Response to Why Are You Still Single? (Single & Following Jesus Part V)


Aloha friends, 

So one of the frequent questions given to singles is “Why are you single?” It might be followed by a, “You are so beautiful/handsome. You are such a great person,” or a “Let me set you up with my (coworker, friend, this person I know, or a complete stranger).” 

Sometimes the person is unbelieveably rude and says something like, “I am so glad I found someone,” or “You better get moving the clock is ticking.” 

I had a lady tell me once she could never be me because I did not have anyone. Well, she was soon single. Her husband was caught cheating. As a matter of fact every woman who has looked down on me for being single ended up divorced/betrayed. No, I did not wish bad things on them. 

Their comments do not bother me. Why? I truly like who I am. With or without a mate, I like myself. A partner is not a means to validate my self worth. 

Some pity you. Some judge you. Some try to set you up on awful blind dates. Some assume all you do is think about marriage. There are healthy ways to deal. 

How do you deal? 

Well, offense is an option or a snarky comment. Don’t let the spirit of slap get you. 😉


The high road is understanding being single is not a curse nor will marriage fix everything. Marriage adds responsibilities, involves compromise, and is best suited for two people ready to attempt to love unselfishly. 

Paul stated very clearly that the married person focuses on their spouse while the single person has undivided focus on God. 

I really want to get married, what do I do? 

I enjoy being single, except at weddings and around certain people. Then I wish I had a fake spouse to bypass the akwardness. 🙂 Yet I know it is a great desire in the hearts of many. So here are some tidbits. 

1. Get comfy with who you are

Confidence attracts great things. 

Being single can cause some insecurity for some-the world is wondering why no one has chosen you. You may wonder this too. Yet know there are plenty of people married to the wrong person or in hellish marriages because they were impatient. They post like it’s bliss on Social Media, yet know of several faking the funk per say. 

The right thing for a person at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. 

2. Know God cares about the desires of your heart and His abilities trump a biological clock. 

I know people who married later in life and have amazing marriages. They had kids over 40, had the income to support those kids, and were mature enough to handle the marriage. When God gives gifts, they are custom. Custom gifts are not always quick or immediate. One can go create an Ishmael situation or wait on God/seek God for Issac. 

But my biological clock is like a time bomb! 

Abraham and Sarah are prime examples of God’s ability to defy biology. God created the body. God can do what people say cannot be done. I know most do not want their story to be that of Abraham and Issac. I simply wanted to encourage you that God is not limited. 

The desires of a person’s heart placed in the hands of God is the safest place they can be. 

3. Ask why you want to be married?

Selfishness is the thief of love, God love. If marriage is a means to fit in, fill a void, forgo lonliness, or deal with lust-those are the wrong motives. 

Marriage amplifies who a person is. Any issues hidden come bubbling up. What if that spouse get’s disfigured, can not meet physical needs, gets an illness…what then? What if for better or worse becomes the worse? If the objective is not to unselfishly love and honor someone for life, well relational breakdown occurs. 

4. Pray

There are people who say pray for your future spouse. I am not opposed to this. I truly think some of the greatest prayers are below…

Lord help me to find contentment in you alone. 

Lord purify my heart and help me to walk in purity. 

Lord show me how to love like you. 

Lord prepare me for what you have for me. 

Lord help me to guard my heart. 

Lord help me to steward others hearts well. 

Lord give me wisdom and increased discernment. 

Lord fill all the voids with you. 

Lord heal my soul. 

Lord protect me from the wrong choices. 

Lord hold my heart and do not let me give it to the wrong person. 

Lord prepare the person you have for me. Cause our paths to cross at the perfect time. 

Lord help me to find my identity in you. 

Lord strengthen me where I am weak.


Final thoughts…

People are getting married later in life. I hear from ladies that Christian men do not pursue them. I hear from Christian guys they are clueless how to date or have been repeadily rejected. So this leaves an interesting dynamic for those desiring children. Some opt for online dating. I have seen this work out great for many and not so great for a few. Some pray and hope God sends someone. Some give up all together. 

I will say that God is good and withholds nothing good. God’s timing is not always ours. Yet I have seen over and over the faithfulness of God. May knowing God be the aim. Those who seek first the Kingdom will gain so much more. The greatest gift is God! 

Praying for you! God wants His very best for you, for all of us. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Hello from Erin Lamb (Author Update) 


Aloha from my house to yours! 🌸🌺

I want to share some fun things with you and thank you for subscribing to this web page! 

I so enjoy your comments and appreciate you. Thank you. 

My earnest prayers are the things shared on this page draw your heart closer to God’s heart. How He loves us so (John 3:16). 

Here are some updates…

Books in Queue: 

Books are coming! I have two that are close to being done (over half way done) and I can’t wait to share them with you. Both deal with identity, Godly confidence, freedom, and authority in Christ. One is a devotional book/decrees and the other a regular book. 

You can get your copy of book 1 (I Thought I Knew What Love Was) here:  I Thought I Knew What Love Was.

Operation God is Love:

If you are unfamiliar with Operation God is Love (OGL), it is a street ministry and service intiative for the poor, unseen, unloved, homeless, and abused. 

OGL involves outreaches to the homeless community, street evangelism, work at the free clinic (praying for the sick/poor/immigrants), and deep inner healing for the abused/those suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/dissociation from abuse). 

I started OGL 4 years ago in response to darkness in parts of my city. It has grown beyond street ministry and prayer walking to so much more. 

You do not need much money to make a difference in the world. You need to be willing to love! 

Love requires time, yet I can not think of a better way to spend time. 

You can find out more at Operation God is Love

Or join me on Instagram: @OperationGodisLove 

Women on the Frontlines: 

I will be in Columbus, Ohio and sharing at Women on the Frontlines Regional Conference August 3-5th, 2017. I would love to see you there. The focus is we are empowered to do the works of Jesus. He said we would do even greater things (John 14:12)! Join us for 2 full days and 3 nights of fun. Join me, Joan Hunter, Julie Meyer, Ethan Flack & Band (Bethel Church), and Brandi Belt. 

Click here to register: Register for Women on the Frontlines Columbus

Well, sweet ones, you are loved! May the rest of this weekend overflow with the goodness of God.  

Love in Christ, 
Erin Lamb

Never Alone (Single & Following Jesus Series Part IV)

📷: Pinterest

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close,~Psalm 27:10. 

…I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age,~Matthew 28:20 (Amplified Version). 

One of the things people think of the unmarried is they battle with significant loneliness. I want to let you in on a little secret, there are married people who have the same struggle. 

Over the years I have encountered numerous married people who feel alone in their marriage. They have someone to live with them, yet the other person is more like a roommate. 

These are some real quotes from married women. 

“He’s more interested in video games than he is in me.” 

“I feel like I am living with a big child. I just take care of everything.” 

“There is nothing worse than rolling over next to someone not interested in you.” 

“My husband changed the moment I said ‘I do.'”

“I spend most of my time by myself.” 

I highly recommend each person maintain their relationship with God, let it go deeper, and maintain community. 

I have seen roughly 60% of the couples married the past 10 years divorce and they did not really maintain friendships with anyone outside of their spouse. They also allowed their relationship with God to fizzle. 

Adam did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or other humans. Marriage provided human community. We are meant to have human community and family. 

The first stop is God. 

There are needs only God can fulfill. He is always present. God never leaves, nor forsakes. God is good. God can fill our love bucket to overflowing. God is to be the primary source of community. 

If we have the Holy Spirit, we have full access to God. We have a built in best friend. 

The second stop is family/friendships. 

I lumped friendships and family together because not everyone has an incredible family that is supportive, loving, or present. 

Cultivating healthy, God centered friendships is one way to combat lonliness. 

I have had a few people state they struggle with making friends. The only counsel I have is be a good friend. In our world of busyness and look out for yourself, it can be challenging to make genuine friendships. It is not impossible. 

Papa God I ask for any person reading this to have authentic, loving, mutual, good, and blessed relationships. I ask for blessed community and that you would bring people into their lives that love them deeply and fully. I ask for iron sharpening iron relationships. I ask for genuine friendships and family (spiritual and natural). May not one person feel excluded, left out, or unloved. 

Community Involvement

I truly believe we are here to make a difference, not just consume from others and the world. 

Psychology Today did a report that stated that those who invest in others feel more joy and connection. 

We are not alone in this world. Getting together with others for a greater good is one way to combat loneliness. I am not suggesting we should give for selfish motives. I am saying sitting at home all the time without any human connection, thinking about a marital relationship, is not the best use of time. It is actually a waste of time. There are so many other things that can be done. 

Who wants their legacy to be, “Died glued to the couch.” 

The truth is even if a person feels alone does not mean they are alone. God is Emmanual (God with us). God also knit every believer into His family. God’s spiritual family has billions of people. There are churches everywhere with connect groups, small groups, and many have community outside Sunday mornings. 

I also meet people all the time who say they wish for a friend or community yet they never do the inviting/pursuing. They expect to be pursued, invited. It’s okay to be the one who invites someone else out for coffee or lunch. It is okay to start your own group, club, or organize events. It’s okay to leave the house. The computer and Netflix will be there when you get back home. 🙂 

Lord I bless every person reading this series. Help them to see they are never alone. They are wanted, cherished, loved, celebrated, desired, and significant. Bless each person, married or single, with divine connections and deeper intimacy with you. Heal their souls from any loneliness, pain, or feelings of being left out. In Jesus powerful name. Amen! 

Purpose (Single & Following Jesus Series Part II)


Purpose: function, purpose, role, use (noun), what something or someone is created for. 

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone,~Ephesians 1:11-12. 

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them,~Isaiah 43:7. 

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together,~Collossians 1: 15-17. 

The best selling book The Purpose Driven life has sold millions of copies. People are seeking a purpose, destiny, calling, and for their life to matter. 

We live in a world where purpose is tied to man given titles, status, marital status, parenting, occupation, ministry, and/or material things. People define themselves by who others say they are instead of who God says they are. 

God tells us our purpose plainly. We were created by Him to have relationship with Him and others. We were created to bring Him glory. We are His Ambasssadors of love on earth. We are to be imitators of Christ as dearly loved children (1 Cor 11:1). 

We were created by Love (God), to be loved, then to love (Matthew 22:37-39). 

  • Purpose 1: Relationship with God. 
  • Purpose 2: Agape love (be loved by God, love ourselves, love our neighbor as ourselves) 

God also tells followers of Jesus to go and make disciples. We are commissioned to share the Gospel; to share with others the good news of Jesus. It is for all followers of Jesus. 

  • Purpose 3: Do what we see Jesus doing; share the Gospel and make disciples. 

Instead of the focus being our dreams, our agenda, our wants, getting a date, finding a mate, having the American dream…what if the focus was receiving God’s love, seeking first His Kingdom, loving God and cultivating relationship with Him, sharing the Gospel, building His Kingdom on earth, feeding the hungry, loving the broken, and making disciples? We would change the world. 

…he told them, “Go into all the world and preach (tell, speak forth) the Good News to everyone,”~Jesus (Mark 16:15). 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,~Matthew 28:19. 

It does not say, “Only pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles go and make disciples.” It is for every believer. It is something Jesus was quite passionate about; telling others about the love and truth of God. 

  • Purpose 4: Bring God glory! 

I have heard unmarried people and married people say that life and purpose begins at saying wedding vows to an earthly spouse. I strongly disagree. 

Life begins at Christ. Without Jesus, there is no eternal life in paradise. You can get into heaven without a spouse. You can not get intoheaven without Jesus. 

There is no marriage in heaven. Therefore heaven is about God. What a shame it would be to see God face to face and have Him ask, “What did you do with what I gave you (see the Parable of the Talents),” and the person replied, “Well, nothing. You never sent me a spouse. Or I made my spouse my god.” 

What a waste it would be to sit around waiting or complaining while people around us are dying and going to hell. People are starving for natural and spiritual food. May we care about what God cares about. God cares about the poor, widows, orphans. He cares about us and the whole world. 


The highest calling for every believer, married or unmarried is to have relationship with God and love others. Marriage to a human is just one expression of love on earth. It is not the only or most important. 

Let’s look at Matthew 25:31-46. 

The Sheep and the Goats

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

You notice Jesus does not talk about their possessions, titles, community influence, etc. He looked at the way they loved. 

You and I can wake up each day with purpose, “We were created by Love, to be loved, then to love.” 

Nothing God created is without a purpose. Purpose is rooted in Christ. 

So unmarried friends, let’s be about our heavenly Father’s business. Instead of sitting idle, waiting on the rapture or God to send a mate-be active in loving God, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sharing the Gospel, making disciples. There is so much in Christ, let’s make our lives count for Him. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Know Your True Enemy 

  
Morning Devotion: Understand your opponent. The key to continual victory is understanding your true enemy. 

People are not the enemy, though there are people who cooperate with the devil to accomplish his will on earth. He requires human agreement. 

People say Eve was gullible and that’s why the serpent chose to go to her first. I disagree. Eve was given the same mandate as Adam; fill and subdue the earth, have dominion (Genesis 1). She had authority. God did not say, “Adam have dominion, Eve go pick berries, clean the Garden, do whatever Adam tells you to do.” God said to both of them to have domion. 

God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”~Genesis 1:28. Notice He said, “Them” plural. 

Dominion Definition: sovereignty; control, authority, mastery, power, rule, government. 

The serpent did not need to deceive Adam. Scripture says Adam was with Eve when she ate from the tree (Genesis 3:6). Adam knowingly betrayed God, committed treason, and then blamed Eve. Why not go for the one who will knowingly betray God? 

Eve represented a part of what the devil hates; life, relationship. She was bone of Adam’s bone, flesh of his flesh. He would cleave to her. They would together enter into the first covenant between humans. They would together be fruitful and multiply, fill and subdue the earth, and have dominion together (Genesis 1). 

God had given them (Adam and Eve) a mandate that would continually crush the head of the serpent. They would together fill the earth with the glory of God and create more humans to worship God. 

The devil abhors the true worship of God. 

If you turn them against each other, it is the perfect set up for chaos, disorder, and dysfunction. Adam blamed Eve, and today women are one of the most persecuted people groups. It is challenging to see in America-though we have stats that show the validity of an issue. If you look to other parts of the world, you can see horrific abuse of women. 

If the one chosen to carry life (Eve) is turned on by the one chosen to protect life (Adam) you can destroy civilization. When a woman is pregnant she carries two lives, and one is quite vulnerable (baby). The mother is also going through some challenges as her body is changing to carry a life. God seeks to protect life. Satan desires to steal, kill, and destroy lives. 

Knowing your opponent…

Lucifer (the devil) is not God’s equal, he is far below God. He is a created being who turned evil due to pride (Isaiah 14:12-14). He had the ability to choose, just as we do. He was not created evil. 

He is to be under the feet of the born again believer. So no glory to him. He is a defeated, losing loser. Yet he is still deceiving the world, turning allies into enemies, trying to hijack identity, and use human authority. 

There are women today who are still living under the curse of Eve; stripped of Godly authority, feeling shamed, gullible, less than, and naive. Women who have been silenced or their voices condemned because of the actions of one woman. Jesus nailed the sins of Eve to the cross and took on every curse to restore what was lost in the Garden. Women believers are redeemed, joint heirs with Jesus, empowered, and have the same access to God as their male counterparts. 

There are men today who are still living under the curse Adam; stripped of Godly authority, betraying God and looking after their own interests. Men who have had Godly masculinity replaced with with worldly masculinity, pride, lust, and ego. Jesus nailed the sins of Adam to the cross and took on every curse to restore what was lost in the Garden. Men believers are redeemed, and can walk in the same character traits of Jesus through abiding and intimacy with God (John 15:4-5). 

It is a good time for men and women to be restored to Godly identity pre the fall, to work as allies, and see the fulfillment of God’s mandate on earth. No us vs. them. It’s team Jesus; unified allies representing God in the earth. Each created in the unique expression of God. Each uniquely and passionately loved. Each redeemed through the blood of Jesus. 

Let’s end with a look at the nature of our true enemy, the fallen angel Lucifer-also known as the devil. 

He is: 

  • A liar 
  • A deceiver 
  • A murderer 
  • A control freak 
  • A pervert (twisting God’s trust and will) 
  • A divider (he loves division) 
  • A manipulator 
  • An imitator (he takes what God has created and perverts it into something unintended or wrong) 
  • A coward 
  • A user and abuser 
  • A destroyer 
  • A thief 
  • A blasphemer 
  • An accuser 
  • An instigator
  • A bully 

He is: 

  • Full of pride, self exaltation
  • Full of ego 
  • Full of selfishness (he would be considered a narcissist or sociopath) 
  • Full of jealousy and envy 
  • Full of hatred (there is no love in him) 
  • Full of lust/immorality/lawlessness/sexual perversion
  • Full of deceit (he is the Father of lies) 
  • Full of desire to dominate, force his will on people 
  • Full of fear  
  • Full of anger and rage
  • Full of offense 
  • Full of criticism  

He hates: 

  • God 
  • Humans 
  • Women (targets women/motherhood/identity/authority/purity)
  • Men (targets men to lead them to surrender their Godly masculinity/authority to lust, anger, selfishness, pride, independence from God and others) 
  • Life
  • Unity 
  • Relationship/community 
  • Purity 
  • Hope
  • Encouragement
  • Godly prayer/intercession 
  • Holiness 
  • Humility 
  • Love 
  • Godly covenant
  • Holy sex (inside covenant between a natural born man and woman)  
  • Family 
  • The True Body of Christ 
  • True disciples of Jesus 
  • Intimacy with God 
  • Worship of God 
  • Exaltation of Jesus 

He lacks: 

  • Genuine compassion
  • Agape love (unselfish, sacrificial, unselfish love) 

He enjoys: 

  • Starting fights/strife
  • Death
  • Religious activities void of the power and love of God 
  • Perversion
  • Sexual sin 
  • Oppression 
  • Stealing joy, hope from people 
  • Doing bad things and watching people blame God or each other 
  • Activity not birthed from intimacy with God 
  • Insecurity 
  • Guilt, shame 
  • Rejection 
  • Torment 
  • Affliction 
  • Embarrassing people/humiliation 
  • Using people 
  • Depression 
  • Poverty/lack 

God is 100% good. We see the true nature of the Father in His Son Jesus. God is love. He is for humanity. May you and I know our true enemy. May we walk in the Spirit and be allies with other believers. May our identities be restored to their pre-fall state. May we rise up in our God given authority and stand with God for holy dominion and expanse of His Kingdom on earth. 

Unashamed (Sacred Sex Series Part II) 

  
This photo from wordswag is of two ballerinas, male and female dancing. They are wearing white leotards/tights. Just clarifying so no one freaks out. 🙂 

Here is the original (beautiful right?): 

  In the continuation of this series I have been thinking about Genesis 2:25. It reads: 

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

We know the word naked means without clothing. They were vulnerable. There was nothing they felt they needed to hide or airbrush away. 

Adam and Eve had no insecurities. They did not have body issues or body shame. They did not have lust issues. They did not pick each other apart, “Where are your six pack abs? Maybe a few runs around the Garden might help you out!” 

They were free to be who God created them to be; loved, seen, secure, and known in the boundary of covenant. 

They knew no shame. Carrying shame is not our friend. Repeat with me, “Carrying shame is not my friend.” Awesome, we are on the same page. Carrying shame leads to pain.

What on earth is shame some may ask? Let’s talk about shame. 

Shame:

a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

synonyms:

humiliation, mortification, chagrin, ignominy, embarrassment, indignity, discomfort, guilt, remorse, contrition, compunction. 

Lets’s look at Genesis 3:6-13, when shame entered the equation. 

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The aftermath of the first sin was as follows: 

  • Feel uncovered/vulnerable
  • Cover up yourself/your vulnerability 
  • Fear 
  • Hide from God 
  • Blame 

After the fall, Adam and Eve realized they had no clothes-they realized their vulnerability and sin. They decided they would fix the problem by covering up their vulnerability and then hide from God. They, for the first time, knew sin. 

Adam blamed Eve. Eve goes on to blame the serpent and well it just spirals downward. Oh, the dreaded curses of the Fall. 

Before you check out because Adam and Eve’s sins brought pain, death, turmoil, shame, and heartache into humanity know Jesus was already a part of God’s plan to redeem humanity. Praise pause. 

God knew before creating humanity  we would mess up. I will maybe touch on that in another post. He also knew Adam was hiding. Interesting! 

Sin leads to hiding. Sin, untouched by the forgiveness of God, leads to shame-unless our sense of right and wrong is perverted/seared/numbed. 

Women and shame: 

Sometimes the shame comes not from the sins we have committed, but from the sins committed against us. I have prayed for and peer counseled women who have been sexually abused, sexually harassed, or verbally abused. They grew to hate their bodies, their sexuality, or sex altogether. Some were used by men for sex. Some gave themselves away. Some struggled with their desires, thought life. Why? Sin leads to shame. 

Women especially are judged by their physical appearance and sex appeal. I have heard men state, “Women are only good for one thing.” There are too many stats on rape, sexual abuse, pornography, the sexist images of women, and the exploitation of women to talk about it here. 

Just know God created women to be loved. He says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” God likes who He created and woman was not just created simply to meet a physicial need for man. God gave woman a brain, a heart, and she was created in the image of God to be loved by God and by man. Love is not about taking or self gratification. Love is about giving. Agape love is not selfish. 

Men and shame:

Sexual and physical abuse hurts men too. I have not counseled men, so I have less experience in this area. I do know men are judged by how “manly” they can be. I hear them talk about this “man card.” So there is intense pressure to be validated by other men and I have seen men shame or humiliate other men who where not “masculine” enough. If you add in sexual abuse, especially by a another man that can lead to deep rooted shame. There can also be fear of not being man enough. 

I have heard men say they felt shame for their high desires for physical intimacy. Some run like the wind from any pretty woman. Others have secret lives of images they view on a screen or an inner world that lacks purity (some women do too).

Some struggle with same sex attraction (both genders) and feel deep fear and shame. 

Some do not know the difference between lust and God given attraction to the opposite sex. 

God’s plan (love, intimacy, covenant): 

Sex was God’s idea. His intention was physical intimacy inside the boundaries of commited love between a man and woman. Why? So they could be vulnerable, protected, loved, known, cared for, and unashamed. 

God is all about love and connection. He is relational. He also established the first family through procreation. 

When someone loves  unconditionally, truly loves, you can let your defenses down and be vulnerable. You are free to be who you are. Just as in the Garden, Adam and Eve were vulnerable and without shame (fear, hiding, humiliation, embarrassment). 

Every human being was created for intimacy (to be known and loved). Our world focuses so much on the physical aspect of intimacy. Yet God sees beyond the physical. 

We were created to be loved, respected, known, secure, and cared for. To God intimacy is about connection and not just pleasure. God created physical intimacy to connect two souls, bodies, spirits. It was designed for more than procreation and pleasure. 

He said, “I will give man and woman a way to be loved and known on a deep level. Two become one.” This does not mean you morph into one person. It means the connection joins two people. 

Those in Christ are joined with Him. We become one with the Lord. This does not mean God becomes us or we become God. It does not mean we lose our identity either. It means we are connected through an eternal covenant of love through faith; heart to heart, spirit to Spirit. 

Shame seeks to pervert love and destroy intimacy. The cycle of shame is filled with hiding, fear, feeling bad, sin-then hiding, fear, feeling bad, more sin…you get the picture. We were not designed for shame. We were made for agape love. We were not created to try to measure up to some magazine or movie standard. We were not created to be abused or treated like a disposable object. We were not created to hide or pretend, or blame or seek to cover ourselves. We were created for relationship with God then others. 

Jesus is the only One who can pay for our sins. He is the covering. So, no matter whether we have sinned or been sinned against-we seek a Savior. He is Jesus. All failures, insecurities, abuse, misplaced appetites, affections, desires for affection, all of it can be laid at His feet. Jesus paid it all. He took our shame so we could live unashamed! 

Father God for any person who is struggling tonight with shame, I ask for a washing in Your love and power. If there are things which require repentance and greater freedom, please bring them to light. Align minds with Yours. Lord Your loving light heals anything in the darkness. Only Your Son can cover. Your perfect love casts out fear. No more hiding. May everything be laid before You. You love us so. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

Weekend Devotion: Killing Insecurity 

  
Image created with wordswag, used with permission. 

Weekend Devotion: Insecurity is not humility. Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Let’s explore pride. 

Pride is preoccupation with self whether positive or negative. Pride refuses help-I don’t need or want assistance even if it is greatly needed. Pride fuels unbelief (not agreeing with God), bickering (I know better than you), jealousy (I deserve that attention), competition (I deserve to be first), put downs, mean sarcasm/excessive criticism, racism and sexism (someone must be inferior for me to feel superior), rebellion, self pity, insecurity, clamors to be promoted (give me a title, put me in charge), unwilling to serve/sacrifice for others. And a host of other things…

I did not feel bad about myself until I stepped into ministry. It is okay. God has healed the damage done by well meaning Christians. 

When I entered ministry I was told feeling like dirt was humility. I needed to pretend to be bad at things to give God glory. Not sure how that works? “Oh God, I am ugly, untalented, have nothing to offer, horrible“,. God responds, “Ummm I made you, so you are saying as a Creator/Artist I am not very skilled?” 

He is the Artist, we are His artwork. Insulting the artwork is insulting the Artist. 

I noticed people who ascribed to worm theology (some not all) struggled with loving others. Why? Because they thought so low of themselves. We can only give away the love we have first received. If I feel like dirt, how am I going to love, empower others? If I feel like dirt, I will most likely struggle with jealousy/comparison, and cut others down to feel better. 

I also realized worm theology and “I am dirt” is just the flip coin of pride. It is saying, “My opinion of me is more important than God’s. I know better than God. Me! Me! Me! Woah is me. I am but a wretched worm.” 

I love what Pastor Bill Johnson says, “I can not afford to have a thought in my head that God doesn’t have in His.” 

How do earthly parents feel about their kids? Just look at Social Media and you can see it. They brag on their kids all day, every day. God loves infinitely more. He is not looking to suppress what He has given or created. 

God is proud of His kids. He cheers for His kids. He believes in His kids. He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He, through Jesus, seated us in heavenly places and made us joint heirs with Jesus. We are His workmanship created for His glory. We are highly valued by God. Jesus paid for our lives with His. God doesn’t make junk. 

We are not God. We are not to be worshipped, elevated to His equal or above Him. We are though to honor what He created. It brings Him glory. 

How did Jesus walk out humility? I never read of Him having perpetual pity parties or insulting Himself, nor pretending He wasn’t who the Father said He was. 

Jesus served. He did not demand others serve Him. Humility is willing to serve, even without credit/glamor. 

Jesus forgives. Pride holds onto grudges. 

Jesus empowers others. He believed in the disciples, gave them chances before they proved themselves, and knowing sometimes they would fail. 

Jesus accepted help from others. Pride doesn’t want help. Jesus invited the disciples to pray for Him. 

Jesus sacrificially loved. Pride is “me focused”-serve me, love me, bless me. Me! Me! Me! 

Jesus acknowledged His dependence on the Father. 

Jesus had a right assessment of Himself in relation to the Father. 

Jesus gave others chances to shine/step into their destiny. After He multiplied the fish and loaves, He invites the disciples to do the same. 

Jesus associated with the weak, broken, outcasts of society. He wasn’t too good to be with the least of them. 

He did not look down His nose on others. 

Jesus empowered women and treated them with respect, honor, dignity. 

Jesus did not have to send out business cards “Messiah”, or walk in the room and say, “I am here, bow to Me peasants.” He walked in agape love and power; it drew people to Him and the Father. 

Jesus washed feet. He served those who would later betray Him. 

Jesus said, “When you see Me, you have seen the Father.” He invites us to abide in Him so other’s see the Father. 

Jesus submitted His entire life to the Father. Out of love He submitted. Pride hates to come into agreement with others. It demands it’s own way. 

Good news, if we have pride there is forgiveness and mercy. I am not immune from pride. I have found when I disagree with God, that’s pride. When I focus too much on me, pride. When I overshare out of excitement and forget to listen or to consider my audience, pride. God says, “Come be loved by Me.” 

Pride melts away in His Presence. He doesn’t beat me up. He loves me to life. Being with Him and agreeing with Him leads to transformation. He, as the Masterful Surgeon, prunes away in love. We are all in process, being transformed from glory to glory. 

So may you and I abide in His love, stay connected to the Vine, agree with God, and love ourselves as He does. The love we receive can be poured out on Him. Then we can love our neighbor as ourselves.