Tag Archives: christian living

Congratulations Michelle Williams and Pastor Chad Johnson

19 Apr

Congrats are in order for Destiny’s Child Michelle Williams and former Youth Pastor and Professional Sports Chaplain, Pastor Chad Johnson! The couple formally announced that they are engaged to be married this summer. For those who have been with this blog family for a couple of years, you may remember, Terry Cato’s interview with Pastor Chad on his call to ministry, relationship status and career.

Pastor Chad is a friend of Relationships-411 and we wish both him and Mich

Credit: Austin and Nicole Barkis / Barkis and Co.

Michelle Williams and Chad Johnson Credit: Austin and Nicole Barkis / Barkis and Co.

elle nothing but love, happiness and success!

More:

Michelle Williams is Engaged! 

Michelle reveals why she waited to tell Beyonce and Kelly about her relationship

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Pastor Devon Franklin Defends Wife Meagan Good

21 Feb

“She will wear what she wants to wear, in the Name of Jesus.” That was Pastor Devon Franklin’s response to a womanwho questioned his wife, Meagan Good’s choice of clothes. The showdown took place at a recent Valentine’s Day event that the couple appeared at to promote their new book. It’s no secret that actress, Meagan Good’s choice of clothes at high profile events has raised some eyebrows in the past. I have watched the video clip that has gone viral and read many of the comments and have tried to maintain my silence on the hot topic.

IMG_6314However, as a woman of God who has strong convictions and believes that a Christian in the entertainment business has a unique plat form, I can no longer maintain my silence. First off, I do not agree with the woman’s approach and how she came at the actress regarding her choice in clothing; I do however feel like her comment was valid, her approach simply lacked tact. I applaud Pastor Franklin’s ferocity in defending his wife, but his response left much to be desired. The word of God says, “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP) As I watched the clip, this scripture immediately came to mind. In and of itself what a Christian chooses to wear has no bearing on whether or not they are saved. But has everything to do with their witness and credibility.

As Christians, we have the holy spirit residing inside of us. The role of the holy spirit is to be a helper, a comforter, it rebukes, and convicts us. In other words, once we become saved, the holy spirit awakens in us and we as Christians should be enlightened to the point where, we realize that perhaps many of our choices in life bears no witness as to whether or not we saved, but our choices definitely affect our witness and effectiveness as Christians. And I do believe that holy conviction is what brought Meagan to tears. Her response to the comment in summation was, “…if that’s how you feel, pray for me.”

Selah.

Full interview:

 

They Will Know Us by Our Love

25 Aug

Recently my Pastor taught a message on “The Dating Game: Love, Sex and Relationships [Navigating 21st Century Relationships with Truth, Grace, and Love].” The purpose of his message was to give practical tools that allow us, as Christians, to have a conversation about same-sex marriage. What he did next surprised me. He personally apologized to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community for the insensitive and hurtful nature of Christians in general towards them. I know that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ empathize with and support #GLBT but never has anyone that I am aware of publically apologized to their community for the insensitive and often condemning behavior of Christians; and this act of compassion on his part, I was extremely impressed with – taking the weight of insensitive and oftentimes ignorant #Christians on his shoulders during a time when most Pastors are either silently looking the other way or screaming condemnation.

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He then declared that our church will love and cherish those in the congregation who are struggling with their sexuality AND those who are living a full out life with a same-sex partner. To help the Church deal with the controversial and often heated topic of same-sex marriage and relationships, the Pastor gave us three practical tools to use when we are having a conversation: 1) be clear about our convictions while not condemning others or affirming sin, 2) listen to the stories of others with compassion and thoughtfulness, and 3) engage others with humility and a respect for boundaries. Some in the GLBT community feel as though, if a Christian does not agree with my lifestyle, then they have a problem with me personally. And this is definitely not true for all. I, personally do not have a problem with the GLBT community, however, in the same sentence I proclaim that I do not agree with their lifestyle or the notion of same-sex marriage. I believe God’s Word, the bible, and the bible is clear that He created Adam and Eve. [Genesis 2:18-23]. And that marriage is between a man and a woman. [Genesis 2:24]. God is a God of order, I do not believe that He makes mistakes. I also know that we live in a fallen world and the bible says that we are born into sin. [Psalm 51:5].

Bottom line, the recent ruling on same-sex marriages from the Supreme Court of the United States has brought to the forefront major issues and considerations that the modern church has to contend with. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. And as more churches find that they in fact have openly gay and transgender members attend their services – how will The Church minister to these individuals. Will they be shunned? Or Will they be loved?

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My Pastor summed up this message with our Church’s stance on and boundaries concerning same-sex marriage and gay individuals. The phrase that he concluded with which has resonated with me is this, “they will know us by our love. Love never stops, lover never quits.”

Church, what would Jesus do?

Additional Reading

One Pastor’s Position Statement on Same Sex Marriages

The Bible and Same Sex Relationships

A Theological Reflection on Marriage, Singleness, and Same-Sex Relationships 

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5 Books Every Single Woman Should Read

16 Jul

I love to read. Every since I can remember, I’ve always had a love of books and a love for reading. One of my favorite places has always been the public library – I’m a nerd, I know! During my season of singleness, I had a lot of time to read and spend time in the library and book stores. At one point, I committed my reading to focus on books about marriage and being a wife. I read many books, the following have a special place in my memory bank and I highly recommend them to single women who desire to be married.

 Book_ThePowerOfAPrayingWife  The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

This book is jam-packed full of advice on praying for specific areas of your husband’s life; areas such as: his work, his sexuality, his temptations, his mind, his fears, and his purpose. If you’re single, you may be wondering, “why am I praying for my husband? I don’t have one yet.” That’s the point, to pray for your husband before he manifest. This is putting faith into action, calling those things that be not as if they were.

  Book_MakingYourHusbandFeelLoved Making Your Husband Feel Loved Compiled by Betty Malz

This book is a collaboration between 20 Christian women who share their secrets for a fresh and exciting marriage. Some of the chapters include: “Little Things Mean a Lot,” “Respect Him,” “Having Fun Together,” and “Encourage Him”. A constant theme in this book is just as the title suggest, “make your husband feel loved”.

Book_LiberatedThroughSubmission   Liberated Through Submission by P.B. Wilson

When I was single, this book was one of my favorites. I’ve read it several times over the years. When you mention the “S” word to many single or married women, it is often met with negative backlash. However, this book opened my eyes to the fact that submission is not a sign of weakness, but of power. And submission is the key to a fulfilling marriage – submission to God’s Word first and foremost.

Book_KnightInShiningArmor   Knight in Shining Armor by P.B. Wilson

This one, another one of my favorites when I was single; I’ve read it several times as well. One of my cousins gave me this book and after reading it, I was compelled to take a vow of celibacy and began preparing myself for my future husband. This book started me on my journey to being a wife.

Cover1   No Longer a Bridesmaid! by Terry Cato

I have a special affection for this title since Yours Truly authored it. I was led to write No Longer a Bridesmaid! after attending a marriage enrichment class at my church. My Pastor’s wife, who knew my testimony of being single, celibate, and believing God for a husband for seven years prior to getting married asked me to share my testimony with the single ladies who were in attendance. On the drive home, the concept for the book was conceived.

There are many books out there both Christian and secular that gives wonderful advice to single ladies and men. When I was single, I don’t remember there being so many books devoted to singles – perhaps that shortage is what fueled the abundance of resources that is now on the market. The aforementioned books don’t begin to even scratch the surface of what is out there. I merely wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Happy reading!

Why Buy the Cow When You Get the Milk Free?!

17 Nov

A couple of months ago I was watching a reality show where one of the cast mates revealed that after being in a long term relationship for over 10 years that she and her companion finally married only to get a divorce and go their separate ways after 2 years of marriage. One of the friends asked, “why did they wait so long to get married.” I don’t remember how she responded, because at that point the thought that flooded my mind was something my grandmother told me years ago about men, “why buy the cow, when you get the milk FREE?” Meaning, why would a man marry you if he is getting what he wants from you without any type of marriage commitment. Wow! I didn’t fully understand what she was saying until I was much older and found myself in one of those on again, then off again type of relationships with a man who had major problems committing.

Unhappy couple-2

I would often hear statements like, “I know I want to be with you, I’m just not ready for marriage” or “what’s wrong with what we have, why rush into marriage?” Sounds familiar? I’m sure I wasn’t the only single female who heard lines like this from a commitment phobic man. At some point like me, you get fed up with all the empty lines and are faced with a major decision, 1) do I stay the course and see if this man will marry me? Or 2) do I cut my losses now and move on with my life? For me, I chose the latter.

Time is precious and we can never regain wasted years where we stayed in a relationship far longer than we should have. A man knows early on if he has long or short term plans for you – he just may not communicate his intentions to you. Don’t be somebody’s in-between time and in the mean-time girlfriend that they are simply passing time with. You may just find that you wasted precious years giving away your goods to a man who is all of a sudden READY to marry, just not to you.

Happy Couple-3

SPANKING IN THE NAME OF JESUS

2 Jul

During a recent episode of The View, one of their hot topic subjects was “Christian Domestic Discipline”. The panel discussed whether or not this practice was indeed discipline or domestic abuse. I for one was perplexed at what they were talking about since I had never heard of the term Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD).
man spanking wife

After further research, I’ve since learned that there is a small sect of Christians who promote domestic discipline – in real terms; they have given their spouse permission to spank them. This concept does not go both ways; the caveat is the husband as the head of the house has permission to spank his wife if she gets out of line or breaks a rule. The couples that promote this concept insist that this is not domestic abuse, but is done for Jesus. Critics of the practice assert that the supporters sound more like they are being sexually deviant and not correcting behavior. Primarily because of Christianity’s conservative and sometimes silent voice when it comes to a husband and wife’s sexual prowess and exploration in the bedroom. One forensic psychologist goes as far as saying that this behavior is not domestic discipline but an outlet for emotionally disturbed men with intimacy deficits.

I personally have an issue with this on a few levels: 1) this behavior is not advocated or supported in the bible; 2) the discipline is not reversed, no one is disciplining the man – it is up to him to self correct; 3) some of the women view themselves as property of the men; and 4) the man comes up with the “rules” that the wife is to adhere to or be punished. This entire arrangement is reminiscent of a parent/child relationship and not a husband/wife. The group that follows this practice use the scriptures that say the man is head of the household and wives should submit to their husband to support domestic discipline by asserting that the wife should obey the husband or face the consequences of not doing so. The word actually says to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). The scripture further states that wives should submit to their husbands as to the Lord; and that the husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). When quoting this scripture, many overlook the analogy that is given between Christ and his bride, the church and the dynamic of husband and wife. This analogy demonstrates the depth and breadth of love that a husband should have for his wife; a love so deep, wide, and pure that the wife radiates holiness because of her husband’s covering. The scripture further states that the man should love his wife as his own body (Ephesians 5:28). My question is this; would the man serve corporal punishment on himself when he does wrong? I think not! So why punish your wife in the form of a spanking or other forms of corporal punishment?

man spanking wife_2

What do you think about husband’s spanking their wives in the name of Jesus?

Married Ladies, “Are you a Help Meet?”

16 Sep

I’ve had the privilege of being a part of a wives’ bible study for the past several weeks. As preparation for our weekly bible study, we were required to read chapters in Debi Pearl’s “Created to Be His Help Meet.”

Mrs. Pearl is not without controversy. Her books and her and her husband’s teachings are highly controversial. Her book reviews reveal that most women do not agree with everything Mrs. Pearl says or advises regarding a woman’s place in the marriage, but do feel that her theology is sound.

During my reading a few of weeks ago, I was intrigued by a position Mrs. Pearl stands firmly behind – the assertion that You [the wife] serve Christ by serving your husband, whether your husband deserves it or not. She further states that wives need to take God at his word and become a help meet for his sake, knowing that they are fulfilling their mission on earth.

The assertion that a woman is fulfilling her mission on earth by serving her husband was the line that I had to reread a couple of times. I actually had to pause and stop reading for a minute thinking that by me being a help meet to my husband, I am actually fulfilling my MISSION on earth. At this point, all sorts of thoughts are running through my mind, I’m thinking, “Lord I respect my position as a wife and want to fully understand what it means to be a help meet, but is that ALL you placed me here on earth to do; to simply be a help meet to my husband? And, if I’m not doing a good job being a help meet, am I somehow disappointing you? Am I not, living out my God given purpose if I’m not serving my husband?” I was quite perplexed at Mrs. Pearl’s assertion.

The many questions I had prompted me to further study what the scripture says about woman and her purpose from the very beginning. In Genesis 2:18, the bible says, “and the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” In the scriptures that follow in verse 19, God creates every beast of the field and every fowl of the air and Adam names them; then in verse 20, Adam continues to name the living creatures, but there was no help meet for him. In verse 21, God causes a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and as he slept, God took one of Adam’s ribs and in verse 22 made woman from the rib he had taken from Adam. God brings the woman to Adam and in verse 23 Adam recognizes the woman as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. Not only was the woman a suitable help meet for Adam – she was of the same species as Adam. Prior to the creation of woman, Adam had shared the garden with animals.

Based on the previously cited scripture, the Word clearly says that the Lord God realized it was not good for man to be alone, so he created a help meet for him – God created a woman for the man.

After further study of the creation of woman and God’s original intent for woman, not only did my original questions remain, I had additional questions like what about single ladies? Being that they are not married, what is their purpose? After praying for revelation and a clearer understanding of God’s word so that I may apply and live the Word, my conclusion is this, we live in a fallen imperfect world. Our priorities and motives are not always aligned with God’s perfect will for our lives. If we lived in a perfect world the order of God is this, a man who is submitted to God marries a woman where her priority and total submission is to her husband, the husband separates himself from his family and becomes one person in Christ with his wife.

What are your thoughts?

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