Love is a weird and complex thing because it is both good and bad at the same time. Society paints a very beautiful picture of Love. You know… two people holding on to each other with the backdrop of candles, a lit fireplace and soft music playing. But it fails to mention that when you are really in Love, it is an Action. The act of doing. Love is an action when things are good and when things are bad. It should be always working to its fullest capacity.
Not too long ago, someone said that we have the “Perfect Marriage.” God No! Not by a long shot. Perfect Wife – no not at all. Have I been the Perfect Man/Husband? – By no means, no. But is Love Perfecting itself in our marriage? Yes. Everyday. Our Love is getting more mature (the meaning of perfect), growing and being nurtured. It’s just like plants and seeds. In order for a seed to grow, it has to come through dirt and fertilizer to be nurtured and become a beautiful plant. You see, the seed has to push through all sorts of things just to become a Loving Marriage.
It starts off beautifully blissful, and here comes the fertilizer: sickness, loss of employment, disagreements, disobedient children, etc. It is only when you tough it out and stay together through it all, can you say and truly mean, “I love you.” Staying together shows growth and maturity. That’s the Perfection every marriage is aspiring to become. It’s easy to give up and walk away (Divorce), but passing the test comes when you stay. It gets hard, but STAY. It gets rough, but STAY. It gets almost unbearable, but STAY. And stay STRONG. A Sequoia seed starts off the size of a pin head, but grows into one of the largest trees in the world. The trunk is so large, you can actually cut out a hole the size of a car and it will continue to grow.
Life will throw all sorts of obstacles at you, some more devastating than others, but you have to learn to fight no matter what the odds are. There’s a saying in Cali, “Do it until the wheels fall off and when they do, pick it up and carry it.” That’s what Jesus did for us on Calvary. In spite of the fact that He knew He was going to die for humanity, and humanity would deny Him, talk about Him, abuse and beat Him, He still carried the cross up that hill. The problem with marriages today is that Divorce comes into play when either the entertainment has stopped or things get to rough. At the end of the day, Love will lift you and carry you through.
I remember when I was 13 years old. My family wanted to go to the beach, when money was low, it was the best place to go and have fun. I wanted to go swimming as soon as we got there. No one told me that ocean swimming was ten times harder than pool swimming. In a regular pool, there is no over and under current, waves or wind. The same time you’re swimming forward, there are ocean currents that are pushing you further than you think.
Being a kid, I was too busy having fun to realize how far I was away from shore. I also didn’t realize my muscles were exhausted which I needed to swim back to shore. It had gotten so bad that even dog paddling was becoming hard and I could feel myself about to give up and drown. The waves kept pounding. It was getting colder and because I was too far out, yelling for help wasn’t an option. “God please don’t let me drown…” is the only thing I could remember praying. Fighting hard had become obsolete and death was vastly approaching. But the Master of the Sea heard my despairing cry…And spoke to me to, “just relax and float on and I will carry you.” Since the human body naturally floats, without any struggle, that’s exactly what I did. I could feel Him use the large, medium and small waves to carry me back to shore. Back to safety. Back to where I could feel the ground again. And believe it or not, my family never knew my struggle or ordeal. Through every wave, current and violent wind, I was carried back to safety by Him, all because I listened and floated on.
The Lord never made man to give up, but to Trust only in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6) and marriage is going to be the same way. Under and Over Currents, Winds and Waves are going to come and literally make you believe that all your remedies are exhausted and Death to the Marriage is on the Horizon. But like the songwriter said, “Love Lifted Me.”
Floating is a process of just letting your whole body go limp and staying afloat on the water. Trusting in God is the same way. No matter what is coming or has gone limp. Give it all to Him and He will carry you to the Safe Place.
Photo Credit: worldofblackheroes.com
I am writing this from my husband’s bedside at the hospital. I really can’t say how many times we’ve been here within the past three years, but it’s enough that we now know nurses, doctors and technicians by name. This is not our first rodeo when it comes to battling “thorns”. We beat it by the Grace of Our Lord in 2009 and by faith, we will again.
When one partner is fighting “thorns,” the other becomes their Caregiver. No matter what the “thorns” are, you must continue to have each other’s back, no matter what. Caregivers are the decision makers when doctors need permission to perform any procedures or tests. Caregivers are also responsible for ensuring that all medications, diets and aftercare instructions are being followed properly. The duties of a Caregiver are endless and the job requires you to be present 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a Caregiver, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night, praying over and covering my husband and children with the Blood of Jesus. I knew the mission wouldn’t be easy when I chose to accept it. But I have a Blessed Assurance by the name of Jesus Christ, the ultimate Caregiver, that through Him, all things are possible.
Caregivers are anyone who provides assistance and support to a family member or friend who has a physical, psychological or developmental need. Caregiving is practiced by parents who rear their young children, friends who care for a disabled neighbor, and adult children who bring their disabled parents to live with them. Mercy is a prime factor in caregiving – seeing the need of another and providing for that need. Caregiving requires the ability to love selflessly, not expecting anything in return.
Life’s lesson, marriage vows are deeper than we think. You know: “I take you… to be my wife (or husband). To have and to hold from this day forward for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy law; and this is my solemn vow.” How many couples actually understand the magnitude of the marriage vows? After we have jumped the broom, did the electric slide or the wobble on the dancefloor and have ridden off into the sunset, do we truly understand that what we have vowed in front of God, Clergy, Family and Friends will be tested? The clock starts after the Clergy has introduced the couple to the congregation as Mr. and Mrs. “Joyful Bliss.” It has more symbolism than you can imagine.
I realize it now… standing here praying over my husband’s body from head to toe. Telling the devil, “not today! This appointment has been cancelled by the Holy Spirit. Our Archangels are in route to deliver our blessings. The Prince of Persia may have held it up, but reinforcements are here… In Jesus Name.” It hurts watching your Superman turn back into Clark Kent. You know “Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” But all I can see right now is Clark Kent, the Reporter with his suit and nerdy glasses not being able to do anything, not even his job of reporting. And that makes me sad because I know if he could just get to that phone booth, he could change back into the Superman, Man of Steel that can and will defeat anything.
Sitting here as his Caregiver, helpless, not being able to perform my duties of providing the things he needs because it’s not within my power or control to do so. Only realizing that we made a vow together in front of God, Clergy, Family and Friends to be here for one another no matter what. And that is exactly what this Lois Lane is going to do.
So the next time you see “Lois and Clark”, in the words of Birdman, yes I said Birdman… “Put some RESPECK on it! And I ain’t gonna say it no more.”
Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com
“He is my SUPERMAN and I am his Lois Lane together we are perfect!”
In my field, we use the acronym ED to mean Emotional Disturbance or Emotional Dysfunction of an individual. For an individual to be classified as having ED, they must exhibit one or more of the following characteristics which occurs over a long period of time and adversely affects their performance:
A. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors;
B. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers;
C. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
D. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
E. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal problems.
There is nothing new under the sun so we decided to do some further research regarding this topic in reference to the bible. There had to be someone or some circumstance biblically that could explain this condition that is ultimately destroying marriages. If the marriage bed is undefiled, then how did impotence, the lack of power, strength and helplessness wedge itself between a husband and his wife?
Let’s turn our attention to the gospel of St. John 5:1-14 where Jesus came to Jerusalem for a Jewish festival and He stopped by the Pool of Bethesda. The crowd at this pool were special in the sense that everyone there had some type of dysfunction. There were blind, lame and paralyzed people waiting by this pool. But this one man, who was impotent, had been there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus heard he had been there for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
Ok, let’s cut to the chase… Erectile Dysfunction has a Load of symptoms but a lot of it stems from a Dysfunction coming from the inside and you can even be safe to say, “From your Spiritual Man”. I wanted to know why these Dysfunctions happen because Society dictates that most Men will experience this one day. Whether from age, life circumstances, or even Genetics. But is that really true? So, I went to the main source and had a long conversation with God about this topic, considering that He is the Creator of all things... including bedroom business.
Believe it or not His answers were extremely precise and to the point. Since it was Never Gods Design for Man to Experience any type of Dysfunction, most Men in the Bible had lots of children. If you put two and two together, the only Dysfunction that occurred was over consumption of the Female anatomy…LOL… Needless to say, not even age played a part in their whole Bedroom Function. Nevertheless, man has always had a Fleshly desire to pursue wrong. Therefore God had to give Man Commandments so that even fighting desire, Man would have the necessary weapons to fight the wilds (thots) of the Devil (even in the Old Testament).
Now the Original Contract (The Ten Commandments; Exodus 20) tells us to Love God with all our hearts and the Last part of the Contract tells us not to Covet ANYTHING that belongs to our neighbor. Exodus 20: 17 KJV says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” So by Loving God we will trust who He puts in our lives as our Rib and will not lust after anything that our neighbors have, especially his Ass. Trust me, God knows the makeup of every Man and Woman and He knows what parts and Ribs that fit together. Grass is definitely not greener on the other side. Just because our neighbors ass looks like it could function better on our side of the fence does not mean that it will. As you know Asses are very stubborn and it takes a lot of coaxing to get it to do anything. But you don’t know what your neighbor had to do to get that Ass to function correctly. And guess what? When it gets to your yard it may not want to move at all or rise to the occasion to get the job done… NUTSHELL>> leave your neighbor and his asses alone…
Because sex sells everywhere we look, let us maintain some sort of Good Function and when we see that our Spiritual Man is beginning to show signs of Dysfunction run away by thinking on these things found in Philippians 4:8 – “ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Hebrews 13:4 KJV “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
One of the definitions of defiled is to spoil. From a Chef’s point of view, the word spoil brings disgusting thoughts to mind because when food is spoiled, it stinks and taste bad to point of vomiting. Looks can be deceiving because spoiled food doesn’t always have the appearance of being rotten. It is only when the dish is uncovered can you truly know whether it is good or bad.
Now take this into consideration. Try to imagine a beautiful table set with the finest china, the world’s greatest food and the atmosphere perfect. Everything illustrates great things are about to happen. The dishes come out in beautiful stoneware and expensive glassware. You open the lid and a foul stench fills the air. Could you find a brave soul willing to taste it? Maybe it taste better than it looks or smells? The whole evenings experience is ruined because no one wants to continue with the dinner.
Everyone has their personal view of defiling the Marriage Bed but in a nutshell, the bed consist of a mattress, box spring and a bed frame, or does it? It’s what is brought to the bed that either nourishes or spoils a marriage. Fornication, adultery, bestiality, homosexuality and perversions defile the “Beauty of the Marriage Bed.”
I remember when The Ref and I were getting married. A Prophetess told us, “Don’t let “Homie” in your house!” For years we didn’t understand what she meant, but life experiences have shown us the true meaning of “homie.” Homie (an African-American colloquialism for street friend) is the “anything goes or if it feels good, do it” street relationships. A type and shadow of the Children of Israel in the Old Testament, Judges 21:25 KJV – “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
We both realized that “Homie” and the Holy Spirit cannot coexist in the same place. The Holy Spirit brings newness all the time, while Homie is always remembering the past. Homie says, “It ain’t no fun, if the homies can’t have none.” The Holy Spirit says in Matthew 19:6 NKJV, “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Have you taken over God’s job of joining two people together? Are you qualified to make the two become one flesh? Defiling the Marriage Bed comes from performing a job that you were never hired to do because you don’t meet the qualifications. Images, text messages and meeting places that you think no one sees but you and the other person... are we entering the Marriage Bed with more than the Holy Spirit resonating in our hearts?
God created sex to be a Holy Experience with a man and his OWN wife or a wife and her OWN husband. The experience is designed for two people that God has joined to express physical love one to another. If you have to spend time defining your physical acts with your spouse then you might not be operating in one flesh. The flesh does not move separate and apart from itself. Nor can it join with another, if it is in fact one.
I love my wife and my expression to her is limitless while considering her on every hand. Her needs, wants and desires come into play while remembering that I will never intentionally hurt her. She is my rib, she was taken from my side to be by my side and God entrusted her to me. To hurt her physically, spiritually or mentally is NOT an option. Doing the unimaginable to her is also doing the unimaginable to myself because we are one flesh.
When asking yourself questions about the Marriage Bed, try this one. If we take out the world’s view, the pornographic images and what someone else said they do in their sex life, how can I sexually please my spouse? The answer will always keep the Marriage Bed Undefiled.
Believe me when I tell you that when you are joined to your Rib, it is a process of trial and error, but seeking God first and asking Him for the right paths to take will leave no place for spoiled dishes at the dinner table to ruin the whole experience.
What makes the experience perverse is when we want to do a certain thing behind closed doors with our spouse but feel either condemned or nasty because we have been told that certain things are wrong. Life evolves and believe it or not, so does our intimate life with each other. Missionary style has long gone out and now more christian married couples are exploring various means of our expression. We invite you to study the book of Solomon regarding those various means of expression.
The Red Heels are to serve as a sexy but subtle reminder from a wife to her husband of a passionate, intimate relationship that only the two of them share. Marriage was ordained by God from the beginning of creation, but do most people understand exactly what that really means?
The Chef and I had to learn through trial and error what the bible meant when it stated, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived…” Genesis 4:1 after asking several couples, no one could give us insight on this topic. It is considered taboo… good girls… wait no, church girls don’t ask for guidance about such things. So my husband and I was left to trying to figure out why the marriage bed is undefiled and what in the world does undefiled mean? I believe the Holy Spirit led us to the point of reference of the word “knew” in the bible. Chef will expand more on “undefiled” in our next post.
Just to be clear, let’s examine the word “knew” for a moment. There are several definitions of the word knew. Here are just a few:
4. be acquainted with (a thing, place, person, etc.), as by sight, experience, or report:
5. to understand from experience or attainment (usually followed by how before an infinitive):
6. to be able to distinguish, as one from another:
7. Archaic. to have sexual intercourse with. Courtesy of www.dictionary.com April 8, 2016.
When my husband sees me wearing red heels, it gives him a sense of certainty that I am his and he is mine. It commits to our memory that there is no one better than me for him and no one better than him for me. We are both aware of each other’s thoughts and feelings. The red heels are a reminder of intimate experiences that only he and I share. And from those experiences, we have attained a better understanding of one another physically, mentally and spiritually. When a husband and wife really know one another, the relationship becomes distinctive. To coin a phrase, “this ain’t that.” Imposters are not welcomed. Neither him nor I can be replaced or substituted with someone else.
Lastly, "knew" means to have sexual intercourse with. I believe the author made sex the last definition on purpose because being intimate with one another as husband and wife is more than physical intimacy or even those infamous red heels.
The Chef and The Ref, as we are more affectionately called, are just two individuals who God joined together in the Spirit and then in the Natural to walk through the challenges of life together. We have been married for 27 years and have four amazing children. We get many calls, text and emails asking us questions about a variety of topics as it relates to marriage. This blog was inspired by the Holy Spirit and an answer to the growing demand of couples who inquire about our experiences in marriage as it relates to their own. We do not make any claims of being anything more than two sinners, saved by grace who wanted to give couples an opportunity to have safe conversations that will make their marriage stronger. The Chef and The Ref are both licensed and ordained Ministers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ who wanted to create a safe platform for married couples to converse about a variety of topics.