Preparing For Marriage.
Does your heart long to marry? Do you sometimes look at your friends who have wedded and wonder, when will it be my turn?
If you’ve been waiting a long time for the one to show up, it can be easy to grow discouraged, or even be tempted to settle on someone who’s less than the one you had hoped for.
Rather than making a list of what you hope your spouse will be like, how about you make a chart of what would make you the spouse of someone else’s dreams?
While it’s not wrong to day dream about the character qualities of your perfect mate, don’t spend so much time with your head in the clouds that you miss the opportunity to let the Lord mold you in you Christ-like qualities that will help you be a better mate.
With this goal in mind, let’s visit a few of the things you can do while preparing yourself for marriage – even before you are dating.
Learn To Love Selfless
To prepare yourself to be a wonderful spouse you must learn how to love others with Christ’s selfless love. The longer a person remains single, the easier it is for them to settle in their own self-focused ways––which can cause a lifetime of conflict in marriage.
Jesus said the priority of life is to love God with all of your being. And the second most important commandment is to love others as we love ourselves (see Mark 12:30-31). The secret to becoming a spouse who loves well lies in learning to love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength.
But don’t wait until you’re married to grow your love for God. When your life’s purpose is to love Him with all of your being, then He will give you His supernatural ability to love others with His selfless love. And loving well is the key to a happy marriage.
In our many years as biblical marriage counselors, my husband and I have yet to see marriage trouble in a couple who makes loving God their highest priority––because their love for Christ selflessly pours out onto their mate.
But, how do you learn to love selflessly? You must spend time with God through prayer, reading the Bible and fellowship with others who deeply love Him. If as a single person you don’t make time now to fall more in love with Jesus, I can almost guarantee you’ll not find the time to do so once you’re sharing your life with a spouse––and family.
To love selflessly requires humility and willingness to lay down your entitlement attitudes. Serving others is the sweetest display of selfless love and one of the most precious qualities of a godly spouse.
Helping Teenagers At Home Fall In Love With The Bible
Five Minute Bible Devotions for Teenagers…
One Minute Prayers for Teenagers…
Resources like these flood the Christian market. They accomplish what they intend—to get a quick dose of Scripture and biblical encouragement in front of a busy teen.
But teenagers need so much more.
In a culture of shifting morality, confusing choices, and peer pressure, teens need solid biblical literacy to help them navigate a broken world with clarity and truth. Biblical ignorance equals a shaky foundation, one which can’t weather the storms of cultural pressure, anti-biblical worldviews, and simple questions such as “Why do you believe in God?” and “What is truth?” The Bible holds the answer to those questions. It’s the firm foundation that can withstand those storms.
Yet many teenagers never dig deep into the Word. In my own life, personal Bible study has kept me strong and helped me navigate the questions and confusion that comes with being a teen in a rapidly shifting culture.
Why Do Teenagers Need Bible Literacy?
1. To know who God is—and how to follow Him.
The Bible is a book about God. But so often, we make the Bible a book about us. We handpick verses that seem applicable to our lives and focus on them. As we do so, we miss out on the purpose of the Bible and dilute our understanding of who God is. If we don’t know who God is, we won’t know how to follow Him.
2. To grow in spiritual maturity.
It’s possible to have Biblical literacy without spiritual maturity. Anyone can have head knowledge without growing in heart knowledge. But it’s not possible to grow in spiritual maturity without growing in Biblical literacy. By knowing who God is, we grow in our understanding of who we, as His followers, are called to be. Biblical literacy and spiritual maturity go hand in hand.
3. To navigate our cultural moment.
The Bible enlightens our cultural moment. The words “abortion” and “transgender” may not be found within its pages, but even so, Scripture is relevant to these issues and so many more. The Word of God does not bend and change with the culture; nor is it crammed into the mold of one particular society.
Instead, it sheds light beyond the culture by sharing unwavering truths about who God is, who we are, and how to worship and follow Jesus Christ. These unchanging truths enable us to live beyond our cultural moment and answer our cultural questions by being rooted in the firm foundations of biblical truth.
4. To learn and understand absolute truth.
The Bible is a book of absolute truth. It’s inerrant and infallible, because it contains the very Words of God. Yet teenagers are growing up in a post-truth world—one that may admit the reality of truth, but elevates feelings and personal preference above absolute truth.
Without truth, we don’t know right from wrong. We don’t know how to live. But with Jesus, who is, “the way, the truth, and the life” we have a model. For Christian teens to stand strong, we must know and love the truth. In order to know and love the truth, we must know and love the Bible.
5. To understand the gospel.
The story of salvation is the thread running through all of Scripture. In the Bible we find the holiness of God and the depth of our sin outlined in humanity’s fall. We find the grace and mercy of God in sending Jesus to die for our sins. We anticipate the hope of a new heaven and new earth in the picture of future restoration.
These things have the ability to transform the way we live. A teen who understands and lives the message of the gospel is one who will walk in the power of a life transformed by Christ.
How Can We Teach Teenagers Scripture (and Equip Them to Study it on Their Own)?
It’s not hard to see that teens need Scripture. What’s harder is getting teens to fall in love with studying the Bible. But it’s entirely possible.
1. Lead by example.
If you’re a parent or youth worker, you have the ability to lead by example. Do you love the Bible? Do your teens see you reading and studying it? Can they observe how it’s changed your life and how you live it out? Do you treat the Word of God with reverence and respect? It’s deeply impactful to see an adult regularly applying these practices in ways that are accessible and approachable. As teens see your love for the Bible, you’re taking the first step for them to love it too.
2. Study corporately.
I remember my mom regularly reading the Bible out loud to my sister and me and talking to us about Scripture as we were growing up. Come alongside your teen in studying the Bible. Meet with them every day or once a week to read it together and/or discuss what you’ve been reading.
Make the Bible an ongoing conversation in your home. For youth leaders, do Bible studies with your youth group that dig deep into Scripture. Instead of thinking teens can’t handle intense Bible study, come alongside them and learn together.
3. Raise expectations.
When my parents gave me my first study Bible at the age of eleven, there was an expectation in place. They expected that I wouldn’t waste the gift, but instead use it well. I would read it, study it, and take care of it. Their expectations set me up for success. Because they raised the bar, I rose to the challenge.
What do we expect from our teens? Do we expect them to be able to study the Bible? Or do we expect them to think it’s a boring book that isn’t relevant to their life? Do we expect them to be able to glean truths from Scripture? Or do we think the only thing they can handle is a spoon-fed message in a light devotional?
4. Cultivate the right heart (instead of just striving for the right actions).
Actions matter—but heart attitude matters more. Instead of simply telling teens what to do, discuss why. Talk about why the Bible is the inspired Word of God, why it matters, and how it transforms us. Allow teens to wrestle with hard questions, and point them to Scripture as their guide. Cultivate the right heart by making the Bible less about a checkmark on a to-do list and more about an intimate relationship with the God who loves them.
5. Teach them the tools.
Studying the Bible is intense work that requires correct tools. I’ve talked to teens who desire to better understand the Bible, but they don’t know how. Let’s not hinder our teenagers from growing in biblical literacy because they lack the tools they need.
Tools like comprehension, interpretation, and application. Being able to read a text through the eyes of the original readers, understanding how cross-references work, and how to consult trusted commentaries. If you want your teen to study the Bible, you must become a teacher who is equipped in the tools.
This process isn’t easy, especially if you’re a new student of the Word yourself, but there are many resources available to help you and your teen along the journey. You don’t need to have a Masters of Divinity to teach your teen Scripture. All you need is to be present in their lives and committed to learning together.
Becoming Teens of the Word
Lest I make it sound like teaching teens to study the Bible is comparable to teaching them algebra, let’s not forget that it’s the Holy Spirit who enlightens our eyes and enables us to glean truth from Scripture. Pray for God to light a spark of passion in your teen’s heart for His Word.
Like I say in my book, Love Riot: A Teenage Call to Live With Relentless Abandon for Christ, “I don’t want to make this sound like a ritual or a dry, educational process. I don’t want you to think of reading your Bible simply as a discipline and not as a joy. As you dig deeper into Scripture, consistently letting its words wash over your heart, that’s exactly what it becomes: a joy… It’s not always fun or easy.
But I can tell you with 100 percent certainty it’s always worth it. Ask God to give you a fiery passion for His Word. He will. And when the fire dims and flickers, ask again.”
That’s what God can do in the heart of your teen. Ever since the day I received my first “adult Bible”, this truth has been ingrained in my heart: God’s Word has the power to change a life.
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Here is How To Heal From A Broken Relationship
It would be extremely nice if healing a broken relationship could be achieved with the right Hallmark card and some beautiful flowers, but it doesn’t work that way. We are required to bring so much more to the table.
Healing a broken relationship is a long process. Sometimes it can take months or even years. Besides because bringing together two people who have moved far apart takes tremendous time and effort, one must prepare accordingly. You would not take off hiking in the woods for two weeks with nothing but what you could fit into your pants pockets. You’d starve to death. Instead, you’d pack everything needed for going the long haul.
You must get ready for your big trip, and once you’re as prepared as you can be, you start by pacing yourself. You don’t start running. You don’t skip. Whatever you do is walk at any easy, comfortable pace. An individual walks understanding that you have a long way to go. Same with a relationship you’re trying to heal. Take it slowly, and take it steadily.
You can’t plan ahead with the same kind of exactness as when planning a hiking or camping trip, but you can certainly bear in mind that, just like with outdoor expeditions, healing a broken relationship will entail all kinds of steps, periodic assessments of progress, and fruitful planning.
It won’t, in other words, be effortless.
Whenever it comes to creating a loving, healthy bond out of what may now be only a source of stress and regret, there’s one thing you must have with you the whole time. And, like water on a hiking trip, it has to be the one thing you know for sure will never deplete: the fullness of God in your heart.
Maintaining a cracked relationship is all about loving and giving from a heart filled with God’s compassionate presence. A heart filled with the joyous appreciation of all that God can make of us. The heart wants to give…to give and give until the object of its giving is at a loss to do anything but, finally, accept that love.
That is how you heal a broken relationship. As an individual you give out of the fullness of your heart, which refills itself, right up to the top, in exact equal measure to whatever its love is joyfully given to another.
The opener, of course, is to learn how to never run out of the fullness of God’s love.
Here are some steps we must follow in order to find healing from a broken relationship
Turn to the Source
In the evening of that same day, after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. The town in its entirety gathered at the door to watch. Thus Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. Nonetheless because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak. Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to a secluded place to pray (Mark 1:32-35).
There’s nothing I or anyone else can say that more perfectly captures how vital it is that every one of Jesus’ followers takes time out every day to go to their own “isolated place” and pray to God for strength and inspiration.
It amazes me how few Christians set aside time in their everyday lives to put down their concerns of the moment, sit, read Scripture, and pray to God. How much better would your life be if you took the time to do that every single day? Are you too busy running here and going there, taking care of this and handling that, to remember to care for the soul God has entrusted to you?
Present are many great reasons to regularly pray to God as there are to live and breathe and stay alive. A tile of the greatest is the good it can do you as you struggle to heal a broken relationship.
Another key is to give your love. Give your peace. Give your generosity of spirit. Give your heart. Give, above all, your forgiveness.
We say or hear that it’s better to give than to receive all the time. Nonetheless how often do we actually give rather than receive? Exactly how often do we really experience just how true that saying is?
Well, if you’re trying to bond with someone you’ve broken with, it’s time you got back in touch with the truth about the real relationship between giving and receiving. Being Openhanded and giving all the love you have to another person isn’t the only way you can ever heal with them. It’s also the only way God can keep giving and giving all of his love to you.
If you keep giving, are you eventually going to get depleted? Well, what must God’s children do if we want to make sure we never run out of the love we keep on giving? Turn and run to God and get more. Only he can keep us in full supply of all the love we need if we’re going to keep giving as much as we can.
Remember the above passage? Jesus felt it necessary, after all his giving and healing, to turn very soon thereafter to his Father in order to replenish his supply of love, compassion, and strength. We should do nothing different. Don’t ever forget, when you’re doing the loving business of healing with another, to return, every single day, to the source of all our healing.
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4 Tips On How to Help Yourself Whenever You Feel Depressed
Depression has over the years grown to become one of the major health issues in the world.
According to Google’s dictionary, it can be defined as a group of conditions associated with the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
There are different types of depressed disorders, and each have their different symptoms and occur at almost different points in life.
They are named based on the time they occur, and their symptoms and age range of patients, and you can help yourself get back to your feet no matter the type.
Some of the ways to help yourself whenever you feel depressed do this include:
• Express yourself more
It doesn’t matter the type, expression of yourself has always proven to become one of the ways of tackling depression and major mood swings.
It is not always easy to get someone to speak with, and you can consider a phone therapy. The best thing about this telephone therapy is that most times you do not know whom you’re speaking with, and you will get opportune to speak to your most preferred gender.
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Take for instance, a female might want to speak to only male therapists and vice versa.
You can as well go online, join a forum like Quora and get to their depression section. Answer a few questions concerning the topic, read other people’s own also and watch yourself getting better.
• Exercise yourself
Exercises have a way of making you feel better, and you will get over the mood swings even without knowing them.
You can take a few steps of walk, or jog around your estate or even do some press ups a day. If you are not able to motivate yourself, you can get a friend to do it with, and make it competitive to help your mind get over the pressure.
Depression turns people inactive, and when you can get yourself to work out, you have fought the battle halfway.
• Work on your diet
Each time people feel depressed, they tend to either undereat or overeat. This is because their feeding is one of the only things they feel they can control at that point in life.
Proper nutrition will go a long way in elevating your moods, and taking plenty of fruits and vegetables have always been proven to help the patients.
• Notice the good things around you
Some of us tend to be so negative that we forget the good things happening all around. While thinking of the exams you failed, have you thought about people who couldn’t even get into school?
Quite a number are out there who cannot read or write, some are blind and don’t even know what the internet is, many people in the deep parts of Africa don’t even have access to good light, not to talk about the internet, and here you are.
You eat properly, you dress very well, take good photos to post on Facebook and Instagram and can tweet as much as you like a day.
Have you ever thought those things as blessings? The moment you get over to the brighter side on your inner mind, the external would be brightened up.
Hope this note help. Please feel free to share your thoughts below..
God bless you.