Read the following piece from Ephesians chapter 5:
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. -Ephesians 5:22-27
What this is doing, is talking to us about how a family should be lead. Men shall sacrifice and love the wife as Christ does for the church and its people. He does not use us, infact rather the opposite. He washes our sins. Give yourself up for your wife, as Christ does for the church. Present her as the church. Now, a surface level read may make this seem like women must submit to men, and men are these all-powerful beings. Read again. It says, “Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” She is a treasure. Submission is for husbands AND wives
A little more of this chapter really spoke to me. And I think everyone needs to read and digest it.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church -Ephesians 5:28-29
You can’t love your neighbor until you love yourself. However, a large elephant walks into the room at this point. It says no one ever hated their own body. But today, so many of us hate, mistreat and abandon our bodies. What I mean by this is our society has become so poisoned with this unrealistic body image that surrounds us everywhere. We starve our bodies of love, care, and the nutrients that it needs. We try to abandon the skin we were born in, the skin God gave us. The hair our bodies grow to protect us. The natural glow of our skin. The imperfections that carry our identity, that make us us. Take care of your body. Feed it. LOVE it.
It also says, he who loves his wife must love himself. But he(she) must love himself and the Lord before loving anyone else. If you are rekindling your faith, don’t try to become more “religious”, but rather strengthen your relationship with the Lord. A very moving and powerful book I read noted, “You must enter a relationship with yourself before anyone else” (Milk and Honey). God made you who you are for a reason, He has a certain role for each and every one of us. He loves us, we are His children. So love yourself too; love each and every imperfection that makes you unlike anyone else. Accept yourself as you were designed. Call others exquisite, resilient, brave, powerful, loving, extraordinary, before you call them pretty. Dive inside before you simply scratch the surface. Most importantly, find those characteristics in yourself. Look in the mirror and thank God for making you as the beautiful creature you are. Do not compare yourself to others and question God why you aren’t, but thank him for why you are.
After a year of living in the dorms, I’ve noticed that every student shares the same struggle: healthy living. Now, when I say healthy living, people will go straight to the simple issue- gaining the “freshman 15”. However my meaning of healthy living involves much more than that. I feel that students tend to lose sight of many healthy habits including diets, sleeping habits, relationships, and social/religious habits. So here’s a personal input on healthy living:
I think the most commonly discussed issue in college (especially the first year) is weight gain, A.K.A. the “Freshman 15”. College is a monstrous change from living at home with your parents. Each student must sort of figure out how to responsibly live on their own; they must manage their classes, school related activities, social life, and other lifestyle habits. One habit that typically gets lost in the midst of our crazy college lives is healthy dieting. Food is fuel, and I think people forget this concept. I will acknowledge that eating right in college is hard, but it is very POSSIBLE. So don’t keep the mindset that your school or community makes it impossible to eat well, you just have to search a little harder for them. Instead of a grilled sandwich with fries, get the wrap and add spinach and cucumbers(or your veggies of choice), or pick the chick-fil-a salad instead of the sandwich. The little changes add up, and the cleaner you eat, the more energy you will have- especially for those late night study sessions. Keep an open mind about the food you consume, treat your body like you love it, because you should love your body!
Like I said, LOVE your body, treat it like so. I will keep this one short and sweet, but sleep is VITAL. Don’t listen to the individuals who tell you that pulling an all nighter works- NO IT DOESN’T. Your mind and body need time to recharge for the next day, and you will diminish your health with such a lack of sleep. Try to keep and set a goal of how many hours of sleep you need each night, and with good time management, obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep is very possible.
So many cherishable new relationships surface when you place yourself in a completely new setting. You constantly meet new people in college, whether it is in classes, clubs, while you’re eating out, or even just doing laundry. I didn’t realize it until after first semester, but every new relationship I developed affected my life in some way. The people you surround yourself with deeply affect every aspect of your life. Surround yourself with negative, toxic individuals, and they will find ways to leak that poison into your life. So it is important to analyze the individuals you associate yourself with. Of course it is right not to judge someone by their cover, but surrounding yourself with toxic individuals will then turn your life into something more toxic.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be mislead, ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'”
Proverbs 25:26 says, “Like a muddied spring or polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.”
So ask yourself some questions when you are introducing new individuals in your life- not strangers but rather those who will have a more major impact on your life. Do I want this person in my life? Will this individual impact my life in a positive or negative way? Will this person help me become a better person, or will the add toxicity to my life? Or do the same with life decisions. Is this going to impact my life in a positive way? Will there be negative implications to this decision? Am I going to regret, or question this later on?
And lastly, we cannot forget the most important relationship, the building blocks of your own very life, your relationship with Him. As someone who ha
s seen this happen, and who is guilty of this, many college kids lose their faith. Juggling so many
activities and responsibilities on your own makes you push away what you think isn’t necessary at the time. However, I always notice a positive change in my life and mindset when I maintain my faith. He is there to guide us and help us, so accept his love! Go to church, find a prayer group, try every church in town(invite friends!), read the Bible. If you want to know the mind of God look at the word of God.
Recently, I’ve been facing some difficulties that all seem to relate back to the same thing, the L word: Love. Whether it’s realizing that I am not all the way healed from my recent heartbreak, trying to find the one, or worrying that I may possibly never find that one guy again. My recent heartbreak was so difficult to deal with most likely because we truly did love each other; we talked about marriage, and what our goals for our relationship were in the future. So, it has been tough trying to admit to myself that he was not the one, and apparently he’s still out there. What’s important to keep in mind is that God has a plan, and it brings me to peace as I realize that. I don’t need to worry about who is the one for me, and when will he come into my life, because whatever is supposed to happen will. I read this super great article on waiting for that right person (I’ll post the link below), and it inspired me to elaborate on the ‘waiting for your love’ topic.
Okay, so if anyone is remotely familiar with the Bible and some verses within it, they most likely know the popular verse from 1 Corinthians 4-7. It reads:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Clearly, we know that God is love(1 John 4:8). However, I like to relate this verse in my daily life, especially on my emotionally rougher days. So what does this mean? To me, this is the perfect definition of what a married couple should be imagined as. The following are parts that stand out to me:
Love is patient: Love waits. love waits for God’s plan, as I mentioned earlier. Think of it as the opposite of a short fuse. When two love, they understand one another, they do not blame one another. They do not get upset easily. Love is patient.
Love is kind: Love is kindhearted. Kindness is characterized by benevolence and tenderness. Godly love will make a person kinder. Think about it, no one can be loving and unkind at the same time. Kind means warmhearted, caring, affectionate, loving, warm, and good-natured. Love is not love if it is not kind.
It keeps no records of wrongs: This one reminds me of a sermon the pastor at Hope City, Jeremy Foster spoke about(he’s absolutely amazing, I recommend him to anyone and everyone). Love is first off not easily angered, but is also forgiving. Love does not hold grudges. Jesus died for us because he did not keep records of our wrongs, but rather prayed for our forgiveness as he was on the cross. In fact, it is better to be cheated than to be unloving. Love is forgiving and understanding. Plus, holding grudges only leads to eventually assigning wound to someone else who does not deserved to be hurt. Now that does not mean forgive everyone for everything, and let them control what happens to you. Rather what it means, is that you must forgive, and forget. Do not waste your time on anger, rather pray for them and move on. Don’t keep records of one’s wrongs.
Always: It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. It may seem strange, but the most important part of this verse is the word always. Love is always. It is always there, it should always be there, it is ceaseless. Love is always there, love should mean trust, love should mean protection, love should mean hope, and love should mean preserving. Love is forever, and it’s an important aspect to remember.
Okay, so this verse is great to go to when you are down about love, whether it is family or friends, or a significant other. I hope you all enjoyed this!
All my life I have been faithful Christian, proud of the Lord and all he has to offer. I can truly say I have never doubted my faith, but maybe I’ve just doubted the strength of my faith and my relationship with Him. But life happens, and sometimes when it rains, it freaking pours, and us humans like to blame outside forces- I seem to shy away from my faith when I am going through troubles. What do I mean when I say life happens? Most of the time, you just go through the days passing time, doing whatever it is that you do each and every day. But sometimes “life” happens and God tests our faith and our strength. So here’s my story:
I am currently enrolled as a full time student at the University of Oklahoma.I moved in August 12th, and all summer I had looked forward to finally becoming a college kid. Everything had gone smoothly the day of my departure, I said a see you later to my boyfriend and family, and we had a swift drive from my hometown to Norman, Oklahoma. My mother and I arrived in Norman on the evening of August 11th. We had a cute mother-daughter sappy movie night in the hotel before we tackled move in day that next morning. However, I woke up at about 7 am with a text from a friend at 3:30 am informing that my boyfriend and love of my life had cheated on me earlier this past summer. Of course, I needed proof before I confronted my boyfriend about the situation, but all I could do in the moment was deny. Deny, deny, deny. Minutes later I got some proof through texts from the guy friend that had texted me, so I went ahead and texted my boyfriend, scared to hear him admit to it. I sent him screenshots of his conversation with this girl he had been texting and sending things to, and he calls me crying. Unknowingly he admitted to physically doing things with her, not just sending stuff over the phone. In the moment of all of this, I was still trying to deny, but the truth hit me, and as I walked from the bedroom to the living room where my mom was, my body just gave out. I gave up, saw my mom and just let hell break loose. I fell to the floor sobbing my eyes out, screaming out, thriving in pain. My mom ran over to me and asked me who had died, but then I told her what happened. In shock, she embraced my crumpled body on the floor, trying to find motherly advice for the situation. I couldn’t believe it, why me? I gave this boy my everything, let him into my family, picked him up in his darkest times, loved him thoroughly, sacrificed my time and love constantly. And all I got in return was the love of my life breaking one of the ten commandments given in Exodus 20: 1-17, “You shall not commit adultery”. So, I blamed God, because I didn’t understand why this would happen to me, especially at such a horrible time in my life.
Keep in mind, in about 45 minutes I had to go move into college, away from my family, away from my mom, away from my best friends. All knowing that the love of my life had just took my heart and soul and completely shattered it. I did my best to contain my emotions that day- there were a lot of tears- but honestly I’m not quite sure what kept me as collected as I was. By 4 pm, my mother had left and I was doing my best to stand on my feet. That whole next week I had spent going through rush, which in a way was a blessing in disguise. The whole stressful situation that rush was kept my mind off of my broken heart. However I managed to lose 7 pounds in about one week, proving that I was not near being OK. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, I found out that my ulcerative colitis (an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the largest part of the large intestine) had come out of remission, and therefore I would need to start a new medication: Humira, which is a biologic that is given in forms of skin injections(at home injection pens). So during rush, I’m dealing with all of this information, and trying to keep myself together all at the same time. Anyways, on the last day of rush, I went to Pi Beta Phi, a house I had liked since the beginning of rush. I had an in-house friend that walked me in that evening and she sat me down, and asked me how I was- how I really was. That’s when everything hit me. When I say everything I mean everything. My emotions from the whole situation, my mom leaving me at school, the stress of rush, the fact that I couldn’t run home and cry in the arms of my loved ones. Anyways, that night I preffed Pi Phi, and woke up the next day to find out I had a new beautiful home away from home. The girls in this house have surrounded me with perpetual support, and I could not thank God enough for these people. He looked out for me, and as He always does, He led me to the light, and that light was Pi Phi.
So since then, I’ve been at a lot more peace. Instead of asking God why he did this to me, I am relieved because I know He is in control, and whatever happens, happens for a reason. God has His path for me and I am confident that I will be led in the right direction. Following are verses from the Bible I found relevant to this post.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” –James 5:16
There’s a reason we call it “the power of prayer”. Pray for those around you, pray for those you hate, pray for those you love, pray for yourself, pray for others. Constant prayer will keep not only your faith strong but the faith of others around you as well. He gave us the power to pray, and it’s okay to pray for guidance. I think the reason I was so collected during rush week was because my friends and family were praying for me through my hard times. Don’t be afraid to connect with the Lord, He is there to listen.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”-1 Peter 2:24
Jesus died on the cross to accomplish reconciliation, or reconnecting us back to God. Romans 3:25 says, “…whom God set forth as a propitiation” for our sins. By this, a propitiation means, “something that appeases a deity.” However, it means much more than just that. It can mean to “accept hurt”, to “forgive”, to “show mercy.” As humans and as sinners, we break His law and really have no legal right to exist. But God himself takes our falls, and accepts the hurt, pays the price, forgives, and offers mercy. We can be healed because he suffered for us. So instead of shying away from our faith in times of distress, we shall become closer with the Lord.
Okay, sorry this post is so long, but it was my first one and I am still getting the hang of things!