Love Unrequited

Proverbs 5:18- Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. (New Living Translation)


Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

It is by the decree of the modern world that marriage is becoming a foreign concept. It is by the decree of the modern world that fear swells up within our throats. It is by the decree of the modern world that marriages are to be as rare as a comet shooting across the midnight sky. Hence, we love, but can’t commit. We arrange, but the plans get delayed. We recoil, but find ourselves with the inability to create warmth. Thus, WE men in the modern world must not be frightened. For how many years will go by before that young lady receives the gift of your true love, which is sacrificial. Ladies, in the modern world, do not be frightened. For you do not have to give yourselves up to keep a man’s attention, because the attention should be captivated by your Spirit. Thus, let us look within our hearts to GIVE rather than to TAKE, it is then that the Lord’s design, will certainly take shape. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

 

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.
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The 2 Are 1

1 Peter 3:7- “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” (New Living Translation) 

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

(Congrats to Matt and Jeanine who were married on Saturday, May 24, 2014)

 “When a man loves a woman he can’t keep his mind on nothing else” -Percy Sledge. When a man looks at his bride he seeks no one else. When a man looks at his bride he consults no one else. For his mind is made up and his journey includes another. His steps are no longer his own, but a syncopation of beats blended as one. There music evokes happiness and dancing because their rhythm is hard hitting. Their lives are a testament to love and their union an example. It is no coincidence why a crowd gathers to enjoy the beauty of a wedding. For the sacred bond administered between the pair bears a seal from God that no man or woman can tear asunder. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Chasing God Together

Good Day, People!  The following post by our guest blogger, Herbert Bowen, Jr., is 100% needed when it comes to relationships and marriage. In a world that is driven by “need it, want it now” it seems contradictory to wait on the spouse God desires to bring into your life when you could easily seek who you want. I can attest, waiting on God means sometimes He can really take his time to answer the desires of our heart. Sometimes we wonder if He will ever answer, but we must trust He is working things out for our good.  He will answer you! Herbert’s piece is confirmation that when God brings two people together for His purposes, the success is exponential.  Thank you Herbert for sharing today’s message as you congratulate your friends Justin and Brooke Lehmann for living this example.  -Nicole

Ecclesiastes 4:9- “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Here is a phrase from Justin that has never left my memory banks: “A relationship will only grow if you are chasing God together.” Wow, I was a boy who believed that love was for no one other than God, my family, and my spiritual family, until God brought Irina into my life. It was there I began to see two people chasing God together. It was there that success finally began to knock at the door. It was there where love was found and the warmth of reading God’s word kindled a fire between two kindred spirits that no one could extinguish. Chasing God requires patience and courage to wait and let God deliver the right companion, to avoid needless heartache. So, may we all be encouraged by Justin’s words, for they are sound and proven through his marriage to his beautiful wife and childhood sweetheart Mrs. Brooke Lehmann.  Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 23, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Solid Structure or Need a Good Carpenter?

Imagine you and your realtor have found your dream home. From the exterior, it’s everything you imagined and more. However, as you open the front door, your stomach sinks. Holes in the walls, sunken floors, pet stains, falling beams, trash piled up for weeks and the smell of something rotting sends you dashing outside for fresh air. What is this foolishness?? The house looked perfect on the outside but is a hot mess on the inside.

beautiful house

Did you know that our bodies are like a house? We have an external and internal structure. But how many of us when meeting someone we consider physically attractive look beyond their features? Will we take time to learn if their outer structure is solid as their internal structure? Is their internal structure sound with integrity throughout? Most people would walk away from the house I described to you, given the interior problems. If caution is warranted before buying a dysfunctional property, how much greater caution should we exercise before engaging in physical relationships with a person whose internal structure (character) we have not inspected, nor meets our standards?

There is one such organization working to ensure teens build solid character foundations and to examine the qualities of others—before entering relationships.

This week, I met with staff members of Miami-based nonprofit, Abstinence Between Strong Teens International, Inc. Founded in 1992, ABSTI’s mission is “to empower young adults to think, leading them to focus on and improve the development of their emotional, mental, spiritual, financial and physical self.”  Since their founding, ABSTI has  empowered more than 200,000 youth and parents to have educated discussions on unintended health outcomes regarding pre-marital sex and the relation of sex to a positive self-image. Without such discussions, teens may engage in destructive behaviors, undermining the value of reserving sex for marriage.  ABSTI prepares teens in God’s design for healthy relationships, marriage and sex (yes, in that order), from a character development perspective.

To assist in this effort, Darryl Auberry, Director of Project Image (an ABSTI initiative) created the “Building My House” curriculum. The curriculum’s creative images and critical-thinking scenarios reiterate the importance of building strong relationships that lead to marriage and explores why saving sex for marriage is beneficial. In the curriculum’s introduction, Auberry notes that having lived a life turned upside down by engaging in promiscuity, leading to emptiness and brokenness, propelled him to “meet a carpenter who changed his life.” Through Jesus changing Auberry’s life, he is now positively impacting the lives of others by equipping them with critical-thinking skills for good decision-making.

ABSTI Project Image Program Director  Darryl Auberry, Youth Development Coordinator Barbara Boliere and CEO Michelle Shirley. (Nicole in peach blouse) Taken at the Baltimore Harbor Cheesecake Factory, May 29, 2013. We avoided the tempting and delicious-looking 1,000 calorie+ cheesecakes!

ABSTI Project Image Program Director Darryl Auberry, Youth Development Coordinator Barbara Boliere and CEO Michelle Shirley. (Nicole in peach blouse) Taken at the Baltimore Harbor Cheesecake Factory, May 29, 2013. We avoided the tempting and delicious-looking 1,000 calorie+ cheesecakes!

Last summer and through this January, I was privileged to work with ABSTI CEO Michelle Shirley and ABSTI Youth Development Coordinator Barbara Boliere to help promote their first annual “Restoring the Image of Purity” walkathon.  We remain encouraged by the participation of young people at the walkathon. So how does this path differ to freedoms offered by the world?

Unlike Jesus who gives us true freedom, the world in many ways offers counterfeit freedoms. Those living worldly will say, “Why can’t I have more? Does God really know what’s best for me or is He just preventing me from enjoying life?” Just the opposite! In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (life more abundantly).”

God designed us as relational beings! He created sex for procreation, our pleasure and to be united in spirit with the right spouse. God’s design expands our freedom. Engaging in sexual activity outside of God’s design, enslaves us to a slippery slope of fleshly desires, giving the enemy license to corrupt other areas of our life. A false freedom found in the beautiful home wrecked on the inside has left us with buyer’s remorse and pursuers of more counterfeit love and freedom because we haven’t pursued the true Source: Jesus.

In our push for greater worldly freedoms, Satan sets the stage for his next counterfeit scheme. We’ve been lulled into supporting more “freedoms” in this do your own thing society, only to find ourselves perplexed by our children’s outcomes because we thought it old-fashioned to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

I am pleased to support the work of Abstinence Between Strong Teens International and like organizations as they equip our young people to build solid character within themselves and seek like qualities in others before engaging in relationships as they become adults.

How solid is your internal structure?  Or the structure of those who you are most intimate? Is character and integrity at the foundation or is a “good carpenter” required to rebuild?