs more than that.

The truth is $35 equals to about $1.17 a day. We spend more than that on Starbucks, McDonalds, or whatever brand’s coffee you enjoy.

Think about that. Skipping Starbucks for 8-9 days a month will literally rescue an orphan from property and give them HOPE.

You can literally be someone’s hero for just $35 a month.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a child, visit Expect Hope today and sign up to sponsor. Still have questions? Comment below and I’ll do my best to get them.

Somethings you just don’t have to pray for.

Jesus said when you care for the least of these, you cared for Him.

Will you?

No Longer Slaves

April 25, 2010 was the day I was born again. This year, it will mark a seven-year journey of knowing God. I usually write posts around this time reflecting on my walk with Christ over the past year, but I feel like this one needs to be a bit different. 

Yesterday, my church sang “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. I’ve heard it sung a couple of times, but this time, it really resonated with me.

My pastor’s message was about placing small “gods” on a throne meant only for God Himself. Even good things likes spouses and children can become sinful if we build our identity on them. As he said, “sin is placing our identity in anything other than God”. 

This past year (and all seven of my years as a Christian, plus a few before my conversion) really drove that point home. Looking back, I can see God lovingly prying my hands away from things I was clinging to instead of Him. At the time, I didn’t understand. Much like a small child who has been told they can’t play in the street, I was upset, wondering why God would allow such things to happen to me. I thought these painful events would end up being the death of me…but to the contrary, they ended up leading me closer to the true source of life; Jesus

In these past seven years, He has resurrected things. He has restored things. He has renewed things. He has breathed life into dry, dead bones and killed deadly, sinful habits that were once viciously alive. I have seen Him do miraculous things, things that couldn’t possibly have happened without Him.

There is no joy apart from Him. Suffering with the promise of being in His presence tomorrow is greater than trading Him for a short-lived happy moment. I can trust in Him during a storm because He will be there in the morning when the sun is shining again, arms wide open.

I’ll make this one short, but I’d like you to reflect on the lyrics from the song I mentioned earlier. They really ministered to me, so I hope they do the same to you:

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

We are no longer slaves to fear, brothers and sisters.

We are children of God. 

Grace & Peace.

The Terrible Lie

This past week, I bought my daughter the Jesus Storybook Bible (which I highly recommend, by the way). We’ve been reading a couple of stories each day and one particular line really stood out to me.

In the story of Adam & Eve (named “The Terrible Lie” in her Bible), after Eve encounters the serpent and takes a bite of the fruit, it says:

“And a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God’s children: ‘God doesn’t love me’.” 

God. Doesn’t. Love. Me.

I can’t tell you how many times I believed this lie in my heart, both before I came to really know Christ and after. Sometimes, my jealous heart sees people experience certain things that I never did (and probably never will) and that small, cruel voice whispers once again “See? God just doesn’t love you like He loves ______“.

But it’s a lie. A terrible lie.

Adam & Eve, people who had direct contact with God, sinned against Him and hid from Him in fear. Even after this, God loved them enough to make garments for them so that they would no longer be naked. They sowed together fig leaves to make clothes that probably barely covered them and God lovingly made them better clothes, even after they sinned against Him.

It says in Genesis 3:21 that God made “garments of skins” to clothe them. If you think about it, God had to take an animal, a sacrifice, to be able to clothe Adam and Eve. Something had to die, because God loved them so much, He didn’t want them to be naked. God would, once again, send a sacrifice to cover His chosen ones, but this time, the sacrifice would be His son and He would lay down his life to cover (and pay for) their sins once and for all.

God did this because He loved you that much.

I hate saying the phrase “everything happens for a reason”. It’s really cliché and, when someone is suffering, it’s not something they want to hear. Nobody wants to hear “everything happens for a reason” when a loved on has passed away or when they are going through a tough trial, but the truth is the Bible preaches a similar truth (though the differences are noteworthy).

It’s actually my favorite verse.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

This is not true for those who don’t love God. But for those who do, for those who are called by Him, all things work together for good. It is so very hard to see that sometimes, especially when we go through the toughest of trials, but this rich Biblical truth is there for the taking.

It is God Himself saying “Don’t believe the terrible lie. I love you.”

But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?” – Romans 8:32

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Don’t listen to that voice. God loves you.

Don’t believe the terrible lie.

Untouchable

 

WE ARE UNTOUCHABLE. 

As Christians, there isn’t a thing anyone can do to mess up the plan of God. Because of that, we are UNTOUCHABLE until God calls us home. We have no reason to fear accidents, bombs, terrorists, diseases, attacks, and ultimately death. If God has a purpose to accomplish through us, and that work is not yet done, we are untouchable.

God WILL accomplish His purpose through us, no matter what happens. There is nothing we can do to mess that up. There is nothing anyone else can do to us to mess that up either. Nothing in Hell or on Earth has the ability to one-up the Lord, the Creator of everything that has ever existed.

Matt Chandler once put it this way in a sermon: “Nobody dies early…I am untouchable until it’s time“.

Because we are untouchable:

  1. We know that this life is temporary and that our true citizenship is in Heaven. Our lives are not about amassing wealth or creating as safe a living space as possible. Our hope is not in how much a dollar is worth or how powerful we are. Untouchable Christians know that their purpose on Earth goes beyond themselves. Our purpose is to bring glory to God, which sometimes means entering spaces completely devoid of Him in order to shine His light into the darkness.
  2. We don’t have to fear death. As Matt Chandler said, nobody dies early. This doesn’t mean you should test God by jumping off of a cliff to see if He saves you (though, there are many powerful testimonies of people who genuinely wanted to end their lives and God didn’t allow it). This means that death is not something we need to fear. As Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). If we live, then we live for Christ. If we were to die, it would be gain to be with our Creator. Untouchable Christians believe this and know, because they are living sacrifices for Christ, death only comes once God allows it to be so.
  3. We can look at “less than desirable” circumstances and see them as instruments of mercy and grace. For some, death isn’t what strikes fear in their heart; it’s being alive. We live in a depraved world, surrounded by the consequences of sin. Everyone is broken in one way or another. Some are more broken than others. Some have gone through traumatic events in their lives, events that replay over and over in their minds. For those who have considered taking their own life, I am not minimizing what you have been through. I’ve been there where you may find yourself today. I understand fully what it feels like to dread waking up tomorrow. What I am saying is this: God can use the darkest moments in your life and turn them into your greatest ministry. Untouchable Christians know that God allows things into our lives for reasons we may never know, but ultimately, we can be confident that He will not only be our comfort for those dark moments, but He will use those things to help us minister to others in similar situations.

Hear me out here: Your Lord, Jesus Christ, calms the winds and the waves. He heals the sick. He gives sight to the blind. He drives out demons by speaking to them.  He brings the dead to life, both physically and spiritually.

He spoke every single atom into existence. He wired your brain to be able to interpret letters into language. He gives your lungs permission to breathe their next breath. He controls the thermostat on Earth, making it the PERFECT temperature (one degree off and we would perish). He is the ring leader that controls the “circle of life” around you. The plants turn light into food because He made it so. They create the oxygen that is vital to you because tells them to.

Listen to me: 
YOU ARE UNTOUCHABLE UNTIL HE CALLS YOU HOME. 

Grace & Peace

Three People Who Have Influenced My Faith

For those who may not know my testimony, I grew up with a lot of religion and little to no Jesus. Because of this, my life before conversion was a pendulum, sometimes swinging towards religion (trying my best to be good enough for God), other times swinging away (when that didn’t work, because it never does, I disowned Christianity and lived like God wasn’t real).

After conversion, God brought three prominent people into my life. While I don’t know any of these people personally, they have all had a great impact on my walk with God, so I would love to share them with you.

      1. Lecrae:
        lecrae_h_2016
        I was introduced to Lecrae’s music through a Christian friend of mine (who actually ended up playing a role in my salvation). Though I wasn’t saved when I was first introduced to him, “Rebel” ended up being one of the first albums I got after my conversion. Hungry to learn anything I could about God, I listened to Lecrae’s music, taking in everything he was saying and searching the Bible for confirmation. When I first learned about reformed theology, I was hesitant to accept it as truth UNTIL I noticed Lecrae rapped about the very doctrines I was questioning. He is part of the reason I was open to learning about reformed theology. Which leads me to my second person…
      2. Matt Chandler:
        matt-chandler
        While I’ve listened to many different teachers for a while that I love (like John Piper, Francis Chan, David Platt, etc), God has always used Matt Chandler (and by association, The Village Church) greatly in my life. Remember my struggle with reformed doctrine? The main reason I gave it a shot was because of Matt Chandler. Doctrine aside, his authenticity and commitment to truth made him my favorite pastor (if one can have such a thing) a while ago. For those looking for truly gospel-centered sermons, I would recommend listening to him and those at The Village Church.
      3. Jackie Hill-Perry:
        jennerjackie4
        Finally, there is Jackie. Before learning about her, I had millions of questions about what it means to be a gospel-centered woman. At my church, most women fit into the stereotype of the “Christian woman”. While that isn’t bad at all, it was a stereotype I didn’t fit into, so I always felt a bit out-of-place. I didn’t like chocolate, didn’t want to drink tea and “brunch”, and certainly didn’t want to sit and do my nails when I could be reading a book and learning about theology. Then I found out about Jackie. Here was a woman, bold in who God made her, preaching truth without violating God’s law about women teaching. Because of Jackie, I learned it was okay to be who God made me; a smart woman who loves to learn and loves to teach. She proved to me that femininity doesn’t necessarily mean “dresses and heels” and she cemented the idea that “authenticity is key”.

Those are my three. What about you? What three brothers and sisters in the faith have influenced you the most? Let me know in the comments.

Grace & Peace.

 

5 Ways To Reach Out To Your Neighbors

Don’t you remember when you were younger and you played with the neighbors kids?

Growing up, I used to the know all of the kids within a “three house radius”. We would all get together on the half cul-de-sac that we lived on and ride our bikes and scooters together. I don’t live there anymore, so I don’t remember their names, but to be honest, I don’t know any of the neighbors I live next to now.

Neighbors are actually a great opportunity to show others what it means to follow Christ, but sometimes, I can be a bit awkward reaching out. Here are five ideas to reach out to your neighbors sometime within the next month.

  1. Are one of your neighbors expecting? Having a baby is hard (especially for a first time mom). Your neighbor may or may not have family nearby to help them. If you don’t know them too well, offering to babysit might sound a bit weird (I wouldn’t leave my kids with just anybody who offered), but there are other ways to love on new parents. The obvious would be purchasing a gift for them (gender neutral baby clothes, diapers, wipes, a baby toy, etc). I would recommend a gift basket with a little bit of everything if you want to go that route. If you’re strapped for cash, a great idea would be cooking a meal for them to put in their freezer.
  2. Is there an upcoming holiday? Christmas might be the most obvious of “gift giving” holidays, but you can make neighbor gifts for pretty much any holiday. Churches tend to have special services and events for holidays too, so you can also include an invite card from your church in the gift.
  3. Are they in need of some yard work? This wouldn’t apply so much if you live in an apartment complex, but look out to see if your neighbors need work down around the house. Have they waited a while to cut the grass? Offer to cut it yourself or have a landscaping person cut it for them (with their permission, of course). Do they need a power wash? Offer to pay for one. Do they have a broken light outside in a high place? Offer to replace it for them. Is Christmas coming up? Offer to put up their lights for them. Any act of service, no matter how small, matters.
  4. Do they have young children? I said earlier that I wouldn’t leave my kids with just anybody, but there are other ways to serve parents of young children. You could try to organize a play date, either at your house or at a park of some sort. If it’s just you and another person, why not invite them into your home and serve them lunch? If your house isn’t child-proof, another idea would be to invite them to a local play place (something like Chuck E. Cheese or an inflatable playground like Jumparoos) and treat them and their kids to lunch (and coffee for the parents). Another idea would be purchasing a gift card from a toy store/kids clothing store and leaving it in their mailbox with a “Thinking of You” card.
  5. If all else fails, a random act of kindness won’t. The truth is, you don’t need an occasion to be kind. These are all great ideas, but if you randomly want to serve them in some way, there are plenty of ideas for that. Everyone can appreciate a Starbucks gift card (or even a Visa gift card). If  you see their trash is at their door (and there is a community trash can  that is far from their house), you can offer to take their trash along with yours to the trash can. You can gift them with a “movie night” gift basket with popcorn, sodas, and candy from the Dollar Tree. The possibilities are endless.

At the end of the day, we love on our neighbors because that is what Christ asks of us. We don’t love with an ulterior motive in mind (i.e. “I’ll love them to convert them”). We just love.

I’ll never forget my last day in Atlanta. My husband, his father, and I were all packing our boxes into the moving van, preparing for our long drive to Phoenix. A random neighbor saw the moving van and thought we were moving in. She walked up to our door and “welcomed us” into the neighborhood. She was a Christian mom, about my age, with a daughter about the age of my eldest daughter. She also happened to be from Miami (which was the strangest thing of them all) as my husband and I are Miami born and bred. Had I known about her previous to our move, I would have loved to get to know her and had playdates for our kids.

I’m terrible at reaching out to people, so I understand it can be a bit hard, but I’m trying to be better at it in 2017. I’m asking that the Lord make me a better neighbor for my neighbors this year and always. Comment below if you’d like me to pray for you to be a better neighbor as well this year (and please add me to your prayer list!).

Grace & Peace always.

Sweet Victory

I feel thorns where my crown was. I am weak but I’m alive. From the dusk until dawn, I’ll survive ’cause I got sweet victory. Nobody can take it from me.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word” – Psalm 119:114


Some things are simply out of our control.

It doesn’t matter how often you pray, how many people you’ve “brought to Christ” (truth is, the answer is zero, but that’s a discussion for a different day), or all the ministries you serve in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pastor or if you’ve been saved for three seconds. It doesn’t matter if you’ve served God for two days or if you’ve served Him for decades.

Nobody is immune to (as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 12) “weakness, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and pressures”.

Paul, considered to be the greatest man who lived besides Jesus, wasn’t immune. In order to keep Paul humble, God sent him a “thorn on his side”. Nobody knows exactly what that thorn was. There are a few theories, but truthfully, when it comes to God’s Word, it’s better to take something at face value than try to fill in the gaps with “theories”. That said, Paul prayed THREE TIMES for this thorn to be removed, but God denied the request.

Could Paul have benefitted from the removal of the thorn? Most likely. If it was a physical ailment, certainly a better physical state could have helped the spread of the Gospel. If it was a mental ailment, certainly a clearer mind would have helped his ministry. No matter what his “thorn” was, it is arguable that the removal of it would have brought glory to God somehow.

But we’re not the ones who get to determine that: God is.

One day, I hope to look back on days like today and say “I’m glad that’s over”…but what if it isn’t? What if God doesn’t remove the hardship I’m dealing with right now? I used to think my hope was in a “better day”…but what if, in God’s infinite wisdom, that “better day” never comes?

Just yesterday I stumbled upon a blog of a sister in Christ who has had many more years dealing with this same “thorn”. Reading just a couple of her posts brought me to tears. Finally, I had an explanation, an answer to all of my questions. Things suddenly made sense to me. God used her pain and her struggle to help others in the faith. Her thorn was ultimately removed (or so it seems).

But what if God says “no” to me?

I spent some time praying specifically about this yesterday and one verse kept coming up. Ever since, the verse has popped up in numerous places, leading me to believe God really wants to drive this point home in my heart.

But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

If the healing never comes, His grace is sufficient for me.
If I never go back to the person I used to be, His grace is sufficient for me.
If everything in my life slowly derails, His grace is sufficient for me.
If nobody knows about my pain but me, His grace is sufficient for me.
If nobody ever understands the depths of my hardships, His grace is sufficient for me.
If nothing truly ever seems “redeemed”, His grace is sufficient for me.

God CAN remove this hardship. I believe God WILL remove this hardship, but even if He DOESN’T remove this hardship…I will still have SWEET VICTORY in Him.

You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word

My True Husband Is Jesus

One of the things I love most about Christ are His sweet reminders of His love.

Recently, on a night that was quite rough, that had me feeling down, depressed, and praying for any kind of direction or answers, He lead me to a text I hadn’t read in a while. At first, I didn’t quite understand why I was lead there, but after some thought, it made perfect sense.

The text I was lead to was Hosea 2.

Now, if you actually read Hosea 2, it doesn’t start off as a love letter. In the ESV, the first section is titled “Israel’s Unfaithfulness Punished”. If you’re looking for an “encouraging word” from the Lord, this would not be at the forefront of “passages to recommend”. It serves as a reminder of the Holiness and justness of God and is far from “encouraging” in nature. In it, God details how He will punish Israel for being unfaithful to Him.

However, there is a plot twist. 

Despite their adultery and unfaithfulness, the Lord shows mercy to Israel.

Hosea 2:14 reads “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” If we skip down to verse 16, we see an important shift in the way God decides to deal with Israel. “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 

For those who don’t know, the word Baal’s meaning (plainly put) is “owner”, but it can also mean god or lord. In it, essentially, God is saying that He will be MORE than just our Lord…He will be our HUSBAND.

In the HCSB, verses 19-20 read as follows:

“I will take you to be My wife forever.
I will take you to be My wife in righteousness,
justice, love, and compassion.
I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness,
and you will know Yahweh.”

Can I quickly just let you know that people will disappoint you? Whether it be your parents, your children, your spouse, your friends, or your family, every human being on this planet that ever was and ever will be is flawed and will, at some point, end up disappointing you. I can speak from experience, as I have a bad tendency to expect human beings to love me in a way only God is capable of loving.

Can I be honest with you? My husband messes up sometimes. Hard to believe, right? My husband is just as flawed as I am. I don’t always respond with grace. I don’t always show mercy. I’m notalways the nicest person to be around. My earthly husband isn’t perfect, so I can’t expect him to be. When I read those verses in Hosea yesterday, it was as if God was saying to me “I am your TRUE Husband. Yes, your husband loves you, as do other people in this world, but I am the only One who can TRULY love you with Agape love…so stop expecting it from people that are incapable of being ME.

The Bible often talks about how the Church is Christ’s Bride. When He died on the cross and, in essence, purchased us, he didn’t just become an owner, as the name “Baal” would convey. He became our ISHI, our Husband. It was an act of love for His bride.

It is why, in Ephesians 5:25, we see Paul command husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church”.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (emphasis mine)

Nobody can be God for you. Only YAHWEH is God.

Trying to put someone in that spot only leads to heartbreak and pain (trust me, I know).

Can you have a wonderful marriage and live (mostly) happily ever after? Yes. God blesses some of His children that way, but He never guarantees it.  Can you have an amazing relationship with your parents, your children, your family, or your friends? Of course, but once again, He never once promises everything will be perfect for you.

Can people love you sacrificially? Sure, but it will never match up to the love that Christ has for His church.

It took me years to finally understand that. There is only One that takes that special place in my heart. While I have many in there (like my husband, my parents, my daughter, and more), there is only One who sits on the throne.

My True Husband is Jesus. 

YAHWEH.