Tag Archives: family

Why Microwaves are Bad for your Health and Great Microwave Alternatives

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Most US households have microwaves in them. From their humble origins in the late 1940s to now, microwaves are a staple household item for their ease of use and convenience. But, did you know microwaves can be pretty harmful? Let’s dive into why microwaves are bad for your health and great microwave alternatives.

Microwaves Can Change Your Food

Several studies demonstrate the effect microwaves have on food. A large review on the effects of microwaves on food found that microwave radiation at 230 W can degrade 40% of the vitamin content after longer treatment.

Researchers Singh and others found that after microwaving vegetables Vitamin C content decreased from an average value of 274.1 mg/100 g to 67.1 mg-130.7 mg/100 g.

Researchers Watanabe et al found that microwaving foods caused a loss of 30-40% of vitamin B-12 loss. 

Microwaving can also effect carbohydrates and therefore its characteristics like calories, gelatinization, and such.  Furthermore, microwaving food can have significant effects on protein degradation and accelerating reaction. 

Leading to the next point on why microwaves are bad for your health and great microwave alternatives; another substance microwaving is known to accelerate is the formation of acrylamides.

Microwaves Can Cause Formation of Acrylamides

The American Cancer Society defines acrylamides as naturally forming chemicals that form from chemical reactions in certain types of starchy foods, after cooking at high temperatures. 

Acrylamides are formed at higher rates when food is heated in the microwave compared to other methods of cooking like broiling or cooking on the stovetop. This is especially true in potato products. 

Many studies concern the formation of large amounts of acrylamide in microwave heated potato products. Microwaving of frozen pre-prepared potato products, such as chips and wedges, led to higher levels of acrylamide in the final cooked product than any other cooking method.

Some authors have suggested that more acrylamide may be formed when microwaving compared to conventional heating methods. 

This may be because microwaves offer fast temperature increase in the foods owing to their capacity to generate heat energy inside the food, without requiring any medium as vehicle for heat transfer. 

Furthermore, many authors reported that with the increase of the microwave heating power, the acrylamide content increases. Microwave radiation, while a quick way to cook your ramen, can also be dangerous to your brain and nervous system. Which leads nicely to my next point on why microwaves are bad for your health and great microwave alternatives.

Microwaves Can Effect Your Brain

Electromagnetic radiation can be absorbed by organisms, and cause many physiological and functional changes. According to researchers, the central nervous system is one of the most sensitive organs that is targeted by microwave radiation. 

This is especially seen in the brain’s learning and memory center, the hippocampus-which is very sensitive to microwave radiation. In a study done in unexposed control rats, hippocampal neurons are aligned in clear, neat rows.

However, in rats treated with long-term exposure to radiation, neurons exhibit edema and are arranged irregularly.

That’s a whole lot of bad news. Now let’s get on to the good news: there are great microwave alternatives.

Microwave Alternatives

Toaster ovens-They work just as well as microwaves without microwave radiation. Good for reheating sandwiches, baked goods, vegetables etc. You can even bake, broil, and toast with these things! Often just as compact or even smaller, than microwaves. Check out the alternatives below!

Black and Decker TO1313SBD Toaster Oven $42.99, Amazon

Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven With Bake Pan $69.19, Amazon

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06X3T8D1R/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06X3T8D1R&linkCode=as2&tag=themustard02d-20&linkId=1750463b3175041d6e596704f4b9dc44″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B06X3T8D1R&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=themustard02d-20″ ></a>

Dutch Ovens-Another great option for making all kinds of food. This alternative has a variety of uses ranging from making soups, reheating soups, cooking meats, to baking bread! Don’t let its simple appearance fool you; Dutch Ovens are where it’s at! Check out some below.

Puricon 5.5 qt Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Red, $50.99 Amazon

Best Choice Products 6 qt Enameled Heavy Duty Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $59.49 Amazon

Sulives Non-stick Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $59.99 Amazon

Oven and Stovetop-Options we often don’t consider when reheating or making food because we can use the microwave. But you can use the oven and stovetop for many things including reheating food, making teas and soups, even making popcorn! This option can take more time compared to the microwave, but its a safer alternative.

Conclusion

While microwaves offer us convenience by saving time, they also offer some health concerns. Such as degrading and decreasing the amount of quality nutrients found in our food, exposing us to nervous system damaging microwave radiation, and increasing amount of cancer-causing acrylamides in our food. 

With that in mind, using safer alternatives like the ones mentioned above and waiting a few extra minutes to reheat dinner may be worth it. Also, did you know that eating from plastic containers can cause dangerous effects like infertility? Read more about that here.

Blessings,

M/M

How Satan Plans to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Mind

The Bible tells us in John 10:10 that Satan comes to steal , kill, and destroy. He doesnt just want to destroy your life, he also wants to destroy your marriage.

Why?

Everything good that God creates, Satan hates. He wants to twist it, and make it evil. Not only that, but he hates unity, and will di anything to divide your marriage. Don’t let him do that to your marriage!

Satan is very crafty, and cunning. He won’t attack you right in the open so you know its him. He will be stealthy. The Bible warns us to be aware of Satan’s tricks unless he’ll trip us up. And he will often use us as the enemy to drive us away from our spouses.

What are some of Satan’s tricks to destroy your marriage? Let’s see.

He’ll Attack Your Thoughts

I once heard a pastor teach how Satan attacks your thinking. He said Satan will speak thoughts into your head in a way that sounds like its you thinking those things.

Thoughts like,

“My husband is an idiot.”

“He doesn’t think I’m pretty.”

Of course, these thoughts could be from you or from Satan. Either way, talk back to yourself-“my husband is not an idiot.” Or ask your husband, “do you think I’m pretty?” To get the reassurance you need.

The Bible calls us to take control over our unruly thoughts in 2 Corinthians 10:5,

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”

Satan dwells in the shadows. Expose his little lies by simply going to your partner and seeking the truth yourself. He’s riding on you dwelling on these thoughts for hours and days, and eventually believing them to be true.

Which is why the Bible also commands us to only think on good, positive things in Philippians 4:8,

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Again, its so important to be watching what you think. Watching your thoughts will also reveal what demonic spirit could be trying to influence you.

Watch Your Thoughts

Demons can identify themselves by the thoughts you hear in your mind. You can tell the thoughts are not your own usually if they are something you’ve never thoguht before, something way out of left field, or dramatic.

Such as:

-constant angry thoughts could be a sign of a spirit of anger

-sinful thoughts

-thoughts of harm

If you notice any of these thoughts pop into your head, rebuke them and speak Philippians 4:8 mentioned above. It’s important to not consider these thoughts for a moment, and to rebuke them.

Also, sometimes evil thoughts can be from us since we are inherently sinful. But sometimes spirits do come and try to influence us. If you entertain them you will have a problem. And if you give them a way in through what you watch or listen to, that’s another problem.

Be Careful What You Watch

Certain tv shows, music, and movies can open up a door way for Satan to come in. Such as?

-Movies or shows that invoke spirit of fear like horror movies

-Porn or other sexually explicit entertainment

Horror movies because God doesn’t call us to a spirit of fear as 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us,

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Porn because the Bible warns us to run from sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 6:18. “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

“But its just a movie.”

“it’s Just a show!”

You might be lamenting. What you watch and listen to can affect how you think about yourself and others.

Why do I think my husband is a bozo after watching Real Housewives of Atlanta all week (just an example, I hate reality tv)? Or why do I think my husband could be cheating on me after watching Tyler Perry’s Temptation?

That’s why King David wisely said in Psalms 101:3, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”

The things we watch, and listen to can have an effect on us and be an opening for Satan to destroy our marriages through our minds.

Conclusion

All wisdom comes from God. If youre unsure about a tv show, movie, someone in your life, or even going somewhere, ask the Lord for wisdom. Does he want you to continue watching or listening to that?

Before you leave the house every day Put on the whole armor of God daily (Ephesians 6:11-18). Ask the Lord to give you discernment to know what is good and what is evil.

God wants us to have happy marriages. Don’t let little thoughts these sink root in your mind and cause an argument, or a root of bitterness in yourself and your marriage. Expose these lies for what they are and live free!

Blessings,

M/M

Bible Verses for Your Worst Days in Marriage

Marriage can be tough. Really tough. But the Bible is an amazing resource to help you keep your marriage strong.

The Bible can be used for every area of our lives: including marriage. Check out the following Bible verses for your worst days in marriage.

When You Don’t Want to Forgive

Forgive your spouse, although you may not want to

We all mess up. It takes acknowledgement of that to forgive someone else: especially loved ones.

If you’re struggling to forgive, start by praying for your spouse. When Jesus was on the cross, He prayed for his murderers and accusers for God to forgive them.

Forgiveness is mostly for you. Unforgiveness can easily lead to bitterness. Plus, in marriage you or your spouse are bound to mess up.

None of us are perfect and we all mess up. Forgiving one another needs to be something we do on a daily basis.

Doing so will prevent us from harboring unforgiveness which can lead to not only bitterness, but also a lack of love. Which leads to my next point.

When You Want to Don’t Want to Love Your Spouse

When you’re hurt or annoyed by your spouse, it can be hard to show love for them. But God commands us to love each other. In spite of our faults, and hurts.

It’s important to show love. Loving each other in spite of our faults will grow you to another level as a christian and a spouse. Which leads to my next point: when your spouse is wrong about something.

When Your Spouse is Wrong

For me, if I feel my spouse is wrong about something and they dont agree, instead of arguing I go pray. The Lord can bring peace to any situation. Prayer works.

Doing this brings peace to me as well that the situation is in God’s hands. It also helps me from being so angry.

And after you pray for your spouse, show them love. Cook dinner, help them throughout the day. Be good to them still, which will not only shower on guilt but get them thinking about the disagreement. As the next verse explains,

Conclusion

Marriage can be hard, but the Bible provides instructions for your worst days in marriage.

Study these verses, and do what it says and it could help you and your marriage grow better. So study these verses, pray them over you and your spouse. For more verses for wives to know check out this post.

Blessings,

M/M

Monday Musings: Five Lessons from a Wife Whose Parents are Divorced

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Divorce sucks. When it happens, it affects everyone-not just the husband and wife. My parents divorced when I was in high school, and the experience hurt. But I learned a lot examining my parents marriage-the highs, the lows and its eventual end taught me a lot of lessons that I draw upon now as a wife. Hopefully these lessons help you too.

1. Communicate as Much as You Can

As an introvert, I struggle sometimes with communicating with my spouse. I find it easier to withhold my thoughts and feelings and retreat into the safety of my mind. But I learned its better for the relationship to talk about any concerns or thoughts you have. Because your spouse wont know how you’re feeling until you tell them. Satan comes to destroy your marriage. He hates unity. He will speak lies to you about your spouse and continue to tell them until you believe it.

Satan: “He doesn’t think you look good in that outfit. In fact he thinks you’re ugly and wishes he was with his ex.”

Wife: “Does he still think about his ex? Does he think I’m ugly?”

By communicating, you put a stop to these lies and get the truth from your spouse yourself instead of assuming. Don’t be afraid to be real with your spouse. Ask him directly, “do you think I’m beautiful?” And don’t be afraid to talk back to those lying thoughts.

Wife: “that’s not true! My husband thinks I’m the most beautiful woman in the world!”

Speaking of beauty, I’ve noticed insecurities can lead to assumptions. Which can also lead to arguments. Leading to my next point.

2. Assume the Best, Not the Worst

This one can be tricky because if you’re offended, its easy to assume your husband intentionally tried to hurt you. Especially if the offense is rooted in an insecurity. Insecurities are like healing scars: if you poke or pick at it, it’ll sting. If our spouse unintentionally (or intentionally) pokes at your insecurity, it can hurt a lot. The best thing to do is to first communicate with your spouse and tell them you were hurt by them. Try your best not to attack or assume they intentionally tried to hurt you. I’ve learned the best thing to do with insecurities is recognize them, and grow from it. Assuming things about your spouse can be perceived as disrespectful. You never want to disrespect your spouse.

3. Unconditional Respect

We’ve all heard of unconditional love, but what about unconditional respect? I’ve learned that respect and love are equally important in marriage. Even the apostle Paul talks about the importance of respect as being as important as love in marriage. He commands the husband in Ephesians 5:25-33 to “love his wife as Christ loved the church and died for it…let everyone of you love his wife even as himself.”

But he also adds in verse 33 “…and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” As wives, we are to respect our husbands. Yes, our husbands should respect us too, but Paul specifically commands wives to respect their husbands. Why would he say this? I believe its because he knew respect is as important to men as love is to women and there would be times where we don’t want to respect our husbands. I’ve learned that respect is something that, when lacking, can cause lasting damage in a marriage. It can cause spouses to be embittered by one another. If a person doesn’t feel respected, they will find respect elsewhere.

Respect, like love, is a basic marital need. There will be times when I don’t feel my husband deserves respect, but I give it because in marriage, respect isn’t earned its required. More on this love and respect principle can be viewed in this awesome book: “Love and Respect: the love she most desires and respect he desperately needs” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs which I’ve linked below.

Love and respect in marriage helps maintain unity in marriage like a glue. Glue is a perfect Segway to my next lesson, which is:

4. Keep the Unity

Unity is so important in marriage. I don’t just mean staying together forever. I also mean unity in goals for your lives. Before we got married, we spoke about life goals together and ensured we agreed on things like: children, pets, home ownership, debt, career goals, etc. We had to make sure we were both on the same page, or else we would not be unified on these topics. Jumping back on that respect point, I make sure never to disrespect or talk bad about my spouse to others including family. Because that will bring division. Speaking of family, family can be a cause of division in marriage. I spoke on this in a previous post called I married you, not your family

https://themustardseedwife.com/2021/09/17/i-married-you-not-your-family/

It’s important to set up appropriate boundaries with family members, and ensure the family knows your spouse is to be respected as another member of the family. An important  member of the marriage should be: Jesus.

5. Keep God in the Center

Keeping God in the center of your marriage will do wonders for your marriage and even before your marriage. Ask yourselves: Does God want us to be together in the first place?  Plead the blood of Jesus over your marriage daily. Pray for and with each other. Go to church together.

Make sure your heart is right with the Lord so you can love and serve your spouse the way you should. If you include God in your marriage, you will never be disappointed. Finally, the last one which is:

6. Divorce is Never an Option

Jason and I do as much as we can to ensure divorce is never an option for us. By not only implementing the lessons above, but also loving on each other, serving each other, keeping ourselves at our best so we maintain attraction for each other, and keeping our marriage first (after God). Of course, I understand there are instances where divorce should definitely happen, and God is able to make every broken situation into a beautiful one. I want to make sure I do everything I can to ensure its never an option.

Conclusion

Reiterating what I said above: I think divorce sucks. Divorce is like a bomb. Once its dropped it damages everything in its path: the children, the spouses, your finances, your home. So I want to do everything in my power to ensure divorce is not an option for myself and my husband.

Blessings,

M/M

Monday Musings: For Those Who Hate Being Single

Everyone has had that horrible feeling of scrolling through social media or walking down the street seeing a cute couple and thinking to yourself-I want that!

Everyone wants relationship goals: A hot guy or girl on your arm and a ring on your finger. I can relate. Before I got married, I hated being single. There were many nights I spent sadly scrolling through instagram looking at all the beautiful couples. But eventually, I was able to see the many perks of being single. And trust me, there are some perks! While marriage is awesome and I wouldn’t trade my husband for the world, I have to admit being single has a lot of perks.

1. You Have All the Time in the World

Folks who are single have boundless time compared to married people. Don’t get me wrong of course we all work, or go to school and other responsibilities. But being unmarried gives you the liberty to decide what you want to do with your time without consulting your spouse. So you can choose to go study abroad in France for a semester. Or go on a missions trip to Africa. You also have the freedom to explore your own desires and figure out what you want to do with your life. In retrospect, I wish I had travelled more when I was single. I had more free time, and time is a precious commodity. With free time, comes less responsibility.

2. Less Responsibility

Being single means you have a lot less responsibility compared to married people. Sure you may have bills, or take care of family members and such. But having a spouse comes with a whole host of other responsibilities. Since you’re joined to another person, you’re also joined to their responsibilities as well. When you’re married, you have to ensure that you and your spouse are fed, housed, bills are paid, appointments kept, and so on and so forth. Single people have (generally) less responsibility and gives you again, more time to yourself to do what you want to do. You can hang out with your friends as much as you want. You’re also more in charge of your money. You don’t have to consult with your spouse before making a huge purchase. So if your single and have the means, buy the Louis Vuitton shoes now lol.

3. Grow Closer to God

Finally, and most importantly, being single means you have more time to spend with God. Take a day to fast and spend time with the Lord—sure, why not? Spend the rest of the night studying Levitical priesthood? Heck yes! Plan a trip to Israel next year? Hello! When I was single, I spent sooo much more time with God compared to when I was married. The Apostle Paul even says about single Christian women that they desire to serve God more compared to married Christian women,

“There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:34).

When I was single, my desire was definitely to love on God as much as I could. God and I had movie nights, I would spend evenings fasting and praying; and I grew in my faith by leaps and bounds. This isn’t to say that you can’t continue to do these things in marriage, but its different. You have to consider what your husband might need or what you both have planned for the day, or what you need to do around the house. If I want to have a movie night with God, I’ll have to plan it out now. Growing in my faith takes a little more planning now that I’m married. Generally, EVERYTHING takes a lot more planning when you’re married compared to when you’re single.

I know how hard being single can be: you really, really want someone you can spend life with and love on. But Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, “for everything there is a time and a season.” If we put so much stock into getting married, and think our lives won’t begin until marriage; not only will you be wasting time to do the things God wants you to do NOW but you probably won’t get married because you’ve created an idol out of marriage. In Exodus 20:3 God says, “You will have no other gods before me.” God will withhold things from us if were creating gods out of them.

Trust me, I’ve been there so I get it. But when I stopped being hellbent on not being single-my life blossomed! I grew in my relationship with God, grew to love myself and know who I am in Christ, and volunteered a lot. And I got married once I stopped focusing so much on being married. You can do the same. If you have a desire to be married, I believe God gave you that desire. Psalm 37:4 says to “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Notice what this promise says first-to delight yourself in the Lord FIRST. Then He will give you what you want.

For example, if you desire to preach the gospel to millions of people, its safe to say God placed that desire in your heart because He wants you to do that someday. And God will give you that desire: if you desire to preach the gospel to millions of people, He will make that happen. It’s the same with marriage. If you desire to be married, God will allow you to get married. But don’t let it be the end all be all. God should be our ultimate desire. When we have Him, we have everything.

The Sex Talk: Why Sex Can Make or Break Your Marriage

Growing up in the church, I noticed that sex was a taboo topic. Sex wasn’t spoken of often. As if talking about sex somehow makes us impure and dirty. So when I got engaged, I noticed how many marriage gurus (much to my surprise) were placing so much importance on sex in marriage. One marriage expert, Dr. Kevin Leman author of “Sheet Music,” spoke of sex in the marriage podcast “Dear Young Married Couple.” He says, “sex is like a thermometer in marriage.” In that he, as a marriage therapist, could often tell how a marriage was doing based on how sexually active the couple was. Well, if marriage is so important, why aren’t our churches talking more about it?

Sex = Bad

I believe churches often stress abstinence so much that some churches choose to simply not discuss it at all. Figuring that marriage would be something the married couple would discuss after they are married.

But, I’ve noticed that in choosing not to discuss marriage at all, young couples are entering into marriage with incorrect mindsets of sex: a lot of people my age believe sex is just a fun time, or a transactional thing you do between the person you love or sex is some scary thing. Not simply a powerful glue between two married people (more on this later). I once heard someone describe sex as fire: it can provide warmth when in the safe confines of marriage, but it can be a dangerous inferno when outside the confines of marriage-destroying every aspect of your life in its blaze.

Let’s Talk About Sex

The Bible speaks often about sex. God created us as sexual beings, thus why his first command to Adam and Eve was “to be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). So its normal to have urges, or feel like you need sex. That doesn’t make you weird, or depraved. Of course I don’t think its healthy to be obsessed with sex. And there are some people who don’t have these urges, and have been blessed with what the Apostle Paul calls “the gift of singleness (1 Corinthians 7:6-9).” But for most people, the urges are there and strong. Why wouldn’t they? If no one had sex, humanity would die off!

The Apostle Paul even implored married couples to not abstain from sex for too long or you could fall to temptation (1 Corinthians 7:5). God designed sex to bring us pleasure (Proverbs 5:18, and the whole Songs of Solomon). But He wanted us to have sex in marriage. Outside of marriage, there are so many dangers: STDs, emotional and spiritual damage, and of course having children outside of marriage.

Sex: The Fire That Rages

Researchers at the Institute of Family shows that women with 3-10 or more sexual partners were most likely to divorce, while women with 0-1 sexual partners were least likely to divorce. More research shows that having multiple sexual partners before marriage could lead to less happy marriages. Pretty surprising considering our society enforces the idea that having multiple sexual partners is fun and liberating, huh? This data also goes against the idea that you need to have multiple sexual partners to determine who is your “sexual match.” Oh, please. If anything, sexual intimacy develops throughout a lifetime of marriage, and having sex with only one partner strengthens that intimacy. In having multiple partners, it could be easy to compare sex with your partner, and sex with previous partners.

There are also spiritual effects of premarital sex. Bible speaks of being careful who you have sex with. First Corinthians 6:16-17 says “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” This is a clear warning that whoever you have sex with, you become one with. Genesis 2:24 also says “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

You see this is why sex is so important. It isn’t just a pleasurable moment of fun between two people. Sex is a spiritual covenant between you, your partner, and God. Having sex tells God you two agree to be partners for life. Thats why today, just like in the old days a married couple had to have sex in order to consummate the marriage. Meaning the marriage wasn’t valid unless the two had sex. Sex is like the glue holding two people together. Thats why sex can be a thermometer in marriage because it strengthens your oneness with your spouse.

Sex is Great and Important

But I digress. Sex is important. It’s amazing, and can only get better with your spouse as you grow to understand what the other wants. The verses above provide further proof that when you have sex, you become one with someone. So, the emotions, personality, and even desires of your spouse becomes enmeshed with your own. I can fully attest to this. My husband and I since becoming married have become a lot like one another: our personalities, goals, and desires are more unified now than when we were dating. This isn’t to say were the same person, but we are definitely one. God designed it this way to maintain unity in marriage.

So what do you do with all this information? I believe engagement is a great time to discuss sex. Don’t get too spicy though! But definitely discuss it during premarital counseling-not by yourselves. Talk about how often you would want to have sex, even going as far as making a sex schedule. I know, that sounds so silly right? But life has a way of getting in the way of things-even important things like sex. Your spouse may be in a season where he has to work long hours and you two can’t just have sex whenever you want. It definitely does help. Plus making a schedule gives you something to look forward to throughout the week! Sex should be a priority in marriage. Don’t be afraid to talk about your sexual desires or fantasies with your spouse (in marriage!). Or to spice things up with flirting, lingerie or romantic weekend getaways.

I’m not saying of course if you have had sex outside of marriage you’re a completely broken being with no hope. Of course not! God can restore any situation, and provide healing and newness if that’s your story. But, if we choose to live God’s way in regard to sex, we will be much better off than doing it the world’s way.

Blessings,

M/M

How I Knew My Husband was the “One.”

In today’s day and age, there are so many ways to meet people: social media, online groups, dating apps or sites. How do we find “the one?” Well for me, God told me when and how I would meet my husband.

What??

I know, it sounds wild, but its true! In fact, God gave me multiple confirmations that Jason was the one for me. With all the methods available to us today its so important to be led by God as to who “the One” is. In this article, I’ll give you three ways God can show you who is “the One.”

Three ways to Know He/She is “The One”

1. The When and How

When I was single, I spent a lot of time in prayer, and bible study. This allowed me to grow in my relationship with God. I felt lead to pray for my future husband. He told me in November 2019 that I would meet my spouse the following January 2020, we would meet on Facebook and we would get married fast. I wrote this down in my journal and just knew it was a fact. I knew I would meet my husband the following January. Thanksgiving 2019, it felt like it would be the last thanksgiving I would have with my family in a while. I knew I would be moving from Maryland the following year and getting married. And I had so much peace with that.

2. Peace

When Jason and I got engaged, some people did not approve of our marriage. Rightfully so, we had only met in January and were getting engaged in June. I understood their hesitation, and even fear. But with Jason, we clicked on so many things like our desire to have children, our desire to live in Florida, we both shared the same Christian faith, and we both had similar financial goals. There were no red flags either. He is a genuine, kind, intelligent, hardworking man with a vision and goals for himself that I wanted to be apart of. He was my best friend, and I loved being with him. He pushed me to be better. I was confident he would take care of me, and our future children. I knew without a shadow of doubt he would never harm me. In spite of all the chaos in the world, as long as I was able to be with him, I would be okay.

3. Opposition

I knew my husband was the one because we had some chaos during our engagement. Don’t get me wrong, God works in decency and in order. Satan will often attack you before you reach your promised blessing. Look at the people of Israel, as they travelled to the promised land, the surrounding nations gathered together to fight against God’s people (Joshua 11:5). The people of Israel had to depend on the Lord to get through this. God is a god of love but he is also a god of war. He will fight for His people if you trust him. I had multiple instances of opposition from people in my life. Of course it sucked, but because I knew what God told me I used that opposition as further confirmation that Jason was the one. Although there will be opposition, you will still have peace knowing your spouse is “the one.”

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure,” Isaiah 46:10

God knows our end from our beginning. Like every area of your life, its so important to be led by God in your love life.

While God gives us free will, he also has a perfect will for our lives. I wanted God’s perfect will for me, so I invited him into my love life and had him lead me to my spouse. God surely can tell you when you’ll meet your spouse like He did for me, or even who He is. But He can show you in other ways too: if you meet a guy who’s mature, loves the Lord, respects you, works hard, and has goals for himself and his future you can get with then you’ll know he is the one. But if you see multiple red flags, don’t feel respected by him, he isn’t mature, you disagree on key things like family planning, children, financial or career goals, or family issues then maybe its a sign to take a step back. God is the ultimate matchmaker. Allow him to write your love story. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Monday Musings: In Defense of Marriage

Michelle, you sure do talk a lot about marriage! But there are so many people I know who get divorced, cheated on-the idea of marriage leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Why should I even think of getting married?

I’m so glad you asked!

In Defense of Marriage

According  to a report released last month by the Pew Research Center, found 25 percent of millennials are likely to never be married. A report released in 2013 by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Marriage and Family Research found that the U.S. marriage rate is 31.1, compared to the much higher  rate in 1920, at 92.3.

Many young folks my age are choosing to either put it off altogether, or opt for a cohabitation situation. But doing so causes those to miss out on the wonderful benefits of marriage!

Benefits of Marriage

1. Health Benefits

A huge survey of 127,545 American adults found that married men are healthier than men who were never married or those who are divorced or widowed. Also, the longer the man stays married the longer he lives generally.

Another study found marriage, among other factors, was linked to a lower risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

A large, long-running study called the General Social Survey found that married people reported the most overall happiness, second was the cohabitating group reporting somewhat less happiness, and singles who’ve never married or lived with someone being the least satisfied of all. Speaking of cohabitation, the same study found that cohabitation doesn’t deliver the same levels of happiness, trust and well-being that marriage brings.

Furthermore, those who consider their spouse or partner to be their best friend get about twice as much life satisfaction from marriage as other married people

2. Wealth Benefits

According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, married men are earning much more money, on average, than everyone else in America.

Married people can protect their wealth for their children. Under federal tax laws, you can leave any amount of money to a spouse without generating estate tax.

A married taxpayer without paid employment, however, may contribute to an IRA using joint income.

Married women work significantly less hours than single women, and save $1 million more in a lifetime compared to single women. By combining resources and splitting costs, married people have the edge on all kinds of day-to-day expenses like gas, food, rent, utilities, and car payments.

3. Future Kiddos

Marriage can provide stability for children. A researcher at the Pew Research Center found “children are more likely to thrive in stable families and [a] married family is overall more stable for children than a cohabiting family.”

“It’s not Good for man to Be Alone”

God spoke those words in the beginning, and He is still right today! This post isn’t to make anyone feel bad or anything, I wanted to state the facts. And while marriage has the potential to be amazing, I know there are many people in the world who don’t have an amazing marriage. My heart goes out to them. But for those considering marriage or for those who’ve written marriage off altogether. Please think again. Marriage can be the best relationship you have with another human being. Of course, being a human relationship, you can have your ups and downs, but there is nothing like having a spouse who can support you, push you to be better, and commit their lives to you.

Blessings,

M/M

P.S.

Check out these resources below for more info!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/267043/

https://www.bgsu.edu/news/2013/07/marriage-rate-lowest-in-a-century.html

https://www.google.com/amp/s/turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/marriage/7-tax-advantages-of-getting-married/amp/L1XlLCh0m

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.deseret.com/platform/amp/indepth/2019/11/6/20951878/cohabitation-vs-marriage-married-couples-living-together

The Battle Between Loneliness and The New Wife in a New City

I may receive affiliate funding for products suggested in this article.

Behold! A battle of epic proportions! Between me and loneliness. Loneliness sucks. I grew up in a household constantly surrounded by people. Family members or friends coming over every day. Cooking together, watching games or movies together. The togetherness was real. But when I got married, I didn’t realize how much of a transition it would be to go from a big, crowded household, to a household with just me and my best buddy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband to bits and I consider myself eternally blessed to spend every day with him. But moving away from home to a whole new town was hard for me. I didn’t know anyone in this new city. Let me tell you, I spent many nights crying because I didn’t feel like I belonged and I felt alone.

But Michelle, how can you feel lonely when you have a whole husband?! It’s not as hard as you may think. As a new wife, I’m still getting to know my husband. While we have many things in common, we don’t share an infinite amount of interests. Plus, he’s a guy, and I’m a woman. So the need for connection with others like you was so strong for me. I yearned for girl time, for connection with others, to feel apart, to have a family in my new home.

Solutions, Solutions, Solutions

Enter: the church. Going to church really helped me get connected to others in this new environment. I was able to connect with some people and make friends. This was hard at first. Its always hard to put yourself out there. I pushed back against making new friends at first. Rebelling, because I yearned or my friends back home. But eventually, I was able to push myself to make friends

Be friendly. Being friendly is the first step to making friends. The Bible says to be friendly. If you’re an introvert like me, it can be hard to do this. But the more you practice, the better you’ll do! I just go up to people who seem nice and start a conversation with a compliment.

Prayer. Get closer to God during this time of transition. Learn more about him through study plans, books and such. Ask him to lead you to people like you who will grow you. Ask him to lead you to others you can help. The Lord guides our steps (Psalm 37:23-24) and He has a desire for everyone where ever they are placed. Ask the Lord what (or who) is your mission for you where you are and dedicate ourself to that. Perhaps he wants you to pray for a sister in church or babysit for a single mom struggling financially. A good book by Nancy Leigh Demoss called A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy with God is great for growing intimacy with God. It helped me a lot with my daily devotions.

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Cry as much as you like. I probably cried at least once or twice a month when I first moved down from home. I missed my family and friends so much. This is completely fine! I needed to process this. I allowed myself to process this transition, and m better for it. One year into the transition, and I don’t cry as much. I feel more at home in my new town.

Get a Journal! Journaling has also helped me process my emotions about this transition. It has allowed me to really delve into my emotions. I’m often not the best at explaining myself or my emotions. So writing it out helps a ton. Tjmaxx, Marshalls, and Ross have really pretty journals.

Find things to do in Your Area. Activities for personal growth help a lot as well. My husband and I joined a gym and got a personal trainer. This is something I can look forward to each week. This also helped me get to know more people in the community, and get acclimated to activities in the community. You don’t have to join a gym; instead you could take a pottery class, join a book club, or explore a new restaurant, hiking trail, or beach nearby! Get yourself excited about what is in your area.

Transitions are had, but they are doable. A transition is a temporary period: getting you from your starting point to your destination. Your job is to determine what steps you’ll do to make your transition a little easier. You can do it!

Blessings,

M/M

How to Have Healthy Boundaries in Marriage.

***This article isnt to say that you will have issues with family members and your spouse in your marrriage! Or that problems with family members and your spouse cant be reconciled. But unfortunately drama does happen sometimes.***

“I married you, not your family!”

These words or some rendition of these words could be heard coming out of the mouths of any spouse. We all have family. We love our family. Family is supposed to be there for you, know you, love you, and back you no matter what. But what happens when the family gets too involved? Or what is the role of the family in the marriage relationship? Is there even a role?? Lets look at how to have healthy boundaries in marriage.

I grew up with a big family. I have three older siblings, and lots of great aunts and uncles and cousins. Whom I love. I respect them, and back them. But when I got married this dynamic changed a little. Of course, with my husband being a new member of the family, its natural for my family to be skeptical of him. Because they haven’t yet gotten the chance to truly get to know Jason. This comes in time, and by spending time with him. We have had situations where family members have gossiped about him, and slandered him. There has been drama, upon drama, which stinks. But it taught me some valuable lessons about the relationship between the new spouse and the family.

Here’s What I’ve Learned:

Peace must be guarded

You must establish your peace. Practically, this can be done by having your own place to call home and not living with family. Of course everyone’s situation is different but try your best to establish your own place, and work toward getting your own place. Even keeping your address private if you feel you need to can help as well. This is super important for establishing boundaries.

Keep up Boundaries

The bible says the following in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” It says a man LEAVES his parents. Of course you don’t have to block everyone out. But establish some boundaries. you’ve created a whole new family, you and your spouse. Ive established physical and nonphysical boundaries.

Physical boundaries include: Distance-I live far from my family (which stinks sometimes) but it has allowed my husband and I to stay away from certain arguments and tension.

Space-we have our own place, which is so freeing. I don’t have to be bombarded by negative views or opinions. If this isnt possible for you, make it a goal to be financially able to get your own place, or find other housing arrangements.

Nonphysical boundaries: No gossipping!-Make up in your mind to not gossip about your spouse to family members and don’t tell them when we have disagreements (unless you have a family member who can be objective and not take sides). If I constantly tell my family members disagreements we have had then this will give them a negative opinion of my spouse. And this will be compounded because they may not be objective since they don’t know him as well as they know as I do.

Time-I speak to certain family member still. But not too often I plan when I will speak to certain family members which may have unsavory opinions of my spouse or who are likely to cause drama. This ensures my peace.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Respect! Respect! Respect!

Although I have had drama and disagreements with family members about my spouse, that doesn’t mean I don’t love and respect them. Matthew 5:44-45 says “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” And I respect my spouse and his feelings. He has chosen not to associate with certain family members I still associate with. I have respected his feelings. And I don’t tolerate disrespect for my spouse. My family knows that I wont tolerate disrespect of my husband.

When you get married, you create a new family. While that doesn’t mean that your extended family is to be discarded, it does mean that the marriage relationship with your spouse must be respected and honored. This isnt to say that you will have issues with family members and your spouse in your marrriage! Or that problems with family members and your spouse cant be reconciled. But unfortunately drama does happen sometimes. You dont want the bad opinions or feelings of family members to destroy your marriage. A 26-year longitudinal study looking at 373 couples showed that a husband having a close relationship with his wife’s family decreased risk of divorce by 20%. While lack of support from family is cause for 17.3% of divorce according to a study polling 52 people in a relationship program.

Boundaries should be established to ensure that the new family you’ve created is its own. You and your spouse have the opportunity to create a beautiful new family together. Your family can add to that beauty in numerous ways: support, love, confidance, and guidance. I believe that can be done through boundaries, respect and guarding your peace.

Blessings,

M/M