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perception

Wednesday Wind Down: The Others

Hi, Sweetheart!

If your status is single, divorced, widowed, childless, or married without children, then this message is for you.

Have you ever had someone deem you unfit to babysit because you are not a parent?
What about your relationship status becoming the primary focus at the dinner table
Have you been disassociated from certain circles because you’re divorced?

I have encountered those scenarios. Being stereotyped by people I called friends was the ultimate slap in the face. For a season, I couldn’t go a week without someone asking me if I ever wanted to get married or whether I would have time to have children with my busy schedule. Ridiculous? You would be surprised how often it occurs. A discussion with friends led to the discovery that I was not alone; this contagious mindset was more prevalent than I imagined. They even mentioned moments of being denied event invitations, experiencing condemnation by a church, and receiving degrading comments regarding their marital and parental status. First, let’s be practical. You don’t know how a person arrived at that space in life, so it’s best to choose your words wisely. Let’s go deeper.

Somewhere along society’s way, the idea has developed that God “rewards” you with marriage if you play your cards right during singlehood. How absurd! Marriage is not a prize for an upper echelon of Christians. It is a beautiful gift and exceptional experience, but not the sole proprietor of your divine purpose.

When you were formed in your mother’s womb, God impressed His fingerprint upon your heart and blew His breath into your lungs. That was a singular act of love from Creator to Creation. A moment of purpose at minute-one and not a second later. So to assume that someone is of lesser value because of status is degrading to the Lord’s inscription on a life. I know… it is not good for man to be alone is often used to justify the means of someone telling me that my life is unfulfilled. It used to infuriate me, but not anymore. Perhaps it annoys you now. Let me remind you of two things – you are not a pariah and there is nothing wrong with you. There is no cookie cutter Christian life. Wherever God has you is where you need to be.

Your worth is not contingent upon whether you’re married or a parent. God cares about your soul and He is unapologetically in love with you and you alone. So, if you don’t fit the mold of someone else’s idea of awesomeness, I commission you to live out loud with your amazingly wonderful self. Don’t allow a convoluted point of view to build a pseudo-scaffold around your purpose. I, for one, am so grateful to have a pastor that understands this. For reinforcement against the closed-minded, check out his It’s Complicated series.

While you’re walking along your customized journey, Sweetheart, hold your head up high. Own it. I think you looks great on you. Oh, and if you’re thinking of saying something ignorant to a stranger or loved one about their marital or parental status… don’t.

Peace, Blessings, & Thanks for listening!

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Don’t Get It Twisted

1 Samuel 16:7 NASB:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – http://bible.com/100/1sa.16.7.NASB

It’s easy to see the good stuff on the outside. Oreo cookies let you see the filling in the middle. The right frosting can make the worst-tasting cake appear delicious. A glass of juice looks appetizing because the container is transparent. Any chef will tell you the people eat with their eyes just as much as their mouths. We believe what we see! But leave it to the Lord to test that carnal inclination with a little thing called faith.

Samuel is sent on a mission to anoint the next King of Israel. He has an idea of what the candidate will look like, but there’s a flag on the play when he realizes that what he saw as the best-looking choice (Eliab) was not God’s chosen King.

How often do we get suckered in by looks alone? That job offer pays more money, but you’ll have less time with the kids. That loan will help relieve some stress, but the interest rate is high. That lover looks like “The One,” but you always feel empty instead of full when he/she leaves your presence.

God knows that our eyes cannot be trusted,
even though He made two of them on our faces!

Our perceptions will lead us over a cliff every time. There are errors in our input that cause us to output in error as well. In the Communication theory world, they are actually called perceptual errors!

Don’t be fooled by what’s on the outside. Whether it’s a person, place, or thing, always ask God to show you the heart of it and act accordingly.

Be obedient to what He sees, not what you perceive.
That’s what faith truly is.

Peace & Thanks for listening.

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