Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Giving Thanks When it Doesn’t Go Your Way

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“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

It’s easy to give thanks when the weather is perfect, the bills are paid, the kids are behaving like little angels and you never, EVER get jury summons. No problem! Giving thanks is a piece of cake in these times! For some of us, life doesn’t ever seem to be like this, and certainly there are times in our lives when we all go through hardship and pain. Yet, Thanksgiving is upon us! We are called to give thanks to the Lord in ALL circumstances, amen?

Every year on Thanksgiving we head over to my mother’s house to meet up with my family. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all come bringing yummy food and desserts to share. We laugh. We eat. We talk about why we are thankful. We eat. We sometimes sing and play games. We eat more. Basically, we eat and have a great time. It’s something we all look forward to each year…..well, not this year.

You see this year sickness decided to attack just before Thanksgiving. My sweet daughter came down with croup almost a week ago. While she seems much better now, and probably no longer contagious, we are concerned about the risks involved of going because we have a precious nephew with a compromised immune system. One little cold can land him in the hospital for months. So it’s important not to bring germs around him.

With these things in mind, we decided we would stay home for the holidays…just the three of us. I say that with the utmost of affection for our little family unit. I adore my family. Still, there’s something a little sad about knowing you are missing out on the traditional fun. So I could wake up tomorrow and mope, as I pop our little 18 lb turkey in the oven. We could lay around and zone out. We could complain and moan all day, presenting a stellar example for our little sponge of a daughter, but I say NO!

No, we won’t moan and complain. We won’t wear our frowns all day. We are going to have a great time. We will start some new traditions, do worship, play games, talk about how the Lord has blessed us, and there will be food! Oh yes, there will be food! God has told us to give thanks in all circumstances, so we are going to enjoy His blessings and give thanks no matter where we are or what we do!

I pray that whatever you do and however you celebrate tomorrow, that you remember to give thanks to the Lord. He has given His Son to die on the cross for our sins. He has redeemed us! If you have a home, He has provided for that need. If you have food in your bellies, He has given you nourishment. If you have love, thank Him for that love. He has blessed you richly.

Thank You Jesus for all You have done, are doing and will do! We bless Your name and give thanks to You from the depths of our hearts!

 

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Attack from Within – Every Christian Should Read This

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It’s war. It’s bloody. It’s terrifying and traumatizing. Medics on the frontlines are seeing horrendous things. One senior medical officer and his team arrive at a bombing site. As they exit the vehicle, they look out on a sea of wounded, dying, and already dead soldiers. There is blood everywhere. People are torn apart. They are in pain and suffering. They are confused and terrified. The man and his team immediately charge forward, stopping at one soldier after another to treat wounds, check for pulses, and sometimes just to offer a bit of relief and comfort.

Sweat pours down the medic’s face as he works diligently, saving lives wherever he can. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye he sees several of his team members engaged in some sort of conflict. He hears the shouting. He runs to their aide only to find that they aren’t fighting with the enemy at all, but with each other.

“What’s going on here?” he shouts.

“Sir, this soldier needs to be disciplined,” says one officer.

“Why?” the senior medic asks. “Has he given someone the wrong treatment? Perhaps given the wrong medication?”

“No sir,” he replies, red-faced and full of indignation.

“Has he committed treason? Is he working with the enemy?” asks the senior medic.

“No sir,” he answers.

“Well, what has he done?”

“He is wearing the wrong uniform, sir. Sir, he should be wearing the standard medic’s uniform and he has come out in the wrong gear. His uniform is also wrinkled and unkempt. I have been checking his reports as he treats these patients, and his handwriting is a mess. He sometimes uses abbreviations instead of full words. He is sloppy. He is also getting way too friendly with the patients, sir. He has been getting to know them and spends his time off reading to them. This is not our standard protocol. Even here on the frontline, he insists on talking to the wounded. He asks their name and shares his first name. His FIRST name sir! He calls them ‘friend’ and ‘buddy’ instead of formal language. He doesn’t seem to care that he gets their blood all over himself. He doesn’t seem to care about keeping himself clean on the field. Plus, he has a tendency to break formation if he sees a wounded man outside of his zone. He will do whatever it takes to get to that man, despite our normal way of doing things. Doesn’t he know our traditions? Doesn’t he care about how he looks? This soldier is a disgrace and I demand he is court-martialed immediately.”

The senior medic raised his eyes from the ground and looked squarely in the face of the complaining officer. Tears began to stream down his face. His expression showed the pain he was feeling inside. He was even trembling as he spoke.

“Officer, do you know how many men have just died in these moments that you have taken to tear apart your brother-in-arms? Do you realize how many men are suffering because you are so busy looking for the fault in our fellow officer instead of treating the wounded and saving lives? You selfish, selfish man. Look around you! Look at them! They are dying! They don’t care that this man’s clothes are dirty. At least he is willing to get down in the trenches with them and wear their blood if need be. These men don’t care if he strays from old traditions and protocols. At least he is willing to fight for them and never gives up on them because they are outside of his zone. These men don’t need a cold expression and rigid formal language. They need this man, who shows them compassion and is a friend to them as they lay here dying and in despair.

“You know what your problem is?” said the senior medic. “In all of your training and in all of your thinking, you forgot the most important part of our job. We are to save lives. That’s it. We are to bring hope where there is none. We are to bring relief where there is pain. All of your complaints and rebukes against this man have done nothing for the dying, done nothing to help us win this war, and they do nothing to make you a better soldier. While you pick apart your brother, men are dying and the enemy is winning minor victories. What a shame.”

This fictional story is a picture of what is happening in the church today. You see, my brothers and sisters, we are in a war. We are in the Lord’s army, fighting the enemy and trying to save the dying. That is the commission our Commander has given us. We are called to minister to those who are suffering and bring light into dark lives. We are to share a life-giving gospel with those who are spiritually dead and dying. That’s our job and our purpose as believers, and yet so many Christians would rather spend their time picking apart their brothers and sisters in the Lord, flinging insults, accusations, and defamation on fellow believers because of minor differences in theology or conviction.

There are a few words that spring to mind when I meditate on this problem within the church—legalism, judgment, self-righteousness. There are few of us who haven’t struggled with these issues at one time or another. The problem is, we are watching the church tear itself apart because of them. We are seeing bickering, church splits, “witch” hunts and public slander of fellow believers. What is going on? Why are we losing sight of the mission? I bet the enemy loves it!

Here are a couple of points I feel compelled to share:

  1. Giving the wrong medication.

The complaining officer was asked if the medic was giving the wrong medication. Listen, family, the lost people of this world are dying. They are dying in their sin and without the right medicine (the gospel of Jesus Christ), they will die and find themselves in eternal hell. They need medicine! The wrong medicine is anything that is not the gospel of Jesus. If someone is sharing a gospel that is different than that of the Bible, he or she is doing wickedness and should be exposed. However, if they are giving the right medicine, but maybe using a different method of delivery, why are you interfering with them doing their job?

“John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.’” Mark 9:38-41

This passage speaks such truth into this problem. We see someone serving God in a slightly different way than we do and we jump to attack. Stop him! He’s doing things differently! Yet Jesus says, if this man is not against Him, then he is for Him. He finishes by teaching that we are rewarded for blessing our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless if we have all things in common. We are to love them, not despise them or rail against them. Not to tear down their ministries or seek out ways to discredit them. If they are teaching the gospel of Jesus, let them do it.

  1. Legalism is bad medicine.

Sometimes the bad medicine that spiritually prideful Christians are trying to give their “troubled” brothers and sisters in the world (i.e. those who may have more freedom in Christ) is actually legalism. Look at what God says:

“For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things….” 2 Cor. 11:4-6

“And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission, they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” 2 Cor. 11:12-13

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.” Galatians 1:6-11

This perverted gospel that Paul writes about is that we somehow are still bound to legalism though we are saved by grace. You see, Christian Jews were trying to force gentiles into obeying their law and traditions. Paul said this was not necessary. To say that we need anything in addition to the blood of Jesus to be saved is a perverted gospel indeed. It indicates that what Christ did was not enough.

If you have convictions about certain works in your life, you should follow them. Follow what you feel the Lord is calling you to do and do it as unto the Lord. However, if your convictions are not black and white in the Bible, you have no right to enforce your convictions on others or to judge their spiritual condition based on them. Whether it be celebrating man-made holidays (Halloween, Christmas, etc.) or whether or not to watch R-rated movies, or whether or not we should wear flip-flops to church, you are wrong to spend your time attacking your brothers and sisters when there is a world full of dying people out there who need the good medicine of Jesus Christ to come alive.

  1. The weaker brother is the one who is bound up.

“For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,

‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up-building. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14

You are not your brother’s warden. You are not called to walk around disciplining your brothers and sisters all the time based on your convictions. Who are you to judge God’s servants because they celebrate Christmas, but you think it’s wrong? Is there a scripture that says it’s wrong? No. Yet you cause division and lash out because you disagree and because you think that somehow your job is to set everyone else right. It is not your job to discipline other Christians. Now, if there is an area of sin, you should go to a brother or sister you have a relationship with and, in love, encourage and rebuke if necessary. However, destroying people’s image and ministry because their opinions don’t line up with yours is really, really wrong…sin even.

  1. Causing unnecessary division is far worse a sin.

“The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” Titus 3:8-11

Enough said?

  1. Back on mission please.

Alright, soldiers, time to get back on mission. It’s time to stop tearing each other up for stupid, insignificant reasons and get back to ministering to the hurting, bringing the Word of life to the spiritually dead, and walking in love and unity as God desires. If you are reading this and you know I’m talking to you, don’t start writing your rebuttal just yet. Why not pray about this? Your heart may be hardened by years of experience and bad examples that have conditioned you to be a constant critic of the body of Christ. Listen, that man who has a different teaching style, or a different view of end times, or doesn’t feel convicted about watching R rated movies, he is your brother in Christ. Maybe he’s wrong in some ways? Maybe you are? Yet he will spend his hours giving good medicine of the gospel to the dying while you spend yours on foolish controversies and debates. Who is doing God’s will? Who is on mission? Who is pleasing the Father?

I’ve had enough of it. I recently said that I don’t have time for spiritually prideful people and it’s true. I hope you don’t have time for it either. This kind of Christianity is like the red-faced soldier who would rather spend his time defaming his brother than helping people. I don’t have time for this. I won’t listen to it, entertain it, or be a part of it anymore. I want to be on mission. Join me!

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From Barren Woman to Joyful Mother – God’s Perfect Gift

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After nearly four long years of trying to conceive a child, my mind had given up on the notion and my heart felt the pain that only a barren woman understands. Watching child after child be born to friends and family around me, I struggled to attend baby showers, visit newborns or even serve in Sunday School. I loved children, but the pain of knowing I might never have one of my own was sometimes too much. I’d cry out to the Heavenly Father in grief, anger and confusion. I loved Him, even when it hurt, and knew He was good, even when it felt like there was nothing good around me.

One Wednesday night I attended a ladies’ Bible study. Somehow we stumbled upon a verse in the Psalms that broke my heart. Psalm 113:9 says, “And He (God) will make the barren woman to keep house and to be the joyful mother of children; praise ye the Lord.” This verse, which should have been a pleasant and joyful verse, brought tears of longing. I cried and prayed with my sisters. They ministered to me.

The following Sunday morning at church, I went in for prayer time. My pastor would always read from the Psalms before prayer. As it were, he read out Psalm 113:9 again. I was surprised to hear it again, and I silently cried out to Jesus in my heart as we prayed. Little did I know that God was doing something amazing. He was working a miracle and I didn’t even know it. He wanted me to know that it was Him, the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Two days later I found out I was expecting my precious daughter. Psalm 113:9 was a promise from the Lord to me and He confirmed it twice to show me without any possible doubt that it was Him and Him alone who gave life and opened wombs. I rejoice in the Lord for what He has done! My daughter was born healthy and has been loved every moment of her life. She is a delight. She brings my husband and I such overwhelming joy.

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At this time of year, we focus on the things we are most grateful for and give thanks for God’s blessings. When I consider all of the many blessings God has given throughout my life, I am truly filled with a spirit of wonder and awe. Life has not always been easy. There have been hardships and trials. There have been seasons of struggle and drought. Still, the Lord is faithful. He knew me in the deepest parts of my hearts and He knew that I needed this little girl. What a gracious and loving Father He is! He gave me what He knew my heart would cherish above all else….my darling girl.

I thank God for my daughter all year long, but as we meditate on God’s perfect gifts, I focus in on what He did for me five years ago in opening my womb and creating life. My daughter truly is a perfect gift from above and I just know that God is going to use her in amazing ways. I’m sure of it.

While God is the opener of wombs, He also closes them at times. I have not been able to conceive again since my daughter. I have my Christian friends who suffer with fertility struggles. I know that pain all too well. My sisters, if this is you, I pray that you will never lose hope or allow your joy to slip away. God has a perfect gift for you that He will reveal in the right time according to His perfect plans. He may not allow you to conceive, or He may do just that. Perhaps His gift will come in another form. Perhaps He will lead you to care for and love the orphans of the world. Maybe He will give you a special calling that will fulfill in ways you can’t even comprehend. God knows what you need and He wants to give that perfect gift to you in His time. I pray you wait upon the Lord, and never stop thanking Him, even when your heart is hurting.

May we ever thank the Lord for the great things He has and will do. To God, the Giver of all good and perfect Gods, be the praise and glory forever!

 

For more on Infertility, including resources for those who struggle with this, please visit Infertility Page.

chels

*** Chelsea McCafferty is a Christian wife, mother and author. She runs a ministry and blog at www.KeeperMinistries.com where the focus is on ministering to Christian women who are seeking to fulfill God’s callings on their lives; specifically in regards to marriage, mothering and being a keeper of the home. She also ministers to those who struggle with infertility. Her book, entitled, “Keeper of His Home” is out and available. Follow Chelsea on Facebook at Keeper of His Home.

This post is part of the Thankful for God’s Gifts Blog Hop.  Please be sure to stop by the other participants listed below.

11/17/14  Loving Christ Ministries: Thankful In Grief www.lovingchristministries.com

11/18/14  Keeper Ministries: The Barren Woman a Joyful Mother – God’s Perfect Gift www.KeeperMinistries.com

11/19/14  Teena Myers Blog: A Greater Gift http://teenalmyers.com/blog/

11/20/14  Live, Love, Laugh, Post:  7 Reasons I Am Thankful For God http://livelaughlovepost.com/2014/11

11/21/14  The Green Tomato Experience: To Serve and Capture http://www.thegreentomatoexperience.com/

11/22/14  Donna Stone Blog, Giving Thanks: Searching the Storm Clouds for Silver http://donnastone.me/

11/24/14  Sister We Thrive: Sister, given any thought to being thankful? Well, I have. http://www.lindsyb.com/#!blog/c17x6

11/25/14  Completely Committed Blog: Another Battle And Solution http://completelycommittedgirl.blogspot.ca/2014/11/another-battle-and-solution.html

11/26/14  The Kangacoo Blog www.kangacoo.com/blog

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Why Be Grateful for the Storms of this Life?

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bernat… via photopin cc

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” James 1:2

EH? Count it joy? Be happy about trials of various kinds? I can honestly say that we go through a great variety of trials and I confess that it is rare that I leap for joy at the discovery of a new trial or time of tribulation. Yet, we are told to count it joy. There are several reasons we should be grateful and joyful, even in the midst of great trials and sometimes tremendous amounts of pain and suffering. Here are some of the reasons we should be grateful for the storms of life…

  1. Trials teach and grow us in patience and faith. The testing of our faith produces patience and works in us to develop our faith to maturity. It is during times of trial that we grow the most in our walks with the Lord as we put our trust in Him alone.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:2-8

  1. Trials produce endurance, character and a more confident hope that will never let us down. We know who our hope is in and that He will never fail us or let us be destroyed.

 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5

  1. Trials and pain bring us closer to the Lord. We draw nearer to Him and He is right there for us, bringing us comfort, strength and peace.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18

  1. Our faith through trials brings honor and glory to God, not to mention the testimony that it is to the lost.

“So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

  1. When we go through trials, God ministers to our spirits in a very personal and beautiful way. He renews us and establishes us. We see His work in our lives very clearly.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

  1. The end result of enduring through the trial is the crown of life and glory beyond what our mortal minds can comprehend.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

No one asks for trials, and yet we see that experiencing trials produces some wonderful fruit, in us and around us. We may not see the fruit now, nor may we feel God’s loving hand in it, but we have a blessed assurance that it’ll all be worth it in the end. If we truly believe God’s Word, then we have every reason to be grateful for the trials and storms this life has for us. As we put our faith in the God of all creation, we can face today and everyday with strength, hope, peace and joy.

Praying today for people going through horrific trials, that they would feel the very near presence of God and know His love.

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Fleeing from Temptation or Flirting with it?

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He’s just a friend. We get together and have coffee from time to time, but just as friends. We just have a lot in common. He’s fun to be with. We’re both married so it’s fine. He has been having some problems in  his marriage so he just needs someone to talk to. He’s a good listener so I feel like I can tell him anything. We’re just friends. What’s the big deal?

As married Christian women, we need to be very careful when it comes to having close relationships with men who are not family (same goes for Christian, married men). Some people blow this off as legalism or simply an old-fashioned concept, but there are many good reasons to avoid these kinds of close friendships with the opposite sex when we are married. This is an important issue and here is why:

  1. Adultery is on the rise.

Adultery is on the rise in America and throughout the world. While it’s always been a problem, it was far less a problem in the days of our grandparents, where some researchers estimate only 9% of spouses under the age of 25 in the 1950’s admitted to having affairs. In 1983 a similar study showed that number to have gone up to 29% of spouses under the age of 25 having had an affair. Today it is estimated that a third of all men and a quarter of all women cheat on their spouses, with more than 50% of marriages being touched somehow by adultery. We shake our heads and say, “ the world is going nuts” and surely it is! What about the Christians?

A study conducted by Christianity Today indicates that some 45% of Christians admitted to having done something that was sexually inappropriate and an astounding 23% confess to having had an extramarital affair. It’s hard to read those numbers. It’s difficult to understand how a man or a woman who love the Lord can sin against Him and their spouse like this. Then again…it’s not so difficult to understand it. Let’s try looking at it from another perspective:

A man and woman have been married for twelve years. They have four children. Both are Christians. For the past two years the man has had a difficult time, losing his job and falling into a bit of a depression. He spends his days searching the internet for a job and usually wants to be alone, because he (like many men) view their self-worth based on how their provide for their family. The wife feels shut out. They aren’t communicating well. She is dealing with the kids all day alone and feeling worn, lonely and frightened about the future. One day at the market she runs into an old friend from high school. He is funny, sweet and they have a lot of fun memories together. They decide to meet up for coffee and when they do they both open up to each other about struggles in their marriages and how they long for something different. These coffee dates become more frequent and the conversation more deep. Suddenly this woman realizes she is having an emotional affair with this man. They both feel the connection and attraction. One day, after she has had an argument with her husband and is feeling rotten, she meets the other man for coffee and, despite their convictions, they give in to their wicked desires. That’s it.

Adultery is something we should never accept or view as anything but evil and wickedness. It destroys families and people. It is a sin that is committed against one’s own body and God hates it. We should hate it too. Yet, we can see, if we are being honest, how it happens. We need to avoid close friendships with the opposite sex. No matter how strong we think we are, we are still weak human beings and sin is a temptress.

  1. Emotional Affairs Damage Marriage Too

We women usually are far more emotional than the men in our lives. We are emotional beings! That’s just how God made us! That’s why we are prone to love romantic comedies and novels that have romance in them. We love the whole emotional side of falling in love and being close with someone. This is why we are more likely to jump head first into an emotional affair if we allow ourselves to be tempted in this way.

What is an emotional affair? It’s when we form romantic feelings for someone who is not our spouse and allow ourselves to engage in a relationship with that person. Now, this doesn’t mean you are dating. The other person might not even realize you have an emotional, romantic attachment. Still, you are living it out by seeking to spend time with the person, opening up and sharing more than you ought to, and fantasizing about more. As women, we can be so overcome by our emotions. These types of emotional affairs can go on for ages. They can be easily hidden. So, is it wrong to engage in this type of relationship? Yes!

Ladies, it may seem like a harmless crush, but it’s anything but harmless. First off all, remember that Jesus warned that as Christians even the thought of adultery is akin to committing adultery. You are committing adultery in your heart and mind. Secondly, you may have no idea how an emotional affair takes a toll on the marriage. While you are madly in love with another man, you are most likely neglecting your husband at home. Instead of meeting his needs for companionship, relationship and sex, you are off fantasizing about someone else. Instead of praying for God to renew your love for your husband and working on drawing closer to him, this emotional affair is pulling away. Your kids will notice. Your friends will too. Your husband will definitely notice. Your marriage will be weakening by the moment. This is serious stuff my friends. Close relationships to the opposite sex is playing with temptation and you have to be careful to guard your heart.

  1. It Doesn’t Look Good

Whether or not you and your friend have any attraction or feelings for each other, a married, Christian woman meeting up regularly and engaging in a close relationship can look like something…even if it’s nothing. In other words, it can appear to be just the tip of the iceberg to strangers, your friends, family, your spouse, the other person’s spouse or maybe even to that other person. Your husband, while trusting and faithful, may start to have concerns about what’s going on or struggle with jealousy. After all, he should be your best friend right? A husband may come to feel replaced or displaces, as it were. It is not loving or respectful to put him in that position. Not only that, but what if your friend has misconceptions about what’s going on?

Let’s say, for example, that you have a good friend whom you have no attraction to whatsoever. You are in love with your husband and in a happy marriage. You would never in a million years struggle with feelings for this friend. He, on the other hand, hasn’t told you that he finds you attractive, is forming romantic emotions towards you, and is considering divorcing his wife because his feelings for you have grown so deep. You may not realize it or see the signs, but to have a very close friendship with a man who isn’t your husband is always a dangerous game…one that’s not worth playing.

1 Thess. 5:22 says we are to abstain from the appearance of evil. It’s not just doing evil that matters. God wants us to avoid even appearing like we are doing or considering doing evil.

“We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:8-13

Anyone who thinks he stand, lest he falls….wow. Think you are strong enough in your faith not to fall? You’ve got a big problem when you think that. No temptation comes that isn’t common to man. Many men and women thought they were strong enough only to fall hard. It isn’t worth it friends. We need to stand solid on the rock and not go for runs in the quick sand. We need to stand firm and not flirt with temptation. It’s just wise. It’s just prudent. It just makes sense.

I exhort my sisters in the Lord (and brothers accordingly) to not be wishy washy on this issue. Make your spouse your best friend. I encourage you to caution and to avoid close friendships with a person of the opposite gender. Let us not fall into the trap of justifications and carelessness. Perhaps nothing bad will happen, but what if it did? If we allow our hearts to be open without guarding them, someone may come in an snatch them away.

Let’s stand for emotional and sexual purity. Let’s stand for no compromise. Let’s be on guard. I pray that husband and wives would find emotional and sexual fulfillment in one another alone and not to look to anyone else to meet those needs. May we ever be willing to make sacrifices in order to abstain from temptation and keep our minds and bodies pure.

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