You’ve got to quit to succeed

My husband and I have been through quite the transition these past couple of months. We started the year 2022 with the goal in mind to try new things, go big, and make risky moves. Both of us have passions and desires of our own and while they may not be the same, we’ve managed to help each other and provide insight, wisdom, and encouragement as we pursue said passions that are intertwined in our purpose as individuals and as husbands and wives. While I cannot say I’ve made major big moves and as a means to not come across as braggadocious (this is not the “here’s what I’ve done blog), I am choosing to focus on someone that I greatly admire and who inspired today’s blog. That’s right, my husband, Jarrod Pisors. 

Entering the year 2022, my husband and I prayed about what the year had for us and we prayed for boldness to go after the big, hard, and risky things. We prayed about the direction for the year and that the Lord would ordain our steps. We’ve made risky steps. Some worked and some haven’t. We made grand plans that fell through and others that fell into our laps without even trying. We are not even through the year 2022 and have cried many tears of disappointment and victories. In all, we’ve learned and my learning from my husband, you must quit in order to succeed. Quit what you may ask. Well, here are the five areas I’ve watched first hand my husband quit as he scaled his brand and businesses: 

  1. Doubts – the underlying reason so many of us don’t even attempt to take a step is that we are stuck in imaginative thinking. Granted, some of our doubts are valid, however, unless those doubts become actual reality, they remain wishful thinking. Some dear friend of ours encouraged Jarrod and me to refuse to be cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Cold timid souls remain stuck in doubt. They refused to move. They’re crippled by fear of the unknown they’ve created for themselves. That’s the first thing Jarrod quit. He quit telling himself he couldn’t and he did. 
  2. Excuses – this exists because we live in doubt. Our excuses are our way of justifying why we choose to remain in our rut. Yes, you read that correctly. It is a choice. When we allow our doubts to take the form of our imaginative reality, they become the excuses that keep us locked in that cold damp cave of “I can’t.” Jarrod quit the excuses and his “I can’t” shifted to “I will.” Jarrod started repeating each day in the mirror “I will…” and his confidence increased with every repetition of those words that started off as a whisper. He slapped excuses in the face and took the bull by the horn. Gutsy? Absolutely. 
  3. Noise – whenever you venture into anything new there will be people (family and friends included) who will become noise to your aspirations and goals. They will be your “You can’t” whispering in your ear motivating you to quit. Do they all mean bad, no? Those who whisper these doubts and fears are a reflection of their own doubts and fear crippling them inside. The noise will encourage you to quit. The noise will tell you that you will fail. The noise will even mock and laugh at you. Jarrod however, in his masculine nature shut the noise by humbling himself in prayer. I’ve caught him numerous times in our bedroom face flat on the ground praying and crying as worship music filled the air. A presence of calm and humble arrogance cultivated when he remembered his why. The noise easily can drown by our why because reality is, that’s far bigger and grander than words that fall flat to the ground that has no bearing on your purpose.
  4. Bad habits – can be anything from spending too much time on your phone, saying yes to everyone, sleeping in too late, watching too much television, or feeding your mind with unnecessary and meaningless content. Bad habits hold us back from succeeding. It takes up precious and valuable space and time. Quitting these areas will ruffle feathers. People will mock you for “being different.” They won’t understand why you’re being selective to events and pumping “too much time” into building your business or brand. Jarrod became selfish. He got and still gets a lot of heat because of his dedication. He quit time wasting and pumped time into his business. As his wife, even I had to learn and adjust to his “absence.” Rather than complain he was always in his office, I joined him. I found ways where I could help and be an asset.
  5. Job – yes. Sometimes (not always) you will need to quit your job. Dream big, so big that your goal is to become your own boss. That’s if that’s your goal. That was Jarrods and is now his reality. He literally resigned from his job. Two businesses built up to a point that could hold us over. He took the plunge and has continued to scale. Quitting comes with its own challenges. You no longer have the security of consistent paychecks. You decide how much you make. You have to find jobs. You have to rework your budget and priorities. You also need to be aware of laws and regulations in running your own business. Most importantly, you become greatly aware of your dependence on God. Jarrod and I have learned to pray over our businesses and to rely on God and not our own strength. We’ve faced hiccups along the way but have made it a priority to not allow the disruptions in running our own business to bring a wedge between us. He especially continues to resort back to our purpose and the why.

Whatever your dream is, move from it simply being a dream to it becoming a reality. All you need to do is take one step. And that one step will turn into many other steps. 

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 
Psalm 37:3-6

Be the better person!

“Let’s reconcile our differences,” a familiar statement made by my husband, Jarrod. If I am being honest, I didn’t quite enjoy it whenever he’d make that statement or a variation of that statement. I have never been the greatest at first, admitting when I am wrong, and secondly resolving conflict whether I am right or wrong. In the early stages of dating, whenever we didn’t see eye to eye, Jarrod would encourage me to reconcile our differences and resolve the conflict between us. If he knew I wasn’t 100% with anyone he always challenged me to be the better person. Not the bigger person, rather the better because I know better. We will get to why he focuses on knowing better and not being the bigger person a little later. Either way, Jarrod has helped me to mature and grow up from my all too childish character that enjoys the cozy and easy route of brushing conflict under the rug, pretending it hadn’t happened, or giving it time for all parties to forget what had happened.

Life is too short to hold on to anger and bitterness. As a matter of fact, Paul, the author of the book of Romans writes just this for believers and unbelievers alike to strive to be at peace:

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Knowing our days are numbered and we don’t really know when our expiration date is, how foolish are we to hold on to wrath that can quite frankly determine our destination. Here are a couple more verses that will ruffle your feathers just a bit and I pray convicts and compels you to be the better person:

 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness (James 1:19-20)
Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. (1 John 3:15)

Now let’s get to why you and I need to be the better person. You and I know better. Don’t believe me? Well, you just read the biblical instructions that clearly stated the importance of reconciliation and the gravity of holding on to anger, bitterness, and wrath. You know better and in knowing better, you should do better. That’s the power of knowledge, my friend. Your duty now in knowing better is to assume the parties involved in your dispute do not know better. What an advantage you have! On a serious note, especially for those who believe and serve Christ, if you are about the Father’s business and heart then you should be about reconciliation. That’s the whole grand dynastic plan from the beginning. In Old Testament we see God reconciling man with Him through prophets and revelation. In the New Testament, God sent His son Jesus to take the form of man to once again bring reconciliation and to teach us likewise how to do so. If it weren’t that important I’d say God would have excused the whole idea of reconciliation entirely from scripture. However, it’s emphasized, chapter after chapter, parable after parable the heart of God to reconcile man with man and man with God is evident.

To reconcile is to restore. In Christian theology, it is an element of salvation that refers to the result of atonement through Christ. Earthly reconciliation is doing likewise only ending the estrangement between man and man. In order for you and I to end the estrangement between each other we first need to end the estrangement between humanity and God (personally). Why? Simply, we cannot give something we do not have. In order to have access to a heart change that desires reconciliation, we need that element of salvation. If you believe you have said salvation, then I am daring to say, do you really have the love of Christ in your heart? If you did, then reconciliation should be in your life mantra.

I will end with this. Our decision to choose reconciliation does not mean the wound or damage can be undone or erased from our memory, rather it may forever be etched there. It does however reflect what’s in our hearts when we choose to be the better person. Not that we are better, rather our hearts have gotten better to see people the way Christ does and not how our heart that is all too emotional and fleshly driven sees others. I challenge you to be the better person. Do better and strive to reconcile before it’s too late.


Permissible Sin

Are there sins that are permissible? We’d like to believe there is, right? We’ve simply created the idea that there’s such a thing as permissible sin. We’ve convinced ourselves that there are sins that qualify as acceptable. We’ve come up with clever “loopholes” and explanations as to why some sins are justifiable. Christianity is no longer authentic in continual striving to be more like Christ. Christianity is more blending to become like the world and liked by the world. There is no set-apartness within us. So what do we do? We’ve deemed these as permissible:

  • over-sexualizing the up and coming generation
  • validating impurity consumed through our eyes and ears
  • feeding the sensual appetites of the body
  • idolizing politics, social media “likes,” status and fame
  • justifying enmity and hostility among those who think differently
  • refusing the release from the grip having on anger and bitterness
  • supporting the retaliation in fits of anger
  • teaming up on jealousy and envy among the body of Christ
  • affirming unhealthy competitiveness that lead to division
  • support, approval and glorifying the state of intoxication
  • accepting and engaging in orgies and sexual indulgence promoted in TV shows, movies, songs

If you’ve been following along this year, you’ve probably caught on that I have belabored on several of these permissible sins. My over-emphasis on these topics ties greatly to this up-and-coming generation. It’s frightening, honestly. No, it’s not a matter of controlling and censorship of free will, rather it’s revealing the reality that we’ve lost our understanding of Christianity. The church is skillfully becoming the modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah convincing generations past that progressive Christianity is biblical. We are told you simply need to do and be good to make it to heaven. The gospel of salvation is diluted. We’ve emphasized moral code diminishing Christianity to moralistic religion. A religion that subliminally promotes permissible sins.

Children, pre-teens, and teenagers alike are over-sexualized by their parents. TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Stories appear harmless on the surface. When we dig a little deeper into these playful videos we see children dancing to songs that glorify sexual indulgence, profanity, drugs, and alcohol. We’ve convinced ourselves that songs promoting adultery, fornication, idolatry, hatred, wrath, murder, and drunkenness’ are “okay.” The “beat hits different” somehow grants a pass to the gate of our ears and hearts.

These seemingly minor passes have led Christians to become open to liberal ideologies. We’ve taken the mission of Christ reaching those who are lost to becoming like the lost. We go to clubs, drink in drunkenness, dance the dances, and have mirrored the imagery of those who we are called to witness. We’ve become salt that’s trampled on, and are dull lamps slowly losing our purpose to shine. Churches and Christ-followers are appealing more to culture than they are to biblical truth.

There is no sin in having fun, but if having fun compromises our eyes, ears, mouth, body, and heart then we’ve lost what authentic Christianity is. Authentic Christianity practices truth. It sows into God’s word and kingdom. Authentic Christianity requires being set apart. What you and I have failed to realize is every sin that we entertain builds on each other. The likelihood of having a guilt conscience disappears as sin becomes easier and easier and our hearts become less aware of what we are doing, saying, listening to you, and entertaining.

Here’s what the Bible says,

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:19-21

What we’ve consumed through social media, the conversations we engage in, the music we listen to, and the shows we binge watch eventually become who we are. We live out what we’ve consumed. The more we are comfortable with little passes of idle talk and profanity the easier it gets to continue into the hole of sin. Galatians 6:9 says,

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

I will leave you with this. There is no harm in having fun. There’s no harm in living a great life. There is harm however when we dilute Christianity to push personal agenda, self-gratification, and our narrative of rightness. If you are a Christ-follower, have you made an allowance of sin? Are you simply saying you are a Christian only to look like the rest of the world? God’s fire within us changes our longings. Those longings should be the desire for greater purity and purpose.

What are you sowing into? What do you spend your time doing? What have you allowed yourself to believe are harmless permissible sins(s)? What are you encouraging those around you to believe are passes in Christianity?


Artifice Strides

You woke up this morning only to find yourself on a stage with the biggest projector screen behind you. Your life is being played on said screen. You look around to see that you’re not the only one in the room. Rather, there’s a full audience watching your biopic. Your “true” self, is being revealed. Every thought, and action both seen in public and unseen in private is being played for said audience. Would you be ashamed? Would you hide in shame seeing the inner parts of your life being exposed? Would your true self contradict what your daily strides have conveyed. I can tell you — I would be ashamed. There are parts of my heart and my character that I am not quite proud of.

We have been living in deception. We’ve chosen the route of fake it till we make it. Our Christian walk is all a hoax. We’ve been preaching a certain narrative, while living the exact opposite of what we preach. We’ve tricked those around us to believe we are the “it” Christian, when in actuality we are crumbling inside. I call this, artifice strides.

What’s “artifice”? Defined, it is a cleaver more often underhanded means to achieve an end. Simply put, it’s a gimmick or bluff. I’ve bluffed Christianity. I’ve pretended in order to convince those around me that I’ve mastered it. Have you done that before? There’s a difference between struggling with a sin and actively working towards growth versus actively living in said sin and pretending nothing is wrong. Artifice strides creatively manipulates those around you that your walk with Christ is subpar. Artifice strides are works based when the heart is quite messed up.

Paul, the writer of many of the New Testament books, writes in 1 Corinthians 13 some biblical truths on artifice strides that I believe properly illustrates how many of us have chosen to live out Christianity. He writes,

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

The idea here is that love conquers the sin nature within us. Love is found in salvation and atonement, however it doesn’t stop there. It continues after we’ve accepted Jesus in our hearts. Salvation is not a one moment experience. It’s a daily, moment by moment, spiritual growth. In Christianity, we should grow patience and kindness. Envy, boasting and pride is replaced with humility and genuine glee for the victories of others. In growth, we learn to honor those around us, and seek truth versus delighting in evil. Paul states that when love through salvation grows within us, we protect, trust, hope and persevere in our daily strides.

We’d like to believe we are not pretentious in our approach to Christianity, but the truth of the matter is, many of us are. Our intentions are not always pure. We pray with hate heavy in our hearts. We sing praises with no faith within us. We share the word of God through mere memorization and not a love for God’s word. We quote scriptures as a means to judge those whom we disagree with because of their open sin nature, yet we are no different in the secret places as we’re actively living in sin. We’ve cleverly developed a means to say we’ve done Christianity well, when in actuality it is all a hoax. We hide behind the title Christianity when it’s merely a means to gain status and liking among believers or present oneself as perfect.

Christianity is not a destination. When we view Christianity as a destination we take artifice strides. All our doing for Christ is done with the intent to “appear” as a Christian. Faith, integrity and authenticity is absent in terminal Christianity. Destination Christianity knows only to do and has not grasped onto the truth of transformation. True Christianity is perpetual. It doesn’t end with the call to salvation. It’s continuous in unwavering growth.

The question I want to propose to you is, are you taking artifice or honoring strides? Are you authentically walking? Are you living what you preach or have you bluffed the Christian walk? Is at all a hoax? If it is, here’s something you need to know, you cannot make a lie, truth. Ultimately, the lie you’re hoping to appear as truth air its’ ugly face. Until we begin to be honest with ourselves and open up about the sins we struggle with, then will we be able to find freedom. Truth sets us free and in freedom we can walk honorably. Truth is you admitting and acknowledging your sins. From that point, Gods word can transform. God cannot move unless we create space in our hearts for Him to move. Too often we’ve welcomed artifice strides in order to hide behind perfection and not admit our sin nature.

I want to challenge you to be honest about your faith walk. If you’re making artifice strides, someone will eventually call your bluff. We are not promised tomorrow to live honorably. We have a choice and ultimately it’s choosing between a lie or truth.

What are you going to do?


We’re just friends…

If you are in a loving relationship, there’s no such thing as “we’re just friends.” No, I am not talking about you and your significant other. I am talking about friendships you have with the opposite sex outside of your relationship with your significant other. If you disagree, don’t quit reading. Hear me out for a second. Friendships with the opposite sex is fine to a certain degree. By saying that, I mean you can have “buddies,” but never to the extent of texting one on one, private phone conversations, inside jokes, and especially driving alone together. It just doesn’t work. The moment you begin having relationships with the opposite sex beyond surface level is the moment you allow a third party in your personal relationship. No longer is it a boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancé/fiancée, husband/wife relationship. The third person becomes a stumbling block that can lead to a myriad of issues. No it’s not jealousy and no, it’s not being controlling. It’s the principle of honoring the relationship you are choosing to pursue.

I am naturally a friendly person. I grew up in a family that is no stranger to man. Growing up our home was always open. It was open to every and anyone. Whether it was family, church friends, work friends or school friends, my parents welcomed all. At times we even hosted missionary groups months on end. My parents are huge believers of being a friend to all. I took that very literally and did not realize how detrimental it could be in a loving relationship. As a female who is in a loving relationship, having a male friend outside of the one I am pursuing was not something I ever considered. Besides, I did not know all that comes with being in a committed relationship. With dating Jarrod, I had some learning to do. We both did. A lot of what I share are personal and serious learning on my part. Don’t get the wrong idea. Jarrod, my fiancé, whenever issues come up that require some learning on my end, he’s been amazing at not blowing up on me or get all crazy. He’s had some learning on his own too. We quickly had to understand that we are both learning and in that, there has to be grace. Back to the topic of having friends of the opposite sex. Let’s just say I almost allowed someone to become a third party. A place they had no right having. I bet you’re thinking wild here. Let me just give you the inside scoop.

Before Jarrod and I got engaged, in the early stage of our dating, a guy came along that needed help with his homeless ministry. Let’s call him Pete. I love helping people. And as mentioned above, I was raised to be a friend to all, so naturally I said, yes. It didn’t take long for Pete to ask for my number for “ministry purposes.” Texts quickly turned into phone calls. All along, Jarrod gently asked me to be very careful. Naturally, I thought Jarrod was being jealous and paranoid. Besides, Pete and I, well – “we’re just friends.” Boy oh boy was I wrong. While our texts and phone calls were centered around the happenings in “ministry,” I started noticing they became increasingly more frequent and longer.

The tipping point was when Pete asked me to go grab lunch with him after one of our ministry meetings [one on one]. It was then Vashti’s eyes were open to the reality of what was going on. What seemed harmless in the beginning led to someone that had created ties with me I had no intentions creating. I had to admit something to myself that Jarrod had told me from the start, Pete liked me. He knew I was dating Jarrod, but that didn’t stop him. Jarrod always tells me,

People don’t care if you’re in a relationship or not. If someone likes you, they will be there and their “being there” is simply a means to take the seat of the one that’s currently occupying it.

They are waiting for their moment and they will patiently wait until you put in place boundaries and remove the means for them to wait. It starts small only to have a snowball effect. You get to choose that snowball effect. After this whole ordeal, Jarrod and I had a hard sit down conversation.

Something I thoroughly love about Jarrod is that in hard conversations, he always makes clear, he loves me. Whatever we are discussing does not remove or change the foundation of love. Let me tell you, that conversation was not easy for this non-confrontational girl. But it needed to happen. We created boundaries in a number of areas of our relationship, but one of them we did not cover was that of having friends of the opposite sex. The one thing we did cover in that aspect was never driving alone with the opposite sex outside of immediate family, but outside of that, not much. Before I get into that, I bet you’re curious to know if I grabbed lunch with Pete. I did, but clever Vashti found a way to make this one on one lunch into a whole group event. We all carpooled and I made sure to take the backseat as to not be paired up next to Pete. On the way to lunch I humbly texted Jarrod, “You were right. I am so sorry!”

Two people cannot simply be friends. One will always end up growing some type of feeling for the other. Don’t believe me? Ask someone who’s been through some type of infidelity. I have no place speaking for friends and family who I’ve witness having gone through a separation or divorce. That’s their story to tell, but what I will say is, the common denominator is one party thinking “we’re just friends” which led to emotional and physical cheating. Jarrod was gracious with me. Sometimes I think he is a little to gracious as I am learning the ways around being in a loving relationship. You can say I grew up a tad bit sheltered. What I viewed as a harmless friendship, was an entry way for something that could have ruined the trust built between Jarrod and I.

So what did Jarrod and I agree on? In our conversation I found out something eye opening. Other than his female family members, Jarrod doesn’t text any other females. On occasions, if it’s to surprise me then he’ll text my sister in laws and my closest friends. Outside of that, Jarrod firmly believes he has no place texting any other female. To say I felt pretty crappy is an understatement. He didn’t tell me that to make me feel bad about myself. Jarrod shared his heart to make clear his priorities and his top was to honor God and then me. His way of honoring me was never creating a space that I would lose his trust.

Now don’t get the wrong idea about me here. It’s not like I have boys on end texting me. That’s not it at all, but the ones that did have my contact information, I had to put a firm line between me and them. Currently, I work with mostly men. Married and unmarried, and to protect all hearts I’ve implemented Jarrods example of honoring me. If it’s not work related, there’s no place for texting/calling. After 5pm, if it’s not an emergency, then it can wait. My priority is first God and then Jarrod. In honoring, I had to set boundaries that will protect what’s sacred.

Here’s the thing, if you need to have friends with the opposite sex while in a committed relationship, you’re in the wrong relationship. One of my sister-in-law’s has this saying, “it’s you and your spouse against the world.” You choose to make your significant other the priority. That doesn’t begin in marriage. If you are dating just to date, that’s a whole other issue. But if you are seriously dating with the intent to marry, create healthy habits of boundaries with the opposite sex. It’s not control. It’s not trust issues. It’s not even jealousy. It’s removing any means to create distrust, dishonor, and infidelity of any sort.

I will conclude with this, some things we’ve implemented in terms of opposite sex relationships that we’ve held strong and firm on are:

  • No driving alone with the opposite sex outside of immediate family.
  • If it’s not work related or an emergency, there’s no place to have a text/phone conversation with the opposite sex.
  • For our friends that are married, if there’s a need to text one of them, we form a group message for that. This is to honor our friends marriage.
  • (this one is important) NEVER confide in friends of the opposite sex. The moment there’s secrecy, trust between you and your signifiant other becomes questionable.

Don’t create a room where emotional or physical cheating can creep in. Protect what’s sacred and always remember that it’s you and your significant other against the world. There’s no such thing as “we’re just friends.” Someone always ends up creating a tie/connectedness.

Do you have “we’re just friends” of the opposite sex that you text and call outside of your loving relationship? Has that created issues in your personal relationship? Figure out what your priority is. If you cant, then you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship.


More than “sex before marriage”

If you didn’t know, it’s wedding month which means why not center this months blogs around all things relationship. My fiancé Jarrod and I have been engaged for 9 months and this month, on April 29th, we will become husband and wife. Our relationship has not been easy. It’s taken quite a bit of work. Now, we most definitely do not know it all, but we have learned a lot throughout our 8 months of courting, 2 years of dating and 9 months of engagement. One thing we’ve found is that the church does an awful job at helping young Christian couples who want to do things right, do things right. Reality is, we just don’t talk about it. Growing up, the fear of God was drilled into my heart that I knew sex before marriage was a no go. Why? Because it is sinful (what I was told). Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree but, can we just be real here… there is way more that can be done before marriage that is outside of “sex” that is also sinful which defiles the marriage bed. 

So what is sex? 

Sex can be talked about in two forms. The first is considered a person’s gender. This can be male or female with the basis stemming from chromosome in the human body. From my vague memory of biology in high school, males have Y chromosome and females have XY chromosome. That is the very basic generalization of sex.

The second form of sex is when a man and a woman joins together to become one (the joining of male and female sex organs). Our bodies were uniquely created to fit into each other. Neat huh? But why is this so important in Christian living? Why do we stay away from having sex before marriage? From joining with one another…

From a biblical perspective, Old Testament writers hammered on the issues of sexual immorality. Let’s start from the beginning. Genesis 2:24-25 states

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” 

Jarrod and I both have never had sex. We’ve both chosen to wait prior to dating each other. But I will say this, we sure have been tempted. Naturally so. When you love someone you want to share your life with them, but there is a place and a time for that and marriage is that time and place. Besides the act of sex, we’ve discovered we’ve had to be very careful because there are things that can easily lead to the trap hole of sexual immorality. You can defile the marriage bed and join with each other outside of the act of sex. That’s what I want to talk about. The church says, “DON’T HAVE SEX” and that’s that, but what about:

  • Wandering Hands
  • Sexting
  • Lustful thoughts
  • Masterbation
  • Pornography

I’m sure there are others out there that I am unaware of, but just to name a few, those are a form of sex that defiles the marriage bed and can hurt any relationship. Entertaining any of those can lead you down a trap that is very difficult to escape. While Jarrod and I managed to not fall down the rabbit hole, we sure were tempted and when we were, learned to step back, seek God, and allowed those who are in our corner to speak truth, wisdom and perspective.

I have some dear friends that have shared the battle of sex they’ve dealt with prior to marriage and in marriage. Both Christians and non-Christian alike. The common theme shared from their struggle is the shame that sex outside of marriage brings. Interesting how the Bible says “they were not ashamed” in Genesis. Whether it is the act of intercourse or wandering hands, sexting, lustful thoughts, masterbation, or pornography. This shame comes about because of the vulnerability it requires and the human body designed to know and understand good from evil. Shame is not present when the union is done within the right context.

Look, no one teaches a 5 year old how to lie, but they know it’s wrong. Hence the guilt on their face when addressed. The difference between good and evil is engraved in human nature. The reason we struggle is not because we do not know. Rather, it is because we reject the knowledge we do know. Sin in dating comes in all shapes and forms. We know right from wrong. The issue is, we don’t talk about it. Rather, we pretend the only sin in dating is the act of sex, when the steps leading to that are left unaddressed.

Imagine you had $1Million in an account. Someone comes to you and say they have $1Million likewise and would like to join accounts. You’d probably say no because that’s a complete stranger. But if it’s someone you know and love like a significant other you are pursuing then, you’d be more inclined to do so. Joining accounts means, you have access to their money and they has access to yours. That’s intense vulnerability right there. But can you really trust this person with your money? As much as you love them, what if they run away after accounts are joined? What if they spend it all? You would probably experience quite a bit of shame, guilt and regret, right? It would be different if you had a binding contract. A contract built on trust, truth and honesty that is willing to stand the test of time.

Similarly, sex was designed to be under a covenant (contract). From a biblical perspective, a covenant is an undertaking of legal contract built on a promise of faithfulness, committedness and love between God, man and woman. Under God’s covenant there’s Gods promise to protect and bless. Overtime, the court of law adapted the role of a covenant to a contact with similar principles. Sex is an exchange of self. Beyond loving someone, sex is an act of ultimate vulnerability and trust. This my friend is why I believe our creator, God, designed it in the first place. He knew that man and woman sharing such intimacy would require a covenant under His blessing.  

That is by no means saying, once you lose it you lose it. Mistakes happen. Awful things happen in this world, but there is grace. There is forgiveness. And above all, God is such a good God that he is able to redeem. The secret is not simply saying “no more.” It is no secret honestly. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, if you are ashamed of your past or are struggling to remain pure in your relationship, God is your answer. If you cringed at that, I get it. The “God” card upsets me at times too, but that was and still is the answer for Jarrod and I. Thankfully, both of us had the same goal in mind. We both wanted to honor God with our bodies and as difficult as it got, we always resorted back to Gods word. Remaining pure is more than the act of sex. Remaining pure has to do with your mind, heart, soul and body. Lack of attention and discipline in keeping your mind, heart and soul pure makes it very easy to give your body away. The key is keeping the innermost part of your body pure with Gods word and truth.

For my readers who have had sex before marriage and is carrying shame. You are not your mistakes and you most certainly are not meant to carry that scar. I’ve seen Jesus do some pretty amazing things through friends and family and have redeemed what was broken. Seek His name and seek His love. Don’t know how, send me a message. I’d love to connect.

For my readers in a dating relationship and you’re tempted to mess up or have messed up. Now’s your time to take action. Tempted to sit another 20mins in the car alone together? Don’t. Tempted to visit each other’s apartment alone for “just a movie night”? Don’t. You and your significant other need to be on the same page. If you are not in agreement, then you are dating the wrong person. If they are not willing to respect your body, then it’s time to call it quits. You have to agree that wandering hands, lustful thoughts, sexting, masturbation and pornography are off the board, completely (inside and outside of marriage). It not only dishonors each other, but as a follower of Christ, it dishonors who God has called you to be.

If it means not driving together. Do that! If it means setting a curfew. Do that! If it means finding an accountability to track you’re coming and going. Do that! If it means writing a sticky note in your car that says “I will wait!” Do that! Extreme measures often times proves great results. All those ‘do that’s” are exactly what Jarrod and I did when the love between the two of us began growing. We both agreed on honoring each other, and in order to do so we had to take some extreme measures. But most importantly we made it a priority to keep the innermost parts of us pure. The wait is worth it. As April 29th quickly approaches I am realizing more and more, how beautiful the wait has been. Sex (all that it entails) is a wonderful picture of redeeming love, of giving up self, the wants of each other, putting it aside in reverence to God and each other.

Singles out there, honor yourself and your future spouse by becoming the person you hope they will be. Let’s get this straight though, chastity is not a superiority card. It is a choice. You got this!

Make waiting more than the act of intercourse. How can you make a step towards purity of mind, heart soul and body?


Honor Who?

It’s appalling those who claim to be Christians and act like the world does. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m looping myself in this. Christianity is not a superiority card. If anything it’s the opposite of that. Christianity, is being set apart. At least, that was the original intent. Today, Christianity is blended. We look like, talk like, dress like and post like everyone else. There’s absolutely no filter in the modern day Christian’s mouth and heart. We live to speak our minds, even if it dishonors those in authority, encourages profanity and subjects those around us to compromise.

Despite your political view, if you claim Jesus is your Lord and Savior, honoring those who are voted, elected and placed in power is the heart that Jesus called us to have. Honor does not mean you agree with rather, honor is respect. The inconsistency in the Christian faith saddens me. We degrade, publicly shame and dishonor those in power or of authority who we do not agree with. Gone are the days of speaking in moderation and morality. Freedom of speech has been abused. Being the “salt and light” of the world is replaced with compromising biblical principles and character in order to speak our minds.

You’ve probably caught on to what I am referring to. Here’s the thing, I am not here to convince you who’s the better political leader. My opinion remains mine, and yours remain yours, but what I do want to convey is that the way you speak, and publicly share your thoughts is a direct reflection of your heart. Anger towards one party or another, hate and detest towards men and women in power is an issue of the heart. No matter your opinion, the way we speak and publicly share our opinions should not remove grounds for God to move and speak. True Christianity strives to change the world, and to do that, we cannot be like the world.

Christians no longer desire a revival in the church. We don’t want a revolution of the heart towards Christ. We don’t want Pentecost. We want like-mindedness. I wrote last week on the attitude of “rightness.” In this attitude we see the issue of pride. Pride that manipulates us to believe we can say and do as we please no matter the cost. Our language has shifted from that of love to bitterness, self-righteousness and anger. The feeling or knowing you are right in what you believe is not an excuse to dishonor those around you, and especially those in power. You can not like someone and still respect them. Story time.

When I was younger, there was this particular teacher who gave me a hard time. She would pick on me for being a “Christian girl.” Odd isn’t it? She would make remarks here and there and I learned to let it go as water on a ducks back. My mom came to find out what happened. I ended up in the principals office because the teacher thought I was being “too Christian.” No, my mom didn’t go all Jackie Chan on the teacher (although she could have) for absurdly turning me into the principal. Instead, she listened to what the principal had to say, calmly responded and took me home. On the ride home, my mom told me a couple things that have remained with me to my adolescent years. In summation, she told me that not always will I like everyone and will everyone like me. The issue of likeness doesn’t grant authority to reciprocate hurt. Mom told me to honor, even when it’s most difficult. Even when I disagree. Even when it hurts, I must honor those before me. Honor is not likeness. Honor is respect and respect is loving those who are difficult to love. That next day of school, mom she gave me chocolate bar to give the teacher. I’d like to say she quit picking on me after receiving the chocolatey goodness . She didn’t. But I did learn a powerful lessen of humility. Honoring (respecting) those who are unlovable, who think differently than we do or believe differently than we do is walking in the foot steps of Jesus.

In the Bible, the author Matthew writes in Chapter 5 verses 13-16:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Did you know salt is important in human development and health. Salt in the body is the main source of sodium and chloride ions in daily diet. Too much or too little salt affects your nerves, muscle function and regulation of fluids in the body. It also controls blood presume and volume. Our words should be as good salt. Our speech should edify, uplift those around us and provide a source of life. That can be difficult when we think differently than others. Let’s be real, it is much easier to give people a piece of our minds rather than speak in love. But can I tell you something? Jesus, as he was being accused and ridiculed, do you know what He did? He did not scream at the naysayers. He did not lash out in anger and frustration. And neither did He proved his “rightness.” When you have some time, read Matthew 27. You will read, Jesus did not say a word. In his silence, he honored Pilate. Similarly, he did the same before Herod.

Jesus’ example teaches us the importance of, honor. We should have the same mind of Jesus. While we may be right in our beliefs or opinions, that should never grant the grounds to speak words that murders the souls of those around us. Needing to prove your rightness is pride. Whether it be differences in political views, controversial topics, family issues or the daily obstacles you face, we should be the salt and light of the world in the way we speak, live and post. True Christianity is not “blendedness”, it’s authenticity found in integrity of speech and character.

Are you struggling to respect those who think and live differently than you do? Make it a conscious point to respect and in respect, there is love.