I wanted to take some to write a post for those who are saving themselves for marriage. That's right, this post is exclusively for virgins! This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart because I was a virgin until I married my husband at 28 years old. I know that sometimes you just need a bit of encouragement.
You Are NOT the Only One!
I remember feeling this way a few times and even now, I get comments from other people who feel the same way. Somedays, you feel like you're the only one that is single or the only one that is a virgin. However, I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. There are plenty of people who are committed to waiting until marriage to have sex. I know some personally, so be encouraged, knowing that there are others just like you, and they are experiencing the same things you are.
Is it Worth it?
YES! It is absolutely worth it! Don't get weary and don't give up because you are doing the right thing! You are special and rare and valuable. Carry yourself that way! You are priceless and you possess a great gift for your future spouse. I don't regret waiting one bit and if I had to go back and do it again, I would wait again. There is something so special about giving such a meaningful gift to your future husband. It's precious and it speaks volumes about your faithfulness to God and His word, and your love for your future husband.
But What If It's Not Easy?
If you are having a hard time with waiting, I'd encourage you to evaluate a few things. Take note of things you watch on TV/movies, what music and conversations you listen to and the people you are hanging out with. It's very important that you are careful with what enters your spirit through your eyes and ears. Music, movies, etc. will definitely impact your thoughts, behaviors and desires. Eliminating things that are sexual in nature will help a lot. Also, when you are out on a date, avoid compromising situations. Don't even allow yourself to be in a situation where you could be tempted to want to cross physical boundaries. This includes, being alone with the opposite sex in secluded, private locations, visiting his house alone, being out together late at night, getting too close/touchy, talking dirty, etc. Having boundaries in place will help make the wait a lot more smooth. Remember that God wouldn't ask anything of us that He knew we couldn't do. You can do this! With God, all things are possible.
Please feel free to share this blog and even check out my Youtube Channel: LaRissa J. for videos on virginity, love and relationships!
For those who don't know, I took quite a bit of a break from blogging because in 2018, I got married and relocated. However, I'm super excited to be back in a routine! As my husband and I prepare to celebrate 10 months of beautiful marriage, I figured it's the perfect time to write about how I prepared and allowed God to prepare me for my marriage.
Many people say that the first year of marriage is tough but what if I told you that doesn't have to be the case? While we are just about 2 months shy of our 1 year anniversary, I can say that it's been such an amazing journey! So, I'm going to share with you a few tips on how to prepare to have an amazing marriage.
1. Establish a solid relationship with God
This is super important. In order for anything to be successful, you need God. He should be at the center, the very essence of everything you do. It's important to have this relationship because it teaches you many things. My relationship with God helped me practice commitment and faithfulness through the highs and lows in life. It taught me submission. I learned how to slow down and listen. Yes, you can do all of these things with God. In my relationship with Him, I allowed Him to show me myself and change my character flaws and develop me into who He created me to be and He continues to do so. This is when you can learn what fruit of the spirit you need to grow more. Love, joy, peace, patience, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance are all things that are needed in a healthy marriage. You grow in these areas when you spend time with God and His Word and allow Him to work in your heart.
2. Adjust your mindset
If you want to be a spouse, you've got to begin to think like a spouse. In marriage, it's not all about you and you will not get your way all the time. I mentally prepared myself for these facts and worked to make the necessary adjustments before getting married. There is no room for selfishness in a healthy, godly marriage. You have to go into your marriage ready and willing to give, serve, love unconditionally and make sacrifices. Please do not go into it only thinking about what you want to receive.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
I cannot stress the importance of communication, enough! This is super important! You and your spouse will need to communicate about everything. Before getting married, you need to talk about your values, beliefs, boundaries, goals, vision, financial habits and so much more. Communication doesn't end after you say "I do". In marriage, you'll still need to talk about your feelings, strengths/weaknesses, celebrations/concerns, money, sex, daily schedules/plans, etc. Communication never ends, and as far as I'm concerned, you can't over-communicate. If you're stopping at the gas station before heading home, why not send a quick text letting your spouse know that? My husband, Ja'Van and I talk about everything- nothing is off limits.
I also want to note that the way you communicate is huge too. Our speech should be kind, gentle, patient and loving. In my house, we watch our tone and make sure we don't communicate with an attitude, silent treatments or clap-backs. We communicate with kindness, love and respect and anything opposite of that is unacceptable. The way that you communicate will either build your spouse up or tear him down. Your goal is to build him up always, and if you mess up, forgive and genuinely apologize quickly so you don't go to bed angry.
4. Be Intimate Daily
Yes, I recommend daily! However, intimacy means different things for different people. In essence, intimacy entails closeness, privacy and coziness and of course often times sexual intimacy. I believe that you make time for what is important to you. Spending time being close and private and even sexual with your spouse daily is very important, so be sure to schedule time for it each day. Yes, sometimes we have rough, long exhausting days and full time jobs and responsibilities but it's shouldn't be enough reason to not set aside time with your spouse. We don't allow "tired" to be an excuse to skip out on such an important time for us and our marriage, especially not early in a marriage.
So, those are my top 4 tips on how to have an amazing marriage! Of course, this is not everything but these are definitely ones that I believe are very key and make a big difference. I love getting questions so if you have questions or would like me to address certain topics in my blogs, let me know. You can send me a message here on my website or find me on IG: mrs.larissaj
I look forward to chatting with you again soon!
Hey Lovely, Happy New Year! I'm so excited to be writing a new blog! I took quite a bit of a break from blogging because I got married in 2018 and decided to focus on investing everything into my marriage. Today, however, it is on my heart to write about how I prayed for my husband long before I met him. I pray that this blesses you and anyone else who reads it! I created a Youtube video on this topic too, so feel free to check that out here. I'll be sure to make this blog more detailed.
To Journal or Not to Journal?
This decision is completely up to you but I have a tendency to write things down when I pray so that I can refer back to it when I need to. I kept a journal specifically for things related to my future husband. It was nothing fancy, just a hard cover notebook that I picked up from the store. In the journal, I included all my prayers to God for my husband as well as anything that I felt the Lord whisper to my heart. If you don't know how, it's important that you learn how to hear from God because this will be a game changer on your journey! If you'd like to see a blog or Youtube video on "How to Hear From God" let me know by commenting below or reaching out to me on Instagram @mrs.larissaj.
So, I started my journal in 2014, met my husband in person in 2017 and I got married in 2018 so this notebook has a lot of prayers in it. Now let's talk about the prayers.
Praying for Hubby
The very first page of my journal, I wrote a prayer to the Lord. Let me note that even though I write my prayers, I also pray them aloud because death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) Prayers are life giving so you want to make sure you vocalize them.
In my prayer to God, I simply asked him to guide my every prayer and I asked that my journal be inspired by the Holy Spirit. I didn't want to just make up random things.
Each day that I prayed, I wrote a heading. One day, I prayed that the Lord would prepare me and strengthen my faith. Another prayer, was about my husband being prepared by God for me. Other prayers, were about his spiritual well-being, character, protection, integrity, mutual physical attraction, etc. Each time I prepared to pray, I got quiet before God and allowed Him to lead me in what I should pray for. I'd like to encourage you to be specific with your prayers and pray for all aspects of your future husband's life. This takes time so it's perfectly okay to pray over a span of days or even months or years in order to take your time and pray accurately and thoroughly. Choose one specific area to pray for each day.
Will this Work?
This absolutely worked for me! However, I think some prerequisites need to be met first. You first need to be a believer and have a personal relationship with Jesus. (Romans 10:9) You'll also want to work on strengthen your faith if you haven't done so already. (Again, let me know if you'd like to see this topic appear in my content in the future.) I struggled with faith in believing that my husband existed and would find me so I really had to work on developing in this area and exercising my faith. (Mark 11:24) Lastly, you'll want to clear the clutter. This means that if you're hanging on to a guy because you don't want to be lonely but you know he isn't God's best for you, you've got to let him go. In order for God to bless you with His best, you need to be in position. Ask Him to prepare you for your future husband and make the necessary adjustments as the Lord lays it on your heart.
Were ALL Your Prayers Answered, LaRissa?
I'd say 99% of my prayers were answered! Minor things like an eye color that I was fascinated by when I was younger or a specific location in the country may have been a little different but who cares about those things, right? I have a husband for crying out loud! Also, some things I prayed for are things that may manifest later throughout life. Like, having local, godly friends to go on double dates with. (We both moved away from our hometowns and have to start over.) But overall, yes, all my prayers were answered and I believe that that is because I invited the Lord to help me to know what to pray for. So here are just 5 examples of things I specifically asked God for and He answered:
1. I prayed that he has a personal relationship with Jesus, be spirit-filled and live a lifestyle that honors God. (He does and did before he even met me)
2. I prayed that we be physically attracted to one another and that he be taller that 6'0. (He's 6'1 & the mutual attraction is real!)
3. I prayed that he would be a virgin like I was and would wait to kiss me until our wedding day. (He was and he did)
4. I prayed that he would be a great leader for our family and head of our home. (He is)
5. I prayed that he would set and keep boundaries in courtship, make his intentions known to me and ask my dad for his approval to court me and his blessing to marry me. (He did all of those things on his own without me asking or even mentioning it to Him)
It's super awesome to be able to go back to my journal and look at how God answered precisely. If my life were a movie, it would be like my prayers/journal came to life and became this incredible man that I now call my husband. I totally encourage my Christian sisters to do this if you believe God has placed the desire for marriage in your heart. Now is the time to prepare, Sis!
How exciting, one day, you'll look back and see God's goodness in answering your prayers with the manifestation of a godly husband!
Comment below: What qualities are you praying that your future husband has?
Look forward to seeing you in my next post!
So, I'm sure you know by now that I am engaged to the love of my life and I give all glory to God because all things are possible with Him! Now, before I get into the details of how my fiancé proposed, I first want to share my testimony that I found to be an encouragement to many people on social media.
You see this picture (above) which is a beautiful moment of my life. However, what many don’t know is that one year ago, I was completely single. I’d just come out of a very short, self-ordained relationship so I was nursing the wounds of a break up. I remember literally crying out to God and surrendering to Him. I told Him that in the natural, me ever getting married looked almost impossible as at that time I had ZERO prospects. I remember saying “Lord, who in the world is left?! 😩” But I decided to walk by faith and not by sight. I decided to believe what the Bible says. I pursued Jesus with my whole heart because I knew I NEEDED Him. He healed & pruned my heart within days. Less than 3 months later, I met my (now) fiancé! A man who I shared brief exchanges with 5 years earlier & didn’t even realize it. The same man who I spent weeks platonically conversating with in 2016 without even knowing that I was talking to my future husband. So all along, through my occasional tears & frustration, GOD KNEW!! He saw the plans He had for me. He knew what He was about to do in my life. And God sees your whole story too...so trust Him. I promise, it’s worth it! #ItsWorthTheWait
Now for the details! You can clear here:
Have you ever been in a situation where you were talking to or dating someone and the entire time you were with them you found yourself coming up with reasons for why you should stay? I know I have. In fact there was one time in particular where I found myself seeing tons of red flags and yet I kept trying to move forward. If that relationship was a road then I ran alot of red lights and we all know that red lights mean STOP! So, since they say hindsight is 20/20, I want to share with you what I learned from that past situation.
Preparing For Marriage Side Note:
One of the main things that I learned is the difference between being open and compromising. Throughout my journey of singleness I'd finally arrived to a place where I felt that God was finally preparing me to be a wife. I'd like to point out here that preparing for marriage is often a process. I speak to people who want to be in a relationship or want to meet "The One" but haven't yet taken time to assess whether or not they are "The One" for someone else yet.
For me, this process included investing in my relationship with God, pursuing Jesus, finding contentment in Him, getting rid of marriage as my idol, allowing God to prune me, renewing my mind, etc. Once God and I began the practical aspect of my preparation stage I knew he was dealing with my heart on being open. As a teenager and into early adulthood I had fairytale expectations of what "The One" should be like and I knew God was getting ready to change that.
Lately, the topic of finding the "perfect" person has been on my heart so I believe it will help someone. First, I must admit that I grew up with a fantasy-like mentality. I believed that love was supposed to be as it was in all the Disney movies. After all, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Mulan and many others found their perfect match. Even though they are merely cartoons, their loves seemed to be so perfect and handsome and charming and flawless and made just for them. Imagine the impact that has on a little girl's perception! As we get older, we see the same exact thing in movies which depict a seemingly perfect character being played by an attractive and seemingly perfect actor or actress. They don't have any flaws and their personalities are so sweet and dreamy but that's not reality!
THINK YOU'LL BE SINGLE FOREVER?
So as I was growing up, I developed a mentality of "I gotta find the perfect man." Needless to say, I was very hard on the guys in my past relationships, but rightfully so. Let me explain. I was hard on them because I kept seeing qualities and characteristics that I did not like at all. There were even times where it just didn't feel right and I knew in my heart that I'd met another one that wasn't "the one". I would end the relationship and they would get upset and a couple would tell me that I was looking for someone perfect and would be single forever because the man I wanted didn't exist. Geez! If that thought has ever crossed your mind, DON'T believe it because it is absolutely not true. You will not be single forever if God has promised you a spouse; so trust Him. There is someone waiting for you so keep your hope alive.
Now stay with me because I'm about to add some balance to this.
I don't know about you, but I've been in multiple situations where I find myself thinking, "Is there something wrong with me?". Now of course, I know who I am in Christ and in Him I have confidence. However, there have been times where I've asked myself those questions because of a guy. Yup, I said it. All because of a M.A.N.
Over the years, I was always used to being pursued and getting the attention of guys I didn't want. Thus, I would turn them down and keep it moving. I knew my standards, I knew that I was looking for a man after God's heart. I knew all those things and I was not willing to settle or compromise. I also felt like the pickings were slim because I'm a woman after God's heart, a legit Christian who refuses to compromise, has been made new in Christ and happens to be an educated professional that plays no games when it comes to "love".
I remember the very first time I was rejected by a guy. We were talking and getting to know each other and I felt like he was a bit fickle but I was patient. One day, he text me and told me that he wanted to call it quits. This was back when I was in college and I was still being refined by God so my response wasn't the best. However, after that fiasco, I found myself wondering a plethora of questions. Amongst those questions were, "Is there something wrong with me?" and then, "Naw, naw. Maybe he's gay." Over the years, I found that neither of these options were true.
Often times as singles we take advantage of the concept of being single- as we should. Singleness is a time when we can go where we'd like, choose to eat out every night or stay late at work. We may have more free time than others and can make many choices without having to consult another. We should use this time to serve God and advance His kingdom. We should take Paul's advice in 1 Corinthians 7:34 "...The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:"
I know that for me, I believed years ago, that since I was single I could do whatever I wanted to do and date whoever I wanted to date. Of course, I loved God and I wasn't plotting to go out and have sex with anyone, but emotionally, I was free game. I found myself flirting with multiple guys a day because I was single. I would give of myself emotionally to undeserving men. There was a season in my life where I thought, Hey, I'm young. I'm fly. I'm wanted. I'm just gonna get into random relationships with random so called "Christian" men to have fun and to have someone in my life. So that's what I set out to do... until God convicted me.
I'd just ended an unfruitful relationship with a guy and I felt horrible emotionally. I remember thinking to myself, Is this even worth it? Getting in and out of relationships with a piece of my heart feeling affected or even missing? I realized how not so amazing I felt and God dealt with my heart. Why get emotionally or even physically involved with someone just because? In my case, I knew the guys that I was talking to were not worth my time and they were not the type of man I wanted to marry. So what's the point? As the Lord began to deal with me, He opened my eyes and I had a change of heart and actually promised Him that I would no longer waste time and get involved with men that I knew had no potential to be my husband.
Okay, But I'm Single
True. So first things first. Isaiah 54:5 says, "For thy Maker is thine husband..." If you are a believer then Christ should be your first love. Thus, over anything else, you should have a desire to please Him and make Him happy. You should seek to love Him, honor Him, serve Him and respect Him. Do our actions and behaviors as women show our Lord how much we truly love and revere Him? Are we respecting our first love when we are laying in bed with another man? Are we showing our love for Him when we are flirting dirty with someone who is not our husband? Are we honoring Him when we allow our hearts to be filled with lustful fantasies and images? These are things we should think about. How does our truest Love feel when we do and think those things? Is that respect?
Over the years, God began to help me realize that just because I didn't know my husband, did not mean that he did not exist. The fact is, God promised me marriage one day which means there is a man, right now who has been set apart and is being prepared by God to marry me in God's perfect timing. Thus, the Lord began to teach me to begin respecting my husband before I even met him. How do I do this? By not wasting time with men that I KNOW are not "the one". I find that with all men that have entered my life, I KNEW. I knew that they were not it and there were many days where I completely ignored that inward knowledge but that fact is that I always knew.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I find myself playing tug-of-war with God regarding my life. So many times we say things like, "God, I trust you" or "I give this situation to the Lord". Maybe it's just me, but I find that this is easier said than done. I find that my heart really does long to turn it all over to Him but if I'm not careful, my soul (mind, will and emotions) begins to scream at me and I get tempted to listen to it.
I imagine a situation like this: Me smiling at the Lord and totally surrendering something that we as humans hold dear like, say, my love life. I imagine the pure-hearted version of myself (my spirit) fully extending my arms to God with my love life in my hands, offering it to him, like a gift. Then, I see another version of myself (my flesh) looking at the pure version of myself incredulously. My fleshy self then snatches my love life out of the hands of the pure version of myself and shouts, "ARE YOU CRAZY?!". And often times, I believe that's exactly how it happens...at least for me.
Circumstances and situations that we go through and experience can often tempt us to feel as if God can't help us. Sometimes, for me, I find that I start out on top of the world in trusting God to bring me out of a situation. Then over time, the situation begins to grow each day that it's unresolved until one day I look up and panic because the situation has grown into this vicious monster that is bigger than me. And for some odd reason, I feel that just because it's a vicious monster in my eyes, then surely it is a vicious monster in God's eyes. It's not though!
So back to the little scenario above...My fleshy self snatches my love life out of the hands of the pure-hearted version of myself and shouts "ARE YOU CRAZY?!". I begin to coddle the situation, rocking it back in forth in my arms like a baby. I give it all my attention and try to take care of it myself (Although, I'm too incompetent for such a task) by taking matters into my own hands and without even realizing it, I'm nurturing this situation and it begins to grow. Thus, I see it has turned into a vicious monster that I cannot control because I messed it up. I was trying to take care of something that wasn't meant for me to take care of. Meanwhile, God is looking at me and watching me fumble around and try to figure this thing out. I imagine He is shaking His head at me like, "Seriously?" and once I've made a mess of everything and finally surrender, He's looks at me pathetically and says "Are you done yet?" and by that time, the situation is a big vicious monster mess and I hide behind God and timidly nod my head "yes".
We don't have to go through all that foolishness all the time! Here is what the Lord has been dealing with me about regarding the matter.
Follower of Christ. Wife. Blogger. Speaker. Mentor. Youtuber. Helping women wait with class and prepare for God's best.
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