Submission

jam

When Christians hear the word submission, their minds may automatically jump to the controversial subject of submission of wives to their husbands. However, all Christians are called into a lifetime of submission. Christians are called to submit first and foremost to God as stated in James 4: 7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God….”.  Jesus lived in perfect submission to His Father. He never argued with Him about His rights or rebelled against Him. Instead, He yielded to His Father’s will because He trusted Him. He is our example.

We are called to submit to the government and other authorities. Romans 13: 1 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” This means everything from following speed limits to paying taxes. It means we cannot use our own judgment or take what is entitled to us.

Common sense tells us to submit to our bosses, but Christians are called to do even more than submit but to “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…” in Ephesians 6:7. Putting forth our best efforts is a testimony to our boss and coworkers that God is good. If you think you are being treated unfairly, do not seek revenge with poor efforts.

Christian children must obey their parents as it says in Ephesians 6:1 , “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” This basic relationship teaches us to know our place.

Submission is an attitude fortified with humility and obedience. These are characteristics God wants to instill in us because we cannot live in a proper relationship with the Lord unless we are trained in submission. If we cannot submit to earthly authority, how can we submit to God?

Ephesians 5: 22 states, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” As women’s rights gained prominence, the above verse became increasingly controversial. Some non-Christians think it is demeaning to women. Even some Christians think this is a verse that was meant for the time period it was written in and does not apply to us. I do not think it is demeaning or outdated.

Our Creator gave a masterful order to the universe. He instituted the laws of gravity. Our Father in heaven also established an order in families. Jesus should be the head of every household. Husbands are called to submit to Him, wives should submit to their husbands, and children must obey their parents.

Women have been given the gift of beauty, the ability to bear children, and a powerful influence over their children’s lives. Yet, women are called to submit to husbands. This does not mean wives should become robotically compliant to their husbands. It means they should yield to their husbands.

Husbands should never misuse their authority to control or abuse women. Rather, they should delegate authority to other people in the household. They should seek the opinions of household members before making decisions. In this way, they become a good Christian husband and father.

Christian wives will become unhappy if they must assume a leadership position because a husband is refusing to lead. When both husband and wife struggle for power, households are too argumentative. Christians who feel their household is out of balance should seek their God-given assigned identity in Christ by meditating on Scripture and praying for ways to conform to God’s design for families.

Christians should have an attitude of submission towards God. Our earthly authority provides a great training ground to learn how to submit. When we submit to authority, we humbly obey God as we should. Whether it is the federal government or our boss or a husband, we respect God’s plan for order when we yield to their authority.

But what about when the authority figure or law goes against God’s Word? What then? God is the highest authority in the Christian’s life. Christians should always obey God even when authorities in your life command you to go against what God or His Word is telling you to do.

In the book of Daniel, we read about Daniel’s character. He was faithful to God and submitted to authority. He worked hard and behaved righteously. His qualities earned him a promotion. The jealous officials inspired a decree which forbid Daniel to pray to God. Yet Daniel ignored the decree that lead him away from God and kept on praying! He feared God more than man so God rescued him from the mouth of lions.

Christians must always fear God more than man. Christians should never depend on the law to tell us what is right or wrong, but we should rely on God’s Word. Believers should tell corrupt bosses they will not break the law to help their bottom line. Christian women should not quietly submit to abusive husbands but seek God’s will in their lives. Those are exceptions in which acting righteously and justly according to God’s Word is more important than submitting to authority.

In most circumstances, submission to authority is a useful tool to help us draw near to the Lord. If we love the Lord, we will submit to authority. In doing so, we are a good example and witness to others. Throughout our lives, we must remember our King in heaven is our ultimate authority. Our Father who loves us deserves our undivided loyalty.

PRAYER: Lord, Help us to draw near to You by submitting to authority. Give us the courage to stand firm on the Word when authority leads us astray. Thank You, Lord, that You hear our prayers. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Sexual Myths Exposed

heb

I hear lots of myths circulating among single Christians. Are you a single Christian who has been deceived by sexual myths? Keep reading to learn the truth about three infamous myths.

MYTH #1) MY FUTURE SPOUSE WANTS ME TO BE EXPERIENCED IN SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Christian men and women desire someone who is pure. Choosing to either watch pornography or have premarital sex muddles your heart, mind, and spirit. You are also distancing yourself from God when you engage in these sins. Plus, you run the risk of becoming addicted, contracting a disease, or getting pregnant. Your future spouse would prefer to discover this new activity together with you. If you are dating someone who wishes you were more experienced, I would question whether this person is really the right one for you.

MYTH #2) I NEED TO HAVE PREMARITAL SEX TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT I AM SEXUALLY COMPATIBLE WITH THE PERSON I AM PLANNING TO MARRY. Not only is this statement a myth, the concept of sexual compatibility is also a myth. Sex was designed to be an expression of your love for your spouse. Your major focus should be on bringing pleasure to the other person. Since people are unique, it requires time to learn the best way to give your spouse the most pleasurable experience. So good sex depends on knowing one another, and it also depends on the health of the relationship. If one person stops working to maintain the relationship, your sex life will could become less pleasurable even if it was fun at the beginning of the relationship.

MYTH#3) IF I HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ACTIVE IN THE PAST, I AM NO LONGER VALUABLE. The right person is going to love you no matter what. God has forgiven all of the sins in your life including any sexual sins you were engaged in. You can be completely honest with both God and your future spouse about your sexual history.

If you keep studying God’s Word and putting it into practice, you will be completely prepared for your future spouse. Don’t worry about a thing.

I hope you have enjoyed this Christian & Single blog series. I have not written from the high and mighty position of having done everything right. I have written from the humble view of having made mistakes and watching the Lord make everything work together for my good. God has great plans for you. I am praying for you to stumble onto that loving someone while clinging to the Lord.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Why Am I Still Single?

luke

Single Christians will often beat themselves up. They will ask, “What’s wrong with me, God? Am I unlovable?” The truth is that you are very lovable. There is nothing wrong with you! In fact, you are wonderful. However, you may be falling into a common trap.

As a fun way to communicate the traps, I created singles profiles along with a recommended verse, prayer, reflection, or practical advice. What type of single Christian are you? An unbelievers’s pal? One with skyscraper standards? A lonely angel? Or a waiter dater? Single Christians often fall into one of these profiles based on their personal choices and individual personality.

Profile: Unbeliever’s Pal -The Unbeliever’s Pal spends most of his/her time with unbelievers. This person is oodles of fun. He or she would probably be married to an unbeliever, but they know God wants them to marry another Christian. So they are suspended in singlehood…
Verse: 2 Cor. 6:14 states Can light have anything in common with darkness?
Recommended Reflections: Why do I choose to spend so much time with unbelievers? Am I double-minded or compromised in my actions or thoughts? Do I feel an obligation to save them or take care of them?
Prayer: Lord, please help me to limit the amount of time I spend with unbelievers. Send more Christians into my life. Fill my heart with a unique love for them. Amen.
Practical Advice: Attend more church and Christian events and home groups. Aggressively seek fellowship with them. Stop stooping to an unholy lifestyle for unbelievers. Instead, ask your unbelieving friends to stand upright with you.

Profile: Skyscraper Standards – Mr. or Miss Skyscraper Standards finds it difficult to find the right person. He or she is probably attractive and seems to have it all together. There is just something wrong with every person they date. So this person is perpetually single and searching…
Verse: Romans 9:21 states Or is not a potter authorized over the clay to make some formed things from it, one vessel for honor and one for dishonor?
Recommended Reflections: Do I love myself? Am I projecting my discontentedness with myself onto others? Can I focus on the good in myself and others?
Prayer: Lord, Give my Your loving eyes to see myself and others. Help me to remember You created us fearfully and wonderfully. Help me to focus on the characteristics you love in others. Amen.
Practical Advice: Take time to let go of your own imperfections. Be friendly to everyone and accept all date invitations. Give lots of chances. Accept 2nd and 3rd date invitations even if the first date did not go well. Focus on having a good time instead of finding someone.

Profile: Lonely Angel – The Lonely Angel spends most of their time either alone or hanging with Christians of the same gender. They have a great relationship with God, but they just aren’t really meeting anyone they feel connected to. They are caught in a routine of being single….
Verse: 2Samuel 6:14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might…
Recommended Reflections: How determined am I to become married? Am I allowing the passion for life to exhibit itself? Is a job or something else draining time and resources that should be devoted to finding my future spouse?
Prayer: Lord, Help me to seek my future spouse with passion. Guide me to be available and obedient. Amen.
Practical Advice: Convince a few of your single same-gender friends to do something the opposite gender prefers to do. If you are a guy, hang out at the food court in the mall. If you are a girl, go to a baseball game. Challenge yourself to start a conversation with 3 strangers of the opposite gender by the end of the night. Give one of them your phone number. Rejections are meaningless. Keep going. Tell your friends to set you up on a blind date with one of their Christian friends.

Profile: Waiter Dater – The Waiter Dater is always in a long-term relationship. This person is skilled in the art of relationships, but the relationship they are in never results in marriage. So they are forever single because they are always waiting for a proposal or the right time to propose.
Verse: Gen. 2:1-2 states Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing…
Recommended Reflections: Am I in a healthy relationship or a state of dependency? What is the real reason this relationship has not resulted in marriage? Do I have the courage to commit if it is right? Do I have the courage to end it if I know it is not right?

Prayer: Lord, please give me the courage to do all You have called me to do. Help me to trust what I feel You are telling me to do. Thank You that You always guide with wisdom. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Practical Advice: Guys, do not make excuses to delay a proposal. If she really is the one you want to marry, isn’t she more important than your next semester of college education? If the rest of the people in history waited until they were financially secure, imagine how many marriages and families never would have existed! Ladies, show yourself some respect and walk away from a relationship when you realize he is just not that into you. If he is into you, he won’t let you go.

I could write a few more, but it is likely that you see yourself in one or more of these profiles. It may be some combination of these descriptions. You may not fit neatly into any of the above profiles. Perhaps it would be better to create your own profile and make a strategy for resolving your stumbling blocks to marriage.

Remember God loves you. He hears your desperate pleas to find someone. He knows your longing to share love and start families. Are you willing to do what He is asking of you to make that happen? God is willing to help you especially when you make yourself available for your future spouse to enter your life. As faithful as he or she is, I doubt they are willing to walk up to your door and knock while you sit there on your computer and ask you on a date….or tell you to break up with that person you’ve been dating seven years…or well, you get it.

In the meantime, enjoy having the whole bed to yourself. If the loneliness gets to be too much, tell yourself, “I want to remember this loneliness so that when I marry the right person…I will have the good sense to stand by their side even when it gets tough.” God is always preparing you for your future and His kingdom. God bless!

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Envision a Future Without Divorce

pro

If you have chosen to reconcile instead of divorce and decided to pray and work toward a happy marriage, then you are on a new path. It’s time to let go of the past. Stop replaying old memories and focus on the future. Picture yourselves as an old couple doing loving things for one another. Share this vision with your spouse.

There is a gap between the present and the future. Make it count! Take an interest in the things your spouse does even if you don’t have a natural interest in those things. Go with him to a baseball game. Sit down on the couch and watch the show she normally watches alone. Compromise for the sake of love. This solves the common complaint “We have nothing in common.”

When the opportunity to fight arises, focus on the tiny detail you do agree on. Admit you don’t agree but because you love him/her, you want them to have their way. You are establishing a new normal that sets an example of love that will be returned to you in time. Don’t be a doormat…but be ready yield sometimes. This solves the common complaint “We always fight.”

Compliments go a long way for women. Respect goes a long way for men. Be sure you lavish this currency in your marriage. This is a purposeful expression of love that is readily accepted.

This blog completes the series on avoiding divorce by choosing reconciliation. It presented many small practical ways to improve your relationship with your spouse. I implore you to try them no matter how complicated your marriage is. It is God who heals your marriage through your small efforts just like God healed Naaman through his simple efforts in 2 Kings.

Naaman wanted to be cured of his leprosy. Elisha advised him to wash 7 times in the Jordan. Naaman dismissed the idea because of its simplicity, but his servants convinced him to try it anyway. After following Elisha’s advice, his leprosy was healed. The Jordan didn’t heal Naaman; God healed Naaman through his simple efforts. (See 2 Kings 5: 1-14.)

A successful marriage is an imperfect marriage with lots of room for God to fill the crevices of our hearts. It is one in which two people are free to give and accept love from one another even in their brokenness. Let this song “Broken Together” by Casting Crowns speak to your heart about your marriage by clicking here.

Dear Lord, You promise that ”He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.” in Proverbs 18:22. I pray You would open our eyes to the favor You have shown us and help us to behold the good thing we have found in our present marriages. Thank You that this promise and all Your promises are good and true for all time. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Joy & Intimacy Without Divorce

1thess

“I’m just not happy anymore.” This is a common complaint from a spouse who wants to divorce. If you are working and praying for reconciliation, stop looking to your spouse as a source of joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and should not find its source in your spouse.

In Acts 16, we read how Paul was beaten and jailed. In jail, he sang praises to God! How is that possible? Paul’s joy was not dependent on his circumstance but found in his relationship with Christ. Do you have a joy that comes from your relationship with Christ? Do you praise God at all times?

I hope that you will pursue the joy that comes from Christ by remaining in the true vine. Additionally, I hope that confidence and trust in Christ awakens an interest in new experiences that will contribute to your quality of life. 

Take up a new hobby, pursue your passion, play on a sports league, and work toward your dream with small goals. Be sure to invite your spouse to be a part of your experiences as your life transforms into a healthy expression of the joy that can be found in Christ.

Intimacy is another major complaint from those interested in divorce. Nothing is happening in the bedroom or you are stuck in a rut or your chemistry just dissolved. There is hope!

Read the following 18 ways to increase intimacy between you and your spouse:

  1. New self-control – If you are currently viewing pornography, you are KILLING your sex life. You’ll be amazed how intimacy improves when you STOP viewing pornography.
  2. New faithfulness – Cut strong ties between people of the opposite sex that you are attracted to. You can improve your intimacy with your spouse by removing emotional attachments to others.
  3. New thoughts – Concentrate on something new when you are alone with your spouse. Focus on your love for your spouse, envision blooming flowers, live in the moment.
  4. New initiation – The minutes that lead up to intimacy are important. Change your approach.
  5. New ways to energize – Intimacy requires energy. Rest up and help your spouse with tasks so he or she feels energetic also.
  6. New compliments – Instill confidence in your spouse and he/she will feel like a tiger instead of a mouse.
  7. New perfume or aftershave – Scent affects mood. Set the mood for intimacy.
  8. New clothes – Attract your spouse by wearing attractive clothes instead of wearing what is comfortable.
  9. New underclothes – Replace things with holes. Buy underclothes that are pleasing to the eye.
  10. New sheets – Get some soft sheets that announce your intentions to be intimate.
  11. New bed – Mentally break your rut by replacing the old squeaky bed.
  12. New place – Rent a hotel room for a getaway vacation in your own town.
  13. New hairdo or hair color – Make yourself feel new with a change.
  14. New makeup or facial hair – Try different things to see what you and your spouse agree enhances your features.
  15. New exercise routine – Exercise contributes to a happy mood, builds confidence, and increases stamina. Consider taking a multivitamin.
  16. New music – Set the mood for love with romantic music.
  17. New candles – Make your spouse feel special by going the extra mile.
  18. New date – Date your spouse with creativity.

You will be shocked at how effective these methods are at revving up your intimacy! A little effort makes a big impact when you pray for a strong relationship with your spouse and embrace love and faithfulness.

Dear Lord, I pray marriages on the brink of disaster would be renewed in a supernatural way. Heal our love and show us love never fails. Thank You for answering our prayers. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Click here to read a poem that will encourage you in your reconciliation.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Reconcile Instead of Divorce

matth

We know it is God’s desire for us to keep our marital vows because God’s Word tells us He hates divorce (see Malachi 2:16 NLT). However, He does allow it in certain circumstances. Theologians debate them, but the discussion surrounds:
1) unfaithfulness, 2) abandonment, and 3) abuse. If your spouse is not guilty of any of the above things, pursue reconciliation instead of divorce.

If you want to follow God’s desire for your marriage, stop using the word “divorce” in your conversations and in your mind. Start praying for a change in heart. God understands your hurt. Open your mind and heart to the possibility that God can transform your marriage into the loving relationship you always dreamed of having for “with God all things are possible” (see Matthew 19:26).

The decision to reconcile a marriage should not be a decision to remain stagnant in an unhappy relationship. Take a moment to visualize the marriage you want to have with your spouse. (Yes, right now. Go on. Close your eyes.)

Now, what specifically was going on in your daydream that is not going on in real life? Whatever it is, it constitutes a discussion with your spouse. Make it clear that you are willing to change for the goal of a more loving relationship and announce your hopes that they will be up for the challenge as well.

Your marriage can become a dream come true with your own spouse if you communicate your needs and keep praying. Don’t give up on love! Be patient and hold your marriage in honor for God says in His Word that ”Marriage should be honored by all…” —Heb. 13:4

Think back to when you first met your spouse. Were you giddy with love? Think how your spouse has changed you for the better. Click here to read a short poem on “Romantic Love.”

Father, thank You that You know Your people so well. Thank You that it is Your desire to help them in their circumstance and not to abandon them in their time of need. We beg Your help to fill our hearts with love for our spouses and to enrich the love they have for us. In Christ’s Name, Amen. 

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!