Uncategorized

Purity is way more than abstinence.

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be tackling the topic of purity. It’s a topic that holds a lot of meaning to me, and it’s been on my mind for awhile. Hang tight with me as I dive in and tackle this topic.

Purity-Rings

 

The Christian church today has capitalized off of this whole idea that purity has to do with abstinence. You must buy this book, buy this purity ring, attend this conference, etc. I can’t tell you the amount of friends that I’ve had that have bought the purity rings, and devotional books dedicated to the topic of abstinence. For years even I thought that in order for me to be sexually pure, or abstain from sex until marriage that it was “required” that I wear one of these. “If I don’t wear a purity ring, how will people know I’m striving to live a life devoted to purity?” I would often think to myself……

We’ve turned purity into a checklist that we need to follow.

We’ve gone and told young girls and boys that in order to stay “pure” they must abstain from sex. We’ve gone and told them that their “reward” for being “sexually clean” is to find that perfect spouse that God has planned out for them. Because of this way of thinking, we have men and women out there who remain sexually pure because they think that in doing so they are going to be rewarded one day with a spouse.

I’ve sat with many women who through tears and sobbing have asked me, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not married yet?”. And honestly, at some point or another I’ve been one of those women who have cried and sobbed my heart out on some other persons shoulder, asking the same old question. “I’m waiting, I’m trying to do everything right. How come nothing’s going right? Where’s my reward?”.

What are we supposed to say to these people who have been sexually pure for their whole lives and watched friends and family who have only been pure for a few days, weeks, months or years and are already getting married?

………hold on here for a second………

I think we may be missing something…
What about Jesus Christ?

I can be as “sexually pure” as I want, and practice abstinence until marriage and buy the purity ring and follow all the correct steps, but at the same time, I can be so dirt stained from my sin unless I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and been transformed and renewed by the gospel. 

All abstinence is is a habit that we have simply attached to mean purity.
Purity is a lifestyle.
It is living our lives in such a way that God originally had planned out for us.

Don’t get me wrong guys……
We are absolutely called to sexual abstinence, but that’s not what defines our purity.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ and allow the gospel to transform and renew us, we allow God to create in us a pure heart and cleanse us.

Let’s stop telling people that purity is the key to marriage and start telling them that it’s a lifestyle.
Let’s stop telling people that being, “sexually clean” is the answer to purity and let’s start pointing people to Jesus as an example of what purity looks like.

 

 

 

\

 

 

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Shhh! Don’t say the “S” word

submission.

This word carries a lot of baggage with it.
often the weight of the word makes it scary and seem like it’s towering over us ready to pounce

as a teenager when I first started attending youth groups and Bible studies within the church, I would often hear that women were to submit themselves to men.

and honestly? It made me shiver. More so because of the context of how I was viewing submission.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary submission can be defined as:

  1. To yield oneself to the authority or will of another.
  2. To permit oneself to be subjected to something 

When you are submitting yourself to another person you are basically allowing them to have authority over you.

For the longest time I viewed submission as letting men control me or I saw it as giving up my voice and making myself weak. how wrong I was.

 Nonetheless it’s scary, right? To give someone that much power in your life….

Let’s look at Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Notice that last part friend, “as you do to the Lord“.

We are to submit ourselves to our husbands as we do to the Lord. We submit ourselves to God’s will daily. We ask Him to have His will be done in our lives. 

Let’s take a look at Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 

Yes, we are called to submit to our husbands out of love and respect for them, but husbands are called to love their wives as Christ does. 

Submission is not a reason to allow someone to ever abuse you or hurt you. Submission doesn’t mean you are any less valued or treasured. 

For the longest time I was really scared and I didn’t like the thought of having to submit myself to men. It made me feel inferior or like I had no worth. So dear friend, I understand if you are struggling with that.

My prayer for you is that you see submission not in negative light but as something that you do out of love and respect for that person. I pray that most of all we learn to submit ourselves to Christ daily so that His will may be done in our lives.

-Elizabeth Louise 

Uncategorized

In Jesus we have a safe place

whether you are feeling alone, scared, struggling to find worth, hopeless and worn out, dealing with depression or anxiety.

I want to remind you. Jesus is for you.

He is standing on the sideline even when you’ve given up. He is your biggest fan encouraging you to not give up. He is your biggest fan even when you make mistakes. 

there will be times when you face trials and moments that will try and tear you down. there will be people that you come across that will be against you.

Jesus is with us through it all. Never leaving our side even when we leave His

Continue to look to Jesus for direction and comfort. In Jesus we will always find a safe place. In Jesus we find hope for our weary souls. In Jesus there is peace. In Jesus, all of our fears are washed away.

The next time you become overwhelmed by guilt, fear, hopelessness, worry, and  loneliness, etc 

breathe.

and remember these truths. Remember to cling to Jesus. 

Uncategorized

Establishing that Giant-like Faith with God

We all experience fear.

We all experience doubt.

Maybe we doubt that we know all the answers to that final exam despite having crammed for it for a week. Maybe we fear and worry what our parents will say about our report card.

Or maybe we doubt God is truly there and listening and we begin to stress and worry about what will happen.

Recently I was reading the story of David and Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17: 38-40 Saul pits armor on David to go into battle but what happens next??

David takes off the armor because he hadn’t worn it before. He’s about to go into battle…….and he rids himself of the armor. WOW!

I don’t think I’d go into battle with no armor. Anyone else agree? 

David TRUSTED God completely. He trusted God enough to into battle with just a staff, stones and a sling. Meanwhile Goliath is decked out with a sword and a spear. 

But is David scared? No way! In fact he gets up to Goliath and starts BOASTING in the Lord. He trusts that God will be by his side, so David is just trash talking. He’s going, “Oh yeah? Well my God is on my side and He will strike you down”

Guys? What if we did this when we did to experience worry, fear and doubt?

What if we BOASTED in God. 

What exactly would this look like?

It would mean we have such enormous faith and trust in the character of God and who God is that we don’t worry as much.

It would mean our first response would be to remind ourselves how BIG God is instead of how big our small problems may seem.

It would mean going into prayer first, rather as a last resort. 

It would mean having giant-like faith in God just as David did.

Friends, I pray whatever you are dealing with today, that you begin to establish that giant-like faith with God. Know that God is who HE says He is. Know that God is faithful, everlasting and constant. I pray that you begin to seek God in moments of fear and doubt. I pray that you lean on God and establish giant-like faith with God.

Amen.


As always,

Grace and ease,
Elizabeth Louise 

Uncategorized

Heart over words

We attend a Bible study or a gathering, and usually there is prayer involved at some point. Whether it’s one person, or going around the circle taking turns as you feel called to pray. Sometimes you hear words like, “Edification”, or “Infallible”, or “Discernment”.

You’ve heard these prayers and maybe you are a new Christian just thinking, I’m so nervous. I just want to say a simple prayer, what if I don’t want to use big words? Maybe you get nervous. Maybe you awkwardly sit there and don’t say anything because you’ve over thought it now.

img_7327

 

I know I did. I used to be petrified of praying in front of people, I didn’t have the right words to know what to say and I wasn’t as strong of a Christian as some of the others who had grown up in Christian homes.

Honestly though? God doesn’t care how BIG the prayer is or how impressive the words are. Prayer is simply communicating with God. Over the years of growing and walking with God He’s become my Creator, Judge, Counselor, Parent and Friend. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows my thoughts. The Bible is filled with people communicating to God through prayer. Psalms, Job, etc.

These people they express their feelings, their hearts to God.

In 1 Samuel 1:10 Hannah prays to the Lord, And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.

Further down a few more verses in 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.

God wants your heart in prayer more than he wants to hear impressive words.

Sometimes we feel hurt, in pain, sad, rejected, etc and the only thing we know to do is cry to God in our tears. Sometimes the only thing we can say is “Thank you God”. Sometimes the Holy Spirit moves in us and gives us these “big, impressive words”. Other times we may not have the right words to say out loud, but God hears our thoughts even before we speak them. He sees the condition of our hearts before we even know if it’s condition. 

Don’t be afraid to communicate what’s on your mind and heart to the Lord. However big or small.



-Elizabeth Louise

Uncategorized

The inclusive and expansive love of Jesus

I want to be found sitting around a campfire with barefooted refugees and so-called whores or prostitutes, the LGBTQ crowd. Maybe roasting a few s’mores, except in my case I like to put Reese’s on my s’mores(it’s delicious trust me). 

Anyway, I want to be sitting around a campfire with a whole variety of people deemed “un-worthy” or often looked down upon by the church but loved by Jesus.

I want my love to be so inclusive and expansive that it tells people about my God not the other way around. I don’t want it to exclude people so that it creates barriers or walls and doesn’t give opportunity to tell people about Jesus.

Jesus’s love is inclusive and expansive. 

The woman at the well. The woman caught in adultery. The healing of a man on the sabbath. 

Jesus continued to break down barriers, guys. He continually reached out and included people, saying, “I know you’ve done x,y,z but follow and trust me” Jesus continued to dish out grace explaining that, we all mess up. We all need forgiveness and grace.

Lately….I’ve been thinking. What areas of my life am I putting up barriers and not being inclusive? We all have them. I have my areas and they may be different than yours. But let’s continue to be inclusive and expansive with our love and grace. Let’s let grace and love flow out like a giant kicking  down a door. 

Uncategorized

We are all //that// woman at the well

I’m sure we are all familiar with John 4:1-26 the story about the woman at the well.

Jesus had been traveling and of course when you travel for extended periods of time, you get thirsty. so he stops at a well and asks this woman there to get him a drink. now this woman goes, “uhm, excuse me. we aren’t supposed to associate”. I can just imagine her looking stunned and perplexed that Jesus is speaking to her. you see, she was a samaritan, and men were not usually supposed to address women unless they were accompanied by a husband.

You see, this woman, she was more focused on living by the law. she was more focused on living by the book. i am sure we all know someone like that. perhaps even you are like that. jesus however, he was focused on love and grace.

We are all the woman at the well that Jesus wasn’t supposed to be talking to. we all sin. and sin separate us from god. 

whether its drinking underage, or sex before marriage, adultery, or even cursing or holding on to anger. we all deal with sin. we all have it

IMG_9812

it’s easy for us to point fingers at others and judge those whose sin may be more public and known. it’s easy yes, but it causes isolation. it prevents us from taking the gospel to people who may need it.

As Jesus stated in John 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

friends, lets put down those stones and realize that we are all the woman at the well. we are all that woman that doesn’t deserve the grace given to us by God. we are all the woman at the well who society would say we shouldn’t be talking to Jesus. we are all that woman.