Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: marriage

Hospitality–An Overlooked Ministry

As a newly married couple, my husband and I love having people over for food, games, talking, and prayer. Although hospitality comes naturally to my husband (who comes from a big family), this is something I’m learning to be intentional about.

But why? Isn’t hospitality a southern term or something that only applies to housewives with perfectly decorated homes?

Actually, hospitality goes far beyond the appearance of one’s home. This practice is for every believer–whether single or married.

You don’t have to own a fancy house or expensive china to be hospitable. In fact, you can practice hospitality anywhere! Let’s dive into this often overlooked ministry and why it’s crucial for your Christian walk.

A Lifestyle of Love and Obedience

Hospitality opens the doors of our hearts to others, allowing vulnerability and love to grow. 

When we let people into our space–whether that’s our home, dorm room, car, or lunch hour–we are letting them know that they are valuable.

This is what Jesus did for us when He laid down His life on the cross. Instead of living for Himself, He chose to obey the Father and endure the cross because He loves us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

We can (and should) follow Christ’s example of radical obedience and love in every area of our lives. The essence of hospitality is to invite someone in and share our lives with them.

Hospitality is a lifestyle of giving and receiving abundant love. 

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The Bible commands us to show hospitality to others. All disciples of Christ need to practice hospitality. In doing so, we grow the church, make disciples, and connect with unbelievers as we share the love of God.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 NIV)

Hospitality Fosters Community

Jesus didn’t just model hospitality in His death. He practiced hospitality in His earthly ministry as well. He often went into homes and ate with sinners, disciples, and anyone else with a hunger for God.

Millennials are known for living in isolated bubbles. We skip church for our phones. We avoid friends for a Netflix binge.

And while everyone needs downtime to rest, we must not forget to meet with the body of Christ regularly.

not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.(Hebrews 10:25 NIV)

When we share a meal or coffee with a friend or small group, we are actually feeding our spiritual hunger for connection and intimacy. 

Jesus wants to make His home in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), but He also wants us to go out and invite others into His holy family.

A Creative Practice 

We know how important hospitality is for living out the Gospel, but how do we show hospitality in everyday life?

If you don’t think you’re qualified for hospitality because you’re young, single, working, etc, check out the example of Lydia from Acts 16.

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.(Acts 16:14-15 NIV)

Lydia was a professional business woman who loved the Lord. She was a working woman with a family. Sounds pretty modern, right?

But even though she had so many responsibilities, the call of the Gospel took first priority as she opened her heart to the Lord and her home to the apostles.

Here are a few practical ways you can show hospitality, whether you’re single or married. 

  • Invite a friend to your favorite coffee shop. Bring a note of encouragement for her.
  • If a neighbor or coworker is sick, deliver a meal or a care package to her. 
  • Make your desk or office space hospitable by hanging encouraging Bible verses and setting out a bowl of candy or mints. 
  • Throw a board game or movie night. Have everyone bring a game or snack so you’re not overworked. 
  • If you live with your parents and they are having company over, offer to cook, vacuum, or set the table.

There are so many creative ways to practice hospitality. In fact, most of the above examples can take place outside of the home.

If we intentionally look for opportunities to show hospitality to others, the love of Christ will overflow with abundant grace.

What about you, lovely one? How do you show hospitality? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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What it’s Really Like Being a Newlywed

Hello, lovely one! If you’re new here, welcome. If you’ve been a faithful follower of this blog, then I ‘m sure you can tell it’s been a while since I’ve last posed. I apologize for that, but I’m so happy for all that God has been working in me these last several months.

Over the last year, I’ve been through a huge transition. I graduated college, got a new job, and moved out on my own.

And just a month ago, I got married to my husband Owen. I know that marriage is something that many women–Christian or not–desire. I know I did!

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Photography by Maliya Wayner

And while marriage is an awesome adventure, I found out some surprising lessons about being married that no one really prepared me for. My hope is that you’ll read these 3 unexpected lessons I’ve learned as a newlywed and store them in your heart for now and the future.

Being a Newlywed Doesn’t Change Who You Are

When you get engaged, you are suddenly labeled as a bride. You feel special, and that’s how it should be! I felt like a Disney princess on my wedding day and will always remember that. 

So naturally, I thought this princess transformation would last into newlywed life. I was wrong. Reality soon hit after the honeymoon.

Work, grocery shopping, cleaning, and then my brand new husband coming down with a cold snapped me back to reality real quick. 

Don’t get me wrong, marriage does change your life. I’m living with my husband and sharing everything with him. I’m spending each day with my best friend. That’s life changing in the greatest way!

But marriage doesn’t change who you are on the inside. 

I still battle with fear and insecurity, just like I did when I was single. The enemy can and will attack us, so we can’t let our guard down, whether single or married. 

This is why it’s so important to learn who we are in Christ and be rooted in our identity as children of God. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 NIV)

Our worth does not depend on our relationship status. Our worth is based on the love Christ showed us by dying for us on the cross. Having this foundation for our confidence will make for a healthy and joyful life–whether single or married. 

Marriage Comes with a Grieving Process 

The hardest part of marriage so far has been letting go of my old life. I love being a newlywed. Owen and I have so much fun together and are enjoying the adventure of making our home (and cooking lots of yummy food!). 

But I miss my mom. I miss my childhood home. I miss some of the familiarity of my old routine. 

This is normal and all part of the “cleaving” process of becoming one flesh. 

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 NIV)

I wouldn’t trade my marriage to Owen for anything in the world. And we are learning to allocate time alone for friends and family, as well as using our marriage as a ministry of hospitality. 

With any major life change, we must close one chapter as we begin another. And with the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit, we can do this with courage and excitement. 

Marriage Points to Something Greater Than Ourselves

There are so many books and sermons that explain how marriage teaches us to love like Jesus. I always nodded in agreement, knowing deep down that I could never fully understand until I became a newlywed.

And I’m learning. Marriage requires giving and sacrifice. Sometimes I can’t always watch the movie I want, or I may need to step up and care for my husband’s cold. And he does the same for me. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV

But that’s what true love is. Jesus showed the greatest love for us when He willingly gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice on the cross. 

This is the romance of the Gospel, and the reason why we love weddings and romantic movies. We all want to be swept off our feet by a Savior prince who loves us unconditionally. 

Whether you are single or married, you can experience the fulfilling love of God that comes from knowing His Son Jesus. 

That is the love that transforms us in our singleness and in our marriage. It’s the love of Christ that transforms us into who we truly are–His eternal bride. 

Thanks for reading! What about you? Has marriage taught you any surprising lessons? Is there anything you hope to learn to prepare yourself for marriage one day? 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

(Our wedding photography was shot by the talented Maliya Wayner)

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My Problem with Christian Dating

Okay, normally I try not to rant on here, but I’ve recently read something that made me lose it.

It was midnight, and I was looking online for devotions for dating couples. And then somehow I stumbled upon some forum post from a Christian girl saying she refused to do devotionals with a boyfriend because she wanted to guard her heart.

Yup. She said even praying together was too intimate–more than sex!

I’m not trying to judge this person, as we all have different convictions. And she did have some good points about making sure people are solid in their faith personally before entering a relationship.

The real problem I’m having is that I see this type of thinking in a lot of Christian relationships.

Guard your heart. Protect yourself. No intimacy of any kind.

No vulnerability.

Why Are We Guarding? 

Sometimes as Christians, we can take scripture and twist it in ways that seem harmless, but are actually out of balance.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

When Jesus tells us to guard our hearts, it’s not so we can shut people out. We need to guard our hearts from sin so we can love others better–so love can flow from us.

I used to be afraid because when I was younger and not a serious Christian, I was in relationships that I gave my heart into–foolishly.

That’s my nature. I’m caring, and I’m not afraid to love. I did make mistakes, but I’ve also learned a lot and how to do things better.

Because of what I read online from Christian articles, I honestly feared I would never find love again. That I had given too much of my emotions or self away. That God would deny me a future with someone to love.

But as always, Jesus proved me wrong. And right now I’m in a relationship with someone amazing (although imperfect–just like me) who loves Jesus too.

The Risk of Love

Lovely one, please remember that you are the daughter of a God of redemption. A God of grace.

A God of love.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16 NIV)

Jesus didn’t die for us to shut ourselves away from love or to think we are unworthy of love. He died because He saw us–in our sin and mess–and said we were worth the cost.

Love isn’t safe. It’s risky. But love isn’t something to guard yourself from.

After all, the cross was pretty risky, right? Why on earth would we be commanded to love one another if it was easy?

Finding Freedom

Don't be afraid of love dating quote

Of course, we shouldn’t throw caution to the wind with dating. Love and marriage are important commitments. We should pray and read the Word while asking for wisdom.

But let’s stop dating like scared little girls who won’t let anyone in and calling it Biblical, okay?

Date with purity and reverence for God. Take things slow. Pray and read the Word together. As you grow closer, you will develop a spiritual intimacy that will show whether or not you can ever have a healthy marriage.

This advice isn’t just for dating relationships either. Learning to love with honesty and vulnerability is the key to having thriving relationships in all areas of our lives. Of course it doesn’t always come easily, but God walks with us one step at a time.

Don’t be afraid to love. It’s the very thing that sets us free.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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Separated at Birth~A Guest Post by Jeffrey H. King

Hello lovely readers and followers! Today’s post is brought to you by Jeffrey H. King. Jeffrey is a Christian blogger and writer with a humorous and creative edge. When he submitted this post about a man’s viewpoint on women and marriage, I was intrigued. It’s really refreshing to hear a Christian man’s perspective. Ladies, this one’s for you. Enjoy!


And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man (Genesis 2:22).

I love women.  I really do.  I find women to be as beautiful as any sunset or sunrise God ever made.  I can sit and watch women walk by for hours just to enjoy these works of art God made.

Why?

Men and women were, shall we say, separated at “birth.”  Women are the better half.  They are the partner God made so man wouldn’t be alone.  They reflect so much of God that you can’t help just wanting to be around them!

I’m not just talking about some company for when you’re lonely or to pick up the remote.  They are life giving and life sustaining.  No man can nurture like a woman.  No man can comfort like a woman.

Let me get specific for you.  My wife Julie and I have been married for 31 years.  I made a real effort to be involved in my daughters’ lives, but when things got ugly, they wanted Mom.  She was the one who taught them their basic life skills, how to act with people, to love books, to make your own games, and so much more.

I’ve found myself skidding up to the grave three times so far; double-bypass, gangrenous gall bladder, and a bad reaction to a drug that should have caused renal failure but didn’t.

My Julie pulled me through each time.  After heart surgery, she helped me sit up in bed in the morning.  I couldn’t do it myself right away.  She dressed me, made GREAT sandwiches for me, and was even part body-guard, always looking out for something I might get hurt by.  She took me to the ER in the middle of the night when my gall bladder perforated, leaking gangrene juice into my abdominal cavity,  and she cared for me when that statin reaction had me so weak I could barely get around.

Let’s face it; my family swam in the shallow end of the gene pool!

I didn’t have any water wings when I found myself in the diving well, but I did have my Julie!

Our marriage is 100/100.  We both give and we both get.  We are partners!  She is my love and my life.  This world would be a darker place without her.

Each of you ladies reading this need to understand that this is the God-given “superpower” bestowed upon each of you!  You are His guardians of life.  You are the best part of man – and God – here to do some awesome work.  And the great thing about that?  It’s your gift.  You come by it naturally.  It’ll happen when the right guy comes along.  It’s like a Tomb Raider movie where the two halves of something special are brought together and the power is released.

I’m not saying there won’t be trials; there will be!  But you are that special part of humanity ordained by God to tend to life.

So, if you are ever walking through a mall or down a street, and some old guy watches you go by where he’s sitting, maybe that’s me watching a beautiful part of Creation pass by.


Hey there, it’s Emily! I hope you all enjoyed this guest post. Stay tuned for Friday because I am planning a special post for you all <3

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂

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