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So I'm like almost fifteen and my mom still hasn't given me the sex talk. I have figured most of it out on my own (like from the purity talks at youth groups, conversations with my friends, etc.) but I want her to tell me... what do I do? I've had my period since I was eleven years old and I'm almost fifteen...and my mom has YET to tell me WHY I have my period... It irritates me that everyone else has had the sex talk but I haven't... what do I do?
Thank you for your question. Sex is a sacred relationship that God created to be between a man and women who are married, in love, and have a special connection. Because sex is a sacred and intimate thing, it is a topic that many people are afraid or ashamed to talk about. This is especially a tough topic for mothers to have a conversation with their daughter about for many reasons. For starters, your mother may not even realize that you are ready for the conversation. She probably still looks at you as her “little” girl. It is also possible that she may not see you as mature enough for the topic, even though you feel you are. Another problem may be that she does not know how to approach you with the conversation. I am glad and think it is an amazing thing that you want to get this information directly from your mother and not just from the things your hearing from other people, it shows maturity on your part.
I have a few suggestions for you:
1.You could approach her in a straightforward way and tell her you are ready to have the talk. However, let her now it doesn’t have to be right then, so that she can have time to prepare the right way of talk about it with you.
2. You can mention that you have been hearing things from friends about the changes in your body and sex, and ask her what her thoughts are on the subject.
3. You could tell her you have questions for her about sex and maybe you could give her a list of your questions you want answered.
It is very important for your mother to have this conversation with you so that you can go into the world with the right values and view of sex. Proverbs 1:8-9 (ESV) states the importance of your mothers advice, “forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
Hi. I have been trying to share the gospel with a girl who we had a class together last year. I have been trying to invite her to my church but she has always had excuses. We had a mutual friend(who recently passed away from a terrible car accident) who went to my church. She was really good friends with the girl who I am trying to invite. Which is how it all started. It is so hard because we don't really know each other and I have just been messaging her on social media. I don't have a class with her and we haven't really talked much outside of the internet besides saying hi in the hallways or seeing each other at a store. I have probably invited her like 5 times to a church event so I feel like I am probably annoying her with all the invitations. I really want to keep asking her to come but it would be really awkward if she actually did come. But she really needs to hear the word of God. What should I do? I don't want to keep bothering her because she probably doesn't want to hear it, but also she said she really does want to come to church, but was she lying to make me feel better? I don't know what to do, if I should keep asking her if she wants to come, or leave it alone since it has been going on for a month now. What should I do? Thanks!
It sounds like there may be other things that are stopping this young lady from actually accepting your invitations and coming to church with you. The most important thing you can do for her is to pray. Pray and ask God how to help you share the word with this young lady. She may never get to come to church, but she can still learn about God and how much He loves her. You may not want to invite her again for a while. Give her some time. Maybe later on in the future, but no time soon. She has to make the decision to want to come and now that you've already told her about it, when she's ready she will let you know. Or you never know, she just may show up one day. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 3 that some will plant the seed, others will water it but only God will add the increase to make it grow. In this particular situation, you have already planted the seed. You must now trust God to do the rest. Continue to message her, and speak when you see her. Make sure you let your light shine through your actions and walk in love. Even though you may not speak often, I guarantee she is probably watching you. Lastly, continue to pray that God will open her heart and that she will have a desire to know God and have a personal relationship with Him. Ultimately, when you think about it, that's the goal anyway. For her to know Christ and to accept Him as her personal Lord and Savior. Hope this helps answer your question. God Bless.
Nicole L. Ross
Let's Talk Life: A New Perspective - Available wherever books are sold!
How do I say goodbye to someone that's in college and has been a big part of my life for three and a half years now?
Everyone has different seasons in life. Sounds like you are in a season where someone very close to you is about to leave. As hard as it may seem, you have to let that person move on to that next stage in life. Just because someone is going to college doesn't mean you will never see them again. Sometimes goodbye is not goodbye, it's see you later. If possible, try to keep in touch with that person (whether it be through email, text, or social media), but if not it is ok. Just thank God for the time you did share and use it as a learning opportunity. There are many lessons that can be learned from your relationships with other people. Whether it be your mom,dad, sister, brother or just a friend. There are things you can learn that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Try to focus on those things when it comes to your friend who is leaving and that will also help you move forward. Be encouraged and stay strong. Although it may seem tough, God will see you through.
Nicole L. Ross
Let's Talk Life: A New Perspective - Available wherever books are sold!
Well there is a boy at my school who I don't think is a Christian. However, he is really popular and I am unpopular so he doesn't really like to associate with me. Is there any way I can share the gospel with him?
It is great that you have a desire to share the gospel with him. My advice to you would be to pray and ask God to give you an opportunity in His timing to do just that. You want God to prepare this young man's heart and mind to receive what you have to say. After you pray for God to give you that opportunity in the right time, prepare yourself. Make sure you are ready for when that time comes. Different people respond different ways to the gospel, so ask God to give you exactly what to say to this young man when the opportunity does present itself.
Another thing, do not even think about popularity. You'd be surprised how many people you have watching you and who admire you but they'd never admit it. Live in confidence knowing that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Know that you are a child of the most high God. You are royalty. You are the salt and light of the earth. Never forget that. Hope this helps answer your question. I commend you on your passion for spreading God's word. Continue to allow God to use you in such a mighty way. God Bless.
Nicole L. Ross
Let's Talk Life: A New Perspective - Available wherever books are sold!
For the past year I have had this crush on this guy in my church. Right now our relationship is just good friends (nothing sexual). We haven't admitted to each other that we have a crush on each other but it is pretty obvious especially since my friend guessed that we had a crush on each other. She said that I always talk about him and he always talks about me. I hang out with him quite a lot but my feelings are getting stronger and I know we can’t have a serious relationship because we are only 13. I just want some help and reassurance about my feelings for him and how to deal with them from a Christian point of view.
Hi Eve, It sounds like you are going through something that a lot of people your age experience. It is ok to have a crush on a young boy. To be perfectly honest, it is natural. Especially when you hang out and spend a lot of time together. That’s the way God created us. That being said, my advise to you would be to talk to this young man. Communication is very important in any relationship, even if it just friends. As you mentioned, you cannot have a serious relationship because you both are so young, but you can be honest about how you feel. Also, if you feel comfortable enough, you should talk to your parents. Your mom or your dad, whoever you are more comfortable with or even both. Most importantly, talk to God. Pray about it and tell God how you feel. Then wait to hear what God has to say. Nicole R. Let's Talk Life: A New Perspective - Available wherever books are sold! http://letstalkaboutlife365.com
"I struggle with body image. I almost developed bulimia and am now seeing my school counselor. Every day I am hit with this overwhelming feeling of regret and hatred for myself and I pray to God about it but I think He might just not be listening. I play this game with myself where one moment I’m fine the next i want to die because I’m so embarrassed of how I look. When I get an urge I pray and it helps I feel better talking to God. But then my mind takes over I forget everything, the peace, the hope, all the good feelings. I want to know, how do I let God take control?"
First off I want to say that I am glad you have found help through your school counselor. Eating disorders are serious problems, and should not be taken lightly. If you find yourself starting to develop aserious problem, please seek professional help. Doctors can help by referring you to therapy and/or putyou on medications that will help with some chemical imbalances. I personally struggle with my body image as well, and in fact, I have struggled with bulimia for 10 years! One of the hardest problems women faces today is that our culture pressures women to be "skinny" and "perfect" looking. Trust me, you are not alone in this; there are very few girls who are happy with theway they look. What makes me happy is that you are trying to find your worth in GOD. And guess what!? THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS! Our flesh body is going to pass, but our eternal bodies are forever! What other people think about you based on your outward appearance is obsolete. What truly matters is what is in your heart and how you use what is in your heart for the glory of God. A great verse to memorize for this comes from 1 Peter 5:7-10 (ESV)
"Cast all your anxieties on him,because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal gory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you." In context of this verse, you can see that the devil is using the desire to be thinner to devour you. He is pulling you away from God by making you think your body image is more important. 1 Corinthians 15:38 explains that God gave us a specific body.
"But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seeds its own body."
You can also see that God created us to be who we are in the very popular Psalm 139. In verse 13 David states
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb."
However, my favorite and also the most important part of Psalm 139 is the next verse, where there is acceptance and glory in the body given
"I PRAISE YOU FOR I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!!!"
Recently I have been given the challenge to stand in front of the mirror every day to repeat this verse, to remind me that God made me how he wants me to be made. I leave you today with this challenge as well, every morning, as you get up to brush your teeth, please look at yourself in the mirror and say "I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!" Some other verses I thought that may be beneficial to you are: 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 2 Timothy 3:16
"How do I approach God after what I’ve done? I could tell you everything about it, and how I got here,all the little steps I took in the wrong direction,and all the things I’m trying to work through now that I’m here... how much I know I need Him. I just don’t know where to start!"
You asked me earlier what pouring out your heart looks like. THAT is you pouring out your heart. THAT is what that looks like. God knows the struggles that you face and He is always there, always listening, always gently pulling us back to Him. It is God's kindness that leads us to repentance, not His wrath. That’s scriptural.The way you described the hold your sin has had on you is the way sin gets everyone. It slowly builds. It seems innocent or small at first, and the more you feed it and allow it to dominate your heart and life, the more it leaves you broken and consumed with guilt. Satan dresses up sin to make it look appealing, and the Bible even says that there is pleasure in sin for a season think for a second about how long a season is, and how quickly it fades - a short-lived pleasure that dissipates into often long-term pain. Sin is never worth the heartache, and the returning void it only temporarily fills. ONLY Jesus can fill our void. Only His goodness and His grace and His unfailing love and forgiveness can fill whatever void we have in us. God sees us for who we are - the good and the bad. He loved us enough that He gave us His ONLY son so we wouldn’t have to suffer the pain and the misery and the shame and ugliness that our sin eventually rains down on us. Come to God with who you are. Bring your shame to Him. God is good, and He is just. His love will always surround the one who trusts in Him.
"My parents are Christians, but my dad always acts like a total jerk, he yells a lot and has anger issues. I know that non-Christians go to hell as their punishment. But what about Christians? I also just don't seem to be able to find it in my heart to forgive him. What do I do; and do Christians have a punishment for acting this way?"
Thank you for your honest question.
First of all I want to say that God is always with you during this time and He sees your hurt and understands you. He will indeed help you.
I think that you should talk to your dad, and express your feelings tactfully. Explain how it makes you feel when he's angry in a way that won't offend him, and I'm very sure that he'll listen.
Regarding you're question about Christians punishments, Jesus already paid the price for our sins. But that doesn't mean that we as Christians should use that as an excuse to do wrong. We should always repent when we sin.
You mentioned that your dad has anger issues, I'd want to tell you that anger is a feeling; so it's what you do with it that makes a difference. Being angry isn't a sin.
You could say something along the lines of this to your dad:
"Dad I love you and hate being angry and upset at you, but this happens when you get angry and yell..."
Just express your thoughts and feelings.
There are churches that offer counselling for people, maybe you could try lightly suggesting to your family to go there.
There are also places where family counselling takes place as well, you could maybe also gently suggest that to your family too.
I'd also advise you to pray and ask God to help you forgive your father.
In the Bible it says
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. "(Matthew 6:14 NIV)
I know it can be very hard to forgive people at times, especially when they're someone close and have hurt you. But I believe and you should to , that God will help your heart to let go and forgive your father.
I really hope this has helped you
Stay Blessed x
"I am a preteen and as I see my body change I feel all left out. Most my friends at church are not where I am and the ones who are don't seem to care what is happening to them. I don't know what to do"
Answer by: Jemima S.
I'm here to tell you that you're not alone! A vast majority of girls feel left out either because their bodies aren't maturing as fast as others, or the opposite.
All girls are different. Some develop faster, some develop slower. It's all part of the way God made us.
Embrace the change! You're growing into a mature and beautiful young woman. It says in Psalms 139:14
"I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."
God has made us all differently, but we are all beautifully and wonderfully made.
So I advise you not to worry about the changes happening in your body, because it's all natural and normal.
I recommend you read this book
"The Christian Girls Guide: To Change Inside and Out"
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I have a lot of guy friends, and I know some of them like me. How do I know if I like them back or if its just a sibling like?
Answered by: Jemima S.
Firstly, I'd want you to ask yourself if you're in the right position to be considering serious relationships (not 14 years old and just wanting a boyfriend)
Secondly I can understand how you're feeling, sometimes it's hard to know what you're actually feeling.
I'd advise you to ask God to expose your heart in order to know what you want.
Another thing, trust your instincts. If you're physically attracted to one of your guy friends then I guess you could say "Hm.. Maybe I don't see him as just a friend"
You'll know which ones you like as siblings, because I think you'll feel protective and maternal towards them.
Lastly it says in the Bible
"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? "(2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)
The part I really want you to understand is the first part
"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers",
Because if you do end up dating one of these guys he should be a strong believer. Maybe even stronger than you, because then if you're caught up in a comprising situation you can be sure that he (and you) will make the decision that will keep you right standing with God.
I really hope this helped you!
Stay blessed x
I just found out my best friend is cutting herself and was suicidal. Her parents are pastors and her older brother isn't a virgin, yet still never been married. Her whole life is falling apart and I'm the only one who understands what she is feeling. She already said she doesn't want therapy (being a past cutter I understand) but I talk to her every night about it. We started doing the butterfly project together to see if it would help her but as soon as it fades she goes right back to it. I'm scared one day she will cut a vein and bleed out and I wouldn't be there to bail her out. What should I do?
Answer by: Caitlin S.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 MSG
"All praise to the God and Father of out Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who,is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us"
First, I think it is great that you want to help your friend! Anytime that someone is in danger of harming themselves an adult that cares about them really needs to be informed, but I totally understand that your friend has trusted you and you don't want to violate that trust. Pray for her and pray that God will give you the words to say in your conversations with her, and when you speak to her encourage her to go to an adult she can trust (a Christian adult who can understand healing in Christ).
Ultimately what she needs is Christ's healing in this situation, but it is always helpful when people know that others around them care about what they are feeling. In the Bible the people who cut themselves were doing so as worship to Baal 1kings 18:26-28. We don't have to do so to deal with or pain or worship our God because He already took the stripes for our healing - emotionally, physically, mentally, and in every area of life. When we choose to handle things on our own through cutting or any other manner we are making our pain our god instead of our Creator, but when we come to a place of healing in Him, then He will enable us to help others who are hurting. Keep up doing some kind of Word study together; God's Word truly is the best encouragement. There is so much freedom in Christ
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
I've been dating for almost 3 years but I always have this nagging feeling that God is telling me this isn’t the one. I've always ignored it though and this took me farther from God. I recently broke up with him, and it’s killing me. Yes, he doesn't do the little romantic things he used to do; he's grown too comfortable and seems to not appreciate me anymore. We always fight. And yes, he drinks, smokes, and isn't serious with his university work, but other than that, he loves me and is so loyal to me. I know he is completely heartbroken right now, but I Just feel like this is for the best. I am scared, though, that I am throwing away a hard to find loyal, good, man and all those happy years I had with him for a mere thought that may or may not be God. What if I never find a better man? What if he was the one chosen for me? Please help. How do I know?
Answer by: McKayla R.
In response to your Hard Q, I will admit I’ve never been in any sort of relationship. From an early age I have witnessed people give up their life to a guy, only to later have their heart broken. To me it has always felt like people playing dress up with their mother’s jewels. A pointless game that isn’t real and meaningful until a later age.
That being said, when you made it sound like your boyfriend wasn’t a Christian, but you were, I automatically though of 2 Corinthians 6:14:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
I’m not going to say that this man was a “wicked” person, however God did not want for His children to be associated with nonbelievers in that way. Now, He never said He didn’t want us to be friends with them. Actually in John 21:3 He actually said He was going to make us fishers of men. Also, before he left for heaven, Jesus told us to go to all ends of the earth and make disciples. When Paul told us to not be “yoked” with unbelievers, he is saying to not form a relationship with them (such as dating and marriage). 99.9% of the time, the Christian partner will compromise their beliefs and go against God.
One of my favorite books, "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green, has a character named Augustus Waters. And one of the scenes features Augustus and a girl named Hazel sitting at a café in Amsterdam with confetti falling like snow. The waiter gets annoyed with it and then Hazel says “How can anyone be disgusted with something so beautiful?” Augustus replies with, “People always get used to beauty, though, I haven’t gotten used to you just yet.” That is the type of man God intended for His daughters to be with. Someone who will call you beautiful and love you to the ends of the earth. How can he recognize you for all that you are if he doesn't know your God fully enough to walk with Him?
I am praying for you ever since I received this email. God bless you and I hope this helps!!!
Is masturbation wrong? If so, why?
This is one of those questions that isn't addressed by keyword, so to speak, in God's Word, but it is addressed within passages such as those concerning the subject of sexual purity.
Having studied this several times, from everything that I know about purity, about God's design for sex as He describes in the Bible, and the guilt that is often associated with this issue, masturbation is wrong. Calling sin out for what it is should not be done for the purpose of heaping on guilt, but to allow one to become free. That's how God works - when God gives us rules about what's right and what's wrong, He doesn't do it so that we feel guilty and live miserably forever, but so that we can confess our sins, repent of them, come closer to Him, and live so much more abundantly!
As I said above, there is no passage in the Bible that deals directly with this issue. But, God has told us that the feelings and everything else associated with sex are made for a beautiful relationship between a man and a woman. (Song of Solomon among many other places in the Bible.) As masturbation is sexual pleasure with the absence of that relationship, the very real risk is that this practice will take away from the way you think about the marriage relationship.
Something I use as a test for if something is sin:
Do I desire to hide this? If so, why?
Because the question is being asked, there is the likelihood that this is bothering you - and there's a reason things bother us. God doesn't leave us blind to the truth, but instead reveals it to us, sometimes just through our consciences!
Consider this verse:
"Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."
What we are ashamed of, we hide. It's human (sin) nature.
Keep yourself free to run the race! Hebrews 12:1 Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Other test questions:
Does what I'm doing hinder my relationship with God?
Does what I'm doing hinder my relationship with others?
Does what I'm doing distract me from my purpose on earth - to glorify God and encourage others?
Hope that helps! Season of Singleness
Hi! I am struggling with being in a season of singleness. I have been single now for almost 2 year, and in that 2 years, I have grown with the Lord like never before, and I praise God that I got out of my previous relationship, but now I am just feeling ready to move on. Honestly, I have a huge desire to meet my future husband. I am no where near ready to get married, but I will not date any one unless I see that there is a potential for a future. I am just feeling lost and down in the dumps lately. How to I find satisfaction, and hope while I'm single? Also, what are good ways to look for a boyfriend, or should I not even be looking? Thanks!
You mentioned your desire to meet your future husband, and your desire to move on from your season of singleness. God has given us the desire to be in relationships, and that desire is good. When we trust God, we trust His timing, not our desires; we can and should trust God for His fulfillment of His purposes for our lives on His timing. He's not going to leave you hanging. (Think of all you have learned about Him and the situations He's led you in before. Praise Him for these things as you remember!) Be careful to not act like the world and think that your timing is best, or you will compromise - you talked about leaving a previous relationship, so you probably already have thought about how you do not want to repeat that situation. Following God's lead will enable you to say no to unhealthy relationships, even when you are tempted because you are lonely and someone is giving you special attention. (You seem to be well-grounded and walking with the Lord.)
What are the best places to find a great guy? Wherever you are when you are doing what you love! Serve at church, volunteer in the community, join clubs at your school / university, take lessons to learn a new hobby or dance, help out at family members' activities... so many possibilities. All that is required to meet new people is to do something new! (You may be involved in some things now - it's okay to take a break from some things to try new things!)
Should you ask a guy out? I don't think so. Should you start conversations and be friendly with many different people? Definitely! Try not to think about guys like "He's cute, he could be the one!" or "He spoke to me - I bet he's going to ask me out!" Try to just enjoy their company and if he is interested, he'll show you! Also, avoid hanging out with just one guy (it's tempting to spend time with someone you're hoping to date, but no matter what you tell yourself, unofficial dating is still dating, and you will still feel hurt upon a cessation, even if no commitment was made).
Even though you've said you're ready to move on, you've contradicted that with your comment about not being anywhere near ready to get married. I'd like you to consider a few things:
What are the things that are holding you back? (Do you have school or career goals? Independence and financial goals? Spiritual and maturity goals? Character or relational goals? Health habits or physical goals? No clue what your goals are? You'll never be perfect - but there are things that would benefit a marriage if you work on them, so you will be ready to love and help your future husband. You'll still grow and change as a person after you get married - together with your husband.)
You said you don't want to be in a relationship that's not headed that way - and why start the path to marriage if you aren't ready to get to that destination? You'd be setting yourself up for failure. As for finding satisfaction in your current season, know that everything you do now (grow closer to God as you mentioned you have, learn new things, achieve goals in your personal life, serve others) will make you a better wife later. Also, everything you do now for God will last forever!
So fill your time now:
Serve. Volunteer. Learn.
Grow close to girl friends.
Love your family.
Continue to grow closer to God, trusting Him above all else.
Combat the lies the world and Satan tells us daily. Some common ones are:
Do you ever feel like you'll always be alone? Remember God's faithfulness. Cling to His promises. Surround yourself with believers and focus your life on God, and you will be encouraged that God's plans are amazing.
Do you ever feel like you can't be happy until you're somebody's? Remember that you are a child of God, dwell on the things you find that give you joy in Him, and how you are trusting His timing for your life. Lots of people say they trust Him - but they live in fear, and according to 2 Timothy 1:7 "God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." You can't say "I trust you completely, God," and then turn around and say, "I'm just so afraid..." Trust... Love... just wipes fear out. Satan tries to distract us with the fear of being alone, but God's truth is stronger.
I have become really great friends with a guy in my class this year, and recently, he asked me to date him. I agreed, and we have been dating for just about 3 weeks. Well, it was going great I thought until it dawned on me that I am drifting further and further from God. After that realization, I started looking at my boyfriend in a different way, and really don't know what to do. We are both Christians, but at the end of this year, we are going to 2 different colleges across the state, and in the future, I know God is calling me to do mission work. He does not want to ever leave the country.
I just want to somehow tell him nicely that I want to stop dating him so there will not be a huge heartache someday because we cannot stay together. He is just not mature enough yet, and God has different plans for us.
But he really really likes me and says I am his best friend....and he always wants to hang out with me. He thinks he is in love with me. He does not have many close guy friends.
But now it is just kind of awkward to be around him because I do not feel about him what he does for me. And to make it worse, I kissed him a few days ago thinking that might help change how I feel because he was constantly asking if I was ready to kiss, but it is worse. So he thinks we are really close, but I don't want a boyfriend. Please help.
Sometimes it's helpful to write things down. I think you do know what to say, because you already wrote it to me! But just as a re-cap, I'll re-phrase it here:
1. I think God is calling us different directions - I have a heart for missions, and you don't really want to leave the USA. Maybe God has different plans for us that don't include each other.
2. Likewise, we are going to be separated by being at different colleges, which makes dating hard.
3. I feel distracted from what God is calling me to do and distant from God since we started dating. I know we are both Christians, and this isn't necessarily your fault, I just think we aren't ready to date maybe.
4. I don't want to cause heartache later if we continue this relationship and it is obvious that we are going different directions. I feel bad because we kissed and I was already feeling torn. Please forgive me for that.
Okay, take a deep breath. Can you imagine for a moment saying one or all of those things to him? Perhaps you could begin, "I know you are a Christian and want to follow the Lord. Have you been praying about our relationship? I have... and there are several things that tell me that we may not be headed the same direction..."
All of the things you wrote about are very valid points, and it is good that you are being considerate of how he will feel. You must follow the Lord above even your fear of how a breakup will affect your boyfriend (and I promise, he'll be fine! If not, you don't need to be with him, because if he can't handle openly talking about the direction God leads and breaking up after 3 weeks, he needs to work on making God his strength, but really, he'll be fine). As you were saying... 3 weeks is easier to break up than at 3 months, or 3 years, and believe me, people do this, hoping that time or "the next level" of closeness physically will somehow make everything right.
Also, a word of caution - a lot of times a girl get worried about breaking up and try to stay friends with her guy. There are a lot of different factors here, but many times it's a good idea to not even speak to each other for a time (if you see each other feel free to greet each other but don't purposefully go over to each other's houses or go out together). This makes the break up official, and gives time for feelings to fade. Sometimes it's possible to be friends afterward, but be cautious that you don't spend alone time together since there was a kiss shared. It will just keep either of you from going there again. Being in a group and having fun is a good way to keep "just friends."
Hope this helps some!
A Three Part Q and A Session from a Student
I need advice on witnessing to a teacher.This is my first year in college and I can't tell if my teacher is a Christian or not, but if he's not, I really don't want him to go to Hell. He doesn't talk about religion or anythig like that so I am not sure how to tell him about Jesus.
What should I do?
~A Passionate Student~
I actually asked a few ladies associated with GGFG to collaborate on this one! We all applaud you for having a heart for your teacher, and being willing to follow whatever God leads you to say or do to approach your teacher about faith in the Lord!
I have several bits of advice for you:
One of the biggest ways you can witness to a teacher is to be a great student. Sounds too easy, right? Well, when you pay attention in class, follow the rules (one of my college professors requested no cell phones), do your best on assignments, and are respectful and friendly to other students and your teacher, you make a big impression, and believe me, you will be noticed!
Another way you can witness is in your writing assignments, if applicable. (What subject do you have this teacher for, by the way?) Take the effort to get your grammar and structure correct - and also work in your faith where it is acceptable. Often in personal pieces, you can share a powerful experience - maybe about how being shown grace changed your life and now you show grace to others. You'll have to fill in the specifics here - never sacrifice strong points and a flowing paper for an experience just "thrown in," but sometimes there are subjects you can choose that allow you to share something that God has done for you in a very real way.
More directly, you can approach your teacher, and just be real - "Hey, I really enjoy your class, and I'm learning a lot. I have a real passion for this subject. I also have a real passion for God, and I see how He designed everything to work together, and gave us such an awesome curiosity and the ability to explore and learn. I honestly wanted to know if you know Him? And if you want to know how He has changed my life..."
Before you approach your teacher, before you write a word, before you go to class again... the most important thing you can do, is pray! Pray daily that God will show you how to witness to this teacher, to the students around you, to everyone you are going to encounter at school this week.
God bless and hope you are encouraged today! ~Hillary Beth~
Thank you so much for your great advice! And to answer your question, I have this teacher for math and computer.I will try your ideas even though I have been doing 2 of them already - praying and being a good student.
I also am not sure about talking to him about Jesus. How far is too far? This is my first year at a secular school. I went to Christian school the whole rest of my life, and I don't want to say something that will get me in trouble.
Thank you again for writing me back!
~A Passionate Student~
I don't think the question should be, "How far is too far," but rather, "Where is God leading me?"
A lot of times, people respond more to someone they have a developing relationship with - just as your friends listen to your ideas and advice better when you have had many experiences together, your teacher will probably respond better to the Gospel after getting to know you through several conversations. Initiating conversations with your teacher will tell you where your teacher is in the knowledge of God, what your teacher thinks about life and the world, and what your teacher enjoys talking about. During any of those conversations, you may find God prompting your heart to say something, like if your teacher says something personal about a family member, perhaps you can approach your teacher after class to offer prayer, or write a note to encourage him, sharing a verse. Perhaps you will hear him say something about order and logic, and you say, speaking of order, I find it awesome how God worked everything in history since the fall of man so that we could be redeemed! (and go into the whole Gospel).
Don't be afraid of getting in trouble - if you are persecuted because of something you believe, it's still worth it - you aren't breaking any rules by approaching someone with the Gospel. I mean, if you are interrupting class constantly and disrupting learning, that would be bad, or if you started stalking someone - but you can't get in trouble for free speech!
"For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
"For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict."
Hope this helps!
Let me know where God leads you!
Thank you so much for your advice! I am trying my best to put the plan into action, and I will let you know if any progress shows. I like the first sentence of your reply, but I have trouble knowing exactly what God's will is. How can I answer the question "Where is God leading me?" I don't know where God is leading me, how can I find out?
Thanks again for all your help!
~A Passionate Student~
He shows us many different ways, and sometimes not until in the moment. You already pray - He speaks to us there. You also know He speaks through His word, the Bible! Also, reading works written by Christians on witnessing may inspire you and show you how God has worked other times in the world. Sometimes God will make an opportunity that is obvious in the moment, after you take a step in faith!
There are both general things that are God's will that we can learn from His word and prayer, and specific things. The more you learn about God daily, the more you step out in faith... The more you will know about sharing your faith!
You have a great background coming from a Christian school! You were made for a purpose, and God has prepared you for everything He is now calling you to do!
It seems that the older I get, the lazier I become! It seems that more and more, all I feel like doing is sitting in front of the TV or surfing the internet. I don't want to be like this! I want to be a happy, hardworking young Christian woman! How can I get more done, and accomplish a lot of tasks, without a grudging attitude?
The first step to curing a problem is recognizing it is a problem, right? Here are some helpful tips for breaking the TV / Internet problems you are facing!
1. Set goals
Perhaps you want to read through the whole book of Romans over the summer. Maybe you want to completely clean up your room or the garage before a parent's birthday. Think of things you want to accomplish, and write them down! Get friends or family to help you brainstorm if you need ideas! (Or write us again!)
2. Set up blocks, limits, and reminders
Turn off your computer, and put a post-it note in front of the power button that says "Don't turn this on til X is done" - and make daily goals that will help you reach your big goals. Another popular saying is, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - and so it is small steps toward your goals that will get you where you'd like to go!
Set a timer for your TV time - 1 hour, or even half an hour. Put a book or a craft in the living room next to the remote, so that when you sit down to relax you will not have to go out of your way to do something different. You will be surprised how easily you can form a new habit!
3. Spend time being quiet
One of the best ways to become productive or even creative, and to grow as a person, is to spend a little time just thinking. You can talk a walk, or even just sit down in a quiet room, and think about the day, your dreams, your goals, the future that God has in His hands, the things God is teaching you now.
4. Take a total break
If you think you are still falling into the same patterns, take a week's break from the TV and computer. It's easier to do in the summer (you won't have assignments for school unless you have summer school of some sort). Or even take two weeks! It can be very refreshing - and even force you to find new things to do. Maybe you'll do a photo shoot with a sibling or friend. Maybe you'll explore a new park with your family, or read a book you've always been meaning to read.
I hope these ideas are stimulating and that you will find the self discipline to make some changes! God bless!
I am having trouble with my parents. As typical African parents they obviously expect a lot from me (being the first daughter of the family) but I seem to be doing everything!! My older brother has his studies to think about, and my younger sister can't do much to help around the house so everything is down to me. I get in trouble when my mother is the one washing plates or doing chores. I often feel like I have to be 'Super Woman' which isn't working for me. My parents are always finding things for me to do and it's becoming REALLY overwhelming. I have to juggle house and school work. My mum says I should make a time-table up but it isn't as easy as that. Often I have to hold my tongue to not say something that will put me in MORE trouble. Should I tell my parents how I really feel?
I know you must be feeling exhausted, with the stress of house-work AND school work. Many of us feel like the job of juggling home and school, weighs us down so much that sometimes we just want to scream! Let's think of the act of juggling. If you aren't catching all the balls at the right time, then your act won't work. The advice I would give you is to prioritise. When you're on FB (or doing something that can wait for another time) think to yourself, "Have I done everything I'm supposed to do?" If not (which is usually the case lol), then go and finish that job and then if you've finished EVERYTHING you need to do, then you can go and relax. I know that sounds boring and tiring but think about it this way. If you've not got things to do then, you won't find your parents picking out things that you can do which results in more work. But when they do find something for you to do, don't do with a frown on your face, do it with joy and not grudgingly (even if you don't feel joy in your heart at the moment!)
For it says in Exodus 20:12 -
"Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."
You mentioned in your letter that your younger sister can't do much in the house. But try and find things that she CAN do. For example, putting the cutlery in the right place.
I also think that maybe you should talk to your parents about this. But make sure it's not when you're getting scolded or being told an instruction, because this is just going to make the situation escalate in tension. Make sure it's at a time when your parents are willing (or at least look to listen, like maybe when you are in a conversation, you could just drop it in lightly). Be honest, tell them how you feel.
When you feel angry, frustrated and you feel like saying something, just breath in and breath out (you might have to take more than one!) and talk to the Holy Spirit in your heart. Trust me, it works. When I'm feeling frustrated because I am angry and I want to say something, I just talk to Him, and I believe I often hear Him talking back to me, telling me that everything will be okay, and to just be calm, and I feel peace in my heart.
"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."
Also pray about it, ask God to help you be more proactive and ask Him to help you in your day to day situations, concerning you your parents and house work.
Hope this helps!
"I sinned and I asked God to forgive me. But I'm not feeling very forgiven in my heart. And I don't feel forgiven by anybody else who was involved! They aren't Christians, though. But I hate this feeling of being judged! What is wrong?"
You're right - those who aren't walking with Christ don't know what forgiveness really is, and they likely will not show you forgivness, since they don't understand what it really means.
But if you know Christ, you know true forgiveness. You are forgiven from your sin the moment that you ask, and it isn't counted against you spiritually any longer. You are no longer trapped by it, and you are free to enter God's presence because of what Christ did on the cross for your sins.
BUT, you are not free from the consequences in this world. Look at 2 Sam. 12 about David. He asked for forgiveness but there were still consequences.
There are lots of different kinds of consequences, and some may be hurting you now - people holding things against you, judging on their part, etc. Sometimes you can be innocent and these kinds of things still are consequences of being accused. As long as we are in the world we are under the consequences of the world, but that's a difference between now and heaven. We are surrounded by all kinds of pain and people who are hurting and they react from that hurt, while those who know Christ truly react from His grace and forgiveness while they are walking with Him.
And you should not live feeling trapped or guilty; remind yourself you are forgiven, you are fully accepted by God into His presence, and you don't serve any sin. You serve God, and while you have sinned it is now as far away as the east is from the west. God is working in your life right now, and He can use even past mistakes. Admit them freely, so you can admit God's grace and forgiveness just as freely. That way He is glorified. You know what I mean? Here's a good passage as well!
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
"I feel that I get everything wrong what could I do to make things better?"
Everything I lay my hand on to do will prosper
Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV) - "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."
Being a teenager is hard - there are many more responsibilities, but as the Scripture above says: "Whatever he does prospers," so we can get through it if we commit what we do to God. But notice it also says in that Scripture: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked...But his delight is in the law of the LORD... He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields fruit in season... Whatever he does prospers." In the International Children's Bible it says: "Happy is the person who doesn't listen to the wicked. He doesn't go where sinners go He doesn't do what bad people do... He is a strong tree, like a tree planted by a river. It produces fruit in the season. Everything he does will succeed."
So that means that whatever we lay our hands on to do will prosper since we are blessed. It doesn't matter if it's school work or studying or even making rice and not burning it or helping someone in their backyard. I've had different experiences, such as burning rice, but I think that if I had prayed before I cooked it would have prospered. So before you do anything, be it a really important exam or a simple making a sandwich pray to God that whatever you lay your hands on to do will prosper, glorifying Him. Every time my Bible study leader winds down the lesson she turns to one of us and asks us if we could pray. Really, I just want to run - I just know my turn may be coming up! I mean, I pray at home by myself, but not in front of other people; I just get tongue-tied. Why is it so hard for me to pray out loud?
Examine your heart - is it a fear of people that stops you in your tracks? Are you thinking about what they are thinking, if your prayer is long enough, fancy enough...if they are going to say something to you for something you say or if they will judge you for what you say...
Try to focus on just being in awe of God. It's God you are talking to, not these people. It's God that you are asking for help and healing and blessing, and it's God you are telling how He's so great and amazing and how much you love Him. It's the same God that created you and thinks you are worth listening to. I mean, it's the same One that died for you!
Something related to that, is when we start trying too hard. We want to say exactly the right thing, exactly the right way, and we want to pray long enough but short enough, with beautiful words and appropriate subjects for the time...
Jesus gave us a model. He isn't concerned about our exact words; He is concerned about our hearts! Things we can do when we pray include: we can praise His name, ask for His will to be done, ask for forgiveness and the strength to forgive, ask for guidance, etc.
Jesus' model of prayer:
"This, then, is how you should pray:
"'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'"
Another reason it might get hard to pray, is not spending time alone with God. It's just like how talking to someone you hadn't seen in a long time is more awkward than talking to someone you have been keeping up with.
Ever had a friend gone for a while, or a friend move, but the two of you kept in contact with letters and phonecalls and emails? Then when you finally were together again, it was amazing how you seemed to be able to pick right up like it was old times! I'd say that's the experience to illustrate what your prayer time & quiet times with God do for your relationship with Him; the more time you spend, the easier it is to talk about anything and everything.
Sometimes you can't pray out loud, because you can't even think of anything good or hopeful to say. Your heart just doesn't contain anything that is something you'd ask God. In fact, the things in your heart, verge on making you uncomfortable, except for the fact you keep pushing those things out of mind. That's when it boils down to this: What is going into your heart is what is going to come out.
If you are spending time reading God's Word and dreaming and thinking about what He would have happen in the situations you're facing with those around you, then those hopes and dreams and thoughts are going to pour out of your heart claiming the promises and guidelines in the Bible!
So don't think about other people, or how you look or sound. Spend time in prayer alone, and learn to rejoice over the things God is working out, and dream about what's to come. Let there be so much joy in your heart over the good stuff, that you won't be able to help but tell God how good He is! And let there be so much of His love in your heart, that when you are praying about something that's hard and sad, you will just be saying the words that express how much He longs for the situation to restored...even if it's impossible, because it still breaks His heart. Let our hearts, be just like His heart.
Hey There! I have a friend who is like my sister but she is always cussing. I feel really bad when she does it and I have been trying to come up with a good Christian answer to give to her to make her stop because she is a Christian. Please Help Me!
I'm gonna start out by giving you some Scripture to back yourself up in your mind, and also to give to your sister in Christ.
"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Mat. 12:36-37)
"In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing incorruptness, gravity, sincerity, SOUND SPEECH, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." (Titus 2:7-8)
As Christians, we are supposed to be as much like God as possible correct? ("Be ye Holy as I am Holy.") Don't you agree that God would like us to be holy in our speech also? Obviously, God is not pleased… so who is? That's right. Satan. We should strive to please the Father of Salvation rather than the Father of Lies.
I don't know how much you tell her to stop, or if you don't at all (totally understandable- it's a scary thing to confront someone about sin!) So what I would say to do is first confront her, saying "Abby, please don't swear/say that word around me. I don't think it's a good thing to say." Don't be afraid! God will give you the power. Pray to him for strength in doing this.
Also, try to memorize these sections maybe or write them down and give them to her if she does it again. (God says to be ready always to gie an answer for the TRUTH AND HOPE! That lies within your heart! You showed that it lies within your heart by just asking this question!) If worst comes to worst, you might need to tell a parent. Most importantly, BE CONSISTENT. Remind her every time.
Hope this helps! ~*~Tara~*~
Hi! I'm not really sure if this fits in with the theme here, but I don't know where else to go. Getting advice from fellow Christians makes me feel more comfortable. Ok, I recently made a decision to lead a healthy lifestyle. I actually did this because of my faith. I know God gave us nice, healthy food to help us live a long time, and I'm trying to embrace that. The problem is, we have lots of tempting things around, and mostly no one tries to help me stop (maybe I'm too proud to ask), so I end up eating it.
Also, I don't know how to exercise. I don't have a gym or anything, and refuse to do anything in public (like jogging or joining a team). Is there anyway for me to be healthy with my conditions? Also, please pray for my family and me. Thanks so much, and I'm sorry if this is off topic. God bless.
Hi Catgal, I know exactly how you feel! I decided to change my diet too (but I had to for health reasons) and I am still tempted to eat certain things that I know I shouldn't eat. If you need help controling yourself, pray and talk to someone. I know that sometimes they might not help at all but if that happens or even if it doesn't happen, talk to God. I know you won't be disappointed there.
Here is a verse that I found that might help you(I know it helped me):
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
If you have a yard or a park near you, take a nice stroll everyday or every other day (so it won't seem like you are exercising). You can get an exercise bike, do jumping jacks, run in place if you want to stay indoors.
You can still have all that yummy food but only on special occations (if you want to). Maybe as a treat once a week or so. Remember, everything in moderation. That means you shouldn't pig out when you get your treat, but have a small portion. Health food stores have lots of sweet stuff that can acctually be good for you! The one near me sells low sugar cookies made with healthy flour, I love them and don't forget about the fruit! I hope this answer helps!
Dear Godly Girls, I want to get my ears pierced again. I say again because I had them done before. In kindergarten. I REALLY want to, my moms OK with it, but Dad... I am afraid because last time, Dad didnt talk to me for a month! So I decided to let my ear piercing close up so we could be fiends again. Should I go get my ears pierced, or should I not? What should I do?
I've had my ears pierced since I was 5, and I always liked earrings, so I can relate to you wanting to get them pierced! Most of my friends got doubles when I was about 16, and I seriously thought about asking my parents. Of course, my dad and your dad are a little different, but maybe these things can help you:
If you haven't already, pray for God's guidance. Pray over & Read this verse:
Deuteronomy 5:16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you…"
I can tell you already have the heart for this, since you are seeking to honor your dad, so I think all will go well for you. Remember that honoring your parents honors God!
Have your mom speak with your dad, saying that you remember about your dad not speaking to you, and that you value your relationship with him so very much, that if he can't stand it, you won't have it done, but that you want to discuss it with him without him being upset about it.
Then speak with your dad. Say the things you told your mom you were going to speak about with him. Don't be afraid - he's your dad and he loves you!
Hope this builds your relationship with your dad!
The GGFG Team
My friend (who isn't a Christian) is pregnant, and she's only 13. A couple other friends and I are kind of her support group. She's probably going to live with one of us for the entire pregnancy because she's not going to tell her Mom about it. What can we do to help her? And is there a way I can try to convince her to tell her Mom?
First off, it's great you are being a support group to her! This will be a crucial part of this season of her life. Be sure to pray for her, praying with the other members of this support group if they will pray also.
I'd like to encourage you to not be afraid to ask her if she'd mind if you pray with her, and point her to God in this time. She needs Him now as ever.
What?!? She is going to have to tell her mom!
Would her mom really just let her move out and not see her for months and months for no seeming reason?
Although, the fact that she is pregnant this young doesn't say much for their relationship; it would be hard to have a great happy relationship with your mother and be involved in the activities that would lead up to getting pregnant.
Of course I don‘t know all the details, whether your friend was a willing part to her getting pregnant or not. If she was not, she needs to report this to the police.
Getting back to her mother… Perhaps you could help her prepare for telling her mom this, though, and even get the whole group together to be there on scene when she tells her, if this would make the situation better.
Know this: Parents don't usually take the news of a teen becoming pregnant easily, of course, because parents love their children and wanting the best didn't include pregnancy at this life stage. It will be a hard conversation.
If she hasn't already gotten professional health care givers involved, she is going to need to. It would be good for her to go to a family-based pregnancy organization to help her through the months ahead.
Is she going to try to raise the baby, or is she placing the baby for adoption? Because of her age I would assume she might realize that she is not ready to raise a child now. She needs to start this process if this is the case. Either way there is a lot to prepare for, and a lot to consider.
God guide the mother to be, the grandmother to be, and all you who are the friends! I hope all turns out for His glory.
~Blessings, Godly Girls For God Team~
People at my school are talking about really inappropriate rumors. I want to stop it, because it's not at all good. How can I? No one will listen to me. How can God help me?
Praying is the most important thing to do in this situation. If you are already doing this then ask your parents for advice, they most likely have been through this before and they always have good advice.
The most important thing is that you keep your heart right with God and never spread any rumors or gossip that may reach your ear. I will pray for you! ~~~
You can pray! God might not do anyhting direct but He will support you and give you the courage and strength to speak out. He is always there and no matter what you have done or the people at school are doing He will always love you!
I have just had an incident at my school where a boy was suffering from a multiple fracture on his ankle but none of his classmates tried to help him. They all stood in a circle around him laughing and jeering and throwing bits of food! I shall always pray that nothing like that ever happens to me or anyone I know (even if I don't like them that much) and that I will have the strength to stand out and say, "No That's Wrong!"
Pray always that God's love will reach these people at your school and that they will find His grace so amazing that they just surrender there and then. Also, tell a teacher, parent or trusted elder friend. They will try to stop these rumours for the person who the rumours are about's sake and for yours. Good luck and God bless!
I have a problem. I get addicted to TV shows. I want to follow the Lord as much as possible but if I see a TV show I like then I just can't stop watching it (I watch it online) and I can't think about anything else. I need to stop watching them but every time I try, I can't persevere and stop watching. Please help!!
You should definitely pray about this little problem of yours because it is stopping you from reaching Him and Him from touching you. I will be personally praying for you! Perhaps you could try staying off TV shows for a week and seeing how you managed without them. If you are watching them online then perhaps you could ask someone to check your history or block yourself from entering such sites.
You could add specific sites that you want to visit to your favourites and then only visit those; for example, I have this website bookmarked and added to my favourites! Try and set yourself a target of watching less TV hours a week and try and take up your spare time with fun activites such as going out with your friends to a christian youth club like I do! God bless!
How can I tell if my boyfriend is in love with me?
Assuming that you two are old enough and this is a serious relationship (ie, that you aren't 14 years old not even dreaming of marriage and not mature enough to live as one yet), there's a lot of ways to tell if he loves you.
First of all, as with all things in our lives, you should be taking this to God - pray about it, for He promises that those who are seeking will find! Matthew 7:7, Matthew 7:8 (ask seek knock)
God also answers us through His Word, so be sure to be reading the Bible. A great passage about true love is 1 Corinthians 13 (love's attributes). Does your boyfriend show these characteristics? Is he self-centered, or is he God centered? Go through each one prayerfully - asking God to show you those things that feelings might hide. No one's perfect but if your guy loves God and loves you, it's going to show!
Another great way to understand where you two are at is to ask family and friends about what they see. They may have negative or positive things to say, but taking it in will give you at least a bigger picture. God placed people in our lives to keep us in check with reality.
Some things God made are so intricate that they are almost impossible to describe yet quite obvious in the moments they take place. A song by Christian singer Chris Rice illustrates this - "When did u fall in love with me? Was it out of the blue? Cause I swear I never knew it! .... Was it at the coffee shop? Or was it that morning at the bus stop When you almost slipped and I caught your hand!? Or the time we built the snowman? The day at the beach, sandy and warm, or the night with the scary thunderstorm? I never saw the signs ... "
The most important thing to consider is, will the two of you as one serve God better and glorify Him more, than the two of you as separate? In all you do honor God and He will direct your paths!
1 Corinthians 10:31, Proverbs 3:5, Proverbs 3:6 (glorify God in all that you do).
God bless you both!
"I like this guy at school. Not like the typical boyfriend thing, I just think he is nice and friendly. But he is not strong in his faith and I need some ideas (nothing that will offend him) that can help me draw him closer to Christ.
I am not trying to change him or make him feel uncomfortable,, because I would never want to do anything to hurt his feelings. I just want to show him that Christ is there for him everyday. Thanks and may God be with you! :)
Right on! God will do the changing... and if you act as a Sister in Christ (as it seems you desire to do!) you don't need to worry that you might offend; God blesses us when we do things for His glory!
A verse I have found about encouraging others is Ephesians 5:19, which says, "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs." These things teach and support us.
Some ideas taken from this: Maybe you could write him some notes with Bible verses of encouragement, some lyrics from a song; you can share things that have encouraged you, that you think might encourage him also!
Is he involved in church? You could invite him to Bible studies, and other activities your church does that center around building faith and knowledge about God. If you go to an Awana Club - that is a great program to get involved with if you need a solid faith-foundation! (Hebrews 10:23-25 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.)
Don't forget to pray for ways and words that you can use to encourage him, and to pray for him! That is the Number 1 thing you can do for anyone – to lift them up before the King of Kings!
Is he going through anything specifically right now? You can look for Bible verses that apply at www.biblegateway.com There are some pretty good lists of verses that mean a lot to people at site like these: http://www.angelfire.com/wi2/Stumbleine83/PixVerses.html and http://psalm121.ca/verses.html I found these just running the words, "good verses of encouragement!"
~Hope this helps! God bless you in your encouraging your Brother in Christ!~
"I just moved to a new area. I'm homeschooled and don't have a church home yet. I don't know any other homeschoolers, and the bus stop is right in front of my house! All of the people I've met go to school. They don't make me feel bad about not going to school, but I still feel left out when they talk about school.
What should I do?"
I can relate. It's tough!
I want to encourage you to try your best to get a church home fast, as this is such an important way of getting to feel like you have community! But while you don't have a stability like that yet...perhaps you could start a Bible study with the neighborhood kids? Or if they don't share your faith so much, maybe organize a street-ball team of some sort to play on a certain day? Or make crafts for the next upcoming holiday! Point is: be creative and try to find ways to relate to the kids around you, to get connected!
The ways I learned to cope were to be very interested in when they do talk about school. I would know exactly what all was happening in each of my friends' schools/classes, like if they had tests I would tell them I knew they'd do well and I'd be praying for them. If they had competitions or a school play, I'd try to attend sometimes! If they took pics at dances, I'd be really excited to see them.
Yeah, I still wished I'd been there. But since we also made memories together doing other things, that didn't have to do with them being at school and me not, it was just kind of like they went on a vacation all the time, and I was rejoicing with them or feeling for them when it didn't go well!
As a homeschooler sometimes you can see through the "games" that get played at schools and all the peer pressure, so you could be a rock for them; try it! Encourage them to share their faith with others if they are Christians! Seek how you can glorify God through this situation!
God bless! And I hope you get some faith connections here soon!
"What are some of the things I can do to bring my cousin closer to God? He seems to be turning to the world and I need some advice."
Pray! Talk to God about your cousin; tell God the concerns on your heart, and ask Him to intervene and turn your cousin's heart to Him.
Live out Loud! If your cousin sees you doing things to honor God, pleasing God in your speech, even if you are making mistakes as long as you are seeking God and growing closer to God; repenting of sins, letting God work in and through you; your cousin will see how awesome God is and His workings! When we see something good we want to imitate it or have it, so that might make your cousin long more for God and His Will than the easy-right-now things this world can give us.
You might seem "different" than some people of this world (Jesus said we would!!), but it's a good kind of different! That's what you can show your cousin.
If there are things in your cousin's life he's dealing with that are painful, you might find verses and songs that bring hope and healing that have helped you in your life and share them with him. It depends on what kind of closeness you share with your cousin, or how receptive he seems to different ways God's love can be shared! Try to find what he likes and ask God to show you a way that you can reach him using that.
When things come up that you can relate to something about God, don't be afraid to rejoice in Christ and to talk about those things! It might just be saying, "Wow the sky looks really awesome right now; I am just so glad God made so many wonders that point us to Him!"
Hope this helps! God bless in your ministering to your cousin!
"I have a site of my own, and I think your site is brilliant and discussing what is important in life. I really want to be able to express my love of what is right in my, "Agony Aunt" Page and such like, but I'm afraid that the people that visit my site won't respect me for who I really want to be! I need help because I have no idea what to do."
First of all, it's awesome that you have a website like you do! Keep up the great work!
I'd really like to encourage you to not be afraid of what people think. God can use you in great ways when you aren't afraid of the opinions of "mere mankind" and instead wholly embrace who you are in Christ! You are His Child and you long to show that because He is so great...so stand up for Jesus! And proclaim what is right and true! If they reject you when you do this, they are really just rejecting God.
Wouldn't you rather hear "Well done," by God than the (always-changing) "Good Job" from this world? Thought so!
Luke 19:17 (Actually Luke 19:11-27)
Also, we have a series exclusively on the membership page - you might want to join so you can go through it!
Your Sister In Christ,
"I have a friend who is a very great Christian, but she is having a really hard time, especially because she is losing her hair. I was just wondering if there were any Bible verses that I can show her to chear her up, cause I cant find any."
When Joshua was facing trials, these were the promises given to him:
Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified...for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:8 "The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Here are some other great verses:
James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Matthew 5:15-16 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket: it is set on a lampstand where it gives light to all in the house just so your light must shine before others that they may see their good deeds and glorify your father in heaven :) (This encouragement verse from a reader! <3)
Maybe some of these could encourage her! Sounds like you are being a great friend, letting her know how much you love her and encouraging her reminding her how great God's love is!
Check out www.biblegateway.com to look up more verses!
"What should I do? I am having a hard time forgiving my best friend. I have asked God to help me forgive her, but every time I am around her, I get this stiff feeling, and I feel like leaving the room before I loose it and start yelling at them in front of everyone and saying things that I know are not "me". I want to be able to move on and continue our friendship. Please advise a lost (and almost defeated but not giving up) prayer warrior.
Hi my friend!
I can tell that you are really dedicated! Never give up! I will be praying for you! Really, I admire you! It is kind of hard sometimes to forgive.
But if you think of the forgiveness Jesus gave us, it looks like nothing to overcome!
Forgive as Christ Forgives You; God forgives, and forgets. He remembers no more!
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
Well, it isn't very reasonable that we could just go scott-free for our sins! Yet, that's what God offers us, through Jesus' sacrifice.
"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."
"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
First we forgive. Then we ask God to forgive us.
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
He forgives completely. And doesn't bring it up again.
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
This is the example we are to set. It sets us apart from the world, which harbors hate and cannot overlook injuries. But love covers all offenses (Proverbs 10:12 and 1 Peter 4:8)
You are trying to do the right thing, your heart's in the right place, ready to be molded by God; put this behind you now! It may be hard but from God's view the battle is already won.
I won't ask what it was, but it sounds like it hurt... Give it completely to God. Ask Him to heal you, and the broekn relationship.
I suppose you've talked to your friend about it, or resolved the situation, so you are truly ready to move on...
Don't let thoughts dwell, when you are around them, and when you aren't! Whatever you dwell on will effect your outlook in situations if emotions come!
You are right in saying as a Christian, the nature that's pulling you to hold stuff against your friend and get upset and loose your self-control; these things aren't who you are in Christ! It takes a lot to realize that! In fact, with most troubles we face, including when we first are saved, the first step is to realize that it is wrong, and then to realize that means we need God to fix it; we can't do it solo! It's His grace, mercy, and strength! Then we need to act. And through that we are glorifying Him, so we will praise Him for the victories!
So my challenge - go and think about it no more!
"It's really hard to serve God. I say I'm going to stop cussing, read the Bible daily but I feel like I'm still the same worldy me and that I never change. I tell my family to go to church, but no one seems to care.
My mom says that as long as you feel you're not doing wrong, that God won't count it against you. I tell her going to church helps keep you in good shape, but she is still reluctant. How can I be a faithful servant of God without going to church regularly?"
Read through some of the other Hard Q's on this page....you are not alone!
DO PRAY. Tell God how you feel, your struggles, lay them out before Him daily. He knows it's hard, He cares, and He IS working in you, or you wouldn't have this desire!
DO READ. don't give up or feel awful if you miss a day, a week, a month....start today right now. Here's a passage that will relate to what you have been feeling, Paul wrote this is Romans chapter 7.
(starting in verse14)
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do,
but what I hate I do.
And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c]
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
See, God has provided the WAY through Jesus Christ! If you've given your life to Him, He will be faithful to continue in you the work He's started! (Philippians 1:6) When God is your Saviour, when you are trusting Him wholeheartedly, He won't abandon you. Even if you stumble and fall, He's never going to give up on you or love you any less. You are His, and He adores you. He cares about every hair on your head and knows yours thoughts before you think them! (read some Psalms and see!)
DO KEEP PERSEVERING! Respect your family, but don't let that be in the way of your relationship with God. I know it's a tricky balance. God will guide your words with love if you ask Him to. Keep praying for them, keep inviting them!
I guess you know your Mom's thoughts aren't in accordance with the Bible...I feel for you, it's got to be rough, but keep loving, and they will see the difference.
Let me pause here for those who might not yet know....
God says we've all sinned and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23), but He doesn't leave us there. He says whoever believes in His Son is saved (forgiven of sin) and obtains the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven---that's forever, folks! IT'S THE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, not the deeds you do, that saves you...so if you are just trying to stay out of trouble, that's not the point. God has dreams for you, that you are gonna love!
Two more things.
You are very right in saying that going to church is important. I love how you phrased that, by the way, and I shall use that in future conversations, thank you!
So, how do you cope when you can't make it to church? Well, when you ABSOLUTELY can't (because you know this I'm sure, being in person to learn and serve is A LOT different)...
Disclaimer: I've never been in this situation before, but here are my suggestions:
Try to make it to all Christian events you can still.
We don't live isolated anymore....so use the valuable resources of the Internet and telephone to talk to other Christians! At church ask your friends if they would be accountability partners with you, to call each on a certain day of the week or email a couple times in order to stay connected and share concerns, prayer requests....pray for each other right on the spot!
Also, there are many churches that offer online streaming of services and archives. And check out our links page for other online ministries to read up on to continue helping and challenging you! <3
God bless you, and I will be praying for you!!
Love through Christ,
I have been going out with my boyfriend for almost a year and now. He is starting to say that I'm too clingy. Yesterday we planned on getting together just to hang out and watch movies. He called and cancelled because his brother came over. I was kind of upset, and he acted like I was stupid for being upset about it. I know that he loves me and he and I are both Christians...it's just hard for me not to let it bother me; he expects me to just let it blow over like there is no problem..HELP.
I would try to give him a little space. If he truly loves you, he's not going to forget about you when you're not together. Even though he's your boyfriend, it isn't necessary to spend all your time with him. He needs to spend time with his friends and family, and so do you. Just make sure you and your boyfriend are not totally absorbed with each other. It might even help to discuss this with him to get his opinion. Openess and honesty are both very key points in a strong and good relationship. ~In Christ, Christi~
I have a friend who has been abused by her parents. She comes into school everyday with bruises on her arms and legs. I'm the only person who knows about this and she has told me not to tell anyone. I don't want to betray her trust but she needs help. The other day she rang me in tears because her parents hadn't let her eat for 2 days straight. What should I do? God Bless"
For this one, I'd like to quote a retired police officer whom I greatly respect; my daddy.
He always says, "Abuse never gets better. It only gets worse."
The point is, get help, now.
It's not betraying your friend, it's the right thing to do.
How to get help?
To report abuse, in the USA, call the National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
If you aren't in the USA, look in your telephone book, under words such as crises, abuse, etc. (Note to UK and Australia readers especially, Please inform me if you know the hotline(s) that I should post here, Thanks!)
Another good thing would be to talk to someone, such as a pastor, at a church. Your friend is going to need support as she heals from this abuse.
Above all, be there for her and keep loving her like you already are. God bless you!!! I am praying for all of this! ~In Chrsit, Hillary Beth~
Sometimes I have trouble with my parents and I think they don't understand. I know I should talk to God about it. But it's so hard. How can I talk to him more easily?
Perhaps you could think about it this way:
How would you talk to a friend about the situation?
Remember that talking to God is like talking to the best friend ever;
He loves you no matter what, and He won't stop loving you, no matter what you say or do.
I used to think that God wouldn't approve of some of my thoughts and questions, that He would think my fears and dreams were silly, that my hopes had nothing to do with His Will...so I shouldn't tell Him. But,
Like a best friend, He doesn't think we're awful, or silly.
Guess what? God is better than the best friend!
If we are wrong about something, an attitude or a view or whatever, He can deal with it! He shows us abundant grace; He's not going to jump all over us or not talk to us anymore.
God tells us that He already knows what is in our hearts, and what we are about to say, before we say it!
And there's more - like any true friend,
He enjoys our dreams and hopes. What's more, He has plans that take those into His Great Plan and have you live them out, or if not exactly how they are, to change them into His Will!
He can relate to us; it's not like someone who has no clue what you are going through because life's just great for them (I'm sure that's happened to you before probably) saying, yeah, I feel for ya....
He truly understands our fears and pain, because He went through life on earth already, and He is all-knowing. (He cried when Lazarus died. He pleaded with God if there was another way out of the pain of dying for our sins.) He knows it's hard and we are only human, so nothing we struggle with surprises Him. Nothing takes Him off guard.
Basically: God doesn't mind us telling Him exactly what is going on inside us, cause God is big enough to handle all of our feelings. It's not going to phase Him.
If He already knows what your heart holds, it's just us being honest, just saying it!
The point is, don't be afraid to ask God your questions, tell God your fears and hopes and dreams and hurts! He's ready to listen, but what's more, He REALLY WANTS to hear, and He wants to help you through!
Also, keep this in mind....it's hard to talk to someone if you don't talk to them often; keep it daily, even hourly, as often as you can, just start talking to God!
If you are doing a chore or on the bus or in a line, you can just tell God anything that's on your heart!
I feel like most of my life, I don't really think much about God. I mean, yeah, I love Him a lot, but I just can't get myself to read the Bible. Sometimes, I hear a good song on KLove and I can worship Him in my car but its like, my passion lasts a couple of days. Its like something is pulling me back from loving God.
Set a specific time, place, and tools (Bible, and then if you wish also a pen and paper, maybe devotional book) aside for your quiet time.
Have a plan to what you will read. Let this plan be relaxed. What I mean is, if you miss a day, a week, a month...it's not the end! Just pick it up again.
Life and faith aren't always about feeling! Sometimes you won't feel like reading your Bible and spending time with God...that one good tv show is on and ya just wanna relax...but ater a while, you will be hungering for God. Stick with spending time with Him. Ask Him to give you this hunger! He will. And you will be stronger, and more able to relate, because of it. Things like awesome music and heartfelt singing and worship make us feel excited about serving God, so don't neglect those things, but God says there's more to life than even that.
Some lyrics from Jeremy Camp songs that may help you:
"I'll take you back always Even when your fight is over now I'll take you back Even when the pain is coming through I'll take you back"
"Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see it Well because this broken road Prepares Your will for me" Yes, things in this life will try to pull you back.
Do you think Satan would allow you to just float into closeness with your Creator without trying to get in the way?
The good news is, Satan is basically a defeated enemy; God's stronger, and wants you to know Him, to seek Him above all else in your life.
A favorite song of mine says in the chorus, "God if You're there, then why don't You show me. And God if You care then I need you to know me. I hope you don't mind me asking the questions, but I figured You're big enough, figured You're big enough..."
The reason I relate to it: Sometimes we doubt. But God knows that we are only human, and when you give your doubts to Him, He is big enough to handle those and turn them around into faith in Him!
Also, examine your heart. Are there sins keeping you back from Him? Ask for forgiveness for your sins. Give them to Him. He will put them as far as the East is from the West, He said. Don't return to them. He will lift you up out of your sin.
I will sometimes make up excuses for myself saying, "Well, I have questions about this and that and until they get answered, I just will try not think about God." I know I shouldn't do that, but it feels like I can't help it!
We all have questions. Get them answered! That is how God turn doubts into faith. Ask God to reveal. Do research. Ask a mature Christian, like a leader, to help you answer the questions. But you can't NOT think about God if you are His child and He is your father!! It wouldn't work. You couldn't go on, because He is your everything as a Christian.
You can't. Not without God's help! Ask Him for the strength to overcome. He will fight the battles for you and with you.
This beginning summer, I planned to read the Bible every night before I went to bed. Then towards the end of the summer, I've found I haven't read it at all this month. I feel really bad, but I still can't read it. Its somewhere under my bed along with all of my other junk and I don't want to get it out.
Sometimes plans don't go as, well, planned. You can't change a month ago. You can't change yesterday. You can't even change a minute ago. a second ago. The guilt is there because you are longing to have a relationship yet you refuse to do anything about it.
Decide now, totally choose God or totally reject Him.
If you've chosen God, give Him the guilt you feel. He died so you could be free from it! You CAN change now. Today. This minute. This second. Give God your whole life, every part of it. Even if it's hard and you keep feeling like you want it back to do as you please. Give it to Him. Again and again, surrender to Him.
And get that Bible out! Try different translations and study books to get you thinking!
Make sure you are serving, reaching out to others, and sharing God. Right now. As you are. He'll keep working on you. We are all works in progress! He wants to use you. It will draw you closer to Him.
I just kinda feel distant from God. I want to love Him like my awesome teacher last year, but I can't.
You can love God with all that you are. You can. Just as anyone else you would love, love starts out small and grows bigger and bigger and more consuming! Your love to God will grow just the same way, as you spend time talking to Him, reading His Word, and serving Him.
"Is anyone else having this problem or is it just me? I guess my real question is, when I know I'm falling away from God (again), is there anything that can keep me close to Him?
Sweetie, it's not just you. I know strong and even know of famous Christians that have doubted in the extreme, take CS Lewis for example. He was an athiest at one time!!
Also, though I'm nobody, I can tell you, I've struggled with this. Every Christian that is maturing and not staying a baby goes through this. You are going through something that can come and go in the Christian life, but God uses it for His glory.
Now, right now, if you've had time to read all this, have a quiet time. Turn everything off. Don't answer the phone. They can wait. Get alone with God and pour your heart out to Him. He will fill it with Himself. Don't be afraid to dive into God's abundant life and really live.
God bless you forever!
"People keep questioning my faith-24/7!! I can't seem to find the spiritual backup needed to fight back. Sometimes it seems like I can't understand some things in the Bible--much less explain it! What do I need to fight the spiritual battle?
* Stay in the Word! Even when you don't understand it all! God is speaking to you and He promises His Word will come back to you at meaningful times!
* Pray! Talk to God about what you don't understand, the battles you together are fighting now, and are going to fight. Don't forget to thank Him for the battles He's already won through you!
* Seek out someone, whether a parent or pastor or another mature-in-their-faith-believer, who can help you understand things, and encourage you to stand strong as God fights battles!
* Seek after knowledge on your own; a Bible commentary or Bible reference book could help sometimes! For online Bible help, try www.Biblegateway.com! We have more helpful sites on our links page.
God bless! ~Godly Girls For God Team~
"How can we be Proverbs 31 women in our culture today?
Some things are timeless!
For example, the Proverbs 31 woman is an excellent wife and mother. Applying that to today, that means she puts other's needs before herself. She doesn't just do things that fulfill her own dreams, but also the dreams of her family members.
Let me take some examples of my own Mama. She drove me to practices even when she didn't want to go and not do anything for an hour or two! She put hours and hours into preparing for school for us, or helping us with projects for extra-curricular activities. She'd stay up two hours so we could have our shirts done in time for the preformance or whatever. When we started discussing where to move, she considered how close everything would be to schools/colleges for me and my younger sister, over the locations with beautiful views and parks that she'd like to spend a lot of time at!
The Proverbs 31 woman keeps balanced between career and family...or business affairs of a full-time mom and other family needs!
That could be a career in the home, or out. It could be spending time managing the finances for the family, cleaning house and organizing things, even making dinner....balancing that with the spiritual needs, social needs, and emotional needs of the family members!
Another thing the Proverbs 31 woman would obtain is a fully developed character that can readily be commended by all. a good role model in what she says and her actions, her choices of entertainment and her use of time. stability for her family.
Keep in mind that she's human, and does need to sleep, eat, and have alone time, and time with God alone! Know that she can become ill and not be doing all these things, yet still her faith will be strong and an inspiration to all.
Note also that the passage doesn't talk about her outside beauty, but rather her inside beauty.
***Some fun facts:
She watches for bargains! (verse 18)
She is energetic! (verse 17)
She's a giver to charities! (verse 19,20)
She doesn't fear getting wrinkles (verse 25)
Her words are wise and kind (verse 26)
She is to be honored (verse 31)
She isn't worried about clothes, because she's prepared for her family's warmth! (verse 21)
God bless all the ladies striving to serve their family these ways and all the future wives and mothers!
What are some good devotionals for girls ages 11-14?
***True Images Devotional, by Livingstone Corporation
"Its absolutely awesome!!" ~13 year old
***A Young Woman After God's Own Heart, by Elisabeth George
"Really good, will help you to grow in your walk with God."
***Beautiful Girlhood, by Mabel Hale
"I have grown so much, even though the book is from a whole different time period, the principals are timeless, because they are based upon God's Word"
~ 14 y.o. girl at the time of reading this book
I have been involved in different dramas at my church. Our past youth pastor told me that it would be a good ministry to get into. I thought about it, but it never really appealed to me.
Then as I was at camp a couple of weeks ago, I felt like maybe that would be a good idea. The more I look into it, the more things become clear to me. I told this past youth pastor about it, and she still feels the same way.
My question is...if you are being called into the ministry, how do you know for sure it's God? I really don't want to think seriously about this, and it not be of Him. I need to pray more about it I realize. But...have any of you felt this way? Or have any advice on how I could know if it is of God or not?
First of all, as Christians, we are all called to minister. This ministry can be different for all of us, as we all have different gifts and talents! There are so many different needs in this world, and opportunities to serve God by filling these needs, it can be difficult to know which is/are for you, and which are not!
The question here: Do you have the needed talent and gift? From what you've written, the answer seems to be yes; I say this because you talked about someone else suggesting you should try it (the youth pastor), your previous involvements, and the interest you've felt at camp.
Yes, pray about it! That's right! Ask God, He will show you! Perhaps you could look at our Special Projects; Number __ is about finding God's Will!
(side-note: Don't forget you can be in multiple ministries at once if you have the time, just something I thought of as I read your letter! Sometimes God gives us many different talents!)
Personally, I've found that sometimes one particular ministry is good for certain seasons in life. My example would be, his season of being a teenage girl, I find working with young children on Sunday mornings a ministry for me, while I know that when I am a mother myself someday, or when I become elderly, I may not be called to the same ministry! (I could still be, but I won't know for the time being about anything but what I can do right now.)
My point being, you don't have to make a lifelong commitment to do something, perhaps your church has a 6 month or yearly commitment asked like mine does, but you can freely change after that. You can try things until you find the place where God wants you, just giving each thing you try a chance!
A few questions might be helpful in consideration. Do you have the time to commit to it? (Remember, we make time for things we want to do. You may need to put in time throughout the week.) Will you be able to make it to practices/performances/meetings regularly? and something you might not think about at first How will this affect your family-life, if at all?One bit more of advice. Step out in faith – try it!! Don't be afraid to follow to where you've not been before, God will show you whether it is His Will in His own ways, and if you are praying, listening, watching where He's working, and reading His Word, you will be just where He wants you to be. God puts desires in our hearts and gives us all we need to do His Will, so, go out there and get into His work!
Sounds like He is calling you to drama ministry, our prayers are with you as you serve!
Hi, I always promise the Lord that I will read my Bible and pray like I should. But I always slip from that...Is that just me or is something else pulling me away from Him....??? I am always saying things but they do not last long....Can you give me some advice??
It's not only you who struggles in this area! Do not be discouraged!
This is a struggle, dare I say, for MOST Christians. You sound like you really love the Lord, and you are wanting to do the right thing. That is most of the battle, having your heart in the right place.
Satan knows how powerful prayer and God's Word really is. So he tries to place distractions in our lives to pull us away from God.
But God gives us the strength to overcome all this and enjoy spending time with Him. He is who put the desire in us to want to know Him, and as we ask for His help in setting aside time for just us and Him, He makes it possible.
Here are a few tips on keeping in the right direction:
* Don't get discouraged if you miss a day, a week, even a month.
Think: I can only do something about today. I can read today. I can take time out right now to pray.
* Set aside a specific time.
(Or maybe different times for different days depending on your schedule.)
Are you a morning person? Add a few minutes to your getting ready time and put God first, literally, in your day!
More of a night person? Before you put your head on the pillow, get out your Bible - then sweet dreams!
* Whatever you read, it should make sense to you so you can apply it.
You could try different versions, versions with commentaries, or even a devotional book if you think you'd like more structure. Just don't get bogged down in history and facts other than what the Word is really saying.
Avoid reading lists of names, as some books include much geneology; it will probably turn you off.
You don't have to read a ton. Or even a whole chapter a day. Reading one verse and living it all day is far more important! It might be you can read the same few verses every day for a while!
* See what activities you might can take out/cut time down on.
For example, sometimes I personally spend too much time online, talking to my friends, and watching TV. I have to conciously think, I've been online 2 hours, I could stop and go talk to the Creator of the Universe and tell Him about my day and problems and praise Him instead of searching websites right now.
* Prayer is just talking to God. So, when your in a line and just waiting, or can't get to sleep and just resting, or when you are riding in the car, or doing some chore like the dishes, you can be talking to God, about anything and everything!
So, I would like to just say, keep at it!
We're only human, and the God who has created us knows this, He knows us through and through, our hearts and motives and everything.
I'd just like to encourage you to make time as you can; life gets busy and sometimes it's hard to fit everything in we want to, but you can do all things through Christ!
God bless you in your effort to put Him first in your life!
We can always make time for the things we love most!
Love & Prayers
It seems like I have to struggle in almost every area of my life. Nothing comes easy to me anymore. What I'm most concerned about, though, is my relationship with God. I keep saying that I'm going to read the Bible, but forget. And when I do read the Bible, instead of being inspired, I get very confused, because it seems like alot of stuff in the Bible contradicts itself. I can't even control my own thoughts anymore. I'm getting very discouraged. I keep a prayer journal even, but nothing drastic has changed about my situation. What should I do, I'm so discouraged. It seems like no one understands, or has gone through what I'm going through. Hello, my Sister in Christ!
It sounds like you are fighting some really intense spiritual battles right now. I admire you for keeping your priorities straight in your heart - you said you are concerned about your relationship with God, reading His Word daily, and seeing the rewards in your prayer life. Don't give up.
I pray that I may encourage you to persevere in this time. I would like you to know that I've never known a strong, mature Christian who has not gone through times of doubt and fear and discouragement. God can use the times when we feel down if we let Him; when we rely on Him even when things don't make sense and we can't see the way. That's what faith is all about. God has a special plan for those who stand the tests. (James 1:12)
This is part of my testimony. I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I was nine. Four years ago, when I was about 13, I had lots of doubts, and was really confused; I questioned everything I had believed. I questioned whether God really existed. I felt like I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. Then, a youth pastor at a teen event did a sermon on doubting, the books I was reading were about times of questioning our faith, and my church's pastor talked about it one weekend - all at about the same time.
They all said that Satan tries to make us discouraged; Satan loves to throw doubt and fear and discouragement into our lives. Remember, before we are saved, we're on Satan's side, but after we accept Jesus as our Lord, Satan can never get us back. So, Satan does the next best thing - he tries to get our attention away from God. But we should stick in there, pray, and God will erase our doubts and make us stronger for the process. I prayed for God to make me stronger in my faith, and I kept at all the things I was doing (praying, going to church, doing Bible study by myself with resources to help me understand). After a while, the thoughts went away. Sometimes I fall into discouraging times again, but I always come back to Jesus.
God promises that He will not give us more than we can handle: 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
Paul says in Romans 7:19 "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." We will always have struggles until we are in heaven, but God is our Helper and fights our battles for us. All we have to do is stand:
Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Whenever I feel alone and down, I remember what I just learned - God holds us, just like a friend or parent would when we are hurting. You've probably heard about the poem, Footsteps in the Sand, where the man looks back and asks why he sees only one set of footprints in the rough times, and that's when God carried him. God will carry you through, even when you don't feel like He's there! Feelings change constantly, and if we count on them to decide our actions, we won't always make the right choices.
Now for suggestions on actions you could take. It's hard to read the Bible every day sometimes, but there are ways to help remember. Pick a specific time, and place. (For me, it works best in the morning as I'm getting ready, sometimes between brushing my teeth and doing my hair. I always read the Bible at my desk or on my bed, whichever surface is clearer.) If you miss a day, a week, even a month, don't feel bad. Just do it today. That's the only day you can change. One minute at a time.
Try to not randomly read a passage here and there; try to make a plan. A few popular ways: read a few verses a day all the way through John, Romans, or James; do a Proverb or Psalm a day; or get a plan out of the back of a Bible. Instead of reading a lot, maybe pick one verse and ask God to help you live it out that day in His strength. Don't worry yourself with how much of the Bible you are going to read in a certain span of time!
A devotional book or another kind of Bible study book, or a Bible with topics and side notes will help you understand more about the Bible, and maybe clear up confusing parts and seeming contradictions. I believe God gave all Christians the ability to understand His Word, and sometimes it helps when another person explains it. You either accept or reject a teaching according to what God says in other parts of the Bible. If it fits who God is, as you learn about Him, it's easier and easier to know what He would or wouldn't do in a given situation. Another thing that can help you with your walk with God is being around strong Christians. Do you have Christian friends and family who you can talk to? Are you attending a church? Is there a local Awana club, or some other kinds of Bible studies you can attend? I hope you will seek out other Christians you can talk to about your struggles, and maybe they can help you even better in person than I can over the internet...I wish I could just give you a big hug and tell you face to face, "You're going to make it!" God will help you through!
If there's anything you want to talk about, find out, or anything I can help you with, please let me know. If you ever just want someone to listen to you, I'll be here for you to email! You are in my prayers! Love in Christ
(email us at email@example.com, or if you don't have email, you may post in our guestbook.)
Here are the words to a song by Erin O'Donnell I find comforting sometimes - maybe you've heard it and will be comforted, too.
You're a little piece of heaven
You're a golden ray of light
And I wish I could protect you
From the worries of this life
But if there's one thing I could tell you
It's no matter what you do
Hold to Jesus -
He's holding on to you
The world will try to tell you
That might is more than right
That beauty's on the outside
And being good's a losing fight
But remember what I've told you
Because the world will make you choose
Hold to Jesus -
He's holding on to you
Hold on to Jesus
Cling to His love
Rest deep in His mercy
Whenever things get rough
Don't lose sight of His goodness
And don't ever doubt this truth
That when you hold on to Jesus
He's holding on to you
Hear me dear Jesus
Rock this little one to sleep
Keep her close when she's scared
And give her grace when she is weak
I know she'll stumble
But I know she'll make it through
If you hold to her just like
You said You'd do
Hold her Jesus -
And she'll hold on tight to You.
I try so hard to witness to others, but I always get so scared. I always end up backing down right when I'm about to do it. And sometimes, I want to share the Gospel with others, but it just won't seem like the right time or something. I don't know what I should do. I feel like such a failure!
Hey, good news. No one is perfect! Everyone gets scared or nervous when they witness to others. But we have a God who loves us, and will help us during those times. Try praying about it. Simply pray a prayer like this:
"Lord, I need your help. I want to share the Gospel with others, but I just get scared to do it. Please calm me, give me the right words to say, and all together guide me when I witness. Thank you so much. In Jesus's name, Amen."
Read: 2 Peter 3:9
God clearly tells us in the verse above that He wants all his children to come to salvation. And if you ask Him to show you opportunities to witness to others, He will.
If you have trouble bringing up the subject of salvation, try these questions for conversation starters:
Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs?
To you, who is Jesus?
Do you think there is a heaven or a hell?
If you died tonight, where would you go?
If what you were believing is not true, would you want to know?
And if you need to find some Bible verses about salvation to share when witnessing, try these:
Always remember: If the person you witnessing to refuses to accept Christ, don't get discouraged. Just because you didn't get the results you were hoping for, doesn't mean that the person won't ever accept Christ. Continue to pray for the person, and know that you've done your part. Now it's between that person and the Lord.
If God already knows my heart and everything, then why should I talk to Him about everything? I mean, what's the point?"
When you pray, you aren't informing God, but you are honoring Him as the source. You are depending on God. What you are doing is letting God prepare you, change your will to His, strengthen your faith, and have a deep, intimate relationship with Him. That's what He created you for! That's what He wants! That's what He saved you for! You are to be formed into the likeness of Jesus, as you go through desert places and lands flowing with abundance, shining sunlight and painful roads.
Don't let pride, ungratefuness, impatience, or lack of faith keep you from praying. God gives faith, and heals you and cleanses you from all unrighteousness, the Bible says. Don't be impatient just because you pray for something and it's not the right timing! God will provide all your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)! Just talk to Him about it! Prayerlessness results in discouragement, sin, fruitlessness, and depression. (Disclaimer: I did not say that all depression comes from prayerlessness....there are different kinds of depression.) Praying results in knowing who you are and what you are doing, belonging, hope, fruitfulness, encouragement, and joy (whether you are happy or not is not joy, upcoming article on this).
Some things won't change no matter what. Some things God has said He will do, and He won't do anything else. He won't take back anything in His Word. Other things we can ask for intervention in, and if it is His Will, then He will do it. Remember, we pray "If it be Your Will, Oh, God," His Way is the best way, the only way, since He knows all ahead of time.
When you talk to Him and rely on Him, you are doing what He made you to do, and others will see the close relationship you have with your Father, and want what you have. May you be found in prayer often!
How can I build my faith? I want to have more! I want to believe more! I just don't know how.
Ask. Believe: I know He can.
Seek. Believe: I know He will.
Knock. Believe: It's a done deal. Start thanking Him right now!
See James 1. If you lack wisdom, faith, anything, you must ask God for it, and He will give it to you. Believe - don't let yourself doubt! Isn't the God who did all the miracles of the Bible and died on the cross for you just as powerful today? And He will strengthen you and give you faith. If even unbelievers know how to give good gifts to their children, don't you think God will give you those things that are good for you? "My God will provide all your needs according to His riches and glory. He will give His angels charge over you! Jehovah Jira (God the Provider) cares."
Don't give up - those who persevere will be rewarded!
"Is fiction okay? Is it lying? Should a Christian read fiction?"
From what I gather, fiction is not in and of itself wrong, but like anything else it can be used for promoting evil or good. Jesus used fiction in the form of parables, and several places in the Old Testament used fiction to make a point. See Judges chapter 9, the story of the trees making the bramble their king. If fiction were a form of lying, then God, who is holy and pure and cannot look on sin, would not have included fiction in His Word. True fiction does not claim to be the truth, but just a story.
So all that raises the question of how to tell whether a certain work is okay to read or not. You can use the "Whatever" verse, Philip. 4:8, thinking of what we should fill our minds with.
Also, here are some tips:
Judge fiction as strictly morally as you would nonfiction. Would you read about a person doing and saying and thinking those things in a book of fiction if it was real life? Judge it by the Bible. Does this work please God or does it draw me away from Him?
Ask yourself: Do the characters' actions have moral consequences? Do they get away with wrong with everything going right anyhow? Is evil condemned and good approved? Does it look at life as if nothing could go right or everything always goes right, or does it have the biblical, balanced view of sometimes things go right and sometimes they don't?
Judge for yourself, and pray about it! God will tell you, though you may have to listen to what you wouldn't prefer to hear sometimes. God knows what is best and has plans to bless us, not hurt us or keep us from fun. Remember, good writing isn't the same as a valuable story. In fact, a good piece of literature may be very dangerous if it promotes ungodly messages......well written stories persuade, so be careful! As long as you sift thoughts and philosophies through God's Word, you are safe.
"My family is so messed up. My dad and mom argue and scream at each other all the time, and my older brother got caught doing drugs with his girlfriend. My grandma, who lives with us, is so forgetful she left the stove on the other day, and almost ended up burning down the house. I'm not religious or anything, but I don't know where to turn! I don't know what to do! Nobody pays attention to me. No one cares!
I am so sorry to hear your life is falling apart, and that you feel that there's no one who loves you or cares about you. Everyone needs to be loved and cared for! I believe God made us to be loved and to love. And God is always ready for us to turn to Him, and He is always ready to help.
God is always ready to listen, will help you to be strong, and will show you what to do. God loves you! He is never too busy to hear you. He created you and wants to have a relationship, a friendship, with you. God made you in His image, and He wants to be your Friend and Heavenly Father.
But since we have done wrong, we are separated from Him; the relationship is broken. But He cares so much He provided a way for us to be His children, despite the fact we chose to do wrong in the beginning. Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and then rose again, so we can live forever in heaven with Him! God wants us to accept this gift of Jesus dying on the cross so that we can become His children, learn about Him, and He can help us in this life.
We can't make it by our works, and all "good" works done out of a wrong motive, i.e., all not done for the glory of God, and as filthy rags in God's sight. But when you accept this gift you are a new creation inside. You will want to live differently, live for God. You will still have your sin nature as long as you are on earth, and struggle with wanting to do wrong, but you will also have the Holy Spirit, God living in you, to guide you and comfort you and encourage you. Doing good things will come naturally. You won't want to continue in sin.
God will give you a peace that no one and no circumstance can destroy; no matter what happens in your life, you can know, and do, the right thing by God's strength.
Then maybe the others in your family can see the change in you and come to know God also. God changes people from the inside out. You can pray for them, because God hears our prayers and answers them according to His Will. God gives us free choice; God loves everyone and cares for them, and is patient, but the choice is up to each individual. Will you accept this gift?
Keep strong - God will help you - and you will be rewarded at the end! James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."
"What does the Bible say about traditions?"
God's Word says a lot about tradition. Prayerfully decide for yourself the specifics according to His Word. Here's some research on the general stuff.
1. Man-made tradition should not be more important than God's commandments and words. (Matthew 15:1-6, Mark 7:3, 5, 8, 9, 13)
2. We should not be blind or tear others down because of our zeal for traditions. (Galations 1:13-14)
3. We have to be careful and test tradition through God's Word so that we do not follow lies and worldly philosophy that gets nowhere, but rather we should focus on Christ. Just because something has always been a certain way does not mean it is right, it's just familiar. (Colossions 2:8)
4. We should hold to the traditions taught in the New Testament, like baptism and the LORD's supper. God commanded us to. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
5. There are good traditions, as taught in God's Word. (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
6. The Old Testament traditions and way of life was empty (Christ makes us full). (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Some traditions are good, some are empty, and some keep us from God. We should put God's Word first, and sift all other words through His.