A Woman of Prayer & Fasting

The devil is against marriage; he never tempted Adam until Eve came into the picture. His plan is to steal unity in couples, kill children’s destinies, and consequently, destroy communities. Knowing these truths should compel us, future wives, to be prepared to stand against these forces of opposition. Two of the ways we can do that are through prayer and fasting.

It’s All About Faith

Preparing For Marriage Special Edition

Mr. A comes home late after a long meeting at work; he was unable to inform Mrs. A about this unexpected schedule due to his dead phone and the saturated agenda. Mrs. A storms at her husband and accuses him of cheating. She is convinced that only a woman must have kept Mr. A away from his home. Mr. & Mrs. B have a joint bank account together; Mr. B unceasingly questions Mrs. B about her activities; he wants to know the why, what and how of every expense and withdrawal she makes.

You’ll agree with me that among the attitudes characterizing Mrs. A and Mr. B mistrust would definitely be one of them. Both of these individuals lack trust in their partners that’s why they go on nagging them. If they continue on in this manner, their marriage will definitely suffer in the long run. Every relation (friendship, marriage, or business partnership) must be based on trust, the faith or assurance in a person’s character; without it a relation cannot stand.

The same law applies to our relationship with the Lord Jesus; He is the bridegroom and we the bride. He already has faith in us, so the work of trusting comes from our end. How many times when faced with challenging and unpleasant situations have we not blamed God and questioned Him? How many times have we not complained to Him, expressed discontent, fallen into depression/worry, or even been discouraged? It’s easy for us to clearly spot the flaws of Mrs. A and Mr. B, when in reality we behave the exact way due to lack faith in our Lord. If mistrust can kill a marriage in the long run, so can it also affect our Christianity; no wonder some of us live shallow Christian lives. We are circumstantially joyful and continue to be defeated by sin.

When it comes to waiting for our God-given husbands it’s all about faith ladies. Our Heavenly Father obviously has plans that differ from ours. The only thing we can do is to have faith in Him knowing that He has our best interest in mind even if current conditions prove otherwise. Abraham is called the father of faith because he demonstrated trust in the Lord amidst the oddest situations.

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous-Romans 4:18-22

Marriage is a gift from God and if the Lord has destined us for this purpose He will surely accomplish His promise, we need only to have the faith of Abraham. From what we read in Romans 4, Abraham still believed that God could perform a miracle even though he was almost 100 years old and his wife had way experienced menopause. Abraham “was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.” Circumstances and people will pressure us to quit waiting and go out there to grab our husbands by our own might. When this same Abraham made the mistake to conceive a child by his own power, the regretful consequence was Ishmael, the ancestor of the Muslim people. I’m sure each of us can testify of the unhappy and broken marriages we’ve seen around us as a result of people wanting to do it their way. “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by His faith” Habakkuk 2:4.The proud think they are smarter than God and get ahead of Him, but what they gain at the end is fruitless. The wise live and walk by faith and it’s counted to them as righteous. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus instead of the marriage issue in order to have renewed strength. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31. No relationship can survive without trust, including our relationship with our Lord Jesus. It’s all about having faith that the husband will come one day despite the odds.

Those Who Are Most Ready For Marriage Need It Less

Preparing For Marriage Special Edition

 

“Those who are most ready for marriage are the ones who need it less”
– Francis Chan

By this statement, Pastor Francis Chan meant that the people who are most adequately prepared for marriage are those who focus on loving Jesus instead of longing for marriage. These individuals haven’t ignored their need for marriage rather they have found contentment in their relationship with Christ. Many ladies preoccupied with getting married are usually motivated by several factors such as ‘biological clock’ ticking, societal pressures, competition, need to get out of parents’ house, and what not. As a result it becomes a race against time. When they eventually get married, they later on realize how greatly challenging it is to raise a home and that they were never properly equipped to handle various situations. There’re many wives who have learnt their lessons the hard way. It’s no wonder Proverbs 14:1 says “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” Here the author doesn’t indicate that the wise woman builds her house instead it is the wisest of them all. Hence, marriage is not a petty institution that we should just rush into due to our motives; it takes preparation upon preparation during our single days through numerous trials and suffering. And until the Lord certifies us ready, we shouldn’t get ahead of Him.

Marriage is not the most important thing in this life despite how others may portray it, our relationship with the Lord Jesus is. If we haven’t found our delight and contentment in Christ, we will definitely not find it in a mere human being (i.e. our future husband). That’s why as singles, we should seize every situation, through joys and pains, to become more like Christ.  

And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear-1 Peter 1:17

It’s not an easy process but we thank God that we can rely on the Holy Spirit’s power. The holier we become in our ways, the more prepared we become for marriage. How? Because the wisdom spoken in Proverbs 14:1 can only be attained by the fear of the Lord, a.k.a. submission to the Word of God (Proverbs 1:7). Our Heavenly Father isn’t blind or unaware of our need for marriage even though it may seem like it. If He hasn’t allowed us to meet our partner yet, it is because He is still working on us. So, let’s take advantage of our single days to continue to conform our ways to the Father’s. We can never stop learning to better ourselves.

A Pure Bride

Preparing For Marriage Special Edition

As I was reflecting on today’s topic, I thought about advising ladies-in-waiting to practice purity for marriage’s sake, then I realized that as Christian women, we don’t take on pure habits just because we want to become good wives. Undoubtedly, purity will benefit us in our future marriage, but the first point I want to make is that we should seek to discipline ourselves in order to honor God and flee from sin.

So what is purity? The Free Dictionary defines it as “freedom from spiritual or moral defilement; innocence or chastity.” In Christian terms, we can assimilate it to ‘walking in a holy or blameless manner before the Lord.” Romans 12:2 says “I appeal to you therefore, brothers by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” We’re used to hear the term ‘praise and worship’ many times in churches, this verse exactly shows us that true worship is not done in singing but in offering ourselves to the Father as living sacrifices. In the Old Testament, every animal sacrifice had to be without blemish and cut in pieces:

“If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord…Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. And Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord—Leviticus 1:3, 6-9

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Image: boundless.org

 

Animals without blemish were offered as a way of giving something worthy to the Lord, while they were cut into pieces as a mark of deliberately presenting each and every part as offering to the Lord. Now in the new covenant, we should present each part of our bodies to the Lord without blemish, i.e. live in purity. Here are few examples of ways we can do that:

  • The Mind: everything we meditate in our mind must be pure, in the words of apostle Paul, “And now, dear brothers, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” Philippians 4:8.

 

  • The Eyes: we always direct our eyes to watch movies, shows, or things that are not appropriate. If we want to become pure women, we need to restrict what we see. Let’s ask ourselves this question: If the Lord Jesus was physically sitting right beside us, would He approve of what we’re watching?

 

  • The Heart/Mouth: Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Before we begin taming our tongue, we must first start by cleaning our heart and this is done by submitting to the Word of God, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You,” Psalm 119:11.
  • The Belly: Now this is a part of the body that we usually don’t think of when it comes to purity, yet the Bible says that those who walk against the cross of Christ have turned their belly into their god (Phil 3:19). When we are always thinking about food, make it a big deal when hungry, or become unhappy when we’ve not eaten to our satisfaction, that’s a sign that we are slave to our belly.
  • The Ears: We like to listen to dirty/sexual topics on talk shows, gossip tales, or programs where profane words are used. Beware, our ears should be pure for the Lord.

These were just some few examples where we need to be careful. When we train ourselves to be pure by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Father is glorified and like mentioned earlier, we are able to stay away from sin. Consequently, our future godly husband will admire and respect us because he sees our spiritual discipline; this is what reinforces trust in marriage. When we offer ourselves as holy, pure living sacrifices to the Lord, we are blessed and so will our future marriage.

How to Destroy Your Marriage Before It Begins

by Garrett Kell

Tim and Jess had only been married for eight months, but the honeymoon was most certainly over. The sweet conversations that once marked their relationship had been replaced with constant bickering. Their laughter had dulled, and their distance had grown. Their sexual intimacy had almost ceased. What went wrong? How had Satan slipped into this young marriage? As I unpacked some of the couple’s history, I discovered he hadn’t sabotaged them on their honeymoon, nor in the early months of figuring out married life. The Devil had begun his work before they’d even made it to the altar. Though Tim and Jess are Christians, their dating and engagement were marked with sexual impurity.

Though the early days of their relationship had been fine, over time they made consistent compromises that developed into a deeper pattern of sexual sin. Whenever they’d sin, they’d confess to each other and make oaths to never let it happen again. But it did. Because of the shame, they never let anyone else in on what was happening. In hindsight, Tim and Jess admit their courtship was a big cover-up of deceit. Sadly, Tim and Jess’s story is all too familiar. Many unmarried Christian couples struggle with sexual sin. This should be no surprise, since we have an enemy set against us and our impending marriage (1 Pet. 5:8). He hates God, and he hates marriage because it depicts the gospel (Eph. 5:32). One of Satan’s most effective strategies to corrupt the gospel-portraying union of marriage is to attack couples through sexual sin before they say “I do.” Here are four of his most common ploys to attack marriages before they begin.

1. Satan wants us to make a pattern of obeying our desires instead of God’s direction.

God’s ways are good, but Satan wants us to believe they aren’t. This has been his plan from the first call to compromise in the garden (Gen. 3:1-6). His end goal is for us to develop a consistent pattern of resisting the Spirit and following our sinful desires once we get into marriage. He wants us to learn to resist service and to pursue selfishness. If we learn to do what we want when we want before marriage, we’ll carry that pattern into the days and years that follow. This, however, is deadly since service and sacrifice are essential to a healthy, Christ-honoring marriage. Love in marriage is shown by a thousand daily decisions to do what you don’t want—whether doing the dishes or changing a diaper or watching a movie instead of a basketball game. If your relationship before marriage is characterized by giving into urges of immediate desire, you’ll most certainly struggle when you encounter the nitty-gritty of married life.

2. Satan wants us to underestimate how susceptible we are to temptation.

Satan wants us to think we won’t take our sin to the next level. He wants us to think we’re stronger than we really are. He wants us to think we’ll never go that far. This is a powerful trick since it simultaneously plays on both our pride and also our well-intended desire to honor God. You’re weaker than you think. You can go where you think you won’t. Sin is like an undercurrent in the ocean—if you play in it, you’ll be overpowered and swept away into certain destruction. One of the ways Satan works this angle is by tempting you to think purity is a not-to-be-crossed line rather than a posture of the heart. He wants you to think purity before God is not kissing or not taking off clothes or not having oral sex or not “going all the way.” He wants you to think that if you don’t cross a certain line, you’re staying pure. The problem with this kind of thinking, however, is that Jesus says if we just lust in our heart we’ve sinned and stand condemned before God (Matt. 5:27-30). Purity is much more about the posture of our hearts than the position of our bodies. The age-old “How far is too far?” question may reveal a desire to get as close to sin as possible instead of a desire to flee as our Lord calls us to (1 Cor. 6:18).

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image:  johnrichardsjr.com

3. Satan wants couples to weaken their trust in one another.

When we compromise sexually, we’re showing the other person we’re willing to use and abuse them to get what makes us happy. Every time we push the boundaries with our fiancée or lead her into sin we are communicating, though we don’t mean to, “You can’t trust me because I’m willing to use and disregard you to get what I want.” This is certainly one of Satan’s deadliest strategies, and the one I suspect hurt Tim and Jess the most. They didn’t trust each other. They never really did. So much of their dating relationship was engulfed in the cycle of sin, shame, and start-over that they never developed a mature, battle-tested trust for each other. It’s important to point out, however, that when we resist sexual sin, God blesses a relationship with the exact opposite effect. Every time we say “no” to sexual sin and turn to prayer, telling one another we value them and their walk with the Lord too much to go one step further, he uses that faithfulness to strengthen trust. My wife regularly tells dating couples that one of the reasons she trusts me is because I literally ran from compromising situations before we were married. We weren’t perfect in our courtship, but the Lord used that season to build trust in one another.

4. Satan wants to deceive you with the forbidden fruit of lust.

There’s a world of difference between premarital sex and sex within marriage. One reason is that the forbidden fruit of lust portrays sex before marriage as something it isn’t always in marriage. Normally, premarital sexual activity is like gas on fire. Passion is high, feelings are intense, and the drive to go further is fueled by the knowledge you shouldn’t (Rom. 7:8). Sex in marriage is different. There’s still passion, and there’s still intense feelings and emotions—but sex in marriage is based primarily on the hot coals of trust, devotion, and sacrifice (1 Cor. 7:1-5). Couples who built their sexual expectations on passion provided by the forbidden fruit are often disappointed and confused when sex is different in marriage. My wife and I laughed at this idea when our premarital counselor shared it with us. We were sure we’d be exception to the rule. But almost six years and three kids later, he was right. Couples like us can have a strong sex life, but it’s fueled by deeper characteristics than fleeting passion. Satan wants couples to get used to running on the caffeine and sugar of lust rather than mature love of service and sacrifice.

Few Concluding Thoughts

  1. Wait in faith. The Christian posture is always one of waiting. We wait for Christ’s return. We wait for an eternity with him. And unmarried believers wait for the blessings of marriage. Say “no” to sin’s promises by faith in God’s. Renew your mind with God’s Word and keep waiting in faith.
  2. Guys, you gotta lead. While both persons in the relationship are responsible before God, the man must set the pace for purity. Too often ladies are forced to draw the lines and to say “no.” That’s cowardly and wrong. It’s the man’s responsibility to care for his future wife by leading her toward Jesus and away from sin, darkness, and the pain of evil. If he sets the wrong pattern here, he’ll be digging out for years afterward—and may never regain the ground he loses apart from God’s grace.
  3. Involve others every step of the way. Don’t let your relationship remain unexamined by other godly Christians. Both of you should have a godly couple or group of faithful friends who hold you accountable. Invite tough questions and give honest answers. God uses transparency to give strength.
  4. If you sin, go to the gospel. The apostle John wrote, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1-2). If you sin, flee to the cross. Run to the empty tomb. Look to your Advocate, confess your sin deeply, and repent. God loves to bless this kind of posture (Prov. 28:13). Sexual sin doesn’t need to be dagger in the heart of your courting relationship, engagement, or marriage. God is a merciful God who delights in restoring what sin seeks to destroy (Joel 2:25-27). He will not, however, bless ongoing disobedience and presumption on his grace. If you have fallen into sexual sin, today is the day to plead for mercy and turn to Christ in faith. May God give us mercy to pursue purity for his glory and our good.

Garrett Kell is married to Carrie, and together they have four children. He serves as pastor of Del Ray Baptist Churchin Alexandria, Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

The Past: How Much Do I Share?

SSU Special Edition: Preparing For Marriage

By David Boehi, Brent Nelson, Jeff Schulte, et al., from the book “Preparing for Marriage: Discover God’s Plan for a Lifetime of Love”, Marriage Missions International

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image source: The Huffington Post

This is not an easy question to answer for several reasons:

Sharing your past mistakes and sins may lead to shame-filled, painful moments between you as a couple.
It may mean confessing a previously told lie to your fiancé.
It may mean reliving incidents you’d rather not remember.
It may result in a broken engagement.

You may be tempted to avoid sharing anything from your past; after all, as a Christian your sins are forgiven at the Cross, and the Bible says there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”(Romans 8:1).

While these things are true spiritually in our relationship with God, there are consequences of past sins that need to be honestly dealt with as a couple moves toward marriage. While you do not need to share every detail (as will be explained later), you cannot avoid the fact that your life has been shaped by your choices. If you and your fiancé desire to make a solid decision about marriage, you need to be honest with each other and deal with your pasts. It is better to speak the truth prior to your marriage than to live with the fear, deceit and shame that comes from hiding the truth from your mate.

There is one other benefit to sharing your past. True healing can occur when you confess your sins to one another. God can use marriage to heal individuals from past hurts that have haunted them for years. This is especially true when dealing with sexual immorality in the past. Many men and women have found forgiveness, grace and liberty by confessing these scaring circumstances to their would-be spouses.

These are not easy issues to discuss. And there are no cookie-cutter solutions to what you may be struggling with. In an effort to guide those who are struggling with knowing what to do and how to go about it, here are a few principles and perspectives:

FOR THE PERSON WHO IS BURDENED WITH SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE SHARED:

1. Write out a list of all that you are feeling a need to share with your fiancé. This might include events, choices or hurts you’ve experienced. While you don’t need to go into great detail, be sure to mention anything that you know will affect your relationship today (specific problems such as physical/emotional abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.).

2. Once you’ve completed your list, make sure you’ve experienced God’s forgiveness and cleansing for everything you’ve written. If you haven’t, spend some time in prayer, repenting and confessing your sin. You will experience God’s forgiveness on the basis of 1 John 1:9 that tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

3. Determine which items on your list you should discuss with your fiancé, and why. If you have doubts about any items, make sure you seek wise and godly counsel before talking with your fiancé. Another person’s compassionate listening ear and prayerful concern can guide you before and after you marry.

4. Set a time and place to share with your fiancé. Choose a private setting where you’re both free to express your emotions.

5. Before you meet, pray that your fiancé will have the strength and grace to respond in a loving manner. But don’t go into the meeting expecting immediate forgiveness; your fiancé may need time to work through emotions and think about what he or she has heard from you.

6. As you talk with your fiancé, explain why you think it’s important to share these choices from your past, but avoid sharing more than is necessary. Be careful about sharing too many explicit details, as this can become a problem later in your marriage. By going into too much detail, you may give the one you love too much of the picture. Avoid morbid curiosity.

7. Give your fiancé the time he or she needs to process this new information. This process may include hurt, anger or withdrawal.

8. If it becomes apparent that either of you cannot get beyond the hurt from what has been shared, seek wise counsel together or individually. If forgiveness and reconciliation cannot occur at this point, then we suggest delaying the wedding or breaking the engagement. If God is calling you to marriage, then His perfect love will be manifested in your hearts for one another. And His Word tells us, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).

FOR THE ONE HEARING THE CONFESSION:

If you find yourself in the situation where your fiancé is confessing something from the past to you, be encouraged by three things:

1. Listen carefully to what your fiancé is sharing. Ask yourself, “Why did he/she come to me with this? Look beyond the past and its ugliness to the broken heart that is sharing.

2. Consider your own condition before God-a sinner saved by grace. There is another reason why sharing the past is so difficult: We are all flawed as humans. Because we don’t love perfectly and we pridefully believe that we deserve perfection, we can be tempted to condemn another for a past failure, whereas God calls us to forgive one another. Remember how much He has forgiven you! For example: If you have maintained your virginity, you may find yourself engaged to someone who has not. Often the one who is a virgin finds it very difficult to forgive and move beyond the fiancé’s failure. Interestingly, young men who have kept their virginity have a much more difficult time forgiving.

3. While you may legitimately decide that, given this new information about your fiancé, marriage is not wise, don’t let pride prevent you from responding with love and forgiveness when your fiancé is willing to share the mistakes from the past.

A Final Note: After you marry, it will be very important that neither of you use the things you learn here as ammunition in an argument. Forgiveness is an essential part of marriage and when we forgive, we give up the right to punish.

Why You’re Not Married Till Now. Tips on Understanding and Waiting

SSU Special Edition: Preparing For Marriage

 

You have attended several weddings so far which made you realize that you yourself are not getting any younger; your blessing has to come too. No good or godly marriage proposals have come your way and you have come to a point where you question God and yourself. What is preventing you from getting married like the others? Ladies, I write from experience. I personally had envisaged getting married after college or graduate school then have my first child a year after. Today, I can tell you that dream never got fulfilled. Despite my grumble, I understood that God did well not to let me married when I wanted to because I was not adequately mature, otherwise, my marriage would have been a disaster. So, I’d like to share a few tips on understanding the reasons for delay in marriage and on waiting on the Lord.

Tips on Understanding

If you say that you’ve given yourself away to Christ then you have to exercise trust in your relationship with the Lord. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I’m sure you oftentimes repeat this verse, well, it’s high time to apply it now. Trusting God means that though you don’t comprehend His ways, you have the firm assurance that He’s allowed delay in marriage to ‘work all things together for your good.’

You have to understand that complaining, murmuring, and questioning God is not a sign of humility. In those kinds of circumstances, you’re basically demonstrating that you know better and the Lord is incapable of providing for your needs. Philippians 2:14 “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

Marriage doesn’t define your existence even though society looks at it this way. That’s why it’s important to understand that you are not of the world, you just live in it; your citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). God doesn’t need you to be married in order to use you for His glory; the Bible gives us great examples of people who have glorified the name of the Lord while being single: Jesus, Paul, Joseph (son of Jacob), and John the Baptist. It’s necessary to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

At times, the Father can delay marriage because you’re not ready yet. Maybe if you marry today, you will not submit to your husband completely. Hence, the Lord is using this time of delay to break and mold you into the virtuous woman that He wants you to become so that you can enjoy and not endure your marriage.

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image: Eternal Athletes

Tips on Waiting

Marriage is more than just the wedding ceremony; it’s the journey that occurs after that. Take this period of waiting to better yourself. Learn how to cook delicious meals, be hospitable, become a prayerful woman, delight in doing domestic activities, handle money wisely, and etc (Titus 2:4). Remember this: God will not send rain to an unprepared field.

1 Peter 5:6 says “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” This verse is the key, ladies you need to humble yourself before the Lord. Not by grumbling or complaining, but surrendering your life to Jesus for real for His glory and honor. Let God fulfill His beautiful plan without you trying to interfere. Humility entitles you to obey the Word of God and be freed from society’s opinion about your marital status. As long as God is on your side, that’s all that matters. It’s true that denying oneself is not easy (i.e. humility), this is the reason why you need the power of the Holy Spirit to do the supernatural in you.

Grow in the knowledge and love for God. Use this time to get to know the Lord more through His Word and fall so in love with Him that the need for marriage won’t become such a priority in your life anymore. Be content in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18; 1 Tim 6:6).

My final tip is to stay away from any TV show, magazine, conversations, movies, and so on that focus on marriage. Why? Because it will just trigger your desire to get married at all costs. You want your mind to be fixed on Christ rather than on things that will distract you.

So this is it ladies, while you may not understand God’s plan, you need to release all in His hands and prepare yourselves for marriage without being stressed over it. May the Lord fill you with His Spirit to do His will.

 

Be Sober and Spot the Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

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image: Daily Caller

The danger about being obsessed with the idea of getting married is that the devil listens to our desperate plea to the Lord and begins to plan a way to make us fall. It’s no wonder because 1 Peter 5:8 even says that “the enemy is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”; that’s why it’s crucial to be constantly sober and vigilant. One of the most common devil’s tactics during our time of desperation is to send wolves in sheep’s clothing. What do I mean by this term? The enemy knows that if he sends an all-tattooed man with piercings, we, Christian ladies, will immediately spot that it’s not the will of the Father. However, if he sends men who look and ‘talk’ Christian, i.e. wolves in sheep’s clothing, we will be more than likely to fall for them. I mean the same rule applies when trying to kill rats for example, what do we do? We place baits at the corner of a wall to lure them and when rats are drawn to the bait station, there you go, they are caught and headed for destruction! And the same result goes for us Christian ladies if we don’t have discernment to spot wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

How does one spot these men?

The key to spotting the wolves in sheep’s clothing is to be sober and vigilant, and this only occurs when we have regular communion with God. I’m not talking about serving God in ministries but in having quality Bible, prayer, worship, fasting, and obedient life. Psalm 25:14 (NIV) says “the Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.” The Father will never reveal His mind to those who don’t seek Him earnestly and consequently, He won’t give wisdom to rebellious children in order to spot a deceiving man. Personally, I’ve had countless occurrences with men that were interested in dating or marrying me. But for the grace of God, my flesh was ready to take the next steps with these men. Till this day, I constantly thank God for His wonderful guidance which prevented grave mistakes. The sad thing is that the majority of our Christian sisters due to lust, pressure, and lack of correct understanding of the Word fall into the devil’s trap, and this is exactly what 2 Timothy 3:6-7 revealed:

“[Men] having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Another way to spot these wolves is to discipline ourselves to follow God’s leadership and NEVER our emotions when a man comes our way. Appearances are so deceiving! When I recently had a marriage proposal, I was impressed by the way this man asked for my hand. He actually requested his parents to talk with mine in regards to this issue. I felt honored because he did it in a respectful manner that involved the awareness of elders. Nonetheless, I couldn’t just go by my feelings but rather consult my Heavenly Father who searches the heart and tests the mind (Jeremiah 17:10).

Our Lord Jesus gives a way to also recognize these types of men, “you will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16. This means that we have to observe these men’s fruit, this is not synonym of ministries or miracle works. Judas Iscariot cast out demons yet still sold himself to the devil. The fruits are listed in Galatians 5:22-23: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Is he a man who accepts suffering for Christ’s sake without complaining? (i.e. joy, patience). Is he a man who seeks to be humble before God and not men? (i.e. self-control).

So, we need to be sober and vigilant ladies in order to resist when temptations come. Let’s not give the devil a foothold by being desperate or obsessed by a marriage desire. Most importantly, we need to have a healthy relationship with the Lord and when we’re led by the Holy Spirit and not our flesh, the Father will lead us on the right path towards glory. Stay blessed ladies.