Natural Affection

What does it mean to have natural affection? Many times, to understand the meaning of a word or phrase, we look at its opposite. The opposite of natural affection is without natural affection — unnatural.

Affection is a fondness, warmth, gentle feeling or physical expression of love.

Perilous Times

The Bible tells us that in the last days, perilous times will come. There are things we notice in the unraveling of our families, communities and society that prove we are in the last days. One such thing is that people will be without natural affection. In these days, people have an unnatural way of showing love. Words and deeds don’t match. What should be gentle is brutal. What should be hot is cold.

God-given

Something that is natural exists in nature without being made or caused by humans. It is what it is — on its own. Some regard it as being innate. Natural affection is something that is God-given. Something that is unnatural goes against nature, thus it goes against the order of God.

  • It’s natural for a mother to desire to nurture her child.
  • It’s natural for a man to be protective of his family.
  • It’s natural for friends to want to help another friend in need.
  • It’s natural for a family member to want to see other family members do their best.
  • It’s natural to have empathy for others — friends, families, neighbors and strangers.

In the Jungle

Many mothers in the animal kingdom will fight to the death to protect their young. They’ll stand against predators, whom they have a small to no chance of defeating, just to give their young the chance to live. Sadly, some of us do not give as much natural love as a beast in the field.

But when unnatural affection is addressed in 2 Timothy, it is not about beasts, but about man.

Piety, or kindness, should first be demonstrated and learned in the home. This foundation is being destroyed. If we cannot be kind in the home, how can we have natural affection towards anyone?

2 Timothy 3:1-5

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Causes

Many things lead to unnatural affection. Lust is at the root — unruly passions that direct hearts to appease the senses and flesh. Selfishness is connected to lust. Many people aim to satisfy self and place one’s needs and desires (lusts) over the well-being and development of others.

Other factors are lack of wisdom and pride. A prideful and selfish heart does not give natural love because it has not submitted to God and the order He established in nature. A heart that is not wise does foolish things, especially when it comes to pursuing means to fulfill lustful desires.

Quite simply, those without natural affection hurt others. Sometimes they do it blindly. Other times their eyes are wide open and they just don’t care.

Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children

What to Do?

  • The Word of God says it best: “from such turn away.” In other words, stay away from these types of people. This is for our good and protection.
  • Do a heart check and guard your heart. Be sure that you are one who lives a life of love filled with natural affection.
  • If you are a young lady, submit yourself to be taught by aged or older women on the subject of love. It is the job and calling of aged women to teach young women to love their husbands and children. To have natural affection.

 

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Natural-Affection-MMG

How to Deal with an Angry Person

Anger is always looking for a place to rest—a place to call home. But you don’t have to allow it to claim your heart as its own.

We cannot control how other people talk and act. But we can control our own actions and reactions. The bible is a manual for righteous living; whether it’s about how to dress (modest apparel), or how to turn anger on its head. We can use God’s Word to direct our lives.

Words to Live By

I’m going to share three bible-based tips on how to deal with an angry person. These are not in-depth, but they are a starting point for conflict management—God’s way.

  1. Reply with a soft or gentle answer.
  2. Agree quickly with the person. The bible refers to the person you’re in disagreement with as your adversary.
  3. Don’t be friends with an angry person; don’t associate with people who are easily-angered.

A Soft Answer

A soft or gentle answer disarms the angry person. On a carnal level, it’s pretty hard to be soft and gentle towards someone who is yelling at you, name-calling or pushing buttons for a brawl. We want to yell back, sling out insults, and hurt the hurter. But this formula isn’t God’s method, but that of the flesh.  It’s a formula for mess. Grievous or harsh words is the spoon in the pot. Keep stirring and you’ll get more anger out of the person.

Go to higher ground, instead. Walk in the Spirit and remember Jesus. Recall how He didn’t say a mumbling word as He was spat upon, hit and beaten. This means you’ll practice some self-control by being silent at first, giving yourself time to consider your reaction and its consequences.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

The other person may think your meek demeanor is a sign of weakness, but you should know it is a mark of power. Why? Well, this formula for success came from God, so how can it be anything but powerful?! Also, it demonstrates you choose to not be controlled by your emotions by taking the time to think before you speak, craft a gentle word, and ultimately please God.

A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath

Agree Quickly

God wants us to settle matters before we show up before a judge, mediator or third-party with the other person. He doesn’t want things to go that far. More importantly, God is the righteous Judge. Don’t show up before God with a matter unresolved between you and your brother or sister. God doesn’t even want our gift at the altar until we go to the person we believe has something against us.

Matthew 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

Agreeing with your adversary quickly or settling a matter doesn’t mean you’re admitting the other person is right. It means you’re not wanting to allow anger to get a hold of you or them, and cause either one of you to sin. Many times we allow anger to cause us to sin. We don’t think rationally when we are angry. The sooner you deal with and fix the problem, the better. We shouldn’t give a root of bitterness the chance to spring up. People all over are hating one another, walking around as spiritual murderers because of a disagreement, misunderstanding, hurt or neglect that bubbled into anger.

Don’t Associate

You’ve given a soft answer and agreed with your adversary quickly. They’re still angry, and seem to wrap their identity in being the mad one. What next? Prayerfully think and take proper action.

Why put or keep yourself in a potentially dangerous position by staying in the presence of someone who is always angry? You don’t have to take abuse and be the verbal, emotional or physical punching bag for someone who chooses to remain unhappy. You do not know if or when that anger may become rage.

Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go:

Furthermore, God doesn’t want us to learn the ways of angry people. He knows the power of mirroring, and how easily we may mirror another person’s bad behavior. If someone is angry all the time, the anger is a symptom of a deeper problem.  Pray for them, and continue to show kindness and love. Understand the anger is probably masking hurt. Yet, do not make this person your familiar or intimate friend. The spirit of anger that envelops him/her may try to consume you too.

Remember, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

mmg-j-name

The Trouble with Suicide

Rebecca Ann Sedwick // Media File // Orlando Sentinel

Rebecca Ann Sedwick // Media File // Orlando Sentinel

Today I read a news story about 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick. Young Rebecca was reportedly bullied online for months and ganged up on by 15 girls. This ordeal pushed Rebecca to commit suicide.

Before the suicide came depression. Before the depression came the shredding of Rebecca’s sense of identity, self-worth, and self-esteem. Before the shredding came the let-down: disapproval by her peers.

In “girl world” approval from peers means so much. This is an unfortunate reality. How can we fix this?

My heart goes out to Rebecca’s family. I pray for their healing. I also pray for the other young people involved and their families.

The Question Is…

Why are girls (middle and high school girls, especially) so cruel to one another? Our society rewards bad girl behavior until it leaps off our television screens and into our schools and communities.

In sociology, we discuss the Thomas theorem: “Situations that are defined as real are real in their consequences.” We can discuss this in so many ways. But let’s look at what many of us miss.

Don’t simply be a mentor. Be a light.

Situations that seem trivial to you as an adult can be real crises to young girls. However they are defined to that particular girl, that’s what it is, even if we don’t see it the same way. She has built up faith in her perspective, no matter how skewed, and her resulting feels are real and valid. And these crises carry consequences that are just as real, with damaging and life-changing effects.

Many of us adults lack the mental fortitude and social support to challenge situations and redefine them as something that cannot prosper against us. Yet we expect young people who don’t have the age or experience we have to magically “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” when we cannot and will not do the same.

There is an educational gap, and I believe it is something the schools cannot fix. Are the people of God awake? Our children are dying and their wills, hearts and minds are being broken. Don’t simply be a mentor. Be a light.

The Trouble with Suicide

Do not be deceived. Suicide is not just a personal choice that affects one person. It’s not solely about what’s going on in someone’s mind. Social factors, including the environment and the positive/negative influence of other people play a huge part.

There is a spirit of suicide enveloping our young people.

Suicide is a societal and spiritual problem. There is a spirit of suicide enveloping our young people. There are so many lies and distortions that have been fed to the person who thinks about, attempts, or commits suicide. Remember, s/he has defined these situations—even the lies—as being real and attached value to them. How do we help someone to tear those down when many times we are oblivious to the fact s/he feels that way…until it’s too late?

If I can borrow from the public health arena, prevention in the form of awareness is good. The message gets out there. We call it suicide prevention. Now for the application. How do we encourage girls (and boys) to speak up when bullied? Even online?

There is a level of shame involved. Just like in many other instances of abuse, the abuser has a way of making the one being abused feel as though s/he is being petty about the acts, are “crazy” or will not be believed. Also, it takes guts to admit to someone you hate yourself, you’re unhappy, or that you have thought about or attempted to harm yourself. On a spiritual note, we understand the enemy loves to kill us softly with silence, especially when there is hurt and abuse involved.

Reach Just One

I may not can heal the world, save the planet, or be a super hero, but perhaps with the love of Christ, I can reach just one girl.

Sometimes we realize a little too late that bullies typically have low self-esteem, and are driven to make others feel as bad as they do, even to the point of death. Hurting people hurt people.

Courtesy and Christianity

courtesy and christianity_ModelMeGirlCourtesy and Christianity do mix. I may add quite well, too. The Word of God calls us to be courteous. Why does it seem like we forget this part of our walk in holiness?

Being saved and boasting that you are blessed and highly favored is not permission to be rude. There are so many rude “Christians” in the church house. So many who are not kind, who do not esteem others better than themselves, and who actually worship at the “altar of me, myself, and I.”

Courteous: Respect and gracious consideration towards others; politeness; kindness; display of polished or good manners

It’s amazing to see seasoned (s)aints, mothers of the church, pastors, bishops, elders, deacons, praise teams, ushers, choir directors, musicians, and bench warmers not understand what piety, kindness, and politeness means. But you’re on your way to heaven anyhow, right?

These are stumbling-blocks, offenses to the Body of Christ. We should all make it a daily habit to look in the mirror, the perfect law of liberty, and see ourselves for who and how we really are.

Are you rude? Are you unkind? Are you impolite? If so, why? Are you hurt, angry, bitter, feeling empty?

On a personal note, when I caught myself being discourteous or rude in the past, God humbled me to see that the problem was me, not the other person or the situation. I am in charge of my actions and reactions. In the moments we feel angry or hurt, all we see is our own feelings, and it’s hard to see from the perspectives of others.  But if we just pause for a moment, we give ourselves room to make a better decision; to choose a better reaction; to maintain our integrity and be courteous.

Check It

If ill feelings are left unchecked, a root of bitterness will spring up, and this feeds rudeness, unkindness, and discourtesy. At the end, it chokes out your love, and you find yourself with a personality known as being rude, or as that angry girl or bitter woman.

Let us uncover the root of our unkindness and discourtesy in the church, and treat the problem, not just the symptoms. We can only treat this sickness with the power of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps we need a revival. A refreshing.

Good manners and courtesy is Scripture. With love, don’t leave them off.

No Performers, Just Worshippers

I have a wise mother. Beautiful, Holy Ghost filled, and the meekest human I know. She blessed me one day when she shared what God told her a long time ago,

“I am not looking for performers. I am looking for worshippers.”

I often share this life-giving word with friends, especially those who have gifts that put them in the front of crowds.

On a personal note, I am an instructor and community health educator, which always puts me before large groups of people to speak and demonstrate. I am a singer/songwriter and spoken word artist. I often sing original songs of worship and praise at churches, as well as recite original poetry at special events. The words my mother shared with me helps to keep pride away, and refreshes the necessity of authenticity in the forefront of my mind.

Not Impressed

God is not impressed with how flawless your presentation is, but rather if it is done in Spirit and in truth. This is how we worship Him. You can be the best singer in the world, and even cover a song about Jesus, and yet you can walk off the stage without God having been glorified, and in His eyes you walk away unrecognized. Why? Because you can do things for selfishness, seeking vain glory. For you. In that moment you already have your reward. Applause. And it’s not His.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

When I talk about impression management, God reminds me that man is interested in manipulating and controlling how others think of him by shaping his own performance to get a desired response. But all that shaping may not be real. It may be a carefully constructed act, with all the props, costumes, and memorized lines. It may be everything to make for a successful, flawless performance, but it is rooted in lies and a lust for attention.

What God Wants

God wants us to simply be loving, truthful, merciful, righteous, forgiving, and authentic in Him and with others. This can only be done with the power of God dwelling on the inside. Pretending to be something you’re not while singing a spiritual song makes you a performer. Singing, playing an instrument, reciting poetry, painting a picture, etc., for the applause of man makes you a performer.

If we would spend more energy applying God’s Word so we can be acceptable in His sight, we’d see we cannot control what others think of us no matter how hard we try. We should remind ourselves to not perform for a crowd, but to use our gifts to edify one another and to glorify God.

Beloved, ask yourself these questions. Do you allow God to use you? Or do you use God by propping up yourself on a Christian platform?

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

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Let’s Start With You

Let’s talk relationships, and let’s start with you.

I’m endeared to the words, “righteous” and “righteousness” because they denote a right standing or right relationship — first with God, followed with self and others. Yes, you need to have a right relationship with yourself. This involves learning to be humbleminded and recognizing your value to God and the body of Christ. It’s equally important to see the need to cherish your physical body, guard your heart, and protect your mind from toxic culture. In this, you treat yourself right.

The Bible instructs us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This is not the same as the ungodly pursuit of being lovers of self. As I like to put it, so full of self-adoration and pride that you see no one of importance other than you.

When we mistreat others, it says a lot about how we feel about self. The way I learn to love me is through allowing the love of God to abide in me and be shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost, and spending intimate time with God. From there, I experience His love and am compelled to share the same love with others.

Can you see this is about personal experience? Experiencing the love of God and sharing it in all the many creative and godly ways possible?

There are many women and girls who have been socialized to believe to love or care for ones self in a modest and respectable way, is selfish and irresponsible. We destroy our bodies by allowing them to be used. We give the keys to our hearts, minds, and emotions to those whose only intention is to bring us harm.

mirror-mirror-identity-crisis

 

There is a difference between suffering for the name of Jesus and just suffering in vain because a woman or girl has no sense of self-worth and has lost her identity in the maze of life.

I am very concerned about women and girls who have lost their identities, for an abundance of reasons. I know that the most important thing to realize is our identity in Christ. But God is a wise God. He used analogies showing agriculture to teach spiritual lessons, for example. Sometimes we must use our identity naturally so, in order to understand the precious identity we are able to have in Jesus.

So many times I’ve heard women say, “I don’t know who I am. I lost my identity somehow, and I feel like I’ll never find it.” Oh, beautiful and beloved ones, we are in the midst of an identity crisis in and outside the church house.

We must begin at the beginning to uncover why we are in this position. We must make time to fix the breaches in our relationships with God, self, and others.

In the fastpaced lives we live and onslaught of social media that produces less time for face-to-face interaction, it’s easy to become too busy, too apathetic, and too superficial to enjoy whole and honest relationships with others. We tweet a Bible verse and this is our Word for the entire day. We like a status about the goodness of Jesus, and we feel satisfied.

Is this enough? What’s a girl to do?

Be Yourself

Ladies, we have all tried to fit in with someone or somewhere. Truthfully, it doesn’t feel good when we pretend to be something we are not. Applause. Recommendation. Commendation. People pleasing to the point we forget who we are. Sad, huh?

How old were we when we started to care more about what others think of us? When did we start performing instead of just being?

When we fail to be ourselves, we lose. Others miss out on learning and loving the real us. Let me tell you, don’t ever think other people can’t tell when you’re not being the real you. When someone peeps out your inauthentic self, trust is broken. After all, who can trust someone who is never being real? To not be real is to live a lie. God wants us to maintain our integrity.

Entire relationships have crumbled because one person decided to establish them based upon a lie. “This is the self I want you to see—the self I pretend to be.” Enter obsession with self:

What will they think of me? Will they still like me?

What if they disagree with me? What if they don’t want to be my friend anymore?

All the what if’s revolve around the “little world of me.”

I just don’t believe there is happiness, contentment and peace in being wrapped up in other people’s opinions; and in denying yourself and the world of the authentic you. It’s a miserable little world for the girl who can’t keep her mind off of herself. That’s the trick. Thinking about what other people think about you equates to you focusing on yourself.

Change the Atmosphere

The entire atmosphere in a room can change by one brave soul choosing to be true to God, self and others.

Being ourselves requires becoming comfortable in our own skin—with the way God made us and how He sees us. Hello. I’m also talking about being thankful when God saves us. It is so sad to watch a girl who claims to be saved being ashamed of her salvation. But that’s a post for another time.

Being ourselves also means accepting our present circumstances, while hoping, praying, and working towards something better and brighter. Oftentimes we won’t be ourselves when we are ashamed. That’s the purpose of hiding—to cover shame.

It won’t happen overnight, but we must learn to get over the fear of rejection, mockery and indifference. When you really think about it, most other girls are trapped inside their “little world of me,” and aren’t thinking about you.

How to Be Yourself

1. We must read God’s Word consistently to be in remembrance of how beautiful and precious we are to Him. If we don’t, the adverse things and people we see around us will lull us back into a life of insecurity, shame, low-self esteem, and low-self confidence. When we feel like we don’t measure up to the expectations of the world and others, we have a tendency to fake it. It’s called wearing a mask. Please don’t.

2. Fast & pray for God’s strength to enable you to be yourself.

3. Surround yourself with people who build you up—not tear you down.

4. Choose to read and watch things that are godly and positive. What you consume with your eyes and ears feeds your heart and soul.

5. Believe and live out “It is well”—even when the present says otherwise.

Please enjoy the video, “Be Your Shoeself.” I hope it resonates with someone.

© 2012 ModelMeGirl.com

Father’s Day Must Have: Godly Dads

(ModelMeGirl.com)

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads around the globe, especially to my own father. There’s another level to being a dad, and that’s being a godly one. My father is a godly dad.

If only godly dads were on the list of Father’s Day Must Have’s. Continue Reading

Girls Too Grown

(ModelMeGirl.com)

There was once a time when little girls were little girls. They wore ruffle socks, ribbons, pigtails and pretty dresses. They anticipated the natural stages of life versus rushing into them well before they were ready. They grew up in an appointed time.

Five-year-olds weren’t running around in makeup and high heels singing raunchy lyrics to a song or rap. I am amazed at how many little girls are quick to curse anybody out—kid, adult, dog. But this is 2012. I call these kinds of little girls too grown. Continue Reading