marriage

Are You Stuck?

Throughout my fight with my health challenges, I would experience paralysis that could sometimes last for weeks on end. I would be stuck in the bed and not be able to move. There would be times that I couldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom and had to get help to do the necessities of life. You can become paralyzed sometimes throughout different phases in your life. It will cause you not to even perform  basic functions.

Paralysis (according to dictionary.com):

1.To cause (a person or part of the body) to become partly or wholly incapable of movement

2.To render (someone) unable to think or act normally, especially through panic or fear:

3.To bring (a system, place, or organization) to a standstill by causing disruption or chaos:

There are things that you experience in life that will immobilize you from moving   fully into who you are in the process of becoming. Dreams, goals, and desires won’t be manifested. When paralysis sets in you can begin to operate in a way that is out of character. You can be driven by fear or panic and make decisions up you wouldn’t normally make. Instead of operating in faith, it can push you to make irrational decisions and not sound decisions.  It will literally disrupt life as you may know it. At times when I was paralyzed, I would be attempting to move my body. In my mind, I felt I was moving and making some kind of progress. Yet my physical therapist would tell me I was in the same position.  I would be so tired from trying to move. I tired myself out and went absolutely nowhere. Sometimes we think we are making progress and moving, but we are stuck. Some heart issues like unforgiveness, fear of rejection, and hurt can cause us to be stagnant. Healing is needed so you can experience life the way God intended.  There is nothing that you have done in your past that can cause you not to move forward in your future. Whom the Son has set free, is free indeed! There is freedom in Christ. You don’t have to bound by any sin or shame.

Mark 2; 1-12 refers to the paralytic who was carried by his four friends. They couldn’t help him so they wanted to carry him to the place where Jesus was located. They knew that his situation may have appeared hopeless or impossible, but they knew that nothing was impossible with Jesus. They could get him in the house with Jesus. It was too crowded, so they went up to the roof top. They tore a hole in the roof top to lower his bed into the house so he could be in His presence. They were determined to get their friend the help he needed. They had to think outside the box and the norm  ear one another’s burden, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1). Surround yourselves with people who are willing and has the ability to carry you in the presence of God when you can’t get yourself there. Do not forget to be that friend or loved one for others in your life as well. Sometimes we have the people who are there to support, but do we offer them the same support?

This is a side note. To those of you who are still single (not married), make sure your mate can have the ability to catch you in the spirit and can carry you to His presence. Two believers can still be unequally yoked. The oxen were yoked together with those who could carry the same weight so they could reach the destined place or fulfill the assignment. Now back to the topic at hand.

 

The house was crowded with people. There were bystanders who watched in amazement to see the miracles that took place. People observed the friends carry the paralytic on the roof and watched the miracle took place. We all will experience times when we may be immobilized and seem like we may need support/help to get to the place where we can walk again. No one can function effectively by themselves.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

It is okay for us to let our loved ones know that we need help. Do not allow the enemy to make you feel bad for needing help at times. He tries to get us alone so he can prey on us. He doesn’t go after the pack of sheep, he singles the one that is alone. He looks for the ones who are weak to devour. Are you the paralytic who needs to be carried to Jesus for healing? Are you the faithful friends who will do what is required to get others to Jesus? Or are you are the bystander who is in awe as God and others work around us?  The awesome thing is no matter where we find ourselves, there is always an answer. There is always hope.  Don’t be dismayed or discouraged!!

 

Remember, leave no treasure undiscovered!

 

paralytic

Love Requires Work

Communication and unmet expectations is one of the major issues in all relationships. You can share your heart with individuals over and over. Until a person realizes and identifies the issue, they will not change. Sometimes we expect to receive love from people who don’t have the capacity in their heart to love you. Or it could be that they aren’t willing to make room in their heart for you. So, it takes you to understand whether a person has the ABILITY or WILLINGNESS to love you. Then you must adjust your perspective, love, and accept them for who they are today. If you don’t you will be hurt and disappointed repeatedly because of expectations not being met. Love is a choice. We choose to love or not to love the people in our lives. All relationships require give and take. Both people must pour into the relationship. Boundaries may have to be placed so that you won’t end up in a deficit. You teach people how to love you. If you keep accepting anything, you are saying it’s okay. Don’t be afraid to communicate what you need in relationships. Sometimes we make people feel wrong for communicating their needs. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad for sharing how you feel.  Gary Chapman author of one of my favorite books identify our love languages (the way we communicate care and love) as the following:

  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Physical touch
  • Gifts
  • Acts of service

 

Everyone communicate love differently. It is insane for us to think that everyone loves the same way. I know that each person in my life have different needs in relationships. So, I try my best to communicate with them in their languages and meet their needs in our relationships. Just like if you have children. Each of your children will have different needs. Therefore, you communicate your love with them in the way they require. However, often we try to love everyone in our lives the same way or maybe we don’t even consider the certain relationships beyond a certain scope. All relationships take work and effort. You don’t get in your car or live in your house without paying attention to it to see if it needs maintenance. You know that your car requires gas and oil. Relationships require maintenance. If you have a relationship that is important to you, be sure that you check in from time to time. There may be some relationships change over time. As we grow, our needs may change. I recently noticed that my love language changed. After growth in some areas of my life, I realized that my main two love languages aren’t the same anymore. I never thought that those would now be different.  Evaluate and check in with your loved ones from time to time. You should be comfortable expressing your needs in relationships. If a person makes you feel bad for that, they may not be willing to put in the work. Could it be that what you are expressing could reflect something they aren’t ready to address?

 

Romans 12:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor;

Let’s Talk About Sex

              October 27, 2016

 I’m tired of just hanging with the guys or girls. I want to be on a date like the rest of my friends who are booed up. Girl, that’s easy for you to say when you are going home to a man in your bed every night. Sound familiar?  Even if you aren’t single now you, I am sure you went through this stage at one point in your life. We all have been here if you are honest with yourself. I can’t say what you have encountered, so let me be transparent with you about what I have experienced. My last relationship was 8 years ago. Yes 8 years! I found that whenever I made the decision to be celibate and honor God with my body 15 years ago my dating life wasn’t as easy. Some people think that it is impossible to be celibate in a relationship.  It may not be easy, but it isn’t impossible. When God tells us, that sex should be within the covenant of marriage, He is not attempting to set you up to fail. God isn’t a jerk that wants to send you on a wild goose chase knowing you will never be able to maintain or obtain He has asked you to do. He would never give you anything to do that is impossible. I have no special ability and NO the call of God on my life doesn’t make it easier for me. It most certainly takes effort in keeping myself out of situations that could lead to sex.

Being single in and no committed relationship or courtship doesn’t make it less challenging either. You must use wisdom and don’t put yourself in situations where you know good and well it will make you want to have sex. I don’t care how close you are with God. You can have him on speed dial or wearing iron clad underwear, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have to fight sexual temptation. There’s no special superpower someone has to deny themselves. It takes using wisdom, discipline, and self -control.  Now I have done some pretty dumb things earlier while being celibate and everyone can’t do some of those things. Wisdom went straight out the window. For example, I was in a relationship and use to spend the night at his home. Wait for it…. not in separate rooms but in the same bed. Now you know God wasn’t pleased!  We are to stay abstain from the very appearance of evil. Now we didn’t even share a kiss, but was sharing a bed. I wish you could see my expression on my face. That could have destroyed my witness and destroyed my reputation if it was exposed. What if we were caught doing something so reckless?  Who would have believed that we weren’t having sex better yet not even kissing? I bet no one is raising your hand right about now. Well Tara, you are a minister so you can’t do anything like that. Oh, really? When did the Word of God only applied for the leaders and ministers of the gospel? Oh, we try to talk ourselves out of things that we don’t want to know the truth about. We fight with ideas and other scriptures to justify what we are doing in our lives. We compare our lives to others.

 “At least I am not doing, what they are doing! So God I am not that bad! God is still working on me! He knows my heart!”

 Yes, we all have areas in our lives that we can stand to grow more. God can’t work on you unless you open your heart to Him in that area. You must let him be Lord over every area of your life. We try to pick and choose where we want Him to lead.  We want Him to protect us. We want Him to provide for us, but our relationships are off limit. I hear already someone saying.

“I go to work every day and I work for my own money. I work hard for what I do.”

If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18

Some of us get in relationships He didn’t lead us in, but we want Him to bless our relationship. The relationship that we entered ourselves without seeking Him about. Now that we have invested so much of ourselves we just ask God to bless the relationship. Now that relationship could be the one God has for you. Sometimes we move ahead of Him. You could have the right relationship at the wrong time. That is another message for another day. My people! My heart truly aches for this generation. We know so much, but we know nothing.  Thank God that He gave me grace to use wisdom and to make some sound decisions when I was behaving recklessly.  When you are in courtship, you should let God lead you in your convictions. No God doesn’t want you having sex, sharing your bed, and giving your body to someone who isn’t your wife or husband. I know that society tells you that it is okay if you love him and know you are going to marry him. Engaged doesn’t mean married and unfortunately that doesn’t please God. God isn’t trying to punish you. Have you ever thought that He commanded that because He knew all the things we could encounter? Have you ever thought that maybe that it was His way of protecting us even from ourselves?  Sexual sin is one of the only sins that you can commit against your own body. You don’t have to have sex with your partner to keep them. If they love you, they will wait and encourage you along the way. If they do not, then look at it as God’s way of protecting you.

 “Tara, I don’t feel I am having sex with my boo to keep them…Girl I am the one that wants to have sex. I have a high libido. I feel closer to them when we have sex. It gives us a deeper connection”

I have heard all of those before and I urge you to dig deeper for your reason. Maybe it is because it has always been your MO and you are just used to having sex in a relationship. How else will you know that you will be sexually satisfied with someone before you marry. Will you take a used car home from the dealership without test driving?  Your body is not a Benz, Lexus, or Jeep. When God leads you to your mate, they will have everything you desire and require. He is your Creator; He knows the number of hairs on your big head. Surely He can give you someone to satisfy you sexually. He knows your body better than you know. It is called TRUST! Now if you have had sex before marriage, pray that you have every negative soul tie from your past broken. Soul ties were created to be a beautiful thing. However, when your soul is connected to someone God didn’t intend or before the right season, it only complicates things. Ever had that boo that something just keep pulling you back? You can’t seem to move on and you know that it is over or should be? It is probably a soul tie. Before you enter marriage pray that any soul ties you have had in the past is gone. Your spouse will be competing with someone who is no longer in your life. Yet, they could very well be in your bed.  You could think you aren’t sexually satisfied because you experienced better with someone else.  That is why we aren’t supposed to have sex outside the realms of marriage. God wants you to have mind blowing sex within the covenant of marriage. This is important even if you are already married and haven’t done this.

 No sex before marriage will allow you to think more clearly. You can hear clearly about what God is speaking to you about this individual. Sex complicates things and sometimes become anesthesia to the real issues in your relationship. It makes you numb to the problems and allow you to turn a blind eye to things you normally wouldn’t. It is never too late for you to be celibate and decide to wait. Is it harder if you are already engaged in sex?? YES, but thank God that it isn’t impossible. It starts with your decision that you want to experience God’s best in that area of your life. If you are in an intimate relationship already, it may be harder for you to make the decision. However, His grace is sufficient. It will require some effort on your part and putting boundaries in place. If you think you have the greatest relationship now, it will make it that much greater. I must keep it real. Now in some cases, your relationship won’t last. You may start to see things that were once vague. You may not like what you see. You may be afraid of seeing the truth. That could be one of your reasons you haven’t initiated the process yet. Just know that whatever the reasons, this isn’t impossible for you to do. This isn’t just a bunch of bologna and it isn’t the new popular craze. It has been being done for centuries. It is what God desires for your life.

I have found that some of the strongest connections I experienced in past relationships were ones where we chose to honor God with our bodies. It causes you to dig deeper and to face the music sometimes for a song that you don’t want to hear. Yet, it will be one of the greatest decisions you have made in your life. For those of you that have already made that commitment, I am sending you a virtual high five and hug. I know it’s not easy, but the rewards of being obedient to God is much sweeter. Oh, yes! The enemy, will highlight other relationships where you know people are having sex and it appears that they are still being blessed with marriage. Why am I being faithful and all these other people around me have a woman or man? They look happy and I’m still waiting. What is the point of not having sex if everyone still getting the same reward? Marriage isn’t the ultimate reward of being celibate. That is not a promise if you keep yourself. That isn’t the reason you should not have sex. It should be because you want to honor God with your body and commit yourself on another level to Him. Now there are fringe benefits that come along with honoring God, but don’t let it be just for marriage. Why? When you don’t get married right away or waiting for years, it will be hard to continue. It will become easier to leave your decision to be celibate behind in the dust. I didn’t sit down to write about abstaining from sex until marriage. I thought I was going to encourage someone through their season of singleness, but God had another plan. God loves you so much that He interrupted the regular program to share His heart for you. I will post the other blog later. I must always be led and go with His leading.  . This isn’t something that is my personal opinion and that I made up because it sounds good. It is just the Word of God. Even if you don’t believe in Him abstinence really is a great protection plan. It allows  you to focus more on the deeper things in relationships that we don’t always discover until it’s too late. I can truly go on and on, but I just want to start the conversation

I truly want to hear from you all about your thoughts on having sex before marriage. I have received many emails and messages about this topic and keep them coming. I don’t always address them on an open forum unless God leads me, but you will get a response. The conversation about sex is so taboo. If we don’t talk about it, we will continue to be deceived. Let’s talk about sex! 

Tara S. Middleton

Why Am I Not Married?

 

Many women are waiting on their spouses. Some of them have become weary in the process. I am seeing it everywhere I go. Usually women that are already married pass on the advice “He’s coming, just be patient and content.” You also hear “As soon as I became content, that is when my husband came to me” Now the intentions may definitely be to encourage and came from a good heart. Truth is that it’s not always encouraging and can tend to have the opposite effect. Sometimes after being married, women may not always remember what it was like when the shoe was on the other foot. I will be honest. They really feel like you are going home and getting in bed to sleep next to your man, so you it is easy for you to say “Just be content, he is coming”. Lack of transparency is missing sometimes in these situations. Now hear me correctly, I’m not saying we should just go tell our business to everyone. You have to be led and know to whom you are speaking. They need to hear how it was not the easiest process for you and what you did to really make it through. Single women have been told so much about being content in their singleness and their husband will come. Content is a state of peaceful happiness. However, the wrong Idea has been put into these women about being content. Content doesn’t mean that you no longer have the desire for marriage. God will not give you a desire for marriage and then tell you it’s wrong to have the desire. Psalms 108:8 “God will perfect those things that concerns you” If you have a concern about wanting to be married, then God is concerned about it as well. He will perfect the things that concerns you. If you aren’t married yet, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care about you being married. He wants to have your heart first. He wants to be more than enough for you. He is a jealous God. He loves you so much that He wants your attention first and He wants to be the one to make you smile and happy. That is the heart of God. Women also say “I’m lonely, and I feel alone.” Well marriage isn’t the answer to being alone. You have women who are married and they still feel alone in a marriage. Marriage isn’t the ultimate goal. You get married and now what? There is more in life to achieve.

I have been single and in waiting for almost 15 years now. I have gotten to a place where it doesn’t affect me greatly any more. Now at one time it wasn’t the easiest process when I had every one of my friends getting married around me and some of those friendships changed of course because their spouses are number one priority. I truly had to celebrate with them and then during my time with God I praised for my husband. However, I was in a relationship and I was in love and he was in love with me. I knew marriage was an option for us and it was the next steps we were going to take. One day he was telling me how much he loved me and that he couldn’t wait to have all of me. We were on a family vacation, but when I got home back in my apartment at college, I immediately fell to my knees. Bags weren’t unpacked or anything. I prayed and said “God, I’m sorry. How can I give this man all of me and I haven’t given you all of me? I don’t really know who I am in You. I know you called me into ministry, but I don’t’ know anything about my assignment” I went on a fast immediately and was led to end the relationship. It was one of the hardest things I had to do because he treated me like a queen. I couldn’t find anything wrong with him to make me more comfortable with the decision. I knew that I needed to dedicate a 100% of myself to God and discover my purpose in Him. That is why one of the things I stress through Rare Rubies is for women to know who you are in Him before you allow someone to pursue you in a relationship. If I married that man like I was, I would have wrecked his life. I wasn’t fit to be anyone’s wife. I fasted for almost 9 months. I was in the Word at least 12 hours a day and in prayer sometimes for 24 hours. I was determined to know my purpose and to be prepared for the work God has called me to do. I am not saying that you should lock yourself in a room for 24 hours like I did at times to pray and study to find your purpose. My only reason for mentioning that is to show you how determined I was to find out my assignment. You can’t find out your purpose without going to the one who created you. He is the only one that will fill the void that you have if you are lonely. Listen that is not just for the single women, but it is for the engaged and married woman. Your husband should complement you not complete you. I do understand that sometimes women don’t really mean complete, but you have to be careful what you say. You may understand what you are saying, but the next woman may not. We have to be our sister’s keeper.

I also I took the time and allowed God to show me how to be wife. One of the things that God had me to do was to get up every morning while it was still dark to pray for my husband, who had not found me yet, before his day starts. Yes, I thought God was crazy at first and me to for listening. However, that wasn’t just for my husband, but it was to build me as well. Fourteen years later, I still do that. Its’s not just out of obedience, but it’s because I love Him. Proverbs 18:22 “He that finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord”. Many woman think that being married is going to transform them into a wife. If you think that getting married makes you a wife, you are sadly mistaken. It says he is looking for a wife. That means he isn’t just looking for a woman or even a girl. He is searching for a wife. That means the characteristics of a wife should already be seen. He should see the wife inside of the woman. Do you really want to be married? Marriage is a ministry and it takes work to stay happily married. What are you doing to prepare to be a wife? A Proverbs 31 woman is a wife. She know who she is in Christ and understands her Kingdom assignment and her role in the home as a wife. She is confident and know that she is his crown that makes him the king. She knows it’s because of her that her husband is praised in the gates. She knows that she has to cover her household in prayer. She understands that submission is to get (sub) under the vision of her husband and support him and the vision. This is some of the characteristics of a wife. A husband doesn’t want to find a woman who isn’t really happy. Loneliness and lack of fulfillment is not going to attract your husband. He wants to be able to add to your happiness. Your life should look so amazing that he wants to be a part of it and multiply that happiness. Don’t grow weary in the waiting process and don’t compare your life to the next woman. You don’t always know what is really going on in someone’s life. You have to stay excited and keep an expectation. Don’t allow past hurts to cause you not to have a positive expectation. You can’t say you are in faith and not in expectation. You praise God as you live your life in expectation that one day your husband will manifest. If you prayed it already, then he is already here. You just need him to manifest. That is another blog and teaching in it’s own. You have to learn to embrace the process. The process is designed for your benefit. If you despise it, it will be your demise.

So if you are wondering why your husband hasn’t find you yet, ask yourself these questions. Do I really know who I am? Am I pursuing my purpose? Am I prepared to be a wife? Am I a wife?

Which picture attracts you more?

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Where is My Boaz?

This time of year seems to be the season of weddings. Everyone seems to be getting married. As a single woman who has been single for years now, I know how this season can be for my single and waiting sisters. I know firsthand how that feeling can be, especially when there aren’t even any prospects. We can be like “God, what is going on? Where is my Boaz?” I know you may be tired of hearing “You have plenty of time! He’s coming!” How many of you have heard this over and over again? Sometimes you are thinking plenty of time for what? These are all things that even a saved single, still gets tired of hearing. Let’s be real! Instead of being encouraging it can often be discouraging or even agitating at times.

Sisters you can’t get anxious and decide to put matters into your own hand. Don’t casually date random guys just so you can have companionship. Don’t just go to dinner with a guy because someone tells you “At least it’s a free dinner!” No that dinner is not free, you are paying for it one way or another. I wouldn’t want to waste my valuable time with a random guy that you know isn’t going to go anywhere. You want the guy that God has just for you. You don’t want to play games with a guy. Don’t just keep him around so if you are bored you will have someone to call or something to do. Get rid of some of those numbers out your phone that you may be tempted to call or text when you get lonely. We don’t like guys playing around with us, and we should do the same in return. I recently saw some videos on Facebook where girls was proposing to their guys. Ladies we should not be getting on our knees to ask a man to marry us. The man God has for you will be the priest, prophet, and protector of your home. He is supposed to be the head and the leader. If he doesn’t ask you to be his wife, he isn’t trying to be your head or lead you anywhere for that matter. Don’t try to make something work just because you are tired of waiting or want him to be the one. Don’t try and flaunt yourself in front of a guy in whom you are interested. I was listening to a famous actress share how she used twitter to get her guy’s attention. Don’t go liking all of a guy’s old pictures from 2002 in order to get him to notice you. Let God be the author of your love story and not yourself. He is the Master of Creation, allow Him to be creative in how He places you with your mate.

Let this season of your life, be where you start working on the things God has designed you or purposed for you to do. Take this time to complete some of your goals. If you don’t know what it is that you are purposed to do, start there. Spend time seeking what you were purposed to do. I was in a serious relationship that I ended because I wanted to know what it was God wanted me to do. I wanted to be able to give God 100% before giving a man a 100% of me. I wanted to see if we had similar visions for our lives. If not, there would eventually be a split in the road somewhere. It has been 12 years since I did that, and yes I’m still waiting for my Boaz. I have had a couple of imposters or people who I thought may have been. I thank God that He is protecting me and preserving me for my husband. I found that during this time of singleness I have been able to serve God in a way, that if I was married I wouldn’t be able to do without certain challenges. Don’t become impatient. It will leave you hurt. Don’t give pieces of your heart to all the random guys that don’t matter. You should give your whole heart to the man God has for you not the pieces left over. Give your heart to God and He will cover and protect it for your mate. He will be worth the wait, God will not disappoint you. Remember anything worth having is worth the wait. Rejoice with your sisters or brothers who has found their mates. Never allow jealousy to set in your heart. Don’t allow society to put the “My biological tock is clicking” thought in your head or your vocabulary! God is in control and He will make sure your Boaz will wake up on time and he won’t oversleep. Meanwhile, make sure you are working out your purpose and getting prepared for the presentation!

 

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