Matthew 6:16-18

Thy Word:

Fasting Is To Be Seen Only By God

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:16-18 NKJV


My Thoughts:

My hands are shaking and I’ve walked away from this blog three times this morning. I started to leave the house and Jesus encouraged me to sit down again. But tears keep clouding my vision…

I wanted to skim through these verses about fasting because they are very clear, right?

  1. Don’t be a hypocrite when we fast.
  2. Consider whose approval we are seeking when we fast; God or man?
  3. If it is man’s approval, this will be our only reward.
  4. If we fast in private to the glory of God, He will reward us openly (God’s reward will always be better than any reward we get from man!).

But I’m in trouble, friends. Jesus is asking me to look at these verses from a different angle, and worse, He has asked me to share it with everyone. I’ve been bargaining with Him all morning but He keeps asking me to be brave.

You see, fasting is not difficult for me. In fact, I’ve fasted multiple times but God reminded me that I have not always done it correctly. This is not a revelation for me and because of that I have been creative with my fasting so it would have more impact. I’ve fasted from coffee (that does hurt!), I’ve fasted from sugar (when did I start loving sweets so much?), I’ve fasted from technology (big ouch!), and I once fasted by only eating one meal a day for a week (this is hard people!) and in each of these specific instances my heart was in the right place and the Lord rewarded me.

But that is not what God asked me to share.  {Deep breath…}

Why is fasting easy for me? Oh my word, I confess to you that my shame wants me to keep this to myself. Shame? Wait…, did I really just type that word?

Ding Ding Ding!!!!

Oh. My. Word. Now I understand what Jesus is revealing to me! He wants to heal me of another broken thing in my past.

You see…, I did not want you or anyone to know that as a child my Mother would ask me and my older sister to “fast” from meals when she could not afford to feed all five of her children.

This is not my shame! But I suddenly realize I took this on as shame as a child because I did not want anyone to know that we were that poor! I wanted to be like everyone else, so I kept quiet out of shame and pride.

Even as I type this truth to you, it seems surreal to me that any mother would ever be in a position where she would have to ask her child(ren) to miss a meal because she didn’t have the resources to feed them. However, whether we want to face it or not it happens every day all over the world and in the USA, a country that is known for being a land of plenty. 💔

Take a deep look into the face of your children and imagine that this is you…, I can’t even… But don’t close your eyes to this truth ladies and gentlemen. Look around you today and ask yourself this question: how many single parents or struggling families are “fasting” today so their children can eat? How many children are “fasting” from several meals a day so they can have one meal before going to bed? We have to put a stop to this.

We are about to enter into the holiday season and we should be receiving “giving” opportunities to provide food or money to local food banks or homeless shelters. If you haven’t received anything yet, reach out on your own and find one in your community—they are there—and give responsibly not just today, but all year long!

If we find ourselves struggling with this, this would be a perfect time for us to truly fast and pray according to Jesus’s outline from above and for all the right reasons.

If you are reading this today, and you are fasting or asking your child to fast because you don’t have enough, it is time to lay down your pride and go to a local agency to help you put food on your table.


Closing Prayer:

Father God, thank you for revealing this hard lesson to me today so I am freed from another burden in my past. Satan can no longer use this as a weapon against me because I choose to use this revelation to Your glory. Father I pray today that we all take a good hard look at our finances and commit to give responsibly so that no family, no child ever has to “fast” because there is not enough food to go around. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.



Matthew 6:5-15

Thy Word:

The Model Prayer

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Matthew 6:5-9a NKJV

Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, .

and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9b-13 KJV

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV


My Thoughts:

You probably noticed I changed Bible versions and even included The Lord’s Prayer in the traditional King James Version (KJV). I know we don’t speak language like this anymore, however, I used this version, mixed with the New King James Version (NKJV) because I memorized The Lord’s prayer as a young girl in that language. I really do recite the Lord’s Prayer in my head or out loud in the KJV and love the beauty and musicality of those verses in that language.

black and white business career close up

But question really isn’t about what language or version we pray, rather it is more about how to pray, wouldn’t you agree?

Years ago when I became a new believer one of the most challenging things for me was to understand how to pray. In fact, when I attended a women’s Bible class I was in a constant state of fear that one of the leaders would ask me to “close the class in prayer.”

The Lord being a gracious and loving God heard my fear and very soon our pastor gave a service on how to pray. I’m going to share the very helpful acronym he used to teach us how to P.R.A.Y.

group of people raise their hands on stadium

PRAISE-start every prayer by praising the Lord, because He is worthy of our praise. Thank Him for all the goodness in your life and yes, even for the hard things because through those hard things we learn and grow.

“With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever,” Psalms 86:12 NLT

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NLT

There are many verses in the Bible that remind us to praise the Lord and be thankful. Our thankfulness absolutely should include the things we take for granted. In other words, do you have a roof over your head? Running water and electricity? More than one set of clothing in your closet? Food in your pantry? A car? Spouse? Friends? Children? The list is endless!

I once read a very profound statement:

house covered with red flowering plant

What if you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday?

I’m just going to leave that thought right here for you to consider carefully.

REPENT-we probably need to look at a definition of repent so there is no misunderstanding about what this means.

Definition: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment [correction] of one’s life.

In the repentance part of the prayer we confess our sins. Yes, God already knows but this is for US! It is important to hear ourselves admit our sins because we don’t like to do that, do we? We have no problem blaming someone for our sins, but the reality is we really do know they belong to us and no one else.

We want to free ourselves from the burden that sin creates in our heart and life by confessing them to God. Next, we are to make things right with others when it’s applicable, and finally promise to turn from our sins as we pray.

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 NLT

“It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” Isaiah 59:2 NLT

macro photography of babys ear

“Then he [Jesus] said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NLT

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24 NLT

Since we are confessing sins, let me confess this to you: many times I find it easier to confess my sins to God than it is to confess my sins to man. Why do we put so much emphasis on what man thinks about us? Pride…, we want approval…, we don’t want to admit our mistakes…, and this list can be long but more importantly, it is usually filled with reasons comprised of sin. Ugh.

From You Heart JUST SAY: I’m Sorry!

However, here is what is more important than that ugly list: unconfessed sin separates us from God and He doesn’t hear us. (Isaiah 59:2) Man cannot save us from our sins, only God can, so don’t delay, let’s “clean house” by confessing our sins so we can move forward to the next step: ask!

ASK-because we have confessed and committed to repent of our sins, we can come before God and pray for our needs. We have the assurance of God that He will answer our prayers when we pray expecting an answer according to His will not ours.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15 NIV

Never forget, God is NOT our magic genie and our prayers are not to get our own way. We ask for His will because our own will is faulty and we don’t understand all the details surrounding a situation. God knows all and He sees all, therefore, we know His way is better than our way!

silhouette of mountains

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

YIELD-we are to surrender our own personal desires and our own will for the better choice, which is God’s will.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:10 NIV

From the Lord’s Prayer:

“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 NIV

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2 NIV

I hope and pray this acronym for prayer will give everyone more confidence to pray daily to the Lord, and not be afraid when we are asked to pray in a public forum.


Closing Prayer: Father God, I cherish this prayer, Your prayer, that took me on a journey leading directly to You. I know that all that is in my life, good and bad, is because You gave it, or You allowed it, so I can be more like You. Father, You are Holy, You are my King, and I pray that all I do brings glory to You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Matthew 6:1-4

Thy Word:

Teaching About Giving To The Needy

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:1-4 NLT


My Thoughts:

defocused image of illuminated christmas lights

It’s the most giving time of the year and in our part of the world, it’s starting to feel that way because the blistering hot days may be gone for a while. (That alone deserves praise to the Lord!) If the weather and calendar isn’t reminder enough of the “giving season” season, our mail and email also remind us by providing many giving opportunities.

What motivates you to give? Is it a feeling of gratitude because you are blessed to be able to give? Or is it because you seek the approval of others? Maybe it’s both?

Jesus is warning us about giving because of our desire to gain something in return or for recognition. If we do give for personal gain or recognition, we will most assuredly receive public admiration, but Jesus tells us we may forfeit our reward in heaven from God the Father.

marketing man person communication

It’s easier to give or do what is right when we receive public recognition, but as believers, we should give for the pleasure of giving and as a response to God’s love. We should ask ourselves, ‘would I still do this if there were no personal or public benefit to me?’ Spend some time checking and praying about your motives.

“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT

stone artwork

We should also be seeking ways to give generously in service all year round, not just during the holidays. Look around to see if someone is in need of a kind word, or a personal note, perhaps a meal, or by the generous giving of our time. Our time can sometimes be the richest gift and provide the greatest rewards.

If you are like me, time slips by quickly and before I know it weeks and months have gone by and I’m doing my best to stay ahead of my to-do list. Because of that, I know I must be intentional about my giving.

I use my electronic calendar for reminders and appointments, so why not randomly schedule ‘giving’ appointments on my calendar with a special word or symbol to remind me to give? When I receive that notification I can look for ways to respond in secret. Sounds like fun to me!

adolescent beautiful book caucasian

Would you take a few moments to seriously consider how you can create a habit of giving not only in your life but in the lives of your children as well?


Closing Prayer: Father, I love the straightforward truth of Your word about giving. Why do we give? Why do I give? Am I doing it so I can get man’s approval or out of obedient love for You? I pray it is the latter Father, but I will be examining myself for the real truth. Please guide me to look for ways to give in secret, with a grateful heart, and to honor and glorify You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.




Matthew 5:33-48

Thy Word:

Teaching About Vows

You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Teaching About Revenge

You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching About Love For Enemies

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:33-48 NLT


My Thoughts:

afterglow avian backlit birds

I love the clarity of these last three sections in chapter five! Well, I thought it was clear, and then God started talking to my heart about the last two sections. Let’s take a look at what He said to me about everything:

Vows: Jesus is stressing the importance of telling the truth because many people were breaking promises or being too casual about their commitments. I would say that describes our world today too, wouldn’t you? Although oaths or vows were (and still are) common, Jesus says we are not to use them—our words alone should be good enough. He says keeping promises without an oath is important because it builds trust, which strengthens relationships.

“But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” James 5:12 NLT

Are you known as a person of your word? If so, there is no need to back up your words with an oath.

man couple people woman

Revenge and Love:

Revenge and love, you ask? Why in the world would I put these two topics together? I didn’t plan to, but then God began to unfurl how closely related they can be when our emotions are involved.

How many times have we dreamed of doing something in retaliation for a wrong or perceived wrong? (Guilty!) However, the Lord says:

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18 NIV

“”Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.”” Romans 12:19 NLT

Did you immediately say or think: But you don’t know…., did you see what they did…, yeah but…?

city weather thunderstorm electricity

Yikes! I can’t deny that these very words have been in my heart or come out of my mouth during a deep time of hurt. But I learned a very valuable lesson about revenge—and love—that I want to share with you.

Several years ago I spent the day with two children who had been traumatically impacted by domestic violence. They had witnessed their dad abuse their mother one too many times. To say their little hearts and souls were damaged is an understatement.

Their mother had some important business to attend to when she decided to remove her family from the abusive relationship, so my husband and I immediately offered to care for her children. To take their minds off of what was happening we entertained them with movies, games, laughter, fun snacks, and lots of positive words.

At one point the children started sharing their fears and hurt with us. Some of their feelings were wrapped around how they felt he should be hurt for how he had hurt them (revenge). We stopped everything and we listened. The overriding theme from their little hearts was they felt helpless and their lives felt out of control.

We told them we understood how they felt and that we wished we could make all the hard things go away. I told them the most important thing they could do was pray. Without realizing it, I asked those children a very important question:

“Do you know who I am praying for the most through this?”

They both answered, “Momma.” Then one added, “Us too.”

I replied, “Yes, I am praying for all of you, but I am on my knees praying like crazy for your dad.”

broken heart love sad

It shocked those children to hear me say that and one lay her head down on the table and wept. Between her sobs she thanked me. Why? As terrified and confused as those children were, we saw they still loved their Dad. They just couldn’t process or understand why he was being so mean.

I’d like to say I was wise that day, but I know better. My prayers for the whole family were simply me admitting to God that I didn’t know what else to do or say. I believe God put those words in my mouth because He wanted me to share the power and comfort of prayer with those children.

As I was recalling and typing this story for my blog, God pointed this out to me: isn’t what happened to all of us that day really the best answer? What if we all prayed, with reckless abandon, for our enemies to seek and find the Lord instead of seeking revenge? The end result of our prayers could mean the reception of love, grace, and mercy from Jesus and that would bring light into broken lives. Revenge…, well, how does that do anything more than make us like our enemy, which creates more sin and more turmoil?

I am certainly not making excuses for what that dad did to his family. But I also knew what type of childhood he had and he was proof that ‘hurt people, hurt people.’

lion roaring inside cager

My husband and I prayed with those children for their protection, and their mother’s protection and wisdom. Then we prayed for their dad to seek the Lord with all his heart, and to repent and turn from his poor behavior. Those children received comfort for their broken hearts.

No, this couple’s story did not have a fairy tale ending, but it did have a safe ending. In addition, I know we will never forget what we learned that day, about the value of choosing love and mercy over revenge, and to give the rest to God.


Closing Prayer: Father God, we thank You for the power of Your words that remind us how important it is to speak in honesty and truth, without vows, so we can be men and women of integrity. We are also grateful for this powerful lesson about the importance of showing and extending love, even in times of difficulty. Father, I pray that we all walk in Your mercy and grace and mirror love over attempting to satisfy our selfish desires to seek revenge. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.


Domestic Violence

Thy Word:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26 NIV


My Thoughts:

A Fictional Story…, or is it?

My life has encountered some big rough patches and things are changing almost daily. I feel empty, restless, vacant, dirty, and broken. My life looks a lot like this parking lot:


My marriage is over, I’m scared, everything feels like it takes too much effort, I’m easily aggravated, and I hear myself being negative a lot. My life feels out of control, my patience is low, my tolerance is high. All I see is everything that happens to me is hard and everything that happens to him is easy. It’s not fair.

But, I keep going back to the last item on the list: my tolerance is high. That has gotten me where I am today and it’s a very hard thing to face.

You see, it’s more than just a simple divorce because I have a secret brokenness that only my closest family know. I am a victim of domestic violence. Bile rises in my throat as I say these words and I feel so ashamed. You won’t hear me talk about it and once I get this divorce behind me, I’m going to try to bury that little secret. I’m going to try to get the old ‘me’ back.

Let me back up a little and tell you about the day the walls of silence crumbled. I was at a retail store with my children and my husband. He was engrossed in some guns so I told him I was going to walk around with the children. Once I was safely out of his hearing I quickly called my Mom and told her tearfully that in a fit of rage that morning my husband had pulled out his gun and pointed it to my face, daring me to take it from him. I was terrified, but I also knew our relationship had turned a very ugly corner so I had to do something.

Do you know what was strange? I learned later on that night that my Mom realized in that moment what was going on. Here is the weird thing, I didn’t know it; I just thought he was being a jerk.

She firmly told me to call the police immediately. Before I could answer, I had to quickly hang up because I saw him looking for us. I told the children not to say anything about me calling Grandma.

When we got home I received a call from my Dad and he also told me to call the police. I couldn’t do that because if I did my husband would lose his job and we couldn’t afford that. I pretended I was talking to my dad about a TV show we both watch to let him know my husband was close by. I told him I’d call him back later that night.

Mustering up a little courage, I told my husband he needed to leave, that I’d had enough of him. My husband has a job where he is gone for multiple weeks at a time, and then he came home for three or four days. He was scheduled to leave in a few hours anyway and although he acted like he was mad, I knew he was ready to go. He thought he was fooling me but I knew he was cheating on me with multiple women. He thought I was asleep when he got up and called one of them to say he was anxious to leave. Even though I hated him for what he was doing to us, my heart was broken that he was seeing other women.

After he left, I spent the rest of the day with my children and got them ready for bed before I called Mom. What is it about calling your Mom that brings on tears? The minute she said ‘hi’ I started crying and I told her I was sorry that I had made such an upsetting call earlier. I felt like she was probably mad at me. Do you know what she said?

“Mad? Why in the world would I be mad? Honey, I am so glad you called me; it was the right thing to do. Besides, you need to understand this is not your shame, it is his.” I was a little surprised at her calmness.

Puzzled I said, “Shame? I don’t understand…?”

It was then she told me she was going to ask me a series of questions and wanted only yes or no answers. One after another I answered her questions and the tears began to fall again as I realized what the questions were revealing. The outcome confirmed I was a victim of domestic violence.

If you knew me, you would be shocked because I am a strong and independent woman. But what I also learned is that abuse happens very slowly and it grows like a cancer. The first episode is typically small but if nothing is done to stop it, then it grows and spreads until a tolerance is developed. I was physically sick that I hadn’t seen the truth of what was happening to me.

I used to go to church where I had a community surrounding me but I left when they had some internal issues. I kept saying I was going to find a new church but since my husband didn’t like me going, it was easier just to stop. Did you know that being set apart from others is also a form of abuse? Your abuser wants you to be alone so you don’t tell anyone what is happening.

I’m so tired and even though I don’t feel like fighting most days I know I have to make these changes for the safety of my children and myself.

My family has encouraged me and they have been a lot of help. My Mom reminds me regularly that with Christ there is always hope. I have to rely on those who are stronger than me because I can’t seem to grasp this truth some days. On those days I simply cry to out to God and let my tears speak for me. I know that’s okay because God says:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26 NIV

Do you see what that says? The Spirit speaks the words I can’t seem to find on those hard days, and I know there are going to be more hard days until I get through this and find myself again.

However…, don’t you love when you see this word? It means there is more and I need more right now!

However, when I look again at that picture of the broken parking lot that represented my life, do you know what I saw? I saw this:



Can you believe it? In the middle of that dirty, broken, vacant lot, there was a beautiful flower growing. It’s a perfect picture of my future because I truly believe that something beautiful will come out of this brokenness if I stay the course and stay strong.

My story is far from over, but I’m going to hold onto the truth that when this is all over our life is going to be beautiful again. When I need help being strong Jesus says he will help me with that too:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

Jesus is the core of my strength and this verse has become my life verse. I know the Lord will take me through this hard time to a place He has set aside just for me. All I have to do is lean on Him and look for the beauty even in the brokenness.



In my latest blog on Matthew 5, we reviewed adultery and divorce. Although I mentioned that God does not expect us to stay in an abusive relationship, I wanted to address the topic a little more in depth. This fictional story captures how subtle domestic violence is but sadly many stories don’t have an ending that is one of hope, because in real life the story often ends in death.

My family is laced with good people for whom I am extremely grateful, but there are also incidences of domestic violence. I talked about that in my own personal testimony at the start of this blog (The Power of Words). What I am about to say may shock you: two of the worst abusers in my family are women. Yes, you read that correctly. Although the documented cases for domestic violence for women are much higher, the numbers of men being abused by their spouse or partner are growing at an alarming rate.

Domestic violence rarely becomes resolved by ignoring what happened and if there are children in the marriage/relationship, even though your children may not be physically harmed, what they see and experience will leave permanent scars, and your children may even mimic that abusive behavior. Get them counseling!

Leaving or removing yourself from an abusive relationship will not be easy, but it is the only answer for healing your family.

If you or someone you love are being abused, you can get help immediately by following this link:

If you are concerned about safety or your abuser finding you have gone to this link, at the bottom of the page is a large “X” in a red box. You can quickly leave the website by clicking on the “X” icon or by pressing the Escape key twice. Users of the Microsoft Edge web browser will not be able to use the “back” button to re-enter the website after hitting the “X” or “Escape” button.

On the website are toll free phones numbers and resources available to help you get the specific help you need.

If you are truly not sure whether or not you are in an abusive relationship (remember, abuse starts small, and abusers often employ mental and verbal abuse to further confuse us), there is a section on this website titled “Is This Abuse.” There you will get facts to help you understand what abuse is and how to look for those warning signs.


Closing Prayer: Father God, I pray if there is someone struggling in this type of a relationship the facts and the information included on this website link give them courage and the proper resources to get away safely. Father, we love that you are a God that loves us enough to be our voice when we don’t have a voice. Give them courage and strength so they can start anew with you, Lord. We know it may not be easy, but the long term reward will be worth the end result. Finally, thank you for the many men and women who work tirelessly to help those being abused get out of this terrible situation. I pray an extra blessing on them as well as on those who are trying to get away. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Matthew 5:27-32

Thy Word:

Teaching About Adultery

“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:27-30 NLT

Teaching About Divorce

“You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32 NLT


My Thoughts:


This was not an easy lesson and I’ve been praying through it for days. Thank you for your patience as I worked through what the Lord wanted me to share with you.

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The Old Testament laws said it was wrong for a person to have sex with anyone other than their spouse. But Jesus is telling us in these verses that the desire to have sex with someone other than your spouse is mental adultery and thus sin. Jesus emphasizes that if the act is wrong, then so is the intention.

My study Bible tells me this critical and candid information: “To be faithful to your spouse with your body but not your mind is to break the trust so vital to a strong marriage. Jesus is not condemning natural interest in the opposite sex or even healthy sexual desire, but the deliberate and repeated filling of one’s mind with fantasies that would be evil if acted out.”

To net this out, I believe that Jesus is again reminding us that what we think, or meditate on, can be a stepping stone to sin.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14 NLT

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Jesus is so serious about the sin of adultery he uses the example of gouging out your eye or cutting off your hand. (Let’s not do that people!) However, we can literally remove ourselves (run!) from a situation that starts by causing inappropriate thoughts.

Let’s look at this example: A married woman confidentially shared with me she was in a time of struggle in her marriage. Neither she nor her husband wanted to seek counseling because of pride, so things continued to slowly get worse. Eventually she admitted to me she was having inappropriate thoughts about a married coworker. This man was someone she had known in the past, and although they were both now married, she sincerely believed God brought him back into her life to start a relationship since her marriage was in turmoil.

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Oh my goodness! NO!!! God will never tempt you, but do you know who will? Satan!!!

“And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.” James 1:13 NLT

I’m happy to say her marriage was eventually restored before the act of adultery, but it did not come without consequences and heartache. She transferred to another department (removed herself from the temptation), she and her husband sought Christian counseling, and eventually their marriage was even better because they learned how to communicate with each other.

Did you see the big red flags before she turned from the situation? Lustful thoughts, pride, hurt, and lack of communication. If any of these red flags are happening in your marriage, seek help now!


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Divorce is just as hurtful and destructive today as it was in Jesus’ day. God intends for marriage to be a lifetime commitment. Too many times today, couples enter into a marriage with an “escape clause” mindset. Meaning if it doesn’t work out, divorce is their simple solution.

May I just say, there is NOTHING simple about a divorce, and having gone through it, I know first-hand about the destructiveness, especially when children are involved in the break-up.

HOWEVER, before you quit reading, please understand God does not want us to stay in a marriage where abuse is taking place.

“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” Proverbs 22:24-25 NLT

“Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” Colossians 3:19 NLT (This also applies to wives; never treat your husband harshly.)

God has a lot to say about who we are to be united with in marriage (as Christians):

“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. ” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NLT

Men…, women…, if you feel marriage problems can be solved by getting a divorce (again, I’m not talking about abusive relationships!), then I encourage you to seriously reconsider that thought process, especially before you enter into marriage!

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How do we do this? Well, I’m not a marriage counselor, but I will share my thoughts: we start by being as “wise as an owl” in the dating process. What does that look like? An owl seeks with eyes wide open and ears that keenly listen.

  1. Don’t enter into a relationship if you are both not actively walking with the Lord.
  2. Date for four seasons and don’t succumb to the lure of pre-marital sex. A person can only “pretend” to be someone they are not for so long. In that timeframe their true personality will be revealed. If this person has “deal breaker” tendencies and refuses to get help for them, you cannot change them. Walk away from the relationship and it will be easier if you have not become intimate with them.
  3. Does this person value you enough to put the greater good and long term goals of the relationship before their personal desires? Answer: if you aren’t #1 in their lives now, you won’t be after you get married.
  4. Learn how to communicate and solve problems before you enter into marriage. This doesn’t happen automatically after marriage. If you don’t figure it out while you are in the dating season it will only complicate and make your marriage more difficult.
  5. If you don’t learn how to solve differences and problems in your marriage, a divorce isn’t going to solve anything. You will most likely carry the inability to communicate and resolve problems into other relationships.
  6. Before you enter into marriage take a marriage class at your church, and seek counsel with a pastor or another couple who lives these truths.

The bad news: My first marriage ended in a divorce as a result of not living any of these truths. There were harsh consequences for all of us, but especially for my children.

The good news: My second marriage started with both of us entering into the relationship committed to having open and candid conversations, no matter how difficult. We vowed to each other that divorce was not going to be an escape clause. This was critical because we had each gone through a divorce and we were both bringing hurt children into the marriage.

Did we make colossal mistakes? Yes we did and the #1 mistake was not having the Lord in our marriage from the start. I am happy to say the Lord is now the foundation of our marriage and has been for a long time. Every day our marriage becomes stronger and we praise God for that.


Closing Prayer:

Father this was a hard lesson and it reminded me where I have messed up so many times. However, the good news is You have been with us every time we have needed You and we praise you, Lord. What a blessing it has been to be joined to a man who guides our family under Your wisdom and authority, and I thank You for this sweet gift.

I pray Father that we all have a better understanding about how easy it is to fall into the trap of adultery especially when we allow our thoughts to go unchecked. I pray instead we turn to You, Your Word, and Christian counseling to help us learn to communicate with each other and make our marriages stronger. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.