WOMEN OF HOPE MINISTRY


Ask Minister V Archive

As of October 5, 2009, the Ask Minister V feature has been discontinued.  Responses to previously submitted questions are posted here.   

Ready and Waiting

Dear Minister V,
 
Blessings to you, for taking the time, and effort to answer our questions.

After 18 years of singleness, God has answered my prayers for a Husband. We have both been divorced for a lengthy period and were both seeking our mates. We currently live in different states, are equally yoked and we both have the same values. Because we are both young at heart, we see no reason to have a prolonged engagement. My eldest Sister, who has never been married, thinks otherwise. My question, should I take her advice and wait some more, or should I trust my own intuition and listen to God for my answers?

Ready and Waiting

 

Hello Ready and Waiting,

Congratulations and praise God!  We all know without a shadow of a doubt that there are Godly single men and women out there.

In your last statement, you wrote, “…should I trust my own intuition and listen to God for my answer?”  Well, the answer is “no”. You should not trust your own intuition, rather you should trust God.  Let’s take your sister out of the equation for right now. All of the important components are there—both of you are born-again, both are seeking mates, and you two share the same values. All of those facts are the foundation for a good marriage.  But after being happily married for a while, I know, recognize and thank God that other elements also have to be in place to make a marriage work.  And quite frankly, some of those other elements are difficult to discuss.  Talking about them sometimes makes us uncomfortable.  That being the case, I’d like to pose a few questions for your consideration.

  1. Have you attended or thought about attending premarital counseling?  In premarital counseling, important questions and concerns that couples sometimes may not want to discuss are raised.  For example, things discussed may include credit scores, debt, past relationships, children (if any), medical history (including diseases), health concerns or issues, where you will live, what church will you attend, etc…
  2. You mentioned that your sister who has never been married thinks that you should wait a while longer before getting married. Is her reasoning sound?  By that I mean does she have a legitimate reason for recommending that you wait (e.g. she sees evidence that things are not right between you two or she is aware of a serious issue that needs to be resolved) or is there an irrational or unfounded reason for her advising you to wait (e.g. since she’s single and alone, she wants you to be as well)?
  3. Are you both familiar with each other’s family? Even though you are both “young at heart”, it’s okay and advisable to get to know the family since it’s likely that you’ll spend time with them on many occasions throughout your marriage.

Again, your question started “…should I take her advice, listen to my own intuition and then listen to God.”  Please turn the statement around.  The proper way to handle this decision is as follows:

  1. Listen to God. The two of you should ask and seek God for this answer. Marriage is a blessing and a gift from God.  It is not to be entered into lightly.  You never stated how long the two of you have dated, but I am sure that if you are mature saints, you know how to hear from God.  So, consult God first.
  2. Seek counsel with a pastor, minister or Christian counselor to get their Godly wisdom if you can’t or don’t hear directly from God.
  3. Ask each other very probing questions. Nothing should be hidden, off limits or too private to discuss. Pull your credit reports and exchange them. Talk about issues that may arise in a marriage. You both have had the experience of marriage and you both have been single for a long time.  So, you know the possible pitfalls that threaten relationships.  Discuss them honestly and take the steps necessary to guard against them.

Praise God that both of you have waited for God to send your mate. Keep the relationship holy during your courtship and engagement whatever the length. Do not compromise your faith one bit because your goal is to please God in everything you do.  You also want your marriage to be blessed and your marriage bed undefiled.

I know that this is a lot of information to digest, but I get excited about the subject of marriage.

Be blessed and keep us informed.

With love,

Minister V

 

Mama Claus I'm Not

Dear Min. V,

I lost my job 6 months ago and I’m having trouble finding a new one.  My ex-husband hasn’t been making his support payments consistently, so things are tight financially.  With the holidays coming, I’m afraid that I may not be able to afford Christmas gifts for my kids this year.  What can I do to make sure we have a happy holiday season on a shoestring budget?

Signed,

Mama Claus I’m Not

 

Dear Mama Claus I'm Not,

First of all, God Bless you and your household. Unfortunately, you are not alone facing this scenario.  It is an all too common issue during these challenging times. Secondly, I believe that being unable to provide the things we desire for our children is more taxing emotionally for parents than for children.  I think that we grieve harder than they do.  Thirdly, I think that as Christian parents, we are all guilty of putting more emphasis on things for Christmas rather than the reason for Christmas.  That said, I’d like to share a few words of advice before moving on to solutions.  While I don’t know how old your children are, I do think this is a good time to talk to them about several things.  You don’t have to share the full details of your financial situation with your children, but do let them know that your family will have to sacrifice a bit this year.  Now, as for solutions, I recommend the following:

1)      Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season – Please reiterate the real meaning of Christmas with your children.  Emphasizing the good news about Jesus Christ and the reason why He came will take the focus off of your children and put it on to Him where it belongs.

2)      Count Your Blessings - Your children and you should volunteer at shelters, children’s hospitals and other agencies so that all of you can see how blessed you really are.  Giving your old belongings to those in need or spending time with those who are less fortunate than you in terms of health or resources may help your children discover the gift of giving and the gift of appreciation.  Those are two of the best gifts you could ever give them.

3)      Don’t Wait, Investigate and Communicate – If you can, start buying little things now and putting them away for Christmas.  Start looking in thrift stores and discount stores now for toys, gifts, etc.  Also, start contacting charitable organizations right away to sign up for holiday food baskets and gifts for families.  Some of the agencies that may be able to offer assistance are listed here.   

Toys for Tots - www.toysfortots.org/request_toys/toys.asp

Empty Stocking Fund - www.emptystockingfund.org/

Pride for Parents - www.tfstore.org/prideForParents.html

Salvation Army - www.salvationarmy-georgia.org/Display.asp?Page=christmas08 

Whatever happens, do not accept guilt or shame for not being able to provide gifts for your children this Christmas. You provide love and care for your kids and that is far better and will last far longer than the 24 hours of Christmas Day.  Also, remember that your financial bind is a temporary situation, but your love and care for your kids will last forever.

Love and blessings,

Minister V