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What To Do First to Make a Profit

The PF Women Team at our Annual Team Retreat  ~ 2018 Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said: It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way. Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory! I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started inve

Two reasons NOT to get married

Today I want to introduce a topic that brought about some thought provoking and lively discussion among my circle of friends at a recent dinner party.

In years gone by it was commonplace that if a young lady got pregnant and was unmarried, the young man was expected to "make it right" by marrying her. Pastor Tara Sloan wrote about this recently in one of her blogs, about the term "shotgun weddings." In the past, there was great pressure from society on a young woman to get married if she was pregnant, even if the boy/man was the worst thing in the world for her, or vice versa. The thought was, "you made your bed, now lay in it."

My thought is that one unwise decision should not follow another one. Two bad decisions just add up to double trouble.

At the dinner party, Larry and I were asked, "if one of your kids got someone pregnant or became pregnant out of wedlock, would you expect or pressure them to marry?" We said, "absolutely not." The majority of the people in the room concurred with us, but not all. Some disagreed and said, "What?! Why? Isn't it just the right thing to do to get married if you are pregnant?"

Larry and I went on to explain that two wrongs don't make a right. Taking one bad decision and compounding it with another unwise decision doesn't make it any better.

Now, there are exceptions. If the relationship is a good one that is God-ordained anyway, (besides the falling into sin part!) and the couple would have eventually married anyway -- then going ahead and getting married is a different story. Take my assistant, Cathy, for instance. She is very open about her testimony and has shared it on comments here on my blog before. She and her husband Tom are high school sweethearts. They became pregnant with their first child while unmarried and in high school. They did not get married because they "had to" but because they truly loved each other and wanted to be together for life -- baby or no baby. I do believe their marriage was destined by God although it happened sooner than they were expecting (because of the baby) it's a decision they would have made regardless. Although not "perfect" (none of us are and we have all had our ups and downs in life/marriage) they have had a strong love for all these years and remain more in love today than they were back then and are a great testimony today of Christian marriage.

However, there are also young couples who have gotten married simply because a pregnancy happened, and they never in a million years would have married had it not been for the pregnancy. Marriage is hard enough even without kids. But couples like this are immediately thrown into both roles, and usually don't make it very long. If it's not God ordained in the first place they usually try to keep a sinking ship floating for a few years until they finally divorce -- leading to an even bigger problem of a messy divorce and custody battle. All because they tried to do what was "right". But does God think marriage that is the only "right" choice for one who is pregnant? I don't believe so.

Then there are pure hearted Christian young ladies or men who, although they have not gotten pregnant or fathered a child out of wedlock, have slipped and fallen into premarital sex or they are just "technical virgins". Particularly with a "first love" or if it is the first individual they have been intimate with, they often feel a strong bond with that person and it's no wonder -- they have given a part of themselves away to them. But now they feel compelled that they must stay with that person because of that. How many of you know a young man or woman who is with the wrong person or chasing the wrong person simply because they have this "soul tie" of sorts with them because they have been intimate? What they feel is not really God at all but an unGodly bond.

Hint to parents here: do you have a daughter who keeps going back to a relationship where she seems to be mistreated on a regular basis? You can't understand or comprehend why she does it. She's in a yo-yo relationship, the guy keeps her emotionally dangling, and she keeps going back for more even after she promises you she won't. She might tell you it's true love but it leaves you shaking your head as to why anybody would put up with that treatment. I'm telling you that in many cases it's that she's been intimate with him and wants to make it work at all costs because she's given a piece of herself away. It's an unGodly soul tie, not love. Only when free of this will she be able to move on with her life and God's true plan for her. (Of course this happens to boys too at times but I have seen it most often with girls or young women.) What do you do? Pray your guts out that she'll break free. Sometimes young ladies are so blinded by this, they don't listen to a word you say but you've got to keep interceding her back to her right mind.

I write this blog to encourage those of you who may be making this mistake yourself, or you may have a son or daughter caught in a difficult time of decision. God can redeem the situation and restore your life without making a wrong marriage choice that is going to affect you for life. God can make you clean and forgive you and you can go on without being tied to someone for life who is not necessarily right for you.

If you are married and raising children like I am, this is something to think about. How do you feel about it? When we got into the discussion with our friends at dinner, one couple was shocked to find out how they sharply disagreed. That couple had some talking to do to come to agreement on what stand they would take if faced with such a situation in their children's lives.

How about you? If your son or daughter was faced with an out of wedlock pregnancy, would you pressure them to marry? If your son/daughter or another young person you are ministering to has sex outside of marriage and felt they should marry the person because they were their "first" and lost their virginity to them/had emotional ties to the person but you could see the relationship was clearly bad for them, and leading them away from God's will, how would you advise them? Just something to think about.


Cassandra said…
I couldn't agree more. I have experienced the soul ties thing first hand and God in His mercy rescued me. Praying for a young lady (or guy) in that situation as well as taking measures in the natural is a must. Right on Deanna. We have to think about these things. We cant just walk around and stick our hand in the sand about these issues. We have a brain and God trusts us to make solid, logical decisions in times like this.
Not in a million years and for all the reasons you stated.
LAURIE said…
Thanks for stepping out and writing about his subject. Very timely for the generation we live in and I believe as parents, especially godly parents, we must stand by our children, encouraging them, loving them and accepting them even in their mistakes. After all isn't that what our Heavenly Father does for us? He doesn't turn His back on why would we turn our back on our own children? I know you asked if we would expect them to get married but I have seen many times when this happens in a family that the family turns their back on the one who finds them in this situation, possibly out of shame or disappointment. (and I am not just talking about PARENTS but what about the CHURCH FAMILY???) We are ALL sinners SAVED by GRACE! Let's embrace those that have found themselves in this situation and love and accept them. - thanks for sharing today, Laurie
Very good point, Laurie. One thing I strongly believe is that if we Christians take the strong stand against abortion that we take, then we need to be just as passionate about helping young women who are pregnant! It is talking out both sides of our mouth to say we are against abortion but then not help those who find themselves in this situation! And especially our children...

Our kids will make mistakes, but regardless we are their parents, they need our unconditional love. No, not our agreeance with everything they do, but our love and our help. Couldn't agree with you more!
Tara Sloan said…
You are so right on this!!! Right on the money!!!! Thanks for touching on a difficult issue... and for taking the (shared) stand that two wrongs do NOT make a right!!!!
As the mother of five girls... I am SO with you on this!!!
Anonymous said…
Of course I agree with you 100%, I did have so called family friends turn their back on me and my family when Tom and I got pregnant.Some of them even tried to get my parents to throw me out of their house. No is was not the right thing to do but as Laurie said we need to stand by our children when they make a mistake. The first place that our children learn about unconditional love is from their parents. If they have not been shown that in the natural how on earth can we expect them to understand how God loves them. Tom and I were very blessed that everything worked out, we had some really hard times though. We joke around all the time and say that we not only raised our girls together but we also raised each other. I would never force one of my daughters to marry just because they got pregnant, that was one thing my mom taught me, she told me that just because I was pregnant did not mean that I had to get married. Tom and I had every intention on getting married, we just had to push all of our plan up a little and you know what, I would not change it for anything. God has allowed me to use my situation as a stepping stone not a stumbling block and I thank Him everyday for that.
Thank you PD for standing for what is right and not being afraid to speak it!!
Thanks Cathy...

Just as an FYI to everyone reading, I think Cathy's mother handled the situation so well. She didn't pressure them to get married but when they declared their decision to and their love for one another, she supported it all the way. Cathy, correct me if I'm wrong here but as I recall, you were going to the courthouse but your Mom said, "no, just give me at least a week to plan and wedding..." and she pulled a miraculous event together in a week's time that was really beautiful.

That's a true mother's unconditional love in action.

And your marriage has stood the test of time...and you are a fantastic mother.

I'm so proud of you!
Anonymous said…
Sadly, I come from a family of origin whom is far more accepting if there are pregnancies out of wedlock. I am the first radically saved Christian and have suffered great persecution for making right choices. I feel so "different" from my family of origin. Like the the sequel of Cinderella called: The Ugly Step-sisters . It is just as awful to be a person making Godly choices and being rejected for it from your family of origin! If it wasn't for my church "family" , I would have given up. A floor of affirmation and acceptance is needed in a family whether you are making bad choices or GOOD. And when we don't get that from our earthly families, it is a deep disappointment. But for me, it has hurt me worse that I would be more 'accepted' by my relatives if I were more like them (i.e. pregnant out of wedlock, cussing, liberal, etc.) The family should be the one place that we can all receive encouragement, support, and love. I was born out of wedlock and I am the only one saved and in ministry. You never know what God will do or who He will choose to impact generations. 2as1
Unknown said…
PD, I am with are right...two wrongs do not make a right! I would not force my children to marry in this situation. I have watched my own sister go through teenage pregnancy and although my parents were both dissapointed in her choices, in the end they stood by her and even helped to raise her child for several years hoping that she would take the time to continue her education. They never forced her to marry and although she would have wanted to go that route her baby's father did not stand by her and in the end she had only me and my parents to lean on. Children do need to learn that it is okay to make mistakes and that their parents will still love them. We need to take every opportunity to show the love of Jesus.
DaNella Auten said…
I totally agree, my mom always told me just because you made one mistake and got pregnant, don't make another and get married. Having said that I do know two marriages that started that way, that survive yet today (11 and 18 years respectively), so God can still turn that to good.

That is why I pray every night for my kids that even now God would prepare the wonderful GODLY men an women that they will marry one day.

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