Thursday, December 18, 2014


I just read an article that was a response to another article written about a women's experience of saving sex until her wedding night. This women struggled a great deal because she was told her whole life that sex was dirty. When she got married, she had a difficult time being with her husband, because she felt like sex was sinful. This women's response article was fantastic. I was also heartbroken over this girl's experience. It's so sad to see how the church sometimes talks about purity, as if it's only something for singles. After you get married, you still need to discipline yourself. Therefore, purity is lifestyle, not a event. The habits you develop as a single person will follow you into marriage. I also think we need to be careful how we talk to our kids/teens about sex. We should tell them it's one of God's coolest inventions, as long as it's inside the boundary of marriage. We can't be scared of telling teenagers that sex is great out of fear they will want to do it more. We need to make it clear that it can be an awesome thing within the context of marriage. Sex is so great as a married couple, that you should want to protect that gift. It's worth the wait! (so I hear....) I'd love to hear any suggestions, especially from married people, how you would describe the value of waiting until you're married. How can we communicate the significance of sex without enticing kids to want to try it?

"Christians, Stop Staying Pure Till Marriage"

I'm waiting till I'm married to have sex.

That’s probably not the first thing you were expecting to read when you bashfully looked over both shoulders and clicked on this link, but it’s true.

Why then would I write an article with a headline that implies otherwise?

Because I’m waiting till I’m married, but I’m not staying pure till I’m married.

Samantha has caused me to see things this way.

You see, Samantha is the author of a blog that went viral several months ago titled: “Why I Waited Till My Wedding Night to Lose My Virginity and Wish I Hadn’t.” In the article, Samantha shares the gut-wrenching story of how she grew up in the 90’s Christian purity movement, making a commitment to stay chaste till marriage, and the emotional disaster that followed on her wedding night.

A lot of progressive thinkers stood up and applauded Samantha’s stance, agreeing that the church’s ideas are both legalistic and old fashioned, but what most of them failed to look at, was the prerogative from which she was coming from.

Samantha had been raised to believe sex was something vile and dirty, that it was a shameful act to be kept in secrecy and never openly discussed. It’s no wonder she struggled so much when she finally got married. How can you expect a girl to be told something is bad her entire life, then magically expect her to think it’s good the moment she says “I do”?

We as the church tend to have a weak theology when it comes to sexuality, but more on that later…

Samantha went on to say that her struggle to enjoy being with her husband caused her to seek professional counseling. It was during one of her sessions that she was faced with a crucial option: she could either be spiritual, or she could be sexual. Not only did she pick the latter (as if the two could somehow ever be separated), she still ended up walking away from both her religion and her marriage.

To me, and so many other young ladies who are waiting (or those of you who have waited), this whole ordeal broke my heart. Hearing this woman, who has so clearly been burned the aforementioned weak theology, try to convince other young ladies that their choice to wait is a mistake, made me unspeakably angry.

We have a problem here. A problem that causes me great deal of frustration when it comes to the more legalistic arguments involved in the modern day purity movement.

The phrase “staying pure until marriage” echo’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

If your goal is staying pure UNTIL marriage, you’re going to walk into a marriage highly dissatisfied. That’s because you were never meant to lose your purity. In fact, it’s not something that CAN be lost. It’s a lifestyle, not a state of being. Something either you walk in or you don’t. In accepting the exchange of Jesus, you can’t separate yourself from it. It goes with you to both the grocery store AND to the sanctuary, to the doctor’s office AND to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

It also goes with you to your bedroom.

It goes with you, because you go with Christ.

Purity isn’t lost in the moment, it’s an essential key to a happy (and lasting) marriage. It’s what keeps you connected to both God and each other, it’s what helps you stay strong and faithful to one another, it’s what helps you to build trust and affection.

And yes, blushing elders. It’s one of the most important ingredients in having GREAT sex.

See, we often confuse purity for virginity. One is lost, while the other is lived.

And honestly—side rant—what’s with the whole “losing your virginity” thing anyway? To lose something is to imply that said thing is of no more worth than a forgotten stick of gum in the pocket of your pants.

Sex is precious. It’s one of the most beautiful and mysterious gifts God gave mankind (next to coffee and dark chocolate and peanut butter—completely different blogs.) It’s the emotional connection, the physical glue, and the spiritual hemming of two bodies becoming one soul in complete selflessness till a call from eternity separates them indefinitely.

Marriage is the vow such intimacy lends itself to, the covenant it was created for. How terrible to understand the context of its power and think of it as something simply to be lost.

Call me crazy, but I don’t want to lose it. I want to give it away. I want to place it in the hands of the one whom I know will carry it with him. Because something freely given away isn’t something that’s recklessly abandoned. It’s held close, it’s treasured, it’s preserved with every smile, remembered in every kiss, and honored with every touch. It’s what makes every moment afterwards new again. It’s scary. It’s never safe. And it’s incredibly worth the risk.

Maybe if this was the message we as the church taught more often, we’d have far less broken and bitter Samantha’s telling girls to experiment if only to have the freedom to give themselves away to whomever they please.

Look, this isn’t me thrashing the entire movement. Been there, done that, and have the purity ring to prove it. As the millennial generation arises, there are A LOT of awesome people calling for a revolution in how we as Christians approach sex, those who agree that it’s far time we got messy and real with the one thing we find it so hard to talk about from the pulpit. I’m beyond glad to see such issues coming into the light (I’m all for good sex, remember?)

I plan to strive for purity now as much I will when I’m on my honeymoon. The only thing different will be my last name and my address. I’ll still seek to honor my God with every ounce of determination I have in me, only then, I’ll be seeking Him with a man by my side who is striving ardently to do the same thing—failures and all.

Because even after sex, I’ll still belong to Jesus… and so will you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Really, it's ok.

My friend, Dan, sent me this link to an article on singleness and the church, and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with you!

I can't tell you how many times I've been told by my married friends that, "I want you to get married because I just want you to be happy." Well intentioned, but a bit sad. Do I look miserable? I'm not. I don't feel pitiful most of the time, but my relationship status in most church settings has been seen as "less than," undesirable, or a worst case scenario as temporary.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I have two nephews who are currently 2 ½ and almost 5. Watching them play together is fascinating. When one boy picks up a toy, suddenly, the other boy determines his life couldn't be complete without that toy! He needs that toy to be happy! So he yanks the toy out of his brother’s hands, making his little brother cry. When the older boy has successfully stolen the toy, he quickly loses interest, because frankly, he didn’t really care about it much in the first place. He just didn’t want his little brother to have it. Mere seconds later, he notices that his little brother has found a new toy, and the stealing commences. My poor sister has the patience of Job, because this is what her day looks like every day, all day.

Why is something so much more appealing when we see other people enjoying it? And then we get that thing we think we can’t live without, only to discover it wasn’t all that great anyway. The funny thing is, my nephews have mountains of toys. And yet, they only want the one thing they can’t have; they fixate on one singular goal. We tend to focus on the one thing we can’t have instead of all the things we can! It we are so focused on the thing we can’t have, we often miss incredible things all around us! We are begging God to give us that one thing we think will complete our happiness, but fail to notice that we are drowning in a sea of amazing blessings.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Are you the kind of person you're looking for is looking for?

I love Andy Stanley's question: "Are you the kind of person you're looking for is looking for?" A year ago he preach a great sermon series on relationships. Here is a link to the last one. It's probably the most practical sermon in the series, but the rest of the series builds an excellent foundation, especially for new or non-believers.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Would you chose singleness?

It's hard as a single person to know that people assume you have extra free time; it's easy for others to "take advantage" because you don't have to spend time building a relationship with your spouse. I'll be the first one to admit that I have more free time than most of my married friends. Especially the ones with kids. However, I still get grumpy. Why am I picked to work holidays, weekends, etc., simply because I didn't have a family to go home to? It didn't seem fair. Then I made the mistake of talking to my mom. She doesn't let me get away with much, including complaining. She reminded me that Paul says that part of the blessing of being single is having more time to devote to serving God. That might mean that we work the holiday shift, or the late night, or help out when no one else can. Are have the freedom that parents don't have. We may still be quite busy, but often our lives have a bit more flexibility than someone with a toddler. Are you willing to work harder than your co-workers? Are you willing to give up your free time? Are you willing to live as the bride of Christ, and devote your time to your heavenly husband?

Check out this article on being single as an act of worship. Let me know what you think!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Corrie Ten Boom is my hero!

I love, love, love this story!

-written by Corrie Ten Boom with Jamie Buckingham—

Tramp for the Lord
Ellen, my new traveling companion, had gone with me to a lonely mission field in Mexico. Our hostess was a lady missionary, unmarried, in her forties. One evening while we were alone in her little adobe, she confessed her bitterness and resentment over being unmarried.

"Why have I been denied the love of a husband, children, and a home? Why is it that the only men who ever paid any attention to me were married to someone else?" Long into the night she poured out the poison of her frustration. At last she asked me, "Why did you never marry?"
"Because," I said, "the Lord had other plans for me than married life."
"Did you ever fall in love and lose someone, as I have?" she asked bitterly.
"Yes," I said sadly. "I know the pain of a broken heart."
"But you were strong, weren't you," she said in biting tones. "You were willing to let God have His way in your life?"
"Oh, no, not at first," I said. "I had to fight a battle over it. I was twenty-three. I loved a boy and believed he loved me. But I had no money and he married a rich girl. After they were married he brought her to me and putting her hand in mine said, 'I hope you two will be friends.' I wanted to scream. She looked so sweet, so secure and content in his love.

"But I did have Jesus, and eventually I went to Him and prayed, 'Lord Jesus, You know that I belong to You 100 percent. My sex life is yours also. I don't know what plans You have for my life, but Lord, whatever it may be, use me to realize Your victory in every detail. I believe You can take away all my frustrations and feelings of unhappiness. I surrender anew my whole life to You.'"

I looked across the little table at the bitter woman in front of me. Her face was furrowed, her eyes hard with resentment. I sensed she had been trying to run away from her frustrations. Perhaps that was even the reason she was on the mission field. Sadly, there are some of God's children who go to the mission field to escape the pain of not having a husband. I know others, back home, who spend every evening away from their families, attending Christian meetings, because they are unhappy and frustrated in their marriages. Work-even mission work- can become a wrong hiding place.

"Those called by God to live single lives are always happy in that state," I said. "This happiness, this contentment, is the evidence of God's plan."
"But you loved and lost," she exclaimed. "Do you believe that God took away your lover to make you follow Him?"
"Oh, no, I smiled. "God does not take away from us. He might ask us to turn our backs on something, or someone, we should not have. God never takes away; however, God gives. If I reach out and take someone for myself and the Lord steps in between, that does not mean God takes. Rather it means He is protecting us from someone we should not have because He has a far greater purpose for our lives."

We sat for long minutes in the semidark room. Only a small kerosene lamp gave its flickering light, casting faint shadows on the walls and across our faces. I thought back-remembering. I had always been content in the Lord. Back when I was in my thirties God gave me children-the children of missionaries-whom I raised. Betsie, my sister, fed and clothed them while I was responsible for their sports and music. We kept them in our home in Holland, and I found deep satisfaction in seeing them grow to maturity. I also spent a great deal of time speaking and sharing in various clubs for girls. But it was not the work that brought balance to my life, for work cannot balance our feelings. It was because my life was centered in the Lord Jesus that I had balance. Many people try to lose their feelings in work, or sports, or music, or the arts. But the feelings are always there and will eventually, as they had done tonight in this missionary, come boiling to the surface and express their resentment and discontent.

I turned to Ellen, my companion. Ellen is a tall, blond, beautiful Dutch girl then in her early thirties. She is single, yet she has learned the secret of living a balanced life. While I believe God set me apart before I was born, to live a single life, Ellen was different. She did not feel that God had called her to a single life; rather she felt that one day, in God's time, she would marry. However, until that time arrived-one year or thirty years from then-I knew she was secure in Jesus and was not looking to a husband or children for her security. I spoke to the missionary. "There are some, like me, who are called to live a single life," I said softly. "For them it is always easy for they are, by their nature, content. Others, like Ellen, are called to prepare for marriage which may come later in life. They, too, are blessed, for God is using the in-between years to teach them that marriage is not the answer to unhappiness. Happiness is found only in a balanced relationship with the Lord Jesus."

"But it is so hard," she said, tears welling up in her eyes.
"That is so," I said. "The cross is always difficult. 'But you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God' (Colossians 3:3). Dear girl, it cannot be safer. That part of you which would cling to a husband is dead. Now you can move into a life where you can be happy with or without a husband-secure in Jesus alone."

I do not know if she really understood me, for often we set our minds on some one thing we think will make us happy-a husband, children, a particular job, or even a "ministry"-and refuse to open our eyes to God's better way. In fact, some believe so strongly that only this thing can bring happiness, that they reject the Lord Jesus Himself. Happiness is not found in marriage; or work; or ministry; or children. Happiness is found by being secure in Jesus.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Into the world of video....

So, this video was out of my comfort zone. Way out! But...I felt like I had an opportunity to share what God has taught me. They had to cut quite a bit of the video, so I typed up some of what was cut so you can read the other things I mentioned.

Click here to watch the video

I had everything planned out. I was going to meet my husband in college, get married the weekend after graduation, and promptly begin serving in ministry alongside my husband. We would eventually buy a house and fill it with treasures I found at thrift stores and paint the inside with vibrant colors, carefully picked out after staring at paint swatches at Home Depot. I never wanted a career or ever dreamed about supporting myself financially. I was going to get a job of course, but I would be able to do anything I wanted because my husband was going to have a full time job with benefits.

I am now 32 and have never been kissed. I remember turning “sweet 16 and never been kissed.” It was cute then. “32 and never been kissed” sounds….pathetic?

I began to panic. I had no idea how I was going to support myself for the rest of my life with a degree that I randomly picked in the first place and never intended to have to use. But, with each year ticking by, my dreams slipped away and the plan imploded. I felt left behind. No one seemed to want to pick me, and I was devastated. I believed so many lies about married; I thought a wedding ring it would create the contentment and happiness that I longed for.

Year after year I crocheted countless afghans as wedding gifts. I kept thinking, when was it going to be my turn? At 32, I still live in an apartment with hand-me-down miss-matched silverware, and I have to watch 22-year-olds registering for Bed Bath and Beyond in preparation for their dream kitchen full of brand new free gadgets.

Eventually I got to the point where I was just plain jealous all the time. I was tired of being so miserable, but I didn't really know what to do about it. I asked God for years to help me learn contentment, but all the asking didn't seem to make much difference. I knew theoretically that my contentment had to be found in Christ, rather than my circumstances. But, that kind of maturity seemed impossible. After all, how do you stop wanting something that you want

Growing up, one of my favorite books was The Hiding Place, which told the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her family when they were sent to Nazi Concentration camps. Corrie's bunk was infested with fleas, and when her sister suggested they thank God for the fleas, she thought it a crazy notion. How could you be thankful for something you hate? But, Corrie's sister insisted, and they thanked God for the fleas. They came to realize that the officers wouldn't enter their bunk houses because of the fleas, and as a result, Corrie and her sister had a safe place to share the Gospel with their fellow inmates. I was determined to use Corrie as an example, and committed one day to be thankful for being single at every chance I could, even if I didn't really mean it, or see the rationale behind saying it.

For a few years I developed a habit of thankfulness; I was intentional about thanking God for being single, even though my heart wasn't in it. It was a long time before I really felt any difference. Then, out of nowhere, I had a breakthrough. I was renting a room in a women's house, and I couldn't stand the way she organized her kitchen. First of all, she put the silverware in the "wrong" drawer. She insisted on cramming the cupboards full of dishes, and every time I opened a cupboard, I was afraid that glass cups would come crashing down on my head. As was my habit, one day I stopped to thank God for being single and needing to rent from this woman. Then, I had this thought. What if I got married someday, and my husband wanted to put the silverware in the "wrong" drawer? What a nightmare! I would have to live with him for the rest of my life! I was able to utter, with all my heart, "Thank you Lord that I'm single and after I move out of this women's house can set up my kitchen correctly." And for just a moment, I became truly grateful for being single. My heart had finally caught up with my head.

When I was a teenage in the mid-90's, there was a popular trend in churches called "true love waits." I, like most of my friends, pledged to wait for marriage. My parents bought me this ring as a symbol of that commitment, and I wore it for years. Eventually, however, the concept of "true love WAITS" began to irk me. While I fully support the concept of abstinence, the word "wait" drove me nuts. To me, it implied that my goal in life was to sit around and wait for my husband to show up. I realized that I could waste a lot of years with that attitude, and that I had a responsibly to serve God with my singleness. I eventually replaced the ring with the a wedding band I inherited when my grandma passed away. No matter if I ever got a diamond for this finger, I know that I am already married. Even if I get married on earth, I won't be married in Heaven. However, I will always be the bride of Christ, and I have been a bride since I asked Him into my heart at age 5. He is my permanent redeemer and the love of my life. Contentment in Christ means is assurance that I'm not pathetic. In truth, I'm a cherished bride.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Check out this article on living in the moment!

Life Won’t Begin at Your Next Milestone

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amazing article on singleness

Check out this amazing online article on how the church can relate to singles. I was very impressed!