Category Archives: Advice Column

Dear Joy… is it really sin???

What makes something a sin, exactly? I mean…I see a lot of people in church who are able to hold positions in leadership and I know for sure that they are “shacking” as my pastor calls it. Is that a sin or not? I can’t actually find a scripture that talks about it. Plus, you don’t have to live with someone to have sex outside of marriage. The bible definitely talks about that and I can even name preachers who have sex outside of marriage. Is there even a point to following rules and commandments when I see soooooo many people who do whatever they want and God still seems to use them? Jesus did die so we could be forgiven. Help me, help me and everyone else I know.

 

Hi,

Many people have felt and feel the same as you. They have asked the same questions, given some of the inconsistencies that we see within churches. It sounds like these inconsistencies are having an effect on you. People will always disappoint YOU when YOU have MISPLACED your expectations in them. But it works the opposite way as well. You have and will disappoint others and mess up. Yeah, we humans can sometimes suck. This is why I suggest you take your eyes off of these people. Don’t focus on their deeds.

Sin is disobeying God’s laws. It’s knowing to do right but failing to do so (James 4:17 and Romans 14:23). People within a romantic relationship who “live together” is a slippery slope; however the sole act of “living together” is not a sin.

Is there a point to following rules and commandments? YES! There is much to benefit from when we follow God’s rules and YES there is much we will suffer when we do not. God’s rules protect and benefit us. We should follow them whether we understand them or not. Obey first and seek understanding as you obey. The more you obey, the more you will understand. The less you obey, the more blind you will become; and spiritual blindness just makes you dumb. You don’t want that; trust me. Rebelling against God, your parents or anyone else around who is trying to tell you what’s right will only hurt you. You need these imperfect people because you don’t know everything about God.

All of the questions floating around in your heart and all of the things that you are struggling with within is because your faith in GOD is being tested. Your faith is weak right now. But there is HOPE and a REMEDY. If you apply the remedy, there is a better, stronger, bigger you waiting on the other side. Whoop Whoop!
The Remedy: Learn who God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are…for yourself. Learn what they did and why they did it…for
yourself. This is God’s call to you right now. He wants you to get to know Him personally.

In short, God made us and had a relationship with us. We sinned. The sin caused us to be spiritually separated from God. Because God loves us and desires to be in a relationship with us, He sent His son Jesus to die so that we would have the choice to return back to God to have a relationship with Him. Jesus physically went to heaven and sent back the Holy Ghost to live in us, help, and teach us how to live in a way that will keep us close to God. God wants to be with us. God wants to be in a relationship with YOU! So, you my friend just have to answer the call of God to get to know Him better.

How? The most important factor in getting to know someone is spending time with them, right? Start with giving God time each morning. My motto is start with 5 minutes of prayer. These 5 little minutes will change your life. Go to church. Focus on the message, not the messenger. Your expectation is coming from God and not the person. One reason not to focus on the messenger is because God will speak through anyone or anything. He talked through a donkey and some burning bushes. So He can use whoever and whatever he wants to send you a message. When you are home, read about what you heard in the bible so you can know for yourself. As your faith gets stronger, I guarantee all of those questions you posed in this letter will become obsolete. They won’t matter and you won’t care one iota…because you will be busy enjoying this wonderful God Father, Son and Holy Ghost you have. I’m so excited for you!

May God bless you with Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding!

Sincerely;
Joy to the World

Dear Joy…

What once was a title to be had in shame is now raised on a banner in hero status and that title is being a single mother. Yasira Sonnier knows all too well the tale of being a single mom. Her first marriage resulted in divorce and she found herself being a single mother of two young boys. She found herself being a college graduate without work experience because she was a stay at home wife and mother.

At the age of 28 her first job paid seven dollars per hour. To make budget for bills and other finances Yasira found a second job that paid eleven dollars per hour. Their father was active in their lives, but she was the primary caretaker and desperately wanted to be all things to her children. She struggled with not being enough for her children. The new responsibility of providing for her own home as well as her children was a curve ball of emotional distress.

 

Thanks so much for posing your question. First I want to commend you for desiring and striving to succeed in your marriage. I also understand the need to keep some of your marital details private.

Regarding the current situation, I personally believe this is a test for you. This situation is a tool that can be used to help you mature in the Lord and thus be a better you. It’s time for you to make a shift. It’s time for change to take place within you, your way of thinking, your personality, and your identity. This may be uncomfortable, but this is exciting.

First, make the decision to trust your husband. Say it out loud – “I trust my husband”. Don’t trust him based on whether he deserves your trust or earned your trust. Actively make the decision to trust him – no matter what. Then cease the snooping. I understand why you snoop and I’m not judging, but let’s move on from this step in your test. Don’t beat yourself up, just move off the snooping onto the next step. If you need to know something, it will find you; you do not have to search for it.

You stated you want to believe in your marriage and continue to move forward. Then, do just that…believe in your marriage and be happy. You have no new, justifiable reason not to. I suggest you don’t bother your husband with your suspicions if there is no tangible reason to do so. It will only aggravate him and cause turmoil for you both.

After you DECIDE to trust your husband, then turn the attention to your prayer life and spiritual walk with God. Like I stated earlier, this is about you. Make a prayer commitment. I’m not sure what your prayer life is like, but start small. Commit to 5 minutes first thing in the morning. It may not sound like much, but it’s powerful. Take your concerns to the Lord and ask Him to help you. Find a book that deals with trusting God. Check your filter and go on a fast. What are you feeding yourself? Are you watching and listening to things that do not benefit you spiritually? You can fast from food or you can fast from things like social media or anything that does not strengthen your relationship with God. Take a break from those things. Remember, when you take away these things you have to fill the holes with something spiritually beneficial. Attend regular church services and additional sources like bible study or Sunday School. Whether you attend a church you are excited about or not, go expecting to hear from God and God will give you what you need. Sometimes He gives a big dose of what you need and sometimes it’s a small dose, but go expecting.

You have to arm yourself with tools to overcome the growing suspicion in your head. If you don’t actively arm yourself, you will succumb to the thoughts and feelings and make a mess of things.

Your lack of trust in your husband is parallel to the holes in your trust in God. Fill your holes with trust in God and it will automatically rectify the trust barriers with your husband. This is an awesome opportunity for you to become more awesome! I hope you take advantage.

May God bless you with Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding;

Joy to the World

Dear Joy… Hope for the Hopeless

Dear Joy,

I am a, 20 something, single woman and sometimes I think maybe marriage is not worth it. I have never been married and it’s hard to meet someone on the same wave length as me. I mean, if he has it together financially and educationally, he doesn’t spiritually. Or vice versa. Then, there are the guys who don’t want to even think about marriage, because they’re keeping their options open.

I mean, I have friends that are married and some that are divorced already. Their marriages don’t seem all that great. They are constantly into it over stupid things, posting petty statuses on social media about each other. Some even know that their spouse is cheating, but refuse to confront them. Don’t get me started on the ones who have confronted their spouse but, the spouse hasn’t changed their actions.

I just don’t think dating to get married is worth the trouble if it’s just going to end up like all the marriages around me. Am I right or is there hope?

 

Hi Almost Hopeless,

I, indeed, know there is hope that “dating to get married is worth it.” Actually, there are current examples that are more tangible than hope. You just have to change the channel of the reality you are watching. Yes, there are many bad marriages that will absolutely discourage anyone with a brain, from desiring such a union. However, there are also many examples of good marriages, that will evoke much hope and joy at the thought of wedded bliss. Shift your gaze. Talk to people who are successfully married. Get an understanding of what having a successful marriage means. If you do not know anyone with a healthy marriage, go find a book about marriage. If you’re not a reader, find some you tube videos teaching on the concept of Godly marriages.

It’s likely, that your perspective of what makes a person a good husband, or what makes you a good wife, could use a reality check. The fact that you can’t seem to find this “ideal” man (who possesses everything) is a good indicator that your perception of what makes a man compatible needs adjusting. Trust me when I tell you, if you attempt to build a marriage on your own concepts, morals and principals…it’s doomed. A good marriage is built on Godly principals, not human understanding, desires and measurements.

As you are talking to people, reading, and viewing positive evidence, you will gain an understanding of the necessary components of a healthy marriage. This new understanding and insight will transform you and your perspective. It will also equip you with tools that will enable you to have good relationships with all people including your future husband. Purposeful dating that leads to marriage is absolutely wonderful; because God made marriage and everything God made is good (whoop whoop)!

Thanks for writing and posting your question. May God bless you with Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding!

Sincerely;
Joy to the World