Dear Ex, I Never Really Loved You

Worldly “love” comes natural. It’s that Eros “love.” It’s erotic, sensual, and highly appeals to the flesh and the emotions. I’ve fallen in this kind of “love” with several guys. And the more physically and emotionally intimate I was with the guy, the more “in love” I thought I was.

No no. I didn’t think I was in love. I was convinced I was in love. But praise Jesus, His Spirit taught me what real love looks like.

See, the Eros love is how people who don’t truly know Christ love. They do not have His Spirit within them, so they love in a purely human and unspiritual way. This love is broken, limited, and extremely harmful. This love is desperately selfish, even when it looks like it isn’t. This love craves what the other person has to give; their attention, their affection, their adoration, their body. This love stems from the heart that is consumed with Self. A heart that is concerned about its own happiness, not the other’s true well-being. And that is why it is dangerous. Because it is not pure love. It is earthly, sensual—dare I say—demonic.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?-Jeremiah 17:9

If before surrendering to Christ, the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked how on earth can it deny its true nature and love another in a pure way? A godly way? The answer is simple: it can’t.

But when a heart is given to Christ and regenerated by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, now this heart can love in the agape way. The unconditional, selfless, pure, sacrificial way.

Firstly, the regenerated heart is no longer seeking to please Self, but God. This new heart prompts the Christian to delve into the Scriptures and get to know God’s heart. This heart is powerful because the Holy Spirit now lives within it and causes it to be like and obey God.

Before I surrendered my heart to Christ on February 22nd, 2009, I truly thought I loved my ex more than anyone. I believed that because I felt such intense burning desire for him, thought about him often, and wanted to see him all the time, I loved him.

This wasn’t love. I was like a human leech, sucking whatever I could out of my ex because it pleased MY flesh. It made ME feel good. I was addicted to him, not in love with him, because like a drug, he gave my flesh a good high.

But after giving my heart to Jesus, things changed. I’ve been married for almost four years (September 10th <3), and hubby and I don’t fight anymore. I mention this first because in so many worldly relationships fights are natural and usually often. Outbursts of wrath is a fruit of the flesh. You get upset because in that moment, your boyfriend isn’t making YOU happy. Your Self acts out because it’s currently not getting a good high.

But with hubby, now of there’s ever any tension, one of us lovingly submits, and the one who was thinking selfishly at the moment quickly repents and there is immediate peace, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. I give in to him, he gives in to me, and without a fight. We just lovingly give ourselves and this evades conflict. It’s not all about what I want to do and it’s not all about what Jonathan wants to do. We understand one another and are 99% of the time, gentle toward each other, which is another fruit of the Holy Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22-23‬ NKJV)

When two people have the Holy Spirit, and are letting Him lead, this is the outcome. Real love doesn’t have moments of feeling good, it is good. Sacrifice isn’t this painful, horrible notion that is never even conceived of. Sacrifice is given freely because we seek the well-being and benefit of the other—not ourself.

It’s extremely tragic when Christians are in worldly relationships. It begs the question: do you really have the Holy Spirit in you, because the fruits of your relationship are fleshly. They look just like the world, except maybe they attend a weekly service or two together.

My prayer is that Christians in a worldly relationship will repent. It will certainly hurt their selfish flesh, because the relationship can be so pleasing to it at times, but in the long run, they’ll spare not only their souls from judgement (because being in sinful and hurtful relationships isn’t pleasing to God), but will be free to experience true love, agape love. And when you begin loving someone in a Christ-like way, and he or she loves you likewise, you’ll understand what you’ve been missing all this time.

Fat Shaming Vs. Beauty Vs. Reality

Hey precious ladies. First, let me say being cruel or unkind or mocking someone because of their appearance is foolish and, well, mean. God via the Bible has lots to say about kindness and the words we speak.

I’ve seen plenty of what I believe to be beautiful plus-sized women who look great and healthy. Call them, “curvy” or “voluptuous,” they’re not “skinny” and that’s totally okay!

But just as there are some who are unhealthily skinny, there are some who are unhealthily overweight.

For example: I have a grandmother who is obese. She was always “big-boned” which was fine. I believe she lived a healthy life in her earlier years. But then she got remarried after divorcing my grandfather…

Her second husband, “Liked fat women,” so he encouraged her to eat up and eventually, she became 200+ lbs–and the number has climbed and climbed. Nine years ago, she almost died from a blood clot which had to do with her weight and immobility. Currently, my grandmother is basically bedridden. With swollen legs, very heavy and hard to move, getting out of bed is a serious workout and she’s fallen more often because of muscle weakness (again, laying in bed means no real exercise of her limbs and without strengthening by means of use, eventually, our bodies grow frail).

She’s been eating better, thanks to my sister who cares for her and has been trying to help her lose weight so she’s more healthy and mobile. But there are people in the family who say to let her be because she’s happy. In reality, she’s quite the opposite, and though eating junk-food and however much food she desires momentarily releases happy chemicals, doesn’t mean she is truly happy and if anything, it sure is a cheap happiness in comparison to the simple but greater happiness of being able to move around and do necessary things like walk to the restroom, bathe, and not be bed-bound. She’s terrified of falling and has grown all the more bound to her bed because of it.

Many Americans are what doctors call “obese” or unhealthily overweight. You don’t even have to be visibly that “fat” in order to have clogged arteries, diabetes, and the like, but the point is that, at a certain point, “fat” can be more easily defined as unhealthy or potentially unhealthy and when a person is medically obese, encouraging them to stay that way, applauding it, etc. isn’t helpful, but harmful…

How many young people suffer from asthma and diabetes, or die prematurely from a heart attack because of fat build up? Again, I’m not for mocking anyone, but I am for being lovingly honest and offering solutions to what sometimes is just ignorance of how unhealthy certain stuff really is, and the addictive chemicals and whatnot in those foods that keep you coming back for more, or often, over-eating stems from deep, unresolved issues so encouraging the person to continue being unhealthily overweight is also encouraging them to ignore the deeper reasons as to why they’re placing their comfort in food.

Now we can offer help and support without openly embarrassing someone. We should be able to voice any concerns if it’s done so with the genuine intent of helping another person. I appreciate those who are honest with me about my issues and sins and offer advice and help me get through. No one is perfect, but man, the honest words and assistance of others can be such a blessing.

So yes, let us be kind to one another, but let us also offer support and help those whose weight has gotten to the point of being problematic to their health, rather than encourage them to continue embracing an unhealthy lifestyle. Not everyone desires to be helped, but we still love them anyway. Our love shouldn’t be dependent upon a person taking our advice or not, love is unconditional, but it also gently speaks the truth.

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What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment. ❤

Why you shouldn’t be modest

I remember walking through the mall in my teen years, rocking a pair of skin-tight Brazilian jeans (they were so the thing back then)—a pair I wore specifically because I believed they accentuated my assets, i.e., made my bottom look bigger.

So here I am, in my baby-blue Brazilian, skin-squeezin’ jeans and a spaghetti strap top and I’m pretty sure I was clackin’ around in heels, and this group of dudes begin yelling lewd comments at me across the mall for everyone in the vicinity to hear.

I got so upset, cussed at ‘em, flipped ‘em off, the whole nine. But never once did I recall the fact that I wore those jeans for the sake of appearing more desirable. I wanted the attention, but I guess I expected it to come across in a more respectful manner.

Thing is, I quite plainly, was dressed in a way that shouted sex object, yet I didn’t want to be treated like a sex object. I wanted to be pleasing to the sight of some men, as long as their pleasure was displayed in a manner I approved of.

I now understand that most single or unmarried men (or even married ones!) don’t look at women who are dressed super sexy and think: I better be low-key about all the lustful thoughts she’s inciting. The way they see it is you’re asking for the attention, so they’re gonna give it to you. And more specifically, they’re thinking along the lines of; this chick is asking to be f***ed. 

Forgive the vulgarity, but I’m just being real. Have you ever heard men talk to each other when no women are around? Well, I have. A lot. I edit weddings. The videographer, who is a man, goes into the groom’s hotel room or wherever he’s getting ready and records him and his groomsmen as they get dressed. The stuff they say about the bride and about women is so disgusting and degrading that I often have to mute the audio entirely and sometimes wish I could leave in those parts so the bride sees how much her groom respects her in front of his boys. The things I hear make my blood boil and skin crawl. But the truth of the matter is that all of these brides lived with the guy beforehand. In other words, they already were sleeping with him. So frankly, men simply don’t respect a woman who sleeps with them before marriage. Period. He can act like he does, but there’s someone he boasting to about your body and sexcapades.

Have you experienced this kind of lewd attention before? Were you wearing super short-shorts, a midriff top, showing off cleavage or your belly? Lots of skin, lots of skin-tight-leave-hardly-any-room-for-the-imagination attire will incite and inflame a man’s lust. There’s no way to get around it unless he closes his eyes or avoids you or tries super-duper hard to only look at your face, even though his peripherals can see everything else. Even married men. Very few will try to look away, while others will be picturing you naked on top of them.

Now, if you’re truly fine with this, that’s your prerogative. However, if it makes you uncomfortable and you’d like a lot more respect, then take it from me, think twice about what you put on. And no, I’m not being legalistic. I’m not gonna sit here and list a bunch of non-Kosher clothes to wear because at the end of the day, most of us women aren’t stupid. We know what sexy looks like and some of us like how it feels. So the clothes you have that you deem sexy are the red flag raisers you should reconsider. And covering up doesn’t equate frumpy and dumpy. You can keep it covered and keep it classy. You can be modest and still like what you’re wearing.

And if you’re a Christian like me, then remember: you don’t just choose modesty because it’s a New Testament command (see 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:1-4), but we do so for a love for God and others. We want to please God. Sensuality, lustfulness, selfishness, all of that displeases Him. If we truly grasp all that God the Father did for us when He sent His Son to this earth to love and die for us, we won’t have a problem covering up some or reconsidering our wardrobe to ensure it’s honorable to Him. He wants us to “not only look out for our own interests, but for the interests of others as well.” That means if you choosing your clothing more wisely will help some fellow Christian brothers not to stumble, then you’ve just pleased God with that unselfish and considerate decision.

At the end of the day, I’m not modest for legalism or man’s sake, but for Christ’s sake, and for a love for Him and others. I also want to be a good example for women, because I love you, too. 🙂

Did this resonate with you? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.

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What Really Makes Women Beautiful?

God is the Author of beauty. The word beauty or beautiful appears in the Bible over a hundred times. Some people believe beauty is subjective, others believe it’s objective. Whatever the case, people either view something as beautiful–or not. And…so does God.

“Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest …And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.”-Exodus 28:1-2

“Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.”-Psalms 45:10-11

“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor…”-Ezekiel 28:17

That last one was God speaking about Lucifer aka Satan. God deemed him beautiful. So…if God judges things as beautiful, then beauty is objective–it’s fact. However, just as some choose to look upon the ultimate perfection of Beauty–God Himself–with disdain, disgust, and contempt–so humans will sometimes bypass the beauty a woman possesses and hate her in spite of it.

Sister, you possess beauty whether you believe it or not. Why? Because God made you in His image, and He is the epitome of beauty, both in character and in physical form.

“Your eyes will see the King in His beauty…”-Isaiah 33:17

“The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the Lord will designate.
You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”-Isaiah 62:2-3

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”-1 Peter 3:3-4

If God promises that you will be a “crown of beauty” in His hand, then you are, period. God does not lie, and He does not change, and He does not break His promises. No matter how many people have made you feel like you aren’t beautiful, who will you believe more: Sinful, broken, selfish, hateful man, or holy, perfect, selfless, unconditionally loving God?

Right now, who in your life are you allowing to define your beauty? Your mom, dad, friends, boyfriend, Hollywood, that popular makeup artist you’re subscribed to on YouTube?

I encourage you to repent; to change your mind about what you think beauty is, and begin to agree with God on what He KNOWS it truly is. Again, part of beauty was defined through Christ’s apostle, Peter: a gentle and quiet [or meek] spirit. This isn’t so much about personality traits, it’s actually about character traits, especially in regards toward God:

“Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the Old Testament, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time.”-Bible Study Tools

I believe there is always something physically beautiful about us women, whether it be our eyes, our hair, eyelashes, curves, or other parts of our unique, feminine appearance, but even greater than that, we women have the potential to be truly pleasing and beautiful in the sight of God. And really, what man’s opinion is greater?

Pray: Heavenly Father, help me understand what beauty is in Your perfect eyes, and help me see myself and other’s in that light. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Stay tuned for a YouTube video on this topic and a more in-depth podcast

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Here’s what to do if your boyfriend is hurting you.

Sister, you’re sad, you’re hurting, you’re upset, you are more angry than you are happy.

“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sins have brought you down.-Hosea 14:1

You blame your boyfriend, but who is deciding to be in a relationship with him? Who is choosing to stay with him? Your free will and choice to remain where you’re at–your sins–have brought you down. (I love you, that’s why I’m so real! So hang tight, sisters and know this is tough-love speaking, not angry judgement.)

So what should I do, Natasha? I’m glad you asked, princess:

Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord. Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises.-Hosea 14:2

This is a simple two-step process to SERIOUS restoration, deliverance, and supernatural empowerment!

1.) Bring your confessions to God.

Sister, God already KNOWS all about your sinful relationship, but there are several reasons why He wants you to confess it to Him. For one, it places you in a position to receive closeness and intimacy with God. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He draws near to those who draw near to Him. And even in all your sin, with all the dirt covering you, He tells you to come close to Him so He can wash you clean. Think about that. God isn’t trying to expose your nakedness to anyone (but if you keep hiding from Him, after a while, He will expose you. Why would He do that? Because tough love is better than no love, and if it takes big consequences or firm punishment to get you to stop sinning i.e. destroying yourself, He will do what is necessary. But that’s why me–AND GOD–plead with you NOT to push Him to that point. He’d MUCH rather clean you up behind closed doors rather than have you stripped naked for all to see and come to Him completely broken in shame).

God is VERY patient, but like I said, there comes a time where that patience turns to punishment. Do you wanna be like those protestors who start pushing against the authorities, who at first just try and push them back with those clear shields, but after a while, the authority has the right to start swinging his knight stick. Don’t force God to knock you out, to lay you flat, to push you so hard you break because you won’t listen to Him otherwise. Bring your confession to Him instead and don’t wait another day.

2.) Return to the Lord.

Turn back to Him. That means you need to turn from your boyfriend who is standing in front of you, who is all you see right now, and walk away. And you’re not just walking away to nowhere, you’re leaving his selfish arms and walking back into the arms of TRUE Love Himself, Jesus Christ!

3.) Praise Him.

Once Jesus takes you back into His loving arms i.e. “graciously receives you” your natural response should be praise. You’ll finally have this joy that wells up inside of you and causes you to thank God. You will experience forgiveness, cleansing, and healing and this will be the full result of doing all three of these commands:

The Lord says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven. Israel will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon. Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees, as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon. My people will again live under my shade. They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon. “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”-Hosea 14:4-9

Natasha nugget: You’re in the arms of a man who hurts you more than he helps you because you have yet to run to and remain in the arms of the Perfect Man who holds you and heals you and never lets you go.