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.

Why I’ll Let a Man Open the Door For Me

It’s a sad day when a woman refuses to allow a man to open the door for her.

I enjoy being treated differently by men because I am different from them.

Holding the door open is an act of service, a nod of respect, and a show of honor. The woman who deems it offensive has insecurity issues: she’s insecure in her body, which happens to be female, so she recoils at a reminder of that fact, even a typically pleasant one. The man who is opening the door has no intentions of belittling her or bullying her; he considers it polite because it’s been an age-old gesture created to display just that: politeness. Why were men taught this? Because they were told that women should be recognized and honored for who they are.

A man opening the door for you is also saying, “Let me help you, not because you can’t yourself, but because I want the privilege of doing it for you.” Now God forbid a man helps a woman. I wonder how the feminist would act if she tried to help a man and he told her, “Don’t, I don’t need your help.” She’d cuss him out, toss a drink in his face or slam her hand across it.

A few decades ago, what our older—often wiser—generation deemed as polite, our younger—statistically more “mentally ill”—generation deems offensive and oppressive. “I am woman. Don’t dare open a door for me, that’s sexist and highly offensive. But you better cuss and talk dirty around me.”

It appears many women in my generation are blowing themselves up like balloons with this anti-man pride and racism, and it’s silly to say the least.

“She’s just like one of the guys.” Uh, no thanks. I’m not a man so I don’t want to be treated like one. (Click to Tweet)

Lost in the Pro-Choice Sea

Now let’s touch on abortion, lauded as the ultimate human right for a woman. “It’s my body! You men better not tell me what to do with it!”

Correction: it is not just your body; there’s a second body living within you that belongs to someone else.

Now how about that apartment you’re leasing or that house you got a loan from the bank for: Technically, that home isn’t yours, it’s the lessor’s or the bank’s. So if they decide you are an unwanted inconvenience, they should be able to enter “your” home with a metal clamp and tear off all of your limbs and then rip your head from your shoulders and throw your remains in the trash outside, or better yet, sell them and earn some profit. It should be their ultimate right and what if they began fighting passionately for it? Would you hope someone defends you, or would you agree and let them pursue the right to murder their tenants?

Ah women, we once prided ourselves in building up the very men who would work hard to make a living in order to support us and a family because we were worthy enough to sweat and labor for, and what we have to offer—children and a safe nurturing place to call home—were worth toiling for.

Now, we pride ourselves in lewdness and murdering the very children that we alone are special enough to create and sustain from within. Instead of building up that next generation, we want people to help pay for their annihilation.

That’s not what it inherently and naturally means to be a woman, for what thousands of years women innately knew about themselves and embraced. In fact, this new pride is completely opposing to what it means to be a woman.

I am a woman. I cannot change the fact that I was born into a body designed to create and sustain human life. I cannot deny the pain I felt when my body failed to produce that life and the fear that I would never be able to perform and enjoy that kind of miracle. I cannot help but help, to support, to encourage and teach those around me to fight for what’s right, both female and male. It’s engrained in my natural design and these roles I play are crucial. They are so infinitely important that no one would exist if my incredible female body didn’t do what it’s been doing for millenniums. It is because of this wonderful body that there is life on this earth.

So no, I will not deny who I am and fight to destroy my identity as a woman and destroy the next generation with it; to create less and less life. Ha, can you imagine if every woman decided to stop making children? Hello extinction.

Rather, I will enjoy when a man chooses to open the door for me because he sees me, he knows I’m different from him, and he honors my womanhood. I’ll smile at him and say, “Thank you.”


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Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Heaven?

Suicide has become a controversial topic. But after watching a film that promoted assisted suicide as a positive thing, I am reminded of the truth that the God of the Bible, that Jesus Christ, is a God of love and hope. And this isn’t a topic that should be side-stepped; this is people’s lives and souls.

I know it’s controversial for good reason: when someone kills himself, it’s a tragedy. It is heartbreaking and pitiable to think someone was so down and out that he couldn’t bear to go on. That is the epitome of tragic and it seems almost worse than if someone had murdered him or her. So I pray I come across gently because I cannot imagine the depth of pain someone feels when a loved one commits suicide. This I write for the sake of those still alive…

When a person ultimately decides to end his or her own life, that person is declaring that there is no hope and that he or she does not love himself. For:

“In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.”-Ephesians 5:28-30 NLT

To kill one’s own body is an act of self-murder, and ultimately, it is to hate one’s self. And the Bible says:

“Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.”-1 John 3:15 NLT

If someone professes to be a Christian, but then murders herself, eternal life, the Holy Spirit, salvation, sadly, did not reside within her heart. Confession of following Christ is one thing, but “fruit” or evidence of following Him is the definitive measure by which we can observe if someone genuinely has eternal life within them—or not.

The Bible warns in Romans 8:5-9:

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

Because of these verses and many others that command us to take charge of our minds, of our thought lives, I do not believe mental illness is a disease that is unfixable or something we cannot control. It is the result, the consequence, of not obeying the above Scriptures, which promise that being fleshly “minded” literally leads to death, but if we pursue being “spiritually minded” we will have life and peace–the opposite of suicide and depression.

There are certain sins that lead to eternal spiritual death or destruction. Then there are ones that don’t. Murder happens to be one of those sins that separates us from heaven and there’s only one other eternal place for the unrepentant murderer…hell. There’s no repenting from self-murder because you are no longer living and able to make the choice to trust in Christ and stop murdering…

It’s difficult to hear because we pity the victim of murder, but again, very tragically, the person who kills himself is not only the victim, but the perpetrator. Being the victim of one’s own act of suicide does not negate the fact that you also became your own murderer. And again, murder is a sin that leads to an eternity outside of heaven and in the eternal place of destruction. If you destroy yourself, even if at one time you were a confessing Christian, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says you are ultimately destroying God’s temple and there are devastating consequences for that:

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

Our body is God’s temple and it does not belong to us who profess to be Christians:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Killing yourself is also not glorifying to God, but rather, it is the opposite. The Bible is rife with verses about God being the source of our hope and joy, about Him having good plans for us and our future, and that He is the God of all comforts who strengthens the weak.

However, when we commit suicide, we are declaring that none of that is true. And here’s the thing: it IS true! If you do not know it as such, then you are believing lies (and all lies come from Satan), and you are not living in the truth, in the new abundant life Jesus promises to give to those who truly trust in Him:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”-John 10:10

This doesn’t mean someone who is depressed or suicidal is automatically disqualified. You can go through that dark valley of thoughts, but it’s the person who is eventually overcome by them, who no longer has the faith to keep standing in Christ, but throws in the towel or throws out their faith who is disqualified. That is why Jesus also warns us to endure until the end and to persevere. He declares that only those who “endure until the end” will be saved (Matthew 24:12-13).

I pray this opens your eyes to the sad truth that those who commit suicide may be freed from the torments of this life, but tragically, they have now transported themselves to a place of far worse, eternal torment because they did not know or believe the truth that would have set them free…

I pray if you are believing the lie that suicide is your way out of the pain of this life you will see that according to the Bible, according to Jesus, it is murder and is only a door to far greater torment in hell and there is no escaping that place after you’ve left this world.

As God pleaded with His people before:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days…”-Deuteronomy 30:19-20

And may you pray this prayer to God the Father in Jesus’ name:

How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.-Psalm 13:2-4

That this reality may be yours:

“You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”-2 Corinthians 4:5-18 NLT

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Are You Making A Significant Impact?

So twice this past week I got insomnia. The second was the worst because I literally didn’t sleep at all. I pulled an all-nighter, just awake in bed, and finally I just gave up and went to the living room.

I think I’ve been looking too much at likes on Instagram; checking my goodreads page for my book to see if I got any new reviews and if people are liking it; checking my blog, seeing if people are liking any of my posts; checking my Wattpad to see how many reads my stories are getting and if anyone has voted for it, etc., etc., etc. That sleepless morning, the thought hit me in prayer that I’m believing I’m not significant or being useful for God if I am not doing this online thing or my books etc.

My mind and heart need renewal because what would I do without the internet? What did the godly women of old do? Submitted to their husbands, loved them and their children, and took care of their household. Period. Seriously. Wow.

I’ve bought the lie that if I’m not doing all the other things then I’m not making an impact for the kingdom; that being a faithful wife and mother is not enough.

After praying about it, God reminded me of the passage we named Arrow after, a passage I had forgotten…

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”

Psalms 127:3-5 NKJV

Maybe that’s you: you believe that you must be this or that and do this or that to be significant and make an impact for the kingdom. But all you have to do is choose to love Jesus and others. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past, God removes your sins from you as far as the east is from the west. What matters now is what you choose to do today. That is why, “God’s tender mercies are new each morning.”

Every morning is another chance to walk in God’s will. And the beautiful thing is that it’s simple: Love. Choose to love.

And love takes sacrifice. Choose to deny yourself and love those around you. That is all God asks you to do. Love Him. And love others. He doesn’t ask or expect anything more than that; He doesn’t care about riches or how well you can speak or quote scripture. He only cares about if you are loving Him and others.

I don’t care how much you serve or what ministry you lead in. At the end of the day, if you just choose to love God by obeying His command to love others, firstly being your spouse and children if you have those, then God is pleased.

Loving Him and others is extremely significant to Him. In fact, it is the fulfillment of the whole law. Even if you didn’t know every rule God has ever given, if you love Him and others, the Scriptures say you’ve fulfilled the entire law.

I pray in Jesus’ name we come back to that simple truth. Yes, it can sound childlike and not super deep and mystical, but that’s just how God wanted it: He made His will so simple that yes, even a child can grasp it.

Love you.

-Natasha

Is Christianity the Most Beautiful Religion?

Christianity is soooo beautifully simple AND practical!

If one were to just read the book of Matthew or John to see what Jesus said and did, or read one of Paul’s letters to the early church, Colossians, or Philippians, you’d see how…different Christianity is from other religions which are huge on either mystical, elusive, and abstract concepts and thoughts, or food-chain, climb-the-ladder type exaltation of participants, or severe bodily rejection and repetitious, ritualistic behaviors.

But not Biblical Christianity. Not the Christianity you find when you read the New Testament. The admonition and commands on how we ought to love one another and what that looks like practically are just so easy to grasp and refreshing and totally sensical and observable.

Indeed, it’s not like, dare I say, reincarnation, a mystical, never before observed idea. Even Christianity’s claims of resurrection from the dead has been observed time and again throughout history with people praying in Jesus’ name for life to return to someone who died and then it does.

So all this to say, I love the whole of Christianity, of what its Founder, Jesus, teaches. If there is anything more beautiful, more good for mankind, please, show me. It is for such teachings as these that I am totally unashamed to say I follow Jesus and His ways as recorded in the Bible:

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” –‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:12-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Don’t worry about what people may think if you proclaim to be a Christian. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Our God is so good and wonderful. Get to know Him better so your confidence in that fact can be assured and you can more boldly share His love unabashedly with others. At the end of the day, it isn’t about whether or not someone likes you, it’s whether or not you loved Jesus and that person despite.

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