Stop. Just Stahppppp…

“A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, But a perverse tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit” -Proverbs 15:4 (AMP).

Truth: I am a hope-full romantic. I don’t admit this to anyone so the fact I am confessing this publicly indicates “I mean business”. So it would be of no surprise why every time I see a healthy prosperous marriage, I compliment the wife about how encouraging it is to see a marriage centered in Christ. And you know the response I always get, “Thank you. It’s hard work.” Other times, people respond with, “Thank you, it’s not easy it takes effort.” I get it, I do. Or at least I think I do..from a single lady perspective, you don’t want others to get a misconception of “marriage”. I understand you want to make it known that “marriage” is a lifetime commitment, a vow between a man and wife before God. It’s a serious matter, not something to jump into or take lightly, but people stop calling it “hard work”.

Please.

There is approximately 171,478 words currently in use in the dictionary, surely there is a word more suitable to still express the seriousness of marriage without labeling it as “hard work”. Now before all my married friends, start deleting me, hear me out. Let me explain why I get so discouraged and at times passionately upset about hearing “hard work” as a means to describe marriage.

First, I am single. I am not just single but a lady who is a hope-full romantic and dreams of her wedding day. Dreams of the day I will just know that it is “him” who’m I have been patiently waiting for. So yes, this may be interpreted as an askew viewpoint, but again hear me out. Second, I believe in the power that, words hold the great power of bringing life or death. For this reason I chose the epithet above, but more on that later. Third, Scripture states in Ephesians 5: 25-27:

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”. 

The chapter, continues to describe marriage and the functioning role of a husband and wife, but my point is this: where did Scripture label marriage as “hard work”? It didn’t. The verses speak about love and care, and alludes to sacrifice (sure ‘Hard work” can be read between the lines) but do we call our relationship with Christ as hard work? When someone says, “I admire your faith. Or your faith is strong”. Do we respond with, “thank you it’s hard work.”?

-No

We don’t hear our pastors speaking those words over living a Christian day to day life. And as a Christian I can attest that it not always easy to “turn the other cheek”, to not speak before it’s time, etc, yet I don’t call my relationship with Christ as “hard work”. Why do you think that is?

I think the answer lies within the epithet above: Proverbs 15:4. We understand the power of the tongue, and know that speaking “hard work” over our Christian life has the power to discourage, overwhelm, and depress our walk of faith. So, if we deter from speaking that over our faith, why speak it over something as pure and powerful as marriage? If marriage is not about happiness, but about holiness. If marriage is about having a lifetime equal partner to fulfill God’s mission on this earth (Gen 2 & 3; Matt 28:16-20) then why speak “hard work” over one’s marriage? I believe that by speaking that phrase one is setting themselves up for difficulty and disagreements. I refuse to believe in the “seven year itch” and all of those myths about marriage. Even if they are true and one day I  walk through them, I will not accept it. My God is bigger than statistics. He is bigger than past experiences, and I am believing against those things and believing that my husband will share those views with me. The belief that our words are powerful, and the tongue holds the power of bringing life or death, strength or weakness, belief or doubt, peace or unrest, love or strongly dislikes.

These are my views, and for some time have been wanting to write this but was always afraid of the outcome. I feared social media and the possible negative responses this post would bring. I feared what will others think of me? What if they don’t like me anymore? But after many months of going “back and forth” on this post, I decided no, I need to say something. It really does upset me beyond discouragement when I hear that phrase. It shouldn’t but it does. I mean when you look at it from another point, “hard work” does hold the connotation of pride, reward, fulfillment, accomplishment, effort, perseverance, endurance, and commitment. But from a millennial perspective,  “hard work” is not something that pop culture embraces and inspires goal setting, instead it’s discouraging at least to the masses.

So perhaps we can come up with a better term, one that still encompasses seriousness, commitment, passion, perseverance, reward,  accomplishment, and life?

I propose, “adventure”. You know you are in it for the long run, but surprises await you just around the corner. There is uncertainty but a mutual goal is what keeps you going. You prepare for the most part, and are willing to sort out the unknowns together. At least that’s my definition.

Thank you for visiting, reading, and being patient with this hope-full romantic. I truly appreciate you for taking the time with this post. I hope you come back, and that you are not too upset with me for my boldness this time. I like to think of this post as a freshly brewed dark roast cup of coffee. It’s bitter tasting but the strength is definitely evident in the taste, yet dark black coffee isn’t for everyone.

I pray blessings over your week,

S

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Cry Out To Me 

“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”–Matt 11:28. 

“Cry out to me. Cry out to me…Just cry out to me”. Four simple words that whispered or shouted hold the great power of changing you. Let’s be honest with each other, every person wants to hear these words in their most terrible of days. We hopefully wait for someone who will be “that person” and give us a chance to vent about our day or life. I am a culprit of this one too many times, usually happens over coffee or chocolate cake (sometimes pie) and I am a waterfall of emotions. Sadly, we don’t always make the wisest of choices when doing so. I have agonized and at times felt ashamed about the location, time, person, and words that I wish I could take back. I have to face the reality and accept my mistakes for what they are and just hope to gain more wisdom for my next “venting-sesh”. But sometimes too much is going in in your life that you feel trapped. You are afraid of losing friends because they are always the ones you turn to. You are afraid of where to go because of who might be listening. You are afraid of the words that may come out of your mouth because of your emotions. Sometimes, you are even afraid of the response on the other side after sharing your thoughts. Sometimes you even fear your  thoughts. So you feel trapped, asphyxiated, so you remain silent thinking this is the best choice. 

Well dear friend, remaining silent is not your best choice, sometimes it turns out to be the worst. Now you may be wondering, “Okay, dear coffee-lover lady so then what? Where do I go if I don’t feel safe? If I am afraid?”. My answer dear friend lies in the epithet above, your best confidant and friend is God. You can run to Him. In fact He wants you to come to Him, and in Him lies the perfect One to go vent and release all the stress of your day or season. He will be there for you. He will listen to you. He will not judge you. He will comfort you. He will love you, regardless of what you may be facing, He will love you unconditionally and He will help you. 

Earlier I wrote “Cry out to Me. Cry out to Me…Just cry out to Me”. This phrase is what had been echoing in my head since yesterday morning. Now you may have chosen to read it in a smooth gentle whispered voice, or perhaps just a calm sincere tone of voice. Do you know how it came to me? It came to me as a shout, “Cry out to Me! Cry Out To Me…Just CRY OUT TO ME!”. I have come to a place in this season of my life, where I am learning to keep silent. I am learning to choose my words with great care and wisdom so that I don’t harm others. So I thought with everything that is going on, not talking about it and just running it off or driving it off would suffice. I would be fine. I would be okay. No need to drag others down into this mess. 

I was wrong. 

Running and driving did help but only to let the emotions pass–the rest remained. The thoughts remained. In fact they started to build up. I pretty much ran out of space in my mind for them, but I kept collecting them. That was the problem, I kept them. I never released them, they just stayed there, growing by the minute, like weeds growing in a garden when left unattended. 

Weeds…

No wonder I felt God shouting at me to “Cry out to Him” as I was watering the roses just the other day. He wasn’t yelling at me out of anger but out of love. He knew that if I kept in my ways, I was headed for one massive collision where the damage could seem irreparable. (It wouldn’t because He is God, but it would feel like that for some time). He was begging me to come to Him. He was reminding me that I can come to Him, that I am not alone. And neither are you, dear one. He cares for you in ways that your mind cannot even fathom. He loves you at your darkest, He loves you at your best. His love for you grows with every second of every day. I am sharing this with you because I  care about you too. I don’t know you. We probably have never met but maybe one day we will in Heaven. I don’t know you or your life, but I do know God and I am beginning to understand more of His unending Psalm 139 love. If He has that for me, I know and believe He has it for you too. I am sharing this so that you don’t make my mistakes, so that you don’t have to feel the agony I’ve felt recently. No one deserves to be alone, or feel alone, no one. That is a lie. You are not alone. He is with you, always. 
Go to Him. Cry out to Him. He is listening. Jeremiah 29:12 states,”Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you”. See? He will listen. Do not let the weeds continue to grow and fester. Do not let the weeds destroy the beautiful garden that is your life. Take action. Cry out to Him and He will pull them up one by one by the root. He will remove them out of your life. He is doing that for me, I believe He will do it for you too. Psalm 119:169 states, “Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word”. He will grant you understanding, He will grant you peace. 

He is the perfect One to go talk about your struggles, your anxieties, your fears, your doubts, even your good news! He is with you when you are on the ground, and He is with you when you are up dancing for joy. It took me a while to realize this, I hope and pray that this post will change that for you. 

As always you are cherished and loved more than you will ever know. Thank you for reading. I hope your heart found the comfort, peace, and love it was seeking throughout this post. 

Remember the beautiful garden that is your life  

 
–S