Four Marks of Date-Worthy Men (Or Women)

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There’s a new show on Netflix called Back With The Ex that has a unique premise. Four former couples – who dated and separated for various reasons – have a chance to re-unite and decide: Do we want to give this another go? Or should we stay apart, forever? It’s interesting to watch couples go through what is essentially an autopsy of their relationship. As a single woman, I’ve watched this series with a critical eye. For one couple in particular, I can’t help but think that the goal of marriage must be on one of the women’s minds – considering that she clearly wants it and he, well, has not proven himself to be a family man.

For Christian singles, there’s so much being said about dating, courting, and so on. Some of it is good and some of it is lacking. I believe that now more than ever one thing is for certain: if you are a true, deep in your heart Christian, it’s tough to be a “Christian single”. The path can be lonely so please know that if you’re a Christian single who desires to find a teammate that compliments you and your life, I understand where you’re sitting in life, because that’s exactly where I am. No matter where you’re sitting in your life – maybe you’re single again, had a broken engagement, or just getting into the whole dating world, please know that the Father loves you more than anyone in this world can.

I think it can be helpful for Christian singles to think about what their non-negotiables are when looking for someone to potentially share their lives with. Especially Christian women – because it can seem like eligible Christian women outnumber Christian men. If you feel like you’ve been waiting forever, you need to anchor yourself to what your are looking for in a partner. Remember, you are are NOT crazy if you’re asking for these things:

Care and Concern for Others – I’ve done my share of church hopping and I no longer attend a church. But I do remember one congregation that gave people the opportunity to pray out loud during the service (if they wanted to). One man in our group – who society might unfairly expect to be out of touch with things – would pray in great detail for so many people. His prayers included world events because he kept up with things. His compassion was evident. While he depended on others for certain things, he was clearly a man of prayer, compassion, care, and concern for others.

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As we go about our lives, whether it’s sizing up a potential mate or striving for our own character improvement, we can look at the traits of care and concern for others. These can manifest themselves in various forms. If we look at ourselves and see that these qualities are lacking, we can always ask God to give us more empathy (but beware, ask and you shall receive!) And if you’re looking at a relationship,  you can ask the Lord if this area is lacking in the person so much that it is a red flag or if it’s an area where he or she is growing (as we all grow and mature).

While not everyone will have the gift of deep prayer, your love interest could have another gift, like wanting to give to the needy, or being a great listener, or performing acts of service. Maybe she sings in the choir at church, or he does manual work for free or just speaking a kind word to someone without anyone else knowing it can be an expression of a caring heart. Having a caring, concerned heart for those in need is a wonderful trait when you consider the type of person you’ll choose to spend your time with. Having no concern, no empathy, no care is something to certainly think twice about. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you suspect this to be the case.

Fidelity/Faithfulness/Integrity – Ever seen the show Cheaters? The poor folks who ask the producers of the show to find out if their beloved is cheating on them… such a sad situation. Not having trust in a relationship really leaves nothing left; wouldn’t you be better off alone? It’s critical to know that the person you’ve chosen will be faithful to you. This is not about casting judgement towards other people, but this is about what we, as singles, want for our own lives.

Christian women (and men), if you want a partner who is loyal and faithful to you only, you might feel like you’re waiting forever, but you are not crazy. Want a guy who is dating you but doesn’t get an ego boost from flirting with other women? Yeah, you might feel like that’s a rare catch, too! The saying goes that how you catch them is how you keep them, so while you might feel lonely not trying to catch a man by wearing short skirts and low cut tops, you’re more likely to “catch” a man who is like-minded, morally speaking.

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Solid Work Ethic – Charm, looks, muscles and a good tan – sounds good, doesn’t it girls? But I have to tell you what my mom has always told me (and still feels the need to tell me) – it ain’t all about that. One of my favorite YouTubers says that we all get old and we all get ugly – that’s also another way to put it! The person you’re interested in – do they have a desire to work? (At least while their employer is paying them to?) Does she want to be a Proverbs 31 woman so she can create a warm, loving household or a successful business venture? Got your eyes on that man at the office, girls? Those TPS reports he has to do at work may seem stupid, but does he do his work as unto the Lord? Work comes in various forms, so look at the person you’re interested in and ask yourself (and God) if they have the character trait of a good work ethic. While we all like to rest and have fun (I certainly do), there’s a time for work too. A man (or woman) who abuses their employer’s time will probably find themselves without a job (or at the very least, on thin ice), which can cause a great amount of stress.

Good Steward of Resources – Does he blow all his money gambling? Does he spend more than he earns? Does she have to have the best of everything, getting all tied up in having a high status, top appearance, and making other people think she’s the best? Does he try to save a little bit, even if it means he can’t have the fanciest car? While there are many times in life that we can fall upon bad luck through no fault of our own, you can ask yourself if the person is, in general, a good steward of their resources. Do they think about the future in general terms of what they want? Or are they irresponsible, making huge, messed up choices, that could impact you or your children, in a big way? No one is perfect and we all do things we shouldn’t. No one is in perfect condition – we are all works in progress and will be until the day we die. But if you’re attracted to someone who has a major issue of irresponsible living, it will impact you. Especially when there is no desire to change, it’s probably best to just cut your losses and move on, and consider that you’ve dodged a bullet.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

How to Study the Bible When You Don’t Have Time to Study the Bible

Do you study the Bible on your own? Maybe you’ve been told at church that you need to have Bible study as a family, or that you need to read the Bible on your own, or that it’s good to be able to read through the Bible in a year, but honestly, just between you and me, are you on a plan of studying the Bible?

I won’t lecture you here because I know how things are.  Some seasons of life are more challenging than others. As the Bible says to everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose. Some times are rougher and come with less ease. Maybe you are in one of those times – a season where you’re being a caregiver where you don’t have a lot of time for yourself. A time that is draining you to the max, full of doctor’s appointments, waiting, and worrying.

Or maybe your season is busy for some positive reasons – full of family commitments, schooling, work, and activities that you love, but with a jam-packed schedule, the only quiet time you have with God is when you’re tucking your child into bed or when you’re jumping into bed yourself.

Or perhaps it’s not so much a time constraint that’s keeping you from studying the Bible so much as a distance you might feel from God. It might feel like God is far from you, so it might feel hard to get into the Bible right now. Maybe this is a feeling you’ve felt before. Mature Christians know that this feeling of distance from God is not a sign of a lack of faith, and that feelings don’t mean an absence of faith, but it can make you not want to read your Bible.

So – how can you study the Bible when you don’t have the time, or the desire, to study the Bible? Here are some practical tips for getting a little bit closer to the Word when time and energy are in short supply:

Pick one verse that relates to your week

With a Google search, you can do a search of the Bible for any topic of your choosing. Dealing with discouragement? Fear? Want to know what the Bible says about happiness, money, or success? Pick just one verse to focus on for the whole week that you connect to. That might not sound like “Bible study” to you, but in my opinion, it’s better to understand and relate to one verse than to plan to study an entire chapter and never touch any of it. You can also search online for images with the verse to set as your computer’s wallpaper, cellphone screensaver, or if it relates to your kids, place it where they can see it too.

Bible Coloring Books

Adult coloring has become popular for a reason – it’s a great stress reliever that isn’t unhealthy. Bible coloring books for adults combine this trend with Scripture verses. This can help you unwind when you don’t have time for “quiet time” by reminding you of a Biblical truth that you already know. It’s also a nice activity to have on hand if you spend all or most of your day behind a computer screen.

Consider an e-mail subscription

Bible Gateway has an email service that works well for busy people. If you don’t want the constant stream of emails, you can visit their website to access the verse of the day. Bible Gateway also gives you the opportunity to access Scripture in the translation of your choice, and to opt to hear it read. You could open one window and read the Bible while another window has the Scripture being read by a narrator. Today’s verse of the day is Psalm 136:1, 26 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

3 Bible Verses Every Millennial Should Claim

Fox News recently reported about a re-vamp of a popular board game. A longtime favorite for fun (and teaching about personal finance), there was nothing wrong with Monopoly the way it was, but the folks at Hasbro Gaming decided some changes had to be made to the classic game of Monopoly. So, they created “Monopoly for Millennials”.

You’d think maybe this was to account for increases of costs of living and inflation, but not so. You can see for yourself the upset reactions on Twitter as reported by the Blaze. In a nutshell, the “updates” made to the game have been received by many as yet another insult to Millennials, who are quite often the target of public scorn. Regardless of how you feel about the Millennial generation in general, here are some Bible verses I believe Millennials should claim over their lives and keep close to their hearts.

1 Timothy 4 :12  (NKJV) “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 

I’m reading this verse on Bible Gateway right now, and just above the verse, it says “Take Heed to Your Ministry.” Do you know what that implies? That you can have a ministry, and you can take care of it. Even if the culture at large wants to stereotype you in a negative way. Even if the news wants to portray your generation in a bad light. You can have a positive impact for Christ. 1 Timothy 4:12 says don’t let anyone drag you down because you’re young. Be an example for the believers. Show others what it means to be an example for the Lord. No matter what you’re doing. Even when others want to disparage you or talk negatively about you.

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Proverbs 16: 9 (NKJV) “A man’s heart plans his way But the LORD directs his steps.”

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As a millennial, you may have planned out your course for your post-college or post-high school life, and things might not have turned out how you planned. A setback that you weren’t prepared for whether it’s high student loan debt, a low starting salary after college, or inability to find any type of job in the field you studied – those are setbacks that a lot of Millennials are dealing with.

Even though we can all plan what we want to do through life, God directs our steps and can help us through the worst of circumstances. This goes for our entire lives, no matter what age we are, whether it’s relationships, career, finances, anything. An amazing example of this is over at the Catholic Mom’s Life channel on YouTube. While marriage may be the furthest thing from your mind, you can see how the Catholic Mom saw God ordering her steps when she tells her story of how she found the perfect guy – or so she thought, since they were engaged – and all along, it turns out that he was NOT the man for her. The Lord ordered her steps, and she eventually became engaged and married to the man she is now happily married to today. So for you, whatever your problem is, turn to the Lord for wisdom, and He can order your steps, no matter what your situation.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”

Maybe you’re new to walking with Jesus and you’ve got some choices in your past that you wish you could change. As a Millennial, the good news is that time is on your side – your path is wide open ahead! You’ve got time to start living for the Lord if you haven’t been already.

Or maybe you’ve known the Lord your whole life, but you’re questioning why He’s allowed bad things to happen to you in your life while people who seem to care nothing about the things of the Lord are prospering. It may appear that you’re not getting a fair shake at things while people who care nothing about God are having the time of their lives. As Christians, we are encouraged to trust God as we only have limited information on why things are the way they are. We are never asked to put our trust in men, politicians, or the world’s systems to make things right. We are only asked to trust in God to help guide us through our lives.

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About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

Dressing Modestly on a Budget: Women’s Edition

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Modesty is an interesting topic among Christian women. Depending on who you talk to, you might get a radically different definition of how to dress modestly. Some Christian women define dressing modestly by never wearing pants, or by never wearing skirts that don’t hit knee-length. Others cover their hair completely and wear very baggy clothing. In other circles, modesty is rarely, if ever, discussed. And, when it is discussed, the discussion of modesty is usually geared towards women, although modesty is not just for women – it is something for both sexes to think about.

This post will be geared towards the issues for women in modesty. Regardless of what your definition is for appropriate dress for yourself as a Christian woman, I believe that it does not have to be expensive to dress modestly. No matter where you are on the spectrum of modesty, we can all probably agree that modesty is not just about what you wear on the outside but what the position of your heart is. Modesty is not just about what you wear, but also about how you behave, what your reasons are, and what your intentions are. Choosing modesty helps us as both single and married Christian women guard our God-given beauty (and dressing modestly can help keep the wrong kind of men away who might show interest in us for the wrong reasons).

With that in mind, here are some practical guidelines for starting with a desire to express yourself with a modest wardrobe. If you’re re-evaluating your wardrobe, or if you’re changing your mindset, I hope this is a help to you. As Christian women, we should never judge one another based on appearance – only God knows our hearts and if we are truly trying to please Him or if we are just trying to put on a show to look good in front of others.

Dressing Modestly on a Budget

Outfits that used to be modest on you might not be modest now for various reasons. Maybe you’ve lost weight, gained weight, or maybe a pregnancy has caused a tiny human to take up residence inside you, and you’re going to be eating for two for a while! The mistakes made due to the care that a garment requires – dry cleaning only, perhaps? – can also shrink it up and make it inappropriate. What if what used to be a proper fitting top now shows a plunging pop of cleavage and a skirt that used to be an adequate length now just barely covers your derriere? Here’s a few things you might be able to do to try to adapt your clothes before tossing them out.

How to Change Tops That Show Too Much

For the v-neck tops that show too much of your breasts, try adding an infinity scarf to cover yourself. Especially when fall and winter get too crisp for me to stay warm, I love my infinity scarves. Shirts that might normally cover you just fine can budge throughout your day if you move, so check yourself in the mirror – does this happen to you? If “the girls” are popping out all day, they need to stay put! I love my infinity scarves because I can put one on and it not only keeps me warm, but it adds a pop of color to my outfit, and it keeps my chest covered, no matter how much I move throughout the day.

Another way that our shirts can betray us is with that sliver of skin above your pants (or skirt) line and below the bottom edge of your shirt – if you’re sitting down or standing up, does your skin pop out and show? While you might have washboard abs (good on you!), you can keep it covered by placing a tank top or a camisole under your shirt, and you’ll be good to go. Tank tops or camisoles can be purchased very cheaply, and they can keep you from being exposed.

What to do About Short Skirts

If you have skirts that have become too short, you can try to make a last ditch effort before you give up on them. While leggings are not pants – and this is a misconception among many – pairing a thick pair of leggings could be a way to be able to wear a skirt that otherwise wouldn’t fly on its own. Try this and see if it’s adequate to give you the coverage you need to be adequately clothed. Otherwise, you can give those skirts a fond farewell.

Re-Purposing Un-Modest Clothing

Some clothing will simply be past its prime for you, regardless of how much you try to keep it in your closet. You can give it away to someone else that may enjoy it, but another option is to re-purpose it for your own household, especially if it’s in a condition that is no longer attractive to wear. One of the craft projects on my to-do list is to eventually make a rag rug, and this would be a great project for anyone with lots of clothing that no longer fits their lifestyle or their frame. If you can sew, you can also re-purpose your clothing into dinner napkins, rags, headscarves, or use the fabric remnants for craft projects.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.