I No Longer Believe in “The One” Here’s Why…

I used to believe if you were called to marriage, God had someone specifically hand-picked just for you. But over time, I started questioning that belief. Today, it’s really official: I no longer believe there is one specific spouse that God “created for you.” I know this can be shocking to some, but hear me out…

Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:39 advises younger widows to remarry, saying:

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”

If that’s not plain enough, Paul is saying she can marry ANY Christian brother she desires.

This verse made me remember that God has given us free will and that love is a choice! It is not something we have no control over, like some spell that’s cast upon us that we cannot break away from and must love only one specific person in this life. Do you know Jeremy Camp’s story? His first wife died of cancer not long after marriage and after grieving his loss, he eventually found himself another wife whom he now has children with.

The truth is, if the person is a brother in Christ, and you both love each other and desire each other, you won’t have to later worry, “Oh no, what if this wasn’t that one person God designed just for me? What if this person isn’t my ‘soul mate.'” Soul mates are a worldly idea. And a dangerous one if you think about it. Because that means if down the road, you aren’t happy with your spouse, you can say, “My husband must not be my soul mate. I need to move on and find my true soul mate so I can be truly happy.” I wonder how many spouses commit adultery and deceive themselves with the idea that it’s okay because their fellow adulterer is actually just their true soul mate.

Jesus told His followers, “You didn’t choose me, I chose you.” God doesn’t just love one person, He loves us all, and died for us all. But only those who ACCEPT that love are considered His “bride.” If you believed in soul mates, a brother can convince you you’re his soul mate, even if you don’t really desire to marry him. Then, when you get married, you can have doubts and wonder or even get angry at God like, “But God! I thought this was the man you had for me!”

Peter, led by the Spirit of God, in speaking to the Church, commanded:

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart…”-1 Peter 1:22

He isn’t speaking to just husbands and wives, but he is telling all the believers to love each other fervently. If there’s a brother in Christ you love and respect and admire, and if he feels the same about you, then it’s okay to pursue marriage. HOWEVER, I will caution you to always practice wisdom before marrying someone. There’s two things you can do to have confidence in your decision of choosing a spouse.

First, find out if this brother is really a brother in Christ.

And how can you discover that? By listening to your Heavenly Father’s voice and comparing His Word on what a true child of His looks like, to that potential husband. Firstly, is he an open Christian? Does he openly confess to anyone that Jesus Christ is his Lord?

Second, does he portray fruits of the flesh, or fruits of the Holy Spirit:

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”-Galatians 5:19-24

Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” Be honest in your comparison. Leave a little room for grace, since we’re not all that mature yet, and some have been more sanctified than others by walking longer with Jesus and having solid discipleship. BUT if the brother is JUSTIFYING any fleshly behaviors rather than actively trying to crucify them, and showing that he is growing, then you should back away.

Next, ask your Heavenly Dad if He gives His blessing.

Many of us know the tradition of a man having to ask a woman’s father for permission to marry his daughter. If a brother has made his intentions clear and is pursuing you, bring that to prayer and ask God what He thinks of this child of His. Would you be good together? Or does your Father have someone else in mind for you?

See, it’s two-fold. God knows you and that brother better than either of you know the other, or yourselves. Therefore, I believe God can foresee and knows if you two would be good for each other, or if there’s a better “match” for you. So know that if you go to God about one of His sons who is pursuing you, and God tells you “no,” you can trust that He knows best and has reasons why He prefers you don’t marry the brother. But if God gives you a clear “yes” then go for it! Don’t be afraid if God has given you His blessing. Just make sure you diligently seek Him and are sure He blessed it, rather than you just running forward because you really want to.

Third, don’t be deceived by the lust of the eyes.

Just because someone looks good, doesn’t mean he is good. And just because someone doesn’t look that good, doesn’t mean you won’t deem him amazing down the road. Yes, I’m advocating that you give the lesser attractive brother a chance. If there’s a brother in Christ who really loves the Lord in action, it’s not just lip service, and he brings you joy and you admire his relationship with the Lord, and he really wants you to give him a chance, then give him one! If after a few outings and spending time together serving, you don’t find yourself starting to desire him, then IT’S OKAY to let him know you still just want to remain friends. You’re NOT leading him on if you let him know off the bat that he can try to win your heart, but you’re NOT making ANY promises.

This may sound weird, but sisters, this is how most men operate. They are natural-born fighters and you better believe if a man really wants a woman to be his wife, he WILL fight the battle of winning her heart. If his strength is in the Lord, if he loses that battle, he will get back up again and find someone else. That’s not your business or burden. But if you give him a chance, you might be surprised just how much you end up loving and desiring him to be the man you not only spend the rest of your life with, but raise up godly children with. Because remember, whoever you allow to have you as a wife, he will someday be the father of your children. Is he worthy? Will he truly raise them up in a way that’ll please God?

So don’t let the excuse of waiting for your soul mate hold you back. If no guy is pursuing, well, that’s on them, and it COULD partly be on you. Go to your Perfect Daddy in Heaven and ask Him why no one is pursuing you. Ask Him to please show you and reveal to you clearly what is going on. Trust your Daddy. He loves His daughter and may know you aren’t ready. Maybe there’s a few things He wants to work on first. I believe God will give you your hearts desire if you wish to marry a godly brother. Just keep praying AND listening to your Daddy. His timing and will are PERFECT!

Much love!

Single Christian Woman: Where’s all the eligible brothers?

Christian lady, ever feel like there’s so many fellow eligible sisters out there, but not quite as many eligible brothers? I have a theory: Christian men (and men in general), are getting increasingly intimidated by us women. As feminism rubs off on us gals who confess Christ as Lord, we simultaneously repel brothers. They may darn well be attracted to us, but they’ll keep commitment out of mind and out of heart because at the end of the day, God made the man (Adam) with a desire to be supported–not competed with. 

So if you’re serious about getting married someday and raising a family, do a mirror check: How am I coming across to my brothers in Christ? Am I intimidating? Do I challenge them with my attitude and words? Do I question or laugh at their insight and discernment? Do I quickly dismiss things they say right to their face, without fully listening and prayerfully considering them first? Am I very judgmental when it comes to them? Am I feisty? Do I speak respectfully, or freely without any reserve or thought to my words? And the most dreaded of all, am I being disrespectful?

If reflecting on whether or not you’re being disrespectful to a brother already has you balking, you’re likely not being pursed or view as “marriage material.” “Submission” and “respect” from women toward men is increasingly taboo and disgraceful among those outside of the Church, but within her, it is rare, beautiful, and attractive. If you disagree just look at these feminists: how many of them are married? And then again, look at the Church, how many of us young women are married? 

Is it all of our faults, no, of course not. But we’d be wise to own our faults and seek to overcome them by the power of the Holy Spirit–especially if we want to get married someday, and most importantly, if we want to please God, who calls His children to be respectful and to honor all.

“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.”-Proverbs 11:22

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”-1 Peter 3:3-4

Single Ladies: Why You Don’t Need a Man

Single sisters:
What if Jesus spoke to you and said, “Daughter, you are free to marry a son of mine, but My plan for you is to be single so you can serve Me without distraction, and if you take up this cross, I will be able to use you more in bringing many to Myself.” What would you choose?

Sometimes, we believe the lie that we NEED a husband. As daughters of God, we don’t NEED anyone, but Him.

The woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well thought they needed validation and affection from a man, but after their encounter with the Perfect God-Man, Jesus, they focused on following Him. Many of the women who followed Jesus appeared to be single, including Mary Magdalene. Did she marry after His death? I don’t know. But given the testimony about her, and her witness in Scripture, I won’t be surprised if she never did marry. Yet, she is forever recorded in history as a faithful follower of Jesus who loved Him and was worthy to be remembered throughout all of the ages.

Now some may be thinking, “Easy for you to say, you’re happily married!” But I know it’s possible, because I know a modern-day Mary, my sister, Natalia. She has been divorced for almost seven years, and has been single and celibate for five years. I mean, she has not dated ANYONE in five years. And so you know, the picture of the woman for this blog post is her. She is beautiful, inside and out, and would be an incredible wife to any godly man, but she is content. She has moments of desiring a husband, but they’re just moments. It isn’t something she thinks about or prays about all the time. And did I mention she’s thirty-two?

What is my sister’s greatest desire? To serve God. She wants to use her gifts for Him, for her Heavenly Husband. And she is content with that because she has experienced Him as intimately as I experience and know my own husband. Jesus’ perfect love has touched and transformed her and continues to. She is content with Him because she knows He is enough. How about you?

You can be an Esther, but can you also be content with being a Mary Magdalene?

What Single Sisters Should Learn From Ruth Part 2

You can read part one of this study here.

In further studying the book of Ruth, something astounding about her going after Boaz for a husband was revealed:
7.) Ruth didn’t marry Boaz just for her own happiness and well-being, but for others’ as well.

Ruth didn’t marry Boaz for a selfish reason. She didn’t marry him just because he made her happy. Ruth knew Boaz would be a major blessing for her mother-in-law, Naomi, as well, since he was one of her relatives, aka a family redeemer, someone who could buy back the land Naomi had lost.

Ruth was a treasure, a prime catch; she was beautiful both inside and out, yet she chose to marry a significantly older man rather than going after younger, “hotter” men. Had she chose to do the latter, her mother-in-law would’ve been abandoned to live in poverty with none to care for her.

Ruth wasn’t thinking about herself alone in her decision to marry Boaz, but instead, knew her marriage to him would be a ministry and blessing to someone else.

Too often we enter into engagement and marriage solely because the person makes us happy. We aren’t thinking about how our marriage can bless others and be a ministry. Happiness is certainly a by-product of a godly marriage, but it shouldn’t be the sole motivating factor as to why we do it. God is much bigger and much more generous than that. Which leads to the final lesson I want to share with you ladies:

8.) Ruth and Boaz’s marriage pointed people to God.

And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “ We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman.” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”-Ruth‬ ‭4:11-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Both the noble men of the city and the women saw God in Ruth and Boaz’s relationship and were very encouraged by it. They knew the union of this godly couple was special. And indeed, their marriage bore the grandfather of King David and from their lineage, Jesus the Messiah came forth.
Their union was a blessing, a ministry, and a beacon of Christ’s light to not only their community, but to the many generations that would follow.

For us Christians, it is the same. The weight of the legacy we leave behind will be according to our doing. We reap what we sow. If our marriage was ultimately about advancing the gospel and enlarging Christ’s kingdom, the legacy we leave will be great and will effect even the generations after us.

I don’t know about you, but I want my marriage to be a powerful force that echoes on long after I’m gone and resounds into eternity where I will see and meet the lives that are in heaven because of it. And I pray the same becomes true for you.
With love,
Natasha

Letter To My Hero Husband

Jonathan Derek Sapienza, strong, beautiful weapon of righteousness. You remind me of Phoenix from Bryan Davis’s Reapers novels, with your devotion to godly principles, but of course, you are better because you’re also a son of God.
I want you to know I truly mean every word I’m writing. You really do weather me, you keep me balanced, you always hold me back from jumping off a cliff. You are truly my pillar, a strong foundation upon which I stand, and when I’m running in the wrong direction, you capture me and pull me back to safety.

I am speaking about one of your greatest gifts: discernment and wisdom. Proverbs says much about wisdom: it protects, it guides, it opens doors, it brings favor, and most importantly, it is the chief of all principles. After love, everything flows from wisdom. “The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” You certainly have the fear of the Lord, and I am an eyewitness of your ever-expanding wisdom.

This wisdom has grounded me, has kept me so many times from making foolish decisions and hurting myself. After being married to you, and experiencing just how much your godly wisdom and discernment has protected me, I see now that Adam’s wisdom and discernment was given to Him by God to protect Eve. Like all women, her emotions drove her. Her emotions, though a beautiful gift, were also her greatest vulnerability, and they began dragging her toward an extremely dangerous situation. This was when her husband was supposed to be her hero and rescue her. He had the wisdom and discernment to know that what was happening between her and satan was wrong, but he did not intervene.

I am so blessed, Jonathan, so grateful to be able to say that you, my precious husband, have always intervened. There were times in my stubbornness and passion that I did not listen and submit to your loving wisdom, and I suffered the consequences. But you, my faithful companion and hero, have always been there to lift me in your arms, carry me home, and nurse my wounds. You never shame me or scorn me for my foolishness and stubbornness. You are tender and graceful toward me and I absolutely treasure you, dear prince.

Though I’ve gotten wiser from more time with our Lord and from watching your example, there are still moments that I fail to submit to your caring guidance, but since Christ continues to flourish in your godly heart, you have only become more graceful and patient with me. This beautiful reflection of our kind Savior and Lord leaves me breathless.

I recall pastor John reading Ephesians to us as we stood at the altar:

““Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:25-29‬)

O, precious beloved of mine, in our marriage, you have never—ever—asked me or enticed me to sin. You ensure what we watch is not sexually enticing or perverse or wicked; you gently help guard my heart, my mind, my eyes and my ears, as you likewise do for yourself. I watch you; your pure heart is clearly displayed in your loving actions. Christ’s purity in you is clearly manifested, shining off you, son of God.

If I could choose to go back in time and marry any of the godly men I know now, I would always choose you. You are a man after God’s own heart; a man of strong morale, granite character, and gentle strength. You are not a forceful wind, you are a gentle, guiding and refreshing breeze. You are a warrior prince with the breastplate of righteousness, a soldier who carries the sword, but is careful, patient, and wise in how and when you wield it. I am a warrior princess who practically never has her sword sheathed, and often swings too soon. You gently place your hand upon mine and lower my sword. You guide it back to the sheath and gently train my hands for God’s war of rescuing souls from our enemy’s clutches.

Too often, I allow the busyness of life to consume me, and I do not ponder and meditate on the amazingly wonderful gift I have been given. As so many words poured forth from my heart, I was taken aback by just how blessed I am.

My leader, my knight, may God so bless me and Arrow with many more years under the shelter of your loving guidance. I love you with all of my heart.

Wife Confessions: Subtle Revenge

In marriage, you don’t always get what you want. Can you believe it? I happened to experience this two days ago.

I really wanted something, and Sir Jonathan was planning on giving it to me, but preventable things got in the way.

This upset me.

I felt like I wasn’t being prioritized. I didn’t consider it at the time, but I was being selfish.

I shared my heart with my sweet hubby, he apologized, and I felt better. Besides, eventually I’d get what I wanted.

The following day, Jonathan wanted something now. But just as my desire had to wait, I was quick to put his on hold, and although my excuse was an honest and even honorable one, the way I said it had the slightest flair of revenge, and I felt a twinge of satisfaction from it.

It didn’t take long for the Holy Spirit to convict me. Again, I was being selfish. I confessed to Jonathan the hint of revenge, to which he—as usual—gracefully and immediately forgave me.

But the Spirit was still working. I offered hubby what he wanted, but then brought up my desire as well. To my dismay, something else threatened to get in the way—again!

Then the thought hit me: this must be a test from God.

What I desired wasn’t anything evil. In fact, it was according to God’s will, something He desires. But how would I react to not getting what I wanted when I wanted it? I decided I would give Jonathan what he wanted, whether or not I got what I wanted.

And guess what happened? The thing that was threatening to put off my desire, didn’t happen. And hubby and I both got what we wanted.

Finances, children, disagreements; these aren’t what cause divorce. Sin does. It’s when we let our selfishness control us, rather than the Holy Spirit, that we destroy our marriage. Nothing else is to blame.

But when simply obey Him we call Master, denying ourselves and putting others’ needs before our own, God is pleased and we are blessed.

As always, God proved His word is true.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭17-21‬ NKJV)

For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. (‭Psalms‬ ‭5‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

Single Sister: If You Want To Get Married Someday, Read This First

Being a married woman has never been more draining.

I only have one five-week old; I can’t imagine having twins or a newborn and a toddler. But boy, is this child giving me a greater understanding of God’s will and goodness.

Babies are needy! Really needy; all the nursing (growth-spurts make baby even more insanely demanding), burping, diaper changing, face-to-face time, tummy time, and holding, not to mention bathing and nail-clipping. Then you can’t forget about your primary human relationship: your marriage; cooking, talking, dating, being intimate. And what about the house? You’ve gotta take care of that too. And I don’t know about you, but in our home, it’s way too easy for the dishes to pile up, and the dining table to get cluttered, and our bedroom to become messy. Pre-baby, it was easy to keep up. Post-baby, it takes hours to finally finish the dishes unless hubby tackles them. I have to do them in intervals because our son, Arrow, will need nursing or changing or holding.

Oh, and there’s another thing that needs tending: you! You have to bathe, brush your teeth, and do your hair some time!

And most importantly, you have to spend time with God and do whatever He’s called you to do—and maintain fellowship with the Church.

Being a wife and mother is no walk in the park. And contrary to popular belief, you come last. But that goes for any Christ follower:

And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭44-45‬ NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭3-4‬)

Still wanna get married and have babies, sis?

Don’t misunderstand, I’m very content with God’s call on my life. I love my husband and our son, but I was content beforehand too. And I know marriage isn’t about me; it’s about glorifying God first, helping my husband second, and lastly, enjoying the fruit of my union.

Too many single sisters buy the worldly lie that marriage is about you; making yourself happy and gratifying your desires for attention and affection. Many of these women come to hate their marriage because it wasn’t what they expected.

God isn’t shallow or selfish, so He expects His children not to be either. He will test your heart as a wife and mother. Because as a single sister, you aren’t in a 24/7 servant-relationship. You have the freedom to choose who to serve, on your own time, and usually with the help of the church. But in a marriage, you’re on your own. The church can encourage and teach you, but they cannot step in and be a wife and mother for you. No one’s allowed to sleep with your husband but you, and you are responsible for raising your kids in the way they should go. That’s at least two more souls you have to serve 24/7 whether you’d like to or not.

Being a wife and mother takes sacrifice to a new level. Your mind and heart have to toss out the Hollywood romance lies and be ready to embrace the truth of bearing the weight of marriage and motherhood.

Single sisters only see the joy. They don’t see the struggle, or feel the back pain and weariness, or the emotional toil. When you’re one with someone, you’ve got double the struggles because their battles are now yours too. You’ve got double the responsibility because their calling is now yours to support. And then you have double the physical strain because you must sustain another human’s life and teach them how to do it. And how about if your husband or child falls? There is no human on earth you’ll ever love more than your husband and your children so imagine the emotional battles you’ll have to endure if either of them struggle for a time or sin against you?

This is not meant to discourage you, but to exhort you to wake up from whatever fantasy you’ve painted marriage and motherhood to be and instead be sober-minded in how much it costs to take on those roles.

Still want to get married?