“If I could tell ladies one thing…” Words from your brothers

Dear Sisters,

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Personally, I’m single and will be spending my Valentine’s Day wearing a red dress, gong to dinner and a movie with my fantastic girlfriends, and enjoying an excuse to wear red lipstick. While I don’t have a man in my life in a romantic way, I am blessed beyond belief to have a dad and brothers who treat me better than I deserve, love me unconditionally and are the best valentines a girl could ask for.

Instead of sharing my words today, I thought it would be encouraging to let you in on what your Christian brothers have to say to you. I received input from over 30 incredibly Godly men, ranging from older married men, engaged, dating and single. To say that I was blown away by these men is an understatement. I am truly honored to know these men and have them share their hearts. I presented the following question to the…

 

“If I could tell ladies one thing…”

 

Now I know that’s a general question, but I meant for it to be open-ended to allow the guys to have freedom in answering with whatever they felt most passionate about sharing with you.

Ladies are in for a treat! My prayer is that this serves as an encouragement to you. Remember, above all else, today and every day to meditate on the great love the Father has displayed by choosing you, sending His son to atone for your sins, and loving you with a steadfast love!

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Dear Men…

Dear Men…

 

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I know you get a lot of grief…

“Oh how I wish my boyfriend/husband would just do this one thing – then I’d be happy!”

“Ugh, I hate boys right now!”

“Why can’t he just read my mind?”

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I am writing this letter to all of my Christian brothers!

The purpose is to let you know that you have a sister in Christ who is cheering for you!

 

You live in a world where there are temptations around every turn, demands that seem impossible to meet placed upon you, and unrealistic standards that are asked of you.

 

Be Encouraged!

 

Oh men, may you follow hard after Christ – the perfect man!

 

The world will try everything in her power to sweep you away with her seductive ways.

  • Train your eyes to be fixed upon Christ.

  • Train your ears to hear only your Father’s voice.

  • Train your mind to meditate upon the Word.

  • Train your lips to speak of God’s glory.

The Lord made you in His image – be the man he created you to be!

 

Men need examples of what a Godly man should look like – be that man.

The women in your life need a man to treat them how a Godly man ought to treat a woman ( this applies to all female relationships – mother, sister, friend, girlfriend, wife) – be that man.

 

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I am praying for you, my dear brothers in Christ!

  • I am praying for your relationships with the Lord, that you will pursue Him with everything in you!

  • I am praying for your relationship with your future wife, that you will be the man and leader that is required of a Godly husband.

  • I am praying for you when you’re a Daddy, that you would raise your children in a way that honors the Lord

  • I am praying for you as you live in this world, that you would be in this world, but not of it!

 We don’t need anymore “Christian boys”, we need Godly men!

 

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Your sister in Christ,

Chelsea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love and Other Things – My thoughts on Dating

Ohhhh love….

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Good ‘ole Valentines Day is next week…

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So I figured it would be a good time to share my personal thoughts on dating/relationships! Please keep in mind that these are merely my opinions! :)

I’m not currently in a relationship, and I’m going to be completely honest. Sometimes it is hard. I am 22 years old, and when I entered college, I thought I would be the girl who met her husband first or second year, got engaged, and would be getting married right out of college. That is not how my life has played out, and clearly the Lord had different plans for my life.

But…

I can’t tell you how incredibly grateful I am that the Lord is in complete control of every area of my life, my dating relationship included! He has spared me much heartache over the past years, and for that, I am very grateful! Please know that the thoughts on dating I’m sharing are my opinions. I know alot of people that disagree with me or have different views, but that’s okay!

Here we go…

1. I have a very traditional view on relationships/the roles of men and women in relationships.

Yeah, I’m an old school girl when it comes to relationships! I personally wouldn’t ask a guy out, or pursue a guy for a relationship. I think that the man should be the initiator of a relationship, and should be the one to pursue a woman. Obviously, there has to be interest on both sides, and the woman can definitely let the man know how she feels, but the man should be the leader of the relationship! Think about it this way, if I (as a woman) were to pursue a guy, and we ended up dating, I would always think

“Does he really like me, or is he just dating me because I pursued him?”

When I date and eventually marry someone, I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they want me. The way this happens is when a man takes charge and leads the relationship by pursuing a woman!!

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2. Find someone who loves the Lord more than they will ever love you!

It might sound “romantic” to hear someone tell you that you are their world, or you are their everything. If someone tells you this…RUN as fast as you can in the other direction! I hate to break it to you, but you can’t be someone’s everything. That is a completely unrealistic expectation to place on yourself or on someone else. You will fail. They will be disappointed. Both parties will end up discontent. Seriously, if you don’t hear anything else I say, please hear me when I say this…

** Find someone who doesn’t make God a part of their lives, find someone who God is their live!! **

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3. If you’re single right now, spend time growing your relationship with the Lord, your character, your hobbies, your interests, your passions, etc.!

There is a lot of freedom in being single, because you have more time to spend on growing! Find something that you would like to pursue and go do it!!! I’m passionate about running, reading books, drinking coffee, and writing. When I’m not busy with classes, senior class president stuff, ra, or my other relationships, I have time to pursue my hobbies! Also, find an area that you would like to improve, and work on developing that area! I am probably the world’s worst cook, but when I have time, I practice my cooking so that one day, I will be a decent cook!

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4. Trust in the Lord!

I’m not trying to be super spiritual, but keep in mind that the Lord is in ultimate control of your life! He knows you so intimately and personally.

Trust Him!

Trust that He isn’t going to leave or forsake you! Trust that He will direct your life in the ways that He sees fit!!

I hope this has encouraged you and sparked some thought on how you feel about dating/relationships!! I would love to hear feedback, so let me know your thoughts!!

Love and other things…thoughts on Magic Mike!

I wasn’t originally planning on writing a blog on the movie, “Magic Mike” for two reasons: 1) I haven’t even seen the movie. 2) I didn’t feel extremely comfortable discussing this movie because of the content. But I felt like I couldn’t keep silent on this subject. It breaks my heart that this is the kind of movies that Hollywood is putting out and we actually pay money for this trash.

For those of you that don’t know what Magic Mike is, here’s an accurate description…

“A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.”

The movie features Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey (both extremely attractive men) but the story follows them and the career of male stripping. Magic Mike was released tonight, but prior to the release girls everywhere were going nuts and making absolute fools of themselves over this movie. I am embarrassed for some of the things I’ve seen on facebook and twitter from girls that claim Christ as their Savior. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning their salvation by any means, but I do want to speak some encouragement into their lives and share my thoughts on this movie.

Ladies,

  • Please examine your hearts and think before you speak. I encourage you to watch your language when discussing guys. Yes, I know that both of the leads of the movie are good looking, but that doesn’t mean that you get to speak in any manner you wish. We get angry when guys talk degradingly about girls, yet we think it’s okay for us to speak in a manner that doesn’t honor men.
  • Remember that we are commanded to honor the Lord with our words and our thoughts. I don’t think that watching a man prance around with hardly any clothes on will do much to promote Godly thoughts. (Just something to chew over!)
  • This movie (and others like it) should NOT be your example of what to look for in a future husband. (Duhhh!!!) It might sound simple to say it, but for many of us, watching movies like this don’t give us a realistic expectation of men. You should be looking for a man who will love one woman for the rest of his life and commit to marrying and spending the rest of his life with that one woman. (One of the God given benefits of a marriage is sex!) You should not be looking for someone who doesn’t respect you enough to commit every part of himself to you!!

 

I hope that encourages you to stay the course!! Don’t ever settle and wait on the very best that the Lord has to offer you!

Love and other things…decisions, decisions, decisions!!

I’m in the process of making a major life decision right now. (Details to come.) While this decision is exciting beyond belief, it would literally change my entire life. This decision would include devoting 2 years of my life specifically, moving across the world and giving up a lot of my comforts. I can’t share what the decision is right now, but if I am extremely vulnerable, I’m kind of scared! My heart beats faster at the possibilities that lie ahead if I say “yes” to this decision, yet there are so many questions in my mind.

I’ve grown up in the Christian community and currently go to a Christian university (which I’m more than grateful for), but growing up in that kind of environment has placed a certain stereotype in my head of how “life” is supposed to go.

Go to college → meet a guy/girl → fall in love → get engaged → tie the knot → baby on the way → live a comfortable life →live happily ever after

While there’s nothing wrong with this, I believe there’s so much more to live than simply looking out for yourself. What makes me happy? What is going to bring me the maximum fulfillment? How can I make more money? How can I become more successful? The focus is on me, me me! I’ve been so tempted when looking at my future to make decisions based only upon what I want. Oh, how I want my life to count for more than just myself. Impacting people for my Jesus is my life’s ambition, and I strive each day to bring as much glory to His name as possible.

I’ve discussed vaguely on my blog that I went through a season of pretty intense suffering/testing a couple of years ago. My trial hasn’t disappeared (nor will it ever fully go away!) but the pain has subsided, my heart has healed some, and I’ve learned how to live life with the trial the Lord has entrusted me with. As a result of that trial, my perspective has changed! I can’t go into great detail with the specific trial, but my outlook on a “normal life” was changed because some of the things offered with a “normal” life weren’t going to be easily accessible. The Lord began to reveal to me that He has great things for my life, even if my life doesn’t look like the cookie cutter life described above.

There is always a small voice in my head that whispers….

What if no man will ever love you?

My dear readers, that is a LIE straight from the pits of hell!! Life is so much bigger than worrying about whether one person will choose to love me. I have the unconditional love and acceptance of the Father and that is more than enough for me. So, I’m going to hit my knees and be praying about this big decision I have to make, knowing that the Lord will direct my path and abundantly supply for me every step of the journey.

 

 

Love and other things…Ian and Larissa!

One of the websites I visit fairly often is Desiring God. It’s an awesome website/blog started by John Piper and features articles that can help one grow in their walks with the Lord. Recently, I was on there and stumbled upon a video of a married couple. I don’t want to give the entire video away, but as I watched, tears were streaming down my cheeks. This couple exemplifies what unconditional and sacrificial love is, and models Christ to the world. I highly encourage you to watch this and share it with your friends and family!!

Love and other things…am I beautiful?

Dearest reader, let me allow you into the heart of a woman for a moment.

 

One of the questions on every woman’s soul is, “Am I beautiful?” Each woman, whether they will admit it or not subconsciously asks this question. They ask this question of the men in their life, their friends, society, etc. Often times, when they ask this question, they will go to extremes to hear an answer that will satisfy them. I personally ask this question, while I may not ask it aloud of people, my heart searches for the answer. Why is beauty such an important topic to women? The reason that bearing beauty is so crucial to women, is because women are uniquely designed by God Himself to bear beauty. Beauty is an essential part of God and He has intricately fashioned and formed women to carry a part of Himself.

 

As a little girl, I used to wear dresses all the time and dance around with my brother pretending that he was a prince and I was a princess. My heart wanted to be clothed in beautiful, even as a young girl. One of my prayers to the Lord is that I will be able to accurately represent His beauty. While the world strives for outward beauty, I desire to exude genuine beauty. I think it is very important to make sure to take care of yourself physically, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to look as best as you can, but the moment those outward expressions of beauty begin to trump inward beauty, beloved, you no longer bear the Lord’s beauty. When you shift the focus solely upon the physical, there is no room for the Lord is show off His beauty.

 

Numerous books have been written on this topic, but I would like to personally breath into the topic of beauty. Yes, I do struggle with my appearance on occasion, there are days I wake up and think they world would be better if I placed a paper bag over my head. But for the most part, I find my beauty in the Lord! If I don’t run to Him to define what is beautiful, I find that I try to fight a loosing battle. When I am consumed with my personal beauty and going to extremes to enhance my beauty, I am not finding my identity and worth in the Lord,  instead I am shortchanging myself. I have a beloved Savior who calls me beautiful. Why on earth would I run to society or a man to tell me I’m beautiful. Honestly, I do enjoy it when I receive complements, but those all fall so short compared to the words my Lord speaks to me.

Beauty is a wonderful thing. It captivates and overwhelms. What is more wonderful than beauty, as we define it, is beauty as King Jesus defines it. He defines it in Himself. Dearest, if you are struggling with believing that you aren’t beautiful enough, press into the heart of Christ and listen to what He says about you. Soon, the worldly standards of beauty will fade and in its place will come into focus, eternal beauty. I choose to spend my time and energy on making myself beautiful for my Beloved. My Bridegroom is coming back to take me home one day and I want to exude as much beauty as possible; I want to radiate His beauty and His glory.

Will you join me?

 

 

Love and other things…future mate (Part 2)

When writing on the topic of future mates, I would like to add a very important clarification, before I continue on my list. To make that clarification, I need to be vulnerable with you. In high school, I always assumed that I would go to college, meet someone my sophomore or junior year, date for a couple of years, and get married shortly after graduation. That was my personal plan. But life isn’t working out how I expected it too, I am still happily single, I will graduate college in a year, and have no set in stone plan for after I graduate. But you want to know something…that is completely okay! I had a very bad attitude for a while because i thought that the Lord owed me because I’ve been faithfully following Him, so He should give me what I want right?? Wrong!! Beloved, I want to tell you that if the Lord had given me half the things I have asked for, I would be one spoiled brat! Please trust Him! Trust that He hasn’t forgotten about you, He knows your desires and He plans to fulfill them…just not in the timing you had planned. Keep that in mind as your continue reading!

 

 

3. Be the right person

I have touched on this point before in my writing, but I want to hit on it again. Instead of constantly keeping your eyes peeled for the “right” person, focus all that extra time and energy on becoming someone worthy of marriage and an incredible spouse!

Read good books!

Take a class!

Get wisdom from older couples!

Stay in shape!

Mentor a younger guy/girl!

Strengthen your relationship with your parents…siblings…friends…etc

Budget your money!

 

There is a wealth of things you can be doing right now to prepare yourself so that one day, when you meet a person who you could see yourself getting married to, you won’t have to spend years working on yourself, you’ll be able to present yourself as a strong, well-rounded individual.

 

4. Control your emotions!

Kind of going off the last point, before you can expect to have a good relationship and one day, a good marriage, you need to learn how to be emotionally stable! This might sound like a joke coming from my mouth, because I’ve gone through some stuff in my days (that’s a whole other story) and I am currently learning how to be an emotionally consistent and independent person. Beloved, you can’t expect someone to always take care of your feelings, that’s not what other people are there for. Learn now how to take your emotions straight to the Lord! It’s okay not to be okay, but you can’t live your life in a constant state of emotional turmoil. Eventually you’re going to have to deal with emotions and control them.

You control your emotions, your emotions don’t control you!

 

 

Love and other things….future mate!

I started a series on relationships and got a lot of feedback on it. This topic seems to be popular with the 20 somethings right now (I fall in this category) because it’s a relevant part of our life. Let me clarify, relationships are always relevant, but in this particular stage of life for my age group, people are starting to get engaged, married, start a family, etc. So I wanted to continue with this series, because it is so applicable to life.

 

I personally don’t have an extensive dating past, and I’m still unmarried, but I’ve done my fair share of reading and talking to other around me (so I’m kind of an expert…right?!) The subject I want to address today is the subject of your future mate. Statistically speaking, most of  you will be married one day, and if you’re currently single (by single here, I mean unmarried, not single in the sense that you aren’t currently dating someone) you should be thinking and praying about your future spouse. Here are some tips I have to offer….

 

1. Pray

Pray for your future spouse!! I cannot emphasize this point enough! The Lord already knows who you’re going to marry, why wouldn’t you be praying for them now? I pray often for my future husband, even though I have no idea who he is right now, I pray for his…

Walk with the Lord – I pray that God strengthens and grows him in Himself, and that he’ll treasure the Lord above all else.

Courage – I pray that he is a man of deep courage and is exercising it currently in his life with the people he knows.

Purity – I pray that the Lord keeps him pure in his thoughts and actions. I realize people make mistakes, but I pray that the Lord will restore what is lost if need be, and continue to help him on the road of purity.

Leadership – I pray that he continues to grow into the kind of man that will one day lead me and my family, both spiritually, but also financially, emotionally, practically, etc.

Wisdom – I pray that the Lord gives him wisdom and discernment in all areas of his life, and that he is able to make decisions that honor the Lord and the people in his life.

 

While that is not an exhaustive list, I hope it helps you to see how I pray for my future spouse. Granted, this is not an every day occurrence, because I feel like emotionally, I would be placing myself in a position that I don’t need to be in right now. But I do pray for “him” from time to time, and I think it’s beneficial to lay these things before the Lord.

 

2. Know what you want!

This point definitely needs some clarification before I further explain it. When I say to “know what you want” I mean that you should have a list of qualities that you absolutely will not compromise on. These are character issues, not physical ones. For instance, while I might say, “I want someone that’s tall, dark, and handsome, plays guitar and has blue eyes.” Those are outward things, and aren’t things that would change whether or not I would marry someone. Yes, it would be nice to have someone physically attractive, but if I ended up with the world’s most gorgeous man, who also happened to have no character, life would not be much fun, because he would not have good character. The things I am talking about are issues of the heart and his/her character. Make up a short list of the qualities/characteristics that you will not settle and stick to it!! When a Ryan Gosling look-alike swoops in and takes you on the most romantic date ever, but then turns out to be a scumbag, run run run as fast as you can in the other direction! Here are my qualities that I won’t settle on…

ChristianHis genuine adoration for the Father must be evident in his everyday life, in how he talks, in how he treats people, in how he spends his money, in how he spends his time, etc. Nominal Christianity isn’t good enough for me!

Leadership – If I’m going to get married one day, I will be marrying a MAN, not a boy, and I absolutely refuse to marry someone who can’t stand up for themselves or for me! They must be able to exercise their leadership and know how to effectively lead with strength and dignity.

Family – I grew up in a large family, and we are all very close. Since family is so important, I desire that for my future, and if I am going to get married, then family must be a priority for both of us.

 

Like I said, try to keep this list relatively short! I used to have a really long list, but realized that most of the things on the list were personal preference and not things that were truly important. (While having someone buy me flowers on a regular basis would be very nice, I decided I should probably erase that one from my list!)

 

 

* Part 2 is coming…

Love and other things…insecurity!

I have received a lot of positive feedback concerning my relationship series I’ve been writing. Thank you very much for your encouragement! This post is going to be a bit tricky to write, because I don’t want to direct it completely to females. Since I am a lady (duhh!!), it may be slightly biased, but I will do my very best to address the men too. I have 2 brothers and a dad, so I have a little help and perspective!

My topic today is relationships and insecurities. Recently I have been battling severe insecurities in my own personal life, I won’t go into all the details right now, that’s another lesson for another time. The Lord has been working on my heart and as painful as it is sometimes to realize and see my extreme shortcomings and flaws, I have a Savior who constantly whispers love into my ears and onto my heart!

I have seen an abundance of my friends and people surrounding me rush into relationships or seek a relationship desperately  because they are so insecure. They believe that another person will cover their insecurities and make them disappear. Beloved, listen up…

That is a lie!!!!

Another person will NOT ease your insecurities!

It is a romantic notion to think that we can find someone who will make us feel “complete”. Trust me, I’ve bought into this mentality before, thinking “Oh, if only I could just find the right person…then I wouldn’t feel this way.” Yet again, that is a lie. Another person can never complete you, because they are a flawed and fallen human being too! Don’t except perfectionism from another person, that is an unfair expectation.  It is hard, because if you’re single, it’s so incredibly easy to sit and day dream about Prince Charming or Cinderella and all the wonderful qualities they will have. I’ve done it many times, but I think it is unhealthy to think about it too much, because you’re setting yourself up for failure. (Unfair expectations!)

As easy as it is to expect another person to step into our lives and combat our insecurities, the majority of the time, the exact opposite is true. A lot of times, relationships will bring out and actually magnify your insecurities. If you allow an insecurity to stay in your life for too long without laying it before the Lord, a relationship will completely draw out insecurities. It is often unintentional, but nevertheless, it happens! Unfortunately instead of one person dealing with their own insecurities, now two people have to deal with the emotional baggage of an insecurity.

Beloved, I implore you, if you are struggling with some extreme emotions or insecurities, don’t run to a relationship to fulfill your desires or cover your insecurities.

Seek the Lord and lay your flaws and insecurities before Him. He will hold and heal your heart!!