When it comes to any life decision, looking to our Guide and our Counselor makes all the difference in what happens in our lives. For children of God, that guide is God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. - Romans 8:14
The Holy Spirit is more than just the presence we welcome when we are worshipping, but also wen we are building relationships and connecting with others in intimate ways.
You might have a really close group of friends or an accountability partner that you share a lot of things with, but even if that person knows a lot about your in love life, only the Lord knows it all. Only the Lord knows the guy you’re talking to/thinking about/dating as much as He knows you. So why not seek Him about that too? Why not pray about the time you’ve been spending with someone? Even if there is no one in your life romantically right now, why not pray ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you to not grow weary, or bitter, or put up walls because you’re tired of waiting? The Holy Spirit wants to guide you in everything. So let Him guide you before you meet someone, after you meet them, and everything after. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Pray for strength as you seek to approach relationships with Christ at the center. You’re not in this alone. God is with you, so let His Spirit be the One to guide you, revealing to you who you should or should be investing in!
Written by @morganhnichols for #TheDevoCo
Sensitive people should be treasured . They love deeply and think deeply about life. They are loyal , honest and true.The simple things sometimes mean the most to them . They don’t need to change or harden . Their purity makes them who they are .
“To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush, Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond… You…, what have you done?” -
St. Josemaría Escrivá
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin?“ Job 31:1 By making a covenant with his eyes, Job had drawn his line of defense around his heart. He was guarding his soul by disciplining his eyes. Psalm 101:3 "I will not set before my eyes anything that is vile.” We can choose which magazine to look at, or which TV show or movie to watch. David fell into adultery because he didn’t turn away when he saw a woman bathing. He was not a weak man but he had a moment of weakness. Eventually, this relationship ruined his family, his children and later his country as well. When adultery walks in everything else that is worthwhile walks out. Today, let’s make a covenant with our eyes like Job did, ask the Holy Spirit to help us in areas we are weak repent of any addictions to pornography or other kinds of activities and preserve us and our family.
“If I say your voice is an amber waterfall in which I yearn to burn each day, if you eat my mouth like a mystical rose with powers of healing and damnation, If I confess that your body is the only civilization I long to experience… would it mean that we are close to knowing something about love?”
A whole group of us met for long, giggly girls’ conversations in the afternoons, while the older people napped with the children. The talk centered on Jawahir’s impending marriage and the various prospects for other people’s marriages. And of course we talked about circumcision. All these girls knew they would be married soon; it was inevitable that we talk about our excisions. This was what we had been sewn up for.
The talk was mostly boasting. All the girls said how tightly closed they were; this made them even more pure, doubly virginal. Jawahir was particularly proud other circumcision. She used to say, “See the palm of your hand? I am like that. Flat. Closed.”
One afternoon, gossiping about another girl, Jawahir said, “If you’re walking past the toilet when she’s in there, you can hear that she isn’t a virgin. She doesn’t drip. She pees loudly, like a man.”
We discussed our periods, too, the essence of what made us filthy and unworthy of prayer. When we were menstruating, we weren’t allowed even to pray or to touch the Quran. All the girls felt guilty for bleeding every month. It was proof that we were less worthy than men.
We never actually talked about sex itself, the act that would take place on the marriage night, the reason why we had been sewn. Somalis almost never talk about sexuality directly. The subject is shameful and dirty. Sometimes, though, asJawahir and I walked around the neighborhood, we would come across people—Kenyans—making out, in broad daylight. Dainty little Jawahir would recoil: this was a nasty country.
On other afternoons Jawahir used to ask me to read to her out loud from the books I carried everywhere. She had never gone to school, and books were strange to her. These books were mostly thrillers and mushy love stories, but all of them had sex scenes. I would read them to her, and she would sniff and say, “It’s not like that for Muslims. We are pure.”
Jawahir’s wedding took place at Farah Goure’s house. All the women had elaborate curlicues hennaed on their hands and were wearing gauze dirha gowns. We danced together to a woman drummer. I don’t think the men danced or had music. We had a huge meal—several sheep and goats were slaughtered—and in the evening little Jawahir appeared, in a white Western dress, with her hair piled up in a beehive. She was enjoying the attention: she loved to perform.
For a week after the wedding Ma wouldn’t let me go to see Jawahir: she said it wouldn’t be proper. So it wasn’t until the next weekend that I visited her. Jawahir sat on the sofa, gingerly shifting her weight from one side other bottom to the other. Finally I asked her what it had been like, having sex.
She evaded the question. I was holding one of Halwa’s Harlequin paperbacks and she grabbed it and asked, “What is this filthy book you’re reading?” I said, “Come on, you know all about it now, tell me what it’s like.” Jawahir said, “Not until you read this book to me.”
It was a mild enough book, about a man, a woman, a doomed romance, one or two sexy bits. But when the man and woman kissed, he put his hand on the woman’s breast, and he then put his mouth to her nipple. Jawahir was horrified. “These Christians are filthy!” she squeaked. “This is forbidden! For Muslims it’s not like that at all!”
Now Jawahir really had to tell me what sex was like. She said it was awful. After the wedding ceremony, they went into the bedroom of the flat that Ali had rented for them. Ah turned off the lights. Jawahir lay down on the bed, fully dressed. He groped under her dress, opened her legs, took off her underpants, and tried to push his penis inside her. He didn’t cut her with a knife, just with his penis. It took a long time, and hurt. This resembled the stories that Sahra had told me.
Every night it was almost as painful, and always the same: Ali would push inside, move up and down inside her, and then ejaculate. That was it. Then he would stand up and take a shower to purify himself; she would get up and shower, also to purify herself, and apply Dettol to the parts that were bleeding. That was Jawahir’s sex life.
This was nothing at all like the scenes I used to linger on in books. I was about to turn eighteen. I had reared myself on Harlequins and kissed Kennedy. What Jawahir described fell far short of the thrilling sex I had imagined. I was crestfallen, and told her I would never get married.
Jawahir laughed, and said, “Wait until your father comes back one day— you’ll see then.” She seemed perfectly resigned to her life. Ali appeared to be a kind man, not violent or mean, and a decent provider. Jawahir seemed convinced that good women were forbidden by God to feel desire.
I already knew what Sister Aziza would say about sex and marriage. She counseled many young married couples. Women often told her how horrible it was for them to have sex. Sister Aziza used to respond that they were complaining only because they had read licentious, un-Islamic descriptions of sexual experiences in Western books. We Muslim women were not to copy the behavior of unbelievers. We shouldn’t dress like them, or make love like them, or behave like them in any way. We should not read their books, for they would lead us off the straight, true path to Allah.
A woman couldn’t break a marriage because it was awful or boring: that was utterly forbidden, and the way of Satan. “If your husband hurts you,” Sister Aziza would tell these women, “you must tell him that, and ask him to do it differently. If you cooperate it will always be less painful. And if he’s not hurting you, then count yourself among the lucky ones.”