Fruit Of The Spirit – (Day 18) – “What Is Love?” Challenge

fruitsofspirit

It’s Day 18 of the “What Is Love? Challenge“, where for 29 days I’m sharing bible verses on Love so that we can gain a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Love according to God’s divine plan.

On Day 17 we talked about the only thing that counts in our relationship with God and today we’ll discuss the Fruit Of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-26 English Standard Version (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

The other day I had a conversation with a co-worker concerning Love and Marriage. She was telling me how her parents had such a beautiful marriage, almost 60 years of marriage…

You could hear the admiration she had for their love and that’s obviously what she wants and hopes for herself…but she admitted that it’s something very rare these days and almost unattainable.

She then proceeded to tell me that her mother told her that the reason marriages don’t last these days is because people no longer have that Selfless Love…

People have become very selfish and most of us can’t just love without expecting something in return…and if the other person fails to return the favor or reach our expectations we simply bail out….

Most of us live by our egos, the ego says we are entitled to receive things from others while the spirit says, “I don’t deserve anything, but through, God’s grace and mercy, I receive these gifts.”

crucify fleshly desires

When we are of Christ, we crucify our ego, our flesh, our passions and desires and are reborn. We are filled with God’s spirit and start to produce his fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of the presence of God in our life and our relationship with him.

Attempting to truly Love, have Joy, be Peaceful, Patient, Kind, Good, Faithful, Gentle and have Self-Control without the presence of God in our life or without having a relationship with God is a big and constant STRUGGLE… it’s much easier and natural to submit to our Flesh, our own desires/passions and ego…

When we try to live according to the “law”/a moral code using our own strength, we are simply living for our own satisfaction, boosting our own egos…

But if we surrender/ submit to God and allow his Spirit to work within us, by his grace and through Faith we’re able to effortlessly produce Fruit of the Spirit.

When we bear the Fruit Of Spirit, we glorify God and it becomes evident in our relationships with others.

Today, let’s thank God for the gift of the Spirit and his Fruit and acknowledge that we can’t walk by the Spirit on our own strength but that we need him to help us crucify our egos, flesh, desires and passions. Let us ask him to help us live a life that glorifies him through the Fruit of his Spirit. Amen

God Bless you,

XOXO

Dee

 



5 Love Languages | Book Review

5lovelanguages

Today I’d like to share my thoughts on a book I just got done reading, ” The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Dr. Gary Chapman.

This is actually a pretty popular book and I’d seen and heard a lot about it and it’s been on my reading queue for a while now… It’s the first book I’ve read this year so I am really excited to share with you guys, my thoughts and review on the book overall.

So first I wanted to say that I was reading this book on my phone on the kindle (not sponsored) and I was reading it on my way to work and on my way back home on the train. My whole journey from home to work is about 35 minutes, so back and forth it’s about an hour. I started reading this book on a Monday and I was done by Thursday. So it was a pretty quick read, really straight forward, and it’s really enjoyable, so I really appreciated that about the book.

The premise of the book is that each one of us has a primary love language. And a love language is basically how we express or receive love.

There are 5 main love languages and these are Words of Affirmation, Acts Of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. The author says that, when we enter into a relationship, there’s a window where we’re really driven by our emotions and our hormones and we’re really on a LOVE HIGH. During this time which on average is usually 2 years, we really can’t see the flaws of the other person, we just love them “unconditionally”, we can’t see no wrong in anything that they do and that’s why they say LOVE IS BLIND but after the end of this time, we’re brought down to reality.

After this time if you want to sustain your relationship, LOVE becomes a CHOICE. The two people in the relationship have to CHOSE to love each other UNCONDITIONALLY, they have to go out of their way to communicate and show each other that they love each other unconditionally.

What usually happens is, most people get married during the love high. Once the love high period ends, if the couple does not chose to unconditionally love each other, the relationship may end.

Each and everyone of us has a Love Language, for you to show your significant other that you love them, you have to express love, in their Love Language and for your significant other to feel loved, they have to receive love in their Love Language.

Most people don’t usually know each other’s Love Language, resulting in miscommunication and because of this, each person in the relationship ends up feeling unloved. All of us have an emotional love tank, and when people give us love based on our love language, then our emotional love tank becomes full, and then we’re able to express and receive love more easily.

If we do not receive love based on our Love Language, our emotional love tank gets depleted. Once its depleted we start feeling angry, resentful and hateful. During this time, you become very vulnerable and if another person comes along and you end up falling in love with them/ you end up experiencing the love high/ they speak your love language, then your current relationship may be in danger, because at this point you’re vulnerable and most likely to find love elsewhere because, you’re emotional love tank is depleted and you’re “starved” for love in a sense.

The Love Languages:

1. Words of Affirmation

5ll_icon-affirmation

for this person it is really important that you tell them that you love them, tell them the reason why you love them, constantly encourage them, speak life to them, tell them positive words, express your feelings and tell them why you’re grateful for them. For this person doing these things would fill up their emotional love tank. On the opposite of this, being negative, being sarcastic, being judgmental, being dismissive, being critical would deplete their emotional love tank and make them feel really unloved by you.

2. Acts of Service

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For this person they want you to do something for them to feel loved. It could be cooking for them, washing dishes, laundry, it could be doing chores around the house or outside the home, it could be running errands. Whatever it may be, the fact that you took time to do something for them communicates to them that you love them. The opposite of that would be being too busy or just doing other things and not really taking the time to help them…maybe you’re always on the computer or watching TV or always busy but never really help them with anything. That would make them feel unloved and eventually, deplete their love tank.

3. Receiving Gifts:

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This doesn’t necessarily mean that this person is materialistic, but what it means is that for them to feel loved they need something meaningful and tangible. For this person, special occasions, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, relationship anniversaries, dating anniversaries, or giving them a gift for any reason is really important to them. It shows them that you went out of your way and you thought about them and you put in the effort, the time and money to get them something. It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive but it has to have meaning to them. So constantly listening to what they want, like if they say… “I would really love to have this thing, or to go this place…” surprising them with what they hoped and wished for would really mean a lot to this person and would make them feel loved. The opposite of that would be forgetting their birthday, missing special occasions like valentine’s day, missing Christmas would really communicate to them that you don’t love them. Also going really long periods of time without giving them anything. That would communicate to them that you don’t really care and would deplete their emotional love tank.

4. Quality Time:

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For this person giving them your undivided attention is really important to them. When you’re with them don’t be on the phone simultaneously, don’t be surfing the net simultaneously, don’t be on social media or don’t be watching TV but give them your undivided attention. Take some time out of your time to really spend time with them, really listen to what they’re communicating to you and really give them yourself, that’s how they feel loved. For this person not responding to their text messages, not calling them on a regular basis, not spending time with them on a regular basis would really communicate to them that you really don’t care about them and will deplete their emotional love tank.

5.Physical Touch:

5ll_icon-touch

to this person constantly touching them, holding them, hugging them, kissing them, holding hands, caressing them, touching them in a loving way really communicates to them that you care for them and you love them, if you go long periods of time without being physical with them, they would feel really neglected and abandoned.

These love languages can be applied to all sorts of relationships and are not only reserved to love relationships but can also apply to children, friends, co workers and all sorts of relationships.

Overall I thought it was really helpful and I could really see how this could help make a relationship stronger. The thing with these Love Languages, is both people in the relationship have to commit and be on the same page that, you’ll both go out of your way to show each other that you care by speaking each other’s Love Language.

It’s not a way to manipulate someone into loving you, each person has to make that choice…”because I love this person, I will speak their love language and that’s how I show them that I care and I love them”. This is not a way to blackmail people and tell them, if you loved me, you’d do this and that for me…that wouldn’t work either.

My only concern with this premise and it’s something that wasn’t addressed in the book so I’m not really familiar with how this would play out in a real life situation. The author did not talk about abusive relationships, toxic relationships and people who are in relationships with people with mental illnesses for instance Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Psychopathic Personality Disorder.

These type of people lack a conscious and empathy, they can not put themselves in other people’s shoes, they are manipulative and use people as tools for their own agendas. They are incapable of loving others unconditionally in that sense… so I’m not sure quite sure how this would work in such a situation.

If you are in an unhealthy relationship I would not recommend just applying these blindly into your relationship but I would advise you to seek counseling and help to get through your toxic relationship.

In the book the author does talk about a woman, as he describes her relationship, in my opinion, it felt like an abusive relationship and according to the author it did work out for the wife and her husband. I do not know the specific details of their relationship but the Author used the bible verse, Luke 6:27-38 to support his advice to the woman

Luke 6:27-38

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[a] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Basically what I get from these verses is that we are to love unconditionally, if you chose to love unconditionally you just love but you can’t really force the other person to love you back. How the other person responds is ultimately their choice.

Honestly, I really do not condone just staying in toxic and unhealthy relationships…I really think that if you are in that situation you should proceed with a professional, especially one who has experience dealing with such relationships. This would be to get you the help you need, for your own well being.

If you’re interested in finding out your own Love Language, one way mentioned in the book is to pay attention how you express love to others because that is most likely how you want to receive love or you can simply take a quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Stay Blessed,

XOXO

Dee

 

 

 

 



The only thing that counts in our relationship with God (Day 17) – “What Is Love?” Challenge

the only thing that counts

It’s Day 17 of the “What Is Love? Challenge“, where for 29 days I’m sharing bible verses on Love so that we can gain a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Love according to God’s divine plan.

On Day 16 we talked about Four things we should be praying for…and today we’ll talk about the only thing that counts in our relationship with God.

Galatians 5:1-6 English Standard Version (ESV)

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

I was talking to a friend the other day and we were discussing how everyone is a “Guru” of something these days…so many of us are just so lost, searching and seeking for answers…and thanks to the Internet, there’s an answer for anything and everything….whatever it is you’re trying to do…there’s an “Expert” out there, ready to give you the winning formula….

Most of us live our lives governed by a set of “formulas”…. It’s how we think we can at least determine we’re doing this thing called life correctly. It’s how we measure our success. It puts our mind at ease knowing that we’re headed on the right track. It at least gives us the sense of security and control that we seek.

From the moment you’re a child, you’re told go to school, earn great grades, work hard, get married and have children by a certain age and eventually everything will fall in place…but we soon realize that’s not necessarily true.

Life is unpredictable…and what works for one person may not necessarily work for everyone, sometimes we take a wrong turn…a detour and it sets us on a path we really never set on embarking and that’s the beauty of life.

But wouldn’t it be so boring if we all lived the same exact life, based on the same exact series of formulas…we wouldn’t be able to share the unique experiences that makes the world so rich with history, culture and diversity. These unique experiences is what life is really about, it’s what makes us human….

It’s the same thing with our relationship with God…some of us try to do this Christian thing by living according to a set of Formulas…we live our lives governed by a set of laws…we have a checklist and we say, if we do this or that and that…then we believe we’re “good” Christians…

But Paul warned the Galatians about this…he reminds us that we do not have to “Earn” our way to a relationship with God or into heaven, based on laws…because Christ already set us FREE.

If we do live our Christian lives based on a formula then we’re really just slaves and we’re actually forfeiting God’s gift of grace. It’s not something we can “Earn”, because God already gave us his grace and love through Jesus Christ who set us free when he died for us on the cross.

So how can we measure our Christianity then? how can we know we’re doing the right thing by God? Paul says laws don’t count…

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

So once again it all boils down to LOVE…ultimately all the formulas and laws don’t matter if we don’t live our lives as an embodiment of God’s love.

God Bless you,

XOXO

Dee

 

 



Four things you should be praying for ( Day 16 ) – “What is Love? Challenge”

rootedandestablishedinlove

It’s Day 16 of the “What Is Love? Challenge“, where for 29 days I’m sharing bible verses on Love so that we can gain a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Love according to God’s divine plan.

On Day 15 we talked about the gift of Spiritual Rebirth, our inheritance and the purpose of pain and suffering.

Today we’ll talk about Four things we should be praying for…

Ephesians 3:14-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Praying doesn’t always come naturally, sometimes it feels like a routine where you’re simply repeating the same conversation over and over….and sometimes you simply go blank and don’t really know what to say…

On times like this you can always turn to the Word Of God, not only is the bible a guide for how we should live but it’s also filled with prayers…we can use it to learn how to pray and even use the scriptures as our own prayers…

Today we take a look at Paul’s prayer as a template of four things we should be praying for or including in our prayers…

The first thing we learn from Paul is how he prays..he starts praying by bowing his knees as a sign of respect, sincerity and worship to God. He also starts his prayer by acknowledging God, who he is and how great he is…

once he’s done he goes ahead and prays for 4 things:

1. For Inner Strength through the Holy Spirit: Inner Strength is important in our walk with Christ because it’s how we gain our integrity and it helps us keeps focused on our Journey.

2. Next he prays that Christ may dwell in our Hearts through FAITH: As a result of Inner Strength we gain FAITH…and as a result of FAITH we have Christ dwelling in our hearts.

3. He also prays that we’re able to comprehend what is the breadth, length, height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses all understanding: When we have Christ dwelling in our Hearts, we have the privilege of experiencing and understanding just how much Christ Loves us.

4. Lastly he prays that we’re filled with the Fullness of God: Which can only be done once we’re able to comprehend just how much Christ/God loves us…

and at this point Paul ends his prayer with worship and praise to God, who is Able to to do far more than we ask for or comprehend…

abundantlymorethanweask

As we can see from Paul’s prayer, in order for us to get the full experience of God working in our lives we need to have Inner Strength through the Holy Spirit, we have to have Christ dwelling in our hearts through Faith, we need to comprehend the Love of Christ that surpasses all understanding and finally to be filled with the fullness of God…

Once we are filled with the fullness of God we’re able to see just how powerful God is in our lives, we’re able to witness his work and hand in our life…and we actually get to see his will for our life…that what he gives us, is not what we want it’s actually what we need and far more abundant than our minds can comprehend or even ask for…AMEN

God Bless you,

XOXO

Dee