I would like to personallyThank you for accompanying me through my journey of being single!
For the inside scoop on how "Renewing of Your Mind & Spirit for Marriage" manifested. It started out, as a collaboration of my thoughts, prayers, lessons learned and experiences in dating.
I wrote my book from a different perspective, in that it was written as things unfolded. I did not know what was going to be next or what would happen at the end of the situation - which is just one of the things that makes this book so special!
This book was not written only for singles, or women, but was written for anyone who wants a relationship to work! It is for anyone who need Jesus Christ in their relationships, for anyone who is bound and afraid to love and to be loved, for anyone who had the tragic experience of divorce, as well as for those who are already married.
My prayer for all readers is that as you take a glimpse into my experiences and lessons learned that Christ would speak to your situation. That He will lead you on your own incredible journey, teaching you how to be a husband or a wife.
I pray that He will renew your relationships, marriages and heal your brokenness.
Lastly, that He will renew your mind and spirit and free you to be loved and to give love becauseChrist is love.
With Sincere Blessings,
Marlena R. Flowers
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.23(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Renewing of your Mind & Spirit for MarriageFrom single to married
By Marlena Flowers
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Marlena Flowers
All right reserved.
Mind & Spirit Being Renewed....................3
Spirit of Desperation....................5
Renewal to Get to My Promise....................13
Off Path of My Promise....................23
What Is the Reason for the Relationship Anyway?....................33
Pour Into Me....................35
Looking Beyond the Situation to See God....................39
The Quest for Submission....................49
Testimonies of Married Men & Women....................53
What Are You Going to Do Differently?....................79
I had a very good childhood—two-parent home, youngest of six—and I was spoiled beyond measure. We grew up in a neighborhood where we stayed out all night, played hide and seek and "catch a girl get a girl" (although we were really too young to do anything besides clothes burn). My father is a great Dad, and my Mom was a wonderful Mom and wife who cooked three-course meals every day except Saturdays, when she went to bingo.
I have a brother about three years older than me, so dating boys was out of the question. Plus, he was tough, and everybody knew that he would beat them down if they even thought about dating me. I was able to talk on the phone with boys in the eighth grade, which was cool, but I much preferred being outside playing double-dutch or making up dance routines with my girlfriends.
By the time I entered ninth grade, my brother let loose, and I was free to date—not that I was thinking about that, but it was now an option. I was mostly excited about high school and going from building to building to get to class. The first guy I dated was this a guy I had a crush on in junior high school. We began going out, and it was wonderful. My parents allowed him to come over, and we just kicked it. One of my older sisters took us shopping and out to eat, she kept us busy.
Five years later, we were still dating and had a child together. We broke up about a year and a half later, because he had another baby with a girl whom he was dating on and off while he and I were together.
My desire is to share my journey of being single while learning what I needed in order to renew my mind and spirit for a healthy relationship and ultimately marriage. While on this journey I discovered that there is a difference in the mindset of married people and the mindset of single people as it relates to relationships and marriage. I discovered this when I was visiting a recently married girlfriend. She had a mixture of single and married women there discussing life in general and of course we began to talk about men and relationships. Some single women shared their dating experiences and most of us were saying that we hated dating and wanted to be married. The married women shared some of their experiences as wives. As I sat there listening, God began to reveal to me that there are very distinct differences between the mindset of single women and married women.
As the night progressed it was clear that God was revealing the need for single people to renew their minds and spirits before marriage.
Mind & Spirit Being Renewed
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be married although, my Mother and Father never raised us to be wives but to be independent, in fact I am the only sibling that wanted to be married. At the age of twenty-nine, I was still unmarried, and there were no potentials in sight. In February 2005, I made my first visit to Life Church. During this visit, it was prophesied by Pastor Terry that God was going to teach me how to be a wife and that my husband would be in the ministry. I thought to myself, what does that mean? Teach me how to be a wife? I really didn't know what that meant but I knew anything that God had for me was good and especially if it had to do with me getting married, I was game! I was anxiously awaiting some big change to come over me from heaven. I knew that I was what some would call "really single". I would come home and go straight to sleep, coming and going as I pleased. (Single women know what I am talking about!) Weeks passed after this was spoken to me and I was still waiting for a big change in my life. In my mind, being a wife meant cooking, cleaning, raising children, and having a house on the hill, a boat on the lake, and a home with a white picket fence. To add to all of my original misconceptions, I also believed it meant always having a date and being able to have sex legally—that was it!
After about a month of expecting something to drop from heaven (which didn't happen), I began to pray and asked God what did he mean about teaching me how to be a wife? And when was He going to teach me because I was ready to get married. This was just the beginning of my journey on renewing my mind and spirit for marriage and it did not occur over night. I begin writing this book in March of 2006, and since then, there have been several instances of rejection, disappointment, failed relationships, and long periods of loneliness. I pray through reading about my journey you will be blessed by what God has taught me about being a wife and about relationships in general. I also hope that your journey to marriage or whatever it is you desire from God, will not take you as long to receive it as it has taken me, due to lack of knowledge. It is my sincere prayer that your mind and spirit will be renewed before marriage.
Spirit of Desperation
There is an evil spirit that goes completely unnoticed. It's the spirit of desperation! Desperation is reckless behavior out of fear, anxiety and hopelessness. It makes you fearful of never getting your heart's desires and leads to unhealthy compromise.
One example of unhealthy compromise is when one ignores signs of an unfaithful mate. One man can be dating five women at the same time, and they'll all think that he is their husband. How is that possible? Because the spirit of desperation in them has caused them to ignore the signs that he is seeing other people. As much as you want to have someone in your life, you cannot always have Mr. Right Now, because he could be blocking Mr. Forever. Men, will have three and four women at the same time because they are afraid to be alone. This may cause them to miss out on their wife. Ten years later, they could find themselves in the barbershop unmarried, lonely and miserable, talking about how they missed out on someone special!
The spirit of desperation makes you feel that you will always be alone. It makes you feel that because you are getting older it is too late in life for you to get married and have a family. It makes you feel as if God doesn't care about you getting married. The word of God teaches us that marriage is honorable. (Hebrews 13:4) Your spouse represents God's love for you in the flesh. Truly, marriage is a gift from God. Why then would God not be concerned?
I encourage you to go to God in prayer and be honest and say what's on your heart. My prayer has been the following: "Lord I want him to be with me; I want him to love me and to have a family, so if it's in your will let it be so as I desire and have asked. Let there be peace in our hearts and let us be one according to your will and plan for our lives." After praying about the relationship I try my best to leave it to God, for His will to be done and I allow God's peace to rest in my heart no matter the outcome.
There were times when I was not as confident in going to God about a relationship but wanted my will to be done. On numerous occasions, one of my girlfriends and I had conversations about how it's scary to ask God if the person you are dating is the one, because the answer might be no. What's important to keep in mind is that whatever God has planned for you is only what is good, perfect, and acceptable. If the person you are dating is good, perfect, and acceptable then there is no need to be afraid to pray and ask God the reason for the relationship. If you desire to be married and it's in God's will for you to be married, then you will get married. However, you must trust God and seek after His will for your life. Again, if it is in God's plan he will create an opportunity for you to meet your spouse and give you wisdom and help to have a successful relationship and marriage.
It is important to seek God first through prayer to know the purpose of the relationship. Our first priority should be to make the relationship pleasing to God. God's standards are high and it's not always easy to meet those standards, but we should aim to reach His standards and not our own standards nor the world system standards. Most adults have been programmed to date according to the world standards and what is seen on television or heard in songs; which are usually the opposite of God's standards. This dating style usually leads too unhealthy compromise and heartache.
One of the most common unhealthy compromises you find in a love relationship is premarital sex. Don't get me wrong sex is a wonderful gift. It was instituted by God for the purpose of procreation and intimacy between a husband and his wife. I believe that once we understand the truth about premarital sex and the effects it has on our bodies and souls, we will be better able to resist the temptation. The most obvious risk of having sex nowadays are the health risk and the possibilities of contracting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV, AIDS, Gonorrhea, or Herpes. The word teaches us to flee fornication: Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
I know you're thinking, "I hear you, and I understand what the Bible is saying; but how do I refrain from sex"? If you are in a relationship now and are currently having sex, I know that it can be extremely difficult to renew your mind and even harder to beat your body into submission to stop having sex. Of course, I am not saying it is going to be easy, but with commitment, communication, prayer, a change in your dating habits and the strength of the Lord it can be accomplished. One thing to remember is that having sex is a choice. We have to make difficult choices every day. You and your mate should meditate on the following scriptures:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (bold is mine). —1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.... I Corinthians 6:18
The above scriptures states that your body is not your own but the Lord's. 1 Corinthians 6:18 says that when you commit fornication, you are sinning against your own body. 1 Corinthians 6:9 teaches us that neither fornicators nor abusers of themselves will inherit the kingdom of God. When you are fornicating, you are sinning and abusing your own body, and therefore, you will not inherit the kingdom of God! That sounds scary and it is but it is the judgment of God. The good news is God provides opportunities for us to repent and turn away from sin and be restored back into right relationship with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:11, states that such as all of us were sinners and unworthy of the inheritance of the kingdom, before we knew God and repented. Which simply means turn away from sin and God will forgive you.
We need to be de-programmed from the world system way of dating. This can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. You must allow the Holy Spirit to restrain you. Some desire to have a relationship that is pleasing to God but do not know how to obtain it. Some lack self-discipline. Some are new to the kingdom and have not yet been equipped to refrain from the temptation of the flesh. Some do not know how to express love or affection without having sex. Some simply do not desire to have a nonsexual relationship. This may be extremely difficult for some people but we must know that all things are possible with Christ (Matthew 19:26). We must first set our hearts and minds to do the right thing: only date/court people who also want this same type of relationship, and stay out of situations that could lead to sex (e.g., dating from the house alone, spending the night, and vacationing together). You know your triggers so try to avoid those things that set you off. It takes great commitment, prayer and patience to accomplish this way of dating, especially after dating or courting for a while and are in love with each other. Be honest with yourself and your mate about your desire to wait until marriage. Do not get involved with someone who says he or she doesn't want to wait for marriage to have sex. If you are a person who is not willing to wait for marriage, then don't date someone who is trying to wait, because you could easily cause that person to fall.
Please know that I am not trying to be unrealistic, super religions or make this sound easy because it's not. Sometimes even with our best intentions we fall short because no one is without sin! Not that it's a license to live a life of sin. We need a heart and the desire to do what is right and make the choices that are best for us and based on the truth of the word of God.
We should not make choices out of fear, unhealthy compromise or desperation. After you have turned your heart to God, He will bless you and renew your mind, spirit and body so that you are able to obtain this goal of not compromising your place in the Kingdom of God. Then just as I pray, one day you will meet someone and ask the Lord, "Okay, Lord, what is your will for this relationship?" And the Lord will say something like:
Son, this is your rib that I took out of your side and made her your wife. She has been anointed to cover your most vital organs, your heart and lungs. She will bruise the head of the enemy on your behalf. She will help birth out purpose and destiny in your life. Take her love her, cherish her, be prosperous, and grow with her!
So too, one day after you meet Mr. Forever, you will begin to seek God's face about him. The Lord will say something like:
Daughter, this is your king that I have given to you as a gift from me. He will love you, cherish you, protect you, and be the head over you. He will speak life into you and will help you to prosper and birth out great purpose and destiny in your life.
After reading this chapter, if you notice that you are dealing with spirits of desperation do not be discouraged and do not feel condemned. Know that greater is He (God) that is in you than he (the spirit of desperation) that is against you. God has given you all power and authority over the enemy and the enemy must flee, if you resist him.
In conclusion, know that God will answer you when you seek Him with your whole heart. Do not be afraid to know the will of God from the start.
Excerpted from Renewing of your Mind & Spirit for Marriage by Marlena Flowers Copyright © 2011 by Marlena Flowers. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.