PK Life

Church Members: Which One Are You?

In March of 2007, I came home to Knoxville from a week in Oklahoma City, where I had been visiting my aunt and uncle. My parents picked me up from the airport and I had an hour to repack my bag before we headed to Morristown, TN for the night as my dad would be preaching at a church there in revival Sunday – Wednesday of that week. My mom, sister and I were going up for the night to be with him for the Sunday morning service. My sister and I sang for the service. Afterward, we had a wonderful lunch with the young pastor, wife and his then 4 (soon to be 5, but now 6) children!

Anyway, that Saturday night at the hotel I shared with my parents’ something that I had written while out of town. The Lord had started laying on my heart a ministry for pastor’s families, more specifically their children. Growing up in the ministry, I had always heard of retreats for a pastor and his wife to attend in order to be refreshed in their work for the Lord but it always seemed to me the children were forgotten. While I am no longer serving in the same church that my father pastors, I have come to realize that you never cease to be the “pastor’s kid” and you are always tied to the ministry. I am thankful for the ministry and for the call the Lord has placed on my father’s life. I honestly could not have imagined growing up in any other way. I am thankful for the call the Lord has placed on my life and whether my desire to minister to pastors’ families will ever come to fruition there is one thing I can do now as a church member to minister to their families … support them.

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Last Sunday night, my church had an ordination service for two of our ministers. It was a truly precious time in the Lord. The Pastor Emeritus gave the charge to the church and he did not hold back. He said things that I know most pastors wish they could say but can’t for fear of being fired. He told us that it is not our job to correct our ministers … that is the job of the Holy Spirit … but it is our job to support, encourage and pray for our ministers. I probably looked like a bobble head the whole time he was speaking. I had flashbacks of years past to those “well meaning” people who came under the impression that the Holy Spirit needed their help in pointing out a flaw or general disagreement they had with my dad or another staff member. Thanks to them I learned to practice verses like “Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22. While these folks may not have sinned against me personally, attacking my daddy is about as personal as it gets and I have had to learn to extend grace upon grace.

So flashback to ten years ago and that hotel room … what did I share with my parents? Well, I had come to the conclusion that there are 3 basic categories church members fall into and the percentages will vary on the size of the church but the idea is there. And the question you have to ask yourself is where to do you fall?

The Initiator …

The Initiator is not an honorable title but like it sounds they typically are “self-starters” … in life and in the church. They are folks who do a lot for the church but are the first to pick it apart. They are the ones who go around planting seeds of doubts into other church members and questioning the leadership of the church over petty issues. Now, please know I am all for checks and balances in the church and you should hold your leadership accountable, however, when it is always just a few voices raising the questions then that should raise a red flag to the other members. Sometimes, the initiators are quiet and let the others do the talking after they have spread the poison. They make phone calls, visits, write letters to anyone who will give them an ear. They seek the vulnerable in the church for their following. They know how to play on people’s emotions.

They are small group … typically about 10% of the church is made up of them but they are deadly to the work of Christ because their focus is on typically on their needs and desires not the Church as a whole.

The Enabler …

This is where the bulk of the membership falls for several reasons …

  1. They aren’t involved in the church so they don’t know what’s going on.
  2. They hear the scuttlebutt but don’t do anything about it.
  3. They hear the scuttlebutt and spread it.

Those who fall under the third reason are easily whipped into a frenzy by the initiators and their feelings are typically the first thing that has been neglected by the staff – they weren’t visited enough, called enough, validated enough or the wrong staff member came to visit when so-and-so had a visit from the senior pastor before their surgery, etc …  However, when they have any opportunity to have a heart to heart with the pastor most of these non-issues are easily resolved, forgiveness is received on both sides and life goes on. But those who fall under reason one and two are the most dangerous to the church because they could be doing something to help stop the issues but instead stay quiet because they do not want to get involved in “church politics” as if forgetting that the church is full of imperfect people and there will always be issues to work through. Some may say something to the staff but they will not reveal the source and their favorite line is, “now don’t get mad but I thought you should know …”

Because of this, the Enablers average about 80% of the church.

The Extinguisher …

This is a rare group … a group of committed  Christ-followers focused on Kingdom work and are willing to charge Hell with a water pistol … even if that means crossing the aisle on a Sunday morning and lovingly confronting “the initiator”. These aren’t people set out to make scenes but understand the wisdom of the Matthew 18 principle and seek to practice it. So, when they hear the scuttlebutt they go to the source and say something like this, “I know you aren’t looking to talking bad about Bro. Doe, so about we go together and address this concern with him?”  I may be naïve but I truly believe that if more church members sought to be an extinguisher and lovingly told “initiators” and “enablers” that they are not going to listen to their gossip or complaints it would cut out the majority of the junky stuff our church staff has to deal with on a weekly basis. Then church staff could focus on what they are called to do … proclaiming the Gospel and ministering to those in their congregation.

Extinguishers make up the final 10% of the congregation. You may recognize some of them whereas others are quiet and do their work behind the scenes not seeking the glory for themselves because of their focus on the Lord.

I have been a member of four churches in the last ten years (PK side effect … JK) since I wrote that and even though, I have only been a member of my current church for 6 days, I have found these categories to still apply. I have sought to be an extinguisher at the churches I have been a member at but I’ll be honest, I am guilty of being an enabler and I have probably been an initiator at least once or twice in my adult life. However, I have repented and covenant to be an extinguisher at whatever church I am serving in as well as not speak ill of any other man of God at any other church. There’s too much work to be done for the cause of Christ without me running my mouth with my opinions about other pastors. Besides, as I was reminded this past Sunday night, it’s not my job to correct but to support, encourage and pray for these men of God.

So which one are you? Are you willing to change the percentages and become an extinguisher?

I love you all.

 

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Baptism, one week after salvation, August 1993

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy,

 

Thank you for being the man who not only taught me about the Lord but also led me to Lord and continued to lead me to the Lord for many years to come. Thank you for showing me that integrity isn’t just a word but it is an action to be lived out … every single day especially when no one is watching. Thank you for the setting the bar high but for being human enough that it’s not unattainable should the Lord have a man waiting in the wings. And thank you for teaching me to work on being the “right one” rather than finding “the one”. I love you!

 

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PK Life

Instant Replay

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I have written anything. There has been so much going on that it’s hard to know where to start or what to share. I haven’t been released by the Lord to share what all has been going on with me but when the time is right to share it with you then I will as I don’t believe He intends for me to keep this part of my journey to myself. It’s just that I am still in the process of fleshing it out and learning to press further into Him. Plus, I have to be sure that when I do share it with you this doesn’t become a “poor Melody” moment but rather a “to God be the glory, look what He has done” moment.

Super ChristianAnyway, until then just know that I am in this place where the Lord is completely emptying me of myself so that I have no other choice but to fill myself up with Him. Because when given a choice, I will fill myself up with other things … well meaning things but stuff that simply cannot satisfy like Jesus can. I am in a place of ministry that I never desired to be in and have had to draw much deeper from the well than before because I wasn’t prepared for what was placed before me. I wasn’t ready for what would be asked of me. So I have had to dig deeper and study more. Boy, am I thankful!

This past Sunday night, I attended a local church’s Easter program entitled “The Living Cross” where they shared the life of Christ as told in the Bible. It was beautifully portrayed. The song they chose to sing during the “miracles scene” was Take Me to the King. This song has been on instant replay in my heart and mind all week. No song better describes where I am at in my life right now and where I desire to stay in my life.

Truth is I’m tired
Options are few
I’m trying to pray
But where are you?
I’m all churched out
Hurt and abused
I can’t fake
What’s left to do?

Truth is I’m weak
No strength to fight
No tears to cry
Even if I tried
But still my soul
Refuses to die
One touch will change my life

[Chorus:]
Take me to the King
I don’t have much to bring
My heart’s torn in pieces
It’s my offering

Lay me at the throne
Leave me there alone
To gaze upon Your glory
And sing to You this song
Please take me to the King

Truth is its time
To stop playing these games
We need a word
For the people’s pain

So Lord speak right now
Let it pour like rain
Oh, yeah, we’re desperate
We’re chasing after you

[Bridge:]
No rules, no religion
I’ve made my decision
To run to You,
The healer that I need

[Chorus:]

Lord, we’re in the way
We keep making mistakes
The glory’s not for us
It’s all for You

[Chorus:]

The truth is I am tired. I am churched out – I know all the churchy answers to tell myself. I’m tired of the games we play. I’m tired of being in the way. I’m tired of trying to steal His glory. It’s not for me. It’s not for you. It’s all for Him because of Him.

So, please, take me to the King. Lay me the throne. Leave me there alone. My heart is torn in pieces over my sin and in awe of His goodness. I just want to gaze upon His glory and sing to Him. The audience of One. Take me to the King.

I love you all.

Random Thoughts

Rambling Thoughts

I have mentally written two or three posts in the last few weeks over various subjects but haven’t bothered to type anything up. My mind has been all over the place lately. I may share the reason for this later on or I may not and while I may have a page dedicated to my “random thoughts” I decided to write one post including several of those thoughts that have been rolling around in my head. Buckle up, as it may be a bumpy ride!

Missionary Dating:

I have been asked several times lately if I have joined any other dating sites to which I respond with a firm, resounding, “NO!” I have absolutely no desire to enter that world again. I am simply not a glutton for that kind of punishment. Anyway, I mentioned the phrase “missionary dating” in a conversation with a few of my coworkers several weeks ago to which one shared she had never heard that terminology before. I thought I would share a refresher course in this concept as there seems to be a relapse in this disastrous practice and no one is really acknowledging it. Missionary Dating is where a believer dates a non-believer with the idea that they will lead them to the Lord. Now, I am not saying that this has never been successful because it has been but the majority of the time the believer will be pulled away from the Lord. The Bible is very clear that believers are not to be yoked (definition: couple or attach with or to a yoke) with a non-believer.

” Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

You can argue the semantics all you want, but, my friends, if you are a Christ-follower then for the sake of your relationship with Him you simply cannot enter into a relationship with one who does not also follow Christ. I have known of couples who both professed to know Christ, dated, married and then later one came under the conviction that they never truly repented of their sins to then become a sold out believer in Jesus Christ. Only the Lord knows the true intentions of our hearts but to link yourself up with someone who does not profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior is just inviting trouble and you are in direct disobedience to His word. In other words … don’t. You can be friends with this person but there is simply no need to be in a romantic relationship with them. Set those boundaries and be firm with those boundaries.

The Church:

I have been struggling so much with the Church at large and how we’ve seemed to have stepped away from the aspect that the Church was originally meant to equip the believers in order to reach the lost vs. doing all we can to make the Church appealing to the lost and overlooking the needs of the believers. Please understand I am a pastor’s kid, so I don’t believe in joining a church strictly to be served … you need to find ways to pour into your church but you also need to be poured into. However, if our sole focus is stripping away everything that separates the Church from the world so that the world will come in our doors then we have a BIG problem.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

I’ll be honest in that I wondered if the Church could really be for both the non-believer and the believer anymore. I hated that I was even questioning this. And this isn’t directed at any church  … I have the privilege of attending traditional, blended and contemporary worship services with some of the godliest people I know who are seeking to honor Christ as a church in the best way they know how. But I’ll admit .. I have missed worshipping in a brightly lit sanctuary where you could see and hear your fellow worshippers. I miss the days when there wasn’t a spotlight on the soloist (and I’m a soloist!) and the lights weren’t dimmed for the special as there was no need to “create an atmosphere of worship” or take the focus off the Lord by placing it on the musicians.

I was reminded on Monday night of what the Church can be for both, the sick and the healthy … a place of refuge, repentance, and rejoicing. I heard a powerful message on the cross and was reminded of the suffering that Jesus bore in my place. At the same time, my friend sitting next to me was hearing the majority of it for the first time. We both left in awe of the grace of God and humbled that we had time in His presence.

Revival:

Revival isn’t something you are called or invited to … rather, it’s a response that occurs when true repentance is experienced.  Think Jonah and Ninevah.

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city,[a] three days’ journey in breadth.[b] Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The People of Nineveh Repent

The word reached[c] the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

I saw a post on Facebook today that talked about when spontaneous worship/revival breaks out because of a guitar rif … no offense but that’s spontaneous emotion. I keep thinking about the great awakenings in years past as they didn’t have social media, screens, reverb and strobe lights, yet the Holy Spirit still found a way to fill the place with His presence and call them to repentance. And I am sure they were singing some of the new songs of their day during those revivals. I am not knocking what we have in our churches today but I am just humbly suggesting that God doesn’t need it. Instead, He needs hearts willing to surrender their desires and replace them with His. He is needing people to get out of the way, to set aside their needs and truly repent.

Then … maybe then, we’ll see another great awakening in our country.

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Well, that’s it for now. I told you it might be a bumpy ride. 🙂 And it’s ok if you disagree with any of the above statements. It’s just some of the things I have been attempting to flesh out in my time with the Lord and thought I’d share.

I love you all and am so thankful to have you in my life. I pray that the Holy Spirit’s presence is a gentle reminder to you of how much you are loved.

And don’t be afraid to step out of God’s way … it’s amazing at what He can accomplish when we stop blocking Him!

 

 

Single Life

Truth Is … We Can Handle It

Yesterday, my path crossed on Facebook with another 32-year-old woman who was struggling with the fact that she was single. I sincerely told her that it is better to be holy, whole and alone than dating the wrong person. But like most she struggles seeing friends getting married, coming home to an empty house and not seeing any prospect of change in her near future. I shared with her that some of the ways I combat those feelings is to focus more on getting to know who Christ is & acknowledging that my being single is part of His will for my life at this time. I also find other ways to serve so I am less apt to notice my loneliness. It doesn’t work 100% of the time but it certainly does help me. She asked me what to do about coming home to a lonely house. I told her that now that I have my puppy my house certainly isn’t lonely but I still light a favorite candle and turn some worship music on as soon as I walk in the door. Those two little steps immediately warm up my home so that even I feel invited in. I also make it a point before heading home to either have it on my radar what movie I want to watch or book I want to start reading that night if I don’t have something else pressing that I need to do at home.

I’m not sure how well she received my advice because it doesn’t give her a quick answer of “do this and you’ll be dating someone within a week”. I don’t have those kinds of answers and to be honest, I am glad that I am not privy to that kind of knowledge. The start of my year has been interesting so much so that I have shared with several friends that I would rather be left alone than deal with the guys that I have dealt with! And I meant it. I know that I have turned a corner in my life when I can make a statement like that and feel it with every fiber of my being. I have been spoken to about things and in a manner that no man professing Christ should ever speak to a woman about.

I will be 33 next month and thanks to a friend’s husband, I am now calling it my “Jesus Year”! Ha. But in all seriousness, for me, there is something sacred about this age. I am tired of it all and in the same vein, I am fired up. I want this year to count. I don’t want to waste it wondering what is or isn’t being said by someone that I am interested in. So I humbly request that single men and women, who truly profess Christ and seek to follow after Him, stop these 3 dating practices immediately.

(Disclaimer: I have been guilty of all three of these. So rest assured, this is something I have sought to eliminate from my life and some of these examples are from personal experience while others are borrowed from friends but to protect the individuals I am sharing them in the first person.)

Dishonesty

If you aren’t feeling it … then just be honest about it. Somewhere along the line, we have come to the conclusion that we have to be deceitful in our reasons for breaking up with someone or opting out of continuing to get to know someone.

Ex. I have been told in the past that distance is an issue … it was a 45-minute drive. When in reality they just weren’t attracted to me. My brother and sister-in-law dated for 3 years living 6 hours away from each other. So I’m not going to buy the 45-minute drive excuse.

Would it have been painful to heimage1-4ar that a guy wasn’t attracted me? Yes. But it would hurt much less than the realization of being lied to by someone to whom you had hoped would be different because he “lives for the Lord”. Y’all, we are better than this. You don’t have to be ugly about it but tell the truth.

Guys, from a woman who is seeking to be honest in this area as well … hear me … I would much rather know that you don’t see this going anywhere beyond friendship than you leading me on with talk of future events and projects that you know will never happen. If you sought to get to know a woman because you were attracted to her but realized you would be better off as friends don’t assume she is on the same page … ever. I have so much more respect for a man when he is honest from the beginning than someone who backtracks to cover his behind because he is feeling guilty over leading a woman on.

Ladies, if you know that a guy will never move out of the friend zone then stop taking advantage of a “free meal”. He works hard for his money and deserves to spend his money on someone who is truly interested in him. You may be a great friend but don’t be so prideful as to think you are doing him any favors by spending time with him. Be kind but be honest. Let him make the decision if he wants to continue to take you to dinner or if the next time you meet you’ll be going dutch. It’s fair.

Most of us aren’t dating for the sheer fun of it because it’s not all that fun. We are dating for the potential of marriage. So let’s stop wasting each other’s time when we know it’s not going anywhere.

Ghosting

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. The only ghost that needs to be involved in a Christians dating life is the Holy Ghost. Mmmkay? For those of you who aren’t sure of this term is please see definition #2 …ghostingIn many ways, this all goes back to being honest with each other but it could also apply to that illustrious idea of the “silent treatment”. And just to be clear, both women and men have been known to “ghost” someone. If you are needing space, ask for it. If you aren’t interested, tell them. Don’t disappear. It’s dishonest and petty. It is certainly not the mark image1.PNGof someone who is seeking to live their life with integrity. Now, if you have told them that you are not interested in them and do not wish to pursue things any further yet they continue to contact you then block them. But most people will respect this decision and move on as well. Don’t leave a person wondering as to where they stand with you or what happened in general. Do you remember “the golden rule”? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31

I have been on the receiving of both ghosting and the silent treatment. It truly is the most mature way of a handling a woman. We feel valued as a human being and cherished by the person we are talking to, I mean were talking to or may still be talking to. I have spoken with guy friends who have been on the receiving end of this as well and they admitted that nothing made a woman more attractive to them when they employed these juvenile tactics into their relationship. I mean they were truly clamoring for more time with that woman. Not. Just stop it.

Ghosting is a cowards way out of a relationship. The silent treatment is a petty way to avoid conflict or to punish your partner (like that is your place, anyway). If there is an issue in your relationship be a grown up a deal with it. Chances are you aren’t dating a mind reader.

The God Card

Please stop blaming God as an excuse for breaking up with someone! There is only one time in which He makes it clear we are not to date someone and that is if they are an unbeliever …

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

Other than that … we pretty much have free reign on who we can date in the world of Christianity. So if all of the sudden you have to break up with someone because “God told me to.” Then chances are you didn’t pray about dating them in the first place because if He has a say in it now He probably would have had a say in it from the beginning.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that God gives us a head’s up when someone isn’t right for us but we tend to ignore those signs. So instead of admitting that you were being disobedient by entering into the relationship to begin with you then place the blame on God for breaking up.

Just be honest. It’s not working out. You aren’t interested in them. It has nothing to do with your need to focus on your relationship with Christ or anything else like that. Just tell the truth. You will be better off in the long run for it than doing otherwise.

Friends, let’s be known for telling the truth in love. Let’s be known for living our lives with integrity in such a way that our dating relationships and/or potential interactions with one another mirror Christ more so than the world. Let’s show the next generation how to have healthy relationships without sub-tweeting our relationship woes on social media. Let’s give them something to strive for rather than run from. We can do better. We must do better. Why? Because we are the image bearers of Christ and He deserves no less than our very best. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. But if we resolve to treat each other in the manner in which we desire to be treated then I guarantee you it won’t be so hard. And for those of you who are still scared to be truly honest with those you are dating … the truth is we can handle it and we will respect you for it. Is it hard? Yes. But it is worth it. Let’s be about the hard and holy things of God. Not people who run from challenges and destroy people in our path.

What do you think?

Please comment below.

I love you all.

 

 

Single Life

Single in the Church

 

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#mamaskills

 

When I was a little girl, I had two baby dolls and they were named “Darlin’ and Sweet Darlin’”. They were my babies. If you asked me what I was going to be when I grew up I would have probably told you either a mama or a singer. Then on some days a mama singer! As I have shared before my plan was to get married by the age of 23, have my first child at 25 and be finished having babies (3-4, and I wouldn’t have put them on the ground face first … duh) by the time I hit my early 30s. Instead, I am single, 32, live in an apartment and have a dog! I am neither a mama nor a singer (at least not what I had envisioned).

Nothing, in my plan, panned out at all. Not even my college plans. My 20s included the death of many lifelong dreams and the birth of many new dreams. Dreams that I pray and believe are of the Lord and not strictly of my will. I still long for marriage but children are totally negotiable at this point in my life. I am pretty content with where the Lord has me and on the days that I am not it’s usually because I am too focused on someone else’s life.

However, I have realized there is a huge gap in our churches where singles are concerned and it’s something that I noticed years ago when I was in my early 20s. The Church, at large, doesn’t seem to know what to do once you are past the college and career age. I consider the college and career age to tap out at about 25. Everything the Southern Baptist Convention rolls out seems to be directed towards the college and young career group. Conferences and seminars are geared for this group, i.e. Passion.

I guess no one really accounted for the fact that more adults would be holding off on getting married whether it’s due to careers, finances, commitment issues or lack of dating options. So there’s a large group of people who are being overlooked within the Church.

Even with the churches that seem to have an active singles ministry, if you get to the core of that group it’s spiritually dry. You either have a singles social club or a literal small group of Christians committed to growing in Christ. Women are threatened by the possibility of a new woman coming into the class when there are only a few guys in the class so they often talk negatively about the class to newcomers or just don’t invite anyone. Or you get the singles that are strictly there to find someone to date and end up working their way through the entire group.

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I don’t know if this will fix the issue but here are few ideas I have:

  1. Stop giving everything a name. There was a time when every youth group and program had a name which carried over to the singles Sunday school classes. I have heard of PowerHouse, The Bridge, The Pathway, The Crossing, Crossroads, The Road, Landslide (JK), Landfill (JK), The Headstone (JK … but I’m guessing that would be a senior single adult class). We aren’t kids. Just divide by ages – names not required. J
  2. Once a month by rotating, each church in the area could share the responsibility with hosting a city-wide Singles Worship service by putting ego and competition aside … this would be something that is not catered to the college demographic but rather speaks to career-minded singles in their late 20s, 30s and 40s+ with solid preaching that also gives everyone an opportunity to meet other singles in the area. And please … no lame ice breakers. In fact, just avoid games altogether.
  3. Stop promoting marriage as the end all be all in the church. Yes, the majority of us do want to be married but for one reason or another (or in some cases, multiple reasons) we are not married yet. However, we have married friends and we know it’s not the ticket to paradise, endless bliss or total wholeness. We see the broken marriages. Some of us are a product of them. Some of us are called to be single. Singleness isn’t a disease and it won’t rub off on you if you are around us for too long. We are vital to the Church and not just to fill the roles parents are too tired to fill. J
  4. In the same vein … stop acting like singleness is a gift when you know you didn’t see it that way when you were single. Yes, we have “tons of time” to ourselves to do “whatever we want” … but that is a lot of time that we are by ourselves. It can be lonely. And there will be someone who will comment that “it’s better to be alone and on your own than alone in a marriage”. To that I say … loneliness is still loneliness whether there is a ring on the finger or not. Please do not downplay one person’s pain because of their marital status. We have all been called to this stage of life that we are in for a purpose.

It’s not Singleness<Marriage or Singleness>Marriage … it’s Singleness = Marriage.

  1. Teach on Biblical Manhood/Womanhood for Singles … I fully support the Church’s fight to save and support the marriages within her walls but there needs to be teaching on what it looks like to be in your 30s and 40s living a pure lifestyle. It’s more than not having sex before marriage. It’s more than not watching/looking at porn. I have been shocked by how many singles I know who view drunkenness, murder and abortion as sin but see nothing wrong with premarital sex or living with their mate outside of marriage. Hello? Have we ripped out 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 from our Bibles? Somewhere the wires were crossed in our youth group meetings that we missed the truths on what it means to truly live for the Lord. It’s not about “missing out” or being restricted by a set of rules but rather experiencing life abundantly the way God ordained it!

These are just some thoughts that have been running through my mind (the only part of me that actively receives exercise but that’s another story) over the last few weeks as I feel like I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole within the Church. I don’t want to read another book geared towards singles on “How Not be Bitter that You Aren’t Married Yet”, “How to Stop Looking So They’ll Come” (The Field of Dreams version of singleness turning into marriage. The Hallmark Channel is fighting Netflix for the movie rights on this!), “How to be Content in My Waiting” or “How to be Better at Waiting When all You Do Is Wait” … I want to read a book about what it means to be the woman that God created me to be, right now, in the place that I am in … without having to skip over the chapters of praying for my husband and/or children that do not and may never exist. Someone write to me!

Someone write about how true beauty and allure is found in the one who lives a life of sincere praise …

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God, for He is gracious and lovely; praise is becoming and appropriate.” Psalm 145:1 AMP

image2But until someone does write a book Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for Singles in today’s culture may I humbly suggest we turn to Colossians 3:12-17 for reference and put into practice what Paul writes?

“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17

I am committed to doing my part in making a difference in the lives of other singles … will you join me in praying that the Lord will show me what that part is and that I will be obedient to follow through with it? And if you are a pastor of a church and any of these ideas have sparked your curiosity then I would love to talk to you!

I love you all.